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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Al Koran - Failure in the USA (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

art85y
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I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts, or links to further discussion, on the topic of the British mentalist Al Koran and why he failed to make it big in the USA, or if indeed this is actually true. All comments/info appreciated.
Art
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Dick Oslund
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I saw Koran work at Abbott's Get Together, It must have been, IIRC, about the mid '70s He opened with a nice ring routine. His mental stuff, didn't play well. He quit in the middle, and walked off.
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art85y
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OMG, thanks Dick, it would not take too many incidents like that to trash a rep!
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Leo H
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I know that the late Mike Rogers was not a fan of Koran. I think he found him too over the top as a performer.
Anatole
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Here are some youtube videos of Al Koran:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HkPAm9eYOM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYp__UtfgkY
The fact that Ed Sullivan booked him says something, don't you think?

If he failed to "make it big in the U.S." it may be due simply to the fact that he didn't play in the U.S. that much. He was, after all, from England. If more live audiences had seen him in the U.S., maybe he would have become as popular as Dunninger.

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Anatole
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Re Leo's comment that "Mike Rogers was not a fan of Koran"----- Mike, who was a friend of mine from as far backs as the 1960's--could be very opinionated sometimes. He taught me some of his moves with the Dancing Cane, but years later when I showed him my routine "The Enchanted Walkingstick" he dismissed it as "not very good." But other magicians like Denny Haney and Johnny "Ace" Palmer and others thought my routine was outstanding. What it boils down to, I think, is the old adage that "One man's meat is another man's poison."

Mike did very graciously give me permission to include his Dancing Cane moves in a book that I had planned to wrIte but haven't gotten around to yet. Other magicians have come up with pretty much the same moves independently, although as far as I know those moves have not appeared anywhere in print.

Mike also contacted me when Michael Skinner came out with his "Ultimate Three Card Monte." Mike Rogers's "Unconquered Card" was pretty much move-for-move the same as Skinner's "Ultimate Three Card Monte." Mike may have thought that Skinner stole "The Unconquered Card" and marketed it on his own. I suspect that it was more likely a case of parallel "invention." Since I illustrated the instructions for Skinner's trick, Mike R. called me and asked me how I had gotten involved with the Skinner trick, and I explained that as the illustrator of several L&L books, I had been commissioned to illustrate the instructions. IIRC, there was also a jumbo card trick from Supreme that was pretty much the same principle as both the Rogers and the Skinner trick.

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Feral Chorus
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Here is a link to some information on AL Koran's time in the USA. Given this information, is seems unfair to grade his move a failure. I think we'd have to give him an incomplete.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=30
art85y
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Thank you Anatole, I appreciate the valuable info/insights and will follow up your links,
Art
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art85y
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Thank you Feral. That link was very interesting lots of history and anecdotes. It helps a lot to put Koran's time in the USA into context for me,
Art
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JNeal
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All this is very interesting.

Anatole, I think the English version of the three card trick is the 'Chase the Ace' that Ken Brooke (I believe) sold.
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Anatole
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There's a great discusson on "The GENII Forum" that examines the "evolution" of the Skinner "Ultimate Three Card Monte" that traces it all the way back to 1908 and a Theodore DeLand trick called "PickItOut." Here's the link to the discussion:
http://www.forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=48128

Richard Kaufman and Bob Farmer both cite the DeLand trick as the inspiration for what evolved into Mike Rogers's "Unconquered Card," Mike Skinners's "Ultimate Three Card Monte" and Ken Brooke's "Chase the Ace."

As Ecclesiastes 1:9 notes:
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
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Richard Kaufman
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DeLand's trick predates everyone else's by half a century.
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