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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #1 
Looking at my little newbie collection of magic books, I seem to have quite a few from the 1970's.   Was there an explosion of interest in magic in the 1970's?   If so, why did it become so popular then and not say the 1950's or 1960's?
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't recall an explosion. There was plenty of stuff in previous decades, not that I remember them. If it seems there was more, it was likely more to do with more people deciding they had ideas to impart and so began scribbling. 

I have a Unique Studio magic catalogue from 1960. It's chock full of stuff, including books. Most noticeably, Vernon, Slydini, Leipzig, Endfield and Ganson. All published by Harry Stanley.

But you might be right.
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Mike Powers

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I think what you're talking about is likely the result of the upheavals in the 1960's. There was a rejection of the conformity of the 1950's and a whole lot more - free love, protesting the war, free thinking etc. 

In the history of Science, the 17th century was similar. It was the century of Galileo, Isaac Newton and many, many other revolutionary figures in the history of science. The 17th century has been called the "century of revolution."

One view of history is the "great person" theory in which there are occasionally great people who pop up at random times. Another view is the "time is ripe" theory in which the spirit of the times gives rise to the people who ultimately shine as geniuses. 

I think the 1970s, having just come off the 1960s, was such a time. A time for realizing that we were in a box and seeking to escape from the box. I think Paul Harris was the pivotal person in the revolution in magic in that time period. Jay Sankey and David Harkey came directly on the heels of PH. Harris' first book came out in 1976. He blew the lid off the box that magic was in. Cards could be torn into loops and linked. The deck might solidify etc etc. I think that out of the box thinking continues today and that there were precursors to Harris. But I think we're still in the paradigm created by Paul Harris. He was the revolutionary figure. That's not to say that there weren't precursors just like there were before Isaac Newton, but PH stands out against the field. 

Thomas Kuhn popularized the term "paradigm" in his seminal book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Isaac Newton changed the 2000 year old Aristotelian paradigm. Einstein changed the Newtonian paradigm. Science is still in the world of Einstein and I think magic is still in the world of Harris. We can certainly make a fairly long list of very important thinkers and creators in both magic and science. But the people who are associated with revolutions in thinking really stand out.

Mike
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #4 
1975 was the year that Doug Henning had his first LIVE TV magic special. 
That spawned a lot of new interest in magic. 
I know it did for me. 
My mom always told me that in order to be successful I needed a short haircut and to wear a suit. 
And there's Doug, on the screen, with his long hair and wearing jeans and sneakers. 
He was my hero magically and just because of the way he shot down everything my mom was telling me to conform to "her" way. 
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Harry Lorayne

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   Interesting, Mike.  So often, over the decades,  I've been told that my book CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC, which appeared in 1962, had probably most to do with all that.  I think you forgot about it.
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #6 
Harry, that's a book I need to get of your's.  I keep seeing it mentioned.  Would you say this is the book to get after The Magic Book if one is into cards?  I do mostly card magic.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #7 
    Yes, but been out of print for decades. I updated it in LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, Vol. 1 - which has also been sold out for a couple of decades. Only available now as an e-book.  $15.95 ---  go to harrylorayne@earthlink.net -  and I'll tell you how to PayPal, etc.   - just as I suggested when you asked about HOW TO DEVELOP A SUPR-POWER MEMORY.

    (Ya' gotta' start reading the good stuff!!!   Like  ONLY MY APOCAYPSE, JAW DROPPERS 2, SPECIAL EFFECTS, AND FINALLY! - before they get sold out, as did JAW DROPPERS ONE.)    
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JenniferG

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Reply with quote  #8 
Harry what about using LULU? You can have your books printed on demand.  That way people can have hard copies and you never run out. 
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marv long

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
1975 was the year that Doug Henning had his first LIVE TV magic special. 
That spawned a lot of new interest in magic. 
I know it did for me. 
My mom always told me that in order to be successful I needed a short haircut and to wear a suit. 
And there's Doug, on the screen, with his long hair and wearing jeans and sneakers. 
He was my hero magically and just because of the way he shot down everything my mom was telling me to conform to "her" way. 


