James Wesley “Jimmie” Dodd (March 28, 1910 – November 10, 1964), was an American actor, singer, and songwriter, best known as the M.C. of the popular 1950s Walt Disney television series The Mickey Mouse Club, as well as the writer of its well-known theme song, “The Mickey Mouse Club March,” a slowed-down version of which, with different lyrics, became the alma mater that closed the show. Dodd, born on March 28, 1910, at Cincinnati, Ohio, had some early film roles in The Three Mesquiteers series of westerns. In 1940, he married Ruth Carrell and made his first screen appearance in the William Holden film Those Were the Days! in a minor role. He also appeared in many theatrical films in the 1940s and 1950s, often uncredited. He appeared with John Wayne in the war film Flying Tigers (1942) and with Harry Carey in China’s Little Devils (1945), another film involving the Flying Tigers. He also played the taxi driver in the MGM film Easter Parade (1948), starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.
Dodd had a small, but important part in the Mickey Rooney hit Quicksand (1950). Two of his films were biographies of baseball players: The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), in which Jackie Robinson played himself, and The Winning Team (1952), in which future president Ronald Reagan portrayed pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. He played a taxi driver again in Phffft (1954). In addition to his small role in an early episode of Adventures of Superman titled “Double Trouble,” Dodd appeared as a deputy in the 1955 episode “Sontag and Evans” of the syndicated television series Stories of the Century. The segment was based on the California train robbers Chris Evans and John Sontag.
The Mickey Mouse Club aired each weekday. Dodd always wore “Mouseke-ears,” played his “Mouse-guitar,” and sang self-composed songs. His tunes contained positive messages for kids. In addition, among his other musical contributions is a song that a generation of kids has used for nearly a half century to spell “encyclopedia.” He performed a regular segment on the show singing “Proverbs Proverbs they’re so true”…and then would expound on a Proverb from the Bible and give an explanation of its value in everyday life. He wrote some themes for Zorro and performed songs in several of his movies. The original Mouseketeers, frequent guests at the Dodd home for backyard barbecues and sing-alongs, said Dodd treated them as part of his own extended family. Dodd died of cancer on November 10, 1964, in Honolulu, Hawaii, aged 54. His body is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.
My collection includes the following work by Jimmie Dodd:
Mickey Mouse March (The Mickey Mouse Club theme).