In 2007, renowned author and retired Disney Character Merchandise artist Russell Schroeder self-published the book Disney's Lost Chords under license from the Walt Disney Company. This deluxe hard cover, dust-jacketed limited edition of 1000 copies has 312 pages and includes 77 previously unpublished songs written at the Walt Disney Studios for their famous films, and over 225 previously unpublished images from the Walt Disney Archives and the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. It measures 11.9 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches.
The second hard cover volume, published in September 2008, adds 64 songs and over 300 mostly unpublished images on its 384 pages! Also in 1000 copies only!
The new third volume has been published in soft cover in 500 copies in December 2017 and features an additional 55 wonderful songs and ships RIGHT NOW!
For the first time ever, these songs can be enjoyed in these wonderful books, which can be ordered directly from the author! But order them quickly: volumes 1 and 2 are limited to 1000 and volume 3 is limited to 500 numbered copies!
Pricing: volume 3 only costs $40.00 plus shipping! There are still a few copies of volumes 1 and 2 available at $75 plus shipping each.
Since these shipping costs vary, anyone interested should contact Russell directly!
Here is what Didier Ghez, noted publicist of Disney history, had to say about volume 2: " I have just received my copy of Disney's Lost Chords 2 this morning. Can you believe that this book is even better than Volume 1? The amount of never-seen-before artwork is staggering and the songs are nothing short of fascinating.
From my point of view this is not only a "must-have" but also one of the very best books of 2008."
Some common questions asked about the books:
◊ "Why unpublished? Are the songs bad?" No! The reasons that the songs have not been published before are many, though. Some did not fit the story anymore after a change, others were removed because the director called for a different style. Some evolved into a song we know. See link to index on the left!
◊ "But I cannot read music!" In that case, check out the Songbook edition of Musitek SmartScore or Neuratron's PhotoScore
With any of these you can scan the pages and play the music on your computer!
◊ "Is there a companion CD with this book?" No! The licensing fees for the royalties of these songs, due at the first public recording are HUGE, and thus this is not an option. Those music performance limitations are also the reason why there are no MIDI files available through this site. However, Walt Disney Records made a small number of the songs available as downloads and as bonus material in their Legacy Collection series.
For many decades, Russell Schroeder has collected and compiled vast amounts of unpublished songs and demos written for Disney movies, and wrote, edited and self-published three hardbound books covering nearly 200 of these!
These lost Disney songs have received successful live promotional performances. A pre-publication preview featured Disney songwriter Michael Silversher at Seattle's EMP Museum in November of 2006. In 2007, a small ensemble presented 14 of these musical gems at both the NFFC Convention in Anaheim, CA, and at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.
A special invitational presentation of "Disney's Lost Chords" for Christmas 2007 featured Oscar-winning Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman, who followed the choral group in a performance of many of his own "lost" Disney tunes, and several of these can now be found in volume 2!
On March 14th, 2009, Russell presented the Lost Chords program with live performances at the Western Center Museum, Hemet, CA, in conjunction with the "Disney's Music Behind The Magic" Exhibit.
On September 12th, 2009, fifteen songs, from both volumes, never before heard in public, were performed by most of the performers of the previous shows (Josh Shipley, Stacia Martin, Hans Perk and Dan Smith, accompanied by Chris Thompson), as well as the Walt Disney Studio Employee Choir led by Jim Wilber, at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center!
Additional opportunities to hear the music of "Disney's Lost Chords" and the accompanying narration by author Russell Schroeder can be found on YouTube!
Disclaimer note: neither Russell Schroeder nor the webmaster of this site are responsible for any postings of materials from the live performances on e.g. YouTube.