Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Polack Alley

This photo from the Tegge Circus Archives, Lou Jacobs, Rudy Dockey and Charlie Cheer from a Polack tour in the mid-50s.


Confirmation of Charlie Cheer's identity comes to us from Bill Strong.


More on the story comes courtesy of our intrepid reporter in the field, Robin Estes...

This one is from the 1954 Polack show. I don't really know if Lou ever actually played a fiddle, but he did indeed play the accordion!—Tim Tegge

The year I have verified that Lou Jacobs was with Polack Bros instead of RBB&B was 1956. I have a Polack Bros program from that year which lists his Lunimobile as a featured act. He was assisted by Harold Simmons and Jackie Gerlich in his little car act that year. I believe when he was with RBB&B, Frankie Saluto assisted him most often as the gas station attendant. I've heard references to him being with Polack Bros for more then one season, but I don't know which other years, if they were consecutive or not. The 1956 season was the year AGVA went on strike against RBB&B.The 1956 Polack Bros clown alley was Lou Jacobs, Rudy Docky, Chester Sherman, Joe Sherman (actually Joe Vanni), Harold Simmons, and Jackie Gerlich. The Sherman Bros. duo have been inducted into the ICHOF. That would have been some alley to see.Emmett Kelly, Otto Griebling, and Felix Adler were the clowns with RBB&B who honored the picket lines and didn't appear with the 1956 production. Emmett never returned. In 1957, when the strike was settled, Emmett was the mascot of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and St. Louis Hawks basketball team. He was a natural as mascot for the Dodgers since their nickname at the time was Dem Bums. He was with them only one season because the next year they moved to Los Angeles and he thought their new stadium was too big for him to be effective in.—Bruce Johnson

Lou Jacobs was on the Polack show for three seasons... 1954, 1955 and 1956. Lou and my dad were very close and I have letters from him to my dad during this period of three seasons, talking about various things on the Polack show. Also have some wonderful, candid shots of him backstage at Chicago's Medinah Temple, in 1954, as well as 16mm color footage of Lou, Rudy Dockey and Charlie Cheer doing their musical routine on an outdoor Shrine date, possibly out West.—Tim Tegge


24-HOUR-MAN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
24-HOUR-MAN said...

I'm sorry, Charlie Cheer

24-HOUR-MAN said...

I don't know a lot about Lou as to musical instruments, I know how much I enjoyed his work. I had the pleasure of a long conversation with him one afternoon and I was honored, and very much in awe of this quiet man and liked him right away.
I do know that Charlie Cheer was almost never without his accordion, & somewhere in the back of my mind I remember Rudy playing a Violin. I do know when he played a balloon, it sounded like a violin.

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