The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


TV-Radio Life

The magazine listed here was a weekly publication local to Southern California. It originally started as "Radio Life", then became "Radio-TV Life", before switching to its final title. The magazine featured TV and radio logs much like TV Guide, but it also contained some well-researched and written stories about stars and shows.

Fan mail was taken very seriously by the editors. They had a lively mailbag section, and often initiated stories at readers request. (One of those is listed below). The editors managed to maintain their objectivity while staying on the good side of producers, actors, studios and networks. The magazine was standard size, not a small digest, so it's color photos were clear and large.

Because it was a local, not a national publication, it is very hard to find. Some of the images shown here were made by permission from the collection held by the Library of American Broadcasting. They were made with a digital camera from issues bound into hardback volumes, hence their distorted shape and reflected glare.



TV-Radio Life
Oct 8-14, 1955     Disney Builds a New Mouse by Jack Holland

Thoughtful two page introduction to the show appeared just as it came on the air. Correctly predicted it would blow away the competition in it's time slot. Some information was already outdated, having come from earlier conceptions of the show by the studio, but most was accurate. Mentions the Mouseketeers being divided into three color-coded teams, something that would not appear in print again until 1971.
TV-Radio Life
Mar 3-9, 1956     Disney's New Star

Blurb on the cover and one page photo-op on Darlene Gillespie and Buddy Ebsen for the serial Corky and White Shadow. The absence of a byline suggests this was a rewrite of a studio press release.
TV-Radio Life
Aug 25-31, 1956     The Mouseketeers Hit the Road by Jack Holland

Two page article on the Mouseketeer tours across the country. Lots of quotes from Jimmie Dodd that later appeared in several books on the show.
TV-Radio Life
Apr 6-12, 1957     What the Mickey Mouse Club Did to Them by Jack Holland

Two page article on the price of fame for Annette Funicello and Tim Considine. Pictures of them and David Stollery from Further Adventures of Spin and Marty.
TV-Radio Life
Jul 13-19, 1957     The Clown and the Lady by Jack Holland

Very perceptive two page article on the personalities of Darlene Gillespie and Annette Funicello. According to the author, this article was instigated by Darlene's fans who lobbied for "equal time" after the previous article appeared.
TV-Radio Life
Oct 19-25, 1957     The Colossus That is Cubby

Cover blurb and one page article with photos on Cubby O'Brien, not much more information than what appears in the spread on him for Walt Disney's Magazine. The absence of a byline suggests this was a rewrite of a studio press release.
TV-Radio Life
Nov 2-9, 1957     Disney's Doreen

Cover blurb and one page article on Doreen Tracey. Again, not much more information than what appears in the spread on her for Walt Disney's Magazine. The absence of a byline suggests this was a rewrite of a studio press release. Great photo, though this image can't do it justice.
TV-Radio Life
Nov 16-22, 1957     The Truth Behind the Rumors by Jon Bruce

Two page article with photos acknowledges fans' discontent with the new half-hour format. It quotes a studio executive's explanation that there weren't enough soundstages at the studio to film Disneyland, Zorro, films, and an hour-long Mickey Mouse Club at same time.
TV-Radio Life
Jun 7-13, 1958     What Is Happening to Darlene? by Jon Bruce

Cover blurb and one page article mentions concern among her fans at the cancellation of The Rainbow Road to Oz. The author suggests, without actually saying it, that her MMC days are done as well, though she'll still be seen in reruns.
TV-Radio Life
Aug 7-13, 1958     What Will Happen to the Mouseketeers Now?

Two page article with photos is really only about the four folks pictured on the cover. The unknown author's conclusions are that Annette will flourish at Disney, Tim will do ok in show business, but that Darlene (now calling herself "Dee") and David should be prepared for other careers.

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