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They bump and they grind, they shiver and shake, they'll writhe on the floor for a share of the take!

"Stripdom's Sexiest Strippers!"

by Frank Thistle



Vol. 1 No. 11, 1957

     EVERY EVENING AS dusk begins to fall, thousands of femme fatales throughout the country stretch their lithe limbs, heave their bosoms, and prepare to go to work to make a large segment of the adult male population forget their mundane cares. These provocative Eves of the evening aren't housewives laboring under the delusion that the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but realistic-minded gals who know from experience that most men will always forego a succulent steak repast in favor of a tantalizing torso served up piping hot.
     The lovely creatures we are referring to belong to the sisterhood of professional teasers commonly called strippers. And these real live packages of pulchritude, who come in all shapes and sizes, comprise the most active and uninhibited group of females dedicated to making the night world go round and round.
     So many girls are streaming into the ranks of stripdom nowadays that a question of vital import to bosom and buttocks worshippers is being obscured as these red-hot mamas feverishly endeavor to outdo one another in flashing flesh: namely, who are the sexiest strippers in stripdom today?
     To get the answer to this controversial question--a constant subject of heated debate among connoisseurs of the bump and grind--this writer recently conducted a poll for Adam among night club and burlesque theater managers from coast-to-coast.
     Final tabulation of poll results showed that the ten sexiest strippers in stripdom today are Tempest Storm, Lili St. Cyr, Lilly Christine, Julie Gibson, Jennie Lee, Dixie Evans, Winnie Garrett, Jody Lawrence, Venus the Body, and Dolores Del Raye--with apologies to the rest. I personally love 'em all!
Tempest StormOne of the chief reasons why night club and theater managers chose buxom, voluptuous Tempest Storm as the leading luminary in stripdom today is because, unlike most of her ilk, she employs no so-called "gimmicks" in her strip routines. Copper-tressed Tempest relies solely on her inimitable style of disrobing--which includes writhings few reptiles could equal--to hold spectators spellbound.
     As one observant theater manager put it: "Tempest doesn't need to bother with a novel strip act. Men are so wild about her that they would gladly pay the price of admission to see her even if she didn't strip at all, but just stood there in only G-string and pasties."
     Since her debut in burlesque seven years ago, the ravishing redhead has, indeed, stormed her way to the heights of stripdom with the fury of a tempest. Her stock as a stripper has shot up so high that she has insured her body with Lloyds of London for one million dollars-just in case anything might happen to her "bread-and-butter."
     Capitalizing on her magnetic drawing power at the box office, the enterprising beauty teamed up with New York promoter Irving Klaw and starred in a number of strip films. And her capers on the screen are just as combustible as they are in live performances.
     Tempest also reigns supreme as chairman of the board of directors of an organization formed recently called the Association for the Advancement and Preservation of the Burlesque Arts. Each year this physically and financially well-endowed group will present a "Mickey" (an Oscar-like statuette) to the outstanding performer in burlesque. Eventually, the public will select candidates for the award, with agents, musicians and theater and club managers making the final choice. To get the ball rolling, the organization named Tempest to be the first recipient of this award and, of course, she graciously accepted it.
     Tempest manages to keep her audiences enraptured on the strength of her fabulous figure and her calculated capers. During her act, she slowly unveils her more-than-ample anatomy with studied precision, spasmodically emitting little shrieks of simulated ecstasy for added spice. Although no great shakes as a dancer, Tempest's outstanding physique keeps her literally out in front of her competitors.
      Admirers of Miss Storm can be grateful to Pete De Cenzies, former owner of the El Rey Burlesque Theater in Oakland, Calif., for recognizing her potential as a burlesque nonpareil. On the advice of De Cenzies, Tempest enrolled at Lillian Hunt's school for strippers in Los Angeles and in short order jiggled and shook her way to the top.
     Undoubtedly, Tempest possesses the most striking stage name in stripdom. Credit Pete De Cenzies again for coming up with the moniker of Tempest Storm. It seems that whenever Tempest started an engagement at the El Rey Theater (now being torn down to make way for a Freeway), in her early days as a stripper, a rainstorm would follow. Joking about the coincidence with her, De Cenzies mentioned that he should begin calling her the storm girl and, after a few minutes of introspection, the unbeatable stage name of Tempest Storm was conceived.
     Last year, Tempest announced that she was giving up stripping when her commitments were out of the way in favor of a career as a dramatic actress. When she broke this bit of news, her fans deluged her with protests. To their delight, several months later, Tempest exercised a woman's prerogative and changed her mind, the reason being that an Eastern theater chain offered her a ten-year contract guaranteeing her the sum of one million dollars for strutting her stuff during this period.

