The Country Bear Jamboree

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The Country Bear Jamboree
Fivebearrugsposter.jpg
The Country Bear Jamboree poster
Magic Kingdom
Land Frontierland
Attraction type Audio Animatronic Musical
Opening date October 1, 1971
Ride duration 11:00
15:55 (prior to 2012 refurbishment) minutes
Audio-Animatronics 24
FastPass + No
Sponsored by Pepsi Cola and Frito Lay (1971-1981)

The Country Bear Jamboree is an attraction located in Frontierland.

History

WED Engineers programming Henry.

Although the Country Bear Jamboree opened with the park on October 1, 1971, the plans for the attraction date back to Walt Disney himself. In 1966, Walt decided that he would need some sort of attraction for his planned Disney’s Mineral King Ski Resort. According to Imagineer Wathel Rogers:

“After the Mineral King contract had been signed, Walt had an idea for entertainment after people had been skiing. Walt said, ‘What we are going to do is have a bear band and have them perform two or three programs of entertainment [1].

To create this new show, Walt tasked Imagineer Marc Davis with creating a revue based on Audio Animatronic bears. Davis and fellow Imagineer Al Bertino came up with many ideas including marching band bears, mariachi bears, tuba bears, and Dixieland bears [2] [3]. According to Imagineering legend, Walt Disney was said to have like Marc Davis' drawings of the bears so much that they actually made him laugh, thus the attraction would eventually be known as Walt’s last laugh after his passing [4]. The Country Bears would be one of the last attractions that Walt had a direct involvement with.

After Walt Disney’s death on December 15, 1966, plans for the bear show carried on. During its development, Disney decided that the bears would perform in the Bear Band Restaurant Show [2]. Furthermore, Disney decided that the bears would sing with a “country twang”, and Imagineer X Atencio and musical director George Bruns were brought in to write songs for the attraction [5]. Although the development of the show continued to go well, Disney’s Mineral Kingdom Resort seemed to be in jeopardy. When it became clear that the resort would not be built in the foreseeable future, Disney decided to move the attraction to the soon to be opened Walt Disney World [2]. The show opened as the Country Bear Jamboree with the rest of Walt Disney World on October 1, 1971 [6].

When the Country Bear Jamboree opened in the Magic Kingdom, it proved to be so popular that a copy of the attraction was built for Disneyland [2]. Disney World’s Country Bear Jamboree remained unchanged until 1984 when the attraction was given a new show during the holiday season called the “Country Bear Christmas Special”. The show would return annually around Christmastime until 2005 [7]. In 1986, due to the Country Bear’s popularity, Disney decided to create a new show for the attraction, The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown. The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown featured the bears in their vacation outfits, singing new songs such as “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “On the Road Again” [8]. Due to attendance struggles however, the new show only lasted for six years [9].

On August 21, 2012, the Country Bear Jamboree was closed for a two moth refurbishment. When the attraction reopened on October 17, the show was noticeably shorter and the bears had all received new “fur” and costumes. The songs "Pretty Little Devilish Mary" and "Fractured Folk Song" were removed during the refurbishment, and much of the attractions dialogue was cut [10]. In total the current version of the Country Bear Jamboree is about 1/3 shorter than the original [11].

Queue

The Country Bear Jamboree takes place inside Grizzly Hall. While waiting in the building's front room, guests can see caricatures of the bears including: Henry, Wendell, Trixie, and the Five Bear Rugs. Guests can also find a souvenir penny machine which will make Frontierland themed pennies for 51 cents.

Show Plot

Mevin, Buck and Max in the Country Bear Jamboree.

The Country Bear Jamboree is a "hoedown" style show that features almost constant singing. The show takes place on five stages: a far right, a center right, a center, a center left and a far left. The dialogue between three mounted animal heads on the wall: Buff (a buffalo), Melvin (a moose) and Max (a deer) begins the show.

Buff: Hey Henry, what's holding ya up? Let's get on with the show! We can't hang around here all day.


Buck: Now Buff, be patient. It takes a little doing to set these things up.


Melvin: Yea, we ain't going anywhere anyhow. We're kind of hung up here!

Pianjo

In the first song the attraction, Henry welcomes guests to the Country Bear Jamboree. He then introduces Gomer (on the center stage) who plays piano while Henry sings. Henry wears a grey top hat, starched shirt front, and a string tie. Gomer wears a white collar and yellow tie and always has a honeycomb on his piano.

