Monday, May 30, 2011

From Dave Price

Buckles12, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Was this the first?


Ole Whitey said...

This special opened with the following announcement:

"And now from the very top of the Big Top, the wonderful wizard who makes your wishes come true. Introducing Mr Circus himself: John Ringling North."

JRN then said: "Good evening, Children of all ages, and welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth. This is a tremendously exciting night for us all. All winter long the gigantic circus family has been working day and night to bring you the greatest of all our great extravaganzas and you in the television audience tonight will be the very first to see its star-spangled highlights.

"Everything in the circus this year is bigger and better. More acts than ever seen before in America, more wild animals, more daredevil aerialists, more dazzling spectacles. Something special for each member of the family and I wish every family in America could be here but that's one of the few impossible things we haven't attempted so I've asked one of the nicest families I know to sit in my box and represent you all. I want you to meet some real enthusiasts, my good friend Bob Cummings, his lovely wife Mary and their two older children. I'm delighted you're all here, Bob."

Then Bob, who by the way came from Joplin, Missouri, took over the duties of the host.

Eric said...

Even though I was only 9 at the time, I can remember seeing the 1955 Ringling TV Special that was done from Madison Square Garden. It included part of the “Mama’s in the Park” elephant number, with adult elephants pushing baby elephants in those over-sized carts. I also recall a dressing room interview with some of the clowns, and that part of Pinito del Oro’s act was shown. (Back then, the whole program was probably broadcast live.) The Ringling TV Christmas special was the last thing Merle Evans did before leaving the show for 5 years.

Eric said...

Ole Whitey has provided the opening of the Ringling TV special that was broadcast on Tuesday evening, April 3, 1956 and hosted by Bob Cummings (a popular TV star of that era.) A rather sour review of the broadcast was written by David Hammarstrom and appeared in THE WHITE TOPS. This TV special was the first time most fans got to hear Izzy Cervone’s first musical program for Ringling, rendered by a band that was more like a theater pit orchestra, since it had saxophones and violins. (After the broadcast aired, the reaction of old time fans like Sverre O. Braathen was close to apoplectic.)

Ole Whitey said...

The intro above must have been from the spring 1956 special from the Garden, not from the Christmas 1955 show from Sarasota.

Roger Smith said...

I saw that one, too. After seeing him as himself in GSOE, I was no longer surprised at how bland John North could be.