Some Like It Hot?

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
observer
Posts: 337
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Some Like It Hot?

Postby observer » April 22nd, 2016, 6:50 pm

from Wilfrid Jonson's "London Notes" column in The Sphinx, May 1949 -

"Donna Delbert, who has been touring Britain's music-halls for three years as a woman illusionist and fire-eater, was arrested in Newcastle today as an alleged deserter from the U.S. Army Air Force since 1945. Police say she is a man, Private John Hill."

Bob Farmer
Posts: 2242
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 22nd, 2016, 7:47 pm

Or Cary Grant in, "I Was A Male War Bride."

This is a fascinating story: I wonder what happened to that guy?

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1879
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Richard Hatch » April 22nd, 2016, 8:24 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:
This is a fascinating story: I wonder what happened to that guy?


Teller provides the answer in the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/24/magaz ... lbert.html

observer
Posts: 337
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby observer » April 22nd, 2016, 8:54 pm

Huh.

I don't doubt that Teller did the research, I just wonder if he himself wrote that article in quite that style. It's so "feature story-ish" in a gratingly generic way. One of the reasons I prefer to read stuff like 60 year old copies of The Sphinx (albeit on a computer).

I did kind of figure that JH/DD made it through more or less okay. Anybody who can pull off a stunt like that while on the lam ...

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24199
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 22nd, 2016, 9:10 pm

Teller? What are you talking about? The article is from 1949.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

performer
Posts: 2692
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby performer » April 22nd, 2016, 10:27 pm

I have actually read that article somewhere. It must have been the Sphinx as at one time I owned a bound copy of Sphinx issues. I distinctly remember reading it and it was indeed Wilfrid Jonson who was the author.

observer
Posts: 337
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby observer » April 22nd, 2016, 10:48 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Teller? What are you talking about? The article is from 1949.


Well fer gosh sakes, I know when the article I quoted from was written. Look at my original post! Criminy.

I was commenting on the article Richard Hatch linked to.

observer
Posts: 337
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby observer » April 22nd, 2016, 10:48 pm

Just a couple of details re the Teller article, though. Wouldn't anybody John/Donna spoke to in Britain suss that he was a Yank right away from his accent? Passing for a woman, O.K. Passing for a Brummie or whatever, I don't think so.

Also, I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as being assigned to latrine duty for the duration (No Time for Sergeants notwithstanding).

Max Maven
Posts: 437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollywood, CA
Contact:

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Max Maven » April 23rd, 2016, 2:27 am

Not that obscure a story. Donna Delbert was favorably reviewed in various magic magazines in the 1940s and '50s, and the army problem was also reported in several magic journals, as well as major newspapers.

As of the mid-1970s, she was still performing. I saw her MC and do fire-eating at a Larry Weeks convention.

performer
Posts: 2692
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby performer » April 23rd, 2016, 4:13 am

I am now beginning to wonder if I read Wilfrid Jonson saying it in Hugard's Magic Magazine. Oh, I can't remember. I am probably imagining the whole thing. I am pretty sure I read the exact words somewhere and I am also sure it was Wilfrid Jonson who wrote them. Wilfrid wrote some very stuffy/crusty things which always greatly amused me. Things like women should stick to thimble and sillk magic "for which they are eminently suitable" and things like that. His curmudgeonly remarks on the way magicians present torn and restored paper tricks made me brighten with great amusement.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4787
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Bill Mullins » April 23rd, 2016, 11:03 am

Donna Delbert was performing in Pennsylvania as early as Oct. 1940, before going off to war.

Leo Garet
Posts: 247
Joined: March 14th, 2015, 9:14 am
Favorite Magician: Nobody In Particular

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Leo Garet » April 23rd, 2016, 12:35 pm

I read about this about a thousand years ago, too. I was still at school.
It was one of Will Dexter's books: "Everybody's Book Of Magic". Published by Arco in the UK. If memory serves, it also appeared under two or three other titles, sometimes with tricks, sometimes without.

observer
Posts: 337
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby observer » April 23rd, 2016, 1:45 pm

Okay okay okay! It was news to me & I thought it was interesting.


So . . . 'dja hear about the time Pinetti got thrown out of Prussia because Frederick the Great thought the carriage he drove around in was too fancy for a mere magician? Hoo boy!!!

Leo Garet
Posts: 247
Joined: March 14th, 2015, 9:14 am
Favorite Magician: Nobody In Particular

Re: Some Like It Hot?

Postby Leo Garet » April 23rd, 2016, 1:50 pm

observer wrote:Okay okay okay! It was news to me & I thought it was interesting.


So . . . 'dja hear about the time Pinetti got thrown out of Prussia because Frederick the Great thought the carriage he drove around in was too fancy for a mere magician? Hoo boy!!!

It is interesting and no shame in not having heard it. As the saying goes, the oldest joke in the world is brand new if you've never heard it before.

As for Pinetti, I confess ignorance. Or, if I have heard it, I've forgotten. That's been known.


Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”