Disney Legends: The Golden Horseshoe Revue

This show featured comedic performers, dancing, and singing. The Golden Horseshoe Revue is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the longest running stage production in history. Today we´ll look at the Disney Legends associated with this amazing show.

Betty Taylor was born in Seattle, Washington. She grew up taking dance lessons, and when she was 12 she got to play a role in a professional stage play. At the age of 14 she performed in many nightclubs across the country. By the time she was 18 years old Betty had her own band which consisted of 16 musicians that were men. Betty then got offered to be on a radio show called “Sons of the Pioneers.” While traveling Betty had the privilege to perform in a 6 week period with Frank Sinatra. 1956 rolled around and Betty heard about auditions in Disneyland for something called The Golden Horseshoe Revue.

She auditioned and she got the job working as the character Slue Foot Sue. She continued to play Pecos Bill´s sweetheart for nearly 45,000 performances! On a couple of special occasions Betty and the troupe from the Golden Horseshoe Revue got to perform outside of the parks. One time they performed at the White House for President Nixon. Betty retired from Golden Horseshoe Revue in 1987. She continues to come and play supporter at the western themed events with the Disney company. Betty Taylor was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995.

Wally Boag was born September 9, 1920 in Portland, Oregon. When Wally was nine years old he started working with a professional dance team. When he was 16 he open his own dance school, and by the time Wally was 19 he had expanded into comedy and was taking his show on the road. He performed in the Radio City Music Hall and the Tivoli Theatres in Australia and New Zealand. Wally auditioned for the Golden Horseshoe Revue in 1955, and he got the role of Pecos Bill. His comedy routine in the show included balloon animals, squirt guns, and spitting a mouthful of `teeth.´ He played Pecos Bill for nearly 27 years and 40,000 performances! He is also credited with co-writing the show. Wally also appeared in the Mickey Mouse Club, several Disney movies, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Wally was said to be Walt Disney´s favorite comedic actor, and he was also an inspiration to comedian (and one time Disneyland Cast Member) Steve Martin. While Wally was at Disneyland he provided the voice for the Audio Animatronics bird Jose in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Wally retired from the Golden Horseshoe Revue in 1982. However he went around for the company to promote projects like the re-release ofLady and the Tramp. Wally was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995.

Fulton Burley was born in Tipperary, Ireland, and was raised in Ontario, Canada. Fulton came into the United States after he got a leading role in Billy Rose’s “Diamond Horseshoe Revue” on Broadway. Around the time when Fulton Burley was 7 years old he was singing in special events. When he was 9 he was doing performances on a radio show in Windsor. Fulton started studying law but dropped out of University to pursue an entertainment career. After he completed his studies with music he won a contract deal with MGM and played some roles in movies. World War II came around and he went and served in it. When the war was over he traveled around performing in different productions. In 1962 he was performing in Las Vegas, Nevada when he got a phone call from his old friend Wally Boag offering him a role in the Golden Horseshoe Revue because Donald Novis had become ill and couldn´t perform. Fulton agreed to take over the role, and went to Disneyland to performed as the MC /straight man / silver-toned tenor. He continued to play the part for 25 years! While employed at Disneyland he got to play the voice for the Audio Animatronics bird Michael from the Enchanted Tiki Room. As time went on he traveled around to promote Disney movies. Fulton Burley retired from working with the Disney Company in 1987. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995.

Our next legend is a true Disney career Cast Member. Bob Allen was born in Corona, California, on February 4, 1932. At a young age he went off to the Korean War. After the war was over he went to college for physical education. Bob applied for a job at Disneyland. Well, Bob got a job there working on the Casey Junior attraction. His job was to blow a whistle if anyone fell off of the ride. As time went on Bob´s roles at Disneyland became more important. He became the manager at the Golden Horseshoe Revue. He later got promoted to project coordinator of Disneyland. In 1964 Bob moved to Denver, Colorado where he was the manager of Disney´s Celebrity Sports Center. This was the first time Disney ventured out into the family recreation business. After Bob had that in a great financial state for the company he moved back to California to work at Disneyland as vice president and Director of General Services. In this time Walt Disney World was in the planning and in 1970 Bob Allen moved to Florida to become the director of General Services in Walt Disney World. Later Bob became the manager for the Resorts division of Walt Disney World. In January of 1977 he became the vice president of Walt Disney World where he was to manage the day to day operation of the parks. Bob Allen died on November 8, 1987. Bob Allen was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1996.

The Golden Horseshoe Review closed its doors on October 12, 1986. For 31 years, 5 shows a day, over 50,000 performances, The Golden Horseshoe Review was a Frontierland favorite. Similar shows were produced for Walt Disney World (The Diamond Horseshoe Review) and Tokyo Disneyland, but none had the staying power or the incredible cast of the original. The Golden Horseshoe Review was replaced by The Golden Horseshoe Variety Show, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, and for a short time by The All-New Woody´s Roundup show. Currently the Variety show and Billy Hill can be seen on the Golden Horseshoe stage.

For more information on the Golden Horseshoe Revue, check out http://www.jansworld.net/golden_horseshoe_pages/gh_revue.htm

For more information about these people and the Disney Legend award, see the Disney Legends website: http://legends.disney.go.com/legends/index


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