Walt Disney Records

Walt Disney Records
Parent company Disney Music Group
(The Walt Disney Company)
Founded 1956 (1956)
Founder Roy O. Disney
Jimmy Johnson
Walt Disney
Distributor(s) Universal Music Group
(United States Of America)[1][2]
Warner Music Group (Russia/CIS)[3]
Avex Group
Sony Music Entertainment (Worldwide)
Genre Pop, soundtrack
Country of origin United States
Location 500 S. Buena Vista Street,
Burbank, California
Official website music.disney.com

Walt Disney Records is an American record label of the Disney Music Group. The label releases soundtrack albums from The Walt Disney Company's motion pictures, television series, theme parks, asnd traditional studio albums produced by its roster of pop, teen pop, and country artists.

The label was founded in 1956 as Disneyland Records. Before that time, Disney recordings were licensed to a variety of other labels such as RCA, Decca, Capitol, ABC-Paramount, and United Artists. It was Walt Disney’s brother Roy O. Disney who suggested that Walt Disney Productions (now the modern-day The Walt Disney Company) form their own record label. Roy enlisted longtime staffer Jimmy Johnson to head this new division. It adopted its current name in 1989.


In 1954, the Disneyland Record label was used for a Columbia Records release of Fess Parker's recording of the Ballad of Davy Crockett. The record was a success causing the formation of the record company.[4]

Disneyland Records

Disneyland Records logo

The company was founded as Disneyland Records in 1956, serving as the recorded unit subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions. The Disneyland company issued its first album, A Child's Garden of Verses.[ChWDC 1] Also, Disneyland Records issued a Parker's "Wringle Wrangle" single from the Westward Ho the Wagons! film with in a year of starting operations; the single became a hit. This led the company to start recording music from outside the films. However, what ever was released by the company the industry categorized as children. Pricing was directed towards an adult audience, which was more than standard children fare. The only outside success was "Tutti's Trumpets". Thus in 1959, the Disneyland label became the children's label and Buena Vista label for the occasional pop song record.[4]

Jimmy Johnson brought in musician Tutti Camarata, founder of Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, to head the Artists and repertoire of this new enterprise. Tutti established the label's initial forays into long-form musical albums, which included jazz interpretations of Disney standards from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Cinderella, as well as original musical concept albums, and he expanded the format of soundtracks by including selections from the score as well as the songs. Tutti's connections within the music industry also brought to the label the likes of Mary Martin, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Jerry Colonna, and Phil Harris. It was also Tutti’s idea that the popular Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello, become the label’s first artist in residence. In 1959, the Buena Vista Records label was formed for Funicello's select recordings and for the release of soundtrack albums and other contemporary music.[5]

While looking for the right material for Annette, Tutti and his team discovered the songwriting duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman after hearing one of their songs on the radio. The two were brought to the Disney studio in Burbank where they eventually became the first staff songwriters for the company. They not only penned a good deal of Annette’s songs, but were also responsible for most of the iconic Disney songs of the 1960s and beyond – “It's a Small World” and “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” for the theme parks, as well as the songs from Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The dual label company started its read-along series in 1965.[6]

By 1971, Disneyland Records was also called Disneyland/Vista Records.[4] Disneyland/Vista worked with Rankin/Bass to release six recording tied to the Hobbit 1977 animated film as Rankin/Bass had Disneyland/Vista do soundtrack for two of their earlier holiday specials, Frosty's Winter Wonderland and ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.[6][7]

Walt Disney Records

In 1989, Disneyland Records was renamed "Walt Disney Records". In addition to the Buena Vista label, the Disney Audio Entertainment (1990–1991), Disney Sound (2004–present) and Disney Pearl labels were established to delineate the many varied styles of recordings the company released. Today, Walt Disney Records' selection of products ranges from traditional studio albums and original soundtracks to audiobooks and karaoke albums. It releases music from Walt Disney Pictures' feature films, Disney Channel Original Movies, Walt Disney Theatrical productions and other feature-length productions. It also releases the Disneymania and Radio Disney Jams albums while still keeping to its family-oriented representation by endorsing read-along albums for pre-schoolers and classic Disney music.



Former artists


Album series

Note: Walt Disney Records also releases music under pseudo names such as Buena Vista Records, Disney Sound, and Disney Pearl Series labels

See also


  1. Graser, Marc (27 March 2013). "Ken Bunt Promoted to President of Disney Music Group". Variety. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  2. "Universal Music Group (UMG) & Disney Music Group (DMG) Expand Agreement Globally". PR Newswire. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  3. Kozlov, Vladimir (25 November 2013). "Disney, Warner Music Strike Russia Distribution Deal". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. 1 2 3 Johnson, Jimmy (March 27, 1971). "The Disneyland Records Story". Billboard. p. D-2. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  5. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (March 16, 1959). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 26. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  6. 1 2 Ehrbar, Greg (December 17, 2013). ""The Hobbit" on Disneyland Records". Cartoon Research. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  7. Culhan, John. Will the Video Version of Tolkien Be Hobbit Forming? The New York Times, Nov 27, 1977.
  1. Smith, Dave (1998). Disney A to Z - The Updated Official Encyclopedia. p. 593.
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