Books by Jim Linderman

Books by Jim Linderman
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True Burlesque The Baltimore Block and Sol Goodman

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.  True Burlesque big time!  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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