Shake Dancers Vs. Burlesque Dancers

La Bommie, or GLoria Howard as scanned from the October 29, 1953 issue of Jet magazine.

Some people take offense when the term ‘shake dancer’ is associated with African American dancers in 1920-50s burlesque-type entertainment.  And I can see why,  as many view the term as a separate title created and used only for ‘Sepia Queens’ — as the ladies were frequently called.   While there is little doubt discrimination was… Continue reading Shake Dancers Vs. Burlesque Dancers

Fanne Foxe

Fanne Foxe Born in Argentina, to Italian parents, Fanne was an exemplary student and originally attended medical school before venturing into show business. She was married to pianist Eduardo Battistella, and the couple, along with their children, moved to the United States to work at Machu Picchu club in Miami. Unfortunately, the club closed after… Continue reading Fanne Foxe

Pink Pussycat: College of Strip Tease

Cover of the 1962 brochure advertising the School of Strip Tease at the famous Pink Pussycat club.

This is a 1962 brochure for the College of Strip Tease that was held at the Pink Pussycat club, which was located at 7969 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood.   The club was owned by Harry and Alice Schiller.  At night the club was a lavish night spot, but during the day it transformed into the… Continue reading Pink Pussycat: College of Strip Tease

1/2 & 1/2 Burlesque Acts

One of the most popular ‘gimmicks’ in burlesque was the 1/2 and 1/2 act, where a dancer played 2 characters.  Sometimes the dancer’s costume was simply split down the middle, but more elaborate acts were done with the dancer working a dummy or a puppet to portray the 2nd character.  And on occasion,  a split… Continue reading 1/2 & 1/2 Burlesque Acts

Leazar “Baby” Scruggs

Cover of the Paris to Piccadilly show that made Baby Scruggs a sensation in London.

Leazar’s mother was Irene Scruggs, the famous delta blues singer who also performed under the pseudonym Chocolate Brown.  Though little is known of her early life, Leazar was most likely born in 1920 in Saint Louis, Missouri.  The only known record of her childhood is the 1930 US census, which recorded a 10 year old… Continue reading Leazar “Baby” Scruggs

Satan’s Angels & the Devil’s Mistresses

Satan's Angel from the 1950s. This is not Angel Walker, of fire tassel fame. This woman was based out of Chicago and was using the stage name Satan's Angel in the 1950s.

This post idea has been brewing in my  mind for sometime, and given the Devil/Satan theme,  what better time of the year than Halloween?!?! When most people  think of Satan’s Angel or The Devil’s Mistress, in conjunction with burlesque, they immediately think of the lovely Angel Walker of fire Tassel fame.  She is by far… Continue reading Satan’s Angels & the Devil’s Mistresses

Devil’s Night

I grew up in Detroit, MI and the night before Halloween was referred to as ‘Devil’s Night’ and was a night for pranks and mischief.  But when I moved south, and would mention Devil’s Night, no one knew what I was talking about.   So for those imps that celebrate it, here are some Devilishly… Continue reading Devil’s Night

USO Camp Shows

Unknown dancer performing in a USO sponsored show for the troops.

Many dancers, and other performers, at some point in their career toured withe the USO – United Service Organizations.  The USO is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1941 to provided services,  including live entertainment, to the troops and their families.   Originally founded to assist and entertain troops during WWII, the organization was… Continue reading USO Camp Shows

Censored: Blocked Photos

Despite  truly offensive pages dedicated to ‘slut shaming’, racism, violence and many other topics, here is your chance to see the photos that were deemed too racy for your Burlesque viewing-pleasure!!     Well, there you have it….the four shocking images that have been deemed obscene.  Since the last two images have been posted, the… Continue reading Censored: Blocked Photos