Books by Jim Linderman

Books by Jim Linderman
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True Burlesque Brown Skin Exotics! Black Burlesque Queens

Black and Brown Burlesque  Brown Skin Exotics and the Tinted Double Cover of Calvacade of Burlesque 1954

Actually, I have no idea if THIS Mary Mack was a woman of color, though she is exotic, the buzz word for anyone back then peeling it off who wasn't of European extraction.  There WAS a brown skin Mary Mack working in a "colored review" around 1920, but  this isn't her.  Maybe this Mary named herself after the original Mary Mack?

The Savannah Club was operated by Joe Schiavone and located in Greenwich Village.  68 West Third Street.  A block from Washington Square Park, just off Laguardia Place.  It is currently an Indonesian Coffee Shop named Kopi-Kopi and it features a COFFEE AVOCADO MILKSHAKE, so they are still "mixing" things well.

Because no libraries had this magazine, it has never been indexed and there may be some relatives who would like to see these images of their beautiful ground-breaking ancestors, the names are added here.


Venus La Doll
Betty Brisbane
La Bomme
Mary Alexander
China Doll
Mary Smith (Not Illustrated)

Enjoy this historical article on the Savannah Club.  Calvacade of Burlesque September 1954.


True Burlesque The Original Garter Girl Lynne O'Neil poses

True Burlesque The Original Garter Girl Lynne O'Neil  poses.  Original photograph No date, circa 1950  Collection Jim Linderman

True Burlesque Vintage Rubber Drink Glass toppers!

True Burlesque Vintage Rubber Drink Glass toppers!  Bettie Page lower right.  
Collection Jim Linderman

Satira the Burlesque Murderer True Burlesque by Jim Linderman

Above Illustrator Jay Watson envisions a chorus girl at the Silver Palm here in 1947 for a "true expose" which ran in the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1947.  I don't think that the press used exploitation to sell papers will surprise you.

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

Books and Ebooks by the author available HERE.

Forgotten Black Burlesque Queen Ruby Richards True Burlesque

Today, brought back to life from black and tan burlesque heaven is Ruby Richards.  AKA "The Black Pearl" and once called "Sloe-eyed Ruby" by a smut magazine.  What?  I had to look it up.  It means having eyes shaped like almonds.  Well, I'm glad that racial slur is gone.  She also performed under the name "Curlytop" which which might also be a bit arcane, but they might be referring to her hat, not her hair.  See Below.  Jet Magazine March 5, 1953.

Ruby was called one other thing…"The sexiest gal on Broadway in years" so why don't we know about her?  Let's blame Jim Crow.  Ruby performed under Jim Crow like several generations of astounding talent so we missed it.

The Black Pearl name came from her appearance as just that in a giant oyster shell she emerged from in a stage act at the Paris Folies Bergere.  Researching Ruby's story, I have seen a few pictures online, but not many…par for the whole course with a woman of color from the golden days.  We can triple the search results here!  When one of you creates a Wikipedia page for the performer, cite my article.  Wiki thinks what we do here is spam.  However, because the "legitimate" sources were as racist as the rest of the country, we have a problem here.  Unless Wiki starts to realize there is history which wasn't reported by the "papers of record" we'll be reliving ignorance all over again, this time on their often wrong encyclopedia.

What CAN be learned, thankfully, comes often from Jet Magazine, lifeblood and bible for the African-American nation within a nation.  Thank God for Jet. Ruby was singing and dancing for years but you won't read much about her except in the race magazines of the 1950s.  Jet, Hue...and probably ephemeral smut magazines like the pictures I found here.  

The photos above ran in a magazine alongside an article with "Those Nude Pics of Sheree North" who is the woman who played Kramer's mom on Seinfield decades later.  I see Wiki has missed that too...and she was on the COVER.  My point is made.  There is history in flea markets, and Wiki is missing it.   

Ruby was signed to the Latin Quarter by BARBARA WALTER'S FATHER Lou Walters.  Good for him, and we can congratulate Barbara for her long career in journalism.  Did you know Barbara's dad was a showbiz maven with an eye for female talent and once ran entertainment at the Tropicana Casino in Vegas? 
Ruby was born in the West Indies and moved to France apparently around 1950.  Before the Latin Quarter gig, she was a Cotton Club dancer and singer.  She was no dummy.  She saved her earnings and invested in Harlem real estate. She studied Voice at the French Conservatory of Music. I don't believe anyone has yet made the web connection with Ruby Richards and Ruby dancing…here with Louis Jordan.  Enjoy! 

In the middle of her career, Ruby is reported to have changed her name to ZI ZI RICHARDE for some reason.  I have no idea why…but it could have been to escape her lovely vocal here with Hot Lips Page's I Bongo You!   Hot Lips would "bongo" her.  She would "bongo" back!
Jim Linderman is the author of True Burlesque the Blog. Some of his books and affordable ebooks are available HERE