Russell Alexander (1877-1915)Born in Nevada City, MO in 1877, Alexander played first with Belford Carnival. Then in 1897 he signed on with the Barnum & Bailey Circus as arranger and euphonium soloist for a five-year tour of Great Britain and Europe. He then joined his brothers (Newton and Woodruff, plus James Brady) in The Exposition Four, a vaudeville comedy team. Russell and Woodruff were each treated in sanitariums for tuberculosis, and Russell succumbed to the disease at age 38 in 1915. He was added to the WJU Hall of Fame in 1978 and honored with a Windjammers Unlimited plaque and concert in 2015 in the town of Liberty, NY where he is buried. – RLE
BELFORD’s CARNIVAL MARCHRussell Alexander (1877-1915)At age 18, Alexander played euphonium with the 8-person G. W. Belford Carnival of Novelties show band. Belford’s Carnival March , published by C.L. Barnhouse, was especially popular with sideshow bands playing the Bally Line outside the sideshow tent, enticing the crowds to gather and then pay an extra admission charge to see the “marvels” hidden inside. Under the Big Top, Merle Evans often used this march for the high pole acts and the liberty horse routines with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Also published in 1897 was Alexander’s Burr’s Triumphal March, dedicated to D.V. Burr, Belford’s musical director. – RLE
BIG CAGE GALOP, TheKarl L. King (1891-1971)Composed by Karl Lawrence King (1891-1971) in 1934 and dedicated to the famous wild animal trainer, Clyde Beatty, this tune became quite popular at circuses in connection with animal acts and as exit, or “blow off” music for acts.   Once the tune was available, Clyde Beatty almost always included this tune as part of his performance music. – RLE
BILLBOARD MARCH, TheJohn H. Klohr (1869-1956)Composed by John H. Klohr (1869-1956) and published in 1901, this tune has certainly become one of the more recognized tunes of the circus.  It was dedicated to The Billboard, a publication that still exists (as Billboard Magazine) in reporting on the entertainment industry.   This piece has often been used for clown walkarounds but was also popular with elephant acts.  The Gainesville Community Circus (1932-1962) used it extensively in its performances for various types of acts, largely because it was “playable” by the student musicians and appealing to the audiences.  – RLE
BOLIVAR MARCHKarl L. King (1891-1971)The Fort Dodge Municipal Band, conducted by Karl King, generally played at the Iowa State Fair and regional fairs each summer. In 1927, when it was raining during a fair in southwest Iowa, the band was sitting around with nothing to do. But having seen the show so many times, all knew the lines and one of the acts was a comedy routine with two men in a bull outfit. Karl and another band member pulled a blanket over themselves and baritone player Ed Wosky played toreador. The band thought the “Bolivar the Bull” routine was hilarious. Afterwards, King went to his tent and wrote this march and dedicated it to Ed Wosky “Toreador.” The band performed the march the next day. – RLE
BRAVURA MARCHCharles Edward Duble (1884-1960)This march is Charlie Duble’s best known march, although the authorship has often been attributed to other composers. It was first published by Church in 1918 while Duble was playing trombone in the Sells-Floto Circus band. At least a half dozen arrangements have been published in the years since. Technically, it is a minor-key march of the type that was often used for wild animal acts or foreign displays because of its “exotic” flavor. However, it switches to a major key after the first strain. Bravura has also been considered as one of the great military marches and all the service bands have recorded it. – RLE
BROADWAY ONE-STEPKarl L. King (1891-1971)This a popular novelty number was originally written to be played for clown acts. King self-published this tune the year following his departure from being bandmaster of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. It was the first publication of his new music company, K. L. King Music House. After a year in Canton, Ohio, where he directed the Grand Army Band in 1919, King relocated to Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1920 to conduct the Fort Dodge Municipal Band, compose, and operate his new publishing business. In his career, King composed more than 300 works, including galops, waltzes, overtures, serenades, and rags in addition to his marches. – RLE
