Merle Evans

Merle Slease Evans (December 26, 1891 – December 31, 1987) was a cornet player and circus band conductor who conducted the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for fifty years. He was known as the "Toscanini of the Big Top." Evans was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association in 1947 and the International Circus Hall of Fame in 1975.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 26th, 1894 (Columbus), Died December 31st, 1987 (Sarasota)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930 - 1956

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, director

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-62430 10-in. 5/25/1930 Colossus of Columbia Merle Evans ; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band director  
Victor BVE-62431 10-in. 5/25/1930 Pageantry Merle Evans ; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band, with calliope director  
Victor BVE-62432 10-in. 5/25/1930 Entry of the gladiators Merle Evans ; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band, with calliope director  
Victor BVE-62433 10-in. 5/25/1930 Gentry's triumphal march Merle Evans ; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band director  
Victor BVE-62434 10-in. 5/25/1930 Circus echoes (Galop) Merle Evans ; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band director  
Victor BVE-62435 10-in. 5/25/1930 Old Glory triumphal march Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Band Band, with calliope director  
Decca 84305 4/16/1953 Barnum and Baileys favorite (Grand entry) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84306 4/16/1953 Le père de la victoire (The liberty horses) (Father of victory march) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84307 4/16/1953 Gentry's triumphal march (The elephants) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84308 4/16/1953 Kentucky sunrise ; Prince of Decorah galop (The clowns) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84360 4/22/1953 The purple carnival (The wild animal act) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84361 4/23/1953 Tropic to tropic (High wire) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84362 4/22/1953 Wedding of the winds ; Trombone blues (Aerialists) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 84363 4/23/1953 Bravura (The jugglers) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100706 10/5/1956 Quality plus (Seals Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100707 10/5/1956 Caravan club (march) (Performing bears) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100708 10/5/1956 The Southerner (march) (Bareback riders) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100709 10/5/1956 Entry of the gladiators (The acrobats) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100710 10/5/1956 Battle royal march (Grand finale) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  
Decca 100711 10/5/1956 Royal bridesmaids march (Trapeze) Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band conductor  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Evans, Merle," accessed October 25, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106367.

Evans, Merle. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106367.

"Evans, Merle." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106367

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