Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lily Christine Stands UP True Burlesque





Lilly Christine, the Cat Woman who did so many sit-ups she died (true...see story HERE) and Carrie Finnell, the woman who invented the strip tease (true...see story here) on the same stage. I don't know where the 500 Club is, but I'm THERE.

Actually, I do know where the 500 Club was, and I wish I was there now. Bourbon Street. Lilly had a long run there, not in her stockings. She was house act for a long time. Lilly had a 37C-22-35 figure and worked for it. She performed a voodoo love potion dance and crawled around like a cat. Carrie by this time had put on a few pounds, but she could still shake them...each in a different direction.

Lilly Christine Cardboard Stand Up circa 1955 Collection Victor Minx

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stripper Texas Sheridan "Walks the Streets" True Burlesque


Texas Sheridan poses near an unfortunate sign.  Perhaps that is why her career didn't go too far, though she was a pretty young woman.  Texas, (real name missing in action) had red hair, though for some reason was billed as the YELLOW rose of Texas.  She was also a favorite in Youngstown, Ohio and performed on the same bill as "The King of the Banjo" but seldom, if ever, achieved top billing.  Not much of a legacy.  Oh... and she lived in Houston Texas, not Sheridan, Texas.

 Books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman available HERE

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bubbles Darlene makes Lady Gaga look like a Thrift Store Shopper True Burlesque





"Bubbles Darlene" was an exotic dancer, though she described herself once to Nashville police as a "strip teaser."  Bubbles had the real name of Virginia Lachimia and was a busty platinum blond with considerable talents originally from Minneapolis.  She studied as a ballet dancer, but found burlesque paid more.   In 1955, while performing her act, someone broke into her hotel room and swiped her entire suitcase of risque photographs "including some nudes taken in Cuba" and she was forced to take out a classified ad in the local newspaper offering $500  for their safe return.  (She was out of luck… they were never found.)  Bubbles even claimed once to have danced with a 22 piece orchestra in Cuba, and who would doubt this woman?   She was also arrested in Cuba for walking around Havana in a see-through raincoat. 


Today, Bubbles is recognized as one of the classic burlesque dancers, and an often seen photograph of her posing in a hat made of ram's horns makes Lady Gaga look like a thrift store model.


The book here, a bogus "art study" the type of which is told in Proto Porn was confiscated from a bookstore owner in 1957 and while he was charged with other titles, the jury let him off for the Bubbles book.

IN response to one of those tired "best dressed women" puff pieces, Damon Runyun, Jr. once named her one of the "ten best undressed women of America" although she kept on a "fifty dollar g-string" covered in rhinestones.  Her first professional name was Sheri Darlene, but it wasn't long before Harold Minskly dubbed her Bubbles.  At some gigs in Miami, a bubble machine was put in front of the joint she was working to attract business.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Venus the Body Jean Smyle Goes to Stripper School True Burlesque AND a Missing Book




CLICK TO ENLARGE The Senate Investigates Venus and her Strippers School

Venus, AKA Venus the Body AKA Venus the Body Beautiful AKA Jean Smyle appeared in two films.  Dreamland Capers, in which she played herself as a stripper, and Peek A Boo in which she played herself as a stripper.  Both were little more than crude films of a typical burlesque show from the 1950s.  Venus had a specialty, it was implying the grind on a chair.

Her greatest accomplishment,  certainly, was earning her "SA degree" for strip appeal at the School for Strippers.  Here is Venus in the center learning to perform while not hitting her head in one of the low ceiling joints they would be appearing in.  I found it on the web with no source.  Why would she "take classes" at her own school? 

The expanding sleaze press of the mid 1940s to the late 1950s were desperate for any material which showed pretty women skirting the censor.  A school for strippers was perfect, and the publicity machine churned out several versions of this story.  You can search some up yourself, but you will have to edit out pictures of Venus the tennis player (now THAT is a body) and Venus the razor.  I have one here published in an entirely different magazine, three years from the above…and guess what?  One caption reads "Venus the Body returns for a refresher course."  Um hmm.  Continuing education.  And then AGAIN in a wire story which ran in newspapers across the country, but she is called "faculty member" in that  one.  There was yet another wire story which reported the tuition was $150 for 15 weeks.

