Five years ago this week, we marked the loss of two iconic Disneyland performers – first Wally Boag, who starred as Pecos Bill in the “Golden Horseshoe Revue” and then the very next day, his longtime Disneyland co-star, Betty Taylor.
The ‘Clown Prince of Disneyland,’ Wally Boag starred at the Golden Horseshoe for nearly 27 years and in nearly 40,000 performances. He also brought his unique humor and comedic style to the Diamond Horseshoe Review at Walt Disney World Resort when it opened in 1971. Boag even provided the voice of the Audio-Animatronics parrot, Jose, for “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.”
Betty Taylor played Slue Foot Sue to Wally Boag’s Pecos Bill five days a week for nearly three decades, having joined the “Golden Horseshoe Revue” just one year after it began in 1955. She continued in the role of Slue Foot Sue owner until 1987, for an amazing 45,000 performances.
Later in the summer of 2011, Disneyland park hosted a special tribute show in their honor – “The True Legends of the Golden Horseshoe.” Dorothy Fields, Betty Taylor’s sister, and Heather Dinkins, Wally Boag’s daughter, were joined by Miriam Nelson, the original Golden Horseshoe Revue choreographer, along with Disney Legends including Ron Dominguez, Jack Lindquist, Richard Sherman and Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess. The tribute featured some of the most-loved Golden Horseshoe performances and footage of classic performances by Wally and Betty.
As my fellow Disney Parks Blog author, George Savvas, wrote in his own tribute to these beloved performers, “The Golden Horseshoe remains a very unique and special place, forever linked to two all-time Disney greats: Betty Taylor and Wally Boag.”
Betty Taylor’s rendition of “Bill Bailey” is still one of my all time favorites.
And any man who can give comedic pointers to Steve Martin like Wally Boag did is not to bad either. 🙂
Considering how long those two performed I’m pretty sure I saw them live while I was a child. Ut I really took notice of Wally’s talent after seeing him on The Disney Channel’s late night series for us older people, “Vault Disney” and subsequent Disney Treasures DVD releases. I was going to say adult programming but that didn’t sound correct.
Several years back I had a crazy thought, let’s look him up on the internet. I found a Wally Boag address listed and it wasn’t too far from Disneyland. It has to be the same guy, right? On a lark my friend sent a letter to the address saying how he was a big fan and asked for an autograph that he could pass along to me for my birthday.
After a week Mark gets a package in the mail. He thought it was odd because he hadn’t ordered anything online. He opens it and it is a personalized autographed copy of Wally’s book and a note thanking him for being a fan. Along with that was an autographed Boagaloons box and instruction sheet on how to make balloon animals (no balloons) to give to me. That thing must be from the 1960s and was probably sold at the Golden Horseshoe.
What a nice guy to toss out the self addressed stamped return envelope for a 3.5 index card autograph and sends a package instead at his own expense.
I count myself lucky to have met Wally. What a talent! Wally & Betty were so talented together…truly a Class Act! We miss their performances.
Since my hubby and I had Sorcerer tix to the D23 Expo that year, one of the perks was that we were invited to go to this wonderful memorable event! I’ve grown up with Disneyland, since I was born in 1954 and I always loved going to see Slue Foot Sue and her Traveling Salesman friend! I still remmber some of the jokes!
It was a very special time, to watch the entertainers perform and to remember these great CMs, who died one day after the other!
I was lucky enough to see this show on each trip to Disneyland and it was always so much fun. Didn’t know at the time that we were seeing Disney history in the making. Both Wally and Betty were so talented! Really great memories.