August 3, 2011

Disneyland Resort in HDR on Facebook

Did you know we have a Facebook page? It goes by the title "Disneyland Resort in HDR" because we started it around the time we started this blog, before we had decided on the name of Tours Departing Daily. It's a great place to stay updated with when we post and what we are up to. We occasionally do fun things for our Facebook friends and we have some ideas for sharing our adventures at the Park there that we'll be rolling out very soon. So if you are on Facebook but haven't "Liked" our page yet, head on over to our page by clicking here or click the "Like" button below! We look forward to seeing you there!

Daily Photo Tour - Ladies & Gentlemen, Ernest McLean

I love writing but I can assure you that what I write, in this instance, will in no way do justice to its topic. With that disclaimer out of the way, this picture is of Ernest "Ernie" McLean. He plays guitar, thirty minutes at a time, deep in New Orleans Square. He goes unnoticed by most Park goers. They briskly walk passed him, often without so much as a curious glance. I frequently find myself in the rather inconvenient position of being enamored with such overlooked things. What makes it most inconvenient is that I wish to shout for the attention and regard of these diamonds in the rough but my voice is not one of authority or persuasion. This all leaves me feeling rather helpless. Regardless, I want to share a few things about Ernie and I have full confidence that many of the wonderful people who join us on our daily tours are the type who will understand and appreciate it.

I think the most commonly known bit of information or lore about this gentleman is that he is the last cast member that Walt Disney himself hired. I don't know if that's true or not, but what I do know is that he is one of the guitarists who charted the course of modern music. He is an original member of Cosimo Matassa's legendary studio band. He played with Fats Domino and recorded what some consider to be the first rock'n'roll song. He was a long time member of the Dave Bartholomew band.

I spoke with Ernie the day that I took this picture and learned a bit more than what the typical Google search will find. He came to L.A. with Scatman Crothers, a name that should sound familiar to Disney fans. Scatman was the voice of Scat Cat in The Aristocats. As I understood what Ernie shared, Frank Sinatra wanted Scatman to go on tour with him. This left Ernie looking for a job, which he found at Disneyland and he's been there ever since. Ernie has also played with the likes of Lou Rawls, Dr. John and even Sonny and Cher.

Speaking with Ernie is one of the highlights of my life. I have listened to him play so many times in New Orleans Square, always too timid to approach him, unsure that I could express my gratitude for his gift to all who hear him. It's not just that he is a good musician. It's as if his soul pours out of him through his fingers as they race effortlessly across the frets, enriching your whole being. That's the way music ought to be and that's the way Ernie plays it.

He has an album for sale at Disneyland which you can find in the LaMascarade d'Orleans shop. I bought it right away, and Ernie graciously signed it for me. I highly recommend purchasing the album and supporting this wonderful man. He deserves to know he is appreciated.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Ernest McLean - Disneyland
Photo by Matthew Hansen

Comments (10)

On August 3, 2011 at 9:19 PM , Krystene said...

My fiance and I love this guy. One time we were there very earlier in the morning and he was playing and it was just us and him. It was my fiance's birthday so he was wearing a "it's my birthday" pin and Ernest saw it and easily transitioned into happy birthday with out missing a beat. It is one of my favorite memories.

On August 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM , Matthew Hansen said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing Krystene. What an awesome story and special memory! :)

On August 3, 2011 at 9:31 PM , 400 Miles to Disneyland said...

What a great post! I've seen Ernie before at the park and have stopped to listen to the music. I think I may have a photo from back in the day. But I never knew his story. So interesting! Thank you sharing.

On August 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM , Alisha said...

I love Ernie! I've taken pictures of him, and next time we go I want him to sign my Dland autograph book. :) His music is beautiful.

On August 3, 2011 at 10:49 PM , Anonymous said...

Fantastic story and photograph. I'll be sure to look for Ernie next time I'm in the park.

On August 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM , Scott Eaton said...

Any way to find that CD online for those of us who do not live near the park?

On August 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM , Matthew Hansen said...

Thanks so much everyone! Ernie is truly an amazing guy, so talented and graceful. I was thrilled to hear the bits he shared with me. I really want to get back soon and chat with him some more. From the moment you look in his eyes you get the feeling that they've seen it all. :)

Scott - I don't know of any place online. I would be happy to pick one up for you next time I'm at the Park. If you want to shoot me an e-mail at toursdepartingdaily at gmail dot com with your address I will work on it! :)

On August 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM , Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Now I want to seek him out the next time I visit.

On February 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM , Miknbec said...

Thank you for honoring NOT just the images created for everyone to see, but all the creators of the images! These diamonds, as you said, make Disneyland a priceless excursion!

(also- to those wanting a CD or any other Diseny-park exclusive... 1-800-DeliverEars. You call, pay, they ship!)

On February 24, 2012 at 8:03 PM , Anonymous said...

My first encounter with Ernie was when we went to Disneyland when my daughter was 3. We strolled through New Orleans and heard Ernie playing is soulful music. Katie stopped the crowd with her carefree, childish dancing. It made Ernie smile and I so enjoyed watching her dance as if nothing else mattered,(and didn't for a 3 yr old.)
Years later, I'm not a cast member at Disneyland, and unfortunately Ernie isn't playing any longer as he's taken quite ill, in Denver being cared for by a sister or auntie. He's not expected to survive much longer.