photo of Disneyland attraction America On Parade featuring life-size Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy all marching on moving float beneath large American flag

America on Parade Ends at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

The grand America on Parade premiered at Walt Disney World in 1975 and a week later at Disneyland. The bicentennial parade is most remembered for the oversized head costumes of historic Americans and for its very unique and unusual music. Audio production consultant Don Dorsey was quite involved in the unique soundtrack and told D23, “Bob Jani had wanted to try to mix old-world sounds with new, and came up with the idea of combining an antique band organ with synthesizer to achieve this. Jim Christensen sketched out the arrangements and then sent them off to a gentleman in Belgium who was capable of creating the hole-punched cardboard books, a sturdier version of player piano rolls that would play on the Sadie Mae (band organ).

Sadie Mae was too large and heavy to move from her home in Missouri to California

Sadie Mae was too large and heavy to move from her home in Missouri to California so when the music books came back, Jack Wagner and Jim Christensen headed to Nashville and the Grand Ol’ Opry stage to record the basic tracks. When they returned with those 16-track masters, I was brought in to overlay the synth tracks and create Bob’s new sound. We set up a 16-track recorder and several synthesizers in Jack Wagner’s dining room in Anaheim and worked in there for a couple of months, dodging the chandelier. From time to time we would head off to a studio in Santa Ana to do rough mixdowns and bring them back to have a listen on a portable sound system brought out to Main Street on a Monday or Tuesday when the park was closed. Bob Jani would come out for the review and give his comments or approval.”