Fermata lecture Event as iCalendar

(Creative Events, Music)

21 March 2018

5 - 6:30pm

Venue: Music Theatre, School of Music

Location: 6 Symonds Street, Auckland Central

Host: School of Music

Cost: Free admission

Contact email: creative@auckland.ac.nz

Gregory Camp
Dr Gregory Camp

Founded by Associate Professor Allan Badley and Senior Lecturer Davinia Caddy, the series aims to showcase the distinctive specialisms and issues pertaining to the study and history of music, featuring our staff's exciting research.



School of Music Lecturer Dr Gregory Camp will present at this month's Fermata.

Davy Crockett, Slue-Foot Sue and the Triple R: Folksong and Fakesong in Walt Disney’s 1950s

During the 1950s the Walt Disney Studio become particularly concerned with creating an idealised vision of America’s past, and Disney and his co-creators enlisted music to help achieve this. Through careful use of folksong material as well as new music written in a style that negotiates between folksong and contemporary popular music (fakesong), Disney musicalised the past in a way that spoke to the present. This paper will examine the musical materials and cultural meanings of this fakesong across Disney’s 1950s film, television, and theme park texts. The studio’s western films and television shows of the late 1950s include examples of fakesong in ballads or dance-songs, most famously the Ballad of Davy CrockettWestward Ho the Wagons (1956) features newly-composed ballads that musicalise the journey of a wagon train and The Light in the Forest (1958) uses a dance scene to illustrate the protagonist’s outsider status. The Mickey Mouse Club presented 1950s children with a great deal of music, especially in serials like Spin and Marty and Annette. These television episodes proffer group singing (of both fakesong and folksong) as a constant presence in American childhood. Finally, Disneyland allowed audiences to experience American music in real life: Main Street, U.S.A., the entry area to the park, created a turn-of-the-century soundscape, and the Golden Horseshoe Review was a sanitised version of a wild west saloon show. These examples demonstrate the centrality of music to the Disney studio as its products and their presentation of the past became an integral part of daily life in mid-century America.