Song Lyrics

Henry, the master of ceremonies at the Country Bear Jamboree.

(AUTHORS NOTE: Some of the lyrics in this song were removed during the 2012 refurbishment of the attraction. The lyrics that are no longer in the show will appear with a line through them.)

Henry: Give me a little intro there Gomer. (Gomer begins to play "Pianjo"- an instrumental song.)

Henry: Howdy folks. Welcome to the one and only original Country Bear Jamboree, featuring a bit of Americana, our musical heritage of the past. But enough of this chit chat, yick yack, and flim flam. Just refrain from hibernating, and we'll all enjoy the show...because we got a lot to give.

(Gomer plays a piano solo)

Melvin:Hey! He's a regular Liberace.

Buck: And he plays, good too.

Bear Band Serenade

Pianjo leads directly into the Bear Band Serenade. Henry introduces the Five Bear Rugs who then perform on the center stage. The Five Bear Rugs consist of:

  • Zeke- The lead singer of the bears. He is a grey bear with glasses who wears a tan top hat. Zeke plays the banjo and dishpan.
  • Zeb- A brown bear with a light brown stomach. Zeb wears a bandanna around his neck and miner's hat. He plays the fiddle.
  • Ted-A tall, brown, skinny bear who plays the corn jug and the washboard.
  • Fred-The largest of the bears. Fred is a brown bear and wears blue jeans with suspenders and a striped red and white tie. He plays the mouth harp.
  • Tennessee-A brown bear who plays the One-String Thang, which sounds just like a guitar (but only has one string). Tennessee wears a red bandanna around his neck and a red hat.
  • Baby Oscar- The smallest of the bears, Baby Oscar never plays an instrument nor does he speak. He is never without his teddy bear, which he squeezes to make a squeaking noise.

On the Bear Band Serenade, Henry sings and the Five Bear Rugs play their respective instruments (prior to the 2012 refurbishment Gomer would accompany the band on piano). When Henry introduces an individual bear, a spotlight showcases them.

Song Lyrics

(AUTHORS NOTE: Some of the lyrics in this song were removed during the 2012 refurbishment of the attraction. The lyrics that are no longer in the show will appear with a line through them.)

(Henry Introducing the Band):

The Five Bear Rugs.

And right now, I give you a sordid assortment of executioners of music and song. The Five Bear Rugs! Hit it boys.

Henry (now singing):

The Bear Band bears will play now
In the good ol' key of G.
Zeke and Zeb and Ted and Fred
And a bear named Tennessee.

Zeke's a-twangin' on the banjo
And a-tappin' with his feet.
While bangin' on a dishpan
With a real ol' country beat.

Zeb's a-sawin' on the fiddle
With a crooked hickory bow.
When the spirit moves that bruin,
He can make that fiddle go.

Brother Ted is on the corn jug.
Now, I mean that bear can blow.
He also plays the washboard
With a handle of a hoe.

And big Fred's playin' mouth harp.
He plays it kinda sad.
He never took a lesson,
He just picked it up from dad.

And li'l ol' Tennessee Bear
Is a-featured on the thang.
Sounds just like a guitar,
But it's only got one string.

So clap your hands and
Stomp your feet and
Try to keep right with 'em.
One sure thing the Bear Band's got
Is real ol' country rhythm.

Yeah, clap your hands and
Stomp your feet and
Try to keep right with 'em.
One sure thing the Bear Band's got
Is real ol' country rhythm.


Ah ha!

If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl

Following the Bear Band Serenade, the far left curtain opens to reveal Ernest. Ernest is a brown bear who plays the fiddle. He wears a derby and a red polka-dot bow tie around his neck, and is recognizable by his high eye brows. Earnest performs “If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl”.

Ernest performing If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl

Song Lyrics

Ernest:

One night I left the wife at home,
And went out with the boys.
I was acting like a Don Juan,
And making a lot of noise.

(You old lover boy!)

A go-go girl called my hand,
I said, "I can't. I'm a married man."
She said "If you ain't gonna steal,
You better not prowl."
(He's a born loser.)
Don't do-si-do with a go-go.
If you can't bite, don't growl.
If you can't bite, don't growl.

