Showing posts with label John Cox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Cox. Show all posts

29 October 2019

Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape

From the August 18th post "Dean Gunnarson recreates Houdini's L.A. escape in 1987" by John Cox at Wild About Harry:
On October 29, 1987, escape artist Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape in Los Angeles to promote the live Halloween television special, The Search for Houdini. Dean was introduced as James Randi's protege, and Randi was on hand to assist in the stunt.

Read more.

26 July 2019

Did Houdini own a Canadian made organ?

From the June 30 article "Ottawa organ linked to famed magician Harry Houdini" by Charles Stanley in My Web Times:
Could the legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini (1874-1926) have owned and touched the keys of an organ built in Ottawa?

It is a tantalizing thought — but undocumented. The provenance chain for the organ since leaving the Ottawa factory is missing crucial links. It is likely the possibility may, in fact, just be an illusion.

Read more.





[via John Cox]

07 June 2017

The Doug Henning Project interviews John Cox

From Wild About Houdini:
Neil McNally's new blog The Doug Henning Project is going strong with terrific interviews with Milt Larsen, John Gaughan, and Jim Steinmeyer. This week Neil is sharing a multipart interview with, gasp, me!
So only after you finish reading Neil's interview with those far more interesting and deserving members of the magic community, check out my blather. Neil and I did have a great time conducting this interview over Friday Lunch at the Magic Castle.
Read more and listen to interview.

21 May 2014

Houdini: The Pickleman punch and J. Gordon Whithead

From "The Pickleman punch" at Wild About Houdini:
We all know J. Gordon Whithead punched Houdini in the stomach in his dressing room at the Princess Theater in Montreal on October 22, 1926. It's debated whether or not the punch caused or just masked his fatal appendicitis, but all agree that Whitehead's punch was the start of a chain of events that would lead to the magician's death on Halloween. But in his seminal work, The Man Who Killed Houdini, author Don Bell uncovered evidence of two other punches delivered by McGill University students during Houdini's stay in the city that might extend that chain a little further back.

One of those punches is said to have occurred in the lobby of the Prince of Wales Hotel. However, that incident is questionable as it only comes via second-hand sources, so I'm going to save it for another time and another post. The punch I want to discuss today is the first of the three for which there is strong evidence. This punch or "test" occurred on October 19, 1926, when Houdini was giving his lecture at McGill University. Bell calls it "the Pickleman punch."

Read more.

From "Is this J. Gordon Whitehead at McGill in 1926?" at Wild About Houdini:
Recently our friends at the Houdini Museum in Scranton and Joe Notaro of HHCE turned up an amazing archive of yearbooks from McGill University. Of course, it was a student from McGill, Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead, who punched Houdini in his dressing room at the Princess Theater on October 22, 1926. Could these books give us our first look at Whitehead as a student?

There is only one known photo of Whitehead, taken almost 25 years after the Houdini incident when he was in his 50s. Because he never graduated, there is no individual yearbook photo of him as a student. However, this group shot of the "Arts '28 Class" in the 1926 yearbook is said to include a "Whitehead, J.G." (as well as Gerald Pickleman, who also "tested" Houdini that week). Unfortunately, it doesn't specify which student is Whitehead.

Read more.


24 October 2013

Details about Halifax Houdini Seance

From John Cox at Wild About Harry:
Official Houdini Séance will Haunt the

Halifax Citadel on Halloween


Famous Canadian fort to host an evening of
magic, mystery and history

Harry Houdini spent a month in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1896. This Halloween, some are hoping the legendary escape artist will return to the harbour city. The 2013 Official Houdini Séance is set to convene at historic Citadel Hill, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on October 31.

Before he died on Halloween in 1926, Houdini promised to send a message from the Great Beyond. His widow Beatrice held the first ten séances on the anniversary of his death, and each year since the Official Houdini Séance has been held in a city where Houdini performed. It is now organized by an American consortium of Houdini experts, piloted by Tom Boldt and Bill Radner, son of Sidney Radner who was caretaker of the Séance from 1947-2010. Halifax organizer is Nova Scotia author and Houdini historian Bruce MacNab.

Read more and buy tickets.


