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Topic: Del Ray--Magician
Message: Posted by: AmazingA (Feb 9, 2004 08:27PM)
I wasn't sure where to post this, but I'm wondering if anyone knows of a magician named Del Ray. He used to do a trick with a metal frog, where he would put that on top of a glass, and tell a spectator to tell the frog to sit up, and when they said that, the frog sat up!

I saw another magician do this, not Del Ray himself, but I was told Del Ray is the creator of this, since he involved electronics in all of his effects. Also, is Del Ray different than Mr. Electric?

Thanks a lot!

Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Feb 9, 2004 09:10PM)
Del Ray, who recently passed away, was an INCREDIBLE magician, and to my knowledge, he was the creator of the frog effect. He was light years ahead of other magicians in many ways in my opinion. Mr. Electric is a different magician, Marvin Roy (still living).
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Feb 9, 2004 10:33PM)
Del Ray did create the effect. Sadly a handful of magicians have stolen from him. He was adamant that he did NOT want others to do his tricks. However, he did give permission to a very small contingent to perform certain ideas, and even went so far as to make the props for them.

Out of respect to this great artist, may I politely suggest we allow him to keep his reperatoire.

Finally, Del did NOT involve electronics in all of his effects.
Message: Posted by: AmazingA (Feb 10, 2004 12:50AM)
Thanks both of you guys for the replies...Do you know where I can find out some info on the tricks he did? Tried looking him up online but just didn't find much..at all....Are his effects in any books?
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Feb 10, 2004 01:19AM)
Del refused to write a book. He and I spoke about that many times. He was very protective of his work. I finally got him to open his mind to a book, and he even had someone in mind to produce it. Sadly it never happened.

There is one trick by Del in print. It is tucked away, maybe even as a footnote, in one of Ganson's Art of Closeup Magic books.

The best article on Del was that written by Max Maven in Magic magizine. Racherbaumer did a piece on him some time back as well.
Message: Posted by: invalidity (Feb 10, 2004 01:25AM)
There's an article about Del Ray in the Feb 2004 issue of Genii. I think it's by Jon Racherbaumer. It doesn't go into detail about the tricks in his repertoire though.
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (Feb 10, 2004 06:25PM)
When I saw him many years ago he did more than I can remember during a Close-up routine. One thing was the frog you described, but the frog was not the act, he was. He also did a dice ladder, predicting the final number on several dice, and a card revelation using a mouse in a house. You have to had seen it, a description would not do it justice.

Mr. Electric did a stage act with light bulbs of all sorts and effects; lit bulbs multiplying, lit florescent bulbs penetrating and then full of milk.
I think the story goes a younger magician named Tazi felt he could prove himself by duplicating every effect, anyone hear from him again? Not many magicians respect a copy-cat trick for trick. Its a whole nother thing to aspire to be like Channing Pollack and come up with an original Street Light routine like Lance Burton.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Feb 10, 2004 07:38PM)
Even knowing how protective Del Ray was of what he did, I think it would be a crime if his magic died with his passing. That's not to say anyone else could be him.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 10, 2004 11:18PM)
Does anyone know who received Del Ray's act and equipment? Maybe they would be willing to share in a book on this leader in magic. Any survivers?

His drinking bear was his feature in his stage act. I finally had the pleasure to see Del Ray several years ago in Toledo, OH.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Feb 10, 2004 11:24PM)
Those who were close to Del know that even if the equipment survived, the real work in handling it is lost. However he has family and they are protecting his work. I talked to Del often about a book. Part of me would love to see one, however I can't feel in my heart that this is the right thing to do without his express blessing.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 10, 2004 11:51PM)
Mike Caveny has searched the planet for his historical books of famous long forgotten magicians. Someday, someone will write about this leader to put his place in the history of magic. Permission given or not.

It would be so much better to get this information from those closest to him, instead of putting bits and pieces together that may not hold truth or have the events correctly.

Look at the most recent book on Tony Marks, this gentleman did want to publish his works and it is poorly written piece that does not do him justice.

example: Princess Diane did not approve her current books written about her.

It will happen it is only a matter of time.
Message: Posted by: illuzns (Feb 11, 2004 12:48AM)
I had the great honor of spending some time with Del Ray in Cherry Hill NJ. quite a few years ago. I met him at the Philadelphia Magic Spectacular.(I think that's what it was called at the time).

His Close-up act was as incredible as Magicbymanuel had described earlier,but I actually thought his stage act was the highlight of the entire event. His props magically moved themselves into position on stage and everything around him moved according to his will.

Even when he "Accidentally" dropped a box of playing cards on stage, He simply looked over at it and with a snap of his fingers it jumped back onto his table. His act was perfectly fine tuned and I will never forget it. I was also lucky enough to be able to sit down with Del Ray(His birds sat next to us) and Jack Chanin for a 4 hour session at Denny's later that evening.

He told endless stories about his performances with Harry Blackstone Sr.(Which he use to work for as an assistan). He also gave credit to Jack Chanin as the one magician who gave him his biggest break in magic. I don't know of any of his material being printed anywhere, but I would hope that we could learn more about this great man and his life. But I think, however, his secrets should be left alone.

I don't know how many "Magicians" I watched, after his close-up show, went over and looked under his table trying to discover his secrets. These guys should be ashamed of themselves.We should respect his wishes and leave these well enough alone.(Just my opinion).
Your friend in magic,
illuzns-Allen Cleveland
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (May 25, 2004 09:36PM)
There is a Del Rey DVD on E-bay. Auction is almost over, no bids, $49.95
Message: Posted by: Kenardo1 (Jun 15, 2004 12:48PM)
It might be the video shot at a Tannen's Jubilee years ago. Del had a heart attack (at least that was what I was told) the night before during his stage act, but came back the next day to do two amazing close-up shows. I was there and it definitely was a magic highlight.
Message: Posted by: slakk (Jun 28, 2004 11:27PM)
Did Bill Dodson build equipment for Del Ray?
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 20, 2004 08:29PM)
I saw Del Ray over 30 years ago at a combined IBM-SAM banquet.
The platform act was fabulous, and the close-up show was fabulous + !

He had an electronic table that followed him around and announced him, as well as announcing a few 'upcoming effects,' on a scrolling light-message display.

He also had a radio-controlled teddy bear ("Butch") on a stand that poured himself drinks and drank them.

In the close-up act he had a mechanical bird that made various movements to identify cards, etc.

All the automata were mere curiosities, though. The real magic with Del Ray was his flawless sleight-of-hand. I've never seen a performer in his class, and suspect I never will again.