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Topic: Richard Oakley from Memphis, Tenneseess
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Mar 14, 2011 02:09PM)
Can't believe nobody has posted regarding my friend, Richard Oakley of Memphis, Tennessee. I don't know exact current details, but his health isn't well. He's been performing magic and selling magic for a LOOOOOONG time. I first met him back in about 1975 at The Fun Shop when it was down by the river. This man has met everyone who is anyone in the world of magic. He has forgotten more about magic than most of us will ever know in our entire lives. Love his (slightly warped) sense of humor and the fact that he's never afraid to express his (very strong) opinions on people and things. Last I heard, he was in St. Francis hospital. Cancer has stricken another of the greats. If you've ever been to Memphis or visited a magic shop there, you've probably met him. Just to hear some of his stories is a real treat.

Just thought the world should know.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: johnnymagicmemphis (Mar 22, 2011 04:59PM)
I just had a visit with him and he is doing Ok. He was able to walk with a walker. And was in good spirits.

Message: Posted by: johnnymagicmemphis (Mar 22, 2011 05:03PM)
He is at primacy health care room 128A, send him a card.

6025 Primacy Parkway
Memphis, TN 38119-5763
(901) 767-1040
Message: Posted by: pruittperiodicals (Jun 1, 2011 09:44PM)
I passed through Memphis this past Monday and thought of Richard. It's been 34 years and I found this forum by researching whatever happened to him after all these years. I used to travel to Memphis and visit the pizza parlor where he perfomed, took some lessons from him and went to a couple of conventions with him. I am hoping someone can give me an update...I called the number above and they did not have him in the room listed. My thanks to anyone who can provide anything more...
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jun 28, 2011 06:20PM)
Shakey's Pizza is the place you're thinking of. Great entertainer.

Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 11, 2011 09:29AM)
As much as it pains me to tell the world, I got word overnight that Richard Oakley passed away last night. Rest in peace, my friend.

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jul 11, 2011 11:50AM)
I'm sorry to hear that. I remember him from some southeastern conventions in the past. R.I.P Mr. Oakley.
Message: Posted by: Bill Thompson (Jul 12, 2011 07:47AM)
I am sorry to report that Richard is no longer with us.
Message: Posted by: mr. Nick (Aug 7, 2011 11:06AM)
Sunday, Aug 14 at 4PM at Holy Rosary Memphis TN on Park Ave in the family room. We plan on a celebration of our friend with magicians performing magic he would do or that he inspired. We will also have his broken wand ceremony.

Richard was such a interesting guy and a great friend. Search him on youtube and you can find two videos of him performing magic.
Message: Posted by: zandor1 (Aug 15, 2011 12:20PM)
I have tears for the loss of him...I knew Richard from the time we were children...Iam 75 now. We were in a boys home when we first met.I will miss him.GOD BLESS US ALL.
Message: Posted by: wandmgc8 (Aug 16, 2011 02:16AM)
I can't believe I'm reading this. Tonight I mourn. As a very young magic enthusiest, about 11 or 12, I made several trips with my father to Memphis from Paris, Tenn., and, on several occasions, I was allowed to stay the day at The Fun Shop with Richard. I believe Louie Anderton owned the "hole-in-the-wall" shop. I immediately wanted to live there.

Aside from the influence of magic on TV at the time, Richard Oakley was the catalyst, the inspiration for my long-term interest in magic, and, a friend for life. I really was able to relate to his "slightly warped" sense of humor as mentioned above. He took me out to eat at lunch-time, and, while sitting at a table, he suddenly stopped the conversation he was making as a new customer walked in to dine and said "Oh yes! The (I forgot what food he mentioned)is just delicious!" A few minutes later, he said, "Look at her plate." The diner had ordered the food Richard had mentioned. He was testing her, and, himself. The ability to affect people in this, and, other ways was real magic to me. He had quite an understanding of the proper way to blend psychology with method, and, to "read" people. The first in-your-face performance of the Chop Cup, Cups and Balls, the classic coin magic of the day was presented to me by Richard Oakley...how lucky to first observe this from such an extrodinary magician. I still have certain books he gave me as gifts. An amazing person, and truly, one of the un-sung great performers of our time who seems to have avoided the recognition he deserves. I am so sad that I did not get to visit him of late, but, I know that we resided in each other's thoughts.

This is my longest post to date on this forum, and, I could easily go on and on extoling the virtues of this man, and, my experiences with him. I'm sure all of you get the picture.

I am in mourning. Happy journey Richard.

Michael Myatt
Message: Posted by: mr. Nick (Aug 20, 2011 10:14AM)
This is a link to the slide show John Sorrell put together for Richard. He was an amazing man!

Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Sep 20, 2011 01:24PM)
Oh my god. I'm just reading this.My world has just gotten a lot smaller.
Message: Posted by: The Hermit (Sep 16, 2014 10:56AM)
I know this is an old thread, but had to put my 2 cents in. I got my start at the Fun Shop on Union. He was my first mentor. I used to go to his apartment on Cherry Road every Sunday for lessons. I only lived a couple of blocks away. He still lived with his Mom then. I marveled at all the signed photos of great magicians and listened to his Mom gripe. It was a crazy experience. We reconnected over the years, but when he left the Highland Ave Fun Shop we stopped communicating. He was everything you want in a friend, crotchety, kind, always giving of himself and a guy you could go without seeing for 10 years and pick up where you left off. He was an immense talent. He could do any sleight you asked for from dice stacking to a pass. He always complained about his life as a magician 'I hate magic', but I don't think he could do anything else. Such a great guy.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Sep 23, 2014 01:24PM)
I'm proud to have ended up with all Richard's signed 8 by 10 promo pics.