A History of Walt Disney & the Vinyl Record
Walt Disney Records was formed in 1956, after more than two decades of licensing the audio recording rights for Disney products to various labels such as RCA, Decca, Capitol, and Golden Records. Walt Disney was encouraged to create this new business, much as he had created his own music publishing company in 1949, and a film distribution company in 1953. It was actually Walt Disney's brother Roy Disney who suggested that Walt Disney Productions form their own record label for Disney releases. Roy enlisted long time staffer Jimmy Johnson to head this new division Disneyland Records. The label was established in 1956 under the name Disneyland Records; with their first release being "A Child's Garden of Verses". The company made a name change to Walt Disney Records in 1989. Most of the labels output is mainly children's music and recordings, mostly based on or around Disney cartoons and shorts, and has also produced recordings that do not involve any Disney characters, such as the "Children's Favorites" series. The labels repertoire includes both read along records as well as full length albums.
Since the first time Mickey Mouse whistled on the big screen in "Steamboat Willie" to the larger than life musical score of "Dinosaur," Walt Disney's history has gone hand in hand with music. Just five years after "Steamboat Willie," Mickey Mouse and his troop made the move into the field of commercial audio recordings (records) for the home. The first records of Disney songs were released in 1934 by RCA Victor which recorded by Frank Luther and his orchestra in November 1933, the music was from the popular Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons, the titles include "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" "Mickey Mouse and Minnie's in Town," "In a Silly Symphony" and "Dance of the Bogey Man". This is a complete set of three records with each record being a two-sided 7" 78 rpm picture disc, with artwork related to that specific song. These records were originally issued in individual sleeves with an outer sleeve to hold the set.
The Three Little Pigs "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" Part 1
"TheThree Little Pigs "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" Part 2
Walt Disney "In A Silly Symphony"
"Mickey Mouse and Minnie's Mouse In Town"
Silly Symphony Lullaby Land "Lullaby Land of Nowhere"
Silly Symphony Lullaby Land "Dance of the Bogey Men"
Silly Symphony "Three Little Pigs"
The Golden Age of Walt Disney Records
This is the first comprehensive price guide/discography that covers the complete output of Disney recorded music on Disney as well as non-Disney labels. "Disneyana" and record collectors alike will appreciate this catalog of over 2,500 recordings with current market values.
Walt Disney's "Ludwig Von Drake" Golden Records
Walt Disney's "Song for Toby Tyler" Golden Records
Walt Disney's "Pollyanna" Golden Records
Walt Disney's Davy Crockett Golden Records
Walt Disney's Fantasia "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Walt Disney's Mousketeer Record - GM 104A
Disney Records in England
In the late 1930s the most active market for Disney recordings was England, where Decca Records released "Old King Cole" & "Meet Mickey Mouse" also Gramophone Co. Ltd. released soundtrack recordings of Disney shorts, including "Three Little Pigs," "Mickey's Grand Opera," and "The Grasshopper and the Ants." Starting In 1937 RCA entered into a broad-based contract with Disney. Under this agreement, RCA released the English Gramophone soundtrack records in the United States, as well as "El Raton Volador," a Spanish-language version of Disney's "The Flying Mouse," on the RCA Bluebird label. Finally, RCA signed on as the exclusive producer of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony records, a license they held for a dozen years. In the same year RCA was also allowed the license to rerecord both English and Spanish versions of all or part of the sound from the film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The following year, RCA Victor released a three-record set described as "songs from Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" with the same characters and sound effects as in the film of that title." This was the first soundtrack album from a feature film. The album was released in the United Kingdom on His Master's Voice records.
Walt Disneys "Pinocchio" 1940
Recorded From The Original Soundtrack
In 1940 RCA Victor released an album described as recorded from the original soundtrack of the Walt Disney Production "Pinocchio". This is the first time the phrase "original soundtrack" was used to refer to a commercially available movie recording.
In 1959 Disneyland Records revolutionized children's audio with the introduction of the Storyteller Series, which allowed children to follow a story through narration, music, and sound effects while reading along in a fully illustrated book. Consequently, several generations of children grew up unable to turn a page without hearing Tinker Bell prompt first.
