Thursday, January 9, 2014
Farewell to the Hillbillies
Walt said "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." The Main Street Flower Mart, Skyway, People Movers, America Sings, Country Bear Jamboree and as of January 6, 2014 Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. Just some of the acts and attractions that are no longer at Disneyland.
They began performing in the late 80s as various named bands. One of which was the Barley Brothers during the Disneyland State Fair in 1988. They also performed during the opening of Critter Country on Wednesday, November, 23, 1988.
On Wednesday, August, 5, 1992 Billy Hill and the Hillbillies was officially formed and began performing in the Golden Horshoe Saloon. They had their official "scripted" show on Sunday, December, 18, 1994. The original members were Kirk Wall(guitar, fiddle, lead), Mario Hildago(banjo), Dennis Fetchet(fiddle), and the founder of the band John Marshall(bass). Other members of the band have and are Evan Marshall(mandolin), Rick Storey(banjo & guitar), Anders Swanson(bass & fiddle), Duane Michaels(mandolin & fiddle), John David(guitar & banjo), John Eaden(guitar & lead).
They played at the Horseshoe 7 days a week until 1999 when they were moved to Big Thunder Ranch due to the Horseshoe being used for Woody's Roundup. In 2000 they moved back to the Horseshoe and on February 6, 2003 at the 1:15pm performance they celebrated their 10,000th performance. In 2012 they were moved back to Big Thunder Ranch and played there until their final performance.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies have been know for decades for their bluegrass/country music along with classic rock, rap and holiday music. And of course their comedy. They even put out an album titles The Billys Live.
I am sure going to miss those hillbillies. The Neverlanders saw the band during our first meet. Like most people I would see them every once in a while but never as much as I should have. I know for the rest of my life anytime I hear Grandmas Killer Fruitcake I will think of them.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies will continue to play outside of Disneyland at both public and private evens. Their new name is Kirk Wall and the Hillbillies. If you wish to follow them they have an Instagram account KrazyKirkandtheHillbillies