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 Post subject: Sold: Columbia Album Ringling Bros Circus Music, SetC-58
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:25 am 
Victor I
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:58 pm
Posts: 107
This record set costs $35. It is an excellent Circus music set recorded by Merle Evans, the band master, for Columbia. It has all the most popular music you heard when you went to the circus. There are 4 records in outstanding condition. One of the pictures shows all the songs in the album and there is a picture of each record face. This is perfect for the collectors near the museum in Sarasota. If you have any questions, please ask. Buyer pays shipping via whatever means you choose.

Ken Danckaert

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Last edited by kendphono on Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 Post subject: Re: For Sale: Columbia Album Ringling Bros Circus Music, Set
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:43 pm 
Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
That's quite a collection. I played for Merle Evans in 1964-65-66 when RBB&B ("The Big One") came to Raleigh for its annual three-day stand at the State Coliseum. For brass players, it was a grueling experience. The first day we had a three-hour rehearsal and two three-hour shows; there was only one intermission in the show. This added up to about eight hours of solid playing for the day, which just about killed my chops for the rest of the run. The next two days it was two-a-day. Musicians called this "a hospital gig." But the pay was good for the times, $300 for the run. Some of the tunes on the album I recall vividly: Barnum & Bailey's Favorite, Stop It!, Grand Entry, The Big Cage. Merle had been with the circus since 1919, and was quite a legend. He still played his cornet, intermittently, during the show, usually when the band got off and then he would turn to face us, cornet blaring the right place in the music to get us back on track. He conducted with his left side to us, facing the show while conducting with his left hand and holding his cornet at the ready in his right hand. He had to watch the show at all times in order to keep track of the acts. If the act finished early, we stopped wherever we were in the chart and played a Bb chord. The "book" consisted of dozens of dog-eared leaves, field-folio size, of the various tunes for the acts. K.L.King and Henry Fillmore were among the favored composers. In an earlier period the circus carried its own band for the tours, but later on they hired players from the Musicians Union local wherever they went. It would be interesting to know the details of this recording, as to musicians and dates.

Coincidentally, TCM showed "The Greatest Show on Earth" just the other night. It's a terrific documentary of the circus, and Merle can be seen briefly in several scenes. The music in the movie is arranged with heavily augmented orchestration including strings (typical Hollywood overkill). The only musicians who travelled with the show in later years were Merle, a drummer, and a keyboard player on Hammond organ with Leslie rotating speakers. The organ volume was so loud that you couldn't hear the band in the audience, according to my wife, who attended one of the shows. All that work for nothing!

Ah, the memories....

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