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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Harry Albacker (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Anverdi-museum
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Here's a "blast from the past", does anybody remember Harry Albacker? Good ol' Harry was a personal friend of mine for many years, he was out of Aspenwall, Pa.

I don't think anybody did more county fairs than Harry, he was without a doubt the busiest magician I have ever seen. Usually he would travel the easter seaboard performing at fairs for half the year, his schedule was unbelievable. Harry had a great personna about him, he was great particularly with kids. Anyone from Pittsburgh will recall him on "Adventure Time" on WTAE TV with Paul Shannon in the late 60's and early 70's. I liked Harry's wardrobe, he would wear harem pants and in early years pointy elftype shoes and of course his turban with feathers in it.

Harry had a lot of interesting stories, a book should have been written about him. He told me there was two in the 'works' throughout the years but never transpired, it is too bad. I guess Harry passed away around ten years ago.
haywire
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Philadelphia
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I both heard of him AND even saw him perform once...
It was at a farmers market in Lancaster of all places.

Very good as I recall...
Weatherbee
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Lakeland, Central FL
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I first met him in the late 70's when he did a mall in Olean, NY. My father is a pert-time magician and struck up a conversation with him. Harry came to the house, and was there for hours. Every year I looked forward to the x-mas card from Harry and "The Funny Bunny Show". I've seen him pereform at fairs over the years, and must say that he was one of the best children's entertainers I have seen. Harry Albacker was truly a prince among men.
AmazingEARL
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Tennessee, USA
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I remember Harry very well! He was the first Magician I ever saw perform live. Truly a legend on the fair/festival circuit, the man did traveling magic shows for over 50 years...which should almost qualify him for sainthood (not to mention his wife)!

As a young entertainer, he took me under his wing and got me started working fairs, getting me into the Showmen's Association, recommending me for the PMA and giving me sage advice born of his near-eternity in the business. I'll never forget one bit of advice he gave me about doing free shows. "Yeah, they're good exposure -- but a man can die from exposure." According to others in the Pittsburgh area, Harry never cared much for other Magicians; jealously guarding against anyone who would be working the same market he did. Personally, I never saw that.

It's been many years since he passed on, but if memory serves he died during (or shortly after) a performance at a nursing home in Western PA. I'm sure that's how he would have wanted to go...working to the last. I hope it's true.

There have been many of Harry's stories that I couldn't confirm; thet he was the inspiration for the short-lived saturday morning network TV show about a Genie called "The Magic Mongo," etc. But there are others that I'd never doubt...that he loved his work, loved his audiences and loved to make them laugh.

Two things about him I will never forget: the first is the day he approached me after seeing my live show and told me I reminded him of a young Harry Blackstone Jr. The second is his working attire in later years; satin harem pants, plaid (usually) button-front work shirt and a HUGE turban. His image could have used a make-over, but his old-school magic was priceless.

Miss ya' Harry!

Dan Wolfe
http://www.dwolfe.com
Smoky Mountain Magic
http://www.SmokyMtMagic.com
"We build AMAZING things"
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