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A behindtheears look at Disneyland
music doesn't seem quite so sweet off Disneyland's Royal Street.
On the first of this year, Disneyland lost one of its most memorable
characters, beloved New Orleans Square sax player Edwin Pleasants.
The street musician died of cancer at age 68. He spent the last 20 years riffing near Port de Orleans or by the Jewelry Shop, across from the parasol stand. Edwin delighted in working with, and performing for, people. Especially for the little ones who requested "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." One small boy, in fact, would regularly bring his own plastic sax to "play" with Edwin.
Before he joined Disneyland in 1982, Edwin had an illustrious career backing up Motown groups in the 1960s and, in the 1970s, playing with acts such as The Ray Charles Orchestra, King Curtis, Dusty Springfield and Curtis Mayfield. He would also teach music appreciation for senior citizens and jazz ensemble at Compton College.
To preserve the memory of Edwin and his contributions to the park, several of his admirers hope the park will install a small plaque or other memorial in New Orleans Square. The group hopes "to get as many testimonies as possible to how wonderful he was and the impact he had on people and the Park," says former merchandise cast member Heather Young. "We want to convince Cynthia Harriss that Edwin wasn't just another cast member, but an institution and Disneyland legend."
"We know that annual passholders knew and loved him, because we were asked where he was all the time on his day's off," Heather explains. "That is why I'm hoping for as many AP testimonials as I can get. He was an amazing, loving man and deserves a special place in the Square that he loved so much."
For those who were entertained and even touched by Edwin, please join me in emailing your appreciation to Heather at DsnyRed1@cs.com.
You can write to David atthis link..
David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999); all titles published by Bonaventure Press.
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.
You can contact David here.
Click here to go to David's main page for a list of archived articles.
Visit MouseShoppe to purchase copies of David's books. (Clicking on the link opens a new window.)
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