Monday, July 28, 2014
Satira Dances at the Silver Palm A True Burlesque Murder
In the piece, Patricia Stone (as told to Jack Stone and Peter Levins) which was subtitled "A Gay Little Dancer Begins Her Bitter Trip to Disillusionment and Heartbreak" began with dancing lessons. For a time, our hero became " the most sought after model in one of the largest art schools in the world, The Art Institute of Chicago" while learning to dance spanish dances and the hindu. She was tagged a "$50 dollar a week girl" and stuck in the chorus.
Patricia Stone was from Toledo, Ohio. Chicago was the big town. She was 21.
On 1946, Ms. Stone runs into Bill Mathews, who booked the strip clubs in Chicago, and she took a one week stand at the Silver Palm which turned into 7 months. the Silver Palm was located under the L tracks. A dump which kept two books to avoid paying cabaret taxes.
She perfected a Chinese routine, for which she made her own costume, and added arched eyebrows to her almond shaped eyes. She danced under the name "Satira" while earning the rent…a ten dollar a week room in the Majestic Hotel.
In seven months, she had one night off. She was not allowed to have desserts.
And so it goes…one of hundreds of show girl exposes which fed the postwar need for titillation. The serialized article, provided by the press syndicate "American Weekly" really functioned as filler for the advertisements. The papers, then and now, made their money on ads for shoe stores and such. The content was there only to deliver the pitches. High journalistic standards are often ruled by money.
Of course, the news story proceeds as you might expect. A murder, and our 21 year old with almond eyes pulled the trigger. Satira did it, and she was put on trial in Havana. How the hell did a stripper from Toledo, Ohio end up on trial for murder in Cuba? You can look it up…suffice to say the fellow she shot, one John Mee, was a bad poet and former PT boat commander. Married (of course) who named his boat after her and took the dancer to the Caribbean. He tricked her out to the clubs in Cuba, which at the time, Pre-Castro, was a Mob-run cesspool of sordid sex and drink catering to American tourists. Where, according to the court, he practiced "unusual sex" on the dancer. It appears Mr. Mee, her victim, had left behind writings which indicated those perversions. That part we leave to your imagination. We will say he "manhandled" her and the dancer had the bruises to prove it. Of course, the lawyers for the other side suggested she beat herself to beat the rap.
Satira was convicted, and described by the judge as a "nymph" said the papers, but I suppose he called her a nymph in Spanish. Not only that, the ruling criticized her for walking around the victim's yacht nude.
Cuba, like most countries, had no death penalty and she was given 15 years. The president of Cuba pardoned her after 18 months and she returned to the stage in Chicago, but jumped up to a new tax bracket. $3000 a week.
Serialized version of THE YACHT is HERE
The Silver Palm avoids paying taxes HERE
Photograph of the Silver Palm HERE
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Thursday, July 17, 2014
A True Burlesque hard working anonymous burlesquer supplements her income with a home visit. "Bring your trunk…" The major pornographers of the day (that being 1955 or so…) were Leonard Burtman and Irving Klaw, and quite likely a majority of the models they employed for photo shoots came from the stage…or those who failed to make it there. Thousands of young women aspired to show business, and for many it was no picnic. VERY Few reached the top. Most made the rent with modeling jobs on the side.
Trio of anonymous photographs circa 1955 Collection Victor Minx
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Sunday, July 13, 2014
Untitled (Anonymous) True Burlesque Circa 1950 Collection Vic Minx
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Thursday, July 10, 2014
True Burlesque take a rest! Chorus only. A hard worker rests her tired dogs. Anonymous photograph no date. Collection Victor Minx.
Monday, July 7, 2014
True Burlesque visits the Red Barn with Jewel Dee!
Jewell Dee stripped in Miami in 1950 and 1951. Other peelers she appeared with are Dark Venus, Tiny Smith and Penny Art. She worked The Red Barn and later the Harem Club (with one Lusty Le Lure)
In 1949, New Orleans had banned burlesque for a time, and the girls all packed up and moved to Miami.