My Woman Ain't Pretty (But She Don't Swear None)

After Earnest performs, Henry introduces Liver Lips McGrowl who is on the far right stage. Liver Lips is a large brown bear with messy long hair who wears brown overalls and a red and white bandanna around his neck. He gets his name from his large lips, and plays the guitar. Liver Lips sings unaccompanied.

Song Lyrics

Liver Lips:

Liver Lips McGrowl

I got a woman, she's got me.
Whatever we do, we both agree.
She ain't pretty, but I ain't too.
The things we like are the things we do.

My woman ain't pretty, but she don't swear none.
She's kinda heavy, don't weigh a ton.
She's my woman, through and through.
I love her only 'cause my heart is true.

Mamma, Don't Whip Little Buford

When Liver Lips is finished with his song, Wendell and Henry come on stage to sing the song “Mamma, Don’t Whip Little Buford.” Wendell is a golden brown bear who plays the mandolin. He wears a blue bandanna around his neck and a dark hat. He is recognizable by his overbite and buck teeth.

Song Lyrics

Henry and Wendell:

Mama don't whip little Buford.
Mama don't pound on his head.
Mama don't whip little Buford.
I think you should shoot him instead.

Henry:

Bang!

Tears Will Be The Chaser For My Wine

Trixie performing Tears Will Be the Chasher For My Wine.

After "Mamma, Don't Whip Little Buford", Wendell leaves the stage. Henry then proceeds to introduce Trixie, a very large brown bear who wears a bow in her hair and a blue tutu on her waist. Trixie plays no instrument, and is holding a blue handkerchief and a glass of wine in her hands. Gomer is raised back on the center stage to accompany Trixie, who is located on the far right stage.

Song Lyrics

Trixie:

Tears will be the chaser for your wine.
After you leave this love of mine.
Bright lights and taverns,
That's where you'll spend your time,
and tears will be the chaser for your wine.

How Long Will My Baby Be Gone

Following the end of the song the curtain once again closes. Shaker (also known as Terrance) then appears on the left-center stage. Shaker is a tall, tan bear who wears a tan miner’s cap with a feather in it and a tan vest. Shaker plays guitar.

Song Lyrics

Shaker:

How long is forever?
How soon is now or never?
How long will this heartache linger on?
And how long will my baby be gone?

All the Guys Who Turn Me On Turn Me Down

After Shaker sings his song, Henry reappears on the right-center stage. He introduces the next act, three identical girls from Tampa Bay, Florida: Bunny, Bubbles and Beulah. Together the three sisters are known as the Sun Bonnet Trio. All three girls have brown fur and wear blue dresses and bonnets. On stage the girls are joined by Gomer. Bunny stands in the middle with Bubbles on her left and Beulah on her right. Behind the girls a slide show illustrates the lyrics as they sing their song, “All the Guys Who Turn Me On Turn Me Down”.

The Sun Bonnet Trio. From left to right: Beulah, Bunny and Bubbles.

Song Lyrics

The Sun Bonnets:

Every time I meet a guy who gets me shook,
All I ever get from him's a dirty look.
It's the same way, everywhere I've found.
All the guys that turn me on, turn me down.

All the guys that turn me on, turn me down.
Nothing works for me that I found.
It's the same way everywhere I see.
Nothing ever seems to work for me.
Nothing ever seems to work for me.

Doodle doodle do-do-do bum bump.

Heart We Did All That We Could

Teddi Barra singing "Heart We Did All That We Could". Photo by Lauren Javier

Following the Sun Bonnet Trio’s song, Henry appears on the left-center stage. He then introduces the "last of the big time swingers…Teddi Barra!”. Teddi descends from a hole in the ceiling, sitting on a swing decorated with roses. She is a brown bear and wears a pink hat with a feather, as well as a long pink bow around her neck. While she begins her song (“Heart We Did All That We Could”) both Buck and Henry comment on how pretty she is.

Song Lyrics

Teddi: Well, there he goes. He hardly knows The heart he's breaking.

Henry: Lovely, lovely.

Teddi: I talked to him, But I don't think He understood.

Buck: Oh, sing it gal.

Teddi: I'll, just forget About the plans That we were making.

Henry: My, my.

Teddi: Heart, we did all that we could.

You all come up and see me some time, ya hear?

Blood On The Saddle

Following Teddi’s song (and without any introduction) a large spotlight shines of the far left stage, slowly getting bigger. When the curtain lifts guests get their first view of Big Al. Big Al is the fattest of all the bears and he plays an out of tune guitar. He is grey with a light grey belly and wears a burgundy hat and vest. Big Al preforms his signature song “Blood On The Saddle”.

