Monday, December 18, 2023

Christmas Parade, 1963 - PART 3

Hooray, it's time for PART 3 of the 1963 "Christmas in Many Lands" parade! Have you missed the first two installments? If so, I'm not angry, just disappointed. 

Once again, I was baffled when trying to ID the nation represented in this tableau, but (luckily for me) they put a little sign at the front of the float that says "Polish Carolers". I admit that I probably would not have guessed "Poland". Not only do we have men, women, and children in traditional dress, but there's a log cabin, a mannequin holding a creche (manger scene), and another mannequin holding what I assume is some sort of yummy delicacy. 

This one is easy - featuring fabulous female flamenco dancers from Spain! Are the leggy gals holding castanets? I can't tell. 

Alpenhorns and a Saint Bernhard dog must mean this is the contingent from Switzerland. 

The next two are a mystery to me; are these young men and women (all in white) from a local high school? The ladies' costumes vaguely recall Native America headdresses, with a Busby Berkeley twist. The young men also seem to be in a kind of "Hollywood musical" kind of native garb.  

I am not entirely sure that the marching band is with the performers in white, but they might be carrying a sign that says "SAUGUS", which is in Santa Clarita county (about 25 miles north of Burbank, where the Walt Disney Studios is located). Or do you think the sign says something else?

The last photo for today features the Mickey Mouse himself, banging away on The Big Bass Drum, which is pulled by Chip and his twin brother Chop. Dale had a sore throat and stayed home. Sitting in front of the drum is Ludwig Von Drake, I believe - not a character seen very often!

OK, that does it for now. Stay tuned for the final installment, a week from today!


Nanook said...

These installments from 'Christmas in Many Lands' is really enjoyable. The costumes and theming are so unique and fun - and have NOTHING to do with Disney.

I'm uncertain if the "all white" costumes are connected with the marching band following them, but the marching band is from Azusa High School... “Everything from A to Z in the U.S.A.”, as they say.

(I wonder if they're familiar with that terrific Andrews Sisters song of the same name, from 1946-?) ♫ No building so tall that you think you might fall... ♬ Lyrics just don't get any better than that-! JUST LISTEN.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Ha! I just noticed that the two little kids are sitting in a sleigh being pulled by a snowman (I wonder if his name is Olaf?). The yummy delicacies that the mannequin is holding appears to be an apple and Tokyo!'s great grandmother's fried chicken.

I'm not sure if the gals have castanets or not; maybe some of them; their hand positions would seem to indicate that. The leggy gal in the lavender dress is really showing her stuff... if you know what I mean.

I thought Saint Bernhard dogs only carried those little kegs around their necks in cartoons; apparently not. That looks like an honest-to-goodness alpenhorn, and the guy looks like he's actually playing it. I see some of our usual guests, from other installments of this parade: Paulette (with the mouse ears), the Tour Guides, and young Pee-wee Herman (in the gray suit).

I think you're right, Major, these dancers represent the Busby Berkeley tribe (of Oxnard). Don't all Native Americans dress like this? :-\
Looking at both of these photos, I think the banner says "AZUSA", which is another town near Los Angeles. (Nanook beat me to it.)

Funny how Chip and Dale (Chop) both have black noses. Was that really the case in the early days of the Park? Ludwig Von Drake was always one of my favorite Disney Characters.

They must have spent a fortune on costumes for this parade! (Unless the participants supplied their own.) Thanks, as always, Major.

Melissa said...

Well, I suppose I could polish the carolers, but they seem already pretty polished to me.

The crowd looks pretty formally dressed, even for 1963. I spy two tour guides, several babushkas, a couple of siblings dressed alike, and one little girl in a sailor suit. All I need is a partridge and a pear tree and that's Bingo!

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, you are right! I would recognize my great-grandmother's fried chicken anywhere!

I think that group in front of the Azusa High School band is The Village People, 15 years before they ditched all of the female members and added three more guys to the group.

All I need is a partridge and a pear tree and that's Bingo!

Melissa, speaking of things in trees, I hope Bu yanked that kid out of the tree in front of the Wonderland Music Store....and then banned him from the park for life! Merry Christmas to you, kid!

Chuck said...

Melissa beat me to the "polished carolers" joke.

Azusa High School's mascot is the Aztecs, and while those kids are definitely not dressed in Aztec costume, who knows what was running through the minds of mid-century people raised on Westerns. "Ah...dress 'em like Indians. That's close enough." It could also be a specific costume for a particular number. And they could also have nothing to do with Azusa.

In the last photo, sitting in the back of the auto to the right of the drum, is a woman sitting in the back seat dressed as a Mouseketeer and waving to the crowd. The resolution isn't good enough for facial recognition, but the hair, era, and what look like the letters "A" and "E" bookending her name on her sweatshirt make me think that's probably Annette Funicello. Nice that we get the Mickey Mouse Club Headquarters in the background.

And Ludwig von Drake's appearance is going to have me singing "The Spectrum Song" in my head all day long.

Thanks, Major!

Stefano said...

There is some of that wholesome Walt era S. A. on display here, in line with the real Sub lagoon mermaids, Golden Horseshoe Can Canners, Tahitian Terrace performers, etc. Not quite Ziegfeld, but not Mickey Mouse either.

About the Mouse, we may be seeing the dividing year of his appearance; he and Minnie still have that early somewhat odd look in the 1962 "40 Pounds of Trouble", while here he looks much the same as he does today.

JG said...

Good guess on Saugus, Major. I would never have thought of Azusa, but I’ve never lived in the Southland.

I wonder if the horn crew threw out cough drops to the adoring crowds? And Mickey with his trained pair of chipmunks. Don’t see that every day even at Disneyland.

This parade might have been worth watching instead of running off to the Matterhorn!

Quite a display indeed, thanks!


Bu said...

The Mousketeer driven by the Swedish Chef I think is the "un-Mouseketeer" Ginny. She did her own thing at the park, and at this point in time Annette was off to the beach with Frankie Avalon (but forever connected to Disneyland), There is a St. Benard in Manhattan that I see walking in Midtown with his human sometimes: he perhaps has his own internet following....and he does wear the little keg around his neck. It is "cute" epitomized. I remember the "dog number" in Fantasy on Parade with Herbie....and all the dogs running around....was awesome. More dogs, horses and humans in parades. Floats are dull. Unless they go on fire and burn in front of you: The show must go on. Isn't there a story that the Mickey Drum was the biggest in the world or something? Can we return the "Disneyland USA" title to "Disneyland Park and Disneyland Resort". Disneyland USA says it all, and nothing else needs to be said. The Disneyland logo also rocks as does that Mickey. Classic Mickey is always best, today's Mickey always seems like he's had one too many cups of coffee: constantly in motion without much body control. Doesn't he blink now too? "no". The kid in the tree: no: I'd leave him. In fact: that would probably be something I would do. Guests: they are kind of unhinged: just leave them: they leave the Park eventually. Employees must follow orders! What a very charming parade...wish we could all go back to this time and place, and leave all the plastic melting dragons back in the parade barn....

Chuck said...

Bu, thanks for turning me on to Ginny Tyler. I was aware of her work (translation: I watched a lot of the shows she did voices for) without connecting the dots. I was unaware that there had been a "Head Mosueketeer" or "live" 15-minute segments from Disneyland once it went into syndication; I don't think those segments were still playing when I watched the show around 1973-76. I agree that it makes more sense taht it would be her (and even at that resolution, it looks like her).

Read more about Ms. Tyler (and see a photo) HERE.

Anonymous said...

Ah...the simplicity of those times. And yet, the parade was just as big a deal then as it is now. As Melissa mentioned, look at everyone in their Christmas finest. And just what is that "Indian" lady doing greeting that guest...or more that guest a VIP? I know, "Everyone is a VIP when in Disneyland", but I just wonder. Maybe "Here's a few free E-tickets that I won't be using." KS

Melissa said...

" Can we return the "Disneyland USA" title to "Disneyland Park and Disneyland Resort". Disneyland USA says it all, and nothing else needs to be said."

Especially since the overseas parks are all called either "[Location] Disneyland" or "Disneyland [Location]." "Disneyland USA" just makes common sense.

Man. those chipmunks' eyes are blank.


I used to love hearing on the Disneyland Railroad … “ this is Main Street…. Main Street Station , Disneyland U.S.A!!”

