SOUNDS OF THE CIRCUS
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How the Music was Used.....
Entry of the Gladiators
most familiar circus number with two titles, the other being Thunder and Blazes
, the title used by most circus people.
Cyrus, the Great
used by "the unpredictable Pablo Noel in his fierce, jungle bred Nubian lion act" with Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey ("RBB&B") in the 70's.
Wolfgang Holzmair lion act with RBB&B 1970's.
Indiana State Band March
circus bandmaster Merle Evans' favorite wagon march for street parades.
used by Cossack riders for RBB&B in the 70's.
originally called Wings of Victory
, renamed in the 30's by the circus for show choreographer, Mr. Foster.
El Condor Pasa
used by RBB&B for a mixed animal act because of the haunting and mysterious sound.
used for the rolling globe act.
Stars and Stripes Forever
Sousa marches were rarely used in the circus. However, in case of emergency (fire, performer accident, etc.) the trio of Stars and Stripes Forever was played repeatedly to alert circus personnel without alarming the public.
Hoop Dee Doo
last musical number (prior to Auld Lang Syne) played under canvas
(in a tent) by RBB&B, July 16, 1956, Pittsburgh, PA
Ung Kung Foy Ya
music written especially for Chinese acrobats.
first number played by circus bandmaster Merle Evans when he took over the RBB&B band at Madison Sq. Garden for the grand entry, Saturday matinee, March29, 1919.
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
used for RBB&B clowns in the 70's.
Aguero used by Gran Picaso for "the totally incredible juggling of 5 ping pong balls using only his mouth".
Biller Bros. Circus 1949 high school horse act.
clown walk around music.
Red Rhythm Valley
RBB&B western style whip act, 1955. Persian March Pablo Noel lion act.
Aba Daba Honeymoon
music for chimpanzee acts.
tiger act finale used several years by RBB&B for sit up tiger on rotating mirrored ball.
used 1929 season only on Sells Floto Circus when huge male elephant, "Snyder" walked entire length of the hippodrome track on his hind legs with Lucia Zora perched on one tusk, with music conducted by circus bandmaster, Vic Robbins.
used by Pinito del Oro for her head balancing trapeze act.
The Sheik of Araby
Charley Baumann 's RBB&B tiger act.
Castles in Spain
Pablo Noel lion act.
used for tiger act rollover.
music for "Unus" classic one finger stand.
RBB&B spec 1955.
1950 Albert Rix' Bears.
Mixed animal act RBB&B 1978, Red Unit. Original show manuscript.
Used by Merle Evans in 1951 for two thrill acts: novelty teeth suspension and breakaway sway pole. Recorded at the same fast tempo as in the movie, "The Greatest Show on Earth". Performed as entrance march for Betty Hutton and Cornel Wilde in Duel in the Air
sequence of the film.
In a Chinese Temple Garden
Played by Bandmaster Joe Basile ("Mr. 5 x 5") for Chinese contortionists on Hamid-Morton Circus 1947.
(Danube Waves) Used in 1951 on RBB&B for three flying acts.
Used for three tightwire acts on RBB&B 1955.
Stella Wirth, organist, and the Hunt Bros. Circus Band played this march in 1960 for the climb to the platform and end of the flying act.
Finale of center ring liberty horse act RBB&B 1955 as three horses did hindleg walk across the ring.
Cat act music with RBB&B and, more recently, used for clown-burglar routine, featuring Mike Snider and Billy Vaughn on Vidbel's Olde Tyme Circus.
(Sword Dance) Famous juggler Francis Brunn worked to this piece during the 1948, 1949 and 1950 editions of RBB&B.
A Night in June
Used for Alfred Burton who balanced on wooden blocks atop toll ladder in the 1954-1955 RBB&B.
Famous bareback rider Alberto Zoppe' finished his act to this number (late 1940's and early 1950's on RBB&B) while swinging the midget, "Cucciola" through the air on a mechanic. This sequence with the same music can be seen in the DeMille film, "The Greatest Show on Earth".
Used at beginning and end of opening display of cage acts RBB&B 1954.
Used for novel balancing act called, "Rola Rola" RBB&B 1949. Also played in 1954 for opening display of three cage acts.
There's No Business Like Show Business
Opening number (RBB&B 1954) in Sir Victor Julian's dress dog parade. Also used in 1947 & 1951 for aerial medleys.
Tiger act exit. Gunther Gebel-Williams RBB&B 1970. Original show manuscript.
The Shadow of Your Smile
Charly Baumann's tigers - RBB&B 1967. Caravan
was also used.
Merle Evans played this in 1967 on RBB&B for a medley of ground acts.
Played by clown band to open second half RBB&B 1976.
High wire act RBB&B - 1976.
