JIMMY GRIPPO

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Postby Magic Newswire » 09/15/08 03:48 PM

I came across a great clip of Jimmy Grippo performing his famous card to pocket on the Merv Griffin show for Orson Welles. If you never saw Jimmy perform, you are certain to ENJOY THIS! It might just provide a clue as to the subject of our next interview.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/15/08 09:08 PM

Grippo was very very good. It's a shame so few young magicians got a chance to see him while he was alive.
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Postby David Nethery » 09/15/08 10:13 PM

I wish I had been able to see him perform live.

I remember reading about him in a 70's issue of Genii and reading about the impossible feats he was reputed to perform was positively mind-blowing. Over the years I guess he's fallen out of my memory, because I hadn't thought about him for years, until I saw his name in the topic heading of this post.

The clip Dodd posted is the first time I've actually seen Grippo perform and he did not disappoint. That was fantastic. Is there more footage of Jimmy Grippo ?

Thanks for posting it , Dodd.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 09/15/08 10:27 PM

That is the only clip of Grippo that I have been able to locate online. But... and not surprisingly, there is a nice online exhibition by Richard Hatch about the "Cardman in Chief" that is well worth your time. READ MORE
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Postby MaxNY » 09/15/08 10:55 PM

Jimmy grew up in Beacon, New York. Once or twice in the 1970's he came around to the Al Baker SAM Assembly #35 in nearby Poughkeepsie for a suprise visit! There might be some 8mm floating around from those visits.

Richard did you ever get to see him? He was always in Vegas working the bars right?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/15/08 11:41 PM

I never met Grippo or saw him live. I did watch him on the Tonight Show one evening with Geoff Latta (we were on phone and talking about it while watching it). He fried both of us completely with the card index.
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Postby rkosby » 09/16/08 01:14 AM

I am so glad you posted this. I saw that episode when I was a kid. The thought of card being dealt to by Orson completely fooled me. Everything else impressed me too but that one trick stuck in my memory. I didn't learn how it was done until I was in college.

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Postby NicholasD » 09/16/08 01:24 AM

On a different appearance with Merv Griffin, I remember Jimmy Grippo performing a signed card through table that fooled me badly. I talked about it for years.
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Postby Matthew Field » 09/16/08 05:28 AM

What a great presentation for the Card Index!

A master at work.

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Postby Danny Archer » 09/16/08 03:06 PM

Thanks for posting this great clip... inspirational to say the least to see this legend in action...
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Postby Magic Newswire » 09/17/08 11:55 AM

I have had some very funny guesses as to whom I could have been alluding to when I mentioned the Grippo clip. I was being purposefully vague, but in the the interview will be posted shortly I'll offer another clue. Dod a Google search for the term :: Chicago Magician Jimmy Grippo
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Postby Geno Munari » 09/17/08 12:28 PM

To Richard;
We sell the index along with Chrlie Miller's and Ron Wilson's book on the index. I have added a lot of material on Grippo and the adaptation and improvement on his index. Plus there are photos of his index in the booklet.

Here is a link:

http://www.houdini.com/includes.cfm?pag ... e=featured
Last edited by Geno Munari on 09/17/08 12:29 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Mistake in link
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Postby Magic Newswire » 09/17/08 01:10 PM

Even though many will have guessed who is on our next interview.. HERE is a clip of the amazing Don Alan to further whet your appetite.
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Postby amp » 09/17/08 01:35 PM

That was Great Dodd thank you.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 09/18/08 06:48 AM

Obviously, the subject of our interview is Eugene Burger. He talks about Grippo at approximately 27 minutes into the interview. Enjoy!
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Postby PapaG » 09/18/08 02:49 PM

It's not just the superlative magic, what I love about the footage is the way Grippo remains totally and utterly in control. He dominates the proceedings even in the face of the mighty Orson Welles' subtle attempts to outrank him (and even when the host asks to shuffle the stack...). He's completely unflappable.
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Postby amp » 09/19/08 10:18 AM

I was wondering what was in Jimmy Grippo 's repertoire ?
He was some what of a Max Malini of his time.
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Postby PapaG » 09/19/08 10:57 AM

Isn't Jon Racherbaumer producing a Grippo book?
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Postby El Mystico » 09/19/08 11:15 AM

I thought Geno was.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 09/19/08 11:56 AM

That film clip is the tip of the iceberg.

There is so much to Grippo, especially the bio info, that trying to give the material coherent shape is challenging. I have many notes and fragments. If a magnum opus comes out, Geno will be the one doing it.

As the "legend" grows, the challenge to produce something equal becomes increasingly daunting...if not impossible.

Onward,

JR
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Postby Irving Quant » 09/19/08 02:05 PM

From the Conjuring Arts Research Center

http://www.conjuringarts.org/exhibitions/Grippo/
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Postby Dan Strange » 09/22/08 05:56 PM

A friend and I passed through Vegas in the summer of 1985. Dropped by the Wednesday gathering and Grippo showed up. He sat down at our table. We talked and watched him do miracles for three hours. It was absolutely one of the highlights of my magical life.
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Postby SaSha » 10/09/08 02:29 PM

Jimmy Grippo was my beloved Uncle.
He came to Beacon, New York from Italy at the age of two.
The book mentioned in is The Magic of Jimmy Grippo by Jimmy Grippo collaborated by Geno Munari. Geno Munari was Jimmy Grippo's best friend until my Uncle's death in January 1992.
He lived an extraordinary life more than any one person will ever know.
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Postby Dave V » 10/09/08 03:18 PM

I have that book, personalized to me somewhere in the early 90's. I remember staying out listening to his stories until the sun came up.

I posted an article written about him by Caesar's Palace.

You can read it here:

http://www.ring2100.org/jimmy.html
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby SaSha » 10/09/08 04:30 PM

We was born to Vita and Rocco Grippo who came to America on a boat with Jimmy from Italy in the late 1890s.

One of his eight siblings was famous as well, my Uncle Jan Grippo. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0342518/

His brothers and sisters were Jan, Mickey, Alex, Benny, Bertha, Louise, Betty, and Mary. His favorite was his sister Mary who died just five months after the death of his wife, Frances.

Every time he would come to visit in New York or talk with me on the telephone, he would always say (in his Italian accent), "you come live with me, Chi-Chi" (pet name). If there is one thing in life I regret, it is not going to live with him as a child.

His daughter, Roslyn, still resides in Las Vegas.

He and his wife are entombed in Roses Mausoleum, Wing 1 Row E, #84 & 85 at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas for anyone who wants to visit.

Please do not hesitate to ask me questions about him and his family. I will answer as much as I have knowledge about him/them.
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Postby MaxNY » 10/10/08 09:13 AM

Hey Chi-chi is there any way you can get me a Beacon Address? In case anyone was wondering, Beacon was a New York City vacation spot. It was an easy 1 1/2 hour train ride from NYC, and during the Prohibition Era it drew all kinds of wealthy folks to it's Vernicular/cable car that rode you to the top of Mt. Beacon where a huge casino style speak-easy kept the booze flowing. If the cops ever decided to raid the place, they would have to ride the vernicular to the top, whereby a simple phone call from the bottom, gave the casino enough time to hide the fuel.
The place has had many fires since, nothing is left. There is a group trying to get the Vernicular going again.
Did he get his start there? I don't have any information on if he ever worked the club.

http://www.hrvh.org/cdm4/item_viewer.ph ... =252&REC=2
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Postby David Alexander » 10/10/08 09:37 AM

Jan Grippo was no slouch with a deck of cards, either. The finest example of the Cards to Pocket I've ever seen was done by him at an SAM #22 one evening probably 40 years ago. Handsome and wearing a suit that must have cost $1,000 at the time, he was masterful and in his hands the effect looked magical. His timing was flawless and there was no sense he was palming cards.
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Postby Cugel » 10/10/08 04:40 PM

Matthew Field wrote:What a great presentation for the Card Index!


