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

Tagged In This Article

Current Discussion

  • bob: I agree with Leeann on "When the Right One Comes Along". Great song. It was written by Georgia Middleman and …
  • Leeann Ward: I was just thinking that I wished Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio would make an album together. I haven't watched …
  • bob: Enjoyed the Himes article on classic baseball songs. Thanks. Himes also mentioned some books. To those he noted I would …
  • luckyoldsun: Well it probably wasn't Larry Gatlin.
  • A.B.: Anyone else think Marty Stuart might be part of Lakehouse Holdings that bought the Johnny Cash/Barry Gibb property?
  • David Cantwell: Thanks, Andrew. It almost seems inevitable that the greatest singers--Sinatra and George Jones, say--just don't sing so well at the …
  • Andrew: Very well put. I don't remember the last time an album gave me chills right from the opening note quite …
  • TX Music Jim: All valid choices. I will forever hold out the hope that Gram Parsons, Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary Stewart will …
  • Leeann Ward: Oops...the link: http://www.engine145.com/summer-lovin-ronnie-milsap-looks-back-new-album/
  • Leeann Ward: Yes, great choices for inductees! In Milsap's case, I guess if you say it to Juli Thanki, it will happen!:): Do …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • raypricebeautyis
  • rodneycrowelltarpapersky
  • rhondavincentonlyme
  • mandybgibson
  • paulburchfevers
  • kelliepicklerwomaniam
  • ronblockwalkingsong
  • lindiortegatinstar