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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazz Goes Disney

Goofin' on Disney: how movie songs for kids made their way into the jazz world.

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Duke Ellington Mary Poppins

Photo: Album cover art

Superjazzilicious: Duke Ellington was one of several major jazz artists who delved into the Disney canon.

Music has been an important part of the Disney formula ever since the studio began making films in the late 1920s, and the enormous success of the so-called “Magic Kingdom” has pushed many of its movie songs to the forefront of popular culture. Inevitably jazz artists were drawn to the Disney canon, and on this program we’ll hear recordings from Betty Carter, Bill Evans, Louis Prima, Peggy Lee, Sonny Rollins, and Sun Ra, among others.

Music Heard On This Episode

Pink Elephants On Parade
Sun Ra — Stay Awake (A & M Records, 1988)
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Pink Elephants On Parade
Sun Ra — Stay Awake (A & M Records, 1988)

Notes: Originally from the 1941 movie DUMBO.

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Alice In Wonderland
Bill Evans — Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961)

Notes: Originally from the 1951 movie of the same name.

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I'm Wishing
Betty Carter — Stay Awake (A & M Records, 1988)

Notes: Originally from the 1938 movie SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARVES.

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So This Is Love
Dave Brubeck — Dave Digs Disney (Columbia, 1957)

Notes: Originally from the 1950 movie CINDERELLA.

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A Spoonful of Sugar
Duke Ellington — Mary Poppins (Reprise, 1964)

Notes: Originally from the 1964 movie MARY POPPINS. Featuring Johnny Hodges on alto saxophone.

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Feed the Birds
Duke Ellington — Mary Poppins (Reprise, 1964)
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Chim Chim Cheree
Louis Armstrong — Satchmo Sings Songs the Disney Way (Walt Disney Records, 1968)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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He's a Tramp
Peggy Lee — Lady & the Tramp (Walt Disney Records, 1952)

Notes: From the 1952 movie LADY & THE TRAMP.

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I Wanna Be Like You
Louis Prima — The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Records, 1967)

Notes: From the 1967 movie THE JUNGLE BOOK.

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Tico Tico
Charlie Parker — South of the Border (Verve, 1951)

Notes: Originally from the 1942 propaganda movie SALUDOS AMIGOS. With Walter Bishop Jr. on piano, Teddy Kotick on bass, Jose Mangual on bongos, Luis Miranda on congas, and Roy Haynes on drums.

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Some Day My Prince Will Come
Miles Davis/John Coltrane — Some Day My Prince Will Come (Columbia/Legacy, 1961)

Notes: Originally from the 1938 movie SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARVES. With Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums.

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When You Wish Upon a Star
Sonny Rollins — Sonny Rollins & Co. 1964 (RCA/Bluebird, 1964)

Notes: Originally from the 1940 movie PINOCCHIO. With Herbie Hancock on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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