Young, Norma Jean and Henry and Mercedes Brunk 1979-06-15

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Norma Jean Young discusses tent show entreprenour Henry Brunk and his troupe, Brunk’s Comedians. Part of the tape is an interview recorded earlier with Henry and Mercedes Brunk.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Norma Jean Young and Henry & Mercedes Brunk

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 15, 1979

Location: Boise City, Oklahoma

Interviewer: Jerry Martin

Length: 1 hour 15 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Norma Jean Young, Brunk’s Comedians, Opening date changed, Henry Brunk, Paid bills for performers, Locally trusted, Local sponsors, Methodist Choir, Boise City, Oklahoma, "Saintly Hypocrites and Honest Sinners", Slightly risque, Locals took tickets for the show, Brunk’s show in Boise City, Tent, Seating, Grain doors for floor, Location, Brunk’s Comedians (again), Racy shows did not offend, Many attended, Headquartered in Boise City after 1950, Locals helped performers, Hired locals to erect tent, Other tent shows in Boise City, Newspaper advertising, Toby shows well-liked, Boise City newspaper printed handbills, Brunk’s Comedians (again), Relationship with locals, Newspaper advertising (again), Did not travel in 1953, 1957, Reasons, Last year on tour (1958), Reasons, Popularity, Brought people together, Relationship between actors and locals, Years in Boise City, Closed during World War II, Henry Brunk (again), Concrete block manufacturing, Re-entered show business (1947), Difficulty finding actors.

Tape 1, Side 2: Norma Jean Young (continued), Brunk’s Comedians (again), Weather problems, Tent fires, Glen Brunk show (1935), Harley Sadler show, Fred Brunk, brother, 101 Ranch Wild West show, Henry Brunk memorabilia, Entertainment, Tent shows, Radio, Movie theater, Disreputable tent shows, Fred Twyman, Brunks performed (1916-1958), Glen Brunk, Brunk’s Comedians (again), Headquartered in Vernon, Texas, Young’s father, Henry and Mercedes Brunk, Beginning in show business, "Music Man" performance in Hereford, Texas, Fred Brunk with 101 Ranch Wild West Circus, First tent show (1916), Second tent show (1917), Harley Sadler, Brunk show (1919), Brunk’s Comedians (again), Ten shows on the road (1920s), Worked through the Depression, On the road 35 years, Hazel Hurd players, Bought brother Fred’s outfit, Size of show, orchestra, Henry Brunk as a performer, Mercedes Brunk, Raised in Kansas City, Show business, Chautauqua show, aged 17, Pat Forner Show, Shows, tight schedule, Brunk’s Comedians, 1935 roles, Plays performed by Brunk’s show, Texas Tech University (1976), Harley Sadler Show revival, Museum exhibit, Equipment stored in Boise City, Sent to Texas Tech Museum, Brunk’s Comedians headquartered in Boise City, Mike Brunk, son, Born in Boise City, Disabilities, Lives in Topeka, Kansas, Henry and Mercedes Brunk, Shriner’s Circuses, Anecdote, showing in Oklahoma.

Tape 2, Side 1: Henry and Mercedes Brunk (continued), Anecdote, showing in Oklahoma (continued), Tent shows, Heyday before Depression, Quality of actors, Hurt by television, Henry Brunk (again), Retired (1958), Health problems, Henry and Mercedes Brunk (again), Temporarily managed a circus, Temporarily managed a tent circus, Brunk’s Comedians (again), Anecdote about an employee, Texas Tech show revival (again), Norma Jean Young (again), Brunk’s Comedians (again), High morality, Newspaper publicity, Mike Brunk (again), Mongolism, Recent circus in Boise City, Hazel Hurd’s daughter.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1909-1976

Bulk Dates: 1916-1958

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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