BUFFALO BILL’S EQUESTRIAN MARCHWilliam Paris Chambers (1854-1913)Chambers published this march in 1903 in tribute to the horse acts utilized in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Chambers was the composer of over 160 works, some of which were popular in circuses and Wild West shows. Sweeney’s Calvacade (1903) was another piece specifically composed by Chambers for use by the Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band. – RLE
BUFFALO BILL POLKAMay Ostlere (née Mary Jane Coutts, 1850-1916)Composed by Ostlere, a British pianist and composer, to commemorate the Buff alo Bill Wild West show’s appearance in England as part of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. It was published in London with a superb four-color lithograph portrait of Buffalo Bill on the front cover. Ostlere composed several popular waltzes and was also an author. – RLE
Stephen Edward “Ed” Chenette (1885-1963)Chenette was born in London, KY. In 1906 he became director of bands for the Iowa Industrial School and later, Iowa State University in Ames, IA. In 1915, he led the Jarvis & Seamon Carnival Band and then was with the Chautauquas. From his two-year stint in show business he wrote A Circus Clem and Jess Willard’s Triumphal (1916.) During WWI he was bandmaster of a Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. He returned to show business in 1919 with the Lincoln Chautauqua. As
Editor for Town Clef Topics in Metronome Magazine, he composed the Town Clef March. His Trombone Triumphs (1936) has also been played at Windjammers events. – RLE
CARROLLTON MARCHKarl L. King (1891-1971)In 1909, King’s Carrollton March was his first composition to be published by the C.L. Barnhouse Music Company in Oskaloosa, IA. It was dedicated to Ira S. Moody, who was the tuba soloist in Carrollton, Ohio. Other King marches published in the 1909-1910 era were: (Strassner): March T.M.B., Military Life March; (Seitz): Emblem of Freedom March, Loyal Americans March; (King): Sons of Veterans March; (Barnhouse): Avenger March, Excelsior Galop, The Gateway City March, The Melody Shop, Ponderoso March, The Rifl e Rangers March, Roll of Honor March, The Victor March.RLE
CIRCUS BEE, TheHenry Fillmore (1881-1956)In the spirit of Sousa’s The Washington Post March and Klohr’s The Billboard March, Henry Fillmore’s The Circus Bee refers to an imaginary circus newspaper. Published in 1908, it was the first secular piece to be published by his father’s Fillmore Bros. publishing company in Cincinnati, OH. Overall, Henry (James Henry Fillmore, Jr.) wrote over 250 original compositions, often published using pseudonyms, including Harold Bennett, Ray Hall, Harry Hartley, Al Hayes, Gus Beans, and Will Huff . The use of the latter caused a bit of a stir because there was a real Will Huff , also in the Cincinnati area who had composed tunes for the circus. Henry is also well-known for his “family” of 15 trombone smears that includes Lassus Trombone (1915). – RLE
CIRCUS DAYS galopKarl L. King (1891-1971)The circus galop is synonymous with excitement. It was used to accompany excitement or to create excitement! Karl King wrote only 13 of these galops, but they have an important place in the musical history of the circus. This exciting galop published in 1944 was dedicated to Jerry Huffman, King’s friend and Sousa Band trumpeter from 1925-1930. – JPJ
CRIMSON PETAL, TheFred A. Jewell (1875-1936)Composed by bandmaster Jewell while he was with Gentry Brothers Dog & Pony Show, this waltz was later used by Merle Evans as the primary music for Lillian Leitzel’s aerial act with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Following Leitzel’s death at age 39 due to an equipment failure during a performance in Denmark in 1931, the tune was retired from use by Evans, who put Leitzel at the top of his list of outstanding performers for whom he had the privilege of providing music. As an aerialist, Lillian was beautiful and could do a series of one-arm springovers. But what set her apart was her glamour and her charisma. – RLE
Charles Edward Duble (1884-1960)Duble was born in Jeffersonville, IN. His specialty was the lower brass instruments … trombone, euphonium, baritone and tuba … and he was known to have played with at least 20 different circuses, including Barnum & Bailey, Hagenbeck-Wallace, Sells-Floto, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West, and the Russell Brothers Circus. Duble was quiet and reserved, but also had what was called “a clever sense of humor.” After a 23-year career on the road as a circus windjammer and composer, Charlie Duble returned to Jeffersonville. WJU Hall of Fame 1980. – RLE
ENTRY OF THE GLADIATORS (Thunder & Blazes)Julius Ernest Wilhelm
Fučik (1872-1916).
