Pecos Bills of the Golden Horseshoe Revue
Posted By Scott Wolf
The Golden Horseshoe Revue performed a record-breaking 47,250 performances at Disneyland, and was a staple in Disneyland from its opening until 1986.
Wally Boag (pictured, above, left) originated the role of the traveling salesman who would break up the audience with his antics, and then return later in the show as Pecos Bill. During a song, a fellow cast member would “hit” him and he proceeded to spit out his teeth. In reality, they were beans, and he spit out more beans in each performance than the human mouth has teeth! With each bean, the audience roared more and more!
As the years went on, Disneyland was open seven days a week, not just five, and starting in the 1960s, it was even open after dark! While Wally is best remembered in the role and was certainly the longest running performer of the role, there were a number of others who filled in as the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the Wild West!
Pictured from left to right are Dick Hardwick, Jim Adams and Dana Daniels, all of whom I’ve had the chance to get to know and interview for Mouse Clubhouse, so watch for that audio in the future! For now, I thought it would be fun to catch up with each of these gentlemen and find out what they’re up to now!
Dick Hardwick took over the role of Pecos Bill when Wally left in 1982 and continued with the show until its final performance in 1986. After Disney, Dick continued performing and even won on Star Search in the category of comedy. He toured with the likes of Reba McEntire and Johnny Mathis, and has made multiple tours to entertain the troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and the Middle East. Dick recently became a became a coveted “Navy Tail Hooker” having been flown out to, then launched off of the USS Stennis aircraft carrier where he performed somewhere off the coast of Mexico. In 1996, Dick hosted the Fruit of the Loom All-Star CountryFest ’96 to a record-breaking crowd of an estimated 275,000! He also received an Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts from Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Interestingly, Dick started out as a musician in Disneyland, and he continues to have a parallel career in music today. In fact, he received a Grammy Certificate for Best Folk Album for his participation playing the washboard on John Prine’s record, “The Missing Years.” His handprints and signature in cement are on display at the Nashville Music Walk of Fame. In recent years, Dick is still going strong, performing for corporate events, celebrity golf tournaments, conventions, on cruise ships and even at several Disney events.
Dana Daniels performed in the Horseshoe from 1983 to 1986. After the Golden Horseshoe Revue ended, Dana had his own one man show in the Horseshoe, and eventually took that show on the road. His longtime partner in the act, Luigi, continues with him today. Oh, Luigi is a parrot. And a “psychic parrot” at that. Dana has opened for such stars as Ray Romano, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, and Charo. He’s appeared on shows such as Evening at the Improv, CBS Morning Show, The Golden Girls, and Masters of Illusions. His blend of comedy and magic has earned him accolades including Comedy Magician of the Year and two time Stage Magician of the Year from the Academy of Magical Arts. A regular at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, California and Warren and Annabelle’s in Maui, Hawaii, Dana most recently joined the cast of The Illusionists 1903, as The Charlatan. The show is the most successful touring magic show in the world, and both Dana and Luigi will be touring from Sydney to Dubai.
Jim Adams began subbing for Wally Boag in the Horseshoe in 1970 and continued with the show until 1982, when he and Wally both left to pursue new projects, including work on an animated movie together. Jim had been working at Disneyland in the Entertainment department when he decided to knock on Wally’s dressing room door, simply wanting to learn how to do the show. He ended up filling in for Wally for the next 12 years. Before leaving Disney, Jim appeared in numerous television productions and commercials, as well as traveling on national tours for Disney. Since then, he has had several educational shows including “Adventures in Reading” and “James and the Professor,” which he has performed across the country and abroad. Today, Jim continues to entertain with his one man show of comedy, ventriloquism and music, and he recently performed for the Disneyland Alumni Club’s 60th anniversary gala.
Jim told me all the cast and crew of the Golden Horseshoe Revue would give him little hints during his days in the show, “Mainly though, it was Wally and Fulton (Burley, Horseshoe co-star) that helped me all the way! They were incredibly generous with their time and efforts! I never would have made it without them!”
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