I heard the news this morning from my wife, and I stood there deeply saddened. I was a CM back in 1969-1970, and cannot count the number of times I sat in the front row (or the box on the left side of the stage watching the show. I didn't know Wally or Betty (or Fulton) but I always enjoyed each show that they performed. The visions of their performances will live in my heart forever. There will never be another group of individuals who could put together a show such as that again.
"Performers who shared the stage at Disneyland died with days of each other" on the crawl beneath my morning news program...
... and I knew that both Wally and Betty were gone.
I'm sitting here at my computer with tears streaming down my cheeks. I too was an Entertainment Cast Member from Christmas, '76 - Christmas, '80. I can't tell you the number of times that I enjoyed the talents of these two amazing artists. Everyone who saw their performance(s) felt that they were seeing magic; they kept the show fresh for every audience.
I cannot help but think that God just wanted to keep the act together.
Every time I went to Disneyland, I made it a point to see the Golden Horseshoe Revue. I was saddened to here of the passing of Wally Boag and Betty Taylor. They and the other cast members kept the show fresh and it was though I was seeing it for the first time, even if it was my millionth time seeing the show.
I was at that 1995 show at the Autry, too. Reading the account brought back some nice memories. I think I videotaped the show. I'll have to dig out the tape and watch it. I may have taken some photos, too.
I'm not sure if I ever got to see Wally perform in the Golden Horseshoe since he retired the same year that I moved to Southern California. I likely saw Betty and Fulton in the show before the original show ended. Aside from the reunion show at the Autry, all three of them were frequent guests at NFFC/DFC conventions that I attended over the years, so I had the wonderful opportunity to hear them reminisce about Walt and their careers a number of times. They did shows similar to the Autry one for the conventions, too, at times, so I did get to see them perform a few times. It brings a smile to my face still, just to remember the fun of those occasions. Betty came to our LA NFFC chapter meeting several years ago. I remember that even though it was a small group, she still gave us the same attention as if it had been a larger convention. She was so gracious and classy. I know that some people look down on clubs like the NFFC/DFC, but, over the years it provided me cherished opportunities to spend quality time with so many of the Disney legends that we are now losing. I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Last edited by Sparky; 06-06-2011 at 10:27 AM.
Reason: correct spelling error
The Golden and Diamond Horseshoe revues were reflections of Walt Disney, who would spend lavishly to entertain ALL of his guests. Quite a contrast to the tacky, obnoxious and exclusionary private cabanas at the Disneyland Hotel's pool--those are "classy" in a Las Vegas/Donald Trump sense.
I was talking with a Knott's saloon performer a few weeks ago and he said that their can-can dancers will return there this summer. It's not the Golden Horseshoe, but it's the next best thing.
While I miss the Disney revues (and many of us will always sigh at the less expensive shows with fewer entertainers), some of the Billies and Laughinstock entertainers have been excellent. Still, if Tom Staggs is to make ten million a year and Bob Iger 30 million, Disney must spend carefully with attention to the next quarterly report.
On a somewhat related note, the article says Walt's box was to the right of the stage. Does this mean stage right, as in theater speak, or literally to the right of the stage from the audience's perspective?
I only saw the show twice. I had been to DL nearly 50 times and never saw the show because I would get there too late to make a reservation. Finally, I decided I would see the show if it was the last thing I would ever do. The only thing I could do is rent a room at some cheap motel (I think it was Little Boy Blue), ask for a 7:00 wake-up call and get to the park as soon as I could get my clothes on. I got through the entrance, got over to City Hall and got my coveted reservation.
I loved it! I can't remember the whole show, but I do remember laughing my head off several times, and flat-out amazed by Wally's tooth-spitting routine. How did he DO that? How did fill his mouth with fake teeth and not swallow one before spitting them out? Maybe he did swallow a few; he just HAD to.
Good-bye guys. You will be missed.
Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion. Harlan Ellison
I may not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but I do shine.
Texan by birth, Californian by choice.
There should be a sticky thread called "This Day in Disney History." The company has a long history and this would be a good way to acknowledge it. Walt was born 112 years ago; that's quite a chunk of American history and culture.