America Sings
America Sings was an attraction at Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

 from 1974 to 1988. It featured a cast of Audio-Animatronic animals that entertained the audience by singing songs from various periods in America's musical history, often in a humorous fashion.

The show

America Sings opened in 1974 after replacing the Carousel of Progress
Carousel of Progress
The Carousel of Progress is an attraction located at the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort, currently operating under the name Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress...

 after that latter show moved to the Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom Park is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, Florida. The first park built at the resort, Magic Kingdom opened Oct. 1, 1971. Designed and built by WED Enterprises, the park's layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland in Anaheim, California...

 at the Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort , is the world's most-visited entertaimental resort. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida ; approximately southwest of Orlando, Florida, United States, the resort covers an area of and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels Walt...

 in 1973. America Sings used the same Carousel Theater that its predecessor vacated, with its outer ring of six theaters, all connected by divider walls, revolving mechanically about every four minutes around the six fixed stages in the center of the building. Unlike Disneyland's Carousel of Progress, which rotated clockwise, America Sings went counter-clockwise. Also, unlike Carousel of Progress, America Sings only used the lower level of the Carousel Theater. The upper level was used to house the SuperSpeed Tunnel (which later became the Game Grid of Tron
-Film:*Tron , a franchise that began in 1982 with the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron** Tron , a 1982 science fiction film by Disney, starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, Cindy Morgan, Dan Shor and David Warner...

) that the PeopleMover
The PeopleMover, sometimes referred to as the WEDWay PeopleMover, was a transport attraction that operated from July 2, 1967 to August 21, 1995 in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Guests boarded small trains that ran on elevated tracks for a "grand circle tour" above Tomorrowland...

 went through.

America Sings was comparable to Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree
The Country Bear Jamboree is an attraction at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort and at Tokyo Disneyland in the Tokyo Disney Resort, as well as a former attraction at Disneyland Park. All versions of the attraction are similar....

, in that it featured a singing cast of audio-animatronics. The show's Masters of Ceremony
Master of Ceremonies
A Master of Ceremonies , or compere, is the host of a staged event or similar performance.An MC usually presents performers, speaks to the audience, and generally keeps the event moving....

 were an American bald eagle
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

 named Sam (voiced by Burl Ives
Burl Ives
Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice .....

) and an unnamed owl
Owls are a group of birds that belong to the order Strigiformes, constituting 200 bird of prey species. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions . Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish...

 rumored to be named Ollie (voiced by Sam Edwards
Sam Edwards
Sam Edwards was an American actor. His most famous role on TV was as the banker in the TV series Little House on the Prairie.-Biography:Born into a showbusiness family, his first role was as a baby in his mother's arms...

). The image of Eagle Sam was designed by Disney animator Marc Davis, as were the other characters. Eagle Sam is completely separate from the Sam the Olympic Eagle
Sam (Olympic mascot)
Sam the Olympic Eagle is the mascot of the 1984 Summer Olympics which were held in Los Angeles. He is a bald eagle, which is the national bird of the United States, where the games were held. He also shares the name of Uncle Sam, another American symbol. Sam was designed by C. Robert Moore, an...

 character designed a decade later by C. Robert Moore (also a Disney employee) for the 1984 Summer Olympics
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984...


Like the Carousel of Progress, the first and the last scenes of America Sings involved the loading and unloading of guests, while the other four scenes, or "acts", depicted a particular era. However, the identical load and unload theaters each featured a small curtained gazebo
A gazebo is a pavilion structure, sometimes octagonal, that may be built, in parks, gardens, and spacious public areas. Gazebos are freestanding or attached to a garden wall, roofed, and open on all sides; they provide shade, shelter, ornamental features in a landscape, and a place to rest...

 with a backdrop showing a park. The curtains would open to reveal Sam and the owl standing on a two-level podium
A podium is a platform that is used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greek πόδι In architecture a building can rest on a large podium. Podia can also be used to raise people, for instance the conductor of an orchestra stands on a podium as do many...

, with Sam standing on the higher level, introducing or closing the show.

Between each act, as the theater rotated, the lights blacked out, and the theater illuminated with flashing stars; during the rotations, Sam sang about the next era the audience was about to enter, reprising the chorus of "Yankee Doodle
Yankee Doodle
"Yankee Doodle" is a well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which dates back to the Seven Years' War. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut...


