By Eric Beheim (See his article JAN-FEB 2023 Circus Fanfare)
From 1949 to 1955 there was a weekly circus-themed television program produced in Chicago by WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) with a circus band led by Bruce Chase. Chase also did the show’s special musical arrangements. The show was hosted by Claude Kirchner as ringmaster and Mary Hartline. During a typical 60-minute Super Circus broadcast, two circus acts would be presented. The rest of the program consisted of audience participation stunts, routines performed by the show’s three in-house clowns, and a baton twirling routine by Mary Hartline, accompanied by the band. The Super Circus band was made up of top Chicago musicians who had extensive experience playing for network radio and television shows. The band’s instrumentation was similar to that used by the indoor Ringling-Barnum Circus and included saxophones.