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 day.

 

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.

 

 "Phineas" was done in 1995.

 

"Saigon Doll' toured in 1989.

 

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 NY Times).

 

 I will be doing some appearances next month. I will be doing more dates. This is the start of my new career.

Ward Hall
 


All stories are the property of Sideshow World & their respective authors. 

Any republication in part or in whole is strictly prohibited.  For more information please contact us here

 

Back to One On One With Ward Hall           Back to Main

 

All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

 sideshowworld.com   sideshowworld.org   sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz   sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster