This is a historical compendium of each Laureate and their contributions to the American Circus and its Music. A few WJU Members, indicated by an asterisk (*), were honored “For Service to Windjammers Unlimited.” However, a change was made and from 2018 onward, such honorees are recognized under Meritorious Service Awards.


Laureates By Decade


Or, simply scroll down the page. Click on the NAME to see the details of the person’s Circus Life and Contributions. When you click on a specific Laureate, a new window will open in your browser and you may need to click the image in that window to open it in “full size.”

1970s Hall of Fame

1974Karl L King – 1
Karl L. King – 2
Karl L. King – 3
Circus Bandleader – ComposerFort Dodge, IA; Paintersville, OH (hometown)
1974Merle Evans – 1
Merle Evans – 2
Merle Evans – 3
Circus Bandleader – Composer, Charter Member WJU #22
(3) Merle Evans Interview 7/18/1985
Sarasota, FL; Columbus, KS (hometown)
1975Fred Jewell – 1
Fred Jewell – 2
Fred Jewell – 3
Circus Bandleader – ComposerWorthington, IN
1975Robert Hoe, Jr.Philanthropist, Band Enthusiast, Collector – EuphoniumPoughkeepsie, NY
1976Henry Kyes – 1
Henry Kyes – 2
Circus BandleaderSarasota, FL
1976Vic Robbins – 1
Vic Robbins – 2
Circus Bandleader – ComposerHodgdon, ME
1977A. Lee HinckleyCircus BandleaderLafayette, IN
1978Russell AlexanderEuphonium Soloist – ComposerNevada, MO
1979Ramon EscorciaCircus BandleaderNew Orleans, LA

1980s Hall of Fame

1980Charles E. Duble – 1
Charles E. Duble – 2
Trombone – Historian – ComposerJeffersonville, IN
1981J. J. RichardsCircus Bandleader – ComposerWales, England
1982Albert C. SweetCircus Bandleader – ComposerChicago, IL
1983Charles L. BarnhouseComposer, Music PublisherOskaloosa, IA
1984Walter P. EnglishCircus Bandleader – ComposerSalt Lake City, UT
1985Leonard B. SmithDetroit Concert Band Ldr – Cornet Soloist – WJU #230Detroit, MI
1986Paul YoderComposer – Music Educator –  WJU Grand Forks, ND
1987Earle M. MossHistorian –  Circus Bandleader – Charter Member WJU #19Maryville, MO
1988Henry FillmoreComposer – Publisher –  Band LeaderCincinnati, OH
1989Douglas D. MacLeod*Percussionist  – Historian –  WJU #407Dearborn, MI

1990s Hall of Fame

1990Ward Stauth*WJU Past Pres. –  Fanfare Editor –  Tuba, Charter Member WJU #82Corydon, IN
1991Clinton “Johnnie” EvansCircus Bandsman –  tubaCooleemee, NC
1992James A. PerkinsCircus Bandsman –  WJUChatfield, MN
1993Ray “Red” FloydCircus BandsmanWinterset, IA
1994Leonard Paul LuckeyCircus Music Historian and  PerformerBaraboo, WI
1995Hale A. VandercookCircus Bandleader – ComposerAnn Arbor, MI
1996Perry G. Lowery – 1
Perry G. Lowery – 2
Circus Sideshow Bandleader – ComposerEureka, KS
1997William PruynRBBB Musical Dir/Bandleader – WJU #914Sarasota, FL
1998Everette JamesCircus BandleaderBeaumont, TX
1999Eddie WoecknerCircus BandleaderPeru, IN

2000s Hall of Fame

2000Robert D. Peckham*WJU Past Pres, Fanfare Editor – Trombonist, WJU #121Athens, GA
2001Jack BellCircus BandleaderColgate, OK
2002Joe BrowningCornetistDes Moines, IA
2003Joseph GortonCircus BandleaderFriendship, NY
2003Lewis Bader – 1
Lewis Bader – 2
TromboneSpringfield, OH
2004Carl ClairCircus Bandleader – ComposerGrinnell, IA
2005Joseph A. Emidy – 1
Joseph A. Emidy – 2
Circus Sideshow BandleaderProvidence, RI
2005William MerrickCircus BandleaderZanesville, OH
2006William SweeneyCircus BandmasterSheriden, WY
2006Ned KendallCircus Bandleader, Keyed Bugler SoloistBoston, MA
2007Charles SchlarbaumCircus Bandleader, Composer, WJU Charter Member #61Vinton, IA
2007Joe StefanCircus Bandleader – TrumpetCleveland, OH
2008George GanweilerCircus BandleaderQuincy, IL
2009Harry CriglerCircus Bandleader – CornetBloomington, IN
2009Sverre O. BraathenCircus Music Historian, Charter Member WJU #9Madison, WI

2010s Hall of Fame

2010Carl “Pops” NeelCircus BandleaderBedford, VA
2010Harvey PhillipsCircus Bandsman – Music  Educator(TubaRanch) Bloomington, IN
2011Charles L. GebestCircus Bandleader – ComposerMadison, IN
2012William F WeldonCircus BandmasterWoodstock, IL
2012Mike Montgomery*WJU Secretary, Convention Host, Brass Musician, WJU #962Bradenton, FL
2013Charles Bennett Jr.*-1
Charles Bennett, Jr.– 2
Trumpet, WJU Co-Founder WJU #1Wichita, KS
2013Robert P. Hills Jr.*Charter Member WJU #71, WJU 1st President, Composer, Tuba, Piccolo, Columbus, OH
2014Charlie StevensonCircus BandmasterCorpus Christi, TX
2014Joe BasileCircus BandmasterNewark, NJ
2016Richard WhitmarshDirector South Shore Circus Band, trumpet,
WJU #143
E. Bridgewater, MA
2017Keith GreeneCircus Bandmaster, TrumpetAsheboro, NC; Sarasota, FL
2017Paul BierleyMusician, Author, tuba, WJU #255Westerville, OH
2018Thomas G. CanhamCircus Bandmaster, Keyed Bugler Soloistborn: Isle of Jersey, England
2019Charles Edward RinglingVaudevillian, Ringling Bros. Circus Owner, EntrepreneurMacGregor, IA; Baraboo, WI; Sarasota, FL
2019Norman E.  SmithMusician, Historian, Author, WJU #417Lake Charles, LA

2020s Hall of Fame

2020James S. RobinsonCircus BandleaderMorristown, NJ
2020James P. WolfscaleCircus Sideshow BandmasterChicago, IL
2022John Sterling “Jack” PhillipsCircus BandleaderColumbus, OH