Saturday, February 28, 2009

From Buckles

I have in my possession a pirated copy of the Syncopators playing the score from Zing Zang Zoom which I am listening to as we are prepare to leave for my belated Birthday Party.
I have explained to the kids in great detail that this time at Chunky Cheese, since it is my birthday, they must sit and watch as Gramsie and I slide down the slide and ride the rides.

Circus Music #1 (From Eric Beheim)

Ringling Band, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Ringling Band

Like the Sousa Band and U.S. Marine Band, the Ringling-Barnum Band made commercial recordings back in the days when phonograph records played at 78 rotations per minute.

Circus Music #2

Victor Supplement, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Victor Supplement

The earliest Ringling-Barnum record I am aware of was released in 1930 on Victor’s “Black Seal” (“popular”) label. (The prestigious “Red Seal” label was reserved for artists like Caruso and Galli-Curci.) A full page in one of Victor’s monthly catalogue supplements was devoted to announcing it. “Memphis the Majestic” and “Circus Echoes” were contained on Side A, and a particularly good rendering of “Entry of the Gladiators” was contained on Side B.

Circus Music #3

Ringling Victor Combo-1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Ringling Victor Combo-1

When #22438 was released, Victor record labels featured this fancy scroll design to identify them as having been recorded using the “Orthophonic” (i.e. electrical) process. This particular record must have enjoyed fairly good sales, since it remained in the Victor catalogue well into the 1940s and even after its audio quality must have sounded quite primitive compared to the Ringling Band’s later recordings.

Circus Music #4

Ringling Victors Combo-2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Ringling Victors- 2

In 1931, when the Circus was in Philadelphia for a week’s stand, F. Beverly Kelley arranged for Merle Evans and the band to journey to the Victor recording studios in nearby Camden, New Jersey, where they recorded 4 more sides.

Victor record #22474 contained Karl King’s “Pageantry” March on Side A and Russell Alexander’s “Colossus of Columbia” March on Side B.

Circus Music #5

Ringling Victors Combo-3, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Ringling Victors Combo- 3

According to Kelley, these three Victor records were the first commercial recordings ever done by a circus band. Unfortunately, they were sold during the years of the Great Depression when few people could spare the 75 cents (an amount equal to almost 12 of today’s dollars) that it took to purchase one of them. As a result, #22474 and #22671 were gone from the Victor catalogue by the early 1940s and are the hardest of the Ringling-Barnum Band’s records to find. (If eBay hadn’t been invented, I probably would never have acquired all three of them.)

Circus Music #6

Columbia album, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Columbia album

In 1941 Merle and the band recorded 10 sides for Columbia in Liederkrantz Hall in New York City. They were released as “Circus,” an album of five 10-inch records, which must have been a good seller, since used copies are almost continuously available on eBay, in various states of condition and completeness.

Circus Music #7

Columbia LP, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Columbia LP

In the late 1940’s when LP (i.e. long playing) records were first introduced, Columbia reissued “Circus” as a 10-inch LP.

Circus Music #8

Capitol 1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Capitol 1

In the late 1940s, Merle and the band recorded some sides for Capitol Records. (Since the Capitol studios are located in Hollywood, the sessions might have taken place when the Circus was appearing in the Los Angeles area.) Capitol issued this material as two albums: “Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Band” . . .

Circus Music #9

Capitol 2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Capitol 2

. . and “Circus Parade.” This occurred just as 45-rpm records and 33 1/3-rpm records were battling it out to become the successor to 78-rpm records. As was the standard industry practice back then, both of these albums were released in all three speeds. (The 10-inch LP albums each had two extra selections that were not included in the 78- and 45-rpm albums.)

Circus Music #10

Circus Time, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Circus Time

In the early 1950s, Merle and band recorded some sides for Decca Records. These were released in 1953 as “Circus Time.” Once again, the album was issued in all three speeds, with the 10-inch LP version having the same number of selections as the other albums.

The Columbia, Capitol and Decca albums were later reissued as 12-inch LPs, which are quite common today and fairly easy to find.

Circus Music #11

Day at the Circus, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Day at the Circus"

While on the subject of Ringling-Barnum Circus 78-rpm records, mention should be made of A DAY AT THE RINGLING BROS. BARNUM AND BAILEY CIRCUS, which came out about 1947. It consists of F. Beverly Kelley describing a tour of the Circus lot, using sound effects “recorded on location” to help listeners visualize in their minds what he is describing. Among other things, this album preserves for posterity the sounds made by the cook house dish washer and the diesel generators, the yowls of Gargantua, and the voice of Felix Adler, who is heard doing a short comedy routine with his pet pig “Gloria.”