“Einzug der Gladiatoren” (Vjezd gladiátorů) was originally titled Grande Marche Chromatique. It was composed by Czech conductor of military bands, Julius Fučik. It was soon arranged in a different key and faster tempo by Canadian composer and bandmaster Louis-Philippe Laurendeau (1861-1916), and re-titled Thunder and Blazes. American circus bandmasters quickly adopted it. As such, it has definitely become one of the most recognized and beloved circus tunes, and thus, a musical icon for circus entertainment. It’s style matches the antics of the clowns, but it was also often used to introduce the elephants. – RLE
EVANS FASHION PLATE MARCHCharles Edward Duble (1884-1960)Composed by Duble in 1921, this tune was dedicated to Ringling-Barnum bandmaster Merle Evans, who joined that circus when the combined show was formed in 1919. Evans continued to be associated with Ringling for 50 years until his retirement following the 1969 Season. Duble’s career started as a trombonist with Sun Bros. Circus in 1909. He then played in a dozen or more circuses, including Barnum & Bailey Circus, eventually landing at Ringling under Merle’s baton. Some of Duble’s more famous marches include: Bravura, Prince Imperial March, Zip Boom Galop, Trooper’s Greeting March, and the Crimson Plume. – RLE
FROM TROPIC TO TROPICRussell Alexander (1877-1915)Composed by Alexander while he was touring Europe with Barnum & Bailey Circus. The tune was dedicated to Hale A. VanderCook, also a composer of circus tunes and later founder of the VanderCook School of Music in Chicago. As a euphonium soloist, Alexander often created challenging low brass countermelodies and breakstrains in his compositions. Breakstrains, typically a divider strain within the Trio, are also known as “dog fights” where there is harmonic conflict between the high and low instruments. Alexander composed numerous, highly regarded circus tunes. Unfortunately, he died young of tuberculosis in Liberty, NY, and is buried there in a pauper’s grave. WJU honored him with a plaque and memorial concert in 2015. – RLE
GALLANT ZOUAVESKarl L. King (1891-1971)King published this march in 1916. Originally “Zouave” was a reference to a French Army light infantry regiment largely composed of tough Algerians who wore colorful and unique Oriental-style uniforms. During the U.S. Civil War, it also became a term applied to certain volunteer regiments. A group calling themselves the “Gallant Zouaves” began performing precision marching and drills with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Shows and the Sells-Floto Circus, and King composed this march in their honor. The standard zouave uniform consisted of baggy pantaloons, leather closures at the angles, long-sleeve open front jackets, colorful sashes, and sometimes turban-like
headpieces. – RLE
GEORGIA GIRLKarl L. King (1891-1971)King composed this two-step in 1914 while he was the bandmaster of the Sells-Floto and Buffalo Bill Combined shows.  The publisher was C.L. Barnhouse.  It was written for the ménage act.  In the circus, that refers to a “high school” style equestrian performance by one or more persons and their horses.  Displays with thirty or more horses and riders was not uncommon in those days.  – RLE
GILMORE’s TRIUMPHALThomas Preston Brooke (1856-1921)Brooke composed this march in 1886 and it was played by the Cowboy Band of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. As a young man, Brooke left his birthplace of Dubuque, IA to go to Boston, MA to study music theory and harmony. While a student there, he was invited to conduct two of his marches with Patrick Gilmore’s band. Soon after, he won an audition as a trombonist and performed with Gilmore’s band for two years. In 1880 he returned to Dubuque to marry and compose. – RLE
GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, TheVictor Young (1899-1956)This Victor Young tune was published in 1952 and used in Cecil B. DeMille’s Oscar-winning (Best Picture 1953) movie by the same title.  Merle Evans was on the bandstand for that movie and even had a speaking part of a couple words.  Most of the acts portrayed in the movie were those of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in their 1951 Season.  This tune became popular as parade and finale music.  What many do not know is there are words to the tune.  Here is a sample: “Come to the circus.  Come on along and see the Bengal tigers and the lions.  The trapeze artist does a leap that’s death defying.  A land of mirth, your money’s worth.  Come on along to the circus, The Greatest Show on Earth.” 