Ssshhhhhhhh.
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Postby SaSha » 10/10/08 08:07 PM

Hi Max-
Sadly, no one from the original Grippo family is alive.
The only address still associated with them is a house on Vine Street where the original Grippo clan lived for some years. A sister-in-law, Millie, lives alone in that house now. When Vita Grippo was alive, everyone was welcomed in their home. Jan and Jimmy brought many friends (celebrities) to their childhood homes to meet their mother.

The first 10 years of life, I grew up in Beacon, N.Y. so I became familiar with the area.

My family had many stories to tell about Mt. Beacon. Yes, the club was built on a mountaintop for a reason! :-)

Jimmy actually started his career as a boxing manager.

Hi David-
You are right about Jan Grippo. He was a superb artist as well.

Gene and Benny DeFelice (nephews of the Grippo clan; the sons of their sister, Louise) were talented with cards and coins, too.

Back in the day when Vita, Rocco and Jimmy came to the United States, immigrants had to be sponsored from someone living here. Dr. Astone who was Vitas relative sponsored them. Vita, Rocco nor Jimmy did not understand a word of English. That is one reason Jimmy had such a pronounced Italian accent, which the others did not. In no time, they learned English, Rocco and Vita found employment and they moved into an apartment. Throughout the years, they continued to have children, bought businesses, built and bought homes and became responsible, beloved citizens and prominent people in Beacon.
They were active members of St. Rocco's Society on Chestnut Street and St. Johns Church on Willow Street.
Vita, Rocco, Alex, Louise, Benny and Mary are buried in St. Joachims cemetery.

The history of this family is astounding.

On a footnote: Jimmy was much older than most people knew.

SaSha
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Postby David Alexander » 10/12/08 05:02 PM

The Grippos - the American Dream in action.
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Postby SaSha » 10/17/08 09:46 PM

CORRECTION: Where I typed Benny [in two posts] as one of Jimmy's siblings, it should read Henry. He [Henry] was the youngest brother of the family. My bad... my apologies. For some reason, Henry's name escaped me confusing him with Benny. So sorry.
Note to self: Do not post when brain cells are chasing one another! LOL
CAUTION: The people who own this website > www.jimmygrippo.com are very suspicious to me. They claim to be "family members", yet they know so little about him. They have little information or material about him. I contacted them about Jimmy, yet when I confronted them with facts about him, they stopped corresponding with me.
HOLY #$%&! Wait a moment!


---> looking in the dark recesses of my mind and a quick internet search <---


Okay, I am back.
OMG! I think I figured out who these people are. Elementary my dear Watson. If I am right about these folks, Jimmy was not close to this particular family clan. Not that he had negative feelings about them, because Jimmy was not made of that kind of character, he just did not spend much time with them. The audacity they have to take a domain in his name. He was so much more they ever had the opportunity to know.
They state on their webpage, The owners of this site are a couple of interested family members of Jimmy Grippos with the goal of informing people who in anyones mind that has ever watched him perform would say was one of the best that ever did it! (scratching head) They cannot inform since they do not know.
SO
They [also] state, If anyone has any stories, pictures or info. on Jimmy Grippo and would like to be a part of assisting us in building this site please contact us They obtained jimmygrippo.com almost two years ago. Anywho in two years nothing has become of this website. It is a disgrace to Jimmy Grippos name. It expires on 01 November 2008. [hint]
Being family members, they should know [at least] from other family members about his life.
AND
Jimmy was famous for sending his family photographs of himself, friends and celebrities. He sent articles from magazines and newspapers. He sent his business cards, decks of cards and other souvenirs from Caesars Palace. He entertained his family with his magic during family reunions. He gifted us with many treasures.
I was fortunate enough to have family members tell me stories about him and his life of the days before I was born and when I was too young to remember.
This man was a phenomenal human being not only for his talent, but more importantly, for who he was as a person in his mind, heart and soul.
I cherish my times with him and my memories of him and I cherish the very thought of a man named JIMMY GRIPPO.
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