Jennie Lee was one gal who knew how to twirl her tassles...literally!
The highlight of this buxom blonde's act was to get those pastie propellers
spinning so fast it made men dizzy. It was this energy and joy of burlesque
that made her one of its stars.
Lee, nicknamed "The Bazoom Girl"
for obvious reasons, was a huge draw at west coast clubs. In fact, she
had a loyal following who called themselves the Bazoomers. She was even
the inspiration for an early Jan & Dean Top Ten hit called, what else,
"Jennie Lee." You could also find her billed as "Miss 44 and Plenty More!"
and "the biggest bust in burlesque." Lee was a gal who enjoyed
every inch of her 40-28-38 frame. With stats like, no wonder she was a
hit during the bosom obsessed 1950's.
But what Lee did off the stage
is just as important to burlesque as what she did on it. In 1955, she helped
found The Exotic Dancers League of North America (or EDL)
and acted as their first president. It was basically a union for dancers
in Los Angeles. At the time, L.A. dancers were getting less money than
other dancers in bigger cities. The
EDL fought to change
the pay rate as well as improve the working condition for the dancers.
This was an on-going struggle and Lee was always there on
the front lines, looking out for her fellow dancers. As the years went
by, the EDL became more of a social organization looking
out for retired dancers and gathering up burlesque memorabilia. The members
realized the golden age of burlesque was ending and wanted to make sure
it was not lost to history. Lee gathered all the press pictures,
gowns, pasties, G-strings, and the like she could. This became the basic
collection for Exotic World,
premiere burlesque museum, now located in Helendale, California. With Lee's
death in 1990, the collection was taken over by fellow dancer Dixie
Evans, who has done an amazing job of keeping both burlesque's
and Jennie Lee's