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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Harry Blackstone Junior (52 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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foolsnobody
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Buffalo, NY
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I saw Blackstone senior. It was my first "date." (Third grade). I got called up on stage and took home a rabbit which my mother promptly gave away. That cost me years of psychoanalysis later. But who cares? The show was great. I never did see Blackstone Jr.
Matt Graves
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I would have loved to have seen either one of them. I did see Blackstone Jr. on TV one time, but it was late at night and I had to go to bed before I saw much of it. He was about to saw a woman in half, but he was making more of a comedy routine out of it. I've heard of some of Blackstone Sr.'s tricks - floating a glass of milk, the vanishing birdcage (which he got tons of kids up on stage to help with, I think), and producing a live goat from under a shawl. Also the dancing handkerchief - I'd love to see that, if it was ever caught on film. Barrows Mussey described him as a "smaller" big illusionist. From what I'm reading, it sounds like his son was the same way, had that impromptu feel to everything.
donsmagic
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I remember seeing Harry Jr. at Abbott's in 1971. That is the first time I ever saw the Zig Zag Illusion. It completely blew me away.
cigar808
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I was lucky enough to meet Harry Blackstone Jr.
while working at "The Magic Shop" in Denver.
Was around 1975.
He was very nice to us all.
Levitated his wife Gaye outside the shop.
Right on Colfax ave.!!!
Bill Palmer
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One of my favorite stories about Harry concerns an incident that happened during a show, just a couple of weeks before he passed away. He was performing the floating light bulb, and had gone out into the audience with it, when he collapsed. One of his assistants rushed out, removed his jacket, folded it, and placed it under Harry's head. He asked, "Are you comfortable, Mr. Blackstone?"

Harry replied, "I'm making a living!"
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jlevey
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I have a vague recollection of sitting in th audience and watching a "great" magician on stage pull a rabbit out of a hat. For some reason I have the impression that it might have been either Blackstone senior or junior.

This was in 1964, at one of the pavillions at the New York World's Fair.
I was about eight years old at the time. I believe the show had just begun, and a rabbit was produced, then theatre grew very dark. Unfortunately, that's when my little brother started to cy and my father rushed us down the aisle and out of the theatre.

Might anyone have an idea or recollection of what magician(s) was(were) employed by the World's Fair that year (1964)?

Many thanks.
Jonathan
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Kevin Connolly
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Mark Wilson was one to work there. I think it was the White Owl Pavillion.
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jlevey
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Quote:
On 2005-02-12 23:49, Kevin Connolly wrote:
Mark Wilson was one to work there. I think it was the White Owl Pavillion.

________________________________________________________________

Thanks for your suggestion Kevin.

Was Mark Wilson the sole magician at the 1964 World's Fair? I believe that Mark's t.v. show was being aired in those days, and if his was the show I saw at the Fair, then I believe I would have made the connection. I seem to recall a magician with a much more mysterious and larger than life persona than Mark's. Someone similar to one of the Blackstones. However, I could be mistaken.

Any other suggestions as to what other magicians might have "played" the World's Fair in 1964?
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damien666
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I saw Harry Blackstone Jr at Abbott's in 1992. I got to meet him and gave him a poem that me and my father had written about him and Blackstone Sr. He read it and autographed a copy of it for me and also asked me to autograph his copy for him. He was very kind and approachable. Seeing him live and meeting him was one of the greatest moments in my magic life. He is certainly missed.
bishthemagish
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Not ever seeing the first Blackstone except on film or video. I was very lucky to have seen Harry Blackstone Jr's full show at least once every time it came to Chicago. I have seen Andre Kole, Doug Henning, David Coperfield and others.

But the Blackstone show was the show that I liked the best.

When the others tried to have the next latest illusion in magic or the new headline illusion for each season.

The classics of magic was performed in the Blackstone show. In other words Harry was modern but the show was very old school and was backed up by entertainment. Not the over produced flash magic that many illusionists use today.

For me watching this show was a treat and real magic history and entertainment all at the same time. The costumes, illusions the color and the music. It is to bad because they don't do shows like that anymore.

I think that if a magician loves magic they miss - Blackstone!
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Crispy
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I saw Blackstone in the early 90's perform at the Kentucky State Fair. They had an outdoor stage set-up (the same one they use for concerts) and he performed a very long show. I was captivated from beginning to end and the audience was huge. The one thing I remember about his show is that it included something I doubt I'll ever see in another magic shows. The music was provided by a live orchestra. I again saw him perform not long before his death when the Palace theatre was restore here in Louisville. I think his passing brought an end to a magical era.

Cris
JL608
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I had the pleasure of working Harry Jr's show a few years before his death. Having the privilege of watching the Floating Lightbulb from backstage was very cool. Hard to imagine while you're watching that it could fool anyone!

After the show Harry agreed to a lecture for our local IBM Ring. While he could've easily dismissed it or slapped together something lame, he took the time to present a really informative slide show of his (and his father's) life in magic, and a lengthy question and answer session.
hugmagic
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I agree (having worked backstage many times). The light bulb, rabbit routine, and other things seemed so simple in the hands of a master. Many of the things Harry did, as did his dad, were the essence of simplicity. That is the one great lesson I learned from him. Keep it simple and just do it. No fancy tech or moves. Just do it. But it was entertaining always.

I loved the Duck routine but few people ever saw it.

He is missed.
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SHOC
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I will always remember Harry for his speaking voice.
Rick Fisher
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To me...Harry was the epitome of what a magician should be - on and off stage. His personna was such that when he stepped onto that stage you knew you were in the prescence of a real magician and you knew you were going to have a good time. He took each and every audience and put them in the palm of his hand. You like Harry because he was having fun and it was contagious to the entire audience. I have not seen another (maybe never will) an entertainer like Harry B. We miss him and for for what he stood for - Don't get me wrong. Lance,David & Blaine are all great magicians but Harry had the whole package and that is hard to find.
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Ed Hutchison
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Like Glenn, I have seen 'em all, but, for my money, Harry, Jr. was in a class by himself. He had just the right mixture of comedy and mystery and always looked, spoke, and entertained in a way that shouted "magic."

Ed Hutchison
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CARNEGIE
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Harry Jr. was the first big time magician I saw live. I sat in the second row at the Warner Theater in Washington DC and there was an orchestra. I can actually remember most of the show even to this day. I was mezmerized. Luckily whenever Harry Jr. would come to town, I'd see the show. I saw it again at the Warner Theater. I saw it at Wolf Trap which was interesting. The Wolf Trap theater had burnt down a few months earlier and a large tent had been constructed nearby. Harry was the first person to perform in the tent. Great Show. I'm not sure how many times over the years I saw his act but it was always a wonderful experience. I never got to meet the man, although I did ride in an elevator with him and sat behind him at a Magic Convention. He had a following with him and it was hard to break through.

I was on my way to Mexico to perform and I picked up the USA today and saw that Harry had passed away. When I arrived in Mexico, all my fellow magicians were distraught, having learned the day before of his passing.

There is a DVD out called Grand Illusions-The Story of Magic Part 2. There is an excellent documentary on the Blackstones, Sr. & Jr.. I still get chocked up watching it. There will never be another like him.
Father Photius
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I only met Jr. a couple of times. The first time was when we both answered the same page for a phone call. (we're related and have the same "real" last name). Wonderful guy and magician. He had a style truly his own, I often wondered why he performed under the name of Blackstone, Jr., as I felt he was a very talented magician in his own right, totally separate from his dad's reputation. His radio TV experience gave him a wonder stage presense. He could command the stage. He handled himself on talk shows better than most magicians. One of the last really big traveling illusion shows. Plus, he kept some of his dad's signature tricks alive and well in a medium that is quick to discard and forget (for a while at least). A much underated performer and magician for the talent and skill he actually possessed.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Wizardwannabe
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You know how PBS often has fund drives during which they broadcast a special of some type? Here in the Seattle area they've lately been showing the George Harrison memorial concert and a documentary about a man building a cabin in Alaska. Anyway, I remember years ago they aired the Blackstone show during the fund drive. The show was on tape, of course, but during breaks Harry Jr. would appear live in the studio encouraging viewers to call in with their pledges. At
one point he performed a cups & balls routine for the host thereby demonstrating that he had the chops to do sleight of hand as well. Gay Blackstone also talked a bit about the history and philosophy of magic.
mikefallen
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I heard that john calvert`s casper routine, gave harry jr. some tips for his floating lightbulb...! Always good to remember such a magician
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