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Five Bear Rugs

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The Five Bear Rugs are the house band in the Disney theme park attraction Country Bear Jamboree.

They perform on a platform in the theater's main stage.

The members of the band include:

  • Zeke, who plays the banjo while tapping a dishpan with his foot
  • Zeb, who plays the fiddle
  • Ted, who blows a corn jug and sometimes plays a washboard
  • Fred, who plays a mouth harp (a harmonica)
  • Tennessee, who plays "The Thing" (an upright bass with only one string and a tiny bird sitting on it)

Oscar, Zeb's son, sits quietly on the right-hand side of the band's platform, clutching and squeezing his teddy bear.

Zeb, Ted, Fred and Tennessee also appear in the 2002 feature film based on the attraction.

Biography

From 1972's Country Bear Jamboree record album:

The Five Bear Rugs began playing music together when they were in first grade. Fifteen years later they were still playing—in fourth grade! Zeke plays the banjo and wears glasses—he’s the only one who can read music. Fred plays the mouth harp and carries the tune (his wife says Fred is lazy, and a tune is the only thing he carries). Ted blows the white lightning jug, and Tennessee plays the one-stringed thing (he hopes one day to add more strings). Zeb plays fiddle, and Zeb’s son Oscar accompanies his father on concert tours because Zeb’s wife works (she models fur coats—always the same one—at a nearby boutique).

Trivia:

  • According to early concepts for the attraction, including concept art and an early Bear Band Serenade demo, Zeke was originally envisioned as a percussionist playing cymbals, drums and cowbells.
Bear Band Serenade Mineral King Demo02:55

Bear Band Serenade Mineral King Demo

"Bear Band Serenade" Demo

  • And Tennessee was initially going to be called Lemonade. The opening verse of the song, according to the aforementioned demo, would've been:

The bear band bears are ready

They're set to serenade

Zeke and Zeb and Ted and Fred

And a bear named Lemonade

But when the verse was changed to:

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

He was renamed Tennessee so it would rhyme with "G".

  • Zeke's singing voice from 1975 onward was modeled after country singer and banjo player Grandpa Jones.

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