THE ORIGINAL "THAT DARN CAT" 1965 SOUNDTRACK - NOW ON AMAZON @ 4 May 2010 07:00 PM
Without much fanfare -- actually little at all -- a selection of classic Disneyland and Buena Vista albums are making their way quietly onto amazon.com as downloads. One of these is especially appropriate, though unintentionally, because of yet another recent passing.
The late Dorothy Provine made her Disney theatrical film debut in That Darn Cat, a highly successful 1965 comedy about a cat who leads FBI agents to solve a kidnapping. It was also Hayley Mills' last film for Walt himself, returning to the studio years later for the Disney Channel film, Parent Trap 2. That Darn Cat also cemented Dean Jones as a Disney comedy lead. It was also cool to see TV faces appear in the film like Grayson Hall (Dark Shadows), William Demarest (My Three Sons) and Frank Gorshin (Batman).
The soundtrack album for That Darn Cat was unusual for the in-house label in that it was more akin to the kind of soundtrack made by RCA or Columbia -- a straight background music disc with scattered vocals. Disneyland usually released story records with soundtrack dialogue or studio cast re-enactments. That Darn Cat was a Buena Vista LP and thus aimed at teens and adults.
The album opens with Louis Prima's schmoozy single version of the title song and concludes with Bobby Troup singing the same song, albeit with the ending lyrics included. In the movie, this Sherman Brothers song was sung by Bobby Darin, but its' a good guess that Disney was not able to negotiate a recording with Darin's label, Atco/Atlantic. Though it is a shame that this was not released on vinyl, the other versions are quite entertaining.
But what makes this album a must for Disney fans is that it is one of the very few, if not the only one, to feature music by staff composer Bob Brunner. Thus you get a musical taste of the kind of thing Brunner would also serve up for so many Disney comedies of the 1970's, especially comedic suspense themes and groovy surfing stuff. It's a rare chance to hear this kind of music in full stereo.
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