March used in "The Greatest Show on Earth" movie as circus paraded triumphantly into town following train wreck sequence.
RBB&B 1961 - Klauser's Bears make their exit down the track.
Used by juggler, Francis Brunn, for many years with RBB&B.
Rogers Bros. Circus 1950. Used for Joe Horwath's cat act.
Played by Bandmaster Joe Rossi on Mills Bros. Circus 1960 - for the Pedrolas' tightwire act.
Played for several years on Beatty-Cole Circus for liberty horses.
Played on RBB&B in 1962 - 1963 to open second half of performance.
All the music listed for volumes 21 through 27 was used on the Ringling Bros., and Barnum & Bailey Circus unless otherwise indicated.
- 1970 - bareback riders.
Wall Street Rag
- 1970 - clowns.
Poet And Peasant Overture
- 1953 - center ring feature, Mr. Miston, Jr., musical prodigy xylophone artist.
- 1954 - Alexander Konyot -dressage rider.
Long Run Galop
- 1985 - flying acts "come down".
Hey! Look Me Over
- 1966 - entrance of the bareback riders.
Waltzes from Sari
- 1968 - Spec - "The Inauguration Ball". Original show manuscript.
- 2001 - Sarasota Sailor Circus exit march.
12th Street Rag
- 1966 - aerial acts entrance.
I Love a Parade
- 1985 - elephants.
March of the Toys
- 1943 - on the hippodrome track. Dr. Ostermaier presents "Doheos", the white, wingless Pegasus in "Airs Above the Ground". Also used in the 1955 Holiday spec.
Big Time Boogie
- 1954 - clown walk-around.
- 1963 - liberty horses.
March of the Mannikins
- 1966 - high school horses.
- 1975 - Samels' mixed wild animal act. Original show manuscript.
- 1954 - liberty horses (ringcurb walk); 1964 - single trapeze acts.
- 1959 - three rings of rolling globes.
- 1968 - three rings of ground acts; 1978 - aerial act "come down".
- 1970 - clowns.
- 1949 - bareback riders; 1955 - jugglers.
- 1955 - tumblers and teeterboards.
Midnight in Paris
- 1947 - (Hamid-Morton Circus) aerial act - The Loof-Rios; 1955 - bareback riders. Original show manuscript.
- 1959 - (Hunt Bros. Circus) bounding rope act; 1961 - cloud swings.
Before the Parade Passes By
- 1968 - sea lions and chimps; 1986 - elephants.
- 1966 - liberty horses.
- 1955 - bareback riders; 1959 - (Hunt Bros. Circus) jugglers; 1961 - leaps over the elephants.
- Merle Evans often played this march on his concert dates after retiring from The Greatest Show on Earth.
Big Brass Band from Brazil
- 1949 - bareback riders.
Wedding of the Painted Doll
- 1948 - spec "Twas the Night Before Christmas"; 1954 - three juggling acts featuring, in the center ring, cup and saucer juggler, Dieter Tasso on the slack wire.
- 1949 and 1961 - the Gutis Gorilla Parody.
Strike Up the Band
- As Equestrian Director Fred Bradna blows his whistle, blue-tinted spotlights converge on the bandstand. Bandmaster Merle Evans gives the downbeat. The magic begins. Played as an overture in the early 1940's. Also frequently used as a "tag" or "chaser" to take an act out of the arena.
- 1971. Charivari - Acrobats and tumblers.
In Old Portugal
- One of several pieces played for famous aerialist, Lillian Leitzel.
Birth of the Blues
- When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus appeared on national TV for the first time, on Tuesday, March 29, 1955, in a live one-hour special from Madison Square Garden, this piece was played for a clown walk-around. Also used in 1962 and 1964 for a clown walk-around.
- 1966 - 1968. Charly Baumann's Tigers. Merle Evans changed the cues to suit Charly Baumann's wish for more contemporary music. The new book was first played for the act during the Boston run. Jackie Gleason composed the melody as a theme for his television show.
- 1950. Hamid-Morton Circus. Bandmaster Joe Basile used this popular 1941 tune for the high aerial act of Dobritch and Dobritch.
On The Hudson
- 1947. Hamid-Morton Circus elephant act. One of the few Goldman marches played for a circus performance.
- Three single trapeze acts.
March of the Musketeers
- 1948. Entrance of three rings of bareback riders.
- 1960. Stella Wirth, organist, and the Hunt Bros. Circus Band played this lilting Karl King waltz for a flying return act.
- 1955. Display of five aerial acts of different types. Called "The Little Aerial" on the show to differentiate from the aerial ballet or web production number.
- Paul Lavalle dedicated this march to the Barnum Festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
March of the Siamese
- 1971. Dogs, bears and ponies.
Gillette Look Sharp
- 1954. Mills Bros. Circus Bandmaster Joe Rossi opened the center ring pre-show concert with this well-known march.
