Princess Lahoma: vintage 8x10 photo
Lahoma Willingham was 1/16 Chickasaw and born into a family that was very active within the tribe. Lahoma’s cousin Floyd MayTubby, who was Governor of the Chickasaw Nation in 1939. Still mayor in 1943, Floyd appointed Lahoma “Chickasaw Princess” at the 1943 American Indian Exposition, and in that capacity she frequently represented the Chickasaw Nation in parades and at official gatherings.
Lahoma studied at the Molly O’Day School of Dance located in Oklahoma City. At 15, Lahoma quit school and joined a touring dance troupe formed by her teacher. Unfortunately, the tour was unsuccessful and most of the dancers returned home. But Lahoma was determined to become a professional dancer and started a career in burlesque. Frequently billed as “The Chickasaw Chick”, Princess Lahoma became one of the most popular feature burlesque dancers of the 1950s. Lahoma was among the highest paid burlesque dancers of her era, and in 1951 her appearance at the Trocadero (Troc) Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania surpassed all previous attendance records.
Princess Lahoma died in 1966, and was survived by her husband and two sons. One of Lahoma’s sons went on to become a successful businessman, and the other an acclaimed artist.
Stormy (Stacie) Laurence: vintage 7x9 news service photo dated 16 july 1948
As a stripper, and the owner of the famous Stormy’s Casino Royale night club in New Orleans, Stormy was a local celebrity. To capitalize on her celebrity and increase sales, the Louisiana State University humor magazine Pell Mell featured her on the cover in early 1948. The issue sold so well, that Stormy was invited to campus to sign copies of the magazine and again visited campus on 4 March 1948 to perform. She, and her band, performed on a flat bed truck, but when Stormy reached the climax of her act, she and the band were attacked by student protesters. The protesters over-turned the truck, attacked the band members, and dumped Stormy in a local pond. Undeterred, Stormy performed that night at her club, with bandages as a few extra costume accessories.
Stormy is shown here with her husband John Lester, who was a New Orleans columnists. The couple married a few months after Stormy was attacked on the LSU campus, and the couple moved to New York. According to the information included with the photo, Stormy planned on starting a new career as a housewife.
Lois De Fee: signed, vintage 8x10 photo
This photo was signed to fellow burlesque dancer Diane Raye.
At 6’4” Lois was often billed as the Glamazon, the Queen of the Amazons or Super Woman. Originally Lois worked as a bouncer at night clubs, including the famous Leon & Eddie’s. But eventually she was approached by Harold Minsky to do a burlesque act, and the rest is history….
Carmela (Rickman) - The Sophia Loren of Burlesk: vintage 8x10 photo
Carmela was a divorced mother of two working as a waitress in Washington DC, when she decided to give burlesque a try. Eventually she signed with Sol Goodman, who was also Blaze Starr agent and the owner of the 2 o’clock Club in Baltimore, MD. Originally Carmela had danced under the moniker “The Torrid Twister”, but Goodman suggested they capitalize on her resemblance to Sophia Loren. Carmela was known for her muscle control and acrobatic style. She was also a talented seamstress and made all her own costume, including the hand beading.