I performed from 1973 to 1995 with a couple years off in between. I did an aerial cradle act for three years, low wire as a clown, trained llamas, ponies, then lions and tigers for 15 years. I am now a firefighter, a member of the Circus Historical Society and an author of several circus and carnival related subjects.
I really have enjoyed your blog. The history is amazing.
Since you are a lion man,I have a very specific question, pertaining to a motordrome and the Royal American Show of 1940-1943.
I realize that this is much earlier than your show days, but you listed that you enjoyed books about animal trainers and I am hoping that one of them may mention the act, I am looking to locate information about.
My mother was with the show in an ice skating revue called the Royal Ice Palace Revue. They skated on Iceolite, an artificial ice that was invented in 1938. Skating in a tent under the hot summer sun was successful and novel enough that she was with the show for three years, as a feature and chorus skater.
I am interested in obtaining any information about the hit of the R.A.S. in those years, the Majorie Kemp Thrill Area/ Motordrome with lions. The Lion tamer, thrill rider and perhaps manager was George Murray. I am tying to find out any information about George. I have photos to share with his family, if he ever had one. I have R.A.S. memorabilia,WWII postcards, letters, photos of him and from him to my mother. His signature was simply,” As Ever George.”
Majorie Kemp was the star and perhaps owner of the act. She had at least ten bikes and riders, six were women and they were called her “Legion of Lady Hell Riders”. The act had a least one male lion that stood on a pedestal as they rode around him. R.A.S. billed the act, “As the most famous motordrome performers in the world and the most spectacular attraction ever presented on a portable amusement midway.”
Considering all that, I have not been able to locate much information about
this act and have only my mother’s memorabilia to go on. It’s carnival history and I am enjoying my hunt and wondered if you or your followers have any leads?
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