Phelps, Col Harry 1974-05-02

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Col. Harry Phelps, a retired Army officer and performer with the Harley Sadler Tent Show, reminisces about the early day tent shows, especially Harley Sadler’s troupe.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Col. Harry Phelps

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: May 02, 1974

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Clifford Ashby

Length: 1 hour 15 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Born in western Nebraska, Moved to Washington, Joined U. S. Army (Feb. 10, 1917), Sent to Texas, Wife born at Burkburnett, Texas, Employment, Bob Carson Productions in San Antonio, Made 52 Western movies, Harley’s theaters, Sweetwater, Texas, Star Theater, Lamesa, Texas, Harley Sadler, Phelps, bass player and business manager, Show closed in Dallas, Texas (1936), "Fall of the Alamo", Closed show in Dallas (went broke), Re-opened (1936), Vaudeville shows, Roy Fox Shows, Brunk Comedian Shows, Harley Sadler show, Transportation, West Texas showings, Acts, Anecdote of going broke in Beaumont, Rehearsals, Acting, Harley Sadler, Toby character, Plays done, Closing of show, State legislature, Harley Sadler (again), Family, Tragic deaths, Phil Isley Circus, Harley bought circus, Went broke.

Tape 1, Side 2: Harley Sadler Show (again), Concert, Musicians, Gil Lamb, Bart Couch, Recruiting actors and musicians, Harley Sadler, Family, Gloria Sadler, daughter death, Billie Sadler (wife), Leading lady, Met Harley at Cameron, Texas, Harley Sadler (again), Theater, Sweetwater, Texas, Harley Sadler Show (again), Lighting equipment, Costumes, Dressing rooms, Chairs and bleachers, Cost 25cents a seat, Candy sales, 15 cents per box, Prizes, Actors, Bookings, Harley Sadler (again), Church member, Rotary Club member, Shriner, Heating and cooling tent, Concessions.

Tape 2, Side 1: Jennifer Jones (actress), Finances, Tent description, Sadler family, Ferd Sadler, Burnett Massengale, Spare time, Movies (Rag pictures), Harley Sadler Show, Playhouse twins, Community attitudes toward show, Drinking in the show, Alcoholic beverages were prohibited, Attitude of actors, Description of show, Gloria Sadler, Tap dancing, School, Billie Sadler’s personality, Harley Sadler show (again), Scenery, Stage opening (12’x 30’), Orchestra, Plays, "The Yukon", Toby character, "The Fall of the Alamo", Description, Bob Siler performer in the show.

Range Dates: 1915-1950

Bulk Dates: 1930-1940

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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