Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 682: 76 Trombones

One of my favorite musicals of all time is, of course, The Music Man. I'm not totally sure how or when it became one of my favorite musicals, but I remember watching the TV movie version as a kid. I had it recorded on a VHS tape (except for the first couple of minutes...it started during the middle of the first song). Regardless, I watched it all the time, and I've introduced it to many of my friends since then.

When my roommate Ashley and I found out that our roommate Hannah hadn't seen The Music Man, we knew that we had work to do. We're constantly singing music from musicals, including this one, so it only makes sense for her to see the musical itself, right? Correct. 100% correct.

But whenever I hear 76 Trombones, a different thought comes to mind. Whenever you hear the song, I feel like a lot of people laugh because really, what band has 76 trombones performing? Not many, that's for sure. In my High School we were lucky to have 3 or 4, and here at college I think we probably have around 10. Granted, these were both smaller schools, so I suppose it's entirely possible to have 76 trombones, but I've never seen it...except for one time.

One of my favorite moments of the opening of Disneyland, which took place on July 17, 1955, was the parade, led by none other than 76 trombones!  And when Disney does something, he does it right. The actual composer of the musical, Meredith Willson, was present as a special guest of Walt himself. Art Linkletter, one of the hosts of the opening, asks Willson what he sees coming up Main Street, and there, to the joy of everyone, is 76 trombones playing the song itself. Willson went on during the special to actually conduct the group in a standstill performance as well.

Footage of the moment isn't on YouTube, but you can find video of it out there. I know I have it on a Disneyland DVD that's part of the Collector Series, so it does exist! But if you want some proof, here's a picture:


And since we've been talking about the song all day, you can listen to it here too!


We did finally get Hannah to watch The Music Man, and while Ashley and I watched it as kids, finding sympathy for The Music Man himself, Hannah didn't think so. Con Man forever. It was a debate we had throughout the movie, trying to figure out if we would feel the same way if we saw the film for the first time. Honestly, I still don't know how I would feel if I saw it for the first time today instead of as a kid. I guess we'll never know, will we?

Have a magical day!