Books by Jim Linderman

Books by Jim Linderman
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Leonard Burtman and Burlesque Beauties Sande Marlowe True Burlesque

Leonard Burtman does Burlesque Beauties

Collection Victor Minx

Lenny Burtman cobbles together yet another quickie cash-in using somewhat tired photos of even more tired hardworking burleskers in 1959.  Published under the Burtman umbrella through the little known "Phoebe" offshoot which has not been documented at all.  Like them all, of which there may have been more than thirty volumes,  some thirty pages of black and white shots of workers who lugged their tired dogs and their costumes to an amateur studio to supplement their meager, but hard earned wages on the boards.

Sande Marlowe was a Minx centerfold.  She was also rumored once, (and this could just be a press agent myth) to have danced so hard she had a heart attack.  She also appeared on the cover of the second SIZZLE, a big favorite here at Vintage Sleaze as it was primitive and haphazard, and they always make a great post when the temperature rises above 100 degrees.  Sizzle was the "so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk" smut magazine.  She called herself "The Venus of Stageland" and spent much time doing the dance in Mexico City for some reason. 

Evelyn West we have made fun of before.  Look her up!  Check out her battle with a bible-thumper at the link.

Baby Lake posed for Irving Klaw.  She was no baby.  In fact, to me anyway, she not only looks grown up, she looks kinda scary.  And quite possibly insane as well…check out her, well…gosh.  I mean, how often am I at a loss for words.  Umm…check out her, umm…German beer stein bra?  Will that work? 

By comparison Jessica Rogers looks safe and pleasant.  She worked under the name "The Texas Tantilizer" She worked in Hollywood, but it must not have worked out as she was back in front of the footlights after three years.  The girl next door, if you lived next door to a strip dive in the 1940s.  She was known as "The Wow Girl" to the troops, she goes back that far.  Lenny?  Can you provide us with some newer pinups?  The war has been over for 15 years!

Burlesque Beauties Number 28  Phoebe Publishers (a Leonard Burtman enterprise) 1959 Collection Victor Minx
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Burlesque Cross Dresser Wonder Show of Primrose True Vintage Burlesque

Burlesque Gender Bender! 

Primrose Semon, Cyclonic Sensation and Burlesque Dust.  This is by far the most detailed entry on one Primrose Semon you will find on the web. Primrose Semon was apparently a fast woman, excuse me, a fast soubrette, who performed as both a man and a woman. She had flaming red hair, and may have been "one of the seven wonders of the world" then, but she's dust now. A shame...she must have been something.

As late as 1950, Primrose was still hoofing it enough to get a mention in Billboard Magazine, performing as a comedienne for a two week engagement in Toronto. Quite a feat, 50 years earlier she was performing as Edna in Uncle Tom's Cabin. One site claims she sounded like Martha Raye but I won't hold that against her.

On January 4, 1943 Primrose escaped injury when the auto she was using to get from one gig to another crashed into the side of a bridge. No injuries. Songs she performed (and for which sheet music exists...most of them piled up in the corners of antique shops) include "Everybody's Doin' It Now" "Forgive Me" "I've Got the Finest Man" (which begins "Happy, happy, happy little bird I am")

That's all I've found and she is gone...but henceforth, when one searches her name, this will pop up, and maybe one day a curious relative will happen upon it and say hello. It has happened many times before. I have heard from a dozen relatives and such since I started digging up forgotten folks like Primrose.
I have heard from the offspring of singers, artists, cartoonists, strippers and more. The relatives of criminals don't write in for some reason. On occasion, some will ask me not to print their name, others encourage it. Some have offered to share more pictures and such...others are just glad to see someone took the time to appreciate their great-grandfather or long lost Aunt. Since there is no money in blogging, it is these little personal contacts I enjoy most.

If you know anything about Primrose Semon, say hello! I'll print your note.

The Burlesque Wonder Show Flyer (featuring Primrose Semon) 1918 Collection Jim Linderman


Sirena Gets Dunked! Sirena the Underwater Stripper and Harry Swank and his Tank True Burlesque

True or not, Sirena's hype claimed she performed her "aqua-tease" in a thousand gallon tank.  I know the famous "ten gallon hat" which won the west wasn't really ten gallons, but I'm not sure about Sirena's aquarium.  Or fish tank, though that sounds a bit rude.   In 1951, another source claims the tank was a mere 500 gallons…but that was on a bill with "Princess LaHoma, a full blodded (sic) Cherokee Indian" so maybe she had to downsize to accommodate the headdress.  Or the Carny route, as the act played them too.

