Disney: A Fess Parker Interview
I’ve received requests to post about Disney events I’ve hosted, so I’ll lead with one of my favorites: an interview I did with Fess Parker (Disney’s Davy Crockett) at the 2004 Walt Disney Art Classics Convention at the Disneyland Resort.
Standing 6’5″ (6’7″ in cowboy boots), with a full head of silver hair and his signature basso profundo Texas drawl, Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. remains a very imposing gentleman. If he wasn’t such a gentleman, he’d be downright intimidating.
Fess Parker politely ponders another insipid question from Host Craig Hodgkins
Unlike some of the other Disney Legends with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work, I hadn’t met Fess until the morning of our seminar. But, like many of those hired personally by Walt (who seemed to have a special knack for hiring nice folks), he was a good interview (forthcoming, self-deprecating and generous with his time) and a good sport. I’d written a parody song medley with new lyrics to both the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone theme songs to perform as part of the show intro, and asked him to play along when he got on stage. He gladly did (“Ya know, Craig, I was listening backstage, and I don’t think you got all of those words quite right…”), then led the audience in a verse of the real “Crockett” tune, which was a big hit.
The hour-plus interview was a lot of fun, with plenty of give and take and unique insights on Walt Disney, the Davy Crockett films, the Daniel Boone series on NBC, and his current success as a vintner, but instead of me trying to remember everything, I’ve linked to a contemporary account written by Doug Marsh and posted on one of the many great Disney fan sites out there, Laughingplace.com. Check it out here. Just follow the page directions to read the whole article. Plenty of great photos from my presentation, too.
For a flashback to one of my events with Disney Legend Mary Costa (Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty), click here. For songwriter Richard Sherman, click HERE.
PS: Here’s a photo of the pre-interview song. My voice sounds better in photographs. But just in case you don’t believe me, click HERE for the live event video of my “Ballad of Fess Parker.” Speaking of photographs, click HERE for some great photos of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett.