Friday, January 10, 2014

Man of Magic - The Floral Sisters

Here's another selection of rare music from the 1966 London stage musical, Man of Magic, starring Stuart Damon as Houdini, Judith Bruce as Bess, with a book and lyrics by John Morley and Aubrey Cash, and music by Wilfred Wylam. This early song and dance number showcases the "Floral Sisters."

In the play, the Floral Sisters are made up of Bess and Maggie (Gaye Brown) and are managed by Stubby Kaye's character, Toby Kester. It's while performing as a Floral Sister that Harry first sees Bess. Toby later manages Houdini himself.

What I love about this is The Floral Sisters were, in fact, real. Bessie joined the troop in Coney Island and it was there she met Houdini who was performing with Theo as The Brothers Houdini in 1894. It's wild to think that this obscure sideshow act would one day be portrayed on the London stage in an lavish musical. I wonder if any of the real Floral Sisters (or their children) lived to hear this musical number or see the play?

Anyway, enjoy the gals from the Bowery by way of Piccadilly. Ladies and gentleman, The Floral Sisters!

Tomorrow we conclude our musical adventure as Harry and Bess Conquer the World!

Thanks to Ron South for digitalizing my Man of Magic LP. Check out Ron's blog devoted to the rock band Journey, Wheel In The Sky.

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