For more than two decades, Jack Wagner’s cheerful, friendly tone vocally captured the Disney spirit, making announcements at the Disney Parks, in touring ice and arena shows, and doing voice-over for television programs, commercials, and audio-visual presentations.
Born December 17, 1925, Jack’s French-born parents were both musicians; his late older brother, Roger, was director of the world famous Roger Wagner Chorale. Jack began his own performing career at age four, dubbing American-made movies into French for foreign release. As a teenager, he was an MGM contract player, and in the 1950s he made appearances on the classic TV program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He was also featured on The Ann Sothern Show, Sea Hunt, Dragnet, and other popular series of the decade. Los Angeles’ top-ranked radio personality, Jack also had an interview show, Hollywood on a Silver Platter, that was syndicated to more than 1,200 radio stations worldwide.
Jack’s association with Disneyland began in 1955 when he was invited to attend opening day. In the ensuing years, he did guest announcing and narration for Christmas parades and other special programs, coming on board full time as production consultant in 1970, and shortly thereafter being named park announcer as well. “From there, it just kind of snowballed,” he recalled.
It has been said that no other man’s voice has been heard over so many loudspeakers by so many people. Jack also produced music and sound for many of the parades and live shows at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, provided background music for the themed lands in those Parks and Tokyo Disneyland, and produced record albums featuring Park talent.
Jack’s recording for Disney was done at his own studio, two miles from Disneyland, in rooms filled with sophisticated audio and video equipment and walls lined with memorabilia: Theme Park opening day tickets, a golden spike commemorating the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opening, posters, badges, clocks, and plaques of appreciation for his years of service.
Although vocal cord surgery forced his retirement in 1991, he continued to make short announcements for Disneyland.
Jack Wagner passed away on June 16, 1995.