IN A MOONLIT GARDENKarl L. King (1891-1971)When Karl King arrived in Fort Dodge in the fall of 1920, he found a core of fine musicians in the Band. Already a well-known composer and conductor himself, Mr. King quickly established his own style of programming with the Band. Several local citizens and band members had marches or other selections dedicated to them during the 1920s decade. This selection, published in 1924, was dedicated to Willis Peterson, a popular vocalist with the local Municipal Band. – JPJ
IN OLD PORTUGALKarl L. King (1891-1971)Karl King received a call from John Ringling two weeks before the circus season was to open in 1917, offering him the job as bandmaster of the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth, the very top job in the circus world. At age 26, he would become the youngest ever to hold that position. The bandmaster was responsible not only for directing the band, but for hiring the musicians to accompany the finest circus acts in the world, an especial challenge at the time because so many musicians had been drafted as a result of World War I. One of the most famous of these acts was the death-defying aerial performance of Miss Lillian Leitzel, still considered the greatest female aerialist of all time. For her act in 1917, Karl King wrote this beautiful, lyrical waltz which Leitzel used for her accompaniment the rest of her career, including her last performance in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1931, when a brass swivel broke and she fell, sustaining injuries that resulted in her death two days later. – JPJ
Frederick Alton Jewell (1875-1936)Jewell was born in Worthington, IN in 1875. He started on tenor horn but soon switched to baritone. He also was skilled on clarinet, cornet, trombone, calliope and violin. He left high school to join Gentry Bros. Dog & Pony Show. That was followed by Wallace Circus on baritone and trombone, then band director of Gentry. He played baritone with Ringling 1902-1904, baritone and calliope with Great Floto Circus/Sells-Floto Circus, and then joined Barnum & Bailey on baritone in 1907. He was bandleader 1908-1910. He took a break from the circus but was band director for Hagenbeck-Wallace 1916-1917. WJU Hall of Fame 1975. – RLE
JUNGLE QUEENG.D. Barnard (1858-1933)George Daniel Barnard (1858-1933) was a bandmaster of various non-circus bands, including the Calumet and Hecla Band at the time he published this piece in 1909.  A prolific composer with 244 known works, Barnard’s Jungle Queen was a standard in circus repertoire and his most famous work.  It is described as an Oriental quickstep and became quite popular with animal acts, especially those involving lions and tigers.   Asian-themed music was particularly appropriate for exotic “cat” acts. – RLE 
KENTUCKY SUNRISEKarl L. King (1891-1971)When one hears the title of this 1919 selection, one might think of lush, green fields of bluegrass and rows of white fences gleaming in the morning sun. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Karl King wrote and published this piece during the ragtime era. It was named after a performing horse, Kentucky Sunrise, in the Barnum and Bailey Circus that could actually prance in time to this catchy ragtime beat. It was dedicated to Rhoda Royal, a horse trainer in the Sells-Floto Circus and Buffalo Bill Wild West Shows with King. – JPJ
Karl L. King (1891-1971)King played in circus bands for 11 years, generally on baritone. He conducted the Sells-Floto & Buffalo Bill Circus band for three seasons and then the Barnum and Bailey Circus band for two prior to leaving the sawdust world to compose and conduct full-time. King began composing at age 13 but his earliest surviving work was March T.M.B (1909) and dedicated to the Thayer Military Band, of which he was part. His earliest registered copyright is for the Moonlight on the Nile Waltz. His first professional performances were with the Fred Neddermeyer band in Columbus, OH at age 18. WJU Hall of Fame 1974. – RLE
Carl Lawrence (a.k.a. Karl L. King)While with the Yankee Robinson Circus in 1911, Karl King apparently received his first conducting experience when he had to substitute for their director, Woodring Van Anda (“Woody Van”), who became ill. It was during this period King used the pseudonym of “Carl Lawrence”, possibly the result of difficulties with his primary publisher, C.L. Barnhouse. The Carl Lawrence tunes were: (marches) The Chancellor (1911), Premier March (1912), Salute to the Sultan (1912), Chevalier (1917), and Flying Squadron March (1921), and (waltzes) Amorita Waltz (1911) and In the Twilight Waltz (1912). – RLE
