Sally Lane (Majestic): vintage 7x9 news service photo dated 27 February 1949.
Sally Lane (also danced under Sally Majestic) had been arrested for performing an ‘immoral dance’, and is shown here being taken to the police station. The police originally sent a police woman backstage to arrest her in Sally’s dressing room.
Virginia Kinn - The White Orchid or The Orchid Girl: vintage 8x10 photo from 1950.
Virginia was a popular dancer on both the eastern Hirst and the Midwest Burlesque Circuits in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. This particular photo was used to promote an appearance at the L&L Cafe in Chicago, IL.
Satira (Patricia Schmidt): vintage 8x10 news service photo dated 7 October 1947.
Satira is shown placing Problema, her pet dog, into the crate in which she will be flown to Satira’s parents in Toledo, Ohio. Satira had been convicted of murder in the shooting death of her then lover, wealthy Chicago lawyer, John Lester Mee. Satira claimed it was in self-defense, and that Mee had been holding her captive on his yacht - also named Satira - but the jury did not accept her plea and she was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Hence, she was sending her dog to her parents to care for while she served her sentence. Though convicted to 15 years, Satira would only serve 18 months before receiving a pardon from the Cuban president.
Val de Val - The H Bomb of Burlesque: vintage 8x10 photo.
Val de Val began her dancing career as part of the Ernie Young Traveling Roadshow. She would go on to dance in the Ziegfeld Follies and numerous other Burlesque shows and theaters throughout her career, where she was billed as “The H Bomb off Burlesque” or “The Liberator”. Vale de Val retired from dancing in the late 1950s when she married. Having always had a love for art, Val went on to teach painting - watercolors, acrylic and oils - in Niles, MI where she settled after retirement. She also was an accomplished painter herself, and exhibited her work throughout Michigan and Indiana.
Val de Val’s sister was also a burlesque dancer, working under the name Helena Gardner.
June Darling: vintage 8x10 photo dated 13 December 1947. The photo was used to create an ad for June’s appearance at El Mocambo’s club. They only used a head shot for the ad, so the marks on the photo are where the image was to be cropped.
Jessica Rogers - The WOW Girl: vintage 8x10 photo
Jessica was a top grossing dancer in the 1940s and into the 1950s. She had one routine Jessica was robed as a college professor and sang a song entitled “Bare Facts”, which I am sure was full of some great puns and double entendres! This routine was also made into a 25 minute techni-color film under the name School for Strips.
June St. Clair - The Platinum Princess; Vintage 8x10 photo dated 27 February 1940
June St. Clair was born Geraldine (‘Jerry’) Margaret Ford in MA on 6 Oct 1913. The family moved to NYC during the depression to find work and soon Geraldine and her sister, Helen, were hired as chorus girls. They both went on to become burlesque dancers, Geraldine billed as ‘June St. Clair’ and Helen as ‘Helen Colby’. For a while they billed themselves as a singing and dancing act called the Ford Sisters, but this did not bring in as much money as June St. Clair’s solo career, so she went back to burlesque. June was a modest woman and did not enjoy her burlesque career and never dated in the earlier years. According to both June’s family, and other dancers that knew her, after going back to her solo career (1948), June had gotten into an abusive relationship, became pregnant (many say she was raped), and she discovered that the father of the child was married already. Unfortunately, on 21 Oct 1949 June St. Clair committed suicide in a NYC hotel room; it was her 3rd documented attempt to kill herself. In a suicide note she left for her brother she refers to having “disgraced you all”, meaning her family.
Marion Morgan - The Sophisticated Lady of Disrobe, with more Curves than the Burma Road: signed, vintage 8x10 photo from 1943
This photo was signed to a fellow burlesque dancer that used the name “Bubbles”, but I do not know WHICH Bubbles it is. Given the photos in the group range from late 1920 to 1940s, it may be Bubbles Yvonne.
Sally Keith: signed, vintage 8x10 photo dated 1941
Though Sally toured the burlesque circuits, she is most closely associated with the city of Boston. She was Boston’s very own burlesque queen and she reigned supreme performing at the Crawford House in Scollay Square. Sally was best known for her tassel twirling and her ability to twirl her tassels in opposite directions at the same time. She was so popular, that the Crawford house even named a drink after her: The Tassel Tosser.
Valerie Parks: vintage 8x10 photo dated 22 July 1940
This photo was used to promote Valerie’s headlining at Minsky’s Rialto Theater in Chicago, Il. Also appearing on the bill was: Marie Cord, Marion Miller and Patricia Perry.