America Sings

America Sings Opens at Disneyland

Although the musical extravaganza America Sings opened officially on this day in 1974, the big press event was “conducted” the following day. At that time, 1974 Disneyland Ambassador Carol DeKeyser stated, “More than 110 Audio-Animatronics® animals star in this comical attraction which features 40 of America’s most popular songs. As you’ll see in just a few moments, the show takes you to four principal eras of America music… the Early South, Old West, Gay Nineties, and Modern Times.” Fulton Burley, the Irish Tenor of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue stage show hosted the event and interviewed the great preservationist of folk music, Burl Ives, who provided the voice of Eagle Sam, the emcee of America Sings. Another voice in the attraction was Burley’s Golden Horseshoe co-star Betty Taylor, who sang her trademark song, “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?” Although Taylor was honored to have her voice immortalized in the attraction, she would have preferred having her character be anything than a pig. But what a glamorous pig she was! Disney Legend Marc Davis, who started his Disney career on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was a driving force behind the attraction in both story and character development. Not too long before he passed away, Davis told D23’s Scott Wolf, “I liked that show, and that was the last show I did. This America Sings was taking different periods of American music that would work and the strange thing, I don’t know if it’s funny or not, but Al Bertino, who worked with me on story ideas for it, fell down the rabbit hole (set) the day we were showing the thing to the press…darn near killed himself!” Bertino was OK, and got a laugh out of this whenever he retold the story.