Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Duke @ Disneyland, August 1965



From August 1965 comes this set of shots featuring Duke Ellington & his band. Shot #1 showcases drummer Louie Bellson. Ellington said of Bellson “Not only the world’s greatest drummer…he’s the world’s greatest musician!” Bellson married singer Pearl Bailey in 1952. Besides being part of an interracial marriage which was rare for the early '50s, Bellson was also the only white member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Sadly, Bellson passed away just recently on February 14 at the age of 84.



2 shots of the stage in Tomorrowland:





2 of the Duke himself:





Here’s one of alto sax player Johnny Hodges, who played for Ellington for 38 years.



Louie Bellson on drums again:



See more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos at my regular website.

10 comments:

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I can say that I had the pleasure of seeing Ellington's Band perform in TL during this time. WOW! Great pics, better memories.

Katella Gate said...

Where was this bandstand set up?

Heidi Ann said...

Oh, those are such great photos. I can't even imagine how wonderful it must have been to see them perform at Disneyland!

Davelandweb said...

Katella - I could not say for sure. One source (who worked at the park during this time) says there was a bandstand setup outside the 20k exhibit; one other blog reader (who was probably still in diapers at the time) says that is outside the Space Bar.

Major Pepperidge said...

It's amazing that, at this time, Disneyland was attracting some of the greatest musicians EVER. And lucky guests could see them with no additional charge, it was just part of the show. Incredible!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Take it from me Dave. This was absolutely in front of the 20K Exhibit. If you look at picture #4, you can see a roof pylon and the awnings that covered the area. I remember it like it was yesterday... or maybe the day before.

CoxPilot said...

Dave. I was there working in the Thimble Drome Flight Circle at the time. That was the summer we did some night shows because of the great crowds. Benny Goodman also used the same band stands area, which was set up just in front of the 20 K exhibit. They used the area at the Space Bar for lesser known, and smaller, bands because there was never really a true "bandstand", just a movable platform. The setup at the 20 K was a major deal to set up, and took several days to install with all the sounds, etc.

Davelandweb said...

Lee - Good to hear from you. I was wondering how you were...I had an email bounce back to me that I'd sent to you, so glad to hear you are still around! - Dave

Pfeiffer Photos said...

Wow, a legend performing at Disneyland. The kids they have in the Disney fold these days can never compare to the Duke and his musical men. Love jazz--thanks for posting this, Dave. :)

*THE Disneyland Mom* said...

As always, Dave, your blog and it's fabulous photography is beyond fabulous.