Brandy Martin: Society Girl #Vintage #Burlesque Queen #Photos


 The Intoxicating Brandy Martin
… She goes to your head!

Also known asThe Society Stripper

Brandy Martin was pictured in several magazines and books on Burlesque. There was a long article by Arch Ayres in Cabaret Magazine.

 In that 1956 interview she said she was then 23, and claimed that Brandy Martin was her real name, but Arch thought it was as ”real as a twelve dollar bill”, and that she was the debutante daughter of wealthy Philadelphia socialites.

Brandy ran away from an arranged marriage, and headed to New York to be a dancer, struggling to make it on her own financially. After working a succesion of chorus lines, she discovered stripping.

Following her very first appearance in her new career, Walter Winchell wrote, “Brandy Martin will give Lilly St. Cyr competition as a stripper.” That cinched it, for she was besieged with offers within in the next week and discovered she could choose the creamiest ones from the top.

The article doesn’t really give us her history, and it was early in her career. But it’s fun to read. Read it in full here (screen shot below).

Brandy Martin did perform at our own Rose La Roses famous Town Hall Theater in 1953, which would have made Brandy only 20 then and headlining already.


Burlesque Books to look for:

  • Here’s some info about the book: 
  • Mens Magazine put out a book titled A Pictorial History of Burlesque from A-Z
  • Published by Sherbourne Press, Los Angeles in 1964.
  • Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a famous Burlesque Star or Stripper. 
  • It is almost entirely pictorial, very little writing except to explain each star and a brief biography.
  • Included are: Arlene Stevens, Blaze Starr, Camille, Bubbles Darlene, Dixie Evans, Carmela, Gilda, Betty Howard, Irma the Body, Jennie Lee, Sharon Knight, Tana Louise, Brandy Martin, Nejla Ates, Liz O’Leyar, Pepper Powell, Queen Murine, Rita Grable, Lee Sharon, Tempest Storm, Paula Uhrsan, Vicki Palmer, Evelyn West, Misty Monaco, Doe May Davidson, Zorita.

  • COLLYER, MARTIN Burlesque: The Baubles…Bangles…Babes
  • A history of burlesque. B+W photos throughout (Evelyn West; Dixie Evans; Harold Minsky; Tempest Storm; Rosita Royce; Ann Corio; Carmela; Danielle Dao Tien; Brandy Martin; Feline; Debbie Starr; Lili St. Cyr; Lilly Christine; Lady Zorro; Vallkyra; Sherry Britton; Redd Foxx)

#Burlesque Babe Brenda Hollis ~ The Golden Girl 1959

Today’s Vintage Burlesque Babe is the lovely Brenda Hollis 

  • Her early promo pix have the tagline ‘The Golden Girl’ (which was also used by other babes).
  • She had a photo spread in the July 1959 Modern MAN Magazine.

1960’s record album cover: COLOR ME RED HOT by Brenda Hollis

I found Brenda’s record after a nice reader sent in their memories:

“Brenda Hollis was originally named Audrey Ernst. She was the runner up for Miss Cincinnati losing out to a woman who became a famous actress. She considered her dancing “exotic dancing” and believed in the art of anticipation and the tease. She was a wonderful singer who sang with Artie Shaw. She sewed all her own costumes. The costumes were labor intensive – each sequin was sewn on by hand. She was a lifelong searcher re: Life. She lived to her 90’s and died in San Antonio with her son Robert Horton by her side. She was dramatic and always traveled in a whirlwind ( I remember her playing in Miami Beach, Las Vegas – the Stardust and others.) She wore high heels to the beach!”

I could not find any bio/history or other online references to any vintage Burlesque stripper named Brenda Hollis, so if you have any info, memories, or stories to share, please email me. Thanks!

True Story ~ 1960s #Burlesque Queen Tammi True Still Workin’ It!

Tammi True 1960’s Promo Photo and Ad
(Google image search pix.)

A living legend: Tammi True. Her real name is Nancy Myers. She performed back in the 1960’s, and worked in Dallas Texas at Jack Ruby’s club.

1963 video clip of Tammi True performing – link.

She was a part of not just burlesque history, but also Texas’ and America’s history. As she worked for Jack Ruby at his nightclub, she also had to go to Washington DC to speak to the investigating committee after John Kennedy’s killer was killed by Ruby.

[Image Source: Dallas Observer]

Tammi saw the demise of the old Burlesque world, but she’s around to enjoy the renewed interest in Burlesque, and even participating in it. And looking great while doing it!

Tammie True was the subject of some interviews and articles, which led to her attending some modern Burlesque events, more press and appearances, even a documentary film titled TRUE TALES.

And now she’s got a website –

Tammy True’s TRUE STUFF website.

And a book – 
The Wild and Wayward Tales of Tammi True [Amazon] [Author]

Here are a few of the many interview links, and some more screen shot photos.

