Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disneyland in focus: Country Bear Jamboree

This guest favorite was located in Bear Country (now known as Critter Country) from 1972–2001. Thanks to the miracle of audio animatronics, guests could see a stage full of bears singing their hearts out multiple times a day. The first few shots here show some of the original models for the characters, such as the Five Bear Rugs. Pictured left to right in the front row are Tennessee, Zeke (the leader), and Baby Oscar. In the back row we have Fred, Ted, and Zeb. Shot #2 shows the Sun Bonnet Trio.

Probably one of the favorite characters in the show was Big Al:

And in this publicity photo, we can see the real Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah singing “All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down.”

This slightly blurred photo from July 1978 was taken “live!”

“Tears Will Be the Chaser For My Wine” was sung by Trixie:

Here we have Henry, the host, and his sidekick, Gomer:

In a nice touch of recycling, Max, Buff (the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft), and Melvin “live on” in the Winne the Pooh attraction in Critter Country, although they are not easily seen. Guests have to look behind them to see these three tacked onto the wall high above.

If you miss the CBJ, you can always head to WDW to see them in person, where they’ve been performing since October 1, 1971.

See more vintage Country Bear Jamboree photos at my regular website.


Anonymous said...

Hi again, I remember that show to the point I can start the soundtrack in my mind. "Howdy folks, and welcome to the one -" etc. It was cute.

Something I'm curious about, Dave. Actually I'm full of curiosity but for this post it's about Aunt Jemimas. A while ago CoxPilot said "I loved the old brick interior before the renovation. It seemed to sterile after the '62 changes." By any chance have you posted, or do you have any, or do you know of any interior shots of those original and post-62 interiors?

Daveland said...

Chiana: Interior shots are often the Holy Grails for Disneyland photo collectors. Very few exist. So far, I do not have any for Aunt Jemima's restaurant.

Anonymous said...

wy is the country bear jamboree
gone and winne the pooh ride is in now
wy did it closed in 2001?

Anonymous said...

do you think the country bear jamboree will ever come back to disneyland?

Anonymous said...

They needed to choose a place in Disneyland. It was either this or Splash Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy the five bear rugs figurine as seen in the first photo?

Daveland said...

So many Anonymous comments to reply to...

A1: I really don't know the why, but typically it's tied to attendance and the desire to promote a different franchise that might do better with merchandising.

A2: I've heard rumors, but nothing more than that.

A3: Good reasoning, although Pooh could have fit into Fantasyland as well.

A4: Go to the Walt Disney Archives and offer them a ton of money.