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.