The Story and Songs of The Cowardly Lion of Oz was released by Disneyland Records in 1969. The album included an 11-page illustrated booklet. Despite the title, it takes little material from the novel The Cowardly Lion of Oz. Songs from this record were included in The Songs from The Wizard of Oz album.
The Story And Songs Of The Cowardly Lion Of Oz is a 43-minute 12-inch full-length long-playing radio theater-style storyteller vinyl record especially prepared for very young children. It is narrated by Sam Edwards as the cowardly lion, and includes six original songs that were not written especially for this record, but were originally intended for a movie called "The Rainbow Road To Oz" that was to bring the Mousketeers from TV to film. This version of The Cowardly Lion Of Oz is an entirely original new story that isn't a straight up adaptation of and not based on the book by Ruth Plumly Thompson, since it takes little material from and bears no resemblance to it. However, the claims of the album notes say that it is an adaptation, despite that it is not. The record's case opens up into a giant-sized 11-page read-along picture storybook that contains magnificent full-color drawings illustrated by the Walt Disney studio's staff artists, where many characters have original designs, but some of the more classic characters are based on their classic designs.
The cowardly lion lives in his palace, which he sings about in a song called "Living A Lovely Life". Then one day, he hears the Oz-alarm go off, alerting him that there's "Trouble In Oz", so he heads to Glinda's palace, where she tells him that duke Grimwald of the prattling country has had prince Paul turned into a puppet by Smarmy the wickedest witch in Oz as part of a plot to become king. The prince is prisoner of a puppeteer named Glarm, and Glinda wants the lion to find and rescue the prince before Grimwald declares war on Oz so he can discredit king Maydor and become king himself when he "rescues" Paul. Glinda equips the lion with some tools before he sets out to look for Paul, and he meets a little girl named Forget-Me-Not who forgets everything including her own name. She's puzzling over an Ozphabet book, which the lion explains to her in the song "The Ozphabet". Forget-Me-Not is reminded that she saw a puppet show in a nearby town, so she joins the lion in his search. However, Smarmy pops up and defies the lion, making him fall into a pit, and she sings "Just Call Smarmy." But Forget-Me-Not helps the lion out by managing to use stones to help him climb out when the witch leaves, and they soon enter the town. They find the puppet show which is performing a song called "The Puppet Polka", and identify the puppeteer as Glarm. They make a tree outside the town their base and sneak back at night to find the prince. Using a puppet-scope, they are able to identify the prince and take him back to the tree. At the tree, Forget-Me-Not discovers the doll she's been carrying with her and left at the tree to mark it as her base has had sap dripping on it. However, the doll begins to talk and says it's an enchanted princess Flora, Paul's fiancee who was going to marry him. She further identifies Forget-Me-Not as a daughter of a Prattling courtier. So, they decide they need to get the antidote for the enchantments from Smarmy, so they go back to Glarm, who tells them Smarmy is in his wagon. But when they foolishly enter, they are locked in and are told by an outside Smarmy that they will all be turned to puppets. However, the lion whips out and manages to use an Ozmagnatron tool from Glinda that pulls Smarmy and Glarm through a hole into the wagon, knocking them out cold. A bottle marked "Antidote" falls out of Smarmy's pocket and is used to restore Paul and Flora. Tying up the two villains, they head to Glinda's. Paul, Flora, and Forget-Me-Not are returned home, but not before king Maydor declares an Oziday, which is a grand celebration. The lion tells Glinda he wasn't so sure of himself at times, but she assures him with the song "If You'll Just Believe", that she believed in him all the time.
Sam Edwards as the cowardly lion
Ginny Tyler as Glinda the good witch of the south and Smarmy the wicked witch
Robie Lester as Forget-Me-Not and princess Flora
Dallas McKennon as Glarm and prince Paul