MELODY SHOP, TheKarl L. King (1891-1971)Among Karl King’s 188 marches, The Melody Shop is certainly one of his finest. It was published by C.L. Barnhouse in 1910, King’s first year as a circus musician. The march is dedicated to E.E. Powell and Al Shortridge, owners of the Powell Music Co. “Melody Shop” in King’s hometown of Canton, Ohio. The march is popular to many, especially for its counter melody featuring woodwinds and euphoniums. That trio is often used in advanced auditions for euphonium and baritone players because of its degree of difficulty. – RLE
MICHIGAN ON PARADEKarl L. King (1891-1971)This 1938 march was dedicated to William D. Revelli and his fine University of Michigan Band at Ann Arbor. King composed and dedicated marches to all but two of the schools in the Big Ten athletic conference at that time, along with several other colleges and universities. On October 8, 1960, Karl King was asked to conduct the 13,252 musicians from 188 high school bands assembled for the record breaking massed band performance at the University of Michigan Band Day. This performance was also televised nationally. – JPJ
NIGHT IN JUNE, AThis beautiful serenade published by Barnhouse in 1912 exemplifies the baritone horn, which of course, was Karl King’s instrument. Dedicated to his friend Vic Graham, baritone soloist, King often performed this selection at one of the Sunday night concerts in Fort Dodge during the month of June. It was his wife Ruth’s favorite composition, and her birthday was in June as well. He used to take many liberties with the tempos, especially in the Trio, and never directed it the same way twice! – JPJ
QUALITY-PLUS MarchFrederick Alton Jewell (1875-1936)Jewell was a noted composer of circus music and director for the Barnum & Bailey Circus (1908-1910) and the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus (1916-1917). Apparently the piece had remained unnamed and unpublished until Jewell saw the phrase “Quality Plus” on a billboard while traveling by train. It was then published by C.L. Barnhouse in 1913, and has been one of Jewell’s most popular circus pieces ever since. In 1919, Charles Barnhouse hired Jewell to direct the Iowa Brigade Band in Oskaloosa, IA. In 1923 he returned to his hometown of Worthington, IN. – RLE
PRINCESS OF INDIA OVERTUREKarl L. King (1891-1971)In 1912, King moved to one of the largest and most successful shows on the road, the Sells-Floto Circus, owned by the publisher of the Denver Post newspaper. King by this time had dozens of compositions in print. While playing Euphonium with the Sells-Floto Band, King wrote an overture that became one of his best-selling compositions. It was not only popular in the circus world, but it became a particular favorite in the fledgling school band market as well, both as a concert feature and as a contest piece. – JPJ
RINGLING BROTHERS GRAND ENTREEAlbert C. Sweet (1876-1945)Al Sweet this piece and published it in 1911 by Rossiter. It is his best known composition. Prior to this, in 1906 Charlie Duble also wrote a march with this title. Sweet’s other “circus” tunes were few, but included Bandalero March (Helf & Hager, 1908), The Battle of San Juan Hill (Fischer, 1909), Broncho Buster March (Fischer, 1908), Colossus March (York, 1907) and Coeur d’Alene (Fischer, 1910). Al Sweet’s time with Ringling and his famous Ringling Brother’s Grand Entree earned him a spot in the WJU Hall of Fame as the 1982 laureate. – RLE
ROBINSON’S GRAND ENTREE MARCHKarl L. King (1891-1971)Cleverly, King avoided a specific dedication comment on this 1911 tune so effectively there were three circuses who claimed it as “theirs”: Robinson’s Famous Shows, Yankee Robinson Circus, and John Robinson Circus. At that time, however, Woody Van was bandmaster of Yankee Robinson and Karl was playing baritone in that band. As King had also written Woody Van’s March in 1911 and was a good friend of Apollos Woodring Van Anda (“Woody Van”, 1854-1914), one can easily guess which circus King actually had in mind. Woody left Yankee Robinson and was with Arlington & Beckman’s Wild West in 1913, and LaTena in 1914. – RLE
