Friday, April 23, 2021

Two From July 1969

Here are a couple of very nice photos from 1969. July that is. Maybe Apollo 11 was speeding toward the Moon when this picture was taken! As you can see, the Kids of the Kingdom are boogying down and probably singing "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, or "The End" by The Doors. You know, real crowd pleasers that make you want to get up and dance. 

I assume Linda de Prisic, seen in THIS POST, is still with the group in today's example. Where are you, Linda? 

And... I never seem to tire of photos of the Swiss Family Treehouse, especially when we also get lots of groovy people in groovy 1969 fashions to go with it. Polka dot pants, purple and yellow striped shirt, floppy yellow hat... sock it to me!


Nanook said...

So, did the operations folks at Disneyland deliberately provide one example of the world's most-uncomfortable chair for guests to use, encouraging folks to leave the performance early-? It's doubtful today's guests would tolerate such a device of medieval 'rumpus room' torture-!

Sing it, kids-!

Thanks, Major.


Well I suspect because that stage was temporary and only expected to be in use for about a year , imagineers decided not to get too involved with built in seating. Phase 2 of New Tomorrowland featuring the Space Mountain Complex , with the 7-up refreshment dance terraces , Flying Saucers ‘68 and The Saturn ( rocket jets ala saucers) and a Astro terrain shooting gallery - all within the mountain’s dome .... but the growing cost of Walt Disney World in money, personnel and time made all that get put on the back burner.

One of my earliest Disneyland memories is The PeopleMover .... but I have no recollection of ever seeing that stage - but riding the PeopleMover we would have passed right over it.

I’ve seen images of a stage extension for bigger performances and the folding chains moved around in various configurations- non of it very futuristic looking . Growing up we had a set of 4 of those same folding chairs in a tan color that went with our card table ( do people still have card tables??) whenever we played a family board game I insisted we set up the card table .

"Lou and Sue" said...

Far-out Fantastic fashion photos!!

KS, FYI: I just now left you a short comment at the end of yesterday’s post: Please share your canoe crew pics here!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, I still have, and occasionally use, my parents’ 1950s card table. But I got rid of the hard chairs that came with it (agree with Nanook).

Thanks, Major!

Anonymous said...

What you don't know about those chairs is that they're all hovering one inch above the ground for additional comfort! Also, they aren't folding chairs, they are interdimensional shape shifting chairs, which at a moment's notice can become any of a wide range of objects! In fact, after each performance, they became CMs and background guests! Clever!

Andrew said...

It looks like the audience of Kids of the Kingdom is made up of mostly adults! I wonder if TM! is one of the kids.

Are there any pictures of the outline lights on the stage (chasers?) at night? Thanks, Major!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great photos. In 69' this would have been Anaheim's version of Woodstock. Minus the drugs, mud, epic B.O. and nudity. Good thing given the age of some of those folks in the crowd.

I love how cost effective the band is. "We don't need a guitar AND a bass player". Joey can grow an extra set of hands and rock the double neck combo.

Thanks for posting. Love the tree house fashion show too! Go go boots and short skirt. Wink wink.

MRaymond said...

I couldn't help myself, I had to search the crowds for a younger me. The 60's clothing is wild and I do remember that I had a few of those plaid shirts growing up. I love the bright colors people would wear back then (and no hoodies).

Tom said...

I can practically hear the Kids of the Kingdom singing "This land is your land!" - where are Jay and Donny? Guess that won't happen until next year.

Both of these shots are awesome. There aren't a lot of great pictures of the Tomorrowland stage, which I believe was located right where the entrance to Space Mountain is now. And I love the angle on the Swiss Family Treehouse, with the flood of people surrounding it and working their way up the steps. It seemed like such a bright, colorful, joyful time.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Even cars were more colorful, back then!

zach said...

They shouldn't have messed with SFT. It was MacGyver before MacGyver was cool. I always walked thru the treehouse when I visited. Now, not so much.

Colorful fashions; some I would wear today.

I never saw KotK alive. Or not alive for that matter. If Linda googles her name she will find GDB references and nothing else that I could find. I hope she's OK today.

Folding chairs were the first rudimentary transformers.

Fine photos for sure,


JC Shannon said...

Far out and solid and right on. Anybody want to groove with me? I want, no, I neeeed a sweater like that. I would be the hit of the next PBR event in our little town, I tell ya. Is that guy playing a Gibson EDS? Heck, I need that too. The Tree House was a favorite of mine as a kid. Of course, they had to go and ruin that. Major, my money's on Sunshine of Your Love. Thanks major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, people were probably accustomed to those metal folding chairs, even today you see them used at lots of events (though they usually have a cushioned seat at least). I can’t help thinking of the arduous task of setting up hundreds of folding chairs! Sounds like a bummer.

Mike Cozart, you have told us about the Space Mountain complex before, and it sure sounds spectacular. I’m trying to imagine how enormous that dome would have to be to house so much beneath it! I’m sure the concept was sort of a “blue sky”, “throw everything including the kitchen sink” affair, but it sure is a shame that we didn’t get it. It would still be impressive. It kind of reminds me of that famous artwork for the Indiana Jones attraction, which would have also incorporated the Jungle Cruise and the Disneyland Railroad. Another fascinating idea! I’m not really sure what kind of futuristic chairs would be practical for that area - Herman Miller pieces? Too expensive!

Lou and Sue, I would hope that by now it would go without saying that any personal photos from Disneyland are welcome here, but… I’m glad you reminded KS, just in case!

Lou and Sue, I use a folding card table when I need extra table space (like when I am photographing “stuff from the box”, and when I was a poor college student, I did all my work on a card table!

Stu29573, ah, imagine the comfort of a hovering chair! Just like in “The Jetsons”. The folding chairs look so ordinary, I had no idea that they were so amazing! Doubly amazing that they were sentient beings. Very “Hitchhiker’s Guide”!!

Andrew, yes, actual kids didn’t want to watch that square show. But it was just corny enough, but with groovy and clean-cut young people that it might have been watchable to slightly older folks. I have never seen a photo of that stage at night!

Alonzo, I used to joke with my mom that she could have taken me and my siblings to Woodstock, we didn’t live that far away at the time! Sure, my little brother was 2 years old, but that’s no excuse to not do it. Come for the music, stay for the mud! Are any of those double instruments any good, quality-wise? They seem so goofy. And yes, boots and a short skirt is always a good look.

MRaymond, someday I hope you see yourself in one of my photos@ Does that plaid shirt qualify as “Madras”? Maybe it’s hard to tell. I do love those bright colors.

Tom, maybe Jay and Donny were at Woodstock! I only have a few photos of that stage, you’re right, it was right at the entrance to Space Mountain (the “entrance to the entrance”, so to speak). That view of the treehouse is how I remember it - basically walking in a long line of guests, and unable to linger as long as I’d like because we didn’t want to cause a traffic jam.

zach, I don’t hate the Tarzan treehouse, but like you, I often skip it. There was just something about the Swiss Family version that was more fun and evocative. I’ve heard the Kids of the Kingdom music on YouTube, it’s not something I would listen to for pleasure, though I guess it is sort of fun as an artifact of its time and place. I think Linda de Prisic might be the blond to the far left. Or maybe the blond in the middle!

Jonathan, there will be no grooving on GDB! This is a family blog! Instead we will eat potato salad and watch soap operas. Which sweater do you mean, one of those red numbers? I do like red! I don't know what a Gibson EDS is - I guess the answer is "one of those things that guy is holding". "Sunshine of Your Love" is good, as is "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night".

Anonymous said...

I too was going to comment on the boots and short skirt craze of the time. From that standpoint, 1969 was a great time to be a teenager. It still catches my eye today (hubba hubba). As for Apollo, I recall at the time of the landing and moon walk the stage was used to show the TV broadcast which filled the area with onlookers. I don't see any equipment in the picture....the stage was dedicated for that purpose.

As for a few pics, let me see what I can come up with and email you Major. KS

Grant said...

The first thing I thought of seeing the stage pic was I would be so thankful being able to sit down while playing that double neck. It was heavy for sure.

