Bobby Reynolds & Ward Hall
Coney Island April 2011
This is the Start of
My New Career
I broke in the biz
with the circus but Harry and I frequently played night clubs or
theatres, there were still a few around although the big
vaudeville circuits were long gone.
The first theatre
variety show we were on was put together in Dec 1949 in New
Orleans. It was a variety show with 3 girl acts: a tap dancer
her last name was Joy; Rose Marie who was a singer and also
played a marimba, she later hit big time in TV as an actress;
the star was an exotic dancer, Sunny Knight (the golden girl
from the golden west Tarzana, Ca. Harry and I did our
knife throwing act and I was M C and stand up comedy. The
show played several weeks at the Rio theatre in NO, five shows a
day, six on Sat a grind with a movie. When it closed in NO
"Frisco Follies, with the same cast and band jumped to the
Broadway theatre in Tampa for I think two Weeks, three shows a
We also worked our
act at Joy theatre across the river from Memphis etc. We played
theatres and clubs from coast to coast mainly in the (50s When
Rock and Roll became big in the mid 50s, (The Beatles) brought
in a new era. novelty acts dancers etc and the orchestras were
out and these 4 or 5 people groups, mostly young men, did the
show and provided their own music. That was the final nail in
the vaudeville coffin.
In those years we
still worked circus or carnival season. Remember that until the
mid to late thirties there were no air cooled theatres so
vaudeville and the NY Broadway shows laid off in summer since
the theatres were all closed. Many vaudeville performers
worked with carnivals in the big musical revue type shows, some
had big name stars in those carnival shows. Some noticed that
games and food were making a good living so many became
concession operators and many became full time carnies for the
rest of their lives.
There has not been a
resurgence of Burlesque or variety shows. I don't think that
those kind of shows on a major scale can compete with 250
channels of TV. I didn't work a lot of burlesque but we were
playing the Rivoli Theatre in Houston the week that J F Kennedy
was murdered in Dallas.
I wrote the music
and book for three musical comedies "Million Dollar Doll" in NY
in 1962 and to tour out of Houston in 1963.
done in 1995.
"Saigon Doll' toured
The highlight of my
life was when I sang in concert and did MC stand up at Carnegie
Hall, NYC April 22 1994. (Sold out house, good revues including
I will be
doing some appearances next month. I will be doing more dates.
This is the start of my new career.
All stories are the
property of Sideshow World & their respective authors.
Any republication in
part or in whole is strictly prohibited. For more information
contact us here
Back to One On One With Ward Hall
Back to Main