SPOOKSTERS OF MAGIC PAST AND PRESENT
by Howard Melson
This was the cover article in May 1948
When Mid-Westerners speak of Magic and Magicians, they are bound to speak up about one of their own boys - William Morton, a young man who has been performing up and down through that section with a big show these past several years, really making a name for himself.
Morton played fine hotels, resorts, and night spots with a single act for several years and then organized a full evening show which is his present set-up. He also has had considerable success with spook shows, and is now touring the South with his newest Magic and spook extravaganza.
Born in Lincoln, Neb., in 1920, Magic has been Bill Morton's absorbing interest ever since his school days. Indeed, his first professional performance in 1935 started him on a career which carried him comfortably through Lincoln High School and the University of Nebraska's College of Business Administration.
After graduation he landed a hotel job as a professional Magician and this led to another and still others and finally into the night club field. He carried on successfully throughout the West as a single until April, 1944, when he married the lovely, blonde and beautiful former Pauline Smith of Sioux Falls, SD. Since that time the Mortons have performed only in theatres, schools, colleges, auditoriums, and in the summer months as an outdoor attraction. According to Bill, "Pauline is the answer to a Magician's prayer for a capable, reliable assistant, and she is as much help in contracting, selling, routing, promoting, and settling on our show as she is an assistant on and off the stage." They have played throughout the Mid-West and West - two seasons with Midwest School Assemblies, and a portion of five different winter tours for National School Assemblies out of Los Angeles. In addition, they have had several successful tours with a spook show, performing in theatres under such titles as, "Zombie Spook Festival", "Midnight Zombie Party", and 'Zombies' Jamboree," and "The Asylum of Horrors," their current title.
They are preparing to open a summer tour, combining the circus and Magic themes, presenting their magical and illusion show in their own portable tent theatre in communities in the Mid-Western territory, transporting the equipment on a fleet of about fifteen trucks, tractors, cars and trailers. They have their own light plant, seats, portable stage, along with their magical apparatus.
In the Morton show, currently called The Great Morton Wonder Show, which features much audience participation and fun with kids, are such illusions as Sawing a Woman in Half, Spirit Cabinet, Floating Lady, Demon of Doom, The Caliph's Garden, Guillotine, Doll House, Sword Cabinet, Wonder Screen, and the Canvas Covered Box, along with smaller manipulative, apparatus, and mental Magic. All this is presented with the help of a corps of assistants.
The Mortons love Magic as a business, an art, and as a hobby, and make every effort to associate with and visit other Magicians. They are good folks to know and extend a cordial invitation to all Magicians to visit them whereever they play.
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