Entertainment Magazine

Davy Crockett Turns 50

Disneyland Honors
Hollywood Legend Fess Parker
Disneyland's Highest Honor -
a Personalized Window at Disneyland

December 15, 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of Fess Parker's television debut as Davy Crockett, known to the baby-boomer generation simply as "The King of the Wild Frontier."

In conjunction with Disneyland's upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration that starts May 5, 2005, Fess will receive Disneyland's highest honor, a personalized window during a dedication ceremony on December 15 at 10am in Frontierland.

The tradition of honoring individuals with personalized decorative windows was started on Main Street, U.S.A. by Walt Disney and has continued throughout the Disney parks worldwide.

For the first time in the history of Disneyland window dedications, Fess' salute will also include an entirely rethemed building facade which pays tribute to his portrayal of Davy Crockett, along with his sidekick Georgie Russel, played by the late actor Buddy Ebsen.

Fess and Buddy were also featured on the Disneyland Opening Day Special, July 17, 1955.

With the release of "Davy Crockett -- Indian Fighter" in 1954, Davy Crockett quickly became a national phenomenon (attracting well over 52 million television viewers) and transformed Fess into a national idol.

His traditional 'coonskin' cap was purchased by nearly 5,000 people each day during the height of the Davy Crockett craze. The series' theme song, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," sold over three-quarters of a million copies of sheet music and over 10 million records.

The "Davy Crockett" series quickly established Fess as one of Hollywood's top stars. While under contract to Walt Disney, he starred in six motion pictures, all box office hits: "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier" (1955), "Westward Ho the Wagons!" (1956), "The Great Locomotive Chase" (1956), "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" (1956), "Old Yeller" (1957), and "The Light in the Forest" (1958).

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