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Inside the Whimsy WorksInside the Whimsy Works

My Life with Walt Disney Productions

Jimmy Johnson, Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez

Narrated by Darryl Hughes Kurylo

Approximately 6 hours

Unabridged


Downloadable edition:

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Book published by University Press of Mississippi


In this never-before-published memoir from the vaults of the Walt Disney Archives, Disney Legend Jimmy Johnson (1917-1976) takes you from his beginnings as a studio gofer during the days of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the opening of Walt Disney World Resort. Johnson relates dozens of personal anecdotes with famous celebrities, beloved artists, and, of course, Walt and Roy Disney.

This book, also the story of how an empire-within-an-empire is born and nurtured, traces Johnson's innovations in merchandising, publishing, and direct marketing, to the formation of what is now Walt Disney Records. This fascinating biography explains how the records helped determine the course of Disney Theme Parks, television, and film through best-selling recordings by icons such as Annette Funicello, Fess Parker, Julie Andrews, Louis Armstrong, and Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Through Jimmy Johnson's remarkable journey, the film, TV, and recording industries grow up together as changes in tastes and technologies shape the world, while the legacy of Disney is developed as well as carefully sustained for the generations who cherish its stories, characters, and music.

Jimmy Johnson (1917-1976) devoted his entire career to the Disney organization. Johnson joined Disney in 1938 as an assistant in the publicity department and worked his way up within the company. He was general manager and later president of the Walt Disney Music Company until his retirement in March of 1975.

Greg Ehrbar is a two-time Grammy-nominated and Addy-winning writer who has spent over twenty-seven years with Disney. He is the coauthor of Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records and a contributor to the Official Disney Parks Blog and The Cartoon Music Book, Celebrating the Magic: 40 Years of Walt Disney World, and numerous Disney journals, books, and sites.

Didier Ghez is the vice president of International New Media, Latin America & Iberia. His articles about the parks, animation, and vintage international Disneyana, as well as his many interviews with Disney artists, have appeared in Animation Journal, Animation Magazine, and StoryboarD. He is the coauthor of Disneyland Paris—From Sketch to Reality, runs the Disney History Blog, the Disney Books Network website, and serves as managing editor of the Walt's People book series.

REVIEWS:

“Written in a friendly conversational tone, Inside the Whimsy Works offers new and surprising perspectives on the era when Walt and his brother Roy ran The Walt Disney Company, by a person who was not only there but who created Disney's successful record division. Editors Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez have done a magnificent job formatting and annotating Johnson's original manuscript so that it will not only delight readers today but be a valuable resource tool for future researchers.”

—Jim Korkis, Disney historian and author of several popular books about Disney history including The Vault of Walt





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