Louis Armstrong Plays Disneyland

Louis Armstrong Performs at Disneyland For the First Time

With the success of Disneyland Date Nites, which allowed the park to stay open until the wee hours, came Dixieland at Disneyland. Like Date Nite, guests could purchase tickets at a reduced price for nighttime access to the evening’s jazzy festivities. On this evening in 1961, the Second Annual Dixieland at Disneyland was held, with the top names in Dixie music. Kid Ory, Teddy Buckner, Matty Matlock, The Young Men From New Orleans, Firehouse Five Plus Two, and the Disneyland Strawhatters all sailed the Rivers of America on rafts and keelboats, performing during this unforgettable event. Dixieland at Disneyland proved to be so successful that in a few years it would feature a different Dixieland band on every stage in the park. This second Dixieland at Disneyland event was of particular historical significance because the legendary Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, one of the original founders of this landmark musical genre and considered by many as the Father of Jazz, made his first of many Disneyland appearances on this night. This also marked the first time that Kid Ory and Louis Armstrong would perform together since they played in Kid Ory’s band during the years around 1918-1920. In 1970, the great Satchmo said, “Every time he is a guest and my band plays at Disneyland, he still has the old power and tone that made him famous in New Orleans.”