Song of the South’s 71st Anniversary and Other Site News

Today marks the 71st anniversary of Song of the South. The movie premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on November 12, 1946. There hasn’t been much news on the movie front, so if you hear anything please let me know! Take a step back in time and view photos of the movie’s premier, or check out the memorabilia section.

Other SongoftheSouth.net Site News

I’m continuing to collect Song of the South memorabilia and have at least 10-15 new items waiting to be posted to the Memorabilia section. Most are from other countries including Spain, Australia, and Italy. I’ve been collecting this memorabilia since 1998, and I’m continually amazed at how much I’m still discovering! This just goes to show how widely publicized and promoted this movie from the 1940’s through 1970’s.

I’m also working on a “newest additions” page/area where you can see the latest items added to the memorabilia database, and a search page, so you don’t have to scroll through every category. The database is getting that big! Also, a couple of visitors have noted that the Miscellany section is empty. I apologize for that, but I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be putting in there. Items will be added soon!

I’ve also started playing around with HTML5. My web site has adapted over the years as screen resolutions have increased (my original site was designed for 640×480 screens and was written in HTML 3.3!) and now that demographics have shown a major shift towards mobile devices and tablets, I’m working on making this site more mobile friendly. I have a lot of work and testing to do, and I don’t have a ton of spare time but I hope to make it a reality in the coming years.

Thanks for visiting! I’m always open to suggestions, so if you have an idea on how to make the site better, please feel free to reach out to me.

Posted in Site Updates, Song of the South | Leave a comment

Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg Wants Song of the South Released

Yesterday at Disney’s D23 Expo, the very talented Whoopi Goldberg joined the illustrious group of Disney Legends. She has the distinction of being the only Disney Legend to hold an Oscar, Tony, Emmy, and a Grammy to date. In an interview after the awards ceremony, she was asked by Yahoo! Movies Superfan interviewer Kevin Polowy what her favorite Disney movie was:

Polowy: “D23 is a celebration of all things Disney. What is your all-time favorite Disney movie?”

Goldberg: “You know what? I… I don’t know if I have an all-time favorite Disney movie, but I love them, I really love them all because they all have different things, you know. I… I’m trying to find a way to get people to start having a conversation about bringing Song of the South back, so we can talk about what it was, and where it came from and why it came out. I want people to start putting the crows, you know, in the merchandising. Because those crows sing the song in Dumbo that everybody remembers. So I want to… I want to highlight all the little stuff people sort of maybe miss in movies. So I don’t know if I have a favorite one… I love them all.”

The interview can be seen here:

This is truly wonderful to see Whoopi join other Disney Legends who support Song of the South’s release. Other Disney Legends who have shown their support over the years include Marc Davis (class of 1989), Alice Davis (class of 2004), Roy Disney (class of 1998) and Floyd Norman (class of 2007).

I sincerely hope she is successful in her efforts. Thank you Whoopi, and congratulations to you!

Posted in Articles, Song of the South | 8 Comments

Fan Artist Henrieke Goorhuis Published in WDCS

I was recently contacted by Song of the South fan artist Henrieke Goorhuis. In 2006, Henrieke submitted a drawing of Brer Rabbit to me, and it can still be seen in the Song of the South Fan Art section.

Hi there! In your fan art section there’s a fan drawing I made directly after first seeing Song of the South when it got aired by the BBC in 2006. The next year a cover I drew featuring Brer Rabbit got published in the Netherlands, my first comic publication. Now, another 10 years later, a Brer Rabbit comic I drew last year got published in the US. It’s actually for the first time since quite a while that a (new) comic got published in the states, and it was uncertain for a while if they were putting it in or not, and it is also uncertain if they’ll do it again. I thought it was pretty neat and that I’d let you know as a SotS collector! The story isn’t too interesting, but I had fun drawing the characters. The magazine is for sale right now in the US, WDCS 738.

That is certainly an accomplishment to have a comic published in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories! As some Disney fans may already know, WDCS has been in publication since 1940, and is the longest-running Disney comic book series in history. Over the decades it has featured many a Brer Rabbit comic (some of which can be seen in my Memorabilia section), but this is the first time in recent memory that a brand new Brer Rabbit comic has been published in the U.S.

