Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Dapper Dans

The Dapper Dans are definitely a fave of mine when it comes to Disneyland entertainment. Whenever I am on Main Street and I hear their melodious harmonies, I have to stop what I am doing! Today's post is an assortment of "new" and previously published Dapper Dan photos. This undated color photo shows the Dans on a Bicycle-Built-for-4 with some very psychedelic spokes, posed in front of the Hills Brothers Coffee Garden (1958-1976). Based on other photos that I have, it would appear that the Dans shown here are: Roger Axworthy (lead), Ted Nichols (baritone), TJ Marker (bass), and John Borneman (tenor).

This next shot shows players from the Minnesota & Washington football teams that played in the Rose Bowl game in 1961. The Dans in this photo (TJ Marker, Ted Nichols, Roger Axworthy, & John Borneman) are singing to Rose Queen Carole Washburn on December 19, 1960. I am guessing that they are dining inside The Red Wagon Inn.

Once again, the Dans are entertaining in front of the Hills Brothers Coffee Garden, circa October 1961:

A guest attempts to make the group a quintet:

I love this shot taken inside the Upjohn Pharmacy, which is now the Fortuosity Shop:

Gene Morford, Perry Carter, Jim Schamp, and Ron Browne are singing in front of The Plaza Pavilion on November 29, 1963:

Today, the Dans are still entertaining guests on Main Street with their beautiful blended harmonies. Long live The Dans!

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Dapper Dans photos at my regular website.


Melissa said...

So glad to see the Dans featured! They're one of my favorite parts of Main St.

Thufer said...

Oh goodness. Perhaps one of my most favorite places inside the berm is sitting, having a cup and people watching at the Coffee Garden. Over the years there have been several 'named' incarnations; yet the feeling, the excitement and the anticipation of things to come; remained the same over the years. This is just a wonderful little slice of 'park real estate' and I would love to see it used to its full extent once again.
Those are wonderful pictures and I appreciate today's post.

Major Pepperidge said...

I see that they dress like sticks of Fruit-stripe gum only in recent photos. Colorful to be sure, but... yarg.

JG said...

Dad loved the Hills Bros. Garden.

The 'Dan's, not so much.

When I see these guys, Main Street reminds me of "The Music Man", which isn't all bad.

They are definitely part of the atmosphere.

Thanks Dave. JG

Davelandweb said...

Fruit-stripe gum...Major, you are killin' me! I'll never be able to look at them the say way! JG: I "believe" that at least one (if not more) of the Dapper Dans were in the movie "The Music Man."

Anonymous said...

Being an alumnus of Hill's Bros. (1969-1970), any picture of the Dans in front of it evoke great memories yet sadness when I consider how devoid of life the area is today. Nice series of pics Dave.

John Borneman said...

The Huffington Post had a photo on MSN of erroneously titled "The Original Dapper Dans.

T.J.Marker and I formed the original Dapper Dans in 1959. The Dan, steering the bike is myself(John Borneman:Tenor);Ted Nicholes (baritone); T.J. Marker (Bass); and Roger Axworthy (lead).Of the Four: T.J. and I ere the only originals. (The other two originals were Roy Russel and George Pilon). We were all past performers with FRED WARING'S PENNSYLVANIANS. I am attaching a photo of the entire cast of Disneyland, On the far right is T.J.; and I am next to Mr. Disney.(Roger Axworthy is between T.J.and me and Fred Frank is on Mr. Disney'S right.
I am 85, and the only remaining Original "Dapper Dan.

Dave DeCaro said...

Hi John - Great to hear from you. Unfortunately, your comment did not have a photo attached. Feel free to email me at: