The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show
This site is dedicated to the original Mickey Mouse Club Show of the 1950's, the first television show for, by, and about kids. But first the commercial: (*ahem*)
Older News and Updates (2006-2010)
December 18, 2010
December 15, 2010
Back to the first season for the mid-month video update: the Red Team chorus sings Orange in the Orchard, another variation on the traditional tune The Green Grass Grows All Around.
December 8, 2010
December 4, 2010
Earlier this year an official Annette Funicello website, called The Annette Connection, debuted. According to webmaster Adam, the site is both a celebration of Annette's life and career, and hopes to spread the word about the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases. Stop by, take a look, and remember its the season for giving!
December 1, 2010
Cubby O'Brien has started his own website; stop by and say hello.... Speaking of Cubby, he, Sharon, and Bobby appeared at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco recently (Thanks to George Z. and Dave B.) Although the article's "lore" section mentions Cubby's father Hack O'Brien as being the only one still living, there are at least two other Mousekeparents alive to my knowledge..... He now prefers cruising along on his motorcycle, but at one time JJ Solari used to own a horseless carriage.
November 21, 2010
November 18, 2010
Being the trouper she is Sherry Alberoni pitched in at the last moment when another guest star unexpectedly had to cancel an interview for Stu's Show on Shokus Internet Radio (scroll down to where it says "Listen Now" after clicking). The hour-long interview with Sherry airs on the second half of Stu's two hour show. The show will replay daily thru next Tuesday (Nov 23rd) at 10 AM, 4 PM and 8 PM (all times Pacific).
November 15, 2010
Nancy Abbate makes a brief appearence in Beauty School Boot Camp, a demo for a proposed Super Bowl commercial (click "Skip" in the upper right corner after the countdown)..... Phil Odom from the Charleston PianoCade recounts getting two trips out to the Disney Studio for Talent Roundup Day..... Disney artist Stacia Martin has a gallery of Mouseketeer themed original paintings..... From the first season, Jimmie Dodd and the Mouseketeer guys are Painting Aunt Polly's Fence.
November 5, 2010
The site was down for two hours today due to a backhoe cutting a fiber optic cable at the hosting company's data center. A Twitter account has been created @OriginalMMC that website readers can check during future outages. This will also be used for letting everyone know about other Mouseka-events.
November 1, 2010
October 29, 2010
Today is the official publication date for Jennifer Armstrong's oral history of the MMC, though advance copies of the book have been available on eBay and Amazon for some time. To mark the occasion we have a guest review in the revised and expanded Books section.
October 15, 2010
October 1, 2010
The update this month is an overview of the Mickey Mouse Club's original broadcast television run. The Show section spends what some might feel is a little too much time on ABC's early history..... Those seeking a more anecdotal history of the show will be rewarded at month's end by the publication of Jennifer Armstrong's book Why? Because We Still Like You...... There's a long Twilight Zone opening to the introduction for this first season talent roundup day of Darlene singing Little Davy.
September 23, 2010
September 15, 2010
To speed up loading of the featured video, the embedded YouTube Mickey Mouse Club videos have been split off to a seperate page with larger screen sizes and added clips..... Though not a Mouseketeer Roberta Jymme Shore performed twice with them during the show's second season. Her sometimes squeaky singing wasn't to everyone's taste, but she does a good yodel on the featured video.
September 1, 2010
Magazine articles about the Mouseketeers in the Media section have been expanded into new pages for TV Guide and Teen Screen while existing pages for 'Teen and other magazines have been updated..... A slightly reworked video page hosts the Mouseketeers singing and dancing to three tunes from Disney's Song of the South.
August 30, 2010
Author Jackson Gillis passed away August 19th at his home in Moscow, Idaho. He was the Mickey Mouse Club's most successful serial writer, having penned the teleplays for The Adventures of Spin and Marty, Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, and The Mystery of Ghost Farm.
August 15, 2010
For Cliff Edwards fans, the video update features him doing his first hit Ja Da for a second season Guest Star Day, that also showcases some fast dancing by the Mouseketeers.
August 11, 2010
August 1, 2010
While the serials shown during the third quarter hour were always the most popular part of the show, the second quarter hour wasn't far behind. This month's update is the Mouseketeer segment, which encompased not only the mice, but guest stars, circus acts, and talent winners as well..... Your webmaster is gently chided for his cavalier dismissal of a certain little yellow bear..... The video update this time is the second part of the skit known as the Sound Effects Room.
July 23, 2010
July 15, 2010
Some of the Mouseketeers will be attending a 55th Anniversary celebration for the Mickey Mouse Club on September 24th in Anaheim at the Disneyland Hotel. This is sponsored by Disney's official fan club D23, and is only open to "D23 members in good standing". That and the $125 price tag will keep riff-raff like your webmaster away..... One of the more appealing acts to appear on the first season as Talent Winners were two youngsters who presented some traditional Spanish dances.
July 1, 2010
Larry Larsen's profile has been updated with a video link to a post MMC performance..... Bonni Kern's page has also had some minor updates..... With his birthday coming up in two weeks, now seems like a good time to run Cubby O'Brien's signature song Hey Cubby Boy!
June 26, 2010
Bobby Burgess will be the in-studio guest this Wednesday, June 30 on Stu's Show on Shokus Internet Radio (scroll down after clicking). The show will broadcast live from 4-6 p.m. PDT (7-9 EDT), and listeners may call in with questions. The show will rebroadcast daily at the same time through July 6.
June 15, 2010
June 1, 2010
A planned update has run into an unexpected delay so there's just a new video to mark the start of the month.
May 15, 2010
Only a new video for the mid-month update..... Most everything on the MMC was scripted down to the last wink and nod, but occasionally even the professional demeanor of the Red Team kids seemed to give way to impromptu behavior.
May 1, 2010
If you missed seeing it before, the profile for Nancy Abbate has been updated with photos and info provided by the lady herself..... The page for the second season serial The Boys of the Western Sea has had new photos and a videoclip added.... and finally, another videoclip featuring boys at sea, this time performing A Whale of a Sailor.
April 26, 2010
April 15, 2010
April 1, 2010
Only a video update this month, as your webmaster tries to fend off all the different tax agencies who want a piece of his wallet..... Something different for Darlene fans, a first season performance that combines her singing ability and talent for mimickry. Also includes a rare lead role for Mark Sutherland.
March 20, 2010
March 15, 2010
A few scattered updates for mid-month: Carole Ann Campbell's profile has had some mp3 files added for recordings she did around 1962. These haven't been cleaned up in any way and are presented in all their scratchy glory..... Some corrections, new information, and a new photo or two for second season Fun with Music Day skit listings and Anything Can Happen Day features..... For St Patrick's Day here is a sentimental ballad about the Auld Sod.
March 9, 2010
March 1, 2010
A guest essay by a frequent photo contributor is the featured update. He's a Spin and Marty fanatic who shares his enthusiasm and insights about the series. He also has started a new niche website to probe a little deeper into subjects like the physical locations where The Adventures of Spin and Marty was filmed..... Lonnie has started a new blog so stop by and say "hi"!...... The Disney Studio Music Department in the fifties was focused on big-band swing music and never could quite embrace rock 'n roll, but they did make a valiant attempt with Sweet Shoppe Rock. This is as hip as it gets folks.....
February 15, 2010
Well, Valentine's Day has passed but here's another videoclip appropriate to the holiday, a decidedly typical American love song about the affection a young man feels for Old Betsy. (And no, she's not a cougar...)
February 6, 2010
The current videoclip has generated more response than any other since this website began featuring videos last June. Several people have commented on the song's title echoing the catchphrase used by those denying membership in the communist party for congressional hearings during the 1950's. One observant fellow noted I had given out an incorrect age for Tommy at the time this was filmed (now fixed). For those wondering about the Dale Evans song in Rio Grande (1950), it was heard only in part, sung by four troopers in a tent. Being western swing it was anachronistic for that film set in the late 19th Century.
February 1, 2010
In anticipation of Valentine's Day this clip celebrates one boy's discovery that girls aren't so bad after all. Just a reminder: Only one feature videoclip is hosted on this website at a time. If you scroll down this page to past updates and click on the links you'll only see the current offering.
January 15, 2010
January 1, 2010
Happy New Year! Some time ago I ran a photo of a little girl singer, a talent winner, asking if anybody knew who she was. Not only has she been identified as Patti Lee, but the lady herself wrote in and kindly agreed to reminisce a bit about her experiences on the Mickey Mouse Club and with being a show business kid...... Several folks have written in with stories about meeting First Mouseketeer Dallas Johann over the years, prompting me to update his profile..... Hey, how about a game of Hop-Scotch Hop?
December 15, 2009
For many who enjoyed the Mickey Mouse Club their first experience watching it came after its original four-year run on ABC had ended, which curiously enough is the subject of a new update. For three years in the sixties and two in the seventies the show was reborn through syndication....... One of the earliest numbers filmed for the Mickey Mouse Club was this song and dance featuring six mice in cat costumes.
December 5, 2009
If anyone has a copy of the Circus Day performances by magicians Bill and Mary Chaudet, please drop me a line. These were both from the first season. Their second performance would have had another circus act following them, Capt Winston and his Seals.
December 3, 2009
December 1, 2009
Comprising both hard facts and ill-informed opinion is the new FAQ section, a sort of Mouseketeer Lite experience designed to satisfy those who don't want to wade through page after page of clumsy prose. This will be updated as new information, questions, corrections, and cease-and-desist letters come my way...... Speaking of corrections, first-time visitor Ron F. spotted my rhetorical question from this past June and pointed out that yes, there was a song called Doreen. It wasn't a Disney song though, being written instead by that gentle balladeer Frank Zappa for his then publicist Doreen Tracey. Ron further provided a free link to view Doreen's guest appearence on a 1959 episode of The Donna Reed Show, which starred Paul Peterson and Shelley Fabares. See if you can also spot another Disney serial actress in this...... For a video update, a slight change of pace is this Anything Can Happen Day song and game from the first season.
November 15, 2009
The featured update is another new profile for a musical crew member, long-time Disney composer-arranger Paul Smith. Though better known for his work in films, particularly the True Life Adventure series, Paul was also responsible for composing music for a number of Mickey Mouse Club songs with the companion of his later years, lyricist Hazel George..... There is a new video on YouTube for a recording of Uncle Dan (a Paul Smith song) by Darlene..... As a tribute to Paul Smith, the video update this time is for one of his songs Banjo Joe. A reminder: only one video at a time is hosted by this site on the videoclips page, so if you scroll down this home page and click on an older update link, you won't see the clip mentioned, just the current offering.
November 1, 2009
A new profile for a member of the creative team reflect the primary importance of music for the show. Independent film composer William Lava was responsible for many of the early serial themes..... Videos have been added to the profiles for Judy Harriet and Bobby Burgess depicting post-show performances..... Speaking of videos, Don Brockway has posted a thoughtful piece on his blog about The Ethical Delimma That Is YouTube, a subject with which this webmaster has also mentally wrestled..... A trip to Trinidad via sound stage one at the Disney Studio: the nationwide craze for Calypso music in 1956-57 gave rise to this charming if somewhat ethnically-challenged second season number, the Get Acquainted Calypso.
October 17, 2009
Lou Koza, editor of the website The Adventure Continues, has reprinted an interview with Judy Nugent from 1997. Lou gives the background on how this interview came about, and rightly notes its rarity.
October 15, 2009
Not much new this time... There's a couple of new entries on the 'Teen magazine page from 1961.... After several second season video clips in a row, we'll go back to a first season Talent Roundup Day show for a performance by The California Ramblers.
October 1, 2009
From the time this website started the stats for the cast pages visited most often have been relatively consistent. Annette's page came first, followed by Darlene, Doreen, Cheryl, Sharon, Karen, Cubby, Bobby, Lonnie, and Jimmie. For the past six months however Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran have taken over the number three and four slots, perhaps a tribute to the durability of their films Old Yeller and Swiss Family Robinson..... For Spin and Marty fans here's a look at an original call sheet from the third series.... The video update is again the first part of a second season skit. This one features The Leprechaun with the Flute.
September 15, 2009
Disney Historian Jim Korkis has kindly provided an excerpt from a new article he's researched on Walt Disney's interactions with the FBI. The part presented covers The Mickey Mouse Club's educational serial Inside Report on Washington, which was hosted by Dirk Metzger, with a little help from Tommy Cole..... The video update is the first part of a second season Fun with Music Day skit on a hayseed social.
September 9, 2009
September 1st, 2009
In honor of the upcoming Labor Day your webmaster has chosen to slack off in the update department. The 'Teen magazine page has had a couple of early Mouseketeer-related articles added to it, but that's all until the mid-month..... There is a video update, of regrettably poor quality. It is a second season number featuring ten of the Mouseketeers in a struggle between after-school activities.
August 15th, 2009
Nice online magazine article on Cubby O'Brien, including some old and new photos. There are also some decent quality screen captures of Sherry Alberoni in a episode of The Man From UNCLE at this online forum (scroll halfway down the page to view them). Thanks to Marcia for pointing both of these links out..... The video update is another first season clip; in this one the Alma Mater has evolved from a sing-song chant with all the Mouseketeers during the season's first half to a full song performed by just the Red Team.
August 1st, 2009
Its been a while since the last special update, so August's main feature is a grouping of several interesting if low-quality photos that don't really fit anywhere else. These images date from before and after the Mickey Mouse Club and deal with two minor Hollywood institutions, both now vanished..... Lonnie Burr reports he is now on Facebook and Twitter: look for him under LonnieMMC..... There has been a bit of confusion over the videoclip feature introduced in June. Only one video at a time is hosted by this site, so if you scroll down this page and click on an older update link, you won't see the clip mentioned, just the current offering. Which this time, by the way, is a short first season musical number.
July 15th, 2009
July's mid-month update is an expanded and revised profile for the Mouseketeer Tap Queen. A Red team member held in universal esteem by her colleagues, Sharon Baird has lived up to her first dance teacher's assessment that "she was born with a light on". Included with her profile is low quality video taken from a kinoscope recording of her television debut in 1952..... The other new videoclip this time is a first season Mousekartoon introduction.
July 1st, 2009
June 15th, 2009
When this site first started a number of cast profiles were written rather hurridly to give the illusion of more content than was really present. One of those was for Bobby Burgess, who now finally gets fuller treatment..... The featured videoclip this time is a first season rendering of Give a Little Whistle for Ukulele Ike fans.
Often overlooked, third adult leader Bob Amsberry gets a slightly revamped profile this month. A surprise (to me at least) is that he co-wrote a song called Darlene, apparently at the same time as Jimmie Dodd was writing Karen, Hey Cubby Boy, and Annette. So how come no one wrote a song called Doreen?.... Check out Lonnie's website for links to recent interviews on his memoirs.... There's a scattering of new photos around the website, too few and far between to merit individual mention. More coming in the next two weeks.... Finally, there's a new page in the Media section for web-based video clips, including one hosted by this site for polka lovers.
May 30th, 2009
Condolences to Annette and the extended Funicello family on the passing of Joseph Funicello Senior. Annette's father was 93 when he passed on May 21, 2009 from pneumonia.
May 15th, 2009
Not really a new update, but the Clint and Mac page has been improved with many new photos (courtesy of Peggy from Ohio) and a few notes. You might even say it's been spiv'd up.... Website visitor Dan provided a YouTube link to the recent interview of Lonnie and Doreen by Bill O'Reilly... Sharon Specht, one of Roy Williams grandchildren, has provided some additional information about his life and corrected the record on what happened after his passing. She'd love to hear from Roy's other grandkids, write an email here to contact her.
May 1st, 2009
This month's update is coming a few days early since your webmaster will be offline for a week or more.... A third season Anything Can Happen Day page has been uploaded, using some of the material formerly on the Guests Stars page.... Longtime website visitor Marcia alerted me to Disney on Parole, a photo-laden blog by a former Disneyland cast member who perfomed with the Mouseketeers in their live shows of the early 1980's. Check out his pages for March 2009 and September 2008 for candid photos of same.... Another interesting link with candid photos, this time from the 1950's, is this page from Reminisce webzine.
April 15th, 2009
An update for Tax Day: the Talent Roundup Day page is ready.... Someone who has been mighty generous with source material asked for a page listing the Mouseketeers by season and team. Seasonal casting was easy to provide, but team membership is little more than a guess.
March 15th, 2009
For a mid-month update here's another production set still.... Lonnie's memoir made for fascinating reading. It's definitely worth buying for anyone interested in the Mickey Mouse Club, the Mouseketeers, and especially Lonnie Burr. I'm not going to reveal any of the Mouseke-anecdotes he relates, you'll have to buy the book, but here's my overall review on it.
March 1st, 2009
February 27th, 2009
Sorry for the short notice, but those who of you watch The O'Reilly Factor might keep a lookout today for a show featuring
a short interview with Lonnie Burr and Doreen Tracey. It will be shown at 8 pm
and repeated at 11pm on the Fox News Channel (FNC).
February 15th, 2009
Two new photos have arrived for the Circus Acts page, courtesy of the Sullivan's grandchildren. Jim and Hildy Sullivan
appeared twice on the show's first season. The late Jim Sullivan taught Bobby Burgess how to ride the unicycle for
this episode and a second season opening. If anyone has a copy of either of these two Circus Day shows they're willing to share, drop
me a line. The Sullivan grandkids would like their grandmother Hildy to see the performance again as an 80th birthday
February 1st, 2009
At the prodding of fellow webmaster Denise, the rollover text for images on the pages of this website has been made accessible to
users of Firefox, Opera, and Safari (thanks to Bart for testing the latter). If you use Internet Explorer you've always been able to
see this verbage.... Apologies to anyone who had trouble with response time from the website during the second week of January. The site
normally gets around 1 million hits a month, but was registering that amount daily following Cheryl's passing....
An AOL user reports being unable to scroll down on pages of the website. If anyone else is having that problem, please let
January 7, 2009
January 1st, 2009
Happy New Year! This month's update is a profile on B. G. Norman,
who played Ambitious in all three Spin and Marty serials.... Better Late Than Never Department: Here's a blogger's
recounting of a meeting
with Doreen Tracey this past August, with some photos.... Are your grandkids bored with their new toys already?
Check out this list of gift suggestions from Don Brockway.
December 1st, 2008
Mary Espinosa stopped by to set the record straight on her birthplace and what she's been up to recently...
Don Grady sent a copy of his new CD Boomer
which I may get to listen to if Mrs Webmaster ever lets go of it... Lonnie Burr reports he and wife are moving to
Oregon but the publication of his
memoirs will be delayed... This month's update is a profile on Carole Ann Campbell
who played Iola Morton in both Hardy Boys serials.
November 15th, 2008
With the latest Disney Treasures DVD, the Annette serial page has been cleaned up and had new photos added. Not having
seen this for many years, it was inevitable that memory had played some tricks on my recollection of it. The biggest surprise was to find
that Darlene Gillespie did make it into this serial. Look closely at the screen captures on the serial page and see if you can spot the
only photo in which she appears.
November 11th, 2008
By now everyone who reads this website must have a copy of the latest Disney Treasures, but for those who haven't yet bought one, here's
a quick glimpse of the Annette DVD. Considering this was a rush effort to replace a cancelled DVD project, the
Disney folks did a credible job. The only shortcoming to this release would be the repeated material, the opening and closing episodes of
the serial, which are also contained within the bonus features.
October 25th, 2008
Dipak Pallana, son of Kumar Pallana who appeared on the
Mickey Mouse Club during a second season Circus Day as Kumar of India, is making a
documentary film about his father's long career as a juggler and actor. He's looking for clips of his father's performance on the show.
Anyone who can oblige can reach Dipak at email@example.com .
October 23rd, 2008
October 12th, 2008
A small photo special takes the place of a regular monthly update. Some additional information about the crew member in the photo has recently come this way.
September 28th, 2008
Cubby O'Brien will be Stu Shostak's guest live this Wednesday, October 1
beginning at 4:00 p.m. PDT (7:00 p.m. EDT) on "Stu's Show", the signature program on Shokus Internet Radio. Cubby will talk about the The Mickey Mouse Club and his adult career as a professional drummer. Listeners will be able to call in questions on the station's toll-free numbers.
September 22nd, 2008
There's no word yet on whether any of the complete MMC shows will be included with the serial episodes. As the third season shows were only thirty-minutes in length, its possible more than one will be shown in its entirety. It would also have been nice to see the eight-episode Adventure in Dairyland as a special bonus.
September 15th, 2008
September 9th, 2008
The new and improved Official Don Grady Website opened today, just two days before the fifty-first
anniversary of his television debut (on the "Fourth Anniversary" episode of Disneyland). Check it out: music clips from Don's
long recording history, complete biography and professional credits, and lots of neat photos you'll find nowhere else!
September 2nd, 2008
There's no major update this month, but the website has been improved considerably during the past few weeks with the help of Rick from Dallas. A longtime collector of Mouseka-knowledge, he has generously provided new photos, corrections, and additional information for first season skits, guest stars, talent winners, and circus acts.
August 25th, 2008
August 24th, 2008
The Disney Studio will be releasing the Annette serial on DVD later this year as part of their Treasures series. This was first announced last month as a surprise replacement for the Destino project DVD. Some linkage fumbling by Amazon.com caused questions about the reliability of the news, but it does now appear to be accurate. The DVD will be released November 11, 2008. No telling yet what other features will be included with the nineteen episodes.
August 1st, 2008
The popularity of animation has undergone a tremendous boom during the past twenty years, but there was a time when no self-respecting teenager would be caught dead watching a cartoon. The last quarter-hour of the Mickey Mouse Club encompassed more than just an animated feature; there was also a short Mouseketeer singing introduction, some words of advice from Jimmie Dodd, and the Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater, perhaps the best-remembered song from the show. This month's update describes the Mousekartoon segment, and lists every cartoon broadcast during it's three-year run.
July 17th, 2008
July's slightly late mid-month updates by coincidence both deal with talented young men who never reached their thirtieth birthday. Bob Amsberry is prominently featured in a production set still from a number called Sweetshop 1925. And former Disney Studio employee Dave Thomson offers some memories of author Keith Keller:
July 2nd, 2008
Updates will be very late this month, and may even be delayed until August. Meanwhile, at last report (in mid June), Lonnie Burr was proofreading the manuscript of his memoirs prior to shipping them off to the publisher. Don Grady's new official website is set to launch in late summer or early fall, while the long-awaited first season DVD of My Three Sons, featuring Don and Tim Considine (and an occasional Mouseketeer guest star) will be available from Paramount at the end of September.
June 21st, 2008
Speaking of The Rainbow Road to Oz, former Disney exec Lorraine Santoli has placed a copy of the screenplay for that never-made film up for auction on eBay. It runs to 115 pages, and has a cover dated Oct 15, 1957, with Bill Walsh's name on it. According to Disney chief archivist Dave Smith, the original screenplay didn't meet Walt Disney's expectations, so first Lillie Hayward, then Bill Walsh, had a hand at revising it. Lorraine doesn't indicate whether this is an original vintage screenplay, or a later reproduction, but in either case it's a unique item not likely to come up for sale again anytime soon. Look for it under her eBay name of ideawoman1.
June 1st, 2008
Perhaps the most unexpected person to get in touch since this website began is the former actor who played "Mac" in the serial Clint and Mac. An RAF veteran who long ago emigrated from his native England to Canada, Jonathan Bailey relates what it was like to be a juvenile actor and work for Disney, if only from afar.... Don Brockway over at Isn't Life Terrible has some fun with vintage Annette memorabilia.... Two rather dim production still photos give a glimpse into the making of an episode of Disneyland that featured the Mouseketeers doing scenes from The Rainbow Road to Oz.
May 15th, 2008
May 8th, 2008
Former Disney executive Lorraine Santoli recently auctioned a large number of photos and reproductions of official Disney memoranda from The Mickey Mouse Club on eBay. There were many unique images and documents, and its to be hoped she will offer more in the near future. For me, the most surprising item (among many) was a May 1955 memo from first season director Dik Darley, evaluating the singing and dancing talents of thirteen kids, ten of whom became Mouseketeers. It was one of the rare items that went unsold, so keep an eye out for it.
May 1st, 2008
This month's update is Anything Can Happen Day. This was the main day for promoting Disneyland and Disney films, but it also featured the Mouseketeers, at least in the first two seasons. Along with this update are some new pages listing the ACH Day programs for the first two seasons....... It's always interesting for one professional to check out another's technique; this photo shows a well-known drummer doing just that.
April 15th, 2008
April 1st, 2008
No major updates this month, though there is a new crew profile: when Walt Disney decided to give The Mickey Mouse Club a makeover for its second season, Sid Miller was the director he selected to lead the changes. By all accounts Sid wasn't the easiest guy to work with; he made more than one Mouseketeer break down and cry, and every Red Team member seems to have a Sid Miller story to relate............ The website had over 1 million hits during the month of March, a tribute to the continuing appeal of the Mouseketeers and Serial Actors........ An interesting photo is this set still showing Dancing Girls on breaktime. Must have had a good union.
March 12th, 2008
Condolences to Tommy Cole and his family on the recent death of his mother, June Olsen Cole.
March 11th, 2008
Disney historian Bill Cotter has a new hosting site and a new look for his Wonderful World of Disney Television. There are over two dozen forums there for discussing Disney television shows, including one devoted to the original Mickey Mouse Club. For now, the links to his old site are automatically redirecting visitors to the new site.
March 7th, 2008
The Disney Corporation announced at its annual shareholders meeting that it would soon begin offering some of its older television programs online. Citing the limited shelf space available in stores, and the costs of DVD production, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the new offerings might be available through subscription, or even free, on its Disney.com website, as some of its current programs already are. Of course, "older" is a relative term, and the plans may only involve shows from recent decades, but there's always a hope that it might include The Mickey Mouse Club.
February 29th, 2008
The monthly update is a bit early, in honor of leap day. The serial Adventure in Dairyland was a rush job, replacing The Dairy Farmer, the second series in the cancelled What I Want To Be project. Filmed in June 1956, it was the first Disney serial for both Annette Funicello and Kevin Corcoran. You've probably never heard of Tom Adair, but he was responsible for most of the songs and skits performed during The Mickey Mouse Club's second and third seasons. Primarily a lyricist, who co-wrote early Sinatra standards with composer Matt Dennis, Tom and his wife Frances worked on both this show and The New Mickey Mouse Club in the seventies.
February 9th, 2008
Since this site started there have been several inquiries about a boy who shows up in a few photos from the second season. A high-quality image of him finally came my way, so if there's anyone out there who knows who Jack is, please send me an email. (The photo is from a multi-part episode of Anything Can Happen Day called Rookie Fireman). Help is also requested for identifying this mystery girl, who's likely a second or third season Talent Winner.
February 1st, 2008
For the Mouseketeers (and their fans) Fun With Music Day was the favorite day of the week. With this update, lists of all the skits (with images where available) performed on this day have been added. Be warned, these are likely to be full of errors and mistaken identities, so corrections will be most welcome. The Newsreel Segment has also been added. It delves a little more into the show's structure than usual, but also covers some of the widely variable content shown during the show's first quarter-hour. There are also a few new pictures, mostly on the Talent Winners page.
January 11th, 2008
Against my better judgement I've added a new book review to the site, albeit one that has nothing to do with the show, save for the fact it was written by a Mouseketeer.
January 8th, 2008
Fans of Sharon Baird will want to pick up a new DVD just released by 20th Century Fox, called Bloodhounds of Broadway. This 1952 film adaption of the Damon Runyon play has a wonderful scene of Sharon dancing with Mitzi Gaynor. There's also a recent interview with Sharon in the special features section of the DVD. Dancing As Fast As She Can: A Conversation with Sharon Baird has her recounting how she got into dancing, television, and films, and is full of photos from her early life and career.
January 2nd, 2008
News must be slow along the New Hampshire seacoast, as Eileen Diamond's former long-time residence makes a major story out of an eBay auction. This isn't the only recent large-ticket sale of a Mouseketeer's (purported) outfit. In October 2007, a second or third season cowgirl ensemble advertised as having been worn by Darlene Gillespie went for $2000 in one day. And Lonnie Burr has even more sales history on Mouseketeer togs:
January 1st, 2008
Happy New Year! The main update this month covers the mundane subject of commercials. Something of a surprise to me was the 1958-59 season on ABC. While doing research on this, it became apparent that there was some new programming made for Season 4 of the show. There are several new images from folks generous enough to share their photos, more links to YouTube videos, and the usual surreptitious corrections to cover up the more blatant of my errors, omissions, typos, and outright bone-headed ideas.
December 19th, 2007
Lonnie Burr has just updated his web site with some photos, cartoons, and information. The best news is that a publisher finally got him to commit to a date for his memoirs on sixty years in show business. Check it out here.
December 1st, 2007
With The New Adventures of Spin and Marty, the Serials section is just about complete. This third season serial was the longest and most expensive production mounted for The Mickey Mouse Club. It was still filming when American Bandstand debuted nationwide for the first time in August 1957, in its own way precipitating the end of original programming for the Club.
November 1st, 2007
Fifty years ago this month the Annette serial finally started production, after a delay due to an unexpected cast change. It was, along with Spin and Marty and The Hardy Boys, the most popular of the show's serials. There is a new profile for one of it's stars, Judy Nugent, and for first-season crew member Jonathan Lucas. The Circus Day page has also been added, as has a list of circus acts appearing on the show. Don't expect many pictures from the latter, as photos of the circus performers were even more difficult to find than those of talent winners and guest stars. Many thanks to Bill Strong for providing background information and most of the photos.
October 24th, 2007
A melancholy print article from 1977 on Hal Adelquist was found by Don over at the blog Isn't Life Terrible? Fills in a bit the latter part of the man's life story, revealing his (and our) loss of his memoirs through the unspoken condition that afflicted him. For those who are interested in the Mickey Mouse Club Circus, Dave from Daveland has put together a nice page of photos of it.
October 1st, 2007
Serial actor Steve Stevens mosey'd on by to offer some memories and a few photos. Former MMC guest star and master xylophonist Ralph Heid graciously offered some information about his time on the show. Lorraine Santoli wants to be sure everyone knows that she is the sole author of the book that bears her name. There have been a scattering of minor revisions to existing profiles, such as Jimmie Dodd and Roy Williams, and to some of the older articles. The Talent Winners section has also been revised to include broadcast dates, links, and photos where available.
September 27th, 2007
Dallas speaks! Ok, not quite on the order of Garbo's first talkie, but this still rates pretty high on the ol' Mousekemeter. First Mouseketeer Dallas Johann spoke with a local reporter in Tryon County, NC, whose print column has been posted in his paper's online edition. Dallas sets the record straight on why he was dismissed from the MMC before signing a contract, and gives details of his long career in show business.
September 14th, 2007
Condolences to Annette Funicello and her family on the recent death of her mother. Virginia Funicello passed away from pneumonia on September 2nd at the age of 86. Private services and burial occurred September 9th. Glen Holt, Annette's husband has requested no mail, email, or phone calls at this time. Those so wishing might instead make a donation to Annette's Neurological Fund under Annette & Virginia's name.
September 1st, 2007
The third season British-made serial The Adventures of Clint and Mac is the major update this month. Though he didn't star in this story, serial actor Tim Considine did provide voice-over narration for it. Tim was the main man for Mickey Mouse Club serials, one of Disney's first television teen idols. There are also revisions and updates to Don Grady's profile, courtesy of his former colleague Michael Francis and his current collaborator Debra Gussin. The number of YouTube videos of interest continues to grow; besides clips of the show, there are some recent interviews turning up for original Mouseketeers like Doreen Tracey.
August 1st, 2007
The major update this month is the second Hardy Boys serial, The Mystery of Ghost Farm, an original story that failed to excite much interest. There is a longer than usual profile of serial actor Tommy Kirk, that still doesn't quite do justice to his post-Disney career. Other updates include profiles of two crew members: serial writer Jackson Gillis and associate producer Mike Holoboff. Both of these guys played a vital part in the show's success, though in quite different areas. They were alike in one aspect; both were exceptionally difficult to research!
July 1st, 2007
Only one major update this time, for the first Hardy Boys serial, The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure. There are a scattering of new pictures around the site, and, for the first time, some links to YouTube clips from the show or from other performances by Mouseketeers. I've been reluctant to use these before, as they tend to disappear unexpectedly, and as a lot of folks are probably browsing this site from their workplaces. But some of the videos on there are so good, it would be foolish to ignore them. You can find YouTube links on the pages for Sharon, Karen, Linda, Bonnie, and right here (YouTube link).
June 11th, 2007
Web site visits for the past two days are triple the usual, most of the hits being recorded on the page for Doreen Tracey. Hmmm, wonder what's that about? Oh well, might as well let folks know about some more updates, for Guest Stars, the original Mouseketeer's 25th Anniversary DVD, and the 1995 TV movie based on Annette Funicello's life. Pity that E! special was unwilling to connect the dots between three generations of mice having post-show trauma. Guess they must have put a muzzle on Paul Petersen.
June 1st, 2007
Two new pages have been loaded, Guest Star Day for The Weekly Format and Season 2 on ABC (1956-1957) for Seasonal Changes. New crew profiles have been uploaded for serial director Charles F. Haas and song writer/scenarist Larry Orenstein. The E! Entertainment Network's True Hollywood Story will feature an hour-long episode on all three incarnations of the Mickey Mouse Club (50's/70's/90's) starting June 9th. So far, Eileen Diamond Rogosin is the only original Mouseketeer known to have been interviewed for this production. For Mac users, photos are being renamed to remove spaces that the Safari browser can't handle.
May 1st, 2007
Author, dancer, and Mouseketeer J. J. Solari stopped by to offer extended comments about his life and career as a child performer. He has a wry sense of humor and little regard for his time spent on the Mickey Mouse Club; makes for very different and interesting reading. New profiles added this month are for serial actor David Stollery and choreographer Tom Mahoney. This web site was tested for viewing with Internet Explorer 7. Those using Firefox or other browsers may find text, graphics, and photos misaligned, due to compatibility issues. Some pages and photos missing due to a server change have now been restored.
April 1st, 2007
New profiles added this past month include the final two Mouseketeers, Margene Storey and John Lee Johann, and serial actor Sammy Ogg. Also added this past month are updates for the serials Corky and White Shadow, The Secret of Mystery Lake, and Further Adventures of Spin and Marty. Special thanks to Didier Ghez at Disney History and Margie at The Rifleman for sending so many folks this way, to Kurt Spitzner for providing Spin and Marty and other images, and to Jaime Hamilton Jr for background on Mystery Lake.
March 1st, 2007
Kind of a slow month for updates around here...profiles for Mouseketeer Charley Laney, crew member George Bruns, and serial actor J. Pat O'Malley are the only new items. Ever since this web site went active last May, the visitor traffic has slowly but steadily increased each month. However, the past few weeks have seen the number of daily visits trebling...very gratifying, but also a bit of a puzzle. For first time visitors, no, you won't see Britney and Justin, or even Lisa and Billy. There's nothing for sale or barter here, just some stodgy prose and a few interesting photos.