Here is  Venus the Body's rear end (really) from one of those little 12 picture "strip" sets in which a model starts out dressed and ends up still dressed, but not quite as much.  The sets were sold for about a buck each to lonely guys.  I am not sure which lesson number this depicts, not having the degree…but I would assign a degree of difficulty of 10.

Venus apparently compiled her strip secrets into a book I can't find.  Checks were to be made out to just plain VENUS on Melrose Avenue, or to VENUS FRANCESCO on Sunset Boulevard.  $2.98. There was a third address on Hollywood Boulevard.  Maybe they had three campus locations!  As you can see here, it was the one on Hollywood which came to the attention of government censors.  Actually, the school, if there really was one, which I doubt, appears here to have been in the basement of the New Follies Theater, a burly joint located on South Main Street in Los Angeles…where both of the films mentioned above were shot.

Lillian Hunt took care of the girls at the New Follies…that is queen mom directing the action above.  She has been called manager, choreographer, producer, operator, director and even legendary, but what she really did was keep them in line and help with their problems.  I would call her a good old fashioned promoter and huckster.   Lillian is also said to have directed at least ten films, including the ones Venus was in, as well as  Kiss Me Baby (1957) The A-B-C's of Love (1954) and Everybody's Girl (1951)

Lillian Hunt also used the name Mrs. DeVoe and she was married at one time to a comic named Leon DeVoe.  Here is Lillian's better half, doped up as a cowboy teaching Venus how to wave a gun, from yet another hard-hitting expose of the school in Uncensored Magazine, August 1954.

If anyone has a copy of the book, I sure would like to see it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Orlando's Own TONI DAWN! True Burlesque


Toni Dawn of Orlando!  Introducing the new site TRUE BURLESQUE with the best stripper name EVER!  You can't make this stuff up, but you CAN pay the two-drink minimum, Mac.
 
I hate to bring up Labor day, as the end of summer is a drag, but there is ONE good thing about it.  The Labor Day Telethon!  I usually stay up all night mesmerized.  Certainly, the show has been left in apt hands with affable humanitarian Tony Orlando, formerly of Tony Orlando and Dawn.  But did Tony know he had an imposter running around shedding her clothes under his name? 

I give you TONI DAWN of ORLANDO Florida! 

Mr Orlando could certainly have sued the woman, though I find no evidence that he did.  I wonder if she stripped down to a tied yellow ribbon?


Original Newspaper advertisement for Toni Dawn (No Date, circa 1965?)  Collection Victor Minx

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Killed by a Snake True Burlesque Eight minutes of Venom


On March 7, 1955 German born stripper Frieda Hoxter (also reported as Hoxer) died of a snake bite obtained while performing under the stage name of Princess Naja.

Princess Naja used three snakes in her act, one of whom was a murderer. Or the person who sold her the snake without removing the venom was, but only the snake was charged...taken to the Baltimore Municipal Zoo after the attack. Captain Elmer Bowen of the Baltimore police declared the reptile a "public menace" and ordered it confined.

Naja was only 25 at the time. I hate to judge her, but how stupid do you have to be to dance around undressed with a poisonous snake? Certainly as stupid as those snake handlers in Appalachia who take the biblical passage "They shall take up serpents" literally (a few of them have died as well) if not more so.

Princess Naja was bitten on her left arm during a performance, then completed the show. Or you could say said she "finished shedding" (sorry) and put the snake back in a box before asking for help. Big mistake. The eight minute delay contributed to her death. A death, I might add, in an iron lung machine not long after. Not a glamorous death, but then lugging dirty laundry and three snakes from joint to joint isn't too great either.




This wasn't even the first run-in for the snake. Several months earlier, the cobra had escaped from Princess Naja's bag in her room and police were called to track it down. The snake, a five-footer, caused 13 people to be evacuated from the apartment building where "Menagerie Naja" was holed up. Whether those evacuated enjoyed the performance is not reported. Maybe the Captain should have confiscated the snake then.

"Snake Strip" is the show biz term for a performer who peels off her clothes while manipulating a snake. According to Cabaret Magazine in June 1955, the "snake-strip" was catching on in "off-beat spots" and most dancers obtained their snakes from "The Snake King" in Brownsville Texas. Literally, "Snake King", as that was his last name. William Abraham King. A wild animal importer, he supplied carnivals and sideshows. I do not know where Princess Naja obtained her animals.

There was another Princess Naja, this one from Ballston Spa, New York performing for Bill McGary's Side Show and Glamour Girl Revue in the 1940s, but she might not have been as stupid as Frieda, as I can find no record of her being fanged to death by her own co-star.

Naja used two cobras and a python in her act. If she had only used the python, she might be dancing today.

Snake dancers go way back...in fact here is a group of turn of the century "snakeologists" I used to own but donated to the ICP museum for a forthcoming show on the photographer Frank Wendt.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Burlesque Hall of Fame Fundraiser

Help the Burlesque Hall of Fame preserve their collection HERE

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dixie Evans Scandal True Burlesque


Dixie Evans is today a living burlesque legend…curator of the Burlesque Hall of Fame, featured in the film "Behind the Burly Q"  and more…literally the face of the idealized burlesque revival.  Not only that, Ms. Evans was one of the most beautiful women working in any profession at any time…a classic beauty to rival any or all.  Just look at that face.  I would cast her in marble…forget a Hollywood B movie.

But there was a shadow in Dixie's past, and it was a scandal some fifty years ago.  At the time, in movies, magazines, and even comic books women tied to trees were as common as Tarzan romping with Cheetah,  but still this is pretty dicey stuff.

Flame digest questioned if "the so-called "naughty" picture profession nixed the chances of Dixie Evans for cinema stardom?"  The brief article implies that pictures like these (censored for the blog) may emerge, and that is preventing Dixie from getting the work she deserves.  Flame was published in the mid 1950s…undated, but one of the small booklets slapped together and used to promote the burlesque business along the route.

Could be…not only are the pictures nude, but they depict a very young Dixie done up in chains and roped to a pole.  Tough stuff.  That she was a beautiful girl, even if she doesn't look too happy in the photographs, can not be denied.  But were good roles available to girls tied to poles…nude?  Certainly not in the 1950s.  Today?  Looking like this Dixie would need several agents working around the clock.

The clothed photograph above is taken from an extremely rare bondage digest from the 1950s titled Silk Stockings Stories.  It was privately printed "in an edition of 1000" possibly by mobster Edward Mishkin around 1955 and did not circulate long, and then probably only in Times Square bookshops.  When Best Unusual Photography posted the beautiful clothed photograph above on a website,  no less than the Burlesque Hall of Fame put out a request for a copy of the original calling the photo "super risque and super rare" and they were right.   I don't think they'll have the others here in the collection either…
Silk Stockings Stories No Date Collection Jim Linderman
I suppose we will never know if Dixie's career would have been different if the photographs had not circulated in certain unsavory circles.  We do know, given the general acceptance of Bettie Page in bondage (and hundreds of lesser talents recreating them today) it should not have hurt her career in the least.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame website, which is highly recommended, is HERE.


Text and research Jim Linderman

Friday, August 10, 2012

Scrumulent as in Scrumulent , Suzette the Delectable True Burlesque


The closest I can find to SCRUMULENT is comulent, which Lisa Simpson invented in 1996.  Let's all push for getting scrumulent in the dictionary next year.  I can propose a definition, and hope one day to go down in the Oxford English Dictionary for being the first to use the word in a sentence.  Which I just did, but I'll do another one for posterity.

"Suzette, a delectable dish of a stripper, was totally, like, scrumulent."

The word means "describing a woman as a succulent, sexcellent delectable dish, i.e. Suzette" 




The Lost Life of a Burlesque Star True Burlesque

There were thousands of anonymous women working in the smut business. Here is just one of many, and her tale represents all. An unfinished portrait of Lilly La Mont, slightly gap-toothed Half-Native American stripper, prostitute, model and B-girl from the 1950s. A heavy drinker with mystery nicknames who "packed them into a Greenwich Village nightclub for not for long..." A woman I hope to put a real name to, and representing a thousand hard-working young women in a far from glamorous industry. Despite the retro resurgence of "pin-up culture" and so-called "glamour" photography, these sexual pioneers and independent woman would have a few things to say about glamour. Living out of trunks, at the mercy of crooked theater owners, working for pennies in smoke and alcohol-drenched spaces in front of drunken, hormonal, often desperate men? Show business.

 Lilly is today a cypher and ghost pinup, but one who was likely the first muse for "Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill" film maker Russ Meyer, who found, lost and never quite got over her. All the model left behind is a few stag films, some portrait fragments, a publicity still or two, a magazine cover which inspired a tattoo artist 50 years later and the scarce mail-order brochures shown here.
Lilly La Mont, real name unknown, was referred to as "The Alaskan Heat Wave" in Time Magazine, yet whether she ever stepped foot in the 49th state is unknown. She did perform with a dead polar bear on stage. At one time, as she was stripping in a Portland, Oregon club called Star Burlesque (where she turned tricks on the side) Lilly would put on a regular private show for a wealthy patron who had her dance nude as he lay in a coffin watching, a story she shared with Russ Meyer who used it as the opening for his film "Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens" 25 years after she told him the story.

Lilly appeared in the legendary "lost" film Meyer made for the owner of the El Ray Burlesque Theater in 1950, a pseudo-documentary known variously as "French Peep Show" or "French Postcards" which preceded what is generally understood as Meyer's first proper (improper) film "The Immoral Mr. Teas." In a Time magazine article about the trend in "nudie" pictures, La Mont is described by Meyer as having "a socko twin pair of casabas with corralling-cleavage capable of hiding Johnny Bench's catcher's mitt." The phrase also appears in Meyer's massive three volume autobiography "A Clean Breast" still in print ten years after the master's death and still giving the Fedex man a hernia.

"French Peep Show" was a vehicle for bombshell burlesque queen Tempest Storm, but Lilly played bit part showing her parts. Her name follows Tempest's on the poster. Interestingly, French Peep Show may have also spotlighted another disappearing beauty, Dawn Danielle, profiled here later. (Whose actual fake name was Dawn Denielle.)

A year after Meyer filmed Lilly the "pneumatic terper" he found her again and convinced her to pose for some nude shots. One suspects it wasn't too difficult, as she immediately asked for lotion to shine up her breasts and later posed for a splendid self-portrait (with timer) of the two. Meyer rests his head on her breasts. It is one of the few self-portraits Meyer put in his book. He also commissioned cartoonist Bill Ward to illustrate her coffin story.

A few years earlier...(or later?) Lilly somehow landed a continuing role on a CBS radio show called "Hollywood Madness" where she met met George Tirebiter, B movie film director. She married him for a short time, but the divorce came after he supposedly dated Marilyn Monroe. In 1950 it is reported she turned him in during the communist witch hunt to save her own lovely skin, and appeared in the film "Yesterday's Sunset" as Baby Heather, a former dancer. No stretch. The film was a moderate success, earning a nomination or two for Academy awards but certainly none for Lilly.

Dancer Dixie Evans remembers finding Lilly years later in Providence, Rhode Island. In Jimmy McDonough's "Big Bosoms and Square Jaws" she laments La Mont's disappearance. "She was staying at this cheap broken-down hotel..." and recalls both on their way to "entertain" the governor of New York and his friends. They had requested Lilly after seeing her on a burlesque poster. Evans says Lilly could hardly drive ten miles without stopping for a drink.

