True Burlesque Snake Charmer Lonnie Young
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
To browse or purchase books and ebooks by the author, see HERE