||Thurl was part of Disney television from
the very beginning. The second episode of Disneyland from
November 3, 1954, was a slightly shortened version of Alice in
Wonderland, which includes the Mellomen as the voices of the
card painters. Throughout the first season, the Mellomen were heard
often on the Disneyland show. They sang the theme song for Davy
Crockett (1:42) for shows airing December, 16 1954, January
26, 1955, and February 23, 1955.
Their first on-screen appearance for Disneyland came February
16, 1955, an an episode called "Cavalcade of Songs". Part
of the show is devoted to the film Lady and the Tramp, and
features the Mellomen and Peggy Lee. The Mellomen sing a couple of
songs as the Pound Hounds, including "Home
Sweet Home" (1:44).
The Mellomen: Max Smith, Bill
Thurl, and Bob Stevens
Thurl's voice was heard on the show Dateline Disneyland,
the 90 minute special, broadcast live on opening day at Disneyland
July 17, 1955.
In addition to singing the theme for Davy Crockett, the Mellomen
sang the theme song for many other popular Disney shows
including Zorro (0:58) and The
Mickey Mouse Club (2:42). Thurl also sang the theme for the Hardy
Boys (0:38) and The Boys of the Western Sea, both
serials on the Mickey Mouse Club.
The Mellomen on the Fourth
The Mellomen also showed up on "The Fourth Anniversary
Show", on September 11, 1957. During this show Walt Disney
highlights some of the new episodes planned for the coming season.
Fess Parker, who had played Davy Crockett a couple of years earlier,
introduces a new western called the Saga of Andy Burnett.
Fess sings the theme song and the Mellomen appear on-screen as his
When the Disneyland show had changed networks in 1961 and
it was renamed The Wonderful World of Color. Thurl's voice is
easy to hear on the new theme for the show.
Max Smith, Thurl, Walt
Disney, Bill Cole, and Bill Lee in the introduction from
The Mellomen also appeared on-screen for The Wonderful World
of Color. The three-part series "Gallegher", which
first aired January 24, 1965, opens with Walt Disney in a
turn-of-the-century barber shop. He introduces the show, but can't
seem to remember the name of the title character. The Mellomen,
playing the part of a barbershop quartet, sing the theme song "Gallegher"
(1:58) to help remind him. It should be noted, the the Mellomen only
appeared at the beginning of the first episode of the three-part
series of "Gallegher".
Many of these programs were broadcast again in subsequent years.
For example, "Cavalcade of Songs" aired three times in
1955, again in 1962, and again in 1971. The portion of the show
devoted to Lady and the Tramp which features Peggy Lee and
the Mellomen is available on the Platinum Edition DVD released in
Undoubtedly, Thurl and the Mellomen performed on many other
Disney television projects. Many of the short animated films
featuring Thurl were also shown on the Disneyland television
show. One example is Donald and the Wheel, which was part of
the program "Man on Wheels" first broadcast March 26,
1967. For more details about the Disney films on which Thurl worked,
see the Disney Films page.
Much more information about the history of Disney television is
available in the book The Wonderful World of Disney Television
by Bill Cotter.