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|The colorful history of The Russell Brothers Circus is a remarkable chapter in the annals of American circus lore.
Unfortunately, the details and anecdotes that would breathe fresh life into this fascinating story have been hard to come
by in recent years. There have been snippets in various reference books and memoirs, and there is some solid,
scholarly research available on the web. What's been missing is a comprehensive history of the show in the context of
its times, generously sprinkled with the sort of priceless firsthand observations that can reintroduce contemporary
readers to the magic of the big top and let them vicariously experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a bygone era.
That's all about to change.
Keith B. Webb of San Diego, California, has some very special credentials that uniquely qualify him to share this story
with the world. He is the nephew of Claude Webb, co-founder of The Russell Brothers Circus. His father, Ellis, and most
of his uncles were intimately involved with the show. Most important of all, Keith and his older brother Charlie both
travelled with the Russell show as young men. They were there on the circus lot in its heyday (and brother Charlie went
on to make his own mark as a showman with several other outfits, notably the Polack Brothers Circus).
For Keith, Charlie, and their sister Mary, the Russell show was a family affair. It was the ultimate childhood playground,
tempered by some of the harsh realities of life on the road in the depths of the Depression. It was, in short, an
unforgettable moment in time that Keith would like to preserve and share. In partnership with writer Joseph F. Laredo,
he is opening the family archives and committing these memories to paper. The end result will be equal parts circus
history, family history, and U.S. History, all held together with generous dollops of good old-fashioned Americana.
Please visit our CONTACT US page to share your memories of The Russell Brothers Circus and be kept up to date on
Thank you very much for your interest.
|A portion of a Russell Brothers Circus poster was used for the dust jacket of this 1983 book from the Indiana Historical Society