Miss Dee was apparently from Illinois, as there is a promotional picture indicating her address was in Centerville Station, IL. She was pert.
The Red Barn was "a termite riddled old farm building done over for show purposes according to the Cabaret Quarterly. It was located just outside the city limits, so the shows were more raunchy. Consequently, arrests which coincided with election season were common for both the dancers and the owner. Next to the club was a tiny zoo with a monkey and an elephant.
As you can see, Miss Dee had two promotional handouts…one clothed, the other less so.
Show business which skirted the law.
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Monday, June 9, 2014
The vixen of venomous vipers. Lonnie Young. Snake Charmer of Burlesque. Shown here in undated and uncredited photographs, she traveled with a menagerie of wild animals and performed with a snake (while the house band performed appropriate slinky music.)
One article reports a typical day in the life of Lonnie: A wire story from 1954. "Prancing about in Putnam Valley, N.Y. yesterday was a puma, a dancer, some newsmen--and a press agent. The dancer, Lonnie Young, 26, apparently keeps the puma--a pint sized panther--in her hotel room. Miss Young said she was switching her nightclub act with a python to the puma--only she didn't know. Just the other day, she said, the puma took a bite out of her arm. Anyway, with the newsmen present, the dancer let the puma out of his cage. The puma roared and the news hounds retreated. Miss Young cracked a whip. The puma merely looked annoyed and seem to toy with the idea of taking another bit out of his mistress' arm. According to witnesses, a piece of lacy lingerie saved the day. Miss Young tossed the garment into the bathroom and the puma bounded after it. Miss Young slammed and locked the door. The cage was shoved in front of the door, the door was opened, and the puma raced into her cage.Thinking it over, Miss Young said, she guessed she'd stick to plain old pythons"
In 1957 Gossip slinger and likely murder victim Dorothy Kilgallen reported "dancer Lonnie Young caused a lot of rubbery necks at the Plaza the other night. She was wearing a suit made of patent leather." Kinky. Windbag Walter Winchell also reported on Lonnie's antics. The Broadway Blabbermouth reported on Lonnie arriving in a huge, chauffer-driven cadillac provided by "John Gorman, another wealthy Texan." I am going to guess Mr. Gorman was an animal lover.
To see a collection of snake dancers from the century before, see HERE
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Monday, May 19, 2014
Today True Burlesque under the heading of "Who else posed for Irving Klaw" we have La Savona. AKA Svetia Goode. La Savona came down to the House of Klaw, ran through her routine (which included flexing through a veil and spreading her legs) then apparently came back and did another with the whip. Klaw's inventory had no less than 100 images of her for sale.
Shown here are a few dozen of the "proto jpegs" the sleaze merchant used in his catalog to promote them, but after years of searching for dingy originals on eBay, not many turn up. I am afraid La Savona was not really an earner for Irving, though he may have had only about $25 into it.
Savona is a city in Italy, not France, but it sounds French. Good enough. The exotic La Savona was Hungarian, though one source pegs her has Czech. Their history is complicated, but Frolic Magazine in 1957 said she was from Prague. Frolic put together their content from press releases, but we'll trust them here.
America. The Land of Opportunity, and we welcome all. At least, we did once.
In 1955, Billboard Magazine reports her dancing in New York. Here she bills herself as "The Flame of Paris" which of course she was not. Three years later she was still doing the exotic dance in Canada. Two years later? In PIttsburgh, where she was "The Fabulous La Savona" and fresh from the Seattle World's Fair. She was also billed as "The Modern Schehrazade" but certainly the highlight of her career had to be the cover of Caberet Quarterly, Industry Bible for peelers.
Guess what? As of a few years ago, La Savona was still kicking. She appears in the Behind the Burley Q documentary in 2010.
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