Running away
from the circus
to join a museum

Just a few short and fleeting years ago, after 35 years of performances in venues ranging from the finest theatrical palaces to the most rickety fairground stages, R.W. Bacon closed the book on showbusiness in favor of the museum program "A Vaudeville Retrospective," detailed elsewhere. The links below are provided for those curious about (1) the now-retired touring theatrical shows (Mr Slim's Goodtime Ragtime Vaudeville Revival, and Mr. Slim & L.J.: Classic Comedy Juggling), featuring R.W. Bacon and his wife, L.J. Newton; (2) books & workshops on R.W. Bacon's juggling specialties; (3) career details, anecdotes, mentors, & friends. The links open as self-contained PDF files in a new window. Enjoy!

Vintage from Vinyl:
Early Recordings of the
Goodtime Ragtime
Vaudeville Revival

(Book & CD set).
The 1983 vinyl LP album, A Panorama of Musical Americana, is now available on CD, with its liner notes expanded into a 192-page excursion through the ragtime, jazz, and vaudeville years. In early spring 2018 this book-and-CD combination was nominated for the ARSC Award of Excellence in Historical Research.

Welcome ...

Welcome to the Internet home of R.W. Bacon (that's me), an editor/designer, museum professional, historian/author, and performing artist whose tangible home-base in the world is in the coastal community of Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA. This web site summarizes the professional museum services and programs offered, including the illustrated lecture, performance, and exhibition especially for museums, "A Vaudeville Retrospective," the Living History of Early 20th Century Popular Entertainment, with presenter R.W. Bacon (me again) bounding into the role of "The Last Living Vaudevillian."

This introductory page is an understated overview of site content, in deliberate contrast to the typical superheated showbusiness hyperbole associated with my career in the performing arts.

Museum Services

The Museum Services section. When you explore the site and follow your areas of interest, you will find pages of informative content, representative samples of my museum-related work, and useful links to learn more about the areas of professional expertise. The no-nonsense mantra carried into the museum field from my performing days --- "Talk is cheap. See the work." --- is repeated frequently, with adjacent links to PDF files so you can "see the work" for yourself. If you prefer to "see the work" via LinkedIn access, visit the Reginald W. Bacon LinkedIn page and click on the individual links in the "Publications" and "Projects" sections.

Presentations & Exhibitions

The Presentations & Exhibitions section of this web site leads to comprehensive information about "A Vaudeville Retrospective," and how to arrange a lecture/performance at your museum, historical society, library, or college theatre department.

Books & Seminars

Looking to purchase books by R.W. Bacon? To read complete descriptions of books by this author on multifarious history, performing arts, editorial, and graphics topics, or to make a secure purchase online via PayPal, vist the companion Variety Arts Press web site.

Looking for books and seminars by "The Cranky Typographer"? For comprehensive information about books and seminars on writing, editing, typography, and design --- plus helpful tips for "do-it-yourself writers and designers --- visit the dedicated website,

For an overview of professional background as seen through the familiar and standardized prism of LinkedIn, visit the Reginald W. Bacon LinkedIn page..

Looking for R.W. Bacon, showbusiness version?

To those looking for the veteran acrobatic juggler/unicyclist, jazz tenor banjoist, and comic dancer --- Yes, that's me. I am now retired from a 35-year career in commercial showbusiness, but still include performance excerpts in the Vaudeville history presentation for museums, "A Vaudeville Retrospective." My wife and longtime performance partner, the sensational club-juggler L.J. Newton, preceded me into retirement by several years, after her own 25 years of dazzling synchrony on stage. Despite pushing to the limit in practice and performance for all those years, and despite unloading heavy prop cases from the truck thousands of times, we remain happy, sane, and injury-free after a well-traveled and fulfilling career. (See the links in the sidebar at the right for additional information, especially the profiles on selected mentors and friends.) Since I was a journalist/editor/designer before showbusiness, and a researcher/author/historian during, the transition to the museum field was a natural fit. To distant friends, longtime fans, fellow performers, and former juggling/circus arts students, I would be glad to hear of your recent adventures. To new friends and museum colleagues intrigued about the performing arts career, please feel free to explore the various links at the right. Thank you. --- Reg Bacon

NEW in 2017: Vintage from Vinyl: Early Recordings of the Goodtime Ragtime Vaudeville Revival (Book & CD set). The 1983 vinyl LP album, A Panorama of Musical Americana, is finally available on CD. See the sidebar to the right, or read more at the companion Variety Arts Press web site. In early spring 2018 the book-and-CD combination was nominated for the ARSC Award of Excellence in Historical Research. The Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), an international body of musicologists, scholars, archivists, and audio preservationists, will announce the Award for Excellence recipient in September 2018. (We thank the anonymous nominator!)

More musicological micro-history in 2018: Chauncey Richmond & "The Old Buckbee": The Story of a Banjo, Its Maker, and Its Player". As detailed in this new book by R.W. Bacon, it was the discovery of a 100-year-old old filth-encrusted banjo in a ramshackle shed in 1982 --- and its restoration years later --- that led to research and new discoveries about its maker, John Henry Buckbee (1837-1890), and its player, Chauncey E. Richmond (1872-1910). Read more about the book at the companion Variety Arts Press web site.

A note on our cyber-world: Please note that except for a presence on LinkedIn (Reginald W. Bacon on LinkedIn), time constraints preclude participation in Facebook, MugShot, SpacedOut, UsedUp, or other similar social media activities. R.W. Bacon is fully engaged with today's technology, but he neither twitters nor chatters, and there is no separate daily blog site. (On this site, at the sidebar on the right, there are articles & essays, and more may be added.) Please be assured, however, that R.W. Bacon can be easily and readily contacted by e-mail or phone. Thank you for understanding.