Don't Fool Yourself: The Magical Life of Dell O'Dell by Michael Claxton - Book
In a field dominated by men, one of the most successful and busiest magicians of a generation was also a woman.
Dell O'Dell grew up in Kansas, and learned to love show business amidst the sawdust and spangles of her father's circus. She learned to entertain as a teenager, teaching herself to juggle, perform acrobatics, and work with animals. Eventually, she would go on to own her own circus, perform as a comedy magician in vaudeville, and finally find certified stardom as a headlining night club performer and television star.
Half a world away, in Switzerland, Charles Carrer was learning many of the same feats of digital dexterity. He developed a polished, dapper, and amazing juggling act that took him on tours throughout the European continent, South American, and eventually landed him in America. It was there, in New York, that the two troupers met, married, and embarked on a partnership - both on and off stage - that has to be read to be believed.
In the pages of Don't Fool Yourself, author Michael Claxton draws on first-person accounts, revealing research, and rich historical archives to paint humanizing and captivating portraits of Dell O'Dell and Charlie Carrer, remarkable entertainers whose lives were intertwined - as well as fascinating bygone eras of American show business.
Pages: 332 - 9" x 6" - Hardcover - illustrated with dozens of unpublished images. As a bonus, the dust jacket of each book includes a Dell O'Dell Dancing Doll novelty!
DON'T FOOL YOURSELF The Magical Life of Dell O'Dell by Michael Claxton Inscribed copy This is the biography of one of the finest female magicians.
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Dell O'Dell was the stage name of Nell Newton (20 Oct 1902 - 5 Feb 1962) an American magician regarded in her profession as a pioneer who provided a role model for modern female performers and noted for being one of the first magicians to appear on television. At the height of her career she was billed as "The World's Leading Lady Magician" and "The Queen of Magic."
Nell Newton's father worked in carnivals and she began learning magic from him when she was young. She developed a style that featured snappy patter and cute rhymes, which became something of a trademark. She married Charles Carrer, a famous juggler, who managed her show and constructed props for her.
She became a pioneer of television magic when The Dell O'Dell Show began transmission on a local station in the Los Angeles area in California on 14 September 1951. She thus pre-dated several other noted pioneers of television magic, such as Mark Wilson, whose first television show began in 1955, and Richiardi Jr who made the first of his record run of appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.
O'Dell wrote extensively on the subject of magic. She contributed a column titled "Dell-lightfully" for the magicians' magazine The Linking Ring. She also produced a number of books of tricks and performance routines, including Presenting Magical Moments (1939) and On Both Sides of the Footlights (1946). Her "Stamp Album" presentation was published in volume 4 of the Tarbell Course in Magic.