Dallas Mentalism performances

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Bill Mullins » 09/07/05 09:46 PM

The Dallas Morning News has recently opened up a searchable archive, going back to 1885.

I searched for "mentalist" in the headline field, and came up with a list of mentalism performances that they wrote about (most were blurbs announcing upcoming shows). Most are of people I've never heard about (but that may be more a function of my own ignorance than anything else).

I didn't review articles with "mentalist" in the body of the text; that search maxed out with over 200 articles (and only covered 1885 to 1949).

Here they are:

Harry Kahne; February 17, 1928
Ali Din; July 11, 1930
Jay Clarke; January 7, 1935
Alano Taka Dass, "The Mystery Man of India"; February 14, 1935
Dr. Y; February 6, 1936
Dunninger; November 5, 1944 [broadcast an episode of his radio show on the Blue Network from Dallas]
Dr. Franz Polgar; November 2, 1947
Kirma; January 14, 1949
Myrus; February 21, 1949
Harlan Tarbell; October 14, 1949
H. B. Harris; January 19, 1950
Mack Murray; March 25, 1951
Kreskin; April 14, 1972
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Guest » 09/09/05 11:56 AM

Interesting to see....you might try entering "mindreader" or "crystal gazer", and see what else comes up, especially for pre-1940 performers.
ALI DIN- That might have been Rajah Raboid's brother, Robert Kitchen.
KIRMA-Frank/Harry(?) Kirma, besides theaters, for a while, did his Q&A act at Drive-In movie theaters.
MR.Y- I have a photo and broadside, but little info, other than he was another crystal gazer, who did his Q&A act in a theater at night, and then a children's matinee magic show the next day.

ALANO DASS-Another crystal gazer, who did theaters and radio,...later a movie PR man.

MYRUS-Did a good Q&A act in nightclubs and had his own TV shows in Cleveland and Portland.

Be interesting if your source has anything for KORAN, ROSE DAWN, or RALPH RICHARDS, among others.
Guest
 

Postby Bill Mullins » 09/09/05 11:00 PM

Nothing useful so far on Rose Dawn, Koran, or Richards. But this is neat:

"Child Mind Reader Booked by Arcadia" DMN, 11-23-38, p. 15.
"Jackie Merkle, 10-year-old "mental marvel," who has been touring the country in vaudeville since he was a small child, will open a week's engagment on the state of the Arcadia Theater, starting Sunday. He appears with his father, J.B. Merkle, and will give three shows daily at 3, 7, and 9 p.m. He has been tested by some fo the leading psychologists of the country, appeard in movies and at private parties, in addition to his vaudeville. Questions are submitted by the audience to the father, and the boy reads off both question and answer."
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby D Laub » 09/10/05 05:47 AM

Diego is correct. The term "mentalist" was not in wide use (if at all) before the 1920's. Use the search term "Mindreader? or even "Mind reader." You ill get better results, especially early on. Some thought can produce even more descriptive terms that would be more used in earlier times. Some very interesting stuff...
D Laub
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 04/24/08 09:28 PM

Postby Guest » 09/10/05 09:46 PM

1925 is the earliest the Oxford English Dictionary has for the word "mentalist". I've pushed this back to 1909, and sent the following to the OED last January [note also the term "telephotist" below]:

Mentalist

From OED: (n) d. A magician who performs feats which apparently demonstrate extraordinary mental powers, such as telepathy, precognition, etc.; a mind-reader. 1925 _Sphinx_ July 159/2 (heading) Attention, Mentalists!

Indianapolis Star | 1909-10-16 p 5 col 4.
"MENTALIST FINDS LETTERS IN WILSON MURDER CASE"
"Several letters and papers which seem to in involve John Wilson, charged with the murder of his wife on the third day of March, have been found in a trash pile on East Fifth street through the agency of a mentalist."


