Dunninger, the Mentalist

Dunninger was a "mentalist," a magician whose performances specialized in hypnosis, clairvoyance, telepathy, and other mind control stunts to confound their audiences. It might be hard to believe, but this kind of stage act could be done on the radio and still be quite entertaining. Dunninger had a long career and befriended magicians such as Houdini and Blackstone, and has an interesting tie to radio character The Shadow . Walter B. Gibson, novelist and creator of the character was a magic expert, the ghost writer for Houdini and others, and was likely Dunninger's ghost writer, too. It is claimed that Gibson used Dunninger for part of the inspiration behind The Shadow and his ability to "cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." Dunninger had his detractors, of course, but it made for a fun stage act and entertaining radio, if it was not taken too seriously, of course. It was a pleasant diversion from the standard formats of radio programming. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.