New Orleans Square Loses Ernest “Ernie” McLean, the Last Man Walt Disney Hired

DAPs Magic Disney News – by Mr. DAPs

Ernest "Ernie" McLean in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

Walk through New Orleans Square and quite often you’d find an elderly gentleman playing Jazz guitar. Kind hearted and gentle, Ernest “Ernie” McLean filled the area with music and memories since he was originally hired by Walt Disney in 1966. This man wasn’t always the charming jazz guitarist we all knew and loved however.

He had a very successful music career before coming to Disneyland. Go back to 1949 and Ernie played with Fats Domino on “The Fat Man.” He also played with Smiley Lewis, Dave Bartholomew, Cosimo Matassa, and Dr. John Gris. His last gig before coming to Disneyland was with Scatman Crothers. When Scatman went off with Frank Sinatra, Ernie was left looking for a job. Disneyland would be that job.

Ernest “Ernie” McLean now no longer plays at Disneyland. Instead, he plays once again for “Mr. Disney,” as he referred to him right up until the end.

Read about DC Sarah’s memories of Ernie on Geeks Corner here.

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