Sunday, June 05, 2011

From Golden Horseshoe to Pearly Gates

The two biggest stars of Disneyland's record-setting Golden Horseshoe Revue (1955-1986) died only a day apart from each other this past week. The "Clown Prince of Disneyland," Wally Boag, who played Pecos Bill for 39,522 performances between 1955 and 1982, died Friday. His long-time co-star, Betty Taylor, who played the role of Slue-Foot Sue for about 30 years, died Saturday.

The Golden Horseshoe Revue was the longest continually running stage show in history. Both actors and the Revue itself are in the Guiness Book of World Records for their record-setting run. Taylor and Boag also appeared in a made-for-TV movie version of the Revue which also starred Annette Funicello, Ed Wynn, Gene Sheldon, Fulton Burley and Walt Disney. Taylor also performed on stage with well-known Big Bands and performing alongside stars like Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas.

Boag was an inspiration to many comedic performers. Steve Martin, who grew up working at Disneyland, tweeted, "My hero, the first comedian I ever saw live, my influence, a man to whom I aspired, has passed on. Wally Boag."

Speaking of Steve Martin at Disneyland, a rare 1957 photo of a very young Martin selling guidebooks at the Main Gate has surfaced in a recent post on the Daveland Blog. It's definitely one of those "holy grail" photos we never thought we'd see. (Speaking of which, have any of you found a photo of Walter Knott and Walt Disney together yet?)


Connie Moreno said...

Sad, just so sad.

The Viewliner Limited said...

R.I.P -- Thanks for all the great memories. You will be missed!

Dean Barickman said...

One of my fondest teenage memories was listening to (over and over again) the 33-1/3 DISNEYLAND RECORDS album of SLUE FOOT SUE'S GOLDEN HORSESHOE REVIEW (WDL-3013, 1957). It included the entire Frontierland stage show with its original cast of Betty Taylor, Donald Novis, Wally Boag, the pit band and the singers/dancers. It was wonderful listening to that record while trying to imagine the stage show as if it were taking place in front of me.

Anonymous said...

Dean, perhaps you already know this but I believe the same recording (just guessing) is in the Musical History of Disneyland CD box set. I was just listening to the Golden Horseshoe part the other day on the way to work. Hearing Wally Boag sure made me smile.

Anonymous said...

I remember working at Disneyland and every time you walked up the stairs to the backstage Frontierland offices, Betty's dressing room was on the right.
When she was not performing her door was always open. I would say "Hi Betty!" and she would smile with a big hello back.
Thank You so much Betty and Wally.

Adam said...

Isn't the Bird Cage Theatre at Knotts a winner from Guiness for longest running performance too?