February 1st, 2007
Profile updates for the past month include Mouseketeers Billie Jean Beanblossom and Mickey Rooney Jr, crew members Bill Walsh and Stan Jones, and serial actor Kevin Corcoran. Sooty the Puppet is the first update to The Show section. Pure speculation suggests we'll see one more Disney Treasures DVD release from the MMC next December, probably for the Annette serial. Don't bet the farm on it though, we're mighty lucky to have gotten so much already. For those seeking more of the second season, be sure to order Lonnie's DVD, which contains excerpts from some of the best musical numbers that year.
January 1st, 2007
Mouseketeers Dickie Dodd and Lynn Ready, crew members Charles Lamont and Lillie Hayward, and serial actor Roberta Jymme Shore are the new profiles added in the past month. The Adventures of Spin and Marty has been added to the Serials section, while The Show section has received its first update. However, don't go rushing off there just yet; there's still no content, just a framework for things to come. Two new Disney Treasures DVD's have been added to the Media section, for The Hardy Boys (including a full-hour second season MMC), and Your Host, Walt Disney, for which the main item of interest is the Disneyland 4th Anniversary Show.
December 1st, 2006
Mouseketeers Bonnie Lynn Fields and Jay-Jay Solari, crew members Chuck Keehne and Hazel "Gil" George are the new profiles added in the past month. The Books page has been revised to include several older biographies of Walt Disney, to compare with the just published tome by Neal Gabler. Since starting this site, a number of folks have sent me information and photos about the show. Many thanks to those who have gently corrected my mistakes and improved my understanding by their generous contributions. Hal Adelquist's granddaughter is looking for anyone who might have known him or have information about him; contact me to get in touch with her.
November 1st, 2006
Updates include Mouseketeers Sherry Alberoni, Eileen Diamond, and Linda Hughes, the serial What I Want To Be, serial actor Alvy Moore, and crew member Hal Adelquist. Two new pages have been added to the Media section, for TV-Radio Life and for the MMC Circus. Four serial actors received Disney Legends awards recently: Tim Considine, David Stollery, Tommy Kirk, and Kevin Corcoran. Also receiving a Legends award was Ginny Tyler, who hosted the new segments added to the syndicated MMC shows aired during 1962. A bit ironic this, in that the original Mouseketeers themselves, other than Annette, haven't been so honored.
October 15th, 2006
The Forum has been removed; it had very little traffic, and the space can be better used for other things. You may still see links to it on pages under construction, however, clicking on the links will only give a "page not found" response.
October 1st, 2006
The Serials section has been updated at last. For now, the only complete pages are for Season 1 Short Serials, Boys of the Western Sea, Season 2 Short Serials, serial actor Roy Barcroft, and Other Actors who appeared in more than one serial. Cast profiles added this month for Mary Espinosa, Larry Larsen, Mike Smith, Mark Sutherland, and Don Underhill. Crew profiles completed this past month include directors William Beaudine Sr and writer Stirling Silliphant. The Records page has also been updated. I again wish to thank Lonnie Burr for providing insights, however, any factual errors or mistaken interpretations remain my own.
September 30th, 2006
Condolences to the extended family of Tim Rooney, the second youngest Mouseketeer, who passed away September 23rd. Tim had been battling a rare degenerative disease for five years when he finally succumbed in Hemet, California.
September 7th, 2006
Condolences to Sharon Baird on the recent passing of her mother. Nikki Baird died September 1st, in Reno, Nevada.
September 1st, 2006
The Crew section has been revised and expanded to include short profiles on selected individuals. The first of these to be completed are for directors Dik Darley and Charles Barton, songwriter Ruth Carrell, and first-season choreographer Burch Mann. There are no new cast profiles this month, but the existing page on Lonnie Burr has been revised with the help of Lonnie himself. He graciously provided details about his time on the show, corrected my mistaken assumptions, and patiently answered questions about his performance and his working relationship with the cast and crew.
August 1st, 2006
Disney has announced a new wave of Disney Treasures DVD's that will include the first Hardy Boys serial, The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure. Hopefully they will also include the hour-long Mickey Mouse Club episode from Oct 1, 1956 that introduced the serial. If so, it would be the only second-season episode available on DVD or VHS. Bronson Scott, Mary Sartori, Paul Petersen, Bonni Lou Kern, and Dennis Day are the new cast biographies completed this past month.
July 1st, 2006
The font size has been increased for the comfort of tired old eyes. A list of all Talent Round-Up Day winners is now available, as are several new book reviews, and many additions to the Other Magazines page. New cast biographies completed this past month include Judy Harriet and Ronnie Steiner. As always, previously completed cast pages are continually being updated to fix errors and add information.
June 1st, 2006
The past month has been spent correcting errors and filling out hurriedly written cast biographies, which are still far from complete. The Media section has been expanded to include several new pages, including the Adventure in Dairyland pamphlet taken from the second season serial. New cast biographies completed this past month include Doreen Tracey, Johnny Crawford, Don Agrati, Jimmie Dodd, and Dallas Johann.
May 1st, 2006
The site opens with a flurry of Mousekazoos! (Hopefully it won't close with the thud of a Mousekelawsuit). The Show and Serials sections are still under construction, and probably won't be ready for months. The Cast pages are also incomplete, as I slowly work my way through the thirty-nine Mouseketeers. Even those folks whose pages seem complete are constantly being updated as errors are corrected and new information comes my way.