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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » For the record » » Origin of chicago opener/red hot mama (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

lynnef
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A powerful and yet simple effect many of us have performed for years! What's the origin and history? I love the permutations of this effect as well, from Whit Haydn's Chicago Surprise to David Regal's Joker works overtime! Any newer ideas?
lynnef
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Answering myself here! I just read a history of the effect in Whit Haydn's booklet. Apparently it was an Al Leech (from Chicago) effect that Ed Marlo popularized. However the trick may have earlier origins ... as Anneman is also mentioned by Marlo!

Anyhow, I'm still interested in the history of this effect, some of it shrouded in mystery.
Bill Palmer
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Al Leech originated Red Hot Mama. That's what he actually called it.

Marlo had a tendency to embellish actual history, especially if it could be done to the detriment of people of whom he was jealous. Ed was not a "worker," per se. He was a tool and die maker who did some wonderful card magic, but it wasn't his chief source of income.

Leech, OTOH, was a full-time pro.

There were a couple of competing "schools" of thought in Chicago at the time. Some were followers of Marlo, others of Al Leech.

Whether there was any outright animosity between Marlo and Leech is debatable. But some of their followers got into it with one another like they were discussing something really important, such as which end of a boiled egg to break. Smile

Ed had a phenomenal memory for various sleights and subtleties and would trace things to the end of the Earth if the results could be used to put his competition down.
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lynnef
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Thanx Mr Palmer for clearing the Annemann reference up! It sounds like Marlo wishing to take some thunder away from Leech. The article in the Whit Haydn booklet, by the way, was written by Randy Wakeman!
DomKabala
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According to "A Last Look at Leech" by Anthony Brahams, the first effect in the booklet is entitled "A Hot Card Trick". Perhaps it was changed to "Red Hot Mama" at a later date? Inquiring minds want to know...


Cardamagically,
Dom Smile Smile
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mormonyoyoman
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Was "in the booklet" referring to Braham's book? If so, is it possible that Braham gave the title of "A Hot Card Trick" to a hot card trick which Leech had shown him, and that Braham had forgotten (or hadn't known) the title of "Red Hot Mama"?

*jeep!
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DomKabala
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After reviewing my copy, yes it was stated in Brahams booklet. In the epilog after the explanation, Brahams explains that Jim Ryan's version was called "Red Hot Mama". The effect was originally called "A Hot Card Trick No. 1" by Al Leech & was marketed in 1950 by The Ireland Magic Company.

Cardamagically
Dom Smile Smile
We don't stop playing when we grow old...we grow old when we stop playing.

God is enough, let go, let God. Gal 2:20

"Anything of value is not easily attained and those things which are easily attained are not of lasting value."



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RandyWakeman
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Quote:
On 2010-09-08 16:55, Bill Palmer wrote:
Al Leech originated Red Hot Mama. That's what he actually called it.

Marlo had a tendency to embellish actual history, especially if it could be done to the detriment of people of whom he was jealous. Ed was not a "worker," per se. He was a tool and die maker who did some wonderful card magic, but it wasn't his chief source of income.

Leech, OTOH, was a full-time pro.

Al Leech was a journalist by trade, never a full-time or part-time pro. He was on the staff of Newsweek in the late 1950s, working in PR for Allis Chalmers out of Milwaukee in the 1960s.
Philippe Noël
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From what I know, in 1950, the Ireland Magic Company markets a trick by Al Leech called "A Hot Card Trick".
This trick becomes very popular. Professional magicians as Jim Ryan or Franck Everhart put it immediately in their repertoire.
In 1972, Frank Garcia publishes Frank Everhart's version called "Chicago Opener" in Million Dollar Card Secrets.
In 1980, Philip Wilmarth publishes Jim Ryan's version called "Red Hot Mama" in Jim Ryan Close-up vol. 2.
Joe McIntyre
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Walter Gibson whats new in magicpage 75.calls it red and blue fantasy.
Pete Biro
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It is one great effect and I now do it all the time.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bob Sanders
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For years I used this trick. I don't know why I quit.

I need to relearn it now.

Bob Sanders
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Pop Haydn
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It is a wonderful trick.
Merc Man
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I worked like a kid possessed at school during the Seventies, to improve my pretty dire grades. My reward was being able to dip into my Dad's old magic dating back to the 1930's, and pick out a few items from time to time.

One of these items was a manuscript - I think it was released by Max Holden, and sold with agreement, by Max Andrews - the owner of Vampire Magic that traded out of Hamleys, London. The trick was just one page of yellowing, typed fullscap paper outlining a trick by John Scarne. This was the first time that I ever encountered a trick of the Chicago Closer genre.

One method used a double-backed card and the 'impromptu' version used just an odd-backed card. I still have the manuscript somewhere stored away in my loft, but I'm pretty sure it's dated 1940.
Barry Allen

14 years have passed - and still missing Abra Magazine arriving every Saturday morning.
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