Lili St. CyrIF YOU'VE EVER seen Lili St. Cyr (pronounced sincere) perform, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the 35-year-old blonde beauty was voted the number two star in stripdom's galaxy. Lili is one of the few strippers who parlayed a beautiful body and a lot of luck into a weekly salary of $85,000.
     Born Marie Van Schaak in Minneapolis, Minn., she grew up in Eagle Rock, Calif., and by-passed high school for jobs as waitress, chorus girl, model and, finally, stripper. Taking a tip from the advertisements which used cheesecake to sell a product, Lili decided that she, too, had a commodity to sell.
     After playing the burlesque circuit for a number of years, Lili decided she could make a lot more loot revealing her shapely chassis before the well heeled customers of plush night clubs than by entertaining the "art lovers" who regularly patronize burlesque houses. Because she felt that bistro appearances called for a more intimate and dignified expression of her charms, Lili concocted a special bubble bath number, an act which soon drew raves from everyone who saw it.
     When her act opens, Lili is seen undressing in preparation for her bubble bath. After shedding all her clothes in a most refined fashion, she gracefully hops into a transparent Venetian bathtub, stretches her long, lithe legs and begins rhythmically massaging her lush body with soap suds...to the accompaniment of slow, seductive music.
     During her bath, multicolored bubbles appear to rise from the tub--an illusion created by a motor-driven rotor and an arrangement of concealed, light bulbs. After "coming clean," she alights from the tub, rubs herself leisurely with a jumbo-size towel, and then wiggles into a black lace nightgown. Lili performs her act seemingly unaware that she is the focal point for a gawking and heavy-breathing audience.
     When she made her night club debut at Ciro's in Hollywood several years ago, her bubble bath routine proved highly interesting both to the sophisticated patrons and to several representatives of the law. Lili was subsequently arrested and charged with giving an indecent performance.
     In court, Lili appeared at the side of Jerry Giesler, one of Hollywood's most nimble legal minds. Giesler, wise in the ways of influencing juries, called upon witnesses for the prosecution to demonstrate exactly how Lili wiggled after she got out of her bath. The antics which ensued were so hilarious that the charge against the pulchritudinous peeler was reduced to a laughing matter in the eyes of the jury. After four days of what turned out to be a "legal circus," the jury brought back a verdict of "not guilty."
      Lili works only 26 weeks a year, but pulls down at least an annual $100,000 despite the fact that 'she spends half of every year resting in her Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion. Unquestionably, she is the highest-paid performer in the business. Recently, the owner of the El Rancho Vegas in Las Vegas gave her a five-year contract guaranteeing her 12 weeks work each year at $5,000 per week.
     Lili sums up the reason for her success by saying: "The fuss people make about stripping keeps me in mink."