Of course, fake journalist Walter Winchell loved her act, calling it "The Biggest Excitement in Show Business" but he never saw Wayne Newton in Vegas.  (Wait a minute...maybe he DID.  Let's say Celine Dion at Caesars.)

At the time of the ad here, 1951, Sirena was "per-foaming" with the Jim Wong Troupe "four Oriental sensations" and one comic called "Loony Lewis" and "Charni" playing popular tunes on the harmonica.  It was a package deal.  Other strippers on the bill included Margo, Ruth Swank and Jan Carter.  Sirena also performed with "She-Devil and her daring dance of the underworld" the same year, but not on all the bills.

The standard phrase describing Sirena in her primitive press-releases was "shapely miss"  and the former is certainly true, but I haven't been able to tell if she was married.  In fact, I can't even verify how many Sirenas there were!  In 1953, Burlesque pimp Harry Swank (there's that Swank name again…) took out an ad in Billboard which read "WANTED: Girls for Sirena, the Underwater Ballerina Water Act" in order to put the show on the summer state fairs route, but it isn't clear if Harry was looking for a replacement or for girls to carry the tank.  At the time, Harry was on the road in Calumet, Michigan, then on his way to the big show in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  By the way?  Harry owned the tank.  Not Sirena.  If you say "Sirena and her tank" you are wrong.
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GiGi Gee Whiz Butter Churn and Guns True Burlesque

Gee Whiz the burlesque queen probably received her name from others.  Others, that is, who uttered the phrase under their breath as they passed her.  On the other hand, as you can find "Gee Whiz" as Gigi Patterson, maybe her moniker morphed from GiGi.  GiGi Gee Whiz!  She was otherwise known as Mary Glisson  and had a fifty inch bust.  And fire red hair sometimes.  She also lasted into the color film days, but you don't really want to look.  Ouch!  There is a horribly sexist expression used by pigs to describe women who only look "good"  below the neck but I refuse to use it, as all women look good to me and I'm not a sexist.  Some may find Gee Whiz pretty, but I will just say she wasn't my type.

But then I do have to say most women who strip in Cleveland aren't.  Just a personal preference.

Because there was a tendency to exaggerate dancer's talents, Miss Gee Whiz was sometimes billed with a 52" bust…but that could have been on a good day. 

Anyway, and consequently, there are tons of photographs of Gee Whiz which seem to center on her anatomy.  She appears happy enough, but in a few she appears to be resting her back using a shotgun as a cane, so I think just being Gee Whiz was a full-time job on her back and shoulder muscles.

Gee Whiz did most of her modeling as a large-breasted brunette, but there are photographs of her as a large-breasted blond.  In fact, there are photographs of her as a large-breasted carpenter's assistant.  She MIGHT have been in the business long enough to appear in super sleaze Reubun Sturman's Parliament publications, so I am going to speculate she, um…how can I be polite.  Let's say she may have spread her talent around in her later years.  But I can't verify it…I don't buy Sturman's crud.  I do know she posed tastefully with a butter churn in her hands…and yet again MORE pictures with a rifle.  I guess she was a big second amendment advocate.  Or her fans were. GiGi armed and dangerous follows:

 The tasteful and tastefully edited Gee Whiz butter churn follows:

There is at least one stag film with Gigi Gee Whiz.  In 1956, there was a Road Runner short staring Wile E. Coyote with that title, but I don't think that's the one she appears in.   There is also one photo with her chest so sunburned it looks like she is wearing a dickie.  I will creatively crop it here for my family-friendly site.
Jane Briggeman, who wrote the book Burlesque: Legendary Stars of the Stage lists Gee Whiz among the missing.  Believe me, nothing bothers me more than not being able to fill in the bio details of those portrayed here, but In Gee-Whiz's case, I'm just going to have to say she "dropped'" out of the business.

