On this day in 1988, the Disneyland attraction America Sings ran for the last time. Featuring a cast of Audio-Animatronic animals singing songs from various periods in America's musical history, it was located in the Carousel Theater.
America Sings first opened in 1974 replacing the Carousel of Progress (which had moved to Disney World). It utilized the same rotating theater - although it rotated counter-clockwise (unlike Carousel of Progress which turned clockwise). America Sings was often compared to Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree, because of its cast of singing animals.
The show was hosted by an American Bald Eagle named Sam (voiced by the legendary Burl Ives) and an owl named Ollie (voiced by Sam Edwards). Similar to the Carousel of Progress, the first and last scenes of America Sings involved the loading and unloading of guests. The other four scenes depicted a particular era, with Sam singing in between acts.
The characters were created by Imagineer Marc Davis and patterned after an animated movie idea which Walt Disney scrapped in the 1960s. Buddy Baker arranged the music for America Sings, which included nostalgic Americana songs such as "Yankee Doodle," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey," and "A-Tisket A-Tasket."
Supposedly America Sings had to be closed as Disneyland's new Splash Mountain had gone over budget and the characters from America Sings were needed for that attraction. The Carousel Theater would sit empty for ten years ... until finally filled in 1998 with Innoventions (a version of the Epcot attraction).
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