     IN THE DANCING department--often neglected by strippers who stress peeling--ADAM'S poll found exotic Lilly Christine, the Cat Girl, the preferred choice, making her number three in the overall poll.
     Ever since 1948, when lissome Lilly was "discovered" at Prima's 500 Club in New Orleans, the talented terpsichorean has been steadily gaining acclaim.
     Lilly was booked into Prima's 500 Club quite by luck. Owner Leon Prima, brother of band leader Louis Prima had requested the Music Corporation of America to send him some photographs of showgirls so that he could select one for a four-week engagement with feature billing at his night spot. When Prima came across a picture of luscious Lilly, her beauty so impressed him that he decided to take a chance on her. As it turned out, Lilly proved to be the hottest attraction he had ever hired!
     When producer Mike Todd happened to catch her act one night while visiting in New Orleans, he was so awed with her dancing ability and looks that he mentally filed her away for future reference. When Todd conceived his idea for "Peep Show" (a modern-day version of old-time burlesque) he didn't waste any time in asking Lilly to star in the Broadway production. The show was a tremendous success and Lilly became one  of the most sought after entertainers in show business.
     After seeing Lilly perform, syndicated columnist Inez Robb wrote: "The audience was awed by this alarmingly talented dancer with the rotating innards. This estimable girl is equipped with revolving viscera, like a fourspeed rotisserie!"
     Lilly's list of strip acts include "Getting Gertie's Garter," "Pillow of Love," and, of course, her most famous number in which she presents her imaginative version of a cat dance. This sensational routine--from which her nickname the Cat Girl was derived--spotlights her amazing muscular coordination and matchless interpretive dancing.

     JULIE GIBSON, A PERT little brunette who looks even younger than her 22 years, was given a slight edge over Jennie Lee for the poll's fourth place position. Although a relative newcomer to the "take-off" trade, the participants in our poll had nothing but superlatives for the strip-tease artistry of glamorous Julie.
     Julie got her start in burlesque as a chorus girl at Boston's Old Howard Theater five years ago. When the Old Howard shuttered in the spring of 1954, much to the dismay of proper and not-so-proper Bostonians, she launched her career as a featured stripper. Julie's debut at The Wedge in Philadelphia was such a hit that the management promptly signed her to a long-term contract calling for a threemonths return engagement every year.
     In her best-known act, demure Julie portrays a bashful bride on her wedding night. Billed as "The Dance of the Bashful Bride," she appears clad in satin and lace under purple lights. Julie begins her act slowly, bashfully gazing at the audience as she coyly sheds her garments with the modesty and hesitancy of a virgin.
     Suddenly, her pent-up passion overcomes her inhibitions and she tears off her remaining clothes with abandon. At the climax of her act, she stands in a transparent peignoir, eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of her aroused desire with their theoretical husband.
     Those who have seen her performance agree that she couldn't have chosen a more appropriate number in which to display her sweet and innocent brand of sex appeal to full advantage. And rumor has it that her bashful bride routine is so convincing that it induces a number of bachelors who see it to rush headlong into matrimony!

Jennie LeeTHE STRIPPER who draws the most gapes of disbelief while taking it off is the poll's fifth place winner, Jennie Lee, the proud possessor of an astounding 42-inch bust, one of the biggest in burlesque. Jennie (no relation to Gypsy Rose Lee), as you might suspect, confesses that she has had a bust complex since her early teens.
"I started being self-conscious about my big bust at a very early age because I was more developed than the other girls," says Jennie, frankly. "I found out fast that the boys thought my bosom was the eighth wonder of the world. So after seeing other girls strip, I started thinking that I might be able to cash in on my outstanding physical characteristic."
     And "cash in" Jennie did at the fat figure of $500 a week. She came to a quick conclusion that her bosom was her best buddy, financially speaking. Naturally, she wanted to put her best points forward so she adopted a tassle-twirling act, which she considers the most effective way to emphasize the standout feature of her ample anatomy.
     After stripping down to long net stockings and fringed panties, Jennie adroitly wiggles her highly trained pectoral muscles, thus rotating her tassels with fierce intensity. Exercising expert command, she alternately shakes her tassels clockwise and counterclockwise at terrific speed. For her grand finale, she manipulates one tassel clockwise, and the other counterclockwise with startling precision.
     It might be enlightening to add at this point that Jennie takes the precaution of attaching her pasties with adhesive tape, just in case her vigorous tassel heavings should cause them to fly off. Like most girls with overdeveloped mammary glands, Jennie is on the plump side. But her enthusiastic fans don't seem to mind her plumpness one bit as long as she stays topheavy.
     As one of her ardent- admirers put it: "Lots of strippers have hourglass figures. But how many have a 42-inch bust ?"

