|Abraham J. Cantú|
|Full name||Abraham Juan Cantú Garza|
|Other names||Abraham John Cantu|
November 24, 1896 |
Monterrey , Mexico
August 27, 1949 (age 52) |
Atlanta , Georgia , United States
|Occupation||Illusionist , magician|
Abraham Juan Cantú ( Monterrey , Mexico ; November 24, 1896 - Atlanta , Georgia ; August 27, 1949), [ 1 ] also known as Professor Tucan , was a Mexican vaudeville illusionist . Known for being the creator of pigeon magic, an act where birds in general were made to appear, which inspired other illusionists such as Channing Pollock and Johnny Thompson . [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Because of its popularity was presented in theaters and clubs in the United States , Mexico and Europe . [ 4 ] He also starred in the film Politiquerías (1931), the Spanish version of the El Gordo y el Flaco film Chickens Come Home . [ 5 ] [ 6 ]
He was killed in a car accident while on his way to a presentation in Morgantown , West Virginia . Although at first there was a rumor about his death, his death was later confirmed, news that caused a stir at the time. [ 1 ] [ 7 ] Because of their experience in the world of magic was included in the Museum's Hall of Fame of the American Society of Magicians . [ 8 ]
Abraham Juan Cantú was born in Monterrey , Mexico on November 24, 1896. [ 1 ] His parents were Abraham R. Cantú and Leonor Garza, natives of Monterrey, the couple had five children, and he was the third. His full birth name was Abraham Juan Cantú Garza, he had the same name as his father. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] raised in Mexico and did not develop any interest in magic in his youth, during World War One family was living in San Antonio , Texas and then began working as a barber . [1 ] He then moved to Los Angeles , California , where he lived near the Port of Los Angeles . [ 7 ]
In Los Angeles he met magician Len O. Gunn, who invited him to join the Los Angeles Society of Magicians. [ 1 ] Together they learned magic tricks from a book, and in 1925 he performed his first magic act. At one of the society's meetings, he won an award for performing a trick. [ 11 ] When his father died he suffered a lot since he was very attached to his father, Gunn recalls in an interview that at the funeral he was the only American and all were Latino. [ 7 ] At age 42, he became a naturalized American, although he always claimed to be only Mexican. [ 12 ]
Cantú had appearances in theaters and clubs in the United States, Mexico, England, Ireland and France. [ 1 ] [ 4 ] [ 13 ] dressed in an elegant suit [ 6 ] or charro during their shows. [ 4 ] In his native country, because his surname was very common, he decided to exchange syllables and called himself "Professor Tucan." [ 1 ]
While he was doing his acts the song " La paloma " was played . [ 13 ] On July 20, 1939, he made his London debut at the Grosvenor House Cabaret, replacing Ruth and Billy Ambrose. [ 14 ] After the outbreak of World War II he had to return to the United States, and during a period of rest, he created and perfected his poultry production technique, [ 1 ] for which he was hired at the Leon & Eddie's from New York , [ 15 ] for four nights he was the most successful artist in the venue, [ 16 ]One of his performances was seen by the journalist, Walter Winchell , who praised his routine, which allowed the illusionist to contract in other locations. [ 1 ]
Billboard magazine writer Johnny Sfppel criticized Cantu's routine. Although he accepted that the performance was "entertaining" at first, then "lacked sparkle" and the artist only concentrated on the "production of scarf pigeons," he also rejected the illusionist's attire and called him "gay Mexican." [ 17 ]
He appeared in the film Politiquerías (1931), the extended Spanish version of Chickens Come Home by El Gordo y el Flaco . [ 5 ] In the film, he played a magician during the party. He was a technical advisor on the Marx brothers' film An Afternoon at the Circus (1939) , although he did not get credit for this work. [ 13 ] [ 18 ] Every time I interviewed asked if «[was] Spanish ?" to which the artist replied "no, I'm Mexican ." [ 1 ][ 7 ] always felt proud of his roots in their presentations so used very colorful charro outfits to represent their nationality. In the press, some attributed his success to his way of dressing and his Latino features. In 1944 he was on the cover of The Sphinx magazine , where he was shown in the typical clothing of his country and with his pigeons. [ 19 ]
He passed away on August 27, 1949 in a car accident , [ 4 ] while on his way to an engagement in Morgantown , West Virginia . [ 1 ] [ 20 ] The first to report the news was the illusionist Martin Barnett who told him of the rumor to the police officer in Kentucky , Lee Allen Estes, during a meeting of magicians. [ 21 ]His sudden death caused great controversy in the vaudeville world, and there were people who could not create it like the commentator Bill Sachs, who even asked his readers to deny it. [ 21 ] Another who mourned his death was Gunn who claimed that he "was [his] best friend" and also remembered him as "a gentleman" and "an intelligent man with many original ideas". [ 1 ] [ 7 ]
A Cantú is considered the creator of the Buckle Count , a card trick that Charlie Miller taught in the late 1930s [ 13 ] [ 22 ] was the inventor of magic with pigeons, which produced birds bandanas , hats and other objects , something that inspired other illusionists like Channing Pollock and Johnny Thompson who adapted it to their shows. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 13 ]Channing said he was inspired by Cantu after seeing him perform his pigeon act in the late 1940s, probably a year before his death. [ 23 ] For his career and his legacy in the world of magic, he was included in the Museum of the Hall of Fame of the American Society of Magicians . [ 8 ]
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