Also, the Weasel would come up in each of the acts, quoting the title line: "Pop, Goes the Weasel", for a total of five times. At the very end of the show, he changed the line to, "Goodbye, Goes the Weasel".

The characters in America Sings were patterned after the characters from the concept art for an animated movie called Chanticleer, that Walt Disney scrapped back in the 1960s.

The songs

Norman "Buddy" Baker
Buddy Baker (composer)
Norman "Buddy" Baker was an American composer who scored many of Walt Disney's films, such as The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, The Shaggy D.A., The Million Dollar Duck and The Fox and the Hound.Baker was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, and got his degree in...

 arranged a selection of songs chosen to represent a panoramic view of American music.


  • "Yankee Doodle
    Yankee Doodle
    "Yankee Doodle" is a well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which dates back to the Seven Years' War. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut...

    " - Eagle Sam
  • "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" - Eagle Sam
  • "Pop Goes the Weasel
    Pop Goes the Weasel
    "Pop! Goes the Weasel" is an English language nursery rhyme and singing game. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 5249.-Lyrics:There are many different versions of the lyrics to the song...

    " - Ollie and the weasel

Act 1 - The Deep South

  • "Dixie
    Dixie (song)
    Countless lyrical variants of "Dixie" exist, but the version attributed to Dan Emmett and its variations are the most popular. Emmett's lyrics as they were originally intended reflect the mood of the United States in the late 1850s toward growing abolitionist sentiment. The song presented the point...

    " / "L'il Liza Jane" / "Camptown Races
    Camptown Races
    Gwine to Run All Night, or De Camptown Races is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster . It was probably composed in Cincinnati in 1849, according to Richard Jackson, and published by F. D. Benteen of Baltimore, Maryland, in February 1850...

    " - Geese Quartet
  • "My Old Kentucky Home
    My Old Kentucky Home
    "My Old Kentucky Home" is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster , probably composed in 1852. It was published as "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" in January 1853 by Firth, Pond, & Co. of New York...

    " - Colonel Houndstoothe (Bassett hound in rocking chair)
  • "Polly Wolly Doodle
    Polly Wolly Doodle
    "Polly Wolly Doodle" is a song first published in a Harvard student songbook in 1880."Polly Wolly Doodle" appears in the existing manuscript for Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years exactly as it is used in the published version. It was not mentioned in any of the Pioneer Girl...

    " - The Swamp Boys (gator trio, frogs and harmonica-playing raccoon)
  • "Single Girl" - Mother Possum
  • "Down in the Valley
    Down in the Valley (folk song)
    -External links:* -Bibliography:*Boas, Frank . The Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. XXX No. CXVII. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: American Folk-Lore Society....

    " - Coyote
    The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

  • "Down by the Riverside
    Down by the Riverside
    "Down by the Riverside" is a traditional gospel song. It was first published in Carl Sandburg's The American Songbag and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II."Down by the Riverside" has a long history and was known in Civil War times. It was sung by blacks...

    " - Hens, Foxes, Swamp Boy Frogs

Act 2 - Headin' West

  • "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill
    Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill
    "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" is an American folk song first published in 1888 and attributed to Thomas Casey and much later Charles Connolly . The song is a work song, and makes references to the construction of the American railroads in the mid-19th century. The tarriers of the title refers to...

    " / "I've Been Working on the Railroad
    I've Been Working on the Railroad
    "I've Been Working on the Railroad" is an American folk song. The first published version appeared as "Levee Song" in Carmina Princetonia, a book of Princeton University songs published in 1894...

    " / "Fireball Mail" - Geese Quartet
  • "The Old Chisholm Trail" - Saddlesore Swanson
  • "Who Shot That Hole in My Sombrero?" - Sombrero-wearing dog
  • "The End of Billy the Kid" - The Boothill Boys (vulture duo)
  • "Home on the Range
    Home on the Range (song)
    "Home on the Range" is the state song of the American state of Kansas. Dr. Brewster M. Higley originally wrote the words in a poem called "My Western Home" in the early 1870s in Smith County, Kansas. The poem was first published in a December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer under the title...

    " - Tex Ranger (dog)

Act 3 - The Gay '90s
The 1890s were sometimes referred to as the "Mauve Decade" - because William Henry Perkin's aniline dye allowed the widespread use of that colour in fashion - and also as the "Gay Nineties", under the then-current usage of the word "gay" which referred simply to merriment and frivolity, with no...

  • "She May Be Somebody's Mother" / "The Bowery
    The Bowery (Song)
    The Bowery is a song from the musical A Trip to Chinatown with music by Percy Gaunt and lyrics by Charles H. Hoyt. The musical toured the country for several years, then opened on Broadway in 1891.-Description:...

    " / "After the Ball
    After the Ball (song)
    After the Ball is a popular song written in 1891 by Charles K. Harris. The song is a classic waltz in 3/4 time. In the song, an older man tells his niece why he has never married. He saw his sweetheart kissing another man at a ball, and he refused to listen to her explanation...

    " - Geese Quartet
  • "Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight" - Geese Quartet & Mother Rabbit
  • "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey
    Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey
    " Bill Bailey", originally titled "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?" is a popular song published in 1902. It is commonly referred to as simply "Bill Bailey"....

    " - Showgirl Pig
  • "Sweet Adeline" - Blossom-Nose Murphy (goose) & Geese Quartet
  • "The Old Gray Mare
    The Old Gray Mare
    The Old Gray Mare is an old folk song, more recently regarded as a children's song. Although nominally about horses, it can also be interpreted as referring to women who are well past their prime....

    " - The Old Gray Mare & Geese Quartet
  • "Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage" - Bird in a Gilded Cage and Fox
  • "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay
    Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay
    "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" is a vaudeville and music hall song, copyrighted by Henry J. Sayers, and introduced in Boston, Massachusetts in Tuxedo in 1891. The song was best known in the version sung by Lottie Collins in London music halls in 1892....

    " - Storks, Geese Quartets (male and female), Pig, Bird in a Gilded Cage and Fox

Act 4 - Modern Times

  • "Ja-Da
    "Ja-Da " was a hit song written in 1918 by Bob Carleton . The title is sometimes rendered as "Jada." Ja-Da has flourished through the decades as a jazz standard....

    " / "Darktown Strutters' Ball
    Darktown Strutters' Ball
    "Darktown Strutters' Ball" is a popular song by Shelton Brooks, published in 1917. The song has been recorded many times and is considered a popular and jazz standard....

    " / "Singin' in the Rain
    Singin' in the Rain (song)
    "Singin' In the Rain" is a song with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, published in 1929. However, it is unclear exactly when the song was written with some claiming that the song was written and performed as early as 1927. The song was listed as Number 3 on AFI's 100 Years.....

    " - Geese Quartet
  • "A-Tisket, A-Tasket
    A-Tisket, A-Tasket
    A Tisket A Tasket is a nursery rhyme first recorded in America in the late nineteenth century. It was used as the basis for a very successful and highly regarded 1938 recording by Ella Fitzgerald...

    " / "Boo-Hoo" - College Quartet (male wolf, male fox and two female cats)
  • "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
    Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
    "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" is a song written in 1940 by Don Raye, with credit given to Ray McKinley. It follows the American boogie-woogie tradition of syncopated piano music. The song was first recorded in 1940 by the Will Bradley orchestra, with Freddie Slack on piano...

    " - Piano Pig
  • "Hound Dog
    Hound Dog (song)
    "Hound Dog" is a twelve-bar blues written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1952. Other early versions illustrate the differences among blues, country, and rock and roll in the mid-1950s. The 1956 remake by Elvis Presley is the best-known...

    " / "See You Later Alligator
    See You Later Alligator
    "See You Later, Alligator" is the title of an iconic rock and roll song of the 1950s.Originally entitled "Later Alligator", the song, based on a 12-bar blues chord structure , was written by Louisiana songwriter Robert Charles Guidry and first recorded by him under his professional name "Bobby...

    " - Rooster, Stork, Porcupine, Hound Dog and Alligator
  • "Shake, Rattle and Roll
    Shake, Rattle and Roll
    "Shake, Rattle and Roll" is a prototypical twelve bar blues-form rock and roll song, written in 1954 by Jesse Stone under his assumed songwriting name Charles E. Calhoun. It was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner, and most successfully by Bill Haley & His Comets...

