THE HAUNTED MANSION - Various Artists
TRACK LISTING: The Story and Song of the Haunted Mansion Part One, The Story and Song of the Haunted Mansion Part Two
IMPRESSIONS: This is an album I've had ever since I was a kid. Sadly, the interior booklet with great ghost art by Collin Campbell went missing over the years but you can see how beautiful the album cover is! It's an album I played all year round and consequently can recite it all verbatim. I never realized until years later that Mike is voiced by Ron Howard; only a year after he stopped playing Opie for Andy Griffith. Robie Lester, of course, is a familiar voice at Disney; it's her beautifully macabre tones which narrate that famous orange-covered "CHILLING SOUNDS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE" album -- who can forget her intro: "You are a bold and courageous person afraid of nothing...." Disney used the beloved Thurl Ravenscroft often over the years as well (Yay, "Twiterpated"!); not to mention being the voice of Tony the Tiger. I can remember listening to this album with the covers pulled over my head and the lights turned out in my room; even if it was broad daylight with the windows open on a lazy summer afternoon, THE HAUNTED MANSION was guaranteed to make a seven-year old's flesh creep.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: The whole album - there aren't individual tracks
FACT SHEET: The actual title of the album is really THE STORY AND SONG OF THE HAUNTED MANSION; the only reason to use this title, however, is to distinguish this first album version from the several shorter records which came out after this. This album is a 33 1/3 LP which had a booklet included inside the gatefold album cover featuring an abbreviated version of the story and beautiful drawings of the ghosties by Disney illustrator Collin Campbell. The Haunted Mansion, of course, was the brand new attraction at Disneyland. The album stars Ron Howard . . . yes, THAT Ron Howard as Mike and Robie Lester as Karen -- our two heroes. The magnificent Thurl Ravenscroft appears as narrator as well as singing the song "Grim Grinning Ghosts". The Ghost Host is played by Pete Renoudet; the Ghost Host's voice on the actual Disney ride was voiced by the man of a thousand voices Paul Frees.