Mickey did an in-depth interview for a most unique Disney album that tied into a Theme Park attraction, though not quite thoroughly enough.
MICKEY MOUSE: THIS IS MY LIFE
Disneyland Records – Storyteller Series (STER) 3806 (Stereo / 12” 33 1/3 RPM LP)
Released in August, 1971.
Producer/Writer: John Scott Trotter. Musical Direction: Wilfred Jackson, Bert Lewis, Buddy Baker, Leigh Harline, Frank Churchill, Leopold Stokowski, Charles Wolcott, Oliver Wallace, Leo Perachi, Camarata. Running Time: 34 minutes.
Performers: Jimmy Macdonald (Album Mickey Mouse, Narrator); Walt Disney (Film Soundtrack Mickey Mouse); Clarence Nash (Donald Duck); Florence Gill (Clara Cluck); Jimmie Dodd and the Mouseketeers; Cliff Edwards; Adriana Caselotti; Darlene Gillespie; Ilene Woods; Mike Douglas; James Baskett; Camarata Orchestra and Chorus; Leopold Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Music: “Minnie’s Yoo Hoo” by Carl Stalling (from Mickey’s Follies); “Lucia di Lammermoor” by Gaetano Donizetti and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (from The Band Concert); “Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater” by Jimmie Dodd; “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington (from Pinocchio); “Whistle While You Work” by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs); “The Three Caballeros” by Manuel Esperón; “All in the Golden Afternoon” by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard (from Alice in Wonderland); “So This is Love” by Al Hoffman, Mack David and Jerry Livingston (from Cinderella); “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert (from Song of the South).
Instrumentals: “Turkey in the Straw” (from Steamboat Willie); “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini (from The Band Concert); “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas (from Fantasia).
When Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971, there was just the Magic Kingdom Park and a few hotels. The Park featured an exclusive attraction—an Audio-Animatronics stage presentation called the “Mickey Mouse Revue” (which alas, has since been relocated to Tokyo Disneyland).
There was no soundtrack album for the Mickey Mouse Revue (though the overture turned up on Ovation Records’ The Magical Music of Walt Disney). Instead, Disney music company president and head writer Jimmy Johnson came up with the next best thing: an interview album starring Mickey himself and music from his films.
The bulk of the interview takes up most of side one. Narrator Jimmy Macdonald, who also does his Mister Moose-like Mickey voice (here’s a Mister Moose example that starts at 3:00), sets up musical excerpts starting with Steamboat Willie and concluding with The Mickey Mouse Club. At one point in the interview, Mickey dishes some of his uncharacteristic “baggage” regarding Donald Duck’s stardom: “Now there’s a real ham. And to think I helped him to get his start!”
On side two, Mickey’s role as Disneyland Park host is mentioned and the rest of the album is devoted to the Mickey Mouse Revue. But instead of the actual attraction music, six songs from the Disneyland Records catalog represent the songs performed in the show. Six of them are soundtracks and two are renditions produced especially for records (including Tutti Camarata’s masterpiece recording, Alice in Wonderland).
Some of these selections could very well have been culled from 1966’s The Music of Walt Disney LP, since the edits on the Pinocchio and Snow White songs are identical (sound editors at Sunset Sound used to put most of these collections together from existing materials).
Side two’s selections are a fine “best of Disney” group, but it’s hardly the Mickey Mouse Revue depicted on the cover and in the enclosed book (where “Revue” is misspelled as “Review”). When this album was on sale at Walt Disney World shops, there was even a sticker on the shrink wrap that actually said “Mickey Mouse Revue.” But no soundtrack was released, probably because there was no contractual provision for the attraction tracks to be sold on retail recordings. The Japanese versions have shown up on Walt Disney Records Japan CD’s however, so there are ways to hear the music beds on a disc.
GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
Introduction to “The Band Concert” Excerpt
This will give you an idea of the album “interview” format, with the narrator setting up the “clip” and Mickey commenting. Disneyland Records used this narrated documentary form (without a co-host) for an earlier album called Walt Disney’s Music Cavalcade, as well as the record company’s first official release, Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland.