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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » 20th Century Kidshow Artists (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Skip Way
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Magic Historians: I need your help, please. I'm researching the art of magic as kidshow entertainment. If you were to list the top 10 magicians primarily recognized for their work performing for children, enhancing the image of the kidshow magician or making the art accessible to them; who would make your list? Please explain your choices.

For example: Gene Gordon and David Ginn promptly come to mind. Perhaps Dr. Tarbell should be included for creating the mail-order Tarbell series? Mark Wilson and Bev Bergeron for their work with making magic a mainstream artform? Lt. Lee Allan Estes? J.B. Bobo? Walt Disney for giving us permission to believe in magic? Any performer circa 1900-1999 of note qualifies.

Your assistance is GREATLY appreciated and due credit will be given for material that leads to new discoveries or thought processes. If someone has already written on this topic, I would be very grateful if you would point me in their direction. Thanks, guys!
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Father Photius
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Oh by all means Trixie Bond (ne: Trixie Dodson) she has been one of the greatest of the last half of the 20th Century. And JB Bobo was the stalwart of school shows, saw him at many a school show as a child. And Trevor Lewis from the other side of the pond.
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Bill Palmer
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Edwin Hooper, Samuel Patrick Smith, Peter Kersten of the DDR
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Gerry Walkowski
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Skip:

I think some are going to find it difficult to answer your question because you're trying to pour a wide mix into one bucket. Right now you're lumping David Ginn in with Tarbell, Mark Wilson, Disney, etc. Personally, I think you're making a stretch here.

Also, most magic historians DO NOT like it when "tricksters" come to them saying, "Give me all the answers." Many magic historians find that insulting.

I think your project would be more meaningful, more valid, and more scholary if you spent the time researching this topic to its fullest AND THEN went to the big boys for help in refining your work and filling in the gaps. That's how it's done with this crowd.

I realize this may not be the answer your want but truthfully, this is the path you should take.

Hope you're not offended by this.

Gerry
Skip Way
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Gerry, I see your point and don't disagree. Not offended in the least...all positive input is good input!

The fact is that I'm looking for unique perspectives. My research has already given me the names and backgrounds of those in the ranks of magic Kidshow VIPS. Now I'm looking outside of the box and asking for the individual perspectives of the gifted and introspective persons who visit here. I want to see where "else" this concept may lead. I am intentionally challenging our peers to stretch the limits of their experience and knowledge and to reach beyond the rabbit-&-tophat crowd.

For example: Adding Walt Disney may be considered a far stretch to some in terms of magic...and yet others may have found inspirational to magic in a motivational or devotional way. Along that same vein, Dr. Tarbell was not a "Kidshow" performer but his mail-order series certainly influenced hopeful and successful adolescents and teens worldwide...hence he fits the calling.

In that same light, Bev Bergeron has had a very colorful career in stage & kidshow magic, but I believe he is best remembered by laymen for his Rebo character on The Magic Land of Alakazam. I could be wrong on that assusmption and I hope this discussion will correct that and other misinterpretations.

As you suggest, I could present the names and data that I've collected over the past year or so...but I fear that this would influence your thinking. I prefer to offer the challenge and see where it leads without my prodding. I hope that magicdom's gifted historians and trivia authorities will enjoy seeing the subject of their intense interest brought to recognition and appreciation. Especially those early, magic heyday artists of the early-to-mid 1900's who first ventured into kid and school shows.

Gerry, I appreciate your advice.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Palmer
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And don't leave out the famous clown, John Wayne Gacy.

And there is also Bob Markwood, who entertained for years on Disney's Big Red Boat.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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andrew martin
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Dick Oslund !
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Karrell Foxx!
Gerry Walkowski
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Skip:

Andrew hit the nail on the head. Dick Oslund is a perfect example. I'm betting that the KGB has probably never even heard of him and that Oslund has probably done more shows than Silly Billy will in his entire life. (That's not a slam at Silly Billy; I'm just stating facts.)

What about Bob McAllister? He was a FANTASTIC children's performer and had numerous TV shows.

What about Al Lampkin?

You might want to consider Fetaque Sanders, who was an early Black magician who performed children shows.

Also, are you limiting your topic to just USA children show performers? Sometimes we magicians tend to think inside our own little world that we overlook the obvious.

Last but not least, I still say there are a lot of children's entertainers out there (past and present) who don't mean a thing to the Kidabra crowd but are superstars in their own rights. You never hear of them because they enjoy keeping a low profile because as they're making great money with their unique acts. I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that not everyone wants everyone to know their business. (Some might find that hard to believe, but it's true.)

Anyway, I hope some of this is of help.

Gerry
Skip Way
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Great names...and a couple I wasn't aware of, so it helps. Thank you. Gerry, by all means I want to include the international set as well. As you say, the colonies tend to think the world begins and ends here...and that simply isn't true. I'd especially like to hear from our international cousins with names I probably wouldn't know.

This also has nothing to do with KIDabra. I'm reaching well outside of the realm of KIDabra...and before. I'm most interested in those who pioneered the kidshow fields in the 1950's and earlier. When did magic divert from the halls of Vaudeville and theatre and delve into kidshows and common birthday parties?

As I said...all positive input is great input! Thank you!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
jkesler
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Al Flosso...One of the best presentations of Misers Dream...
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