Brunk, Henry and Mercedes Rey 1979-06-19

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The Brunks further discuss Henry Brunk’s Comedians tent show and their road tours throughout the West.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Henry and Mercedes Rey Brunk

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: June 19, 1979

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Interviewer: Jerry Martin

Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians, Tent show performers, Before and after World War II, Temperamental, Incident involving Jack Vivian, advance agent (1950), Various plays performed, Anecdote about an inexperienced actor (1947), Actors left due to low salaries (early 1930s), Use of plays for afterdraft, Toby shows, Mystery plays, Show director's role in choosing plays, Walter Pruitt, director, Criticism of concession sales, Concession and candy sales, Candy box prizes, Francis "Klink" Lemmons, musician, Size of shows, Harve Haverstock, tent show manager, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Number of actors on the show, Red Miller, canvas man and performer, Anecdote about a bad show due to missing performers

Tape 1, Side 2: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Place mats used as advertising, Various performers mentioned, Some performers never showed up or left the show early, Anecdote about a replacement actress, Importance of wardrobe to performers, Mrs. Perrin's resale shop in Kansas City, Kansas, Used publicity stunts, Fred Brunk's Comedians, Plays performed, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Transportation of the show across state lines, Incident involving use of a truck (1941), By railroad, Minimum number of tickets required, Anecdote about actors missing a train

Tape 2, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Occasionally did 2 shows a night, Did an afterpiece show, Prices changed, W. I. Swaine show, Did 2 shows a night, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Titles of plays changes, Jack Edwards, costume designer, Various costumes described, Good business reports were exaggerated, Competition, Fair dates, Competition, Ted North, Other fair attractions, Had crowd sit near the stage, Al Hirt, musician, Concert in Emporia, Kansas, discussed, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Tent blew down in Sweetwater, Texas (1932)

Tape 2, Side 2: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Tent blew down (continued), Types of tents, Bastard tent described, Dramatic end tent discussed, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Borrowed furniture from local stores, Used wicker furniture, Tent show produced by Texas Tech University, Problems with the tent, Popularity, Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Poles in tent obstructed view, Tent with outside poles described, Carson and Barnes Circus, 60 Minutes television program discussed, Vargas show discussed, Henry Brunk's Comedian (again), Showed in Gunnison, Colorado, Trick used to avoid high license fees, Admission prices

Tape 3, Side 1: Henry Brunk's Comedians (continued), Played fair dates during 1930s, Difference between novelty and vaudeville acts discussed, Novelty acts described, Fred Brunk's Comedians, Lost a tent to fire in Ennis, Texas (early 1920s), Henry Brunk's Comedians (again), Bad business in Colorado due to drought (1940), Anecdote about drinking too much, Los Animas, Colorado, Season opened by a reverend in Boise City, Oklahoma, Did a merchants' matinee, Publicity gimmick described, Cast members mentioned (1930), Bought trucks for transportation (1951), Did 3-day stands (1951), Showed in Alamosa, Colorado, Newspaper editorials discussed, Various photographs discussed, Anecdote about losing lights in Rifle, Colorado

Tape 3, Side 2: Henry Brunk's comedians (continued), Anecdote about losing lights in Rifle (continued)

Range Dates: 1930-1951

Bulk Dates: 1930-1951

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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