Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beatty-Cole 1960's-70's #1 (From Richard Flint)

Beatty-Cole poles, 7-70, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

PHOTO 1 (Beatty-Cole poles, 7-70)
For eastern US fans in the late 1960s, the big tent show of America
was the Beatty-Cole show. By then, veteran Frank McClosky was the
principal active partner and this new circus corporation of the 1960s
also toured the smaller Sells & Gray and a revived King title.
Longtime favorites such as Mills, Hunt, and the smaller and elusive
Beers-Barnes shows had had their last tours by the mid-1960s. Dory
Miller's big Al G. Kelly-Miller Bros. limped east about 1965 facing
IRS problems and though it tried parading, was no longer the glory
show of the 1950s that eastern fans had heard about. Beatty-Cole with
its herd of 11 elephants, numerous 3-ring displays, a circusy 8-piece
band, and traditional rail show style of moving nightly was the
favorite. Here it is seen in a photo I took at about 6am on the
morning of June 15, 1970, in Springfield, Mass.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dick, for the fantastic Beatty-Cole photos. And thank you again, Buckles, for providing this watering hole for some absolutely great circus memories.

All these photos of circus greats--and a lot of its characters--take on extra significance for a fan like me, who only reemersed myself into the circus world in 1999.

I had never heard of Red Hartman until I met Shane Johnson in 2000 on the Jordan show in Bloomington, Illinois. Shane told me he was still using Red's old cage and told me about Red breaking him into the big cage while working for Donnie Johnson, Shane's dad, in a Dallas suburb.

I had never heard of Dave Hoover until I wandered onto a Beatty-Cole lot in Albany, Georgia, in October 1999. Someone pointed out Hoover to me; at that time he was listed as safety director. I had no idea about his phenomenal wild-animal training background.

Outside of the time I saw Clyde Beatty in my Oklahoma hometown in 1948, I had never seen the Beatty show again until 1999.

Seeing these great photos on Buckles blog enables me for the first time to connect Red Hartman's face with his act.

Lane Talburt

David said...

I love these pictures since I was introduced to Beatty-Cole as an eighth grader in Tampa in 1966. Dick mentioned Kelly-Miller. I helped raise their tent the following year in Crestview, Florida (our family had moved). We got to the lot at daybreak and found not a soul, unlike Beatty-Cole. When I mentioned their late arrival to the older gentleman on Kelly-Miller who hired my brother and me for the day, he said he used to work for Beatty-Cole but switched because he preferred sleeping at night.