When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was playing Philadelphia in 1930, Merle Evans and the Ringling band visited the RCA Victor studios in nearby Camden, New Jersey. This was only five years after the introduction of electronic recording. Not only were these records louder, but the fidelity was greatly improved over records that had been made using the old acoustical method, where the performers sang or played into a large horn. Victor’s recording engineers were still learning how to get the best results from early microphones and vacuum tube equipment. Recording the powerful Ringling Band inside a studio undoubtedly taxed this early recording equipment to it maximum. There, they recorded six sides with some of the best circus music ever written:
22438-A: Memphis the Majestic/Circus Echoes
22438-B: Entry of the Gladiators
22474-B: Colossus of Columbia
22671-A: Old Glory Triumphal
22671-B: Gentry’s Triumphal
Other circus music recordings are available on the Windjammers Unlimited website (MYWJU.ORG) but are restricted to Members Only. If you are not a member, please consider joining and helping us on our Mission to Preserve, Educate and Perform as it pertains to traditional American Circus Music.