All of these records have the potential to turn up on e-Bay or some other on-line auction site, and if you’re patient enough, you might be able to collect them all.

The Ken & Nicole Syncopators! (From Buckles)

IMG_3913, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Unhumably Yours!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

From Adam Hill

P1010021, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


I went to the Florida Fish and Wild Life Meeting with Kathy Nelson, Kay, Pam and Linda Rosaire last night. It was very informative and not as bad as I thought it was going to be. They are trying very hard to keep the people and the animals of Florida safe but still allow people to posses class I, II, and III animals.

Here are some notes from Bob Johnson, OABA president summarized from the meeting and also a list of the attendees:

Well attended the two hour hearing on February 25, with about 100 or so people attending. FWC did an excellent job reviewing the proposed rules and then opening for public comment for the last hour of the hearing. Several animal extremists raised their typical issues about ownership, exhibition and performance of wild, exotic animals. Sanctuary owner Carol Baskin from Big Cat Habitat in Tampa had invited about 15 people to read prepared statements. It appeared that some of the same extremists attended the hearing in Gainesville, FL. At one point Haskin those present in opposition to ownership of exotic wildlife to stand and some 20 or so people stood up. Then someone shouted for all others to stand who own, exhibit and raise exotic wildlife... which was the majority of attendees.

Several of our folks asked questions and received favorable response. Monica Welde as example knows she is supposed to get a permit from FWC for her bears when re-entering the State of Florida, but does not have to mark her vehicles stating "Caution Wild Animals" ...only their cages. Welde was also glad to hear that any increased cage size requirements have been put off for two years and because she and John travel with their bears, larger cage sizes proposed by FWC above and beyond USDA requirements would not be necessary and could be a safety hazard to their bears in transport.

There was much discussion over whether of not a licensed "Sanctuary" verses a "Rescue" facility can do shows to raise funds to help care for and feed their animals. The discussion on this issue by FWC got very technical and was pushed off to the FL legislature for further clarification and direction. It sounded as though Kay Rosaire's facility, which does shows under another corporation, then donates funds to her "sanctuary" should be within these regulations.

Also, several changes with regards to Class 2 animals moving to Class 1, and the required experience on Class 2 license holders being increased from 500 to 1,000 hours. Class 1 is still at 1,000 hours and most of our group voiced their comments and thought the 1,000 hours was not sufficient and should be increased. With respect to recordkeeping and forms, FWC said that USDA forms can replace State forms as long as the required information on USDA forms was similar to FWC requirements.

There is no effective date as of yet for these new Rules to go into effect. FWC began working on them with a task group panel of experts, which has been disbanded, in 2005. After all comments are in by March 13, they will be forwarded to the Florida Wildlife Commission, that meets in June 2009, for further review and potential changes. The revisions after these hearings will be posted on the FWC website.

From Don Covington

_45518935_elephants_226, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

elephants' circus show

Elephants last performed 10 years ago in a UK circus
A circus has been criticised by the RSPCA for using elephants in its show.

The animal charity said the debut of three elephants at a circus in Newark, Nottinghamshire, on Friday was a "body blow for animal welfare".
It called for a ban on wild animals in circuses and urged potential audiences to think of "ethical issues involved".
The elephant act at the Great British Circus will be the first in the UK for over 10 years. A spokesman said the animals received "the best of care".
Many circuses stopped using elephants after pressure from animal rights campaigners.

Asking these majestic animals to behave in unnatural ways in the name of entertainment is a disgrace