The story is entitled “The Carrot Colossus”, and it was originally published in 2016 in the Dutch comic book “Donald Duck”. For Issue 738 in the U.S., it’s Story #4 in the comic book, and is now on sale as of May 24th!

The Carrot Colossus
Writer: Ruud Straatman
Artist: Henrieke Goorhuis
Colorist: Erik Rosengarten and Sanoma
Letterer: Nicole and Travis Seitler
Translation and Dialogue: David Gerstein with Henrieke Goorhuis and Erik Rosengarten

My sincere congratulations and thanks to Henrieke and the others involved for keeping Brer Rabbit and friends alive and well in the Disney comic books! I hope the feedback is favorable and more will be seen in the future.

Posted in Collectibles, Song of the South | 1 Comment

New Song of the South YouTube Channel

I have created a new YouTube Channel for Song of the South! No, I won’t be posting the movie (other people have that covered already) — my focus will primarily be posting rare audio recordings and other material that wouldn’t otherwise be available to the public.

My first video features the rare 1946 Radio Transcription Record (South 3), featuring a 15-minute radio show with Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers, Walt Disney, James Baskett (Uncle Remus & Brer Fox), Luana Patten (Ginny), Bobby Driscoll (Johnny), Nick Stewart (Brer Bear), Johnny Lee (Brer Rabbit), and Clarence Nash (Donald Duck):

I’ve had this record in my memorabilia collection for years, but up until now I had never been able to play it. 16″ transcription records were made primarily for radio stations. They’re much bigger than standard 12″ LPs and therefore won’t fit on most standard record players. They’re also fairly rare, because they were often destroyed after use!

Until now, this recording was nowhere to be found on the Internet. So of course it was my duty to fix that! I either needed to locate someone with a transcription turntable, or purchase one for myself. I decided to go the purchase route, and I’m glad I did. The plinth (wood base) is custom built, and the turntable is a vintage 1950’s era Rek-O-Kut model CVS-12 (variable speed 25-100 RPM). The tone arm is model S-120 and the cartridge is a GE VRII with dual heads so I can play both transcription and 78rpm records. Special thanks to Oleg for building it!

This is only the beginning. Look for more rare audio recordings in the future!

Posted in Memorabilia, Site Updates, Song of the South | 1 Comment

Memorabilia Corner: Featuring Song of the South Memorabilia

It’s hard to believe that I started collecting Song of the South memorabilia over 20 years ago. And next year will mark 20 years since I stood up my first Song of the South memorabilia web site on Tripod (remember them?) featuring my modest collection of 15 books and records.

A lot has changed since 1998. My Song of the South memorabilia collection is now approaching 500 unique items, and I think it’s time to feature some of these items from time to time in this new blog series I’m going to call “Memorabilia Corner” for now. Whether you’re a Disneyana collector or just looking to rekindle a fond childhood memory, I hope you enjoy!

Capitol Records’ Tales of Uncle Remus (CC-40) (1947)

For my first article, it’s only fitting that we feature the first piece of memorabilia I ever collected (and what subsequently got me to start collecting.) From 1946: Capitol Records’ “Tales of Uncle Remus” (CC-40) is a set of three 78 RPM records featuring the original cast from Song of the South, and the music of Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers. This was a very popular set, and if you’re looking for one they can often be found for under $30 on sites like eBay.

Don’t have a record player that plays 78 RPM? No problem! Thanks to YouTube, you can hear the album for yourself.

