New Book Tells Story of Vaudeville-performing Family

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Big top family hits demise with changing culture.

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“Video Killed the Radio Star," the hit song by British New Wave group The Buggles, brought humor and an infectious beat to the tragedies left in the wake of change. Yet radio totes its own collection of “killed” stars. Live performances, roadside attractions, vaudeville entertainment – they all took a decline in response to the popularity of radio, says author and actor George Edward Moon. In Reno’s Funmakers (published by Trafford Publishing), Moon details the demise of the big top performance as he revisits the traveling pursuits of his enigmatic family.

“The Funmakers had a history in show business,” Moon says of his family’s history. “It was what they did. It was all they knew. It was a life they loved with all their hearts.”

Reno’s Funmakers tells the story of Moon’s grandfather, Edward Austin Reno (son of Edward Munn Reno, Dean of American Magicians, a pioneer in the entertainment field of Illusions) and the big top tent theater he takes along the Chautauqua Circuit. Entertaining a week in each town, Ed and his colorful crew performed staged plays, comedy routines and magic shows.

Yet, as this disarming novel depicts, time changes things.

“The Great Depression gradually robbed them of their life on the road,” Moon says of his family of entertainers. “Their former audience had less to spend on entertainment. Even though live entertainment was preferred, reduced incomes forced many to opt for the radio instead.”

Both a critique of popular culture and a captivating family history, Reno’s Funmakers is a riveting read.

About The Author
George Edward Moon has been an artist, actor, athlete and a businessman. He began his acting career at one month of age when he was carried on stage in one of Reno’s Funmakers theatrical plays.

After attending the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Governors State University and Olivet University, Moon founded Pilot Battery, a manufacturer of lead acid batteries for electric lift trucks. Pilot Battery was later acquired by Chloride LTD, one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers. Moon remained in the lead acid battery field, consulting to the industry and serving as president (and later as chairman) of the Independent Battery Manufacturers Association.

All along, Moon continued to write. Reno’s Funmakers is his first full-length novel. Moon lives in Lake Placid, Florida with his wife, Marilyn, of 53 years.

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, Inc. author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an “on-demand publishing service,” and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford’s experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

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