Haunted Mansion is a fan favorite ride and has been for decades. There are so many details that make this a great attraction, from the vanishing and reappearing footprints to the hot and cold running chills, it’s hard to take it all in! One of my favorite parts of the ride is the graveyard scene where the Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize! Not only is the tune catchy, but I love to look at the animated facial expressions on the 5 singing busts (and no, none of them are Walt Disney).
The voices of these busts really make the song, but who are the men providing the voices and images of the busts? They are Jay Meyer, Thurl Ravenscroft (think Tiki Room & Country Bear Jamboree), Verne Rowe, Bob Ebright, and Chuck Schroeder. Back in 1969, the 5 vocalists gathered at a Disney studio to record the vocals for the song. Originally, they were only going to provide the voices and actors were hired to be the faces. When the director, Allan Davies, saw the men’s face and expressions during the recording session, he suggested they be filmed for the faces as well. During the film recording session, the singer’s heads were placed in a harness to restrict their had movement and they were all made up to look like statues. They were only able to move their mouth and eyes for the recording. Their images are projected onto the busts props like Madame Leota’s. Each bust has his own name as well. As seen in the above picture, they are Ned Nub (Meyer), Uncle Theodore (Ravenscroft), Cousin Al (Schroeder), Rollo Rumkin (Rowe), and Phineas Pock (Ebright).
Which singing bust is your favorite?