     AMONG THE MANY individuals who have profited by Marilyn Monroe's smashing screen success is a blonde bombshell named Dixie Evans, known in the teaser trade as the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque."
     Until several years ago, Dixie was just another run-of-the-mill stripper trying to make a name for herself. Then one morning, when she showed up for work at the Minsky-Adams Theater in Newark, N.J., she found herself billed on the theater marquee as "The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque."
     At first, Dixie became very indignant to think that her name should be connected with the hottest property in show business--for she wanted to be a star in her own right. And when she found out that bossman Harold Minsky had dreamed up the idea for her new billing, she stormed into his office and told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted no part of the Monroe billing.
     Now Harold Minsky is a shrewd business man and comes from a family long associated with burlesque. He knows that a clever billing and enough publicity can catapult an unknown stripper into the big time practically overnight. So Minsky listened to Dixie's protests and when her fury had subsided, calmly pointed out to her the advantages of such an eye-catching billing. Dixie, no dumb blonde, was quick to see the light and wholeheartedly consented to the promotion stunt.
     As a result of her new billing, Dixie's stock in stripdom soared. Today she is a headliner. Crowds flock to her performances to see for themselves if there really is a resemblance between the torrid teaser and the sexy screen star. And they find that the only major distinction is that Dixie really takes off her clothes, whereas Marilyn Monroe only acts as though ,he would like to!
     To put over her coup de theatre, Dixie made an intense study of Marilyn's motion pictures in order to assimilate her mannerisms. In her act, she mimics Marilyn in every detail, from her studied hip-wriggling walk to her facial expressions. Dixie learned her lessons well; for many people comment after seeing her perform that Dixie looks and acts more like Marilyn Monroe than Marilyn herself!

     WINSOME WINNIE GARRETT of the flaming tresses is the stripper who captured the number seven spot. Winnie, who has been in the business longer than any other stripper picked as one of the nation's top ten, begins her strip slowly and seductively and winds up with a red-hot, slambang finish. She plays up her gorgeous hair by letting it down, rolls her net stockings down and then back up again as though absent-minded, and gyrates slowly all the while. Her extremely relaxed and confident manner of stripping comes, of course, from years of practice and she comes as close to perfection as any girl in the trade today.
     Winnie has often used her reputation as a titillating teaser to promote charitable drives. She has willingly auctioned off her clothes (undergarments included) in return for $50 and $100 donations to the March of Dimes and other campaigns. And once the ravishing redhead starts to reveal her shapely body, the well-heeled men in the audience become very munificent, indeed.

     FILLING THE POLL'S eighth place is 22-year-old Jody Lawrence, the girl who has brought a New Look to stripdom. Jody's New Look has startled the blasé bump and grind circuit as much as French designer Christian Dior's New Look startled the fashion industry a few years ago. And, surprisingly, her New Look somewhat parallels Dior's in the respect that she is subordinating the exploitation of her body, a most unusual practice for a stripper.
     When you meet her, the first thing that you notice about her are her sparkling baby-blue eyes (that's when she's fully dressed, of course). And after a few minutes of conversation she impresses you as being as sweet and wholesome as "the girl who married dear old dad." On the street, she could easily be mistaken for either movie star Doris Day or Janet Leigh.
     Jody brings a refreshing New Look to a business that is quite obviously overburdened with sagging, top-heavy temptresses. Her bustline measures only 34 inches, but she's not the least bit "chest-fallen" because Mother Nature didn't endow her with the mammoth mammaries of a Tempest Storm or Jennie Lee.
     "I just can't understand why women are so proud of having big breasts," says Jody. "After all, they had nothing to do with the size of their bosoms any more than they had to do with the natural color of their hair, unless, of course, they have resorted to surgery," she adds with a smile, "an operation which I've heard is very popular among strippers these days."
     Jody calls her strip act "The Little Red-Hot Riding Hood. Since she is always booked at a burlesque theater as a featured attraction, her number A TRULY HEAVENLY body with a divine form placed number nine--Venus the Body. While Venus' name may be out of this world, her strip-teasing is right down to earth. Venus received her strip-tease savoir-faire while attending Lillian Hunt's School for Strippers at the New Follies Theater in Los Angeles. According to teacher Hunt, Venus was a natural stripper who, after she acquired polish and finesse, became a featured attraction almost overnight and kept the boys squirming in their seats and yelling for more of her own distinctive style of strip-teasing.
     Venus is now an old pro who never gets the shakes before she swings into action on-stage, but the first time she stripped professionally it was a different story.
"I waited nervously in my dressing room, desperately trying to assure myself that my act would go smoothly and be a success," Venus recalls. "I was trembling with fright when the master of ceremonies introduced me and said I was making my debut as a and As the band began playing, I parted the curtain hesitantly and began undulating methodically around the stage, dying of self-consciousness.
     "I tried to remain calm and made a feeble effort not to hurry, although I was anxious to get it over with as soon as possible. Coquettishly, I slipped off my gown and posed sedately in only my G-string and net bra. When the audience applauded loudly, I felt like kissing every one of them, as their applause really gave me confidence.
     "The band really gave out during the second-part of my act, encouraging me to squirm and wiggle with abandon. The theater was hushed and I figured I was making a big hit--then some wise guy yelled a sarcastic remark. The crowd guffawed and I blushed profusely with embarrassment. I flew through the rest of my dance and hastily made an ungraceful exit."
     Venus belongs to the school of strippers that believes in presenting sex artistically, although she'd be the first to admit that strip-teasing isn't a highly developed form of art, "A stripper's business is selling sex," says Venus, "but there are many different ways to sell it. I prefer the subtle approach rather than the fast approach in which you hit the customers right between the eyes, so to speak."

Dolores Del RayeA STRIPPER WHOSE views about selling sex on-stage are directly opposed to Venus', is exotic Dolores Del Raye, who just squeezed into the poll's tenth slot.
If you were to meet this petite package of pulchritude you would automatically think her an ordinary working girl because of her wholesome looks and unassuming manner. The thought that she might be a stripper would probably never enter your mind. And you would never even dream that she could scare a fly:
But looks are sometimes deceiving, and in the case of Dolores Del Raye they very definitely are--for, oddly enough, this brunette beauty is a stripper who frightens the yell out of men!
     How does she do it? Well, she could hardly frighten men with her exquisite features and well-rounded body. In fact, one of her big problems in life is trying to convince men that she should be looked at but not touched. She managers to frighten men, however, with a long and nasty-looking bull whip which she uses in her matador dance routine. And Dolores handles her whip with the professional skill of a lion-tamer.
     Her specialty is teaching hecklers how to behave and she teaches them, of course, with her bull whip. Like the time, for example, when she opened at a club in Baltimore recently.
     "During my first two performances of the evening, a portly gentleman sitting at a ringside table kept making wisecracks about the size of a certain part of my anatomy," Dolores relates. "It was annoying, of course, but I tried not to pay any attention to him. During my matador act for the late show, however, this guy made a very audible remark that was downright vulgar and it made me boil inside.
     "I gave him a dirty look but he just sat there with a fat cigar in his hand roaring with laughter. The only thing I could think of was how much I'd like to make him stop laughing. The next thing I knew I had knocked the cigar from his hand with my whip. The fellow let out a yell and jumped out of his chair, spilling his drink all over himself: The audience thought it was a big joke and part of my act."
     It is lessons like this that make men very respectful toward Dolores. She doesn't frighten men away from her show however, because her sex appeal is quite overpowering. And, Dolores points out, some men even enjoy a few lashes from her trusty bull whip!
     If there were a Hall of Fame for strippers, there would be little doubt that the strippers voted the sexiest in ADAM's nation-wide poll would be selected for a permanent niche. Next time these runway raves play your city, catch their shows and see if you don't agree.

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