By Mark Ambrogi
Tim Wright felt a sense of sadness when he learned the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus would end its 146-year history in May.
“It’s a piece of Americana and our past that is gone now,” Wright said.
Wright, 65, was working with John Stevens Jr. earlier in the year when he shared his thoughts.
“I told him I’d been thinking about this idea for a song to honor the passing of that era,” said Wright, a Carmel resident and a member of The Wright Brothers.
That led to the two joining talents to write “Since the Circus Left Town,” which was released as a musical video in July as a farewell tribute to The Greatest Show on Earth. Stevens, from Crawfordsville, sings while Wright sings harmonies and plays the Dobro, harmonica and mandolin.
“I don’t think the circus was as thrilling to younger people because everything that is accessible on the internet,” Wright said. “You go to a movie nowadays, there is so much special effects so seeing a lion jump through a hoop doesn’t do much for them.”
When Wright started writing some lyrics, it was more history-oriented.
“John took it and made it more personal,” Wright said. “Mine was more like a third person and John’s take was first person. We got together again and hammered the lyrics. John wrote all the music, I didn’t write one note of it. I have to give him most of the credit for the song. But I did come up with the idea. We worked well together.”
The music was recorded at Keith Claghorn’s KC Pro Studio. The Children’s Museum and the old Crawfordsville High School gym were two one locations that was used for filming.
“Taylor Blythe, the videographer, captured some great scenes,” Wright said.
Kameron Scrimager, Crawfordsville, portrays the young boy in the video.
The song can be found on YouTube and on Facebook. It has gotten more than 23,000 Facebook views in the first six days.
“We just wanted to say something, we didn’t really expect the response we got so we’re thrilled,” Stevens said.