Later Lilly was reported living in a bungalow at the El Encanto Hotel, where she may have spent her remaining days in a drunken haze.
Some sources have Lilly dancing as early as the 1930s, and yet she appeared on the cover of the French "Follies De Paris Hollywood" pictorial pinup magazine in 1952, and our phantom beauty is referred to as "the most explosive girl in Canada" at the time. This image of Lilly was turned into a piece of contemporary art 40 years later by Mexican tattoo artist Jeronimo Lopez Ramirez, who works under the name of Dr. Lakra. In a striking piece (and inadvertent tribute to a woman who was surely anonymous to the artist) Dr. Lakra covered a pinup of La Mont with intricate ink designs, a piece which was exhibited at the Musem of Modern Art.

Here the story ends. One internet site desperately asks for more information.

We can only hope Miss Lilly La Mont did not end up like another of Meyer's prominent models, the lovely Yvette Vickers, whose mummified body was found a year after her death in 2011 by a woman who found cobwebs across her front door. Vickers was one of Meyer's three Playboy centerfolds in 1959.

Lilly La Mont Mystery of the Alaskan Heat Wave is by Jim Linderman
Do not reproduce without permission.
Linderman's books and ebooks are available HERE at Blurb and Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books
Folies de Paris et de Hollywood  Magazine Collection Victor Minx
"Lady Bountiful" brochure Collection Jim Linderman


 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Park Burlesk Youngstown Ohio True Burlesque

The beautiful New Park Burlesk in Youngstown avoids paying union dues to performers by running an "Amateur Strip Tease Contest" which was not only cheaper for the owner (a crook) it brought in new, often young and broke women.  Senior Citizen's special!

The New Park was same as the old Park.  A filthy grind which ran from noon to midnight, showing horrible pornography while the women were resting (or working in the parking lot, I hate to say)  At least parking was free!

Original newspaper ad for the New Park Theater, Youngstown, Ohio.  No Date.  Collection Victor Minx.

 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fathema Testifies Against Joey Doves, Mobster True Burlesque



Unlikely hero Anita Lopushok (who performed under the name Fathema) prepares to testify before a Senate Investigations subcommittee in 1962. More about Fathema later...suffice to say she was a stripper who was not treated well. Before awarding Anita the credit she deserves, let's look at the climate in which she performed.

Cicero, Illinois was named for a noble Roman statesman, but they have hardly lived up to their name ever since Al Capone moved there to avoid arrest. Cicero was a pit of hell.


A UPI story from June 15, 1962 reports the investigator for the Cook County state's attorney's office, Roswell T. Spencer, told the U.S. Senate that clubs like those of Joseph "Doves" Aiuppa, a reputed mobster who owned the Magic Lounge, the Cermak Club, the Frolics Lounge, the Turf Lounge and the Towne Hotel, ALL in Cicero, treated their customers like mud. "...Cheating, robbing and gouging them... taking their money from them by any means necessary, from exorbitant prices and B-drinking to jack-rolling and knock-out drugs." says Spencer.


I have to say the last thing I'm looking for on a night out is a Jack-rolling.


Bad enough? According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, Martin Luther King didn't dare protest in Cicero! King had courage which certainly exceeded that of most men, but in the 1960s, a few years after Ms. Lopushok above was testifying, King and his organization wanted to march for civil rights and open housing in Cicero, but the King was hit by a rock there on a visit. There was additional violence when a local Cicero high school tried to integrate. But this post is not about equality under the law...it's about strippers!


Cicero was a perfect place for strip joints.

Owner Aiuppa showed up at the Senate hearings, I assume, because he was asked...but he had nothing to say in his defense. The Fifth Amendment. So Subcommitte chairman John McClellan had a few words for the businessman. "You are a cheap racketeer, a parasite, living off the flesh and blood of human beings." Senator McClellan could call them with accuracy.

The brave beehived Lopushok also testified, and on a bigger stage than the dank mob-run slime pits where she was employed. The 22 year old exotic dancer may have had not the most noble profession to admit to in 1962, but she did. Lopushok, in public, in the nation's capitol, with cameras rolling, told about being forced to hustle the sale of overpriced drinks to patrons. About being forced to continuing dancing after her costume was torn off her body and then being told "now finish." by a club owner. Finally, about being tricked into giving up her own 1-year old daughter for adoption (a ring which was being investigated...I guess the mob wanted to sell babies along with over-priced drinks) and being threatened with "crime syndicate violence" when she tried to get her own child back.


Here is a nice little picture of Joey "Doves" Aiuppa, who acquired his mob-name by being arrested with 563 frozen doves in the trunk of his car. It was hunting season, but the limit was 24.




Photograph of Anita Lopushok Original Press Photo "Daily News Sat. Arrow" Property of Newspaper Divison June 1962, cropped. (Original AP Wire Photo) Collection Jim Linderman.

Photo of Joey "Doves" from Wikipedia.
 

Anonymous in the Dark True Burlesque

Collection Jim Linderman

















































I really don't know why the photographs of burlesque dancers (okay, let's be real...strippers) I find so often have one pervy guy watching. Well..put a game face atop your gams and get out there girl! You never know, lonely guy here might have a loaded wallet, even if he is on the clock and the matinee show is the only one he can make without the wife finding out. Don't pick up a pack of the club matchbooks, dude.To see another dancer, likely of THIS decade, entertaining one solitary wanker, see HERE As in the previous post, I've isolated the fellow with my high-optic technology so you can more easily make fun of him, and you can see his two-drink minimum is about done.

Trudy Wayne True Burlesque

COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN
A backstage snapshot of Gertrude Goldberg. Not much of a stripper name, so let's call her Trudy Wayne. Trudy posed for Irving Klaw, the pin-up king...and was featured in a film you may have missed titled "Buxom Beautease" in 1956. Get it? Beau-tease?

Original Snapshot Trudy Wayne, early 1950s, Collection Victor Minx

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Hap Ray of Kansas City True Burlesque

COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN
The rules of burlesque. An original backstage snapshot which provides some guidelines for the girls. Kansas City, 1953, and from the collection of one Happy Ray, a former burlesque comic and emcee turned manager of Connie Ray (which if the photograph I find of Mrs. Ray is true, Happy got lucky...REAL lucky.

Digging around lets you follow Hap's career a bit, with things like "Happy Ray after 12 weeks on the Empire Burly circuit...joined Boob Brasfields company in stock."


The photo, which I purchased from photograph dealer Stonewarezilla on eBay shows a theater manager in Kansas City. Clown feet at left...but I was most interested in the sign of rules.

Kansas City is hardly a place one would think rules mattered too much (being the place where they "got some crazy little women there and I'm going to get me one" after all) but I guess even in somewhat "open" towns the nipple is no no.


In fact, this very sign is mentioned in the book "Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show" by Rachel Shteir on page 248. Ms. Shteir is my kind of writer...in addition to Striptease she's just published a history of shoplifting!

"Net Pants" were nylons which covered the g-string. Net Pants? Pfft. It certainly didn't say anything about net pants on the poster out front!

COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN
Original Snapshot, 1953 Kansas City Backstage at the Folly (Burlesque) Theatre, ex-collection Happy Ray Collection Victor Minx

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Sol Goodman of Baltimore True Burlesque

Sol Goodman herds "trainees" out of his classy joint the Two O'Clock.  "Get home safe girls."
Sol Goodman ran major stable of burlesque stripper product.  He made a good living owning the Gayety theater in Baltimore, until he complained "movies ruined it" by which I suppose he means stag films, by which I suppose he means horny guys in trench coats could get more visual action with a projector and a white sheet hung on the wall of the gas station just out of town (where I saw MY first stag) rather than in one of his clubs.  Still, the "Block" in Baltimore where Sol had his dumps persisted for decades.

