Friday, April 05, 2013

Main Street USA 1976-1991 - Morning

Main Street USA Morning Version - 1976 to 1991
Run time: approx. 59 minutes

01. Frisco Rag [3]
02. Tammany Picnic [2]
03. Unknown
04. The Old Grey Mare [6]
05. Golden Arrow [6]
06. Sidewalks of New York [2]
07. Pretty Baby [6]
08. Mississippi Cabaret [6]
09. Strolling Through the Park / Mary [2]
10. 'Lasses Trombone [5]
11. Good Old Timers [5]
12. School Days [2]
13. Old Timers Waltz Medley [5]
14. Horse Cars [2]
15. Sweet Rosie O'Grady [2]
16. Silver Heels [Edited] [5]
17. Wisha Wurra [4]

18. Man With A Load of Mischief [7]
19. Theme from 'Minnie's Boys' [1] 

20. I Wouldn't Bet One Penny [4]
21. Medley [3]

  - a. Bird in a Gilded Cage
  - b. Two Girls
  - c. Good Old Summertime
22. Little Annie Rooney [2]
23. On a Sunday Afternoon [3]
24. Bicycle Built for Two [2]

[1] Appearing Nightly at the Piano by Merv Griffin (Metromedia 1023)
[2] Gay Nineties Waltzes by the Gaslight Orchestra (Somerset, P-3400)
[3] 30 Barbary Coast Favorites by San Francisco Harry & the Barbary Coast Bandits (Fantasy 3270)
[4] The Pete King Orchestra Plays the Music of Donnybrook by the Pete King Orchestra (Kapp, KL-1243)
[5] Your Father's Moustache, Vol. 1 by Albert White & the Gaslight Orchestra (Barbary Coast, M-33002) 
[6] Your Father's Moustache, Vol. 2 by Albert White & the Gaslight Orchestra (Barbary Coast, M-33008)
[7] Man With A Load of Music by Ralph Carmichael and his Orchestra (Kapp, KL-1518)

Main Street USA 1976-1991 AM by twilightflopple

Disentangling the Main Street, USA music proved more difficult than expected, largely because of the large amount of misinformation about this piece circulating in the public sphere.

The music that nearly everyone associates with the vintage Main Street music is represented by the playlist above which I believe began playing at Magic Kingdom in the mid-70s. Some who specialize in Disneyland music believe that the same playlist constitutes the 1971 Disneyland Main Street music. While I cannot prove or disprove that, I have my own theories about what played at Magic Kingdom from 1971-1975, to be discussed in a seperate post.

The backbone of the music loop is an excellent LP called The Gaslight Orchestra: Gay Nineties Waltzes, consisting of dreamily stately interpretations of American classics arranged by Joseph Kuhn. About evenly supplementing these are tracks from Albert White, which are arranged in a similar style. Albert White was an influence on the Paragon Orchestra, who provided the peppy Main Street music for Disneyland Paris which was used on all Main Streets from 1991-2012, meaning that this Wagner track very much set the Main Street "sound" which still reigns today. The current loop by Dean Mora is generally slower than the Paragon tracks, so in a way we have returned to the original Gaslight Orchestra "sound" of Main Street.

Many sites report that the original Main Street loop was comprised entirely of tracks by Albert White, from a list beginning with "Waiting on the Robert E. Lee". Some have even built restorations based on this list by pulling from the vintage LPs. Although there are some authentic selections to be found amongst that list, the list is entirely false. The error sprung up due to the nature of the early collector's circles. Starting in the late 80s, a few "mix tapes" of selections of Albert White tracks, with the authentic Main Street selections on one side of the tape and assorted other cues from the records on the other, began being circulated. As the tapes were copied and re-copied from one fan to the next, it was forgotten that these were mix tapes representing some of the music, not actual tape masters. The "Robert E Lee" playlist seems to have re-compiled from these tapes at some later date.

Because of this, it was extra important for me to make certain that my list above was accurate. Besides consulting home videos, I was able to confirm this as an authentic loop based on a live recording generously provided by Mike Lee. Those who have grown accustomed to the false "Robert E Lee" playlist restorations will find this authentic Main Street music loop be vastly more consistent in character, appropriate to Main Street, and enjoyable to listen to. This version is a transfer that appears to come from a reel-to-reel tape provided by Mike Lee, who got it from Todd Beckett.

This list was compiled by Michael Sweeney. Thanks to him, as well as Mike Lee and Mike Cozart for their invaluable assistance in figuring this one out.

And for those of you trying to track down records for your own restoration effort, or for those simply curious, Donnybrook! was a 1961 musical by Johnny Burke and Robert McEnroe based on, of all things, John Ford's The Quiet Man. I don't know if it's more difficult to explain why there's a musical based on The Quiet Man or what on earth the music was doing playing on Main Street. But as we will soon see, these tracks, plus the Merv Griffin one, will prove to be important clues as we move ahead....

[Edited May 11, 2013 to add "Man With A Load of Mischief" to the list; thanks to "Ralphdude" at Forums]