Sides 1-3:

Sides 4-6:

This set is the single most reissued Song of the South album I know of. Are you ready for this? In addition to originally releasing the album as CC-40, they also reissued it under the following albums (click on the links for more info on each):

  • c.1948: Tales of Uncle Remus (DC-116) – A reissue on “Superflex” (a trademark for their unbreakable 78 RPM records)
  • c. 1948: Tales of Uncle Remus (DCN-116) – Identical to DC-116 except it’s a box set instead of the book-style binding of the original.
  • 1949: Tales of Uncle Remus (CCF-3008) – 45 RPM set, highly popular due to its ability to play in modern record players. This one has so many different record labels that it will need its own article someday!
  • 1962: Tales of Uncle Remus (J-3265) – Reissued as a 33 1/3 album
  • 1975: Tales of Uncle Remus (L 6986) – Final release on 33 1/3 album in partnership with ZIV International/Wonderland Records. This is probably the least desirable of the above examples, as they decided to remove the story of Brer Rabbit Runs Away to make room for “Tickety Tock” on Side B.

Brer Rabbit Runs Away (CAS-3108)

In addition to the above albums, they also released each story separately on both 78RPM and 45 RPM records. These are neat to find with their original sleeves as they have unique artwork I haven’t found on any other piece of memorabilia:

These were released in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. They were likely released in other countries as well, but those remain to be discovered!

I hope you have enjoyed the first article. If there’s a particular piece of memorabilia you’d like to see me cover in a future article, please contact me and let me know! And, if you happen to have a piece of memorabilia that’s on my Wanted List, I am very interested in hearing from you as well. Until then… Keep Collecting!

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Disney Ignored Song of the South Shareholder Proposal

As Disney shareholders may be aware, asking about Song of the South’s release became somewhat of a tradition at the Disney shareholder meetings starting in 2006. Back in 2011, shareholder Matthew Hansen asked Disney CEO Robert Iger about releasing Song of the South. In short, Iger responded, “[J]ust remember it as it was, and don’t expect to see it again for… at least for awhile, if ever.” Full transcript and audio can be found here.

Undeterred, Hansen began to work on a shareholder proposal. In September of 2015, on vintage Song of the South letterhead, he wrote to Disney:

I respectfully submit the enclosed shareholder proposal for inclusion in the 2016 proxy statement pursuant to the 2015 proxy statement of The Walt Disney Company and in accordance with Rule 14a-8 ofthe Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. I intend to present the proposal at the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Disney received the proposal and responded to him, saying that the Disney Board of Directors would review it. A few weeks later, Disney’s legal team WilmerHale responded in a 6-page letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Basically, they asked them to allow Disney to ignore the proposal, “pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(7), on the basis that the Shareholder Proposal involves matters that relate to the ordinary business operations of the Company.” Here is an excerpt from Disney’s response:

In addition to interfering with management’s day-to-day operations, the Shareholder Proposal also seeks to “micro-manage” the Company. Specifically, the Shareholder Proposal instructs the Company to release one particular film (Song of the South) from among its approximately 2,900 titles, through a specific medium (Blu-ray) and within a specific timeframe (in connection with its 70th anniversary). Determinations about what, how and when to release a particular title are inherently complex, and shareholders as a group are not in a position to make informed decisions on such matters.

How’s that for arrogance? The SEC concurred, saying that they would “not recommend enforcement action to the Commission if Disney omits the proposal from its proxy materials”, effectively greenlighting Disney to ignore Hansen’s proposal.

The full document containing all correspondence between the parties is available for viewing on the SEC web site: https://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cf-noaction/14a-8/2015/matthewhansen112315-14a8.pdf

Matthew Hansen kindly provided me with the following backstory, which I will include here in its entirety:

It has been an interesting journey that began when I asked Bob Iger at the 2011 Annual Meeting that took place in SLC, if they would release the film. His stern response (that can be heard in shareholder archives, or I have a copy of it downloaded) prompted me to want to attempt a shareholder proposal that would line up with the 70th anniversary – since we all know Disney obsesses over anniversaries with their home video catalog releases. (But apparently me specifying the 70th they claimed as “micro-managing” the company. Go figure.).

Since I had to hold a certain amount of shares for a year it required some waiting before I could move forward with anything. But once I did it has been interesting. Everyone I showed my proposal to loved it. I even received support from someone I felt was very important to my cause – animator Floyd Norman! I even met him twice this summer. To sum up what I gathered from talking with him – Bob Iger for some reason hates the film, and I fear while he is CEO it won’t see the light of day. I have a UK VHS of the film and watched a converted digital copy of it recently during a flight to CA and I can’t figure out why he would feel that way about it.

Anyways, one of their many reasons in their SIX pages to the SEC is that the film has not been a matter of widespread debate and as they claim only been brought up at a few meetings and requested by a few ardent fans – which I don’t believe. The fact that the then-chairman of the board John Pepper chuckled and said “We almost made it through the meeting” [without someone mentioning Song of the South] when I asked my question in 2011 because it was an almost annual question, which was then followed by the Rose Wagner theater packed full of shareholders cheering and applauding my question – makes it hard for me to believe them when they claim it has been only a “few” meetings and ardent fans requesting it.

Which is why I am hoping that we can maybe get some more discussion about the film to show them it isn’t just a small group of ardent fans that want this film. One friend I showed this to told me it is pretty sad that in a day when a film such as 12 Years a Slave can win Best Picture, they are still withholding Song of the South from being released – yet feel free to use just about everything from it to market their parks. One such instance, aside from the obvious ride, was an ad we received in the mail showing days kids had off from school in the fall as times we could plan to come to Disneyland and it called them “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Days” and had Mr Blue Bird to help advertise.

It seems that Disney is content with ignoring its shareholders and fans who wish to legally own this movie for themselves. But they certainly have no qualms about continuing to exploit and profit off of the film’s legacy via Splash Mountain and the Academy Award winning song Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. It’s a sad reality, but one that needs to be shared with the public. A sincere thank you to Matthew Hansen for his efforts, and perhaps someday Disney will stop snubbing some of the very people that help keep them profitable.

Posted in Articles, Rumors, Song of the South | 11 Comments

Disney Releases Splash Mountain Tsum Tsum Plush Toys

Disney has recently released the Splash Mountain Tsum Plush Collection featuring characters from Splash Mountain (and Song of the South). Each plush is priced at $5.99 and measures 3 1/2″, limit 5 per character. In the collection is Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, Mr. Bluebird, Sis Possum (first ever as a plush), and one of the Boothill Boys (“Vulture Undertaker”). This is one of the first Splash Mountain plush collections to be released by Disney in many years. The last notable example was the Splash Mountain “Beanie Babies” of the 1990’s.

They are available to purchase at the Disney Store. Details for each TsumTsum can be found below. Special thanks to Nike Fleming for the news report!

Br’er Rabbit

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!
Find your Laughing Place along with Br’er Rabbit and a mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with floppy ears and fluffy tail
  • 70th Anniversary – Br’er Rabbit made his screen debut in Walt Disney’s Song of the South on November 12, 1946
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported

Br’er Bear

Knockout!
Find your Laughing Place along with Br’er Bear and a mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with felt hat, plush ears, tail, and furry tuft
  • 70th Anniversary – Br’er Bear made his screen debut in Walt Disney’s Song of the South on November 12, 1946
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported

Br’er Fox

Capture your heart
Find your Laughing Place along with Br’er Fox and a mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with foam hat, furry tufts and tail
  • 70th Anniversary – Br’er Fox made his screen debut in Walt Disney’s Song of the South on November 12, 1946
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported

Mr. Bluebird

On your shoulder
Find your Laughing Place along with Mr. Bluebird and a mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with felt hat
  • Foam cane, wings and tailfeathers
  • 70th Anniversary – Mr. Bluebird made his screen debut in Walt Disney’s Song of the South on November 12, 1946
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported

Sis Possum

How Do You Do?
Find your Laughing Place along with Sis Possum and a mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountainattraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with felt bow and skirt
  • Plush embroidered tail
  • 70th Anniversary – Sis Possum made her screen debut in Walt Disney’s Song of the South on November 12, 1946
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported

Vulture Undertaker

Boothill boy
The Vulture Undertaker can never be a buzzkill for this mighty satisfactual collection of Mini ”Tsum Tsum” Plush critters from our classic Splash Mountainattraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, each sold separately.

  • Mini ”Tsum Tsum” plush
  • Embroidered features
  • Soft, squeezable fill with beans in belly
  • Fuzzy plush texturing
  • Plussed with felt hat, feathery beard, and foam wings
  • The Vulture Undertaker was originally featured as one of the ”Boothill Boys” in America Sings at Disneyland from 1974 to 1988
  • Splash Mountain first opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1989 and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 2, 1992
  • Part of our Splash Mountain ”Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection, each sold separately
  • Polyester / polyethylene pellets
  • 3 1/2” L
  • Imported
Posted in Collectibles, Splash Mountain | Leave a comment

Song of the South Turns 70 – And Other News

November 12th marked the 70th anniversary of Song of the South. The movie premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia in 1946. I’m unaware of any related collectibles being released for the anniversary, so if you come across anything please let me know.

One reader also pointed out that the Song of the South Petition had been closed at Change.org. This is normal (they close petitions after a certain amount of time.) I have since reopened it so additional signatures can be added. We’re up over 2,000 signatures now; please spread the word.

I missed this back in July when it was published, but I’d like to feature this now: an excellent article over at MoviePilot.com written by Kyle Blanchette on why “Song of the South” Should Be Released Now. If you haven’t read it already, I would highly recommend doing so!

You probably noticed that the site isn’t getting updated as often as it used to. It’s hard to believe that I created this site over 15 years ago! Sadly I don’t have as much time as I used to as a young twenty-something, so my attention has shifted to other aspects of my life. That’s not to say I’m not listening though! Please always feel free to contact me with any Song of the South news or release rumors you might have.

That being said, there’s a couple of potentially interesting news items in the works, so please check back in the coming months! I promise I’ll update the site as soon as I have more info.

Posted in Articles, Site Updates, Song of the South | Comments Off on Song of the South Turns 70 – And Other News

Today is Song of the South’s 69th Anniversary

Song of the South premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on November 12, 1946. The last time the movie was released in theaters was for the 40th anniversary in 1986. Since then, Disney has locked the film away and refuses to release it in the U.S. Will they finally release the film for its 70th anniversary? I’ll be honest, I’m not holding my breath. Both 50th and 60th anniversaries came and went with nothing more than a few collectibles. To this day, Disney continues to profit off the movie without ever releasing it in the U.S.

For everyone out there tired of waiting for Disney to just release Song of the South on DVD and be done with it, there are plenty of web sites out there selling [unofficial] copies of the movie. Pick one up for yourself or a loved one this Christmas. Hey, if Disney wants to lose money to bootleggers, more power to the bootleggers! But, if you’re still holding out for an official Disney release, there are several ways you can let Disney know you want it:

  1. Sign the new petition over at Change.org.  Since last year, we’ve gotten nearly 1,300 signatures. Our old petitions have unfortunately been lost to time–PetitionOnline.com had over 30,000 signatures before shutting down last year, and the original petition over at UncleRemusPages.com is no longer being maintained; it had reached over 100,000 signatures.
  2. Like Song of the South on Facebook and share this site with friends and family. Educate them about the only Academy Award-winning film that you can’t even buy!
  3. Contact Disney! Bombard them with emails, phone calls, whatever. Some dedicated individuals have even made a tradition out of bringing up Song of the South at shareholder meetings.
  4. Nominate Song of the South to be added to the National Film Registry. You can send an email to Donna Ross, Boards Assistant of the National Film Preservation Board, explaining why you feel that the film is culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. I’d say winning 2 Academy Awards is pretty significant, wouldn’t you? Or how about the fact that James Baskett was the first African American man to win an Academy Award?
Posted in Articles, Site Updates, Song of the South | Comments Off on Today is Song of the South’s 69th Anniversary

Happy 68th Birthday, Song of the South!

On November 12, 1946, Song of the South premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out photos from the world premier, courtesy of the Georgia State University Library.

Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign the new petition over at Change.org. The old petition was hosted at PetitionOnline.com, which has since shut down.

And, of course, you can always check out our FAQ on other steps you can take to encourage Disney to release this movie to the American public!

Posted in Articles, Song of the South | Comments Off on Happy 68th Birthday, Song of the South!