South America, Take It Away
- 1955. Jugglers. 1965 - Trained doves, bears and chimps.
Roses of Memory
- One of Merle Evans' favorite waltzes. He included it in his first circus album for Columbia Records released in 1942. It was played on an air calliope. 1968 - flying trapeze.
- 1966 and 1970. Stephenson's Dogs. 1968 - three bicycle acts.
If I Had a Dream
- 1966 - 1968. Tight wire acts. Music written by Rudy Bundy who started out as a clarinet player in Merle Evans Band in 1950, and became vice president of RBB&B with his own private railroad car.
- 1949. Bareback Riders. 1952. - Mardi Gras - Equestrian production number. 1955 - Three tight wire acts. 1964 - Three single trapeze acts.
- 1947 and 1948. Played for high school riders.
Miss Frenchy Brown
- 1970. Clowns.
- 1960. Hunt Bros. Circus. Swinging ladder display.
- 1954. Three rings of liberty horses.
- 1952. Aerial ballet. "Butterfly Lullaby". 1954. - Victor Julian's Dogs.
Song of the Vagabonds
- 1946. Famous juggler, Massamilliano Truzzi. 1947 - Display of five small animal acts (dogs, bears, sea lions, ponies and mules).
- 1971. Clown baby carriage gag. 1987 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, Petite's Poodles.
- 1985 & 1987. Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus Bandleader Clarke Weigle used this stirring march along with a dozen other pieces for the elephant display.
Echoes From The Big Top
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Dave Hoover's lions and tigers.
- 1949 - Elephant Act.
- 1954 - clown band; 1971 - (blue unit) clown walk-around.
- 1955 - gymnasts and tumblers.
- 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Dave Hoover's lions and tigers.
Quando, Quando, Quando
- 1968 - Charly Baumann's tigers.
A Walk In The Black Forest
- 1970 - Jackie Althoff's bears.
Mexican Hat Dance
- 1954 - "Fiesta" - Mexican-themed equestrian production.
- Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - 1971 - jugglers; 1973 - clowns.
- 1958 - Circus Kirk - chaser; Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - aerial acts.
- 1958 - Musical Director Izzy Cervone, who replaced Merle Evans for five seasons (1956 - 1960) played this rousing Meredith Willson march for the Ibarra Brothers aerial bar act.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
- 1954 - one of six numbers played for the great equilibrist, Unus, the man who balanced on his forefinger; Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - 1971 and 1973 Les Blocks highwire troupe.
Father Of Victory
- 1961 - liberty horses.
- 1954 - opening display of three steel arena acts. Paul Fritz, lions; Trevor Bale, tigers; Albert Rix, bears.
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Perch act's entrance.
- 1976 - Wolfgang Holzmair's lions.
- Ted Casher played tenor sax on this number in the mid-1970's to back up the Ringling clowns. He has recreated his performance as special guest artist for the South Shore Circus Band recording.
- 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - perch acts.
- 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Dave Hoover's lions and tigers.
- 1946 - Sparks Circus Bandmaster Victor Robbins used this popular 1940's number to open the show as clown "Dime" Wilson presented his scream-invoking tower of toppling tables; 1967 - a display of three ground acts; 1973 - King Bros. Circus - trampoline acts.
- 1950 - Baptiste Schreiber presents his dancing acrobatic elephants, "Manyula" and "Lemabadi".
El Rancho Grande
- 1950 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - 1971 and 1973 - Suarez riding act.
King Of The Air
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - elephant act.
- 1950 - the mother and daughter equestrienne team of Luciana and Freidel; 1972 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Suarez riding act.
Everything I Have Is Yours
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - aerial act.
- 1961 - Guti's Gorilla Parody.
- played for the rolling globe act at the Sarasota Sailor Circus.
Fine And Dandy
- frequently played as a "tag" or "chaser" as an act exits the arena.
br> The Imperator
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - aerial act's entrance.
Fire Jump Galop
- 1936 - Composed in 1936 by Merle Evans for famous equestrienne Dorothy Herbert who concluded her act by riding high jumping horses over flaming hurdles.
1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Two mixed animal acts.
1979 - Dog acts.
- An Egyptian number dedicated to Bobby Gibbs and his camel presentations of past years.
March of the Olympians
- 1970 & 1971 - Entrance of the flying return acts.
1973 - Carson & Barnes Circus - Mayolas Highwire Act.
- 1979 - Rudi Lenz chimpanzees.
- 1954 - "Fiesta" - Mexican-themed equestrian production.
- 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Suarez Riding Act.
- 1955 - Chinese Acrobats.
- 1968 - Stephenson's Dogs.
-1970 - Jackie Althoff's Bears.
- 1972 - Royal Ranch Wild West - The Deans trick and fancy roping.
Only A Rose
- 1951 - Cecil B. DeMille took artistic license with this composition by having Betty Hutton sing it during the "Circus Serenade" sequence of his film. In the actual performance, George M. Cohan's "You're A Grand Old Flag" was used.
- 1983 - spec.
Ain't She Sweet
- 1950 - Called "The Little Aerial" on the show, the Ringling program contained a display featuring three or more aerial acts of different types working to well known standards and popular music of the day played in this up-tempo style.
Four Leaf Clover
- 1948 - "Little Aerial". Orchestra leader Art Mooney's big hit of the year quickly found its way into the circus performance played at this accelerated tempo.
Ain't We Got Fun
- 1966 - Elephants.
Lady In Red
- 1971 - Hoxie Bros. Circus - Hendrick's dog act.
- 1931 - In 1931, the Ringling Band cut three 78 R.P.M. records for Victor Records. This was the first galop that they recorded. It is one of the most frequently played pieces of circus music and instantly recognized whenever it is used.
1954 - Principal riding acts.
1955 - Tumblers and teeterboards.
- 1972 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Dave Hoover's Cat Act.
1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Circus clown walk-around.
1978 - Clowns
- 1962 - Cloud swings.
Everything's Coming Up Roses
- 1966 - "Little Aerial" - 1983 - Elephants.
Talk to the Animals
- 1970 - Jackie Althoff's bears. 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - baby elephants.
- 1960 - Entrance of the cloud swing performers.
1971 - (blue unit) Bareback pas de deux.
- 1973 - Circus Kirk - clown walk-around
- 1961 - Elephant production number entitled, "The Polka-Dot Polka". Several popular polkas were utilized during the routines.
Darktown Strutters Ball
- 1959 - Hunt Bros. Circus, Charlie Schlarbaum and the band played this old timer for Charlotte Levine's comical chimpanzees.
1971 - Hoxie Bros. Circus - Hendrick's Dog Act.
Maple Leaf Rag
- 1986 - Clown walk-around.
Mission: Impossible Theme
- 1970 - Bareback riders.
- 1971 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Clown walk-around.
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Clown walk-around.
This Guy's In Love With You
- 1973 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - aerial acts.
Alexander's Ragtime Band
- 1949 - Gutis - gorilla parody.
1985 - elephants.
- 1954 - "Little Aerial". A well-known Guy Lombardo number, but Guy never played it at this toe-tapping tempo.
- 1961 - Played to open the second half of the performance.
- Opening march played for Professor George J. Keller's mixed wild animal act. Originally a college professor, he created an act containing ten various species of wild cats and appeared with the Ringling circus in New York and Boston during the 1959 season.
Over the Waves
- 1941 - Three flying acts.
- Played many seasons as the flyers took their bows at the conclusion of the act.
Procession of the Sardar
- Jack Joyce's mixed animal act, camels, llamas, zebra and pony. Act book arranged by I. Cervone.
Girl of Eagle Ranch
- Played for the elephant act on Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus several seasons in the late 1980's.
Puppet on a String
- 1969 - Played twice during the performance for the opening display "Riding High" and later during Elena Ben Said's bird revue.
- 1979 & 1981 - Clown walk-around
Beyond the Blue Horizon
- 1979 - Flying acts come-down.
- 1977 - Opening march for Ursula Bottcher and her ten towering polar bears from the German Democratic Republic.
- 1950 - The Great Alzana's highwire act. Originally one of several numbers played for famous aerialist Lillian Leitzel, it was played only this one season after her death.
E Pluribus Unum
- Early 1960's - Mills Bros. Circus elephant act. Toby Tyler Circus - 1987 - Elephants.
March of the Grenadiers
- 1950 - Entrance of three riding acts. Played as an entrance march for many years for the famous Loyal-Repensky family of bareback riders.
My Silent Love
- 1959 - Goldilocks and the Three Bears presented by the Klauser family.
- 1970 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Tibor Alexander's dog act.
- 1978 - Clown walk-around.
Buttons and Bows
- 1966 - Clown saloon gag.
- 1961 - Jack Joyce's mixed animal act. Act book arranged by I. Cervone
Glory of the Trumpets
- 1959 & 1960 - Hunt Bros. Circus. Grand Entry.
Wedding of the Winds
- 1961 - Two flying acts.
Around the World
- 1957 - Ringmaster Harold Ronk sang this well-known waltz during the flying acts after the show played the two indoor dates.
- 1985 - Three animal acts.
Song of the Marines
- 1950 - Entrance - "Little Aerial" display.*
Begin the Beguine
- 1955 - Three tightwire acts. - 1960 - Hamid - Morton - Baptista Schreiber's Chimps.
- 1954 - "Little Aerial" display.* - 1969 - Gunther Gebel-Williams and tiger exit the big cage.
- 1950 - Bareback riders. - 1964 - Three single trapeze acts.
- 1949 - Entrance "Little Aerial" display.*
Man on the Flying Trapeze
- 1970 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus elephants.
- 1954 - Three lady principal riders. - 1987 - Toby Tyler Circus tightwire acts.
- 1947 - "Little Aerial".* - 1956 - Three chimpanzee acts. - 1970 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - jugglers.
Ben Hur Chariot Race
- 1969 - Gunther Gebel-Williams makes his first appearance. Roman post riding.
*Called "the Little Aerial" on the show. Each year the Ringling program contained a display featuring three or more aerial acts of different types working to well-known standards and popular music of the day played in this up-tempo style.
- 1970 - Tiger act exit, Gunther Gebel-Williams. Original show Manuscript.
In A Persian Market
- 1961 - Jack Joyce's mixed animal act with camels, llamas zebra and pony. Act book arranged by I Cervone. - 1971 - Elephant act.
Salute to the Sultan
- 1977 - Carson & Barnes Circus - Lion Riding an elephant. - 1977 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus - Dave Hoover's lions and tigers.
Procession of the Sardar
- 1961 - Jack Joyce's mixed animal act. - 1970 - 100th anniversary spec.
March to Mecca
- 1947 - Opening display of three caged wild animal acts; Damoo Dhotre's jaguars, leopards and pumas, Capt. Roman Proske's tigers and Konselman's polar bears. - 1963 - Elephant act exit. - 1967 - Opening march for Adela Smieja's lions.
- 1976 - Wolfgang Holzmair's lions.
- 1972 - Pablo Noel, lion act.
- 1961 - Mills Bros. Circus - First time in America, John "Tarzan" Zerbini and his group of lions.
- 1961 - Jack Joyce's mixed animal act.
- 1955 - Japanese wire walker, Takeo Usui, backward slide for life. - 1985 - The Eric Braun Dogs.
Out of the East
- 1961 - Mills Bros. Circus - Capt. John Herriot presents his foreign legion fantasy with camels, llamas and ponies.
In Old Pekin
- 1955 - Takeo Usui, Japanese wire walker, forward slide for life.
Typical of music played for exotic animal acts.
- 1954 - The Yong Sisters and Brothers Chinese contortionists
- 1950 - Rogers Bros. Circus - Joe Horwath's cat act. - 1976 - Hanneford Circus, Tajana's tiger act.
Chinatown My Chinatown
- 1973 - Carson & Barnes Circus, three rings of trained dogs. - 1985 - Eric Braun's dogs.
A Vision of Salome
- 1948 - One of seven compositions played for the opening display of three caged wild animal acts. Damoo Dhotre's leopards, pumas and black jaguars, Rudolph Mathie's Royal Bengal Tigers and Konselman's polar bears.
- 1978 - The Carrillo Brothers, highwire act
- 1949 - Elephant act.
- 1955 - The Yong Brothers and Sisters, Chinese contortionists.
In a Chinese Temple Garden
- 1947 - Hamid-Morton Circus Bandmaster Joe Basile played this characteristic composition for a display of three lady contortionists featuring the beautiful Florence Hin Lowe.
- 1978 - A unique mixed animal presentation consisting of three tigers, two horses and an African elephant. Trained by Gunther Gebel-Williams and presented by Henry Schroer. Original show manuscript.
Circus Day in Dixie
- 1972 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. Bandmaster Charlie Schlarbaum chose this spirited number for a clown walk-around
Count of Luxembourg Waltz
- 1949 - Played for the web routines in the aerial ballet "The Girls in the Moon". - 1983 - Flying acts. Original Show Manuscript.
- 1949 and 1954 - Tumblers and teeterboards.
Peter Gunn Theme
- 1970 - Miss Evy Althoff presents a 600 pound tiger riding on the back of a giant stallion - 1976 - Circus Vargas - Vasheck Duo - Motorcycle on the high inclined wire.
Star of India
- 1970 - Bandmaster Jimmy Ille played this unusual piece for Gunther Gebel-Williams tiger act.
- 1947 - Hamid-Morton Circus Elephant Act.
Paree! (ca c'est Paris)
- 1954 - Elephant Act - 1962 - Entrance of the cloud swings. Played for the entrance of the aerial ballet on just about every show on the road at one time or another.
United Nations on the March
- 1943 - Two featured specs were presented. The opening "Hold Your Horses" was an actual recreation of the old-time street parade complete with bandwagon and steam calliope. Display 6 was an elaborate walk-around production entitled "Let Freedom Ring" saluting many of the allied nations. The payoff was perhaps the most impressive on any of the Ringling specs. Entitled "Victory", it consisted of a line of elephants draped in beautiful golden blankets and driven by a girl dressed as Mis Liberty roman riding on the backs of two elephants. This march was played slowly and majestically and accented by the playing of chimes. - 1955 - Liberty Horses.
