Disney Records celebrates 50 years; unveils classics on iTunes, 'The Music Behind the Magic' CD & exhibition

MUMBAI: In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Walt Disney Records has lined up a preservation and restoration process for the label‘s earliest classic recordings and an archival CD collection and exhibition titled The Music Behind the Magic.

As part of this celebration, the label will begin releasing these restored titles and will be available through digital outlets, including iTunes, marking the release of Disneyland and Buena Vista records. The vast quantity of archive song material consists of classic Disney songs, original material performed by popular artists of the day and movie soundtracks. These songs will be digitally restored beyond the sonic brilliance of the original masters, allowing them to sound better than they did when they were first issued nearly 50 years ago, informs an official release.

Walt Disney Records‘ The Archive Collection is a special iTunes digital-only release featuring 50 WDR recordings from a wide range of artists including, Cliff Edwards (voice of Jiminy Cricket), Mary Martin, Hayley Mills, Burl Ives, Louis Prima, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Armstrong, Little Richard, Peter Frampton, They Might Be Giants, The Cheetah Girls and many more. The Archive Collection will be available on iTunes beginning November 7.

In addition to the digital releases, the label will also unveil a special two disc commemorative edition, Disney‘s The Music Behind the Magic. The collection highlights 50 of the most loved musical classics from movies, television shows, theme parks, Broadway musicals and unique WDR recordings.

These will include, Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White (first soundtrack), When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio (theme song for TWDC), The Ballad of Davy Crockett (first single from a television show), Tall Paul by Annette Funicello (the label‘s first teen sensation), tracks from Mary Poppins (album held the #1 position on Billboard‘s Top 200 Chart for 14 weeks) and Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King (soundtrack earned WDR its first Diamond Award from the RIAA, certifying sales of 10 million units), adds the release.

The 50th anniversary celebration will continue as Walt Disney Records‘ and The Walt Disney Company‘s legacy is brought to life with an exhibit, also titled Disney: The Music Behind the Magic. Opening 5 November, the exhibit will be housed at Seattle‘s Experience Music Project (EMP) for one year before traveling to cities across the U.S. and around the world.

Disney: The Music Behind the Magic claims to be the first comprehensive exhibit devoted to exploring and examining the role music has played in The Walt Disney Company‘s successes and its cultural impact over the past 80 years.

"There is no other record label in the history of the industry with as diverse and eclectic a catalog as Walt Disney Records," said Walt Disney Records Sr vice president/general manager Robert Marick. "Our catalog is comprised of 15,000 recordings including releases from a variety of superstars from every era -- from Louis Armstrong to Peggy Lee to Annette Funicello and Christina Aguilera."

Marick adds, "Music has always played an integral role in the success of all facets of The Walt Disney Company. The Experience Music Project exhibit captures, for the very first time, the lasting legacy and impact Disney has made in the music industry and pop culture around the world. The exhibit, along with our catalog preservation efforts, Commemorative Edition two-disc release and Billboard Tribute Issue are terrific ways to celebrate the label‘s 50th Anniversary."

Since its launch as Disneyland Records by Walt and Roy Disney in 1956, the label has earned more than 275 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards from the R.I.A.A., 22 Grammys and 18 Academy Awards. The label started as an extension of The Walt Disney Company‘s film, television and theme park projects. Well-known offerings such as High School Musical (3x platinum), the Disneymania franchise (3 million units), The Lion King franchise (15+ million units) and Mary Poppins (3x platinum) showcase the enduring popularity of WDR‘s catalog, with several releases ranking among the top-selling singles and soundtracks of all time.

Details of the label‘s contribution to the music industry and The Walt Disney Company for its 50th celebration will be featured in the forthcoming Billboard Magazine Tribute issue, on sale 4 November.

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