Big Al singing "Blood On The Saddle".

Song Lyrics

Big Al:

There was blood on the saddle.
And blood all around.
And a great big puddle
Of blood on the ground.

The Ballad of Davy Crockett

As Big Al finishes his song with a laugh, Henry appears on the far right stage. On his head is Sammy, a raccoon who actually makes up Henry's coonskin cap. Together the duo begins to sing “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”.

Song Lyrics

Henry and Sammy:

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee.
Greenest state in the land of the free.
Raised in the woods, so he knew every tree.
Tamed him a "b'ar" when he was only three.

Davy. Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier.

Up through the woods, he's a marching along.
Making up yarns, and a'singing his song.
Itchin' for fighting, and righting a wrong...

Ole Slew-Foot

Right in the middle of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", Big Al reappears on the far left stage, once again singing "Blood on the Saddle". As Henry tells Big Al to stop, Sammy begins to realize the situation is hopeless. He tells Henry that they’re going to need help. Henry cues “the gang”, and all the other bears (except Earnest and Trixie) appear on stage. Together they sing the shows finale, “Ole Slew-Foot”. As the cast performs, Big Al (undaunted by their singing) continues to sing "Blood on the Saddle". At the conclusion of the song, the stage gets dark and a crashing noise comes from Big Al’s stage.

Song Lyrics

(AUTHORS NOTE: Some of the lyrics in this song were removed during the 2012 refurbishment of the attraction. The lyrics that are no longer in the show will appear with a line through them.)

The finale of the Country Bear Jamboree.

Well, he's big around the middle,
And he's broad across the rump.
Running ninety miles an hour,
Making thirty feet a jump.

He's never been cornered,
And he's never been treed.
Some folks say he looks a lot like me.


High on the mountain,
Tell me what do you see?
Bear tracks, bear tracks,
Looking back at me.

Better get your rifles,
Before it's too late.
Bear's got a little pig,
And he's headed through the gate.

He's big around the middle,
And he's broad across the rump.
Running ninety miles an hour,
Making thirty feet a jump.

Ain't been cornered,
Ain't never been treed.
Some folks say he looks a lot like me.

Come Again

After the finale Henry tells guests to be sure to come again. As a cast member ushers guests out, Henry, Sammy, Buck, Melvin, and Buff sing one last song “Come Again”.

Henry and Sammy performing

Song Lyrics

Henry, Sammy, Buck, Buff and Melvin:

We hope that you'll be coming back again.
That you'll drop in and see us now and then.
We've done our very best to please.
With just the "bear" necessities.
We hope that you'll be coming back again.

Come again (Please return!).
Come again (Any time!).
The welcome mat is always out,
'Cause seeing you is fine.

We hope that you'll be coming back again.
That you'll drop in to see us now and then.
We've had such fun, we're going to cry.
We just can't "bear" to say goodbye.
We hope that you'll be coming back again.

Don't forget to gather your belongings.

And you husbands, too.

It's been good to have you.

So long, folks.

Former Songs

From 1971-2012 the following songs were included in the Country Bear Jamboree:

Fractured Folk Song

From 1971 until 2012 Wendell performed Bear Band Serenade.

This number began after the Bear Band Serenade when the curtain closed on the Five Bear Rugs and Gomer. Wendell (a golden brown bear) would then emerge on the center stage. Wendell wore a blue bandanna around his neck and had a light brown hat. He was also easily recognizable because of his large overbite and buck teeth.

Wendell would begin to pick his mandolin before telling Henry (who was now on the right-center stage) to hurry up and play, which Henry did.

Song Lyrics

Henry: Now here's a fractured folk song, butchered by two birds.

Wendell: We wrote these lousy lyrics, and we also wrote the words.

Henry: The chords are very simple. In fact, there's only three. First there's G, then C then D and then you go on back to G.

Wendell: But you got to be quick!

Henry:' Hahaha.

Pretty Little Devilish Mary

Following Trixie's song “Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine” Henry complimented the bear on how big her song was. Hearing that, Buff, Max, and Melvin would interrupt the show (starting with Buff who comments that “the song wasn't all that's big”). Henry then told them that if they were quiet, the bears might dedicate the next song to them (which they did). The Five Bear Rugs then reappeared on center stage, with Zeke singing lead on “Pretty Little Devilish Mary”.

