MMC to Celebrate 50th Too!!!
I just realized that on 3 October 1955 the 1st Mickey Mouse Club episode aired. For those of you not old enough to remember those great shows here is some information: (BTW, I am still in love with Annette!)
Mickey Mouse Club
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Annette Funicello on The Mickey Mouse Club
The Mickey Mouse Club was a very long-running American variety television series in the 1950s, produced and televised by Walt Disney Productions, featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of teenage performers, of which the most popular was Annette Funicello.
The 1950s series
Each show would have a dramatic portion in which teens faced challenges in everyday situations, often overcome by their common sense or through recourse to the advice of respected elders. It was hosted by Jimmie Dodd, a talented music writer and the "Head Mouseketeer". Roy Williams, an artist, also appeared in the show as the "Big Mooseketeer". Dodd died in 1964, Roy Williams in 1977.
The main cast members were called "Mouseketeers," and they performed in a variety of musical and dance numbers, as well as some informational segments. The most popular of the Mouseketeers constituted the so-called "Red Team," which consisted of:
(Cubby and Karen were initially "Meeseketeers".)
The remaining Mouseketeers were Nancy Abbate, Don Agrati (later known as Don Grady), Sherry Alberoni, Billie Jean Beanblossom, Johnny Crawford, Dennis Day, Eileen Diamond, ****ie Dodd, Mary Espinosa, Bonnie Lynn Fields, Judy Harriet, Linda Hughes, Dallas Johann, John Lee Johann, Bonni Lou Kern, Charlie Laney, Larry Larsen, Paul Petersen, Lynn Ready, Mickey Rooney Jr., Tim Rooney, Mary Lynn Sartori, Bronson Scott, Michael Smith, Jay-Jay Solari, Margene Storey, Ronnie Steiner, Mark Sutherland and Don Underhill. Dennis Day was a Mouseketeer for two seasons; the others served for shorter periods. Larry Larsen, on only for the 1956-57 season, was the oldest Mouseketeer, being born in 1939.
Other notable non-Mouseketeer performers appeared in various dramatic segments, including:
Original serials were filmed for the series, which ran an hour each weekday from 1955 to 1957, and only a half-hour weekdays until 1959. It went into syndicated reruns from 1962 to 1965, and again from January 20, 1975 until January 14, 1977. It has since been rerun on cable specialty channels Disney in the US and Family in Canada.
Walt Disney called an end to the series in the spring of 1959. Almost all of the original Mouseketeers were reunited for a TV special in 1980, which aired on Disney's Wonderful World in November of that year.
In the 1970s, The Walt Disney Company revived the concept but modernized the show cosmetically, with a disco re-recording of the theme song and minority cast members. The sets, though colored, were simplistic, lacking the fine artwork of the original. Like the original, nearly each day's episode included a vintage cartoon, though usually color ones from the late 30s and onward. Serials were merely old Disney movies, cut into segments for twice-weekly inclusion.
(Movies included "The Third Man on the Mountain", "The Monkey's Uncle" with Tommy Kirk, "The Misadventures of Merlin Jones" also starring Tommy Kirk, "Emil and the Detectives", retitled "The Three Skrinks", "Comanche", "Horse Without a Head" (a toy horse).)
The series debuted on January 17, 1977, on only 38 television stations, and by June, when the unsuccessful series was discontinued, only about 70 stations in total had picked up the series. Additional stations picked up the canceled program, which continued to run until January 12, 1979; 130 new episodes, with much of the original material repackaged and a bit of new footage added, and a shortened version of the theme song, were produced to start airing January 16, 1978. The series has not had more than token reruns, unlike its 50s predecessor, and while both the 50s and 90s series have DVD releases in July 2005, the 70s series seems forgotten except by that short generation of youthful viewers for whom it defined "the club".
The show's most notable alumni was Lisa Whelchel, who later starred in the TV sitcom, The Facts of Life before becoming a well-known Christian author. Mouseketeer Julie Piekarski also appeared for several seasons on The Facts of Life. Mouseketeer Kelly Parsons went on to become a beauty queen and runner-up to Miss USA. Mouseketeer Shawnte Northcutte appeared once on Facts of Life. Billy 'Pop' Attmore appeared in a few movies before and after the series, a fifth-season episode of The Brady Bunch ("Kelly's Kids"), and as a streetwise hood in the short-lived Eischied crime drama.
Other Mouseketeers from the 70's show:
Lisa Whelchel was born in Littlefield, TX in 1963, but grew up near Fort Worth. Julie Piekarski was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1964. Kelly Parsons was born in Coral Gables, FL, in 1965. Shawnte Northcutte was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1965. Pop Attmore was born in Landstuhl, Germany, in 1965 (possibly a USAF base).
- Scott Craig -- Scott, born in Van Nuys, CA, in 1964; lived in Las Vegas, passed away in 2003.
- Nita DiGiampaolo, born in Long Beach, CA, 1966
- Mindy Feldman, born in Burbank, CA, 1968, and sister of Corey Feldman
- Angel Florez, born in Stockton, CA, 1963 -- also deceased, circa 1994
- Allison Fonte -- born in Anaheim, CA, 1964
- Todd Turquand -- born in Hollywood, CA, 1964
- Curtis Wong -- born in Vancouver, BC, 1962
The lyrics were slightly different from the original:
Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! Hey there, hi there, ho there, you're as welcome as can be. M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! Mickey Mouse! (Donald Duck!) Mickey Mouse! (Donald Duck!) Forever let us hold his banner high, high, HIGH, HIGH!! Come along and sing the song and join the jamboree. M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! (cut short here starting in 1978) He's our favorite Mouseketeer, we know you will agree. M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! Take some fun and mix in love, our happy recipe. M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E!
In the 1990s, the Disney Channel revived the show with a different format. The teens pretty much ran their own lives, getting into trouble that would have seemed scandalous to 1950s audiences. The characters rarely sought or followed adult advice. Several of these teens went on to become major popular music successes and become notorious for flaunting their sexuality.
Notable performers from the third Mickey Mouse Club show: