Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band

Artist: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band
[ Merle Evans, Conductor ]
LP: Circus Time [10" EP]
Song: "The Purple Carnival (Wild Animal Act)"
[ listen ]

I know I'm a few days late (I haven't been meeting any of my 2013 blog posting goals), but the music from this 1953 10" circus EP I found in Seattle's White Center neighborhood a few weeks ago seems like the perfect fanfare to usher in my favorite month of the year—October! The sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing, the leaves have started turning red, yellow, and orange, and it all makes me so happy inside! I feel like the clown face on the cover of this record. Circus band conductor/cornet-player Merle Evans, known as the "Toscanini of the Big Top," was with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for over fifty years! His music once even saved thousands of lives, during the Hartford Circus fire of 1944. Upon discovering the fire, Evans instructed his band to play the disaster warning song, alerting other circus performers that it was time to evacuate the public. You can read more about Merle Evans, his career, and his musical life-saving techniques here and go here to read more about the Hartford fire.

[ Merle Evans: December 26, 1894 — December 31, 1987 ]

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