27 March 2012

The kids next door

Do you recognize the clean-cut bunch of teenagers? Even if you can’t name the group, I’m willing to bet the wardrobe and hairstyles are a dead giveaway for what era they hail from. In order to dispense with some of the mystery, this smiling group of 1970’s youths is collectively known as The Kids Next Door.

The pop ensemble was a part of the Young Americans and performed in Washington, D.C. as a part of the 1976 bicentennial celebration. On the Disney front, The Kids Next Door played everywhere in Walt Disney World, particularly in 1972 when they spent ten days in May performing at the Contemporary’s Top of the World and the summer months putting on five shows a night on the Tomorrowland Space Stage. The group’s dancing and crooning antics focused heavily upon popular songs of the day.

If you didn’t happen to catch the troupe during the early to mid-1970’s, then you still have a chance to see The Kids Next Door. Sort of. On October 29, 1971, NBC aired the ninety minute special entitled The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World. Hosted by Julie Andrews and Glen Campbell, with guests that included Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, and Buddy Hackett, the special featured an assortment of musical numbers and acts all across the resorts and Magic Kingdom. One of this musical performances included The Kids Next Door. The special can still be seen on You Tube.

The next time you are walking through your resort or one of the parks and see an ensemble performing, remember the long and storied musical history of Walt Disney World that the current selection of performers are living up to. From Bob Jackson to The Kids Next Door, music has always been, and always will be, an intricate part of the Vacation Kingdom experience!


BJ Niegowski said...

I thought they were call kids of the kingdom?

Ryan P. Wilson said...

BJ - There was a show/group called Kids of the Kingdom, but The Kids Next Door were a separate musical act that performed around the country, including Walt Disney World, but were not tied to the resort itself. Thanks for helping me to clarify!

docchuckles said...

I was a member of the Kids Next Door from 1968 to 1970. My name is Chuck Kelley. I would welcome contact from any other former members. I can be reached at docchuckles@gmail.com.

TheReminiscer said...

Saw them at Tomorrowland with my family in the Summer of '72. I was eight years old, and DWorld was a nine-month old toddler.

I miss you, Dad.