The Zorro television series only lasted for two seasons but made almost as much of a sensation as did the Davy Crocket series before it. But not quite! Based on the Zorro character created by Johnston McCulley, the series premiered on October 10, 1957 on ABC. The final network broadcast was July 2, 1959. Seventy-eight episodes were produced along with four hour-long specials. And then the character and the series rode off into the blackness that is cancellation!
Guy Williams rocketed to stardom as Zorro and later became another cult favorite when he played Professor John Robinson from 1965 – 1968 in the popular science fiction epic Lost in Space.
But going back to the 50s, we have this great not-so LP record featuring songs from the series:
LP stands for Long Play which usually refers to the 33 1/3 rpm format, or 12″ records. This disc is only 10″ in size and plays at 78 rpm. So, Medium Play?
If you are a fan of the show then one of your favorite characters is likely Sergeant Garcia, played by Henry Calvin. He had a wonderful singing voice and often broke out into song during the episodes.
This record features a popular selection entitled ‘Here’s to a Soldier of the King’. The A-side contains the famous Zorro television theme.
This record is not labeled as a Disneyland Records product, that company being started in 1956. Zorro came out in 1957 with versions of this record appearing on the Disneyland Records label in 1958.
As you can see from the label, this version was released by Simon and Schuster in Canada. I can’t find the year of release. It may be that although Disneyland Records started in 1956, it may not have taken over exclusive release rights for Disney music and soundtracks in every territory until later, making this version possible.
Henry Calvin’s rich baritone voice was used for singing everything from drinking songs to serenades, and even a duet with Annette Funicello in one episode of the series. He also sang the children’s song “Never Smile at a Crocodile” for Disneyland Records, and “We Won’t Be Happy Till We Get It” with Ray Bolger and “Slowly He Sank To The Bottom of the Sea” on the Babes in Toyland soundtrack.
I’m always amazed to find out how much some of the lesser-known stars of various Disney series and films did for the company. We often know certain stars for one role or performance, forgetting how much Walt Disney liked to recycle his talent!
You can watch both seasons of the series in their entirety thanks to the Walt Disney Treasures DVD releases. And you can also check out a cool Zorro cape and mask here!
Let’s end this post with an excerpt from the well-known lyrics of the Zorro theme song… sort of:
Out of the (post), when the full (page is scrolled),
(Goes the album) known as Zorro.
This bold (recording) carves a ‘Z’ with (the player’s needle),
A ‘Z’ that stands for Zorro.
Zorro, Zorro, Zorro, (the record), Zorro, Zorro!