Welcome to the Calvacade of Magic Presented By Kirk Kirkham

My Father was the Magician known professionally as Kirk Kirkham, his real name was Charles and many folks called him Chuck. He lived from 1926 to 2001. He was an active professional performer from the time he was sixteen years old. Magic was the only living he ever had. He toured with the USO after World War II, did the spook show circuit and television extensively in the 1950's, did thousands of club dates, school shows, and more television in the 60's, continued performing in the 70's but also became a well regarded prop maker who produced equipment for other magicians and attractions around the country.

Currently, David Copperfield has the largest private collection of illusions in the world, but prior to his success and collection, my father may very well have been the previous holder of that title. He owned parts of Thurston's Wonder Show of the Universe and Mysteries of India. He acquired much of the core of his collection from Will Rock back in the early 50's but continued to add to it the rest of his life. He knew and worked with Harry Blackstone Sr., Percy Abbot was a mentor to him. Dante was a personal friend, and he owned famous illusions that belonged to all of them.

My goal is to keep his legacy alive here in cyber space, and provide some historical context to the Southern California Magic scene in the 60's and 70's. I have had virtually no contact with the Magic world since my Mother passed away in 1994. My Dad suffered from Alzheimer's in his last years and he could not write the book that he always said he would get to someday. I don't know enough about magic to write competently concerning history, practice and technique. I can however provide an historical context for my Father, a man who knew almost everything about magic during the 20th Century. He had a huge library, subscribed to dozens of magazines, and had met every important magician of the second half of the century. He was consulted by many of the experts that now make up the intelligentsia of the magic community. He was also a mentor to many fine magicians and scholars of magic. I hope to hear from some of those people as a result of this blog.

Welcome to the Magical World of Kirk Kirkham.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Los Magicos

Los Magicos was the Hollywood Chapter of the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians, a regional magic club. Like the SAM and IBM counter parts, the primary purpose of the clubs was social and professional ties. The PCAM had periodic conventions and my dad performed for those shows several times. In 1968, there was a show in Santa Barbara that we worked that was pretty spectacular. I came across these rosters in some of my Dad's notebooks. Since they are all fifty years old now, I don't imagine anyone's privacy is being invaded. Many of the names on these lists were good friends of my Dad, and we saw them at the house on a regular basis. Joe Berg, who owned the Magic Shop above Hollywood Blvd. was someone I recall fondly, my Dad later

bought the title to the National Magic Company, which Joe Berg had owned as well. I love the prefix listings for the phone numbers. Most people today have no idea that letters were used to suggest the exchange for the phone service that you were located at.

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