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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Senator Clarke Crandall (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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howiedidit
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Does anyone know of footage of Senator Clarke Crandall other than on the Magic Ranch DVD set? I'm trying to find any video or articles about this amazing performer.
markmiller
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Don't know about video but he used to write a monthly article in Tops Magazine.
Rick Fisher
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I have some old movie footage and a friend of mine has audio tape as well. I remember him running me out of his XXX lecture when I was a kid Smile What a character !
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magicgettogether
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Heres one of his articles from Tops

http://magicgettogether.com/classictops/senator.html
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magicgettogether
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Forgot to mention Abbotts sells his book as part of a comedy book pkg at their Ebay store

http://stores.ebay.com/Abbotts-Magic-House-of-Tricks

I never read the book but remember it because it has a very crisp picture on the front of Clarke Crandall, but on the back was the same picture upside down and blurry. The idea was to have someone over with the good picture up, give him a couple drinks, then flip the book over to the blurry side.
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Rick Fisher
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The pic Chuck is referring to was taken by Jerry Conklin...he used to be a photographer as well as globe trotting magician.
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SHOC
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I was wondering if anyone can tell me which volume of Don Alan's Magic Ranch DVDs that Senator Crandall performs six bill repeat?
Rick Fisher
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Hi I think it's six card repeat...
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SHOC
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Rick thanks for the reply. You may well be right. I know he did his one hand six card repeat. Someone told me he was on the Magic Ranch performing a six bill repeat. I'm thinking they may have it confused.

Cheers.
Rick Fisher
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Yes, have seen the video..it is fun to watch and it is the 6 card repeat. Smile
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magicgettogether
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Heres that picture I mentioned (link at bottom of post). I actually started reading the book which is a compilation of articles he wrote and it certainly wasn't what I expected. The publishing date is 1969 however I can see why people would want to see him perform. Heres a couple excerpts from the first couple pages (which will give you an idea of his style)

Q Were you born in this country
A No, I was born in Carleton Nebraska

Q When did you first become interest in magic?
A When I was eight years old I discovered I could disappear at the first sign of work...

Q What is your opinion of womans place in magic today?
A There is none, A woman's place is in the home, she should stay there, wash the doves, feed the rabbits, press the silks...

Q What is your opinion of Jay Marshall, Bob Lewis, Karrell fox, and Duke Stern?
A Who?

I'll finish reading the book tonight, a little over 100 pages.

I also added the book to http://www.abbottmagic.com and knocked off 1/2 the catalog price (10 to 5) for those researching the man.

Click here to view attached image.
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Rick Fisher
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I agree with Chuck..it is a fine read. Crandall always had a way with words - there was a "feud" between him and George Johnstone that was 'fabricated' but sure got us reading the columns! George was also an eloquent writer and unfortunately I haven't seen anyone since who could write as well as these two fellows.
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magicgettogether
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Greg said the same thing, that he was really a great guy and very nice, the crusty exterior was an act.

About 3/4 through the book he is diagnosed with a brain tumor, his son who was stationed in Vietnam was sent home due to the serious nature of the illness. Here's Crandalls take on the situation.

"As I lay strapped to a padded hospital table waiting for Dr. Baron to plug in his educated skull-saw I was afraid I might die before I could share my magic secrets with the world. Suddenly I realized I didn't have any magic secrets...Its a sinking sensation."

Excellent writer, even something as terrible as a malignant brain tumor was no match for him.
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Rick Fisher
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That is what made him unique. He later worked at the Magic Castle. When Donald 'Monk' Watson was in the hospital dying Clarke made a very unusual recording and sent to Monk. They were best of friends. Clarke acted as a roving reporter in a nursing home asking residents if they ever heard of Monk. Funny stuff...he never actually went to the nursing home- he just used different voices and different stories. The tape is a real gem..maybe we will release some day.

We need magic characters like this today Smile
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msmaster
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Crandall used to carry a pocket watch in his pants, but not his pocket. When a nice old lady would ask the time, he would pull down his zipper reach in and take out the watch connected to a long chain and tell them.
magicgettogether
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On Monk Watson...

"...Don't preach to me about the good old days, they stunk and you know it....So you killed them in Detroit from 1926 to 1931. Big Deal..."

I think he would do well in this century, armed with all online media that we have today, the present world of magic would provide him much fodder.
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Rick Fisher
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Monk always said "Detroit claimed I came from Jackson and Jackson claimed I came from Detroit"

I met Monk back in the early 70's - he was a nice guy but I wasn't quite sure about him Smile

Now that I am older and have come to know Monk's story through Bill, his son, I have such a great admiration and respect for this man - 5000 performances at the Grand Rivera Theater in Detroit - 5000 - count 'em 5000 - folks like Monk and Dorny and of course Crandall- were charismatic personalities who understood their role as entertainers. We could learn so much from them - they endured the tough times too..depression,two world wars,etc.. and yet they survived and thrived. They didn't complain because business was slow..they went out and made their business and found a way to make it.
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magicgettogether
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I'll tell you Rick its been a long time since I laughed out loud reading a book. One of his columns (aptly titled "criticism should be a reward") was the funniest thing I ever read anywhere.

Not much magic (which would probably slow down the pace of the book). Where other books would describe an egg bag routine, Crandall tells his woe's of trying to buy one egg when they only come in dozen packs (and what he does with the extras).

Most of what he talks about still applies today, he mentions never calling a magic trick by its name in front of an audience and recently there was a post here at the Café about just that.

As Crandall puts it, "A layman thinks a Foo Can is a Chinese washroom".
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Rick Fisher
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It's a good book but it's difficult to get younger readers to read it especially with no tricks explained but us old farts 'get it' Smile
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magicgettogether
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Very true, another thing is you have to have a little background of magic and magicians to understand the humor so many of the youtube crowd will be disappointed.

However anyone who ever attended a magic convention, or a magic lecture, or joined a magic club (even today) should get a kick out his writings. The politics of magic seems to be Crandall at his funniest.
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