ROSES of MEMORY WALTZFrederick Alton Jewell (1875-1936)This lovely waltz was published in 1918 by C.L. Barnhouse Co., Oskaloosa, IA.   It was composed by Jewell and was a favorite waltz for a variety of aerial acts.  Much of Jewell’s career was spent playing in or conducting traveling circus bands and his music was especially well-fitted to circus acts.  At the time of composing this waltz, however, Jewell was a resident of Oskaloosa and directing the Iowa Brigade Band (now the Oskaloosa Municipal Band).  In 1919, he organized the first high school band in Oskaloosa and also led it for five years. -RLE
SELLS-FLOTO TRIUMPHALKarl L. King (1891-1971)Following playing baritone with Ned Brill’s Barnum & Bailey Circus Band in 1913, Karl King accepted the position of bandmaster for the Sells-Floto Circus. Prior to B&B, King had played in the Sells-Floto band under Walter P. English. English was subsequently demoted, but continued playing tuba under King. It was also in 1914 that the circus acquired Buff alo Bill’s Wild West Show (known as “The Two Bills” show at the time.) As a tribute to his new employer and, perhaps, as a way of establishing himself as the new bandmaster, King composed Sells-Floto Triumphal. It was published by C.L. Barnhouse, King’s publisher, who used Otto Zimmerman & Sons of Cincinnati for the engraving. – RLE
STOP IT!Mel B. Kaufman (1879-1932)Composed by Kaufman in 1920 and arranged by J.S. Zamecnik, Stop It! was a novelty tune used in the circus primarily for the clowns, although it was sometimes also used for floor acts such as unicycles, jugglers, and teeterboard acts.  At the age of 21, Kaufman was still living with his family in Newark, NJ and an apprentice in the retail clothing industry.  He self-published his first works, but by 1917 Sam Fox Publishing Company of Cleveland, Ohio had signed him to an exclusive agreement to publish his music.   He composed a number of popular songs and instrumental music.  Kaufman died at age 53 in New York City.  – RLE
Albert C. Sweet (1876-1945)Sweet was born in Dansville, NY. He was the bandleader for the Ringling Brothers Circus from 1906-1911. In 1911, he published his most noteworthy work, Ringling Brothers Grand Entree. The grand entry piece was also often used for animal acts. Like most circus band directors, Sweet played cornet, playing his first circus at age 14 with Stowe Brothers Circus. He was the music director at Edison Phonograph Company 1901-1905. Following his time with Ringling, he directed several other bands not associated with circuses, including his own Dunbar’s White Hussars “vaudeville” band. WJU Hall of Fame 1982. – RLE
THEY’RE OFF galopFrederick Alton Jewell (1875-1936)Jewell published this galop in 1918 after retiring from circus life and taking on director of the Fairfield, Iowa Municipal Band. “They’re Off ” is a phrase often associated with horse racing, and so this galop is one often accompanying horses galloping in western-type acts. Such a galop would also have been popular at rodeos where fast, short pieces were an excellent fit. Fred Jewell also composed Tecumseh March (1905), named for the famous Indian chieftain. – RLE
T.M.B. marchKarl L. King (1891-1971)In 1909, Karl King was a young 18-year old Euphonium player with the Thayer Military Band (TMB) of Canton, Ohio. Although his first compositions at the age of 14 were rejected by publishers, he persevered and had his first compositions published in 1909. This was King’s very first published march, and was dedicated to H. Clark Thayer, the founder and former conductor of that Military Band. It was published by King’s Euphonium teacher, William Strassner of Canton. It was the Thayer Band where King sat in and played Euphonium after first playing in the Canton Marine Band. – JPJ
TROOPING DAYSKarl L. King (1891-1971)The title of this 1912 composition refers to the years that Karl King traveled or “trouped” with various circus bands throughout the United States. This march was dedicated to Fred Zalesky, who was playing solo clarinet in the Fort Dodge Military Band before King arrived in Fort Dodge in 1920. Zalesky was playing in 1910, and continued playing into the 1950s. Former King Band conductor and WJU member, the late Reginald R. Schive, took private lessons on clarinet from Zalesky. – JPJ
