Check out these “shake dancer” legends in action. Most would compare shake dancers to modern day strippers. But burlesque performers were about mastering the art of tease. Most performers were also trained dancers. Burlesque was often used as a starter platform for dancers to take off in their careers. For instance Ethlyn Butler started off as a shake dancer, but later trained as a ballet dancer.
Tonga La Tour
Chicago’s Rosemarie Black aka Racetrack Rosie
Venus La Doll
Lotti the Body
Lotti the Body
Tropicana Havana Club Dancers
Jet Magazine, Rosemarie Black facebook, FotoMarcos
Funny…about 2 weeks ago I was in my room playing “I’d rather go blind” over and over. I sang along every time for almost a full hour. Something about Etta’s sultry voice could make you feel her pain through the music. It was the blues… it was crying woman. I felt every shred of sorrow she encompassed through her voice. Etta, you will never be forgotten.
I randomly came across this interesting singing group from the 1960′s called Les Surfs. The Rabaraona family singing group of six originally from Madagascar, found success singing French pop songs. They later recorded albums in Spanish as well. Monikya, the lead singer along with her sister Nicole and 4 of their brothers toured all over world and appearing on many tv shows. What I found so appealing about this group is that they had a number of music videos. We like to think music videos were not a popular thing until the late 1970′s or early 1980′s. However, Les Surfs provides quite the contrary with a quick search on youtube. Might I mention, all the members of Les Surfs were under 5 feet in height. Check out some footage of this incredible group.
For years now, I’ve been stopped on the street by random people to tell me I look like a young Nichelle Nichols. I have friends who have begged me to dress as Uhura for Halloween. Well I think it’s an honor to resemble such a vintage beauty. I met her once at the Comic-Con. I thought to myself, okay this is how I will look in 50 years! Hopefully…
Miss Pearl Bailey… There aren’t enough words in my heart to express how much I adore her talent. She was one of the most gorgeous vintage beauties of all times. She was delicate and feminine, and rough when she needed to be as well. Pearl got her start doing Vaudeville, but eventually made it to Broadway.
Her beauty and grace continues to inspire me. The bellowing waves of her hair, and the perfect placement of the feather on the dress blows me away. A stellar confident posture and innocent gaze in her eyes will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace to vintage legend, Lena Horne.The ground breaking star passed away Sunday night at the age of 92. Lena had an amazing career staring as far back as 1942 where she starred in her first MGM filmPanama Hattie. Horne broke color lines in the 1940′s and 50′s as a singer and actress. She was very light skinned and was of African, European, and Native American decent, but still acknowledged as Black woman. She played a role in the Civil Rights movement by refusing to play for segregated audiences and rallying with noted figures such as Medgar Evers. She will be missed dearly by fans all over the world and here at 16 Stone Vintage.