Song Lyrics

Zeke:

When I was young and in my prime,
I thought I never would marry.
But I fell in love with a pretty little gal,
And sure enough we married.


A Marc Davis drawing of the Five Bear Rugs.

(Atta-boy, Zeke!)

Ring-a-ding-ding Mary,
Prettyiest little gal, I ever did see.
Her name was Devilish Mary.

(What a gal!)

Hadn't been married but about two weeks,
She got as mean as the devil.
And every time I looked cross-eyed,
She'd hit me on the head with a "shevil."

(How sad.)

Ring-a-ding-ding Mary,
Prettiest little gal, I ever did see.
Her name was Devilish Mary.

(What a pity.)

Her name was Devilish Mary.

Cast

Concept art for Terrance, Henry, Liver Lips, and Tennessee

Henry- The host of the show, Henry is a large, friendly brown bear. He wears a grey top hat, starched shirt, and a string tie. Vocied by Pete Renaday, Henry plays the guitar and sings. He is featured on the songs: "The Bear Band Serenade", "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", "Come Again (Come on In)" and prior to the 2012 refurbishment of the attraction, "Fractured Folk Song". Henry is also the most mobile of the bears, appearing on the left-center, right-center and far right stages.

Liver Lips McGrowl- A big bear who gets his name from his large lips, Liver Lips plays the guitar. He is voiced by Jimmy Stoneman[12] and appears on the right-center stage. Liver Lips sings "My Woman Ain't Pretty (But She Don't Swear None)" and joins the bears in the finale, "Ole Slew-Foot"

Wendell- Wendell is a golden brown bear who plays the mandolin. He wears a blue bandanna around his neck and a dark (formally tan) hat. He is recognizable for his overbite and buck teeth. Wendell is voiced by Bill Cole[13] and appears on center stage. Wendell sings "Mamma, Don't Whip Little Buford" with Henry as well as joining the bears to sing the finale, "Ole Slew-Foot". Prior to 2012 Wendell performed "Fractured Folk Song" with Henry.

Teddi Barra- Teddi Barra is the only Country Bear that does not appear on stage. Instead she comes down from the ceiling on her swing, which is decorated with pink roses. Teddi is a brown bear and wears a pink hat with a feather as well as a long pink bow around her neck. She is voiced by Roni Stoneman [12]. Teddi sings "Heart We Did All That We Could" and also joins the bears to sing "Ole Slew-Foot".

Shaker (aka Terrance)- Shaker is a tall bear with tan fur who plays the guitar while wearing a miner's cap and yellow vest. He is voiced by Van Stoneman[13] and he appears on the left-center stage. Shaker sings "How Long Will My Baby Be Gone” and also appears with the rest of the bears to sing "Ole Slew-Foot".

Ernest- Ernest is a brown bear who plays the fiddle while wearing a brown hat, a white collar and a red polka dot tie. Ernest was voiced by Van Stoneman from October 1971 until July 1975 when Randy Sparks [12] took over his vocals on “If You Can’t Bite Don’t Growl”.

Trixie- Trixie is a very large brown bear who wears a blue bow on her head and a blue tutu around her waist. She appears on the far right stage, and holds a blue handkerchief and wine glass in her hands. Trixie is one of the few bears that does not appear in the finale of the show, however she does sing "Tears Will Be The Chaser For My Wine". Trixie is voiced by Cheryl Poole [13] .

Concept art for Zeb, Big Al, Gomer, and Wendell

Big Al- Big Al is the fattest bear in the Country Bear Jamboree. He is grey with a light grey belly and wears a burgundy vest and hat. Big Al plays an out-of-tune guitar and is located on the far right stage. He sings "Blood on the Saddle" and his insistence on singing the song a second time leads to the grand finale of the show. The bear is voiced by Tex Ritter [12]. Prior to the 2012 refurbishment, Big Al wore a red vest with a tan hat.

The Sun Bonnet Trio- The Sun Bonnet Trio is made up of three identical sisters. All three sisters have brown fur wear blue bonnets and dresses. The sisters appear on center stage and together they sing "All The Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down" and the show's finale "Ole Slew-Foot". The Sun Bonnet Trio consists of:

  • Bunny- Bunny stands in the center of her sisters and is voiced by Jackie Ward [13] .
  • Bubbles- Bubbles stands to the audience's left (between Gomer and Bunny) and is voiced by Loulie Jean Norman [13] .
  • Beulah- Beulah stands to the audience's right and is voiced by Peggy Clark [13] .

Gomer- Gomer is a tall purple bear who wears a white and a yellow tie. Gomer is the only Country Bear in the show (with the exception of some of the Five Bear Rugs) who does not sing. Instead, he plays his piano which has a honeycomb on top of it. Gomer appears on center stage and performs on the songs: "Tears Will Be the Chaser for My Wine", "All the Guys That Turn Me on Turn Me Down" and the shows finale, "Ole Slew-Foot". Prior to the 2012 refurbishment Gomer had brown fur and he wore a blue tie and he also performed on "Bear Band Serenade",.

The Five Bear Rugs- The Five Bear Rugs are the Country Bear Jamboree's main band. They appear on center stage and perform, "Bear Band Serenade" and "Ole Slew-Foot". Prior to the 2012 refurbishment of the attraction the Five Bear Rugs also performed "Pretty Little Devilish Mary". The band consists of:

  • Zeke- The Five Bear Rugs lead singer; Zeke plays a banjo and taps on the dishpan with "a real ol' country beat". He is a grey bear with glasses who wears a tan top hat. He was voiced by Dallas McKennon from October 1971 until July 1975 [14], when Randy Sparks rerecorded his vocals [13]. Zeke is located in the center of the band.
  • Zeb- Zeb is brown bear with a light brown stomach, who plays the fiddle. Zeb wears a miner's hat and a bandanna around his neck, and he is voiced by a member of the Stoneman family[13] . Zeb sits on Zeke's left.
  • Ted- Ted is a tall, skinny bear who blows on the corn jug and plays the washboard. His fur is brown, and he wears a white vest with a brown hat. Ted is located behind Zeb.
  • Fred- The biggest of the five bears, Fred plays mouth harp. He is a brown bear who blue jeans held up with suspenders as well as a striped red and white tie. Fred is located behind Zeke and next to Ted.
  • Tennessee- Tennessee plays the One String Thang, which sounds like a guitar but only has one string. He is brown and wears a red bandanna around his neck.
Concept art for Fred, Ted, Teddi and Ernest (The Dude)
  • Baby Oscar- Unlike the other bears in the Five Bear Rugs, Baby Oscar plays no instrument. He does carry a teddy bear however, which he squeaks from time to time. He is brown, and on the 1971 Country Bear Jamboree album it is mentioned that he is Zeb's son.

Buff- Buff is considered the leader of the animal heads and is also the first animal to talk in the show. He is the head portion of an American Bison and is voiced by Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft[13] . Buff is located between Melvin and Max and all three heads are located on the left wall of the theater. Throughout the show the animal heads talk both amongst themselves, and to the performers. The only song that Buff sings in is "Come Again (Come On In)" which he sings as guests leave the hall.

Max- Max is the head portion of a stag who is voiced by Pete Renaday[13] . Max talks with Melvin and Buff, as well as Henry periodically throughout the show. He is located to the right of Buff and performs the song "Come Again (Come On In).”

Melvin- Melvin is a moose head who is voiced by Bill Lee[13] . Melvin is good-natured and is located on the left side of Buff. He performs the song "Come Again (Come On In)” as guests leave the hall.

Sammy- Sammy is Henry's raccoon pal who cuddles around Henry's top hat, acting like a coonskin cap for the bear. Voiced by Bill Cole[13] , Sammy performs on the final three songs of the attraction, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", "Ole Slaw-Foot", and "Come Again (Come On In)"

Watch the Show!


To see the show that ran from 1972 until 2012 Click Here.

The Country Bear Christmas Special

Main Article: The Country Bear Christmas Special

From 1984 until 2005, the Country Bear Jamboree was given a special show for the Christmas season called the “Country Bear Christmas Special”. The show featured the bears singing such holiday classics as: “Deck the Halls,” “Let It Snow,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, as well as new original songs like “Hungry as a Bear”. The show also featured a previously unknown bear named Rufus who worked the lighting and projection for the show. In 2005 it was announced that the Christmas Special would not return [15]. The Christmas show marked the first time that an Audio Animatronic show became interchangeable during the year[2].