Indeed the late 70's and early 80's were perhaps (up 'till now) the last golden age of magic.
Doug Henning's Magic Show on Broadway started it - so hot it got a Time magazine cover. A sort of copy musical (Magic Man) started in Chicago with a young lad named David Copperfield. Doug went to TV and started touring- to compete on another network they brought on David and he started touring. Another guy decided it was time to go all out on his dad's magic show and Blackstone Jr. hit the boards with his touring show and a couple of TV specials. Magic was hot and Las Vegas built a major show at the Frontier in 81 for a couple of guys with a tiger. Seigfried and Roy were a hit with their TV specials. There was this young guy with doves that had won this FISM thing and they needed another act in Vegas so Lance Burton had a small show and another casino offered him $100 million for a ten year contract at a theater built just for him.
We could go on with Melinda - Rudy Coby - and the fact that every major casino had a big magic show running. Magic magazines like Houdini's Magic magazine and HocusPocus were actually sold on news stands for a short period of time.
I could go on but I grew up in a world where pretty much all the magic on tv was either a small local show or The Magic Land of Alakazam with Mark Wilson on TV. The few touring shows only went to a few big cities and they were rare. Suddenly we had many touring shows. I can remember standing on Woodward Ave. in Detroit and David Copperfield was playing at the Fox on one side of the street and across at the Gem (now moved) was Rudy Coby with his show. It was wonderful.
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #10 
Mike P, your storyline is wonderful and make sense
I love reading through full runs of magic magazines. The editors of the mags would save a bit of space each month and write about a magic happening or issue at the time. When you read these publications month by month you get a real good sense as to sentiment and what was happening, who was hot, who was performing what. Harry’s “Apocalypse” takes us through the 70s to the 90s., Bascom Jones MAGIC shows is the mentalism and West Coast Magic scene in the 70s and 80s

Harry’s point is well taken... his first few books (collected in CLASSIC COLLECTION) provided the framework decades ahead of its time. This is made clear by looking at the effects popularized in the 70’s and 80’s. Even now, Jennifer as you’ve mentioned elsewhere Asi Wind credits Harry’s “good stuff” with recently released material.

And if you can get your hands on Close Up Card Magic do so. I am always going back to it. I love it, though, Harry, I still can’t do the Turnover Change!!!
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
I think what you're talking about is likely the result of the upheavals in the 1960's. There was a rejection of the conformity of the 1950's and a whole lot more - free love, protesting the war, free thinking etc. 

In the history of Science, the 17th century was similar. It was the century of Galileo, Isaac Newton and many, many other revolutionary figures in the history of science. The 17th century has been called the "century of revolution."

One view of history is the "great person" theory in which there are occasionally great people who pop up at random times. Another view is the "time is ripe" theory in which the spirit of the times gives rise to the people who ultimately shine as geniuses. 

I think the 1970s, having just come off the 1960s, was such a time. A time for realizing that we were in a box and seeking to escape from the box. I think Paul Harris was the pivotal person in the revolution in magic in that time period. Jay Sankey and David Harkey came directly on the heels of PH. Harris' first book came out in 1976. He blew the lid off the box that magic was in. Cards could be torn into loops and linked. The deck might solidify etc etc. I think that out of the box thinking continues today and that there were precursors to Harris. But I think we're still in the paradigm created by Paul Harris. He was the revolutionary figure. That's not to say that there weren't precursors just like there were before Isaac Newton, but PH stands out against the field. 

Thomas Kuhn popularized the term "paradigm" in his seminal book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Isaac Newton changed the 2000 year old Aristotelian paradigm. Einstein changed the Newtonian paradigm. Science is still in the world of Einstein and I think magic is still in the world of Harris. We can certainly make a fairly long list of very important thinkers and creators in both magic and science. But the people who are associated with revolutions in thinking really stand out.

Mike

Great analogy, Mike!

I enjoyed reading it.

I just wanted to say thanks fot this great post.

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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
I think what you're talking about is likely the result of the upheavals in the 1960's. There was a rejection of the conformity of the 1950's and a whole lot more - free love, protesting the war, free thinking etc. 

In the history of Science, the 17th century was similar. It was the century of Galileo, Isaac Newton and many, many other revolutionary figures in the history of science. The 17th century has been called the "century of revolution."

One view of history is the "great person" theory in which there are occasionally great people who pop up at random times. Another view is the "time is ripe" theory in which the spirit of the times gives rise to the people who ultimately shine as geniuses. 

I think the 1970s, having just come off the 1960s, was such a time. A time for realizing that we were in a box and seeking to escape from the box. I think Paul Harris was the pivotal person in the revolution in magic in that time period. Jay Sankey and David Harkey came directly on the heels of PH. Harris' first book came out in 1976. He blew the lid off the box that magic was in. Cards could be torn into loops and linked. The deck might solidify etc etc. I think that out of the box thinking continues today and that there were precursors to Harris. But I think we're still in the paradigm created by Paul Harris. He was the revolutionary figure. That's not to say that there weren't precursors just like there were before Isaac Newton, but PH stands out against the field. 

Thomas Kuhn popularized the term "paradigm" in his seminal book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Isaac Newton changed the 2000 year old Aristotelian paradigm. Einstein changed the Newtonian paradigm. Science is still in the world of Einstein and I think magic is still in the world of Harris. We can certainly make a fairly long list of very important thinkers and creators in both magic and science. But the people who are associated with revolutions in thinking really stand out.

Mike


Great, insightful answer. Thanks so much. Sankey goes that far back? Wow that guy is interesting and very creative but I thought he was one of the “new” guard. But come to think of it he’s had public disputes with some of the avant-garde heroes. I guess the bald head makes him look younger.

The 70s was when I first saw magic and went wow. But then that’s when I was headlong in adolescence and the world was one big wonderful mystery full of adventure and surprises. Oh to feel that way again. But I digress. Maybe demographics plays into it. A lot of people were born when I was, so a lot of people were navigating the wonder years when I was. There were just a lot of wide eyed bushy tailed kids then who were first starting to spread their wings. When you’re at the age where everything is fascinating, magic is a no brainer.

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #13 
      Just in case you haven't seen it --- I believe it's important to stress, so I'm repeating it here.  No, it's not ego; I just want to be sure new people in magic are aware of the facts. And if you want to consider it ego - okay; at my age, I don't mind - I just want to say it as it is. So:

 
 
     
"Harry’s “Apocalypse” takes us through the 70s to the 90s., Bascom Jones MAGIC shows is the mentalism and West Coast Magic scene in the 70s and 80s

Harry’s point is well taken... his first few books (collected in CLASSIC COLLECTION) provided the framework decades ahead of its time. This is made clear by looking at the effects popularized in the 70’s and 80’s. Even now, Jennifer as you’ve mentioned elsewhere Asi Wind credits Harry’s “good stuff” with recently released material.

And if you can get your hands on Close Up Card Magic do so. I am always going back to it. I love it, though, Harry, I still can’t do the Turnover Change!!!
 
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #14 
TheAmazingStanley - I saw Jay Sankey around 1984 or so at 4F. He did Airtight and blew everyone away. Who imagined slapping a deck onto a balloon and having it end up inside the balloon which was then inflated so the deck could be shuffled inside by bounding it around. Then a single card was visually pulled through the balloon to the outside. It was a signed selection! Talk about "out of the box."

Harry - Close Up Card Magic was one of my first magic books. It sits right next to me in my very large book collection. I recently featured a variation of Apex Aces from that book in my Card Corner column in the Linking Ring. Next to that book are all the bound volumes of Apocalypse which I purchased even though I had a full set of originals since I was a subscriber from the beginning. There are even a couple of my tricks in the magazine. Next to those four volumes are all three volumes of Best of Friends and also Quantum Leaps which I think I bought directly from you at a lecture you gave in Chicago. Then there's Trend Setters, Reputation Makers, Rim Shots and more. 

I have the "good stuff!"

Mike
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #15 

   Terrific Mike. Thanks for posting all - letting everyone know that you have lots of the "good stuff." Appreciate it.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
      Just in case you haven't seen it --- I believe it's important to stress, so I'm repeating it here.  No, it's not ego; I just want to be sure new people in magic are aware of the facts. And if you want to consider it ego - okay; at my age, I don't mind - I just want to say it as it is. So:

 
 
     
"Harry’s “Apocalypse” takes us through the 70s to the 90s., Bascom Jones MAGIC shows is the mentalism and West Coast Magic scene in the 70s and 80s

Harry’s point is well taken... his first few books (collected in CLASSIC COLLECTION) provided the framework decades ahead of its time. This is made clear by looking at the effects popularized in the 70’s and 80’s. Even now, Jennifer as you’ve mentioned elsewhere Asi Wind credits Harry’s “good stuff” with recently released material.

And if you can get your hands on Close Up Card Magic do so. I am always going back to it. I love it, though, Harry, I still can’t do the Turnover Change!!!
 


Ego or not you’ve earned it Harry.

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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #17 
Richard Kaufman did a lot in the 80's
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Harry - Close Up Card Magic was one of my first magic books.

Lorayne's "Close Up Card Magic" was the first card magic book I read in original English (around 1997/98?).

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #19 

There seems to be two discussions on the go here. One concerned with Magic as seen/available to the general public and another concerning the stream of magic books during the 70s.

Sticking with the original question about books, and daring to disagree with Mike Powers, if there was any kind of upsurge, it began long before Harris appeared. And I’m aware once again that I’m risking wrath of the gods (so be it) but I think his influence is grossly overrated; if indeed he has any of substantial worth.

Vernon was still casting the longest shadow.

The Linking Cards certainly caused something of a stir within Magic and is still present in various forms today. But was it revolutionary? Not to me. The dealers had a field day though. And, as we know Harry Lorayne published "The Best Gosh Darn Impromptu Linking Card Effect You'll Ever See!" in "Quantum Leaps".

The Harris trick that I like and still use is “Reflex,” out of “Paul Harris Reveals Some Of His Most Intimate Secrets”. It resurfaced some time after with the much more prosaic title of “Whack Your Pack.” Speaking of which, if I recall correctly (which I probably don’t) Harris's first book, "The Magic Of Paul Harris" was published by Jerry Mentzer, who created a bit of a stir with his “Card Cavalcade” series of books.

The early 70s also had the Frank Garcia tomes, “Million Dollar Card Secrets” and “Super Subtle Card Miracles,” both of which also caused a stir. I can’t remember when the Tannen versions of “Hierophant” first appeared, but I have a memory of getting them all from Magic Books By Post in 1975.

The “Hierophant” is a classic example of the Underground coming to the surface. Loads of stuff was hard to get hold of in the mid to late 60s, but suddenly quite a lot of it was being made available. “Pallbearers Review" had been a bit obscure, but, some dealers had copies and assuming you could contact Karl Fulves he was happy to supply direct.

So, overall I think it was the availability of tons of good stuff that might have made it seem like a (minor) explosion.

In and around all this, Harry Lorayne also published a steady stream of good stuff, which continues.

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marv long

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Reply with quote  #20 
The original question was - "was there an explosion in interest in magic in the 70's" My reply was to that ends.

The technique of magic is a different question but as the audience interest grew and exposure grew so did demand for magic and thus gave rise to magic creators to flourish.

Dai Vernon and Slydini I consider to be some of the founders of modern day close up. Vernon with technique - Slydini with movement.  We had others that got the magic out there. Our own loveable Harry was definitely a driving force with Close Up Card Magic and the many many books to follow.

There was also the Chicago bar scene going on with guys like Bert Allerton giving rise to talents like Don Alan (many many close-up guys in the 70's WERE Don Alan) so for performance style...

Certainly Paul Harris was a fresh thinker but stuff like Al Schneiders Off and Matrix started their own revolution. And don't forget John Mendoza or John Cornelius or Steve Duscheck.

The whole Magic Castle scene gave rise to many - the New York round table group - the Spanish style with Ascanio.

A real boost to close up magic came in 1976 when a funny guy named Ricky Jay appeared on a Doug Henning TV special.

There were many factors that form our modern day close-up but I still think the driver was the popularity of magic on stage and TV in the 70's that was the engine that drove creation.[smile]
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