JC Shannon, the only Gibson EDS I've seen had a SG body. That one looks like it may be a Fender Mustang double neck, although I can only find double 6 and/or 12 string guitar neck Mustang photos. Can any other musos here I.D. that ax?

In 1969 I wore brown pants with yellow and orange stripes. Yes, it was a colorful time. :)

Omnispace said...

Major, thanks for sharing the photos today - these are great!

Mike, That's interesting information about the Space Mountain phase for Tomorrowland. I didn't realize it was planned for so soon after the rest was completed. It makes me wonder if that portion of the Peoplemover track was temporary as well. I remember at that time the track ran straight through the end of the Character Shop, then circled behind the stage. I don't remember there being much of a view though. It was limited by walls and such. I'm surprised the track isn't visible in the photo.

Tom, I'm betting that The Kids Of The Kingdom were singing Up, Up and Away by the Fifth Dimension. It would be cool to get an look at what their full set list was. Were Mitch Miller tunes still popular in 1969?

Major, The fashions in the tree house pic are fantastic! I agree that the Swiss version was much more captivating as a kid.

Bu said...

Love the space stage! Rollie Crumptastic! I do remember sitting in those metal chairs, but I also remember sitting in metal chairs when the Space Mountain stage was put up...I think metal chairs in the front rows and bleacher types in the back (?) Kids of the Kingdom had (what I thought at the time) was a great show in the early '80's "Show Biz Is". and the "Disneyland is Your Land" show in 1979-80. The costumes were pretty much the same as the years progressed! I'm sure you can get both on the You Tube. I "worked" on all of our high school publications in LA Unified and every year Disneyland would invite us to our own press event- with free "passports" in the days of ticket books. Bob Roth (RIP) was head of Disneyland publicity and gave us a nice speech in that amphitheater about our possible careers in journalism and also let us know that the park that would be "scheduled" to close at 6pm was actually open until midnight for us (Private Party Mix-In). All of us high schoolers were squealing with delight. We also were given press kits, photos, and other collateral- and God knows where all of that is now. I returned the Disneyland favor to us with a nice article plugging whatever they were plugging at the time: Big Thunder in 79, and the 25th anniversary later that year. Disneyland understood the need for free press wherever you could get it. Especially overcrowded LA high schools with 2500 students. None of the other theme parks gave us such perks- however movie studios did give us screenings of the latest and greatest. Switching gears to Swiss Family Treehouse- loved it! I made a replica in my closet in my bedroom...I loved that movie and still do. Tarzan who? Stripe lady looks like she could be sister to the extra in the Mary Tyler Moore show opening where Mary throws her hat into the air, much to the consternation of an older woman also in the shot. Kick Tarzan out and bring back Moochie and the Family Robinson! Note about the treehouse: when it first opened it was covered in pink "blossoms" and with one wind storm they were knocked off, and never returned. This may be a mythical story, but that is what the Disney University told me during my orientation. (They also told us that we had to wear underpants under our costumes. True story.)

Anonymous said...

Fine fare for Friday, Major.

The stage is a blend of Tomorrowland and IASW.

Those folding chairs are/were the worst.

No point in looking for me in these photos. We were camping in the Sierras when the moon landing happened. Radio reception was terrible down in that canyon, but we could hear Neil Armstrong's voice on the news that night. That memory is clear as a bell.

I loved the Swiss Treehouse, and the Tarzan overlay is an abomination, especially the loathsome 3D plastic characters scattered through it. I always walk through it just for the memories of how it used to be, but it is a sad experience. The water wheel and distribution system were so fascinating. I do enjoy how there never is a queue, people just keep moving. It just occurred to me that this attraction is a walk-through of the type originally planned for Pirates and the Haunted Mansion.

Thanks Bu, JC, KS for your memories. Mike C, I watched a YT video about the WDW Space Mountain, where much of the design background was discussed, I recognized a lot of it from your descriptions, thank you.

"GDB: Come for the pictures, stay for the comments."


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I had two guesses on the guitar. I reconsidered both. I give up.


Regarding the KIDS OF THE KINGDOM: we look bs I and make jokes of them being square but in the late 1960’s into the early 1970’s those kinds of clean cut college kid singing groups were extremely popular. Disney was trying to create there own YOUNG AMERICANS - a group of high school & college kids that toured and made very popular appearances on almost every variety show and Holliday special singing the popular tunes of the day. The YOUNG AMERICANS also had sell out Las Vegas shows until Liberace bought them and adding them to his Show. There were other identical type groups with the same look and acts as KIDS OF THE KINGDOM like THE GOING THING ( Ford Motor Company has them perform at auto shows for them and released a series of Ford Dealership exclusive record albums which were popular ) there was UP WITH PEOPLE , THE MOSAICS , THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS.... and many others of varying sizes . You have to include THE OSMONDS , THE DEFRANCOS , THE RHODES KIDS and the COWSILS as the “family only” variants of these popular KIDS OF THE KINGDOM type groups.

Yes Disneyland’s TOMORROWLAND ‘68 was set to go - and inside the Space Mountain complex were all those things on three different levels - all under sections of the space rocket sleds - the Tomorrowland central restrooms , a new world clock ( eventually added to the exit of inner space) a cosmic shooting gallery , a stage and dance terrace , the flying saucers , a snack bar , a restaurant . The final ready to build space mountain was a double track ( early plans had four) an interesting effect was to exaggerate the actual height of the “mountain” , miniature dummy prop rocket sleds would exit near the top of the structure and re-enter the dome giving the effect to guests outside down below that real guests riding space mountain were way high above at some point.

And like the myth that the pipe organ in the haunted mansion is from 20,000 leagues under the sea ( two organ props were made from the films plan 1 for DL , 1 for WDW) and that country Bears jamboree was intended for mineral king ( it was not - it was completely developed for WDW) , the Tomorrowland’68 was not build because of a lack of “computer technology “ but because WDW was stretching Disney thin in money , time and personnel.

When WED/Disney realized their expected WDW demographics was wrong ( lots of expected elderly) and they had too many theater shows , SPACE MOUNTAIN was ( with some alterations for RCA) ready to go!

Kathy! said...

Wow, the colors! My eyes are drawn to the be-flowered hat in the bottom left corner in the first photo. And is that man in the yellow polo wearing a fez? It's looks flat on top. Some of the fashions in the second photo are rather clownish, but it is nice to see some variety in people's clothes; nary a t-shirt in sight! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, unfortunately, I don't remember my family ever stopping to see a show at DL. I didn't do that until I started going to the park with friends, and we were just on our own. I did post a picture of this stage some years ago, but that photo was given to me by a friend and was taken by his father.

I have a card table and two folding chairs, which are almost identical to the ones in the photo, but mine have the padded seats. They were left in the garage for me by the previous residents, and they are all like brand new. The two chairs were even still in their original box, which was labeled, "Samsonite." If only they had left me four chairs, then I could have had friends over for bridge.

I love my 1968 Kids of the Kingdom album. They sing two long Burt Bacharach medleys, along with other classics such as "I Love A Parade," and "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Believe it or not, they only sing one Disney song on the album, and that is "The Bare Necessities." And I do love it when they get down and get funky with "This Land I Your Land," on that classic Wonderful World of Disney episode,"E.J. Peaker At Disneyland!" (a.k.a. "Disneyland Showtime"). I just looked for that album on ebay, and it looks like one seller wants $149 for it. It must be a classic!

Someone else is selling two pieces of DL ephemera and one of the items is promoting The Kids of the Kingdom. It looks like they were available for bookings, outside of Disneyland. I wish my mom had hired them to sing at my 5th birthday....or any of my birthdays, for that matter. It's interesting that the other piece of ephemera for sale, has an address label addressed to a "Linda M. Piesik." That's awfully close to "Linda de Prisic." Coincidence? Could there be a misspelling somewhere?

TokyoMagic! said...

I forgot to include the link for those two pieces of DL ephemera. This is NOT my auction, however! AND, the seller has a negative feedback.

Anonymous said...

@Mike Cozart, that video i watched made the claim that Space Mountain was delayed due to lack of computer power.

Knowing what I know of the WED budget in that era, I found that claim most implausible.

Big investment by RCA in that attraction, and yet I don't recall seeing any branding on the California coaster when it opened, or afterward.



