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ASings

An "America Sings" record album cover.

America Sings was an Audio-Animatronic salute to the great American songbook. It opened on June 29, 1974 in the Carousel Theater (former home of the Carousel of Progress) at Disneyland's Tomorrowland and closed on April 10, 1988 since the Bicentennial celebrations were long-over.

The show was hosted by Sam the Eagle (voiced by Burl Ives), who sang the attraction's theme song Yankee Doodle, and Ollie the Owl (voiced by Sam Edwards). The rotating theater took park guests through four acts, each one representing a different era of American music: Going South, Heading West, the Gay Nineties and Modern Times.

Musical selections included:

  • Yankee Doodle
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • Pop! Goes the Weasel
  • Dixie
  • Little Liza Jane
  • Camptown Races
  • My Old Kentucky Home
  • Polly Wolly Doodle
  • Single Girl
  • Down in the Valley
  • Down by the Riverside
  • Drill, Ye Terriers, Drill
  • I've Been Working on the Railroad
  • Fireball Mail
  • Old Chisolm Trail
  • Who Shot the Hole in My Sombrero?
  • Billy the Bad Guy
  • Home on the Range
  • She May Be Somebody's Mother
  • The Bowery
  • After the Ball is Over
  • Wandering Boy
  • Bill Bailey
  • Sweet Adaline
  • The Old Gray Mare
  • Bird in a Gilded Cage
  • Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay
  • Ja-Da
  • The Darktown Strutters' Ball
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • A Tisket, A Tasket
  • Boo-Hoo
  • Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
  • Hound Dog
  • See 'Ya Later, Alligator
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll
  • Twistin' USA
  • Joy to the World
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Stars and Stripes Forever

Closing

When the attraction closed in 1988, most of its audio-animatronic characters were moved to Splash Mountain, while two of the long-necked geese were transformed into the G2 droids in the queue area of Star Tours and the rock and roll stork is now used to train new animatronic programmers.

The building was used as office space until Innoventions opened in 1998.

Voice Cast

Trivia

  • Unlike Carousel of Progress which rotated clockwise, America Sings rotated counter-clockwise. Also unlike its predecessor, America Sings only used the lower level.
  • According to an interview with Alice Davis, Chill Wills who did the voice of Saddlesore Swanson, stated that he wouldn't go inside the carousel theater, because he believed he would be strangely killed, which lead him to leave the cast before the ride was opened in 1974.
  • Who shot the hole in my sombrero? was originally made with a Mexican accent, but the press didn't like it and ordered a change for the accent. It was later made with a Texan accent. However, the Mexican accent version still exists on the 1974 LP recording of the attraction.
  • This was the first attraction created withouth Walt Disney.

Incident

On July 8, 1974, nine days after the attraction opened, 18 year old Disneyland cast member Deborah Gail Stone was accidentally crushed to death between the building's rotating wall and a stationary wall. She either fell, stepped backwards or tried to jump from one stage to the other as the rotating wall began to move (it moved every 2 to 4 minutes which was how long each act was). A guest in the adjacent theater heard her screams and notified the ride operators. By the time the guest and ride operators got to Debbie it was too late. She died from her injuries. Deborah Gail Stone was pronounced dead at 11:00 PM. She'd recently graduated from Santa Ana High School. Debbie got a job at Disneyland to earn money for college. Minutes before her death she'd called her parents to ask for their permission to get engaged as she'd fallen in love. Deborah Gail Stone is buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, Orange County, California.

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