    " - Rooster and Frog
  • "Twistin' U.S.A." - Motorcycle storks
  • "Joy to the World
    Joy to the World (Hoyt Axton song)
    "Joy to the World" is a song written by Hoyt Axton, and made famous by the band Three Dog Night. The song is also popularly known by its opening words, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog"...

    " - Modern Times cast (except Piano Pig and College Quartet)


  • "Yankee Doodle
    Yankee Doodle
    "Yankee Doodle" is a well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which dates back to the Seven Years' War. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut...

    " (reprise) - Eagle Sam
  • "Auld Lang Syne
    Auld Lang Syne
    "Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...

    " - Sam and Ollie
  • Exit music: "Stars and Stripes Forever"


On July 8, 1974, nine days after the attraction opened, 18-year-old Disneyland cast member Deborah Gail Stone was killed when she was crushed between the building's rotating wall and a stationary wall. Stone had ventured too close to the area between the rotating wall and the fixed stage wall and was caught between them. A guest in the adjacent theater heard her screams, but she was already dead when Disneyland staff got to her .

Afterwards, America Sings was closed for two days while safety lights were installed. Eventually, the walls were remodeled so that they would break away if a similar incident occurred.


America Sings closed on Sunday, April 10, 1988. According to Alice Davis, wife of the late Marc Davis, production of Disneyland's Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is a themed log flume attraction at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, based on the characters, stories and songs from the 1946 Disney film Song of the South...

 had gone way over budget
Cost overrun
A cost overrun, also known as a cost increase or budget overrun, is an unexpected cost incurred in excess of a budgeted amount due to an under-estimation of the actual cost during budgeting...

 and the only way to recover was to close down America Sings and use the characters from that attraction. Show sponsor Del Monte had already ended its sponsorship. The Carousel Theater was used as office space for ten years. During this time, the carousel theater's external appearance was unchanged. A large sign in front of the building showed Sorcerer Mickey alongside text reading, "Sorry, we're closed to imagineer a brand new attraction." For many years guests wondered what the new attraction was going to be. For a few years, during the planned 'Disney Decade' started by Michael Eisner
Michael Eisner
Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...

, a new audio-animatronic show called Plectu's Fantastic Intergalactic Revue was to open. It was to have been an outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

-themed musical-variety revue featuring a troupe of Audio-Animatronics itinerant alien musicians whose spaceship has landed in Tomorrowland. The idea was part of the original "Tomorrowland 2055" plan and was planned to open around 1994. However, Disneyland Paris, which opened in 1992, ended up costing billions of dollars, so the whole "Tomorrowland 2055" plan was scrapped due to budget considerations.

America Sings was finally replaced by Innoventions
Innoventions (Disneyland)
Innoventions is an attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It opened on July 3, 1998 as part of the New Tomorrowland, and focuses on near-futuristic technologies. It occupies the Carousel Theater, a round two-story building in which the outer half of the first floor rotates...

, a version of the Epcot
Epcot is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named...

 attraction of the same name, in 1998. Most of the Audio-Animatronic animals were moved to Disneyland's Splash Mountain log flume, which opened on Disneyland's 34th anniversary on July 17, 1989. In 1986, two years before America Sings officially closed, two audio-animatronic geese were taken out of the attraction. They had their "skin" removed, which left only a robotic skeleton, had their heads replaced, and were used as two talkative G2 droids in the queue to Star Tours
Star Tours
Star Tours is a motion simulator attraction currently operating at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris. The ride is based on the successful Star Wars film series created by George Lucas, making it the first Disney attraction based on a non-Disney produced film.The first...

, which would open in early 1987. Ironically, one of them (named G2-9T) still sings a modified "I've Been Working on the Railroad
I've Been Working on the Railroad
"I've Been Working on the Railroad" is an American folk song. The first published version appeared as "Levee Song" in Carmina Princetonia, a book of Princeton University songs published in 1894...

" (retitled "I've Been Working on the Same Droid"). As a result, the geese quartets in Acts 1 and 2 became trios until the ride ceased to operate. The rock and roll stork in the finale is now used by Imagineers for training new Animatronics programmers, acting as a final exam of sorts. The remainder of the show's Audio-Animatronics were recycled.

External links

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