Sol's greatest accomplishment was changing Fanny Belle Fleming's name to Blaze Starr and putting her on the stage in his other dump the Two O'Clock Club, smack dab in the middle of Baltimore's red-light district.  All Sol's girls had a schtick…"The Girl with the Flaming Eyebrows" seen here, and  "The Queen of Muscle Control" among them.  There were more.  
"The Girl with the Flaming Eyebrows" one of Sol's Major Earners
Sol also owned the Clover theater in Baltimore until he sold it to the sister of Jessica Rogers (The WOW girl) so he could concentrate on his other dives (and his increasing stable of dame talent.)  Sol used to break in his talent at the Clover, and if they were good earners, he would move them up to the Two O' Clock.

Sol worked with his wife, as Blaze Starr reported she was told to contact the pair in Baltimore.  According to Thomas Bruce Morgan in "Self-Creations: 13 Impersonalities"  Sol was "a balding, pudgy man with fast eyes and beefy hands…" who knew the secret to business was "…brighter lights."  One of his most brilliant tricks to drum up admissions was sending racy photographs of his girls gratis to smut magazines, frequently showing more than they did on stage, to fever up potential clients across the country.  Even back in the late 1950s, a woman who posed in the smut magazines could demand a higher wage for her stage show. 

I have seen posts on message boards asking for a picture of Sol.  Here you go, but I am sorry he seems to be hiding his "beefy hands" in the till.
Sol hides his reportedly "beefy hands" in the till
I suspect Sol also put his babes in the movies in a desperate attempt to maintain interest his his joints, for example, the clunker "Blaze Starr Goes Nudist" but I don't see his name in the credits.  Maybe he took his cut in cash.  I do see, however, Bunny Yeager did the still photography for it!  

Sol places himself in the sleaze stew with an article he wrote himself titled "How I Make Strippers" in which he admits, without shame, putting a 16 year old girl who measured 42-22-36 on stage in Baltimore.  While she claimed to be 22, she was a runaway from an orphanage in Texas.  Does Sol regret it?  Nope!  I quote Mr. Goodman.  "When they took her back, she promised she would come back when she came of age, and see me.  I hope she does, for she had real talent."  He goes on to lament all the headaches he earns "training" the girls…and says they have to be handled with firmness.

Sol wanted to be a doctor, but circumstance forced him into taking over the Two O'Clock in 1936.  He got the Clover ten years later.  At one time the staff for the two clubs was 60 employees.  His management company (which at one time included Pandora, Candy Kane, Gina Marie, Nikki Masters, Delores Del Reye, Jean Carson, Pam Gail and Robin Sweet) brought in untold dollars. 
  
The Two O'Clock club had two shows: One at 11:30 and another at 1:30.  A typical show ran one hour,  starting with "The Six Vannettes" who were tap-dancers and quickly moving to a "Novelty Indian War Dance Number"  but according to Billboard Magazine  the routines "are ordinary and girls not especially good looking."  Then the big draw came on.. say the huge breasted national joke and mononymous blond Dagmar…who stripped.  Then they would play the Star-Spangled Banner and hustle out the rubes for the next show.

Soon Sol was sending out his women to dumps all over the country.  He would give them driving directions to Alburbeque, New Orleans…wherever he could get his cut.  He managed Tempest Storm for 24 years.  You want Tempest?  Go through Sol.  One of his workers, a stripper named Jody Lawrence, was reported to have "hit every big theater in the country" over the course of 6 months.

Jody Lawrence:  Earner with six months on the road for Sol
While Sol may have grumped the movies ruined his business, it was as much the seedy practice of burlesque clubs bringing in hookers and "B-girls" who tricked rubes into paying too much for watered down drinks.  When you wake up the next morning with a horrible headache and all your money is gone…why, heck…you might not go back for a WEEK or more!  That was the block's downfall too, though Larry Flynt helped bring it back with one of his Hustler clubs.

The building that housed the Gayety was torched by an arson in 2010.  Blaze didn't do it.  Neither did the girl with the flaming eyebrows.

By Jim Linderman  
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