Friday Five: Country Bear Jamboree
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.
- luckyoldsun: Jim Z-- I get the feeling Barry was this close to calling you what Kinky Friedman called his guy from El …
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...