How did The Billboard/Amusement Business mags affect you?

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

Postby Diego » 12/01/11 11:37 PM

A number of people have told me how THE BILLBOARD Magazine,(Pre-1960) and it's spin-off AMUSEMENT BUSINESS, affected there lives...jobs, opportunities, intro into real show business, relationships, marriages, etc., that came from reading these publications.

Are there more stories to be shared? From you own or someone else's experiences?

For starters: My first job after High School, came from answering an ad by showman Pete Kortes, for acts for his sideshow.

What's yours?
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Postby Tom McDonagh » 12/02/11 07:30 PM

My Dad got the Billboard when I was a kid. I'm 62 now. I grew up in the carnival business and was always looking at the new rides. I'm a ride man and just recently sold my show. We operated in Michigan since 1958. I couldn't cut it anymore with people who didn't know anything telling me how to run my show. (Governmental regulatory employees)I just bought a ride from Holland and will play a few big spots. WI, MN TX State Fairs so far. Adding a big Fun House in the fall.
http://www.funfairworld.co.uk/KMG_High_ ... /index.htm
It's the worlds tallest potable swing.
See you down the road....
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Postby Diego » 12/09/11 11:27 PM

Anybody else?

There has to be more of you out there!
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Postby JimAlfredson » 12/10/11 01:12 PM

There's probably a lot 'out here' whose experience is similar to my own. I started reading BILLBOARD when I was 12 or 14 or so, and started each issue by turning to Bill Sach's magic column. Then I returned to the front page and began paging through it. I seldom missed a weekly issue, in spite of the big investment required to purchase an issue (the amount, oddly, I've forgotten). It never ceased to fascinate me, with the oddball adverts, the carney news, and the like. By the time it became AMUSEMENT BUSINESS I'd pretty much moved on to other things. So, Diego, I've no crafty stories of how it affected me--and likely many others don't either, thus the lack of response. On the other hand, affect me it certainly did, and taught me a lot about facets of showbusiness that I otherwise would not have encountered.
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Postby Donhdunn » 12/10/11 05:57 PM

After my highschool (Beaumont) in St. Louis let out each day and during the summer months, I clerked at a cigar store/gift shop/magazine stand in the lobby of the Title Guarantee building. Among the dozens of magazines we got in each week (including Sexology, anyone remember that?) were Variety and Billboard. We're talking 1946-47 here. Couldn't wait for each issue to fill the long minutes between customers (while I wolfed down a Coke ice-cold and stinging from the freezer). Read all the acts reviews, tried to follow magicians playing the Royal American Shows and other carnivals, kept up with Broadway and new movie reviews, and, of course, who was at the Copa, Latin Quarter, etc. For a kid in St. Louis ("doorway to the West") -- long before I discovered the New York Times Sunday edition in college -- Billboard (and Variety) was the doorway to the New York, where showbusiness awaited.
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Postby Donhdunn » 12/10/11 05:57 PM

After my highschool (Beaumont) in St. Louis let out each day and during the summer months, I clerked at a cigar store/gift shop/magazine stand in the lobby of the Title Guarantee building. Among the dozens of magazines we got in each week (including Sexology, anyone remember that?) were Variety and Billboard. We're talking 1946-47 here. Couldn't wait for each issue to fill the long minutes between customers (while I wolfed down a Coke ice-cold and stinging from the freezer). Read all the acts reviews, tried to follow magicians playing the Royal American Shows and other carnivals, kept up with Broadway and new movie reviews, and, of course, who was at the Copa, Latin Quarter, etc. For a kid in St. Louis ("doorway to the West") -- long before I discovered the New York Times Sunday edition in college -- Billboard (and Variety) was the doorway to the New York, where showbusiness awaited.
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Postby Oddly Bent » 02/10/12 03:13 PM

I'm from the late 40s era and I remember Billboard ads and route columns for carnivals and circus. Then it slowly changed and became mostly music. I was a Variety reader that enjoyed the act reviews and who was where. You could find gag writers in the classifieds and display ads for the up and coming like, "The Worlds Slowest Rising Comedian." Wonder what happened to him? And yes I once bought a Sexology magazine while wearing sunglasses and a hat pulled way down at a out of the way news stand where no one would recognize me. What a waste of money for something I thought would be different. I threw it in the trash - while wearing sunglasses and a hat pulled way down.

Hello, I'm Oddly Bent. My wife has other names for me.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 02/10/12 03:37 PM

Oddly Bent wrote:"The Worlds Slowest Rising Comedian." Wonder what happened to him?


Was that Ronnie Schell: http://todayindisneyhistory.blogspot.co ... ising.html
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Postby Oddly Bent » 02/10/12 03:44 PM

That was him. Guess those variety ads payed off. If I had taken out an ad I could'va been a contender. Funny how I can remember dumb little things like that from 50 years ago but I can't remember what I had for supper yesterday
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