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Candy Barr the OTHER Stag Film. Previously Unknown Outtake Discovered True Burlesque

A scarce original 8mm film of Candy Barr, the legendary Texas burlesque queen has been found by Vintage Sleaze the Blog. Turned up in a lot of stag films with what appears to be a hand-stamped title "VEGAS VIXON 1" the pictures here were scanned from the original film.The film was shot at the same location as the famous, remarkable and now familiar "My Tale is Hot" sequence shown above, but the dancer is wearing white, not black...though very little clothing of any color. Could this, the "white" version, have been a test (or outtake) from the four minute clip available from Something Weird? The film has been dated as circa 1956. The dancer wears pasties and there is no nudity.

Ms. Barr (Juanita Dale Slusher) made one pornographic film, the notorious "Smart Alec" which has circulated under various titles for decades. Far more interesting are her performances in which the performer is revealed as an extraordinary dancer.

Candy Barr's life, which took her from a small Texas town to the Mob in Vegas, with stops along the way with Jack Ruby and a sentence for Marijuana Possession is well-known.
As these stag films in the 1950s were not only of questionable legality, there is virtually no documentation of their production, distribution or origin. That this short film uses the same stage (or set) as the far better known film linked below could add quite a bit to the stripper's story.

Other versions of Candy's films have circulated under the titles Boudoir Belle, Delicious, Texas Terror, Big Time Strip and Bitter and Sweet. Whether this film
has been anthologized or reissued is unknown at this time, but collectors and scholars are invited to contribute.

More information on Candy Barr, as well as a link to My Tale is Hot is HERE.

Stills from "Vegas Vixon" circa 1956 Stag Film 8mm Collection Victor Minx.


Additional information on Candy Barr on Vintage Sleaze which details her interview with for the Warren Commission is HERE

Jack Ruby's Favorite Stripper Jada Conforto AKA Jada Mole True Burlesque

Jack Ruby's favorite stripper Jada.  Jada was an animal before the camera.  She was an animal on stage.  Jada drove a pink Cadillac convertible around Dallas while not dancing in Jack Ruby's club.

Questioned by a reporter two days after the assassination, a reporter encourages Jada to say on camera that Jack Ruby loved Jack Kennedy so much, he would be capable of avenging his death by shooting Oswald.  She pauses and replays dark nights in a seedy club.  Nope...the best Jada can come up with is that Jack didn't like Bobby Kennedy.

No one connected liked Bobby. Bobby was trying to put the outfit out of business, and Jack knew plenty of men in the outfit.  Jack swam with big fish in mob waters. 

Jada was a stage name of course.  Jada was Janet Mole, not nearly as sexy as Jada.  Over the years Janet Mole acquired more names than Eskimos have for snow, so let me help the intentionally inept investigators and provide her real name.  Janet Mole Adams Bonney Cuffari Smallwood Conforto Washington.  

Jada was well-known in the strip club world of New Orleans, but Jack wanted her talents on display in Dallas.  He brought her in and they signed a contract.

Jada worked at Jack's club for three months in 1963, quitting over a dispute with the sleazy owner three weeks before Kennedy visited Dallas.  Jada was known to "go a little too far" on stage and Jack had to kill the lights a few times during her act.  She left, and It probably saved her life.

Jada appears in the Warren Commission Report, but only by her stage name, and later they "couldn't find her" for questioning.  Um hum.  The commission seems to have given short shrift to a whole lot of folks connected to Ruby who might have things to say other than that the club owner with no friends other than members of the Dallas Police force was so distraught for Jackie he shot Oswald to save her the trouble of attending a trial.  We bought THAT?

Unlike many in the Dallas vicinity within reach of Jack Ruby's fat but extended trigger fingers, Jada was smart enough to get out and live a relatively long life.  That is if you consider 44 years a long life.  A motorcycle accident killed her 17 years after Ruby killed Oswald.

The digest above was published by Leonard Burtman under his "Phoebe" imprint, but it was a Burmel book.  It came out shortly, or immediately before the assassination.

Watch Jada here share what has today pretty much become the commonly understood relationship between JFK and the mob...Jack Rubenstein,  the mob's man in Dallas had nothing to say about Jack the President of the country, but like all guys in the family, he hated young Bobby, the Attorney General who was hurting business.

And therein lies a story far more interesting than Jada's.