Songs From Annette and Other Walt Disney Serials 1958
Walt Disney's "Cinderella" 1960
Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" 1964
Donald Duck "Trick-or-Treat: Stories and Songs of Halloween"
Donald Duck - "Trick Or Treat" Cartoon 1952
Walt Disney's Jungle Book 1967
Walt Disney's "The Swiss Family Robinson" 1968
Walt Disney's "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs" 1969
Walt Disney's "Bambi" 1969
Walt Disney's "Peter Pan" 1969
Walt Disney's "Pinocchio" 1969
Walt Disney's "Gnome Mobile"
Walt Disney's "Songs & Stories of Uncle Remus" 1970
Walt Disney "The Aristocats" 1970
The Stories & Songs of "Living Free Born Free" 1972
Walt Disney's "Robin Hood" 1973
Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" 1980
Buena Vista Records
Buena Vista Music Group now known as the Disney Music Group, is a collection of affiliated record labels which are all subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company. Buena Vista Records, a label devoted to soundtrack recordings of mostly live-action Disney film musicals, such as Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, Babes in Toyland, and Summer Magic, as well as recordings by actors then under contract to Disney, such as Annette Funicello, Fes Parker, Hayley Mills and often, at the same time that Buena Vista Records released a genuine soundtrack album. 1965 was the year of "Mary Poppins" for Disney. The film was wildly popular and garnered Academy Awards for best actress Julie Andrews, best song "Chim-Chim-Cher-ee", best score, best film editing and best visual effects. The Buena Vista soundtrack album of "Mary Poppins" was a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious hit and spent a company record 14 weeks in the No. 1 position on the Billboard chart. The recording won two Grammy Awards, Best Recording for Children and Best Original Score and achieved sales of more than 2 million units.
Walt Disney's Mary Poppins 1964
Annette Funicello "Annette's Beach Party" 1963
Annette Funicello "Annette's Pajama Party" 1964
Mickey Mouse "What No Mickey Mouse" 1970
Walt Disney's "Old Yeller"
Disney Records Into the 1970s & Beyond
Popular music continued to change, trend after musical trend came and went but Disney was able to weather the changes because of the solidity and timelessness of its children's product and its ability to capitalize on musical trends "Disney-style." The best example of this came in 1979, with the release of the smash-hit record "Mickey Mouse Disco," which capitalized on the disco and dance craze. The record earned platinum sales awards (more than a million units) in the U.S. and Canada, and similar sales were recognized in such far-flung markets as Portugal and Australia. "Record World" magazine named "Mickey Mouse Disco" the No. 1 Children's Album. Later Disney contemporary concept records were also successful, including "Donald Duck Goin' Quackers" and "Mickey Mouse Splashdance." The tradition continues with the 1996 release of "Mickey's Sports Songs," an athletic-themed album featuring favorite Disney characters.
Mickey Mouse "Steamboat Willie"
Mickey Mouse "Plane Crazy"
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Keep It In The Groove -- Let Us Know You Were Here Too !!
Keisha Allen on March 15, 2020:
Hey I have Cinderella n 12 days of Christmas n pinnconho records n the story book with them I need to find the rite buyer
Fox Music (author) on July 21, 2015:
Thanks Anonymous (Greg Ehrbar author) for the Heads Up On Your Book Mouse Tracks: The Story Of Walt Disney by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar
Chacidy on February 17, 2015:
Haljelulah! I needed this-you're my savior.
anonymous on August 13, 2013:
The Murray book above is a fine catalog reference, but the first and only comprehensive history of Disney vinyl records is MOUSE TRACKS: THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY RECORDS by Tim Hollis and me (mousetracksonline.com). One of the major influences on our book was the unpublished memoir of Disneyland.Vista President Jimmy Johnson, INSIDE THE WHIMSY WORKS, which is going on sale in February '14.
CoolFool83 on February 22, 2013:
Really cool vintage stuff here!
Jo-Jackson on January 22, 2013:
I remember we had the Mary Poppins one when I was a child.
JoshK47 on May 27, 2012:
Interesting read - would love to see more images! :)