Dr Rob Atkinson, RSPCA
The RSPCA's wildlife department head Dr Rob Atkinson said: "This is a body blow for animal welfare in this country.
"I am sure this news will shock and sadden the public which has consistently shown its opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses."
He said the RSPCA did not believe wild animals' needs could ever be met in circuses adding that confinement, constant transportation, abnormal social groups and inadequate winter quarters all caused suffering.
'Care and attention'
"Asking these majestic animals to behave in unnatural ways in the name of entertainment is a disgrace - a disgrace which is already banned in several other European countries", Dr Atkinson added.
"There is absolutely no similarity between the lives of wild elephants and those of these circus captives," he said.
Mark Pritchard MP and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conservation and Wildlife said ministers should intervene to "put an end to this cruel and outdated practice".
He said: "Reintroducing more non-domesticated animals into travelling circuses is like harking back to Victorian times.
"These animals are being exploited for profit and people should vote with their feet and boycott all circuses who continue the practice".
An African and two Asian elephants are due to perform in the "European Elephant Act" at the circus.
'Best of care'
According to the Great British Circus website, director Martin Lacey "always insists his animals receive the best possible care and attention".
On the website, Mr Lacey said: "Our African elephant is called Sonja and her mother was shot in an elephant cull.
"Together with the two Asian elephants, Delhi and Vana Mana, they are great ambassadors for the species, entertaining and educating the public within the care and security of the circus to protect them."
Speaking ahead of Friday's show, Chris Barltrop from the Great British Circus said: "The trainer just deals with them by word of voice, he's not pushing them around with sticks or whips or anything else.
"He just says 'do this' and they follow him and do it. They follow him around devotedly like some sort of dog... [it is the] same sort of relationship.
"They have lots of activity, they have lots to think about, they're in constant contact with one another, with people they have the best of care."

Duesseldorf Zoo #1 (From Filipe Von Gilsa)

Dear Mister Woodcock,

just got some photos of the elephants of the Duesseldorf Zoo.
This zoo was totaly destroyed during world war 2.
best wishes


Duesseldorf Zoo #2

Dusse01, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duesseldorf Zoo #3

Dusse02, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duesseldorf Zoo #4

Dusse05, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duesseldorf Zoo #5

Dusse03, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duesseldorf Zoo #6

Dusse04, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duesseldorf Zoo #7

Kissimmee Wild Life Meeting #1 (From Jim Cole)

IMG_9301, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Jimmy said that he was accompanied by Phil Schacht.
In the Panama hat is our tireless leader Dave Orr.

I received a phone call from another attendee who said that several protesters showed up and received a few hoots but that there was something of an outbreak among the exhibitors themselves.

Kissimmee Wild Life Meeting #2

IMG_9295, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Kissimmee Wild Life Meeting #3

IMG_9294, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Kissimmee Wild Life Meeting #4

IMG_9293, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Kissimmee Wild Life Meeting #5

IMG_9297, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I believe these College kids in the foreground were the protesters.

From Ralph Pierce

Baraboo Winterquarters2, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Good Morning Buckles
Included in the attachment is a rare photo showing the Gollmar Winterquarters in Baraboo in the early 1900's. As you can see this photo gives even more verification to your fathers statement that the eight elephants wintered at the Ringling Quarters. As can be seen, this was a modest facility and did not have any buildings large enough to hold a herd of eleven bulls. Photo was most likely taken in Spring (no leaves of trees) and the show must have left town because no visible wagons but you can see what looks like a practice ring that had been used in the right side of the photo. This quarters were on the end of 2nd Avenue on the West end of the city exactly on the opposite side of town from Ringling's right at the bridge next to the old Woolen Mill. There was a railroad siding just on the other side of the river for the Woolen Mill and other factories which Gollmar's used to load the train when starting the season.
Ralph from Baraboo

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Star is Born! (From B.J.)

Camels0001, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From William Woodcock Sr.

Scan11391, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


SALLY RAND, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Well I had another card picked out for you, but after reviewing your other cards, I just couldn't resist.

Bill & Trudy

From Buddy Copeland

Scaned Photos0023.BMP, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


from your

Two Favorite Females

Circus Birthday Cake

Circus Birthday Cake, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hi Buckles,

I know I join the thousands of other fans of “The Greatest Circus Blog on Earth” in wishing you a happy birthday.

Eric Beheim

Most Erotic Birthday Card!

dirty martini, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Dirty Martini"





Mystery Card!

Scan11391, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This picture included with an unsigned birthday card.
I will assume the gentleman seen here on "Anna May" is the sender.

From Duane Bowman

Scan11388, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Duane is a friend from my High School days now living in Sacramento. In fact he was in a recent picture shown on the Blog, taken in Hot Springs.

The punch line on this card is, "....and yer still holdin' yer own!"

Three Amigos!

Scan11393, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hugo, Oklahoma 1954.
My two best friends Jimmy Rossi and Duane Bowman.
We were nineteen and not an immoral thought among the three of us.
Duane was on his way to the University of Arizona, Jimmy destined to become an American Airlines Flight Captain.
And your humble scribe, already underway in a career of "shovelin' shit and hollerin' Steady!"

