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Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair” is a must-have for Mouse House music fans

Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair” is a must-have for Mouse House music fans

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My apologies for taking so long to post a review of “Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair” (Walt Disney Records, March 2009). But this 5-disc set isn’t something that you want to rush through.  It’s the sort of recording that you really want to savor.

1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

There’s over three hours worth of material to wade through here. Randy Thornton & Jeff Sheridan have not only pieced together full soundtracks for each of Disney’s four shows at the Fair (i.e. it’s a small world, Progressland, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Magic Skyway), they also unearthed area music and early demo recordings for these World’s Fair attractions. In the case of “Carousel of Progress,” they even discovered a fully scored & scripted alternate universe version of this General Electric show.

1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

I know, I know. A bootleg version of these recordings has been bouncing around the Web for several years now. Which is why some of you may feel reluctant to pay full price for “Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair.” But know this: only the official 5-disc set features Stacia Martin’s history of the Fair.

 1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

This 24-page booklet is worth the price of this CD set all by itself. Filled with all sorts of one-of-a-kind photographs …

1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

… not to mention concept art that hasn’t been seen in decades (Take – for example – this image of the nuclear fusion reactor that used to be featured at the Progressland pavilion), Stacia’s stories make “Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair” a must-have for any serious Disney history buff.

1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

I honestly can’t tell you how fun it was to page through this booklet while listening to all that great music. Thanks to the many years that she spent working at The Walt Disney Company, Ms. Martin knows just where to go to find treasures like this preliminary costume design for it’s a small world …

 
1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

… or a blueprint that shows the exact track layout for Ford’s Magic Skyway ride.

 
1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of Stacia … Ms. Martin will be appearing this coming Saturday at the Western Center for Archaelogy and Paleontology in Hemet, CA. Where she will be presenting “Sounds Delightful!,” an illustrated audio adventure which will walk her listening audience through more than five decades of vintage Disney vinyl. So if you’re a West Coast-based fan of Mouse House music, you should definitely try & attend Stacia’s show this coming Saturday at 3 p.m.

1964 World's Fair Disney Music CD set
Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

But if you just can’t make it to Hemet, CA this weekend, picking up a copy of “Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair” would be still a great consolation prize. For this 5-disc set also features an amazing collection of Disney musical rarities.

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  • I bought this set as soon as it was available and I concur with Jim;  it's an amazing group of recordings.  The outtakes and the pre-show entertainment recordings are especially fun to listen to.  I also have the bootleg version, but this is a cleaner recording, and like Jim says, the booklet is worth the cost of the whole set.

  • I have the bootleg too, but you'd better believe I'm going to buy this set as soon as possible. Normally the sound quality's going to be better than on the bootlegs (and from listening to a friend's copy recently it sure seems like it's better to me).

    An equally important reason for going out and spending the money on something like this, even if you have the bootleg version: The reason so much great material's only available as poor quality bootlegs is that a lot of suits at Disney think that the fans are never going to want to spend money on stuff like this. If you enjoyed "A Musical History of Disneyland" and you'd like to see more classic music like this released either as boxed sets or on iTunes, it's not gonna happen unless we vote with our wallets.

    But hey, if you'd rather have another 20 "Disney Mania" and "Radio Disney Jams" CDs instead...  ;)

  • I intend no disrespect or disservice to the special genius of Stacia Martin and Randy Thornton, but this project was the long-evolving brainchild of our lost friend Bruce Gordon.

    The inspiration, research, discovery of elements, reassembly, and even the layout of the packaging were all completed under Bruce's guidance long before his November 2007 passing. He had whet his appetite for these projects with his amazing "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Haunted Mansion" discs, and this was meant to follow them.

    Although Randy, Stacia, and many others had involvement in this incredible package seeing the marketplace, a feature article with no mention of this project's champion, the late Bruce Gordon, is a huge oversight.

  • Stacia,

    I and my young family visited Disney Land the week of the opening of Epcot. We bought a Japanese silk blockprint of a beutifull lady standing under a cherry tree branch. Could you tell me who the artist might be that signed it?

    Thanks,

    Jim Leach

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