Firehouse Five Plus Two

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The band with Bing Crosby for an appearance on his CBS radio program, 1950.

The Firehouse Five Plus Two was a Dixieland jazz band, popular in the 1950s, consisting of members of the Walt Disney Studios animation department;

Members[edit]

Later, other Disney artists joined in; Jimmy MacDonald, George Probert, Dick Roberts, Ralph Ball and George Bruns. The band was active from 1949 to 1972, playing and recording while never giving up their day jobs as animators and artists with the Walt Disney Studios.

Televised appearances[edit]

The band appeared in several Disney television specials, including the very first special in 1950, One Hour In Wonderland.[1] They also appeared on the early Mickey Mouse Club television shows[2] and appeared in animated form in the 1953 Goofy animated short, "How to Dance"[3] and the 1999 direct to video Christmas film Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas in the Gift of the Magi sequence.

Besides appearing in Disney productions, the band also made an appearance with Teresa Brewer in the 1951 Universal short "Teresa Brewer and the Firehouse Five Plus Two"[4] and appeared as themselves in the 1951 Kathryn Grayson film Grounds for Marriage[5]

In 1958-59 blues singer Barbara Dane made several appearances with the Firehouse Five plus Two on Bobby Troup's ABC television series "Stars of Jazz." In her last appearance with them she performed the trad jazz standard "Old Fashioned Love." It was her live performance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with the Firehouse Five opposite Louis Armstrong and his band that led to her performance on the Timex Jazz Spectacular with Armstrong singing the same song.

Discography[edit]

The band recorded at least thirteen LP records, starting in 1949. The last album, Live at Earthquake McGoon's was recorded in 1970 in San Francisco. They have subsequently been re-released on CD and remain available.

  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story, Part One
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story, Part Two
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story, Part Three
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes To Sea
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes South
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Favorites
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Plays for Lovers
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Crashes a Party
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes To a Fire
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Around the World
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two At Disneyland
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Twenty Years Later
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two Live at Earthquake McGoon's

In popular culture[edit]

In early Pogo comic strips, former Disney animator Walt Kelly featured a band called "The Firehouse Five Glee and Pilau Society". One 1950 Sunday strip featured a caricature of Ward Kimball as "Kimbo Cat".[6] Appeared as The Firehouse Five Plus Two on "A Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters" on February 22, 1950 sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes. The band appeared in cartoon form in the Goofy cartoon, How to Dance.

The band received an homage in the ending of the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, with the jazz-playing alligator Louis now belonging to a group called "The Firefly Five Plus Lou".

In 1977, comedian Ray Stevens recorded a "chicken clucking" version of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" under the name "Henhouse Five Plus Too".

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0251912/
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFZr-n5ppJA
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045890/
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1144523/
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042526/
  6. ^ R.C. Harvey; "Swamp Talk" entry for 1950-04-16; in Through the Wild Blue Yonder, Volume 1 of the complete Pogo, published by Fantagraphics (2001); also online at http://www.fantagraphics.com/books/the-unexpurgated-swamp-talk-annotations-from-pogo-vol.-1.html