Inside the Whimsy Works
My Life with Walt Disney Productions
The extraordinary story of the rise of the Disney executive most responsible for the success of Walt Disney Records
In this never-before-published memoir from the files of The Walt Disney Archives, Disney Legend Jimmy Johnson (1917-1976) takes you from his beginnings as a studio gofer during the days of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the opening of Walt Disney World Resort. Johnson relates dozens of personal anecdotes with famous celebrities, beloved artists, and, of course, Walt and Roy Disney.
This book, also the story of how an empire-within-an-empire is born and nurtured, traces Johnson’s innovations in merchandising, publishing, and direct marketing, to the formation of what is now Walt Disney Records. This fascinating autobiography explains how the records helped determine the course of Disney Theme Parks, television, and film through best-selling recordings by icons such as Annette Funicello, Fess Parker, Julie Andrews, Louis Armstrong, and Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Through Jimmy Johnson’s remarkable journey, the film, TV, and recording industries grow up together as changes in tastes and technologies shape the world, while the legacy of Disney is developed as well as carefully sustained for the generations who cherish its stories, characters, and music.
Written in a friendly conversational tone, Inside the Whimsy Works offers new and surprising perspectives on the era when Walt and his brother Roy ran The Walt Disney Company, by a person who was not only there but who created Disney's successful record division. Editors Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez have done a magnificent job formatting and annotating Johnson's original manuscript so that it will not only delight readers today but be a valuable resource tool for future researchers.- Jim Korkis, Disney historian and author of several popular books about Disney history including The Vault of Walt