Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tami Roche


Image courtesy of Skinnergy.

When I was growing up in Atlanta, I saw the strip joint signs and old burlesque signs; I was also aware of Atlanta's burlesque star, Tami Roche. Because I started working the clubs in 1980, there were still some dancers who had done burlesque in the 50s and 60s around, some of them still dancing but most of them not interested in the full nude table dance format (and sometimes not so nice about us doing it), still working in the clubs as costumers or managers, wearing fabulous hair and nails and giving us great advice about showmanship and terrible advice about how to make money. I didn't get to meet Tami Roche but her name came up frequently as one of the last great tassel-twirlers.

She appeared in Russ Meyer's Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens with Kitten Natividad (one of the most lovable and darling people ever born)


And she appeared in Ann Corio's revival of This Was Burlesque in 1981.
Available on VHS as "Here It Is Burlesque"

Recently I was at a meeting with several of the people who are participating in Deitch Project's Liz Renay Retrospective. Scott Ewalt has put together an incredible book on Liz Renay, to die and die and die for, and we talked about a few people who are difficult to get information on by simply googling, and Tami Roche came up--so I thought I'd give her a shout out!

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

4 comments:

sonnybonoskiteam said...

I don't know who will read this, but I am quite familiar with Tami Roche. Since you are from Atlanta you probably know my family members quite well. My grandfather (he's actually step) owned dominos, what it is, and the paradise supper club. My grandmom was a burlesque dancer and danced in new jersey, philly, and atlanta. She won a miss nude atlanta award. (as well as my mom) her stage name was miss april flame and her show would have her dancing on a bed of burning coals. My grandfather had quite a few "girls", including tami. he had zolita, and she would dance with an ocelot, and misty champagne, who did champagne baths. I was just really excited to find your site, because I love burlesque and I am so proud to have such creative and talented women in my family that embraced such an art form. thank you for teaching this to others.

Madison said...

I used to go see Tami Roche dance at the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta, and she is still lovely, and a very sweet person as well. I miss seeing her - she is very sexy!

Alexledoux said...

I was searching the internet for people in Atlanta that I was associated with to see if they were still alive or remembered.

I'm working on a novel based on my life and the life of my mother Concetta Chillemi.

I met Tami back in the late 70's. She was married to Johnny Kirk who owned the Domino Lounge. Tami and her daughter both worked for the Bottoms Up Lounge across from the Fox Theatre when I was involved with the club. After leaving the Bottoms Up she and her husband Phil Shepard bought and opened the Fancy Lady. I have so many great rememberances of Tami. I'm seventy one and retired from the nightclub business which I was involved in since buying in as a partner in a nightclub in New Jersey at age 21. Tami keep twirling those tassels.

Anonymous said...

Is Tami still alive? If so anyone know where she is living these days?