Syracuse Herald Journal | 1909-06-06 p 40 col 6.
[advertisement for the Grand theater]
"Special Engagement of Pearl Tangley The Egyptian Mentalist. The most astounding exhibition of mental telepathy ever witnessed. She will tell you IF You ought to marry You will succeed Your sweetheart loves you."

Coshocton [Ohio] Morning Tribune, 1911-11-21 page 2 col 4.
"Mental Marvel at The Colonial"
"Manager Abbott of The Colonial has secured Ethel Roberts, a girl mentalist, for a limited engagement, starting Monday night. Miss Roberts, who is a protg of Anna Eva Fay, presents a remarkable exhibition of telepathy wherein she calls people by name, tells them of events that have transpired in their past and gives them advise in love affairs, business, etc."


Coshocton [Ohio] Morning Tribune, 1911-08-13, p. 5 col 7
"Mental Photography A Wonderful Phase of Psychical Phenomena"
"Professor J. Edgar Marion, telephotist, expert mentalist and master of silent forces, of Boston, Mass., who is now located at the Standen hotel,possesses the greatest mental power ever displayed in this city."

Davis County [Utah] Clipper 1921-04-01 p. 5 col 3.
"Bill for Orpheum Theatre Commencing Wed., March 30"
"Harry Kahno, "The Incomparable Mentalist," performs wonderful feats featuring "the Evolution of the Human Brain." "

Monessen [Pennsylvania] Daily Independent, 1911-12-20 p. 6 col 2.
"Mind Reading Strange Silent Power"
"Professor William Walter Lipsin, Philospher and Scientist, is now in this city on business pertaining to the Boston Telepathy Club, under the auspices of the Morgan-Russell Institutue, and has arranged to give a portion of his time to those wishing to learn certain things concerning their own affairs or the affairs of others in whom they are interested."
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/11/05 11:20 AM

Great stuff Bill!
But titles like Mind Reader, Crystal Gazer, or Seer, were used more commonly, pre-1940's, because most would know what that is.
Names like "Mel-Roy", "Alla Rageh", or "Fay Asia", might turn up as well.
Guest
 

Postby Bill Mullins » 09/11/05 09:24 PM

I found a couple of nice newspaper ads featuring Ralph Richards, but he was always promoted as a magician, not a mentalist.

Several nice articles on Alla Rageh, from 1922 to 1927, all in Ohio and Pennsylvania. A few scattered mentions of Mel-Roy, all in the 1930's, mostly in Texas.

Newspaperarchive.com returns over 2000 hits on "Crystal Gazer". Names include:
Christ Vlahos (murdered in Chicago)
Princess Lalla
Dr Y.
Madame G.
Mrs. Louise Lindloff

Many of these were swindlers, rather than entertainers.

Richard Hatch, Todd Karr and I (and possibly others) have been using databases and archives like these to research Erdnase and other historical magicians. But there is a wealth of info on contemporary magicians. I've recently read a "home town" article on Paul Gertner, on his "recent" appearance on the tonight show; a nice Chicago Tribune interview with Max Maven on the release of his tape "Mindgames"; West Virginia coverage of "local" magician Michael Ammar; NY Times articles written by Ricky Jay; and other really interesting stuff.
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby David Alexander » 09/12/05 04:13 PM

Polgar was a psychologist and hypnotist who had an early TV show...10 minutes after the news, on the air for about a month. He worked colleges doing a stage hypnosis show and in his autobiography claimed to have been an assistant to Dr. Freud.
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Guest » 09/12/05 07:03 PM

What a great thread!
Guest
 

Postby Richard Hatch » 09/12/05 07:19 PM

Hey, Bill, if you search the Dallas Morning News site on "Bill Demar" you'll find some very interesting references to him performing mentalism at Jack Ruby's club the week JFK was assassinated in Dallas. He claimed to have seen Oswald at Ruby's club earlier that week and used him in his performance of the "giant memory" routine he was featuring. The fact that he was a "memory expert" seemed to lend weight to his report, but his testimony is a bit suspect because he didn't report it until after consulting with his pal David Hoy several times by phone on the day his boss, Ruby, shot Oswald. But it did grab him some headlines...
He pretty much backed off the report when talking about it to the Warren Commission, downplaying his expertise as a mnemotechnician...
He is still alive and active, though primarily known today as a vent...
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Bill Mullins » 09/13/05 11:24 AM

Photo of Demar HERE.

