The Amazing Maurice

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Geno Munari » 01/14/07 04:27 PM

I am doing some research on The Great Maurice. Does anyone know about this mentalist-hypnotist-magician? He was from Europe and settled in the east, and maybe was in Covington, Ky., and also in Florida.

He has a few mentions in Jinx and some effects published in one of Robert Nelson's books.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/14/07 05:07 PM

The second magician I ever saw live was a guy named The Great Maurice. He lived in Brooklyn and worked during the summer at Creative Day Camp in Great Neck, Long Island, which I attended as a kid. He taught me the paddle move. He had a thin pencil moustache, wore a red fez with a tassel, and also did a mean Imp Bottle.
But, Geno, I'm not sure it's the same guy.
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Postby Guest » 01/14/07 07:36 PM

Geno

There was just a wonderful write up on Maurice in the Magic Circular (Magic Circle - London). It may just be what you are seeking, or a least a wonderful beginning. Get a hold of Matt Field-Editor
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Postby Guest » 01/14/07 10:55 PM

The article in the Magic Circular was about Maurice Fogel. I think this was a different Maurice. The real expert on Maurice Fogel is Chris Woodward. Actually, the expert is Chris' wife. She is the daughter of the late Maurice Fogel.
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Postby Guest » 01/15/07 12:08 AM

He wrote at least one book, published by Micky Hades....His name pops up in magic magazines in the 1960's.
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Postby Guest » 01/15/07 08:43 AM

The book Diego is referencing may be a book of mental effects title "MENTALISTRIX". He also authored another one titled"THE BIG BUCK IN MAGIC" which was published by Hades in 1965.
The Amazing Maurice's real name was Morris Cohen.

all the best,
John Smetana
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Postby Guest » 01/15/07 10:27 AM

MENTALISTRIX and MENTALISTRIX ENCORE by The Amazing Maurice are both still listed as in print on the Hades website, www.trickster.com
I couldn't locate THE BIG BUCK IN MAGIC, so that may be out of print (but the Hades website is not easily searchable, so I might have missed it).
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Postby Guest » 01/15/07 12:13 PM

There was an Amazing Maurice, AKA Marc Owen, (Mark 'Mickey' Cohen from Pittsburgh). He wrote a couple of books, one of which was the Comedy Waiter. He worked in Miami. He was a friend who I lost contact with 30 or more years ago.
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/16/07 10:36 AM

Thanks for all the insight. I will post the info that I am working on soon.
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/17/07 08:50 PM

In Charlie Miller and Ron Wilson's book they relay a story about the Great Maurice. His method of using the inside breast pocket of his suit is exactly how Jimmy Grippo used his own index. I believe that there is a connection between Grippo and Maurice. Maurice performed at society functions doing magic and mentalisim while in the Miami, Florida area. Grippo had a lounge in the Seagull Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami. They probably met at some time.

In the August, 1939 issue of The Jinx, Ted Annemann wrote about Grippo. Jimmy Grippo, S.A.M. er, and manager of Melio Bettino (sic) the new ex-light-heavyweight champion, is a hypnotist who put the works on his fighter before bouts. His best line of suggestion to Bettinos subconscious mind is, He cant hurt us. After the recent meeting between Bettino and Billy Conn in N.Y. it was discovered that Conn had hurt just about everybody within the radius of a mile. Jimmy is in the market for some new mesmeric passes.

Just before this mention of Grippo in Annemanns column was pasted a copy of a small ad that was placed in the Billboard on May 27, 1939. It reads: I AM A JACK OF ALL TRADES. My line of work is Magic, Hypnotisim and entertainment. Would like working for stage group or alone. Will consider $8.50 a week, no less. Want a job within 30 miles of Cincinnati. Also magic helper. MAURICE DRAKE, 16 W. 10th St., Covington, Ky.

I just can't figure out why Annemann placed or pasted up this reference, unless it was an inside remark or jab.

Note that in Millers book on the Card Index, Maurice last name isnt given other than being referred to as The Great Maurice, a French magician. In the next reference there is a possible link to Maurice as Grippo says he performs with sleight-of-hand, hypnosis and assorted magic.

Jimmy came from Beacon, New York. As reported in The Jinx in issue #145, August, 1941, Ted Annemann wrote, Jimmy Grippo is an eastern fight manager with Melio Bettina, former light-heavyweight champion, under his wing, or should I say eye. He reaps as much columnar mention as his fighter almost, for he, Grippo, is said to have hypnotized and autosuggested his man into ring prominence. We quote part of an interview, I make enough money at Palm Beach every winter to carry me for the rest of the year, Mr. Grippo reveals. I got 200 bucks for a 20-minute performance of sleight-of-hand stuff, hypnosis and assorted magic. The same act in a New York nite club brings in about 300 bucks a week for three shows a night. At this time I am writing a book on magic and mindreading and when it is published I will go on a lecture tour. I am, of course, a member of the Society of American Magicians. When his fighter lost the title, Grippo explained, The trouble was I couldnt get Conn (the winner) into a quiet place and submit him to hypnosis. Besides, it wouldnt have been ethical to use my powers for such sordid purposes. It was reported that Conn refused to look Grippo in the eye at the weighing in ceremonies for fear of being evil-eyed.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Postby Guest » 01/17/07 09:34 PM

Here's a picture of Jimmy Grippo, with Melio Bettina and sparring partner. And here's Melio in the ring with Billy Conn, testing the power of Jimmy Grippo's hypnosis, vs. the power of Billy Conn's famous left hook, which Joe Louis called the fastest he\'d ever seen.

Hypnosis is coming off second best.
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/17/07 10:03 PM

Hi James
The picture you described as Jimmy Grippo is not Jimmy. Do you have the original? If so look on the back. The otheres seem to be correct.
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Postby Guest » 01/17/07 10:40 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
Hi James
The picture you described as Jimmy Grippo is not Jimmy. Do you have the original? If so look on the back. The otheres seem to be correct.
It's from this page, and it's marked Jimmy Grippo. It's not me that has it, I just found it on the Internet, but this one is for sale, by the people who own it and it also says it\'s James V. Grippo. These pictures were taken about 1937.
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