Anonymous said...

Melissa, those chipmunks are Mickey's bodyguards, with the cold, dead gaze of the trained killer.

One false move by a parade watcher, they would snap the assailant's neck like a dead twig. At least, that's what they told me.


DBenson said...

I miss Von Drake ... Read somewhere that a Ludwig Von Drake set was in the works when they closed down the Walt Disney Treasures DVDs. The only Von Drake on disc that I know of is "Symposium on Popular Songs" on "Disney Rarities".

There was Von Drake merchandise back in the day, much it presenting him as mascot of "World of Color". The most interesting was a doll with a little speaker in it. You'd plug it into a reel-to-reel tape recorder and put on a tape of him telling stories. So far as I know the doll didn't move or anything, and tape recorders were bulky -- a lot of bother for minimal effect. Did they ever put the stories out on records or other audio media?


DBENSON: those Ludwig Dolls are not too rare …. However those RCA special cassettes for Ludwig are… few survive working . I the 1990’s the master recordings for those as well as recordings for future cassettes ( and outtakes ) were discovered when sone other audio was being researched … I know some collectors had cd copies of those LUDWIG RCA recordings at one time.

Ludwig Von Drake is my favorite Disney Character ( next to Dean Jones and Joe Flynn!! lol) and it it really amazing at how much merchandise was produced with him… even a Disneyland Ludwig Von Drake squeeze hat!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nannok, ha, if I’d had the brains to look at that other photo, it would have been clear that the school was from Azusa and not Saugus! Luckily, YOU had the brains. I don’t believe humans can actually sing like the Andrews Sisters, they must have been robots.

JB, the old Christmas classic dinner, consisting of an apple and some fried chicken! Santa’s favorite. Kids always fight over the apple, but there’s only one. I love the Spanish gals, they are my favorites. I’ve always wondered if Saint Bernards really carry whisky (or whatever) around their necks, and this seems to confirm it. Aged in genuine (tiny) oak barrels. Notice that the crowd seems to be clapping for the Busby Berkely squad in the fifth photo, they must have just done something really impressive. Maybe they plaid “Jingle Bells” on their armpits? Yes, why doesn’t Dale have a red nose? Especially at Christmas?? I think that at least the “people from many lands” came with their own costumes, but I’m sure this was still an expensive parade for those days.

Melissa, I polish them with furniture wax, it protects and makes them gleam. My guess is that the “formal” look of the guests might partly be due to the fact that they are dressed for winter. Coats and such. But maybe not?

TokyoMagic!, what was your grandmother’s secret ingredient? And don’t say “LOVE”! The Village People with girls? I can’t even imagine. It wouldn’t be the same. Would one be dressed like a lawyer, and another like a race car driver? Bu was only a small child in 1963, but he still would have yanked that kid out of the tree.

Chuck, yeah, I’m pretty sure that the Busby Berkely squad is not supposed to be the Azusa Aztecs. Instead they are a historically-accurate depiction of Native Americans. Inspiring! I zoomed in on the Mouseketeer, and while I would love it to be Annette, it doesn’t really look like her to me, even in low-res. But hey, I’m wrong all the time. Don’t just sing The Spectrum Song in your head, sing it out loud!

Stefano, even Walt knew that pretty women make many events better! By today’s standards it’s all very tame, but hey, I’ll take it. And yes, to me, the Mickey in that last photo is THE classic costume. He’s had some work done since then, and it’s still Mickey, but he always looks a little “off” to me.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I *should* have thought of Azusa, since I’ve actually been there, unlike Saugus. Yes, Azusa is as grand and beautiful as you’ve dreamed! Cough drops, hopefully they are Smith Bros. wild cherry flavor, which as far as I know were basically candy with no active ingredients. Unless sugar is an active ingredient.

Bu, Ginny seems like a more likely guess for that grown-up Mouseketeer. I have a photo of Ginny on my blog, let’s see… take a look HERE. It’s not the most flattering photo, but hey, it’s her. Like you, I prefer “Disneyland USA” to “Disneyland Park”, but nobody cares what I think. I think Mickey did blink for a while, but I guess that didn’t work out, because now he stares and stares, just like me.

Chuck, I knew Ginny mostly from the old Storyteller albums, so her warm voice was a big deal at a point in my life. I remember kids in school would bring in Storyteller albums that I didn’t have, and we’d listen to them as a class. Way better than studying math!

KS, that parade really was a big deal, and as far as I am aware, they only did this big version ONE day. They probably did the “Parade of Toys” part for the other December days. I saw the “Indian” woman working the crowd, but can’t tell what she’s up to.

Melissa, how about “Disneyland Prime”?

Mike Cozart, yes, as a kid I loved being able to hear that announcement from outside the gates!

JG, maybe the chipmunks have been infected by the “black oil”, like in The X-Files?

DBenson, I didn’t know there were enough Ludwig Von Drake cartoons to make up a whole DVD set! Wow, I’ve never seen that doll you mentioned. Must be rare today. I always liked the way he looked, and even as a child I could tell that his animation was better than what you typically saw on TV.

Mike Cozart, oh ha ha, I guess they are NOT rare! Were the cassettes the same size as the kind that consumers could use, or were they a special miniaturized cassette (like the ones in old answering machines)? I still think Jiminy Cricket is my favorite Disney character, but if you ask me on another day, I might give you a different answer.


I believe that Saint Bernards carry schnapps in the little medicinal barrels around their neck. In the 70’s diet soda craze they carried TAB and DIET RITE for a time .

Major: the RCA cassettes that were used for the Ludwig Von Drake talking doll were almost twice the thickness of a standard cassette tape … but the other dimensions were similar. I think these cassettes predated the popularity of the cassette tapes that eventually became standard. The idea for a toy was rather revolutionary at the time.

Not exactly the same thing … but when I was little my friend who lived next door had a board game that was a horse racetrack .. and it came with a record of the racing announcer calling the race and when you played it the winning horse results world be different each time ..!!! I’m still not sure how that worked .. (?(?))


I’ve just been informed that Saint Bernards carry Brandy in their keg flasks they were around their neck. Who knew?

Dean Finder said...

Maybe Dale's nose is black because he has not yet had any of the brandy from the St. Bernard's barrel.

I thought the little barrel of booze to fight off the cold was the who reason to own a St. Bernard. I'm always disappointed when I see someone walking one and there's no barrel on its neck.

I like the idea of a Ludwig von Drake proto-Teddy Ruxpin. If you search around on youtube, you can find people demoing those odd audio formats that came and went without ever gaining wide use.

Melissa said...

"TokyoMagic!, what was your grandmother’s secret ingredient? And don’t say “LOVE”!"

Or "chicken."

I always thought Ludwig von Drake's voice was just meant to be a "generic German scientist" voice, until just recently when I heard a recording of Albert Einstein speaking for the first time. And then I was all, ohhhhh.

If that band has marched from Azusa to Anaheim, do they have to keep going straight through to Cucamonga?

Chuck said...

Major, I loved those Storyteller albums. And now that I understand the connection, I will probably hear Jan from Space Ghost the next time I listen to Lady and the Tramp.

Mike, there were multiple, independent grooves on that game’s record. Which number won the race depended on where you put the needle on the outside dead wax.

Chuck said...

Mike, was it something like this?

And…because I like you…here’s an article on multi sided records that explains how it works better than I did above. My introduction to the concept was the 1980 MAD Magazine “Super Spectacular Day” record mentioned in the article.

"Lou and Sue" said...

This group of Jr. Gorillas makes every parade a LOT more fun. I love the links - especially the one to the burning dragon. That was from a new angle that I hadn't seen before.

One more week til we see what's in those boxes. My guess is balloons. Maybe some doves, too.

Thanks, Major.


Yes … it was like that… the game had one record but like that video … the outcome of the race and the horse winner was different each time. That makes sense that depending on where you started the needle up to 8 outcomes per record side could be done. As little kids it was like magic to us …

TokyoMagic! said...

"TokyoMagic!, what was your grandmother’s secret ingredient? And don’t say “LOVE”!"

Or "chicken."

Melissa and Major, my great-grandmother was the first person to ever make fried chicken entirely out of tofu. ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, ha, ha! I get it now! I thought you were joking that her recipe for fried chicken didn't include "chicken"! ;-)