Roxanne: as scanned from the May 1942 issue of It magazine.
This burlesque beauty, who hailed from Ohio, was at one time engaged to comedian Red Buttons. They did not wed, but remained friends. Roxanne would go on to marry a bar and restaurant owner and after she retired from dancing they ran the businesses together.
Marion Polson & Amy McKay of the Muriel Abbott Dancers, pictured with orchestra leader George Hamilton: vintage 8x10 photo dated 16 February 1937
The “Abbott Girls” was a dance troop headed by Muriel Abbott who also ran a dance school on the south-side of Chicago, where she was both teacher and choreographer. Ms. Abbott also worked as the booking agent for the Empire Room, the nightclub lounge located at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Hence the “Abbott Girls” frequently danced at the Empire Room.
Amy McKay was the captain of the Abbott dancers in the late 1930s, but would later become one of the Chez Paree Adorables - the house dancers for the Chez Paree in Chicago.
Chez Paree Adorables - Margaret Scott and Shirley Hammerle: vintage 8x12 news service photo dated 6 July 1945
The caption on the photo is: Margaret Scott helps clean face of Shirley Hammerle, both Chez Paree Adorables, with tissue in view [I assume they meant in lieu] of the soap shortage. After I read this, I thought to myself ‘Soap Shortage?!?! What in the world are they referring to?” So I looked it up.
Apparently for numerous reasons, there was a severe post WWII soap shortage in the US and Europe. As many people know many substances, including gasoline, rubber and even milk, were rationed during WWII. Some of the items were needed to support troops overseas, and other were needed in the production of wartime materials (i.e. planes, tanks, uniforms etc). At the time of WWII most commercial soaps were made with a high percentage of palm oil, which was extremely scarce at the end of the war. The Philippines was a major exported of Palm oil, but when the Japanese invaded the Philippines, they destroyed all the pressing plants that produced the palm oil. So early on, there was already a decrease in the amount of palm oil available. To make matter worse, palm oil, and the soap made from it, were both utilized by the steel industry to cool and clean sheets of steel used to build planes, tanks and automobiles. Hence, by the end of the war, the raw products to make all commercial soap products were in very low supply.
Gypsy Rose Lee: vintage 7x9 news service photo dated 27 January 1945.
Gypsy was modeling for a March of Dimes Fashion Show, when she took a moment to dig deep in her stocking for an extra donation of her own. Since polio is nearly eradicated today, we do not stop to think of the fear that polio caused at one point. The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 to combat polio by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who himself suffered from the disease. After the vaccination was developed, the March of Dimes continued on to support pre-natal care and early infant health.
Dixie Evans - The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque: as scanned from the cover of the 4 May 1957 tourist magazine This Week in Miami. At the time of publication, Dixie was appearing at the Place Pigalle club. In the article the magazine staff writers claim to be the first to notice Dixie’s resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, but according to Dixie that honor goes to Harold Minsky.