Don Foote #1 (From Tim Dain)

footeportrait, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hi Buckles,
I was spending way too much time reading through your web blog, (actually I was looking for stuff on Don Foote and Came across it), and wanted to say how awesome your blog is...great archive of picture & info. I am a fan of RBBB during what I would consider it's golden years (late 60's-mid 80's). I work as an actor, director, costume design, & techie & have met or gotten to know many of you show folks from that time period. I worked at several theatres in Sarasota over the last couple of years & have worked for Feld myself...but am a big fan of Don Footes work but there is so little information on him out there...unless you talk to showfolks that worked with him. ( I am currently working at Disney & two of my stage managers, Dora Franklin & Heidi Vogal,who were with RBBB
praise him so highly. I actully own two of his creations. 1 is a costume sketch from his pre circus career (I think) and one costume peice I picked up at yard sale in Sarasota..
At`any rate i have some photos I would like to share with you:
the first one is of myself, Charly Bauman, & Ursula Bottcher at the circus museum for Charly's induction to the circus hall of fame- I think I met Barbara that night too....
the rest is pics of Don's work I have found online...
Tim Dain

Don Foote #2

chrliebaum, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I was at this event when Charly was honored at the Ringling Museum.
The last time I saw him.

Don Foote #3

RinglingSketch, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Don Foote #4

fe5e_1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Don Foote #5

circus1, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From Bill Hall

Per your request, Buckles, here are Tuesday's Luncheon attendees:

Mike Ashton (Hey), musical artist
Eva Kelly Lentz (Emmett's widow)
Sigrid Gebel, son Mark, & daughter Tina Del Moral
Michaelangelo Nock, wife Caroline, daughter Lisa, & Irene Espana
(Caroline's mother)
Ada Smeija Blaszak, daughter-in-law Maritza & her 4-month-old daughter
Shelagh (Mrs. Barry) Sloan
Sue & Rudi Lenz
Dorothy L. Nock
Aurelia Canestrelli Nock
Bello & Jenny Nock & daughter, Amariah
David Martinez (Bello aide)
John (Mercury) Morgan, bicycle leaper
Hugo Zacchini
Torr Curran (one-time Zacchini cannonball)
Vladimir & Olga Smirnov & daughter, Nicole
Elvin Bale
Adam Hill
Nick Wallenda Troffer & wife, Erendira
Sarasota Circus Ring of Fame Foundation Chairman Floyd Kruger & wife,
Former CFA President Dale Riker & wife, Evelyn
CFAer/writer Paul Ingrassia & wife, Roberta
OABA Rep David P. Orr
Spectacle Editor/Publisher & author Ernest Albrecht & wife, Pearl
And, of course, you & Barbara, who we were pleased to actually meet
after one of those all too quick intros on the RBBB Circus years ago...

Bill Hall

From Dave Orr

PLEASE NETWORK: This e-mail with your animal contacts in the Kissimmee, FL area that could
attend the Florida Fish & Wildlife Meeting - Civic Center - Wed., Feb. 25th - 7:00 PM

There will be a Pre-Animal Meeting across the street from the Civic Center at 6:00 PM.
Note attached e-mail from Monica Welde.
Hope to see you in Kissimmee.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 2:40 pm
Subject: Animal Trainers Meeting ; Re; Captive Wildlife Workshop FWC

Attention animal trainers , exotic animal owners and exhibitors; Let's get together and discuss the new captive wildlife draft rules before the meeting so we are all on the same page. We will meet at the Natures Table, across the street from the Kissimmee Civic Center on Dakin Ave.,@6:00 p.m.. The FWC Captive Wildlife meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.@ the Kissimmee Civic Center. If you would like to check out the proposed rules then go to;

"Greatest of American Shows" #1

Scan11392, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #2

Scan11390, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

These post card size shots of the Gollmar parade are well circulated and you can tell from the numbers that a lot were taken on this occasion of the entire show.
I'm sure someone can easily come up with a date and location.

"Greatest of American Shows" #3

Scan11389, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #4

Scan11388, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #5

Scan11387, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of Americaan Shows" #6

Scan11386, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #7

Scan11385, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #8

Scan11384, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Greatest of American Shows" #9

Scan11383, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.