  1. Dallas News 2013 interview – link.
  2. 2011 article in D Magazinelink
  3. Recent event video – link.
  4. Her Ruby revue page – link.

“In the 1960s, Nancy Myers, better known as Tammi True, headlined at the Carousel Club, the striptease venue owned by Jack Ruby. Throughout her career as a burlesque dancer, she performed in several downtown Dallas clubs and traveled the country with her routine. They called her Miss Excitement.”

Top Bananas: Burlesque Comics / Vaudeville Comedians

Burlesque featured skits & baggy-pants clowns with the “talking woman” who never stripped, but would do bits and serve as foil to the comics.

Top Bananas: Burlesque Comedians

There was one folder in Rose La Rose’s theatre photo archives entitled simply COMICS.

The pix weren’t even all named, and there wasn’t any extra ads or info. Apparently most of the comics didn’t even bother with professional photos with their stage names printed on, at least the ones playing Toledo in the 1960s.

That could be because they just didn’t feel good about doing Burlesque… maybe they didn’t even have enough money.

Here’s a quote I found in this book: Broadway: Its History, People, and Places : an Encyclopedia – Google Books Result by Ken Bloom.

Joey Bishop recalls the attitude of the burlesque comics:

“Every burlesque comic felt like burlesque was the end of the road for him. If he flopped he had no where else to go… “

Finding info on Burlesque comics is even more difficult than researching the girls. There’s a little here and there online, but hopefully more will be added. With google scanning millions of books and magazine’s, every day there’s more info available on zillions of subjects.

I hope they’ll scan all the wonderful old CAVALCADE OF BURLESQUE magazines. They are 95% pix of girls, but the rest features comics — the Top Bananas of the day. You can even read the scripts of some funny comic bits — “Gags” as they called them.

Above is the cover of the 1st issue, Fall 1951. So that means these guys and gals were working in the 1940s. Below are a few comics. My pix are difficult to read. Someday I’ll do quality scans of all my Cavalcades, but for now:

Billy ‘Scratch’ Wallace / Mike Sachs

No names…

Starting below are the pix that were in my archives, so most of these guys were performing circa 1950s & 1960s :

Mickey Jay with Rosemary
Billy Reed with Jean Carroll
Oaky Miller
Ken Duric
Bob Ferguson
Willie Dew
Silky Silvers
Bert Gehan
Erby Wilson
Pat Burns
Dick Martin
Lee Clifford
Jimmy Calvo
Phil Lane
Billy “Cheese’n’Crackers” Hagan (this pic is from the 1951 Cavalcade of Burlesque mag.)
Jack Hayes (another pic from the 1951 Cavalcade of Burlesque mag.)
Jack Hayes owned a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio which he sold in 1954. [Billboard] [Photo of Chalimar]
Billboard Magazine‘s Burlesque notices have Jack in and out as owner of several other restaurants over the years, all over the country, and of course dozens of notices about performing his act.
(Above) A 1972 Michigan newspaper article quoted Jack Hayes, who was still performing (and was the doorman) then, at age 71:

BACKSTAGE: “There’s no more burlesque now. It’s a girlie show now ” said Jack Hayes. Hayes, 71, was for 30 years a burlesque comic now is the ‘theater doorman. Hayes hams it up among the leftover props he sometimes uses for his Saturday night comic part.

The guys below were in my comics folder, but without names:

Thomas ”Scurvy” Miller 

  • Ken M. tells us: “Having seen him a number of times at the old Fox Theater in Indianapolis, I am sure he is Scurvy Miller aka Tommy Miller.
  • Jim D. adds: “Yes indeed! I knew him from the Avenue Theater in downtown Detroit in the late 40s and early 50s. He was the regular non-stripper there for every one of the many performances I saw there during those years. He was known to be a wealthy property-owning resident of Grosse Pointe, the richest Detroit suberb.
Joan Arline‘s comments, above, about Scurvy Miller (from Behind the BurlyQ).

A 1967 article painted a picture of Tommy as ‘an old man’:

 [Image source

I know there were many more Burlesque comics, but I have just shown the pix that I had from Rose’s photo archive.

Siri, the Dutch Doll ~ 1950’s #Burlesque Queen Vintage Photos

Siri, the Dutch Doll

Other than many newspaper ads for her appearances in Burlesque theaters and clubs in the 1950s, the only info I could find on Siri was from the FBI’s investigation into Jack Ruby. The FBI looked into his known associates, which include anyone who performed at Ruby’s night club.

This screen shot of the FBI report [link] shows that they contacted Siri, who said she never worked for Ruby.

We can see her real name was Marjorie Alice Putnam, was living in Hollywood, and at that time, 1963, had been in show biz for about 20 years, and stripping for ”the past several years”.