- 1967 - Elephant production number "Jungle Drums".
All The Things You Are
- 1970 - Three rings of acrobats on balance bars.
- 1961 - Teeterboards.
- 1968 - The Hergotti Troupe - A very unusual perch act working on a revolving platform.
I Know That You Know
- 1963 - Klauser's Bears chaser - 1970 - The King Charles Troupe - Unicycle Act.
- 1968 - Stephenson's Dogs and Ponies.
A Taste of Honey
- 1970 - Three acrobatic acts including a Russian Swing and a balance bar.
Puttin' On The Ritz
- 1948 - Three bareback riding acts.
- 1959 - The Sciplini Chimpanzees.
- 1961 through 1965 - Mills Bros. Circus - Liberty Horses.
Nights of Gladness
- 1970 - The Great Fattini - High Sway pole - 1971 - King Bros. Circus - Aerial Ballet with Ladders.
- 1962 - Hunt Bros. Circus - Exotic Animal Act. Organist Stella Wirth really dug down to the bottom of the trunk for this old timer.
- 1957 - Equestrian production "Saratoga Racing Ball of 1913". Written as a galop but played in the show in march time. Toby Tyler circus - 1987 - Camel Act.
So What's New?
- 1975 - Carson and Barnes Circus - Highwire Act - 1976 - International All Star Circus - The Terrys - Unicycle Act.
I Ain't Down Yet
- 1966 - Stephenson's Dogs and Ponies.
Under The Double Eagle
- 1970 - Liberty Horse walks down the hippodrome track on his hind legs.
Beer Barrel Polka
- 1959 - Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus - Trained Bears. - 1975 - George Matthews Great London Circus - Elephants.
- 1979 - Aerial Ballet. In the colorful language of the circus this number is known as "The Chambermaids Frolic".
Thoroughly Modern Millie
- 1970 - Stephenson's Dogs and Ponies
- 1963 - Mills Bros. Circus - Two aerial acts.
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
- 1970 - Clown Alley spends a few minutes in pursuit of warm weather pleasures.
Golden Earrings and Those Were The Days
- 1970 - Two compositions woven into the gypsy themed elephant production number "Elephant Fandango".
Summer of '42
Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. - 1974 - Three cradle and aerial perch acts. - 1977 - Circus Kirk - Web.
- 1983 - Espanas Flying Act comedown.
- 1946 and 1947 - Bandmaster Joe Basile's music followed the elephants in a fast waltz as they whirled around the center ring.
- 1959 - Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus - Pony Drills.
Old Glory Triumphant (Triumphal?)
- In the early 1930's Merle Evans and The Ringling Band with air calliope cut 3 records (six sides) of circus music for the Victor Record Company. Included was this march by Charlie Duble.
March Of The Slide Trombones
- Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Played several seasons as the elephants "skipped" around the rings.
Merry-Go-Round Broke Down
- Frequently played (fake) for an elephant act as the animals revolved on pedestals
- 1971 - Elephant Act.
Gold And Silver Waltz
- 1970 - Two flying acts. The Gaona Family.
In The Sudan
- 1963 - Trevor Bale's tigers.
Midnight In Moscow
- Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. - Boom Boom Browning used this catchy number for the elephant act as a line of ballet girls danced their hearts out on the front track.
Stout Hearted Men
- 1946 - Hamid-Morton Circus - Peaches O'Neil and her Hollywood Aerial ballet girls made their entrance - 1955 -Entrance of three bareback riding acts.
Thunder And Lightning Polka
- 1947, 48 and 49 - Cat acts chaser.
Give My Regards To Broadway
- 1971 - Chaser for the King Charles troupe of Unicyclists.
- 1961 - Aerial Ballet
Moonlight Becomes You
- 1961 - spec "Out of this World"
- 1939 - Russell Bros. Circus - One of several pieces of popular music of the day played before the performance. The band leader embellished the composition by playing on a slide whistle
I Got Rhythm
- 1974 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. - Jugglers.
- 1976 - Carson & Barnes Circus - clowns - 1976 - Circus Vargas - The Klementis bicycle act.
New Corn Palace
- 1961 - Mills Bros. Circus - preshow concert
In The Hall Of The Mountain King
- 1968 - Hergotti novelty perch act.
Merry Widow Waltz
- 1961 - Hunt Bros. Circus - Dog acts.
Pageant Of Progress
- Last march played on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's first nationwide television show - 1955 Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. - 1957 - spec.
- 1955 - Five aerial acts of various types. The display was known as "The little aerial" to performers on the show.
Be A Clown
- Used many years in various production numbers including the 1966 aerial ballet.
April In Portugal and Moonlight Serenade
- 1955 - Two of the numbers played for the premier equilibrist, the incomparable Unus.
Soldiers Of Furtune
- 1982 - (Red Unit) Grand Entry.
- 1985 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. - Lilov's Bears. The star ballerina shows off her ability to challenge the famous Rockettes. - 1975 - Circus International - elephants.
- 1975 - Circus International - highwire act.
- 1959 - Hunt Bros. Circus - The Bale Family - Bicycle act - 1961 - spec - "Out of this World" - 1961 Hunt Bros. Circus - Dog acts. - 1974 Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. - Jugglers.
A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
- 1951 - spec - "Circus Serenade" - 1976 Carson & Barnes Circus - Contortionist.
Strangers In The Night
- 1976 - Carson & Barnes Circus - Aerial Cradle.
- 1981 - Ursula Bottcher's Polar Bears chaser.
- 1967 - Three lady principal riders.
The first eight numbers were played in the DeMille movie "The Greatest Show on Earth". Numbers marked with an asterisk (*) were played in the 1951 edition of the Ringling Circus.
Greatest Show On Earth
- One of the best compositions ever written by a "non-circus" composer. Played many times in the years 1952-1969. Never heard again on the show after the ownership of the circus changed.
* Sing A Happy Song
- 1951 - Theme song for the feature spec "Circus Serenade".
* Lovely Luawana Lady
- 1951 - Aerial Ballet - Written especially for movie actress Dorothy Lamour. Rehashed in 1955 for the aerial ballet entitled "A Hawaiian Fantasy".
Be A Jumping Jack
Betty Hutton and Jimmy Stewart bounced on a trampoline "assisted" by Emmett Kelly in a scene filmed on a back lot in Hollywood - 1963 - Played for an equestrian number entitled "Grand Slam" featuring ballet girls as life-size playing cards.
* A Picnic In The Park
- All stops were pulled out for this manage (equestrian) production number featuring Dorothy Lamour as Queen Marie Antoinete and Ringling's extensive collection of blooded horses and carriages. Climaxing with the entrance of three troups of Liberty Horses representing The Royal Horse Show.
- Betty Hutton's theme song throughout the picture and featured in the Flying Return Act.
- Written especially for the movie, not the music played in the actual performance.
* Popcorn And Lemonade
- One of the best finale productions, but due to a disagreement between DeMille and Murray Anderson over money, film lovers saw only a 5 second shot of the Ballet Girls dancing on the track in the film's opening montage. The song was heard as background music in a ladies dressing room scene and again in a midway scene played on an air calliope. It was played in the 1961 Elephant Production entitled "the Polka-Dot Polka".
- 1984 - Clowns.
Lady Of Spain
- 1954 - "Rocket to the Moon" Aerial ballet star Pinito Del Oro (chaser).
On A Slow Boat To China
- 1949 - New York and Boston - chaser for a clown gag. As they rode out of the arena on a replica of an airplane mounted on a jeep.
- 1977 - Red show Gunther Gebel Williams walks the hippodrome track at the conclusion of his act with the leopard "Kenny" around his neck.
Russian Circus March
- 1966 - High school horses. Three very attractive ladies, Lillemor Moller, Ingaborg Rhodin and Miss Adela, entered the arena to the strains of this Russian Circus March that Merle Evans brought back from his Russian Circus engagement.
- 1982 - Red Show - Clowns - Our guest saxophone virtuoso, Ted Casher, is featured.
- 1980 - Blue - Axel Gautier and the elephants are featured in the "Elephant Calypso" production number.
- 1981 - Red Show - Gunther Gebel Williams pulls his huge white tiger "Maharanee" around the arena in an elaborate cage wagon.
- 1940 and many other seasons - One of Merle Evan's favorite compositions. I once asked him its origin and he replied that it came from Europe in the book of the trampoline act of Adrianna and Charly in 1940. He said "I liked it and I put it in whenever an act needed a change of tempo."
- 1974 - Carson and Barnes - Clowns.
- 1947 - For six years the Ringling Band appeared on the Fitch Bandwagon Radio Program broadcasting from Madison Square Garden. The last program aired on April 22, 1945. The program then became a family situation comedy starring orchestra leader Phil Harris and his movie-star wife, singer Alice Faye. At the end of the program on Sunday, May 25, 1947, circus fans were surprised and excited to hear that the following week there would be one more appearance of the Ringling Band Broadcast direct from the Big Top in Philadelphia preceeding the evening performance. So on Sunday, June 1, 1947, the familiar Fitch Theme came over the air and the show was on. The story line concerned the Harris Family attending the performance with their two daughters. Eight numbers were played including Evan's Red Wagons march. Mention was made of drummer Red Floyd and how important percussion was to the circus band. The half hour flew by and all too soon the closing theme was played.
Old King Cole Medley March
- 1941 - Arrangement from Merle's collection in Baraboo, Wisconsin. When the North Brothers took control of the circus, they began to update and modernize it. The opening spectacle was one of their first projects. Entitled "Old King Cole and Mother Goose", it was an elaborate pageant featuring Felix Adler as Old King Cole riding on a throne suspended between four elephants and an anonymous camel groom dressed as Mother Goose riding a Dromedary camel dressed as a huge goose. Walking people portrayed various nursery rhyme characters and fanciful floats appeared in the procession. Most impressive were two old parade wagons from bygone days. The historic Ringling Bell wagon was drawn by a hitch of six dapple gray Percherons with the bells ringing out Victor Herbert's "March of the Toys". Further in the line-up, two jesters steam calliope with a hitch of four Clydesdales appeared for the first time. The spec was pushed back to the fifth display to allow the vast audience to be seated and off of the hippodrome track before this massive production made its entrance. Except for 1943, the spec never again opened the performance. The bell wagon appeared in the specs of 1941, 42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, and 51. The calliope in 1941, 42, and 43. A shorter, slightly different arrangement of this march appeared in the 1941 Columbia recording "Circus". It is safe to assume there may be more to this arrangement as it is doubtful if it began and ended as simply as we hear it.
Love Makes The World Go Round
- 1968 - Aerial ballet "Winter Wonderland" using webs boved through the air on a track.
Moonlight In Vermont
- 1963 - The incomparable Unus makes his final tour with the Greatest Show on Earth. An association that began in 1948, still perfection, often copied, never equaled.
- 1955 - Considered to be the best of all the John Ringling North compositions. Played six times during the performance.
2. Aerial Ballet "On Honolulu Bay" featuring aerial star Pinito Del Oro as Ringmaster/vocalist. Harold Ronk sang the lyrics.
3. Josephine Berosini highwire performer made her way walking up an angled wire to her high wire rigging.
4. Waltz - Flying Acts.
5. March - Entrance of the Tumblers and teeterboard performers.
6. Blow-Off March.
On Honolulu Bay
- 1955 - Web number combined with "Lovely Luawanna Lady" from the 1951 performance.
- 1947 - Played for the web routines in the "Cancan" aerial ballet.
I'm Flying High, Weary Nights, When I'm all Alone and My Goodbye
- 1968 - Used for 3 tightwire acts.
- 1968 - Charley Baumann's tigers
- 1949 and 1961 - The Gutis Gorilla Parody.
Wild Goose Chase
- 1970 - Clown Gag
- - Liberty horses waltz and rears.
Cinderella's Carriage March
- 1916 - Cinderella spec.
- 1970 - Entrance of horses and pad riders.
March of the Mogul Emperors
- 1989 - Spec - "King Tusk" - played as the mammoth mastodon slowly paraded around the hippodrome track.
- 1961 - Three tightwire acts.
- 1968 - Juggling with flaming torches.
By the Beautiful Sea
- 1980 - Neptune's Circus - A lavish imaginative spectacle recalling the old specs presented before the change in ownership.
- 1946 - "Toyland" spec. Ringling President Robert Ringling hired his friend, Deems Taylor, to compose the score for the Toyland spec. He told Merle that he thought it would be nice if Mr. Taylor could conduct his music on opening night in Madison Square Garden and, of course, Merle agreed. As the program proceeded and the time drew near, Merle relinquished the podium and Mr. Taylor took the baton. Merle said "I began to have doubts when I saw Deems had his back to the arena and was concentrating on the music. As the line of march neared its end, I could see disaster ahead. If I didn't take over, the music would end and the spec would still be in the arena. I jumped up, pushed Mr. Taylor aside and took control. All ended well. As the music ended, a man standing beside the bandstand said to me 'Say, who was that old goat anyway?' ".
As heard here, the score left much to be desired. Finally, half way through the season as the show played its Chicago date, Merle threw out most of Mr. Taylor's music and reworked the score by adding Victor Herbert's score from "Babes In Toyland".
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
- 1961 - Jolson Tunes. A medley of six pieces associated with the famous singer. Used several seasons for Stephenson's dogs.
Join the Circus
- - One of a medley of pieces from the Broadway production of "Barnum" played for the blow-off.
CONGRATULATIONS to Maestro Charles Schlarbaum, "The last of the old-time circus bandleaders" on his election to the Windjammers Hall of Fame. We never imagined when we met that fifty years later Charlie would be the only one left in the country who knows how to cue a circus performance. "Hang on to all of those libraries that you've acquired, Charlie. Maybe you can bring back the 'REAL' circus sound."
Richard E. Schneider, Historian
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