Demar appears in a movie filmed at Ruby's nightclub HERE. .

His real name is William Crowe.

After he saw LH Oswald, he phoned his friend David Hoy, station director of WIKY in Evansville, IN and told him about it (per Dallas Morning News article, 11/26/63). Is this the same David Hoy that did the Book Test?
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Richard Hatch » 09/13/05 01:22 PM

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
After he saw LH Oswald, he phoned his friend David Hoy, station director of WIKY in Evansville, IN and told him about it (per Dallas Morning News article, 11/26/63). Is this the same David Hoy that did the Book Test?
Same Hoy, aka "Dr. Faust."
As I understand it, JFK was shot around noon on Friday, the 22nd, Ruby closed his club Friday and Saturday nights. Delmar played poker with Tom Palmer Saturday night at Palmer's place. Sunday morning Ruby shoots Oswald. Delmar goes by the club and hooks up with reporters, claiming to know something about Ruby. Takes them on a wild goose chase by Ruby's place. Then (after conferring with his buddy David Hoy) springs the "I saw Oswald at Ruby's club last week" story and garners a few headlines. Perhaps its just a coincidence that he first tells a reporter this story on Sunday, after conferring with Hoy, rather than telling the police on Friday after they arrested Oswald and posted his photo everywhere, but I doubt it... Alas, Demar's memory of all this is pretty hazy now, or so he claims...
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Richard Hatch » 09/13/05 01:27 PM

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
Demar appears in a movie filmed at Ruby's nightclub
This is a very minor point, but I believe the movie was filmed at the Colony Club in Dallas, owned by Abe Weinstein, not the Carousel Club owned by Ruby, though the movie was cashing in on the notoriety of the latter, which is seen in an exterior shot... I haven't seen the movie, so can't say for sure!
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Bill Mullins » 09/13/05 01:39 PM

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Alas, Demar's memory of all this is pretty hazy now, or so he claims...
And Jack Ruby doesn't remember much about it either . . ..
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Guest » 09/14/05 12:42 AM

A few thoughts...

Mark Wilson told me he had performed in a c&w niteclub in Dallas that Ruby also owned...can't remember the name.

Mindreader Pearl Tangley's husband became, "Dr. Norman Baker" who promoted his quack cancer cures from a super power radio station, he built below the Mexican border, near Laredo, Texas. Besides making money, he spent much of it, trying to fend off the AMA, FCC, and Postal Inspection Service.

Ralph Richards was known pre-1930's as "Richards the Wizard", and did a fine illusion, spirit, mental show....but by the mid-1930's, was promoting thru radio and the mail, his Q&A services, investment schemes and "medicines", that kept him trying,(not always successfully) to evade Federal Agencies as well.
I'm still trying to track what happened to Richards after his release from Leavenworth prision, in 1950.
(Richards I think, broadcast from both Tangley/Baker's station, as well as his conterpart, Dr. Brinkley's station, in Del Rio, Texas)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/24/05 02:02 AM

I was going thru Mel-Roy's scrapbook earlier today, and it is interesting how he and others like Alla Rageh, got promotional tie-ins with the local papers so their arrival(especially in smaller towns) was front page news sometimes.
Also by featuring an advice column by the mindreader, answering reader's questions, helped one promote the other.
Especially helpful when newspapers were THE media of the (pre-TV) day, sometimes with different papers in the same city, needing gimmicks and hooks to garner readers.
Guest
 


Return to Mentalism & Mental Magic