THE TWO BILLS MarchWilliam E. Sweeney (1857-1917)In 1909, William Cody joined forces with Gordon Lillie and the result was Buffalo Bill’s Wild West & Pawnee Bill’s Far East Company. It was for this combined show that Sweeney wrote his march, The Two Bills (1910). Sweeney’s only other published composition was another march, Buffalo Bill’s Farewell (1911) composed for Cody’s final tour of the combined shows. In 1914-1915, Cody was with the Sells-Floto Circus and in 1916 with Miller Bros. 101 Ranch with Wild West specialty acts. – RLE
UNG-KUNG-FOY-YA intermezzoKarl L. King (1891-1971)Karl King was a master at writing music for a variety of acts during the nine years he spent trouping with different circuses. During the 1917 and 1918 seasons, he was the bandmaster of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, the most famous circus of that era. On that show was a group of Asian acrobats and jugglers. Published in 1919, King wrote this intermezzo, using pentatonic scales and harmonies, to accompany their act. During the act’s finale, the performers would suspend themselves by their braided ponytails, or queues, and would hang and rapidly spin their bodies above the center ring. – JPJ
WESTERN SUITEKarl L. King (1891-1971)As a result of Karl King’s time as bandmaster of the Sells-Floto & Buffalo Bill Combined Shows (1914-1916), he composed three pieces using the style and themes of the Old West. While they could certainly have been performed separately, King would often perform them as a “Western Suite”, played in the following order. Wyoming Days (1914) was an intermezzo to accompany cowboy themed acts. It was also often used for an after-show at an additional fee that featured demonstrations of riding skills and other cowboy attributes. The Passing of the Red Man (1916) is an Indian characteristic that is dedicated to King’s friend, Colo. W. F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who employed Native Americans in his shows to add to the authenticity. On the Warpath (1915) was the first of King’s western style compositions and musically depicts a characteristic Indian dance. – RLE
WHIP and SPUR GalopThomas S. Allen (1876-1919)Allen (1876-1919) was an accomplished violinist who published this galop in 1902. Much of his music was composed as orchestral background for silent movies. His galops were especially noteworthy, carrying the needed flavor of excitement. Consequently, many of his tunes had use in the Wild West shows of the era and are still often used with rodeos, and sometimes circuses. – RLE
WHIPPET RACE, TheKarl L. King (1891-1971)This 1927 galop was written specifically for a dog race. It was dedicated to “Doc” Griffen, Superintendent of Speed at the Iowa State Fair. The Fort Dodge Municipal Band under King’s direction was an important part of the Iowa State Fair, playing the Grandstand shows and accompanying a variety of acts each season starting in the early 1920s and continuing until their final performance at the close of the 1959 season. – JPJ
William Paris Chambers (1854-1913)Chambers was best known as an active solo cornetist and bandmaster. Herbert Clarke said of him “Mr. Chambers was one of the top men in his profession as a cornet soloist in the nineties, standing unique in his own particular style of playing.” At age 18, Chambers was leader of the Keystone Cornet Band in Newville, PA, and then the Capital City Band of Harrisburg, PA. Some of Chambers compositions are: Rose Ballet Dance Galop (1903), Northwind March (1895), King of Terror (1892), The Regent (1909), and Montezuma (1904). – RLE
WOODY VAN’S MARCHKarl L. King (1891-1971)Apollos Woodring Van Anda, professionally known as Woody Van lived in Allentown, PA. He was born in Williamsport, PA on February 6, 1854. While with Andrew Downie’s The LaTena Circus, Woody fell from a buggy and on August 16, 1914 died from the injuries. Woody had been in show business for over 25 years, five of which was with Hi Henry’s Minstrels and two seasons with Al Martin’s Uncle Tom Cabin. Woody was an all-around musician but his specialty was on cornet. In 1911 he was musical director for the Yankee Robinson Shows. In 1913 he was musical director with the Arlington and Beckman Oklahoma Ranch Wild West. King published this march in 1911. – RLE

RLE = Rodney L. Everhart, WJU #1351, Circus Fanfare editor
– JPJ = Jerrold P. Jimmerson, WJU #3118, Conductor, Karl King Municipal Band, Ft. Dodge, IA