JG: the attraction of Space Mountain did not have a sponsor ( almost everything about it hard it’s development cost paid for already ) , but Pepsi Cola help fund the SPACE PLACE and SPACE MOUNTAIN STAGE. The entire opening campaign was also paid for by PEPSI sponsorship ..... using their Mountain Dew brand “Mountain Dew — First on Space Mountain “ opening day guests received little moon landing type flags with that saying .

I have the costume concepts for the SPACE PLACE using the space mountain orange and white costume fabric color with a blue top color - to keep everything in context , but Pepsi had them change the costume to Pepsi Blue and Red.

Incidentally the contemporary architectural illustration used to show Space Mountain in early preopening material is actually the 1968 DISNEYLAND Ernie Princehorn illustration - but just used as a early Florida marketing stand in image. It was even included in the WDW press kit for Florida Phase 2 ..... but it was done for Disneyland . On the WDW Space Mountain and tomorrowland construction walls the 1965 Herbert Ryman “ Space Mountain Complex at night “ art was used and was still being used by marketing as 1973!

WDI’s document control has the full construction architectural drawing package for Disneyland’s unbuilt Space Mountain Complex 1968 .... and you are correct - it’s postponement has nothing to do with computer control systems . While WED often had big budgets for projects , they still had budgets ... and many planned things got killed for that reason from a WEDWAY PeopleMover at Epcot to the Western River Expedition and the 1976 Liberty Square at Disneyland ( the 1990 version too)

Chuck said...

Loving the commentary. I don't even remember what today's pictures were anymore.

Mike, it's interesting that DL's Space Mountain opening campaign and Space Place & Space Stage were sponsored by Pepsi. That complex was literally located across the street from Coca-Cola's Tomorrowland Terrace. Today that would cause some kind of paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that's a worst-case scenario...

Where in Disneyland was Liberty Square '76 proposed to have been built?

I know we all wonder how awesome it would have been if these lost DL concepts had actually been built, but the reality is that many of them could not have co-existed. Edison and Liberty Squares '59 and Space Mountain '68 would have eaten some of the same real estate.


Starting in 1972 there were 3 proposed locations for LIBERTY SQUARE at Disneyland .... between main st. And Tomorrowland , beyond the berm between New Orleans Square and the haunted mansion . But the final selected located was between Frontierland and Fantasyland - right were Carnation Gardens was - but that’s ok Carnation Gardens was to be relocated to Tomorrowland in a new dance pavilion and restaurant where Alpine Gardens is. This Liberty Square has its own entry bridge over the moat and lifted all of its facades from existing Walt Disney World’s Liberty Square EXCEPT for a windmill replicated from one in Williamsburg Virginia and a juice/beverage bar with a newly designed structure exclusive to Disneyland .

This probably seems like an odd location but there are big expansion plans under way - the removal of nature’s wonderland was already greenlighted and at the time Big Thunder , a new shooting gallery (themed to a mining explosive warehouse - an imagineer lifted this idea for Discovery Bay’s Fireworks Factory ) The Western River Expedition was also expected to join Disneyland along the Frontierland stretch of the DL RR. Frontierland was being greatly enlarged in a North Direction creating a pathway leading into Fantasyland - where Fantasyland Stage is today. That pathway lead to a Island at the top of the world attraction and a Fantasia attraction ....

This big expansion plan was altered greatly as the Western River attraction for Florida was postponed and the energy crises took hold over North America . During this time the expansion was cut back - but was still receiving a Big Thunder ....and the Island at the top of the world as a stand alone attraction was integrated into the Discovery Bay proposal .

One move of the Disneyland chess pieces changed the whole outcome.
In the late 1980’s / early 90’s Liberty Square was proposed again between plaza inn and Main Street - this time the Hall of Presidents was replaced with The American Adventure. This Liberty Square featured two Main Street entrances and a Tomorrowland entry via a guest arcade tunnel .

Chuck said...

Wow - thanks for all of that additional information, Mike! That would have been an interesting expansion. And I think it would have worked.

I love your phrase "Disneyland chess pieces." Really describes the situation well.