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Monday, August 24, 2015

A Practically Perfect Judge of Talent

In 1963, Walt Disney asked his new Mary Poppins to perform at his Magic Kingdom to both promote the park and the film. Ms. Julie Andrews was overjoyed by the opportunity and wished to perform with The Golden Horseshoe's very own Wally Boag. They sang "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" and it was a memorable moment for everyone who was lucky enough to be present.

But why would Julie choose Wally Boag to sing with? As you may remember from other articles about The Golden Horseshoe, Walt Disney didn't hire the sort of amateur singers and performers that are synonymous with theme parks these days. His original performers in DISNEYLAND were all well-known singers who had illustrious careers prior to their time at DISNEYLAND and Wally was no exception. He had performed around the world in huge stage productions on prestigious stages. One of these productions was in England's storied East End, where he performed in a variety show. One of his acts was to invite children on the stage and make amazing balloon animals while he told jokes and sang songs.

During one fateful performance, he invited a young girl onto the stage- 12 year old "Julie" who he joked around with, assuming she was a regular kid like the others who would nervously stutter their names before rushing off the stage, never to be seen or heard from again. This 12 year old girl was no regular child- it was Julie Andrews, who seemed different from the normal kids. Wally chose to have her sing along with him and she literally had the audience on their knees. They couldn't believe that this young girl could sing so beautifully. She was offered a job on the show and was charming audiences from then on.

So when her fame led her to DISNEYLAND, there was only one person she was interested in singing with- the man who gave her the chance to show off her talent and begin her amazing career.