Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Mouse Castle Lounge 08-03-2014 - Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess

Bobby Burgess at a 2010
Mouseketeer reunion.
Bobby Burgess has spent nearly 60 years in show business and worked for two of the great showmen of the 20th century, Walt Disney and Lawrence Welk. He was one of the original Mouseketeers, joining the Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 when he was only 14. He was part of a television phenomenon that made household names out of himself and his cast mates, talented and energetic kids-next-door with names like Sharon, Darlene, Cubby, Karen, Tommy, Lonnie and Annette--especially Annette.

Bobby would be among the handful of Moueketeers to appear on all four seasons of the first series, but at age 18 he was far from done as an entertainer. In 1961, he became a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show and remained part of that musical variety show family for the next 21 years on both network television and in syndication. Bobby's specialty was tap and ballroom dancing and he choreographed countless routines for himself and his partners on the show. Even today, more than 20 years after Welk's death, Burgess still performs with many of the players from the show, usually to sold out houses.

Bobby dances with fellow Mouseketeer
Sharon Baird at Disneyland's grand opening.
In this edition of The Mouse Castle Lounge, I talk with Bobby about his entertainment career and his new book Ears & Bubbles: Dancing My Way from The Mickey Mouse Club to The Lawrence Welk Show. Bobby shares with me his memories of Walt Disney, Annette Funicello, Lawrence Welk and how being a Mouseketeer once helped him get out of a speeding ticket.

It's a delightful conversation with a charming and talented entertainer. Enjoy!


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