Brunk, Henry 1978-03-21

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Henry Brunk reminisces about his career as manager of a traveling road show in the Southwest during the 1920s to the 1950s. Included are discussions about performers, show logistics and physical set-up, audiences, towns, and numerous anecdotes.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Henry Brunk

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: March 21, 1978


Interviewer: Jerry Martin

Length: 4 hours, 50 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Henry L. Brunk Show, Advertising in Billboard, Public relations, Regional tastes, Script writers, Bob Fagen, Harrison, Hiring entertainers, Managers grapevine, Town relations, Effect on ticket sales, Competition with other shows, Actors dress and behavior, Trunks, Hotels, Wardrobe, Hats, Costumes, Play selection procedure

Tape 1, Side 2: Henry L. Brunk Show (continued), Financial problems, 1940s, World War II effects on, Rationing, Closures, Post-war, Prosperity, Actor availability, Repeat customers, Winfield, Kansas, Actors' expectations, Treatment, Salary, Accommodations, Oil stoves, Comparison of actors from North or East and locals, Advance men role in quality of life, Private homes, Tents, Shape and construction, Vernon, Texas, anecdote

Tape 2, Side 1: Tent (continued), Keeping water off, Capacity, Seating, Reserve seats, Spur, Texas, anecdote, Ticket sales, Heating/heaters, Transporting and loading, 'Old Bill' - stove operator, Conversion from wood to gas, Cooling

Tape 2, Side 2: Henry L. Brunk Show (continued), Tents (continued), Cooling (continued), Preventing wind damage, Tent blown down, Tent repairmen, Effect of WWII, 'Crying Bill' anecdotes

Tape 3, Side 1: Henry L. Brunk Show (continued), Tents (continued), Tent repairmen (continued), 'Crying Bill' (continued), Props, Borrowing furniture, Advertising, Banners/displays, Tents (again), 'Bastard' tents, Push pole tents, Beil ring tents, Site location, Actor Gil Lamb, Competition, 'Pumpkin ball' (softball), Night lighting effect of

Tape 3, Side 2: Henry L. Brunk Show (continued), Competition (continued), Fairs, Advertising, Railroads effects of, Acts, Vaudeville, Balancing, Trapeze, Actors' pay, Musical acts, Changes after World War II, Music, importance of, Moving show, Advance work, Train schedules

Tape 4, Side 1: Henry L. Brunk show (continued), Moving show (continued), Staff work, Anecdote about Senator, Anecdote about black man, Borger, Texas, show incidents, American mission anecdotes, Tent fires, Sydney, Nebraska, Harley Sadler, Fred Brunk show, Preventing, Parafining canvas, Litigation prone populace, Henry Brunk burned

Tape 4, Side 2: Henry L. Brunk show (continued), Moving show (again), Truck accidents, Train wrecks, Setting-up, Snow/muddy lots, Mildew problems on tents, Opposition by theater owners, Tearing down ads, Setting-up show on Sundays, Mixture of laughs and tears in acts, "Afterdraft", Force comedies, "Gorilla House" show, Importance of "afterdraft", Mystery shows, "Cat and canary, "Wooden kimonos"

Tape 5, Side 1: Henry L. Brunk show (continued), Mixture of acts (continued), Musicals, Cast make-up, Actors who moved up to Hollywood, Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart, Show objectives, Quality entertainment, Importance of keeping it clean, Effect of big shows on small towns, Theater management, Keeping it clean (again), Concerts, Arrangement of shows, "Main" and "after" shows

Tape 5, Side 2: Henry L. Brunk show (continued), W. I. Swain, Control ticket sales, Moving show (again), Tent tear down, First train out, Anecdote about missing train, Names for parts of stage, Employees and relations with opposite sex, Reputations important

Range Dates: 1920-1955

Bulk Dates: 1930s-1940s

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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