The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown

Main Article: The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown

In 1986 due to the overwhelming popularity of the Country Bears, a new show was created for the attraction called the “Country Bear Vacation Hoedown”. The new show featured the Bears wearing their "vacation clothes" and singing new songs. Included in the show were popular songs: “Singing in the Rain”, “On the Road Again”, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, “Thank God I'm A Country Boy” and the popular opening number “The Great Outdoors”[16]. This version of the Country Bears was the only show not to feature Buff, Melvin and Buck at the start of the show. The Vacation Hoedown proved unpopular with guests and in 1992 the show was reverted to its original form[2].

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • According to a plaque located about the Country Bear Jamboree’s main stage, the Jamboree was founded by Ursus H. Bear who lived from 1848 until 1928. In the attraction's backstory, "after a restful hibernation, (Ursus)rounded up his musically inclined kinfolk and friends to put on a down-home celebration" [1].
Ursus H. Bear founder of the Country Bear Jamboree
  • Grizzly Hall (the home of the Country Bear Jamboree) was built in 1898 [17].
  • Initially Five Bear Rugs’ member Tennessee was going to be named Lemonade. This name can be heard in the Bear Band Serenade Demo found Here..
  • According to the Bear Band Serenade Demo, Zeke was originally to play percussion [18].
  • The attraction was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola and Frito Lay from 1971 until 1981 [19].
  • During this time Henry introduced the show as "brought to you by Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. Featuring a bit of Americana, our musical heritage of the past" [20].
  • Until the 2012 refurbishment, a reference to Pepsi's sponsorship could still be heard in the attraction. Henry's line at the beginning of the show, "Just refrain from hibernating, and we'll all enjoy the show. Because we got a lot to give", was a reference to Pepsi's advertising slogan "You've got a lot to live, Pepsi's got a lot to give" [21].
  • The 2000 movie The Country Bears was based on the Country Bear Jamboree attraction [22].

Unused Songs

(Authors Note: Information in this section was retrieved from the wonderful Country Bear series over at Passport to Dreams Old and New. To learn more about this topic head on over there. http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-music-of-country-bear-jamboree-part.html)

Although the Country Bear Jamboree went through a relatively small number of changes during its development, at least two songs were cut from the final project. The first song titled "The Funny Farm" was composed by novelty act Homer and Jethro and was to be performed by Henry and Wendell (who were based on Homer and Jethro). The second song considered for the show was titled "You Make a Left and Then a Right". This song was made famous by Johnny and Jonie Mosby, and would have been performed by the Sun Bonnet Trio instead of "All The Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down". Like "All the Guys", the song would have been accompanied by animated slides. "You Make a Left Then a Right" remained fairly far into the show's development, to the point that Marc Davis actually animated the slides that would be shown during the song.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.mouseplanet.com/9399/The_Lost_Biographies_of_the_Country_Bears
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2010/10/country_bear_jamboree_part_one_1.html
  3. http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-music-of-country-bear-jamboree-part.html
  4. Walt Disney Imagineering: A behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real. New York: Disney Editions, 1996. Print.
  5. http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-music-of-country-bear-jamboree-part.html
  6. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/10/walt-disney-imagineers-talk-the-country-bear-jamboree-reimagining-at-magic-kingdom-park/
  7. http://waltdatedworld.com/id250.htm
  8. http://waltdatedworld.com/id60.htm
  9. http://www.wdwradio.com/2007/09/country-bear-jamboree/
  10. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/arts/country-bear-jamboree-at-walt-disney-world.html?_r=0
  11. http://land.allears.net/blogs/debwills/2012/10/the_country_bear_jamboree_is_b.html
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 http://davelandblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/country-bear-jamboree-blowout.html
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2010/10/country_bear_jamboree_part_two.html
  14. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0268428/
  15. http://waltdatedworld.com/id250.htm
  16. http://waltdatedworld.com/id60.htm
  17. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_QEBR616wZSk/THse0p5iHGI/AAAAAAAACNc/W3QVc-iescE/s1600/IMG_9293.JPG
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAR-L_iKKJI
  19. http://allears.net/tp/mk/mk_bears.htm
  20. https://www.mouseplanet.com/9399/The_Lost_Biographies_of_the_Country_Bears
  21. http://mentalfloss.com/article/68837/10-twangy-facts-about-disneys-country-bear-jamboree
  22. http://www.wdwradio.com/2007/09/country-bear-jamboree/