Friday Five: Country Bear Jamboree

Ken Morton, Jr. | September 9th, 2011

Sometimes, finding five songs of universal interest can be a grizzly affair. When it comes to song choices, people’s opinions can be polar opposites. One reader, let’s call him Yogi for lack of a better name, might like more classic country song choices. Another reader, perhaps his name is Teddy, might like more contemporary pop-leaning country music. Those are moments when the fur flies in the comments. At this point, you can hardly bear another double-entendre, can you?

On October 1, 1971, The Country Bear Jamboree opened its doors in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. A matching version of it was built a year later in Anaheim’s Disneyland. The Jamboree in Orlando is still going strong forty years later although the Disneyland version closed to make way for a ride for another bear- this one named Winnie. The campy show features a cast including such characters as Henry, Liver Lips McGrowl, Teddi Barra, Gomer, Trixie and Big Al.

Sit back, pull up a chair for your honey and enjoy this little ride down memory lane in your own den.

 

5. Big Al — “Blood on the Saddle”

Big Al gets his name because he’s the biggest of all of the animatronic bears. And despite his incredibly out-of-tune guitar, he’s the closest thing to country music royalty. He’s voiced by Country Music Hall of Famer Tex Ritter.

 

4. The Five Bear Rugs, Gomer and Henry — “Bear Band Serenade”

“Zeke’s a-twangin’ on the banjo/ And a-tappin’ with his feet/ While bangin’ on a dishpan/ With a real ol’ country beat.”

 

3. Henry and Wendell — Mama, Don’t Whip Little Buford

Despite the fact that this little ditty clocks in just a tad over thirty seconds, it includes a sad/funny storyline of bear cub abuse.

 

2. The Sun Bonnets — All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down”

Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah make up this trio that’s like a furrier version of SheDaisy.

 

1. Cast – “Ole Slew Foot” (finale)

The whole cast makes an appearance at the end of the show singing three different songs simultaneously.  The only thing better than this is listening to the bears sing “Davy Crocket” in Japanese at Tokyo Disneyland.

  1. Grizzly Adam
    September 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

    It’s like a freakin’ Country Bear Jambaroo around here.

  2. Rick
    September 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I only saw the Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland once during the 1970’s and by the time I came back years later it was gone. I must admit I think the Winnie The Pooh sit down ride is actually more entertaining.

  3. Paul W Dennis
    September 11, 2011 at 12:42 am

    It is my understanding that most of the vocals and instruments of “Country Bear” were perfromed by the Stoneman Family

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Current Discussion

  • Ken Morton, Jr.: The inferiority complex of the CMA never ceases to amaze me.
  • Barry Mazor: Thanks for explaining that to me, Luckyol.
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  • Barry Mazor: Thi is a world in which the "top 40 most influential country artists of all time" do not include, for …
  • luckyoldsun: I just noticed that Garth and King George are still to come. So unless I'm missing something else, the remaining seven …
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  • luckyoldsun: "'Brotherly Love,' IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith’s …
  • Leeann Ward: Yes, we know that it's technically a Keith Whitley song, as Juli noted above.

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