It was 1957 when the first Snow White "storyteller" album was released on the US Disneyland Record label. Catalog no. ST-3906. It featured Annette Funicello as the narrator (see previous Archive entry
). The total run time was slightly over 26 minutes. Then in 1960, Disney would issue the Magic Mirror storyteller series. Vinyl 12" discs, 331⁄3
rpm. The catalog number for the Snow White record would remain the same. The front cover artwork featured an oval look-through window.
Some confusion seems to exists online today as to whether this new LP contained the 1957 Annette recording or if it was an updated version featuring Ginny Tyler. In his book, The Golden Age of Walt Disney Records 1933-1988,
R. Michael Murray confirms that the Snow White record was issued in 1960. However, he does not specify who the narrator was. The probable reason for this is because there were actually different versions of the Snow White Magic Mirror album. And although these were issued in different years, all include the same 1960 copyright imprint on the lower front cover.
The 1957 Annette recording was indeed reissued on the 1960 Magic Mirror record. The front cover included this text: "The complete story, all the songs and the music, plus a 24-page colored illustrated book especially prepared for children by the Walt Disney Studio." This was not a "read-along" book; the text did not follow the audio recording.
"Narrated by Annette" is printed on the back cover. A line drawing depicts the story characters featured in the Magic Mirror series. Included in this group are Zorro, Uncle Remus, and Davy Crockett. A 1960 copyright is printed along the bottom.
The attached book reused the same cel artwork images as seen in the 1957 version. Also some eight new illustrations with blue-colored highlights were added. Notice that the pages are only half the size of the album cover. This example below is missing a few leaves.
An illustration of Snow White, the Prince, and the Seven Dwarfs appears on the inside back cover. The words on the yellow banner read, "...And They Lived Happily Ever After." The disc labels were purple with silver lettering. The text includes: "Narrated by Annette."
A new Snow White recording was released in 1962. It featured Ginny Tyler as the storyteller. Unlike Annette, Ginny changed the tone of her voice for the different characters. The Overture music still opens the story, however, other background music from the film was not used, and the final score was eliminated at the end. Yet, all of the songs remained, though with a truncated version of the Silly Song
. The script was slightly shorter too. As a result, the total run time was reduced to about 22 minutes.
The front cover artwork is identical to the earlier version except for the text, "plus a 24-page colored illustrated book". It now read, "plus a full color illustrated book". The rear cover was also the same except "Narrated by Annette" was absent. The 1960 copyright was still printed along the bottom.
A 1962 copyright imprint was placed on lower left of the inside front cover. The same artwork was used in the book, but the layout had to be redesigned to fit the full-size pages--a total of eleven pages in all. The illustration with the yellow banner was now placed at the front of the book. It simply read, "Snow White".
Purple disc labels with silver lettering. Ginny Tyler is not credited. The words, "A STORY WITH SONGS" is printed below the catalog number.
Additional disc label images via disneylandrecords.com.
Record sleeve. Retail price listed at $3.98.
A few anomalies have been found with the 1962 edition. The two examples below have the original 1960 Magic Mirror cover with the text about the "24-page" book. Yet, the book and record inside are actually from the 1962 release. The use of these earlier front covers was Disney probably wanting to use up the last of their old stock. In the second photo, red tape covers over the "24-page" text. This tape was probably manufacturer-issued.
The copyright on the inside cover of this "anomaly" album has the 1962 marking, but its placement is off to the lower right rather than left. The disc labels also differ just slightly in that the "Story of" letters are not all caps. As with the normal 1962 version, "Annette" is no longer mentioned on the back cover.
It's interesting to note that in the March 6, 1965 Billboard
magazine, Snow White record ST-3906 was ranked fourth on the current best selling children's LPs. And they specifically name Annette as the narrator. Was Disney still producing the Annette version in 1965? Or was the switch to the Ginny Tyler recording so under the radar that the writers had no clue? And was this the Disney marketing plan all along...to continue capitalizing on the Annette name even though they'd moved on to a new storyteller?
Ginny Tyler's record was reissued in 1966. The album design remained the same except for an update to the line art on the back cover. Zorro, Uncle Remus, and Davy Crockett were replaced with newer characters from Lady and the Tramp
, 101 Dalmatians
, and Winnie the Pooh
. Plus a miniature Mickey was placed outside of the frame. A 1966 copyright date was added too (despite the fact that both the 1960 and 1962 markings also remained on the front and inside cover).
Disc labels without the text, "A Story With Songs," have also been seen.
The front album cover, the book inside, and the record from the 1967 printing are all identical to the 1966. However, the back cover was updated with a description of the book, including b&w images.
In 1969, the record album was updated with a new cover and storybook art. See it in the next post
The Magic Mirror storyteller album was listed in early October 2017 on Walt Disney World's ShopDisneyParks app. The site states that it's only available for in-store purchase at the theme park. Retail $21.98. The LP has also been seen on ebay. It's part of the Walt Disney Vinyl Vault Collection. A "50 Years Vinyl Vault" label is attached to the outer shrink wrap.
2017 stock images copyright Disney.
You can hear this 1962 Ginny Tyler recording at waltsmusic.com