|Born||Wilbert Willis Holley|
February 18, 1888
|Died||June 2, 1966 (age 78) |
Hemet, Riverside County, California
Mel-Roy (1888-1966), born Wilbert Willis Holley, was a pioneer of mentalism on the radio as "The Mental Mystic" .
Mel-Roy toured the country during Vaudeville, hitting it big in 1928 with a radio show at KOKO in Wichita Falls, Texas where he would do mentalism over the air. He received so much mail (about 17,000 letters a day) that he had a staff of 84 typists and secretaries to handle it all. He finally had to quit when the strain became too much.
After six months of rest, he began to grow restless, in the fall of 1934 he opened one of the world's biggest magical revues under canvas that seated 3,500 people.
In 1935, he hired an assistant named Treva who traveled the country with him in costumes she made herself. They soon wed on February 3, 1936 in Louisiana. (Treva passed away on Oct. 6, 2006 at the age of 95).
Due to mismanagement and lack of experienced help, the show was closed down with the tent and a portion of the equipment sold at a considerable loss.
The following season he started a magic show "Sensation of 1935" which played theaters and auditoriums with success. This show traveled around the country which he would feature a Blindfold Drive as an outdoor advertising stunt.
Mel-Roy semi-retired to Los Angeles, California in 1950.
- ↑ http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ctoddyoung&id=I6632
- ↑ http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=capenoch&id=I205988
- ↑ http://search.ancestry.com/mercury/pages/recordlist.aspx?did=17&pidlist=5180-3384876_3693-28313308_1174-2026924_1075-926547_7488-4017844844_7884-7843395_1263-3774840&o_iid=39552&o_lid=39552&o_sch=Web+Property
- ↑ Linking Ring, Vol. 29, February 1950 - Mel-Roy, Radio Mentalist By C. A. Franks