Marvyn Roy - The Legacy
The Audio Book
Nine years ago Magic Words published Marvyn Roy's autobiography Mr. Electric - Unplugged. Here was an up-close and personal look at one of the greatest careers of his generation as well as an inside look at show business as it existed during the latter half of the 20th century. Now you can sit back and have Marvyn tell you the entire story himself. From the back room of Thayer's Magic Studio to the battlefields of Normandy during World War II, from stardom in Las Vegas, Paris, London and Moscow to television studios around the world. Here is the complete story of Mr. Electric as read by the author in his own inimitable style. A journey of love, life and magic.
A set of 10 CDs with a running time of 12 hours 22 minutes. $45 plus $3 postage. Canada postage: $9. Overseas postage: $15. Buy the Audio Book and the hard bound book together (a $95 value) for just $80 plus $5. postage. Canada postage: $15. Overseas postage $25.
Also available on Revisit as a download for $25 .Click here to go to Revizzit.
PEEK INSIDE MR. ELECTRIC - UNPLUGGED
Chapter 7 – The Lido
We arrived around midnight in The City of Lights. It was a cold, foggy, rainy scene. I hadn't been in Paris since the end of the Second World War with so many other tired, young soldiers on our way home. I remembered her as a vibrant, exciting city and I hoped that she would embrace us with compassion and understanding…
The Champs Elysées was a long bustling boulevard that ran from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Right in the middle of the boulevard, through a dramatic arcade, was the Lido de Paris. After the Second World War two energetic French entrepreneurs, the Clerico Brothers, bought what was then a run-down bathing and swimming facility and fashioned it into the most elegant and renowned cabaret in all of Europe.
The Grand Salon was a long pillared room with tufted burgundy walls that gave it a warm intimate feeling. Crowded around the elongated dance floor were tables and chairs to accommodate the multitude of visitors. At one end was a large bar area that seated some twenty guests and at the other end a dark-blue velvet curtain that, one surmised, was the entrance to a backstage world full of wonders.
"All right Marvin, Carol we are ready." He was a tall, thin man with short-cropped hair and a nervous manner. This was Rene Fraday, Artistic Director of the Lido. It was now two o'clock in the morning and the round-the-clock rehearsals momentarily stopped so that we might proceed with our act. Sitting ringside to observe was Pierre Louis Guerin, a large imposing, fastidious man who was the Managing Director and General Manager. Folco, the shy, handsome designer of the original couture-like wardrobe. Margaret Kelly, a petite, perceptive English lady who had created a unique ensemble of dancers, showgirls and models known throughout Europe as The Bluebell Girls. And then there was Donn Arden, a will-of-the-wisp and a man of many masks. He could praise you one moment and vilify you the next with equal charm. In time Donn became a good friend but always with that devilish twinkle in his eye. He was a genius when it came to melding choreography, music, lights, dance, costumes and performing artists into the brilliant, explosive, glittering extravaganza that was Lido de Paris.
The last bulb danced across the floor. We took our bow.
Mr. Guerin hurried forward, took my hand, shook it warmly and said, "Miss Abbott was right, my boy. You are Lido, welcome!" What we didn't know then was that we were the first act that Lido had booked solely on the recommendation of Merriell Abbott. Even though we had a contract we had just completed, thankfully, a successful audition!
Some months later, while having a late dinner with our dear friend Channing Pollock, he related the following tale. He had been appearing at "Nouvelle Eve" in Montmartre with his highly successful dove act. The Lido management approached him before we arrived in Paris, and said that they had booked an American magician for the new show, but had not seen him perform. Would Channing be able to double if there was a problem?
"Who is the American magician?" Pollock asked.
"Marvin Roy," they answered.
"Marvin Roy," Channing responded. "He's a pro. He'll do the job." – Thanks Chan.
"C'est Magnifique!" December 4, 1956, it was like the Fourth of July and Bastille Day all rolled into one; it was the premier cabaret gala of France. They were all there, the President of France, Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker, Brigitte Bardot, Zizi Jeanmaire, Jean Cocteau, Charlie Chaplin, Christian Dior, Francoise Sagan, Ramon Novarro. A rich assortment of personalities of the world of arts and letters of that glittering era. All enjoying and applauding the elegance and artistry that was the Lido spectacular christened "C'est Magnifique!"