Brunk, Henry and Mercedes 1976-01-27

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The Brunks discuss their lives and careers as performers and operators of tent shows and explain a typical tent show format. Note: the second tape on this date (Jan. 27, 1976) was recorded in Dr. Clifford Ashby’s class.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Henry and Mercedes Brunk

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: January 27, 1976

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Clifford Ashby's Class

Length: 1 hour, 10 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Henry L. Brunk [speaker], Born in Memphis, Missouri, To Hereford, Texas (age 5), To Wichita, Kansas, Town band organized in Hereford, Brunk family members, Fred Brunk, brother, Fred and Glen Brunk, Put out a tent show (1916), Harley Sadler, Operated Brunk show (1917), Opened a tent show (1917), Brunk investment in show, Brunk's Comedians #3, Henry Brunk, Worked with Sadler, Put out a tent show (1927), Tent shows, Heyday in 1910s and 1920s, Actors, Difficulty, competition, 1930s depression, radio, movies, Theaters, "Turkey" shows, Henry Brunk's jobs on brothers' shows, Advance man, Competition with other shows, Advance man for Ray Howell's show, Competition, Setting show up in a town, License, Location, Lights, Moving equipment, Advertising, Housing, Use of party lines, Rooming houses and hotels, Inconveniences and discomforts, Too cold, Anecdote about a doctor, Food, Cost, Brunk show, Closed (1960), Closed during World War II (1942), Reopened (1947), Business, Street band and orchestra, Quality of musicians, "Kick 'em" (parade), Brunk show (1917), Harley Sadler, Pay scale for one couple, Appearance of performers, Presentable at all times, Toby costume, Anecdote about a barber, Tent blew down in Sweetwater, Texas, Actors, Helped on the show, Competition from movie theaters, Incident at Lamar, Colorado, Syndicates, Circle Stock, Mangum, Oklahoma, Description, Anecdote, Directors on the shows, Responsibilities, Band director

Tape 1, Side 2: Mercedes Brunk [speaker], Born in Iberia, Louisiana, To Kansas City, Missouri, Secretarial skills, Studied theater, First show business job, Chautauqua show, Description, Day shows, Tent shows (again), Rehearsals, Cues, Prompters, Replacements, Anecdote about Mrs. Brunk, Prompter's box, Mexican tent show, Clothing, Importance of elaborate wardrobes, Actor's responsibility, Circle stock, Care of clothing, Female employees, Always dressed well, Reputations, Rules about social interactions, Tent shows (again), Toby shows, Plays used, Importance of the shows, Prices, Quality of shows

Range Dates: 1916-1960

Bulk Dates: 1916-1940s

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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