From the CBC:
Goulish thrill seekers in Halifax will be looking for signs of legendary magician Harry Houdini’s return from the grave this Halloween night.
Houdini, whose real name was Ehrich Weisz, died in Detroit at the age of 52 on Oct. 31, 1926. He was buried in Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, N.Y.

Just before he passed away, he promised his wife he'd send a message from the great beyond, if it was possible.

Since his death 87 years ago, there's been a séance — somewhere in the world — every Halloween night. This year it will be held in Halifax.  
Read more.

04 October 2013

Halifax to host Houdini Seance

From John Cox at Wild About Harry:
Great news today! Bill Radner informs me that the 2013 Official Houdini Seance will be held in the catacombs of the historic Citadel HIll in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Halloween of this year.

Houdini and Bess performed in Halifax during their first tour of the Canadian Maritimes in 1896. That formative tour is the subject of Bruce MacNab's excellent book, The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini. Bruce will be co-hosting this year's seance, which is going to have a terrific lineup of guests and performers and will have a limited amount of tickets available to the public.

Read more.

02 July 2013

Houdini diary entry from Toronto

From Wild About Houdini:
There's a lot to love about this. First is the glimpse into the politics of showbiz that a newspaper won't write stories about an act unless the theater buys advertising. Houdini's shorthand "O.D. Stunt" appears to be his catch-all for "outdoor stunts" (bridge jumps, overboard box, suspended straitjacket). Finally, Houdini's expression of hurt at not being thanked feels very genuine. Doesn't matter if you're the world's greatest mystifier; everyone likes to be thanked.

Read the quote.

27 February 2013

Le Grand Gervais

Recently, John Cox from Wild About Houdini posted:
French Canadian escape artist Le Grand Gervais, who made a name for himself in the late 80s performing Houdini's Overboard Box escape and Water Torture Cell, is still going strong. He recently revived the Water Torture Cell to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the famous escape. You can check out photos, film, and posters of Gervais' USD at www.houdinithelastescape.com.

Read more.


20 February 2013

John Cox writes about Houdini Never Died

Over at Wild About Harry, John Cox writes about Houdini Never Died:
Here is the entire 1979 documentary Houdini Never Died. This was produced by John Watson and Pen Densham who later wrote and directed TNTs Houdini. It intercuts Houdini's story with footage of contemporary magicians including Doug Henning. It also has nice footage of James Randi performing a suspended straitjacket escape over Niagara Falls and the 50th Anniversary Official Houdini seance held at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame. Definitely a product of its time, but that's what makes this great.

Read more.

25 December 2012

Houdini's 1896 Canadian tour

From John Cox at Wild About Houdini:
In The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini, author Bruce MacNab has combined his passions for Houdini and Maritimes history to create a book that is not only a terrific day by day account of Houdini's 1896 Canadian tour, but also a vivid snapshot of everyday life at the turn of the century. It really is one of the most remarkable books ever written about Houdini, as well as being a marvelous chronicle of what it was like to be a traveling magic troop in the 1890s.

Read more.

20 December 2012

Spellbinder: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning

John Cox has a nice review of "Spellbinder: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning".  From Wild About Houdini:
I really think this book is essential reading for anyone interested in magic history. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that it's as important as The Memories of Robert-Houdin in understanding how a single magician advanced the art of magic from one golden age to another. I also applaud Harrison for his amazing research and for telling the story of Henning, who I don't think always gets the credit he deserves. I put Henning right up there with Houdin, Herrmann, and Houdini as one of the seminal figures in magic history. I think that will become more apparent with time.

Read more.

15 December 2012

Doug Henning

We've had a lot of Doug Henning related anniversaries come through our calendar this month!

John Cox has a great post up commemorating the 35th anniversary of Doug's third live "World of Magic" television special on NBC.
 
From Wild About Houdini:
It was 35 years today ago on December 15, 1977, that NBC aired Doug Henning's third live "World of Magic" television special. Having performed the Chinese Water Torture Cell and Vanishing Elephant on his first two specials, Henning once again built his show around a Houdini classic -- Walking Through A Brick Wall.

Read more.
 
And for your viewing pleasure, two YouTube videos recently posted at iTricks: