MOUSE TRACKS

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Oh boy! I’ve been waiting for this one. Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar is coming out next month. Here’s the book’s cover – drawn by George Peed, brother of Bill Peet, best known for designing the characters for The Mighty Hercules, doing Peter Pan Record sleeves and Disney board game art.

Hollis and Ehrbar explain why Walt and Roy O. Disney resisted going into the record business for over three decades, until the success of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” convinced Roy to take the plunge. Under the guidance of its first president, Jimmy Johnson, the record company experienced both feast and famine in the retail marketplace. Detailed in the book are the teen-pop success of Annette Funicello, the Mary Poppins phenomenon, a Disney-style “British invasion,” and even a low period when sagging sales forced Walt to suggest closing the division down. “There aren’t many areas of Disney left to be chronicled, and this is a subject that means a lot to us,” says Hollis.

A new website, mousetracksonline.com has gone live, and it will be expanded in May with updates and special information corresponding to the release of the book.