Whatever it is that girl put a spell on me.
Yes, we know. We've mixed and matched Jimi Hendrix. The line about putting a spell on him is actually from “Purple Haze” not “Voodoo Chile.” Doesn't matter. It fits. Above, returning for yet another engagement at Pulp Intl., is legendary burlesque dancer Lilly Christine, aka The Cat Girl. These shots were made, as were the last we shared, at the 500 Club in New Orleans, where she performed regularly. In the final one, in case it isn't clear, she's drinking or pretending to drink out of a gourd. After which... maybe she spit liquid all over herself to make her skin all slippery and gleaming. Not that something like that would turn us on. But it would some people. In any case, these photos are interesting not only for Christine's outfit and gyrations, but because they show a bit of the crowd, and the presence of two female heads gives an indication of how co-ed burlesque shows were back in the day. Women wanted to see erotic spectacles too, and we can only imagine they left highly impressed. The guys, meanwhile, we're sure left highly inspired. And when those two reactions meet! Sparks fly in the coital bed. That's what burlesque is all about. Yes, it's an art form, but it's an art form designed to give you a boner. Don't let anyone tell you differently. See plenty more burlesque imagery here.
It's time to let the south of Spain weave its spell.
Hello, Pulp Intl. visitors. We've scanned and uploaded so much recently, you had to know an intermission was coming, right? We have some friends over from the U.S., so we're going to leave our base of Cadiz, have a wander, and show them a few amazing sights. This will actually be the sixth time we've gone wandering this year, but our first website hiatus. We know the province pretty well now, and there's plenty for our friends to see. Roman ruins? Pristine beaches? The best bars in Spain? Let's go with all of the above. There are even some vintage bookstores scattered around, and we've picked up a few pulp items but not shared them yet. We'll get to that. Regarding our break, since there's plenty of recent content we won't bother with our usual links to old posts. Okay, maybe a few. Check out this, this, this, and this. Or just have a scroll. Our intervalo will be finished within a week or so.
She's been around to visit once or twice.
You may think we posted this kneeling image of Japanese actress Reiko Ike back in November, but it isn't the same. We had to reverse it to match the previous shot to see the subtle differences. The facial expression, details of the hair, the angle of the camera, and especially the position of her hands are all new. Reiko has also covered herself more fully in today's pose. In the earlier one—let's just say censorship standards were being pushed. In addition, this photo is more retouched. In the previous one you can see the blue veins in her skin. That image was published in Weekly Playboy in 1974, but this one appeared two years earlier as part of the magazine's 1972 Reiko Ike calendar, which we've been documenting since January. There are only four short months to go until that project ends, but fret not, Reiko lovers—we have enough photos of her to last long past December.
If it's facts you want you've bought the wrong paper.
Above is a cover of the tabloid National Informer published today in 1969 with a feature on "watch-a-rape clubs," and we remind you again, these stories are fake. Tabloids at the level of Informer are closer to The Onion than any real newspaper, with the difference being that The Onion is actually funny. While it is absolutely certain that men have stood idly by and watched women be raped (all you have to do is read the news), it's equally certain that there were no watch-a-rape clubs. The story is written as cheesy softcore porn, and the image used is a promotional still from the 1968 movie Les oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou, aka Birds in Peru, with Jean Seberg. It was a controversial film, which is probably why Informer editors borrowed the shot.
They continue their anti-woman campaign in the story, “How To Tell When Someone Feeds You a Pack of Lies.” The pertinent section from author E.W. Steele: “Among the most notorious of liars are fishermen, golfers, salesmen, politicians, and women. The last-named are, perhaps, the most expert of the lot, because they find it so easy to assume an air of maidenly sincerity and absolute innocence. In addition they are less scrupulous than men. Not troubled to the same extent with qualms of conscience, lies flow from their lovely lips like lava.”
Less scrupulous than men? Apparently, this particular Informer is not so much a tabloid, but an encyclopedia of male grievance. They even try to drag Groucho Marx into it, somehow enticing him (if it really is him) into authoring an essay, “Groucho Marx Speaks Out on Love, Lust and Passion.” Marx, globally acknowledged comic genius, doesn't generate many laughs here. But it's late in his career, and maybe the written word simply wasn't his medium. After all, there are no prop eyeglasses and mustache to help him out.
While we enjoy major scandal sheets such as Confidential and Whisper, these bottom tier tabloids go against our ethical grain. But we scan and upload them because we consider them useful historical artifacts. Others have agreed. We've been contacted several times over the years and asked to provide full-sized scans for research papers and indie documentaries—though we've never seen the final results of those projects. Hey, you scholars and filmmakers, remember you said you'd send us copies when you were finished? Still waiting.
Elsewhere in Informer the (not so) Great Criswell puts in an appearance. He gives readers his usual set of preposterous psychic predictions. Our fave: I predict that an American writer will win the Nobel Prize for Literature very soon. Criswell probably thought he needed to mix an easy one in there, something he was sure to get correct, and guess what? He was way off! It took seven whole years for an American to win—Saul Bellow in 1976. Does seven years count as very soon? If you're a Galapagos tortoise maybe, but not as far as we're concerned. Back to the drawing board, Criswell.
She was one trip to the hairdresser away from international fame.
This nice image starring none other than Bettie Page was printed by its photographer, who whose name—Blackthorn—you see at lower left on the full scan. This is exceedingly rare, thus there's little information about it, or the photographer. We can tell you, though, that it's an early Page image, which we deduce from the fact that she's not wearing her trademark straight hair and bangs, a look which became so famous that wigs of it are still sold today. Legend goes that she went for bangs because a photographer told her she needed to hide her shiny forehead. We think Page looks better without the bangs, and we don't think there's a thing wrong with her forehead. Because of the hairstyle, if we had to guess, we'd say this shot is from 1949 or 1950, just before her memorable transformation. We have a few interesting Page items in the website, but for our money, the best is here.
Charisse strikes a perfect pose on MGM mailer.
We have something a bit different for you today. We say that every time we have something from Israel, don't we? Well, in our experience items from there are pretty rare. And like our many Japanese discoveries, they're inherently interesting because of the different alphabet used. What you see here is a promotional postcard for the 1957 MGM musical film Silk Stockings, which starred Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire. It's not a film we'll talk about, as it falls outside our purview, but we love this item, which we spotted on an auction site. It's crudely printed, but beautiful just the same, thanks to Charisse, who was one of the special beauties of her era.
According to the vendor, the text says, “See you this week in the Esther cinema hall in the magnificent musical film, Silk Stockings. Yours, Cyd Charisse.” The Esther was a Bauhaus style cinema built in Tel-Aviv's Dizzengoff Square. It opened in 1931 and was a popular social hub for decades before being closed, then reopened as a fancy hotel. As you know, we're into old cinemas, and we managed to track down a shot of the Esther, which appears below. Consider it an addition to our collection of vintage cinema photos. We don't have an Israeli release date for Silk Stockings, but if we had to guess we'd say it played there in 1958 or 1959.
Every flight was a one-way trip.
Above is a photo of a Word War II era Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka, or “cherry blossom”—not a legit airplane, but rather a barely aerodynamic, wooden-winged, jet propelled craft released from on high and meant to be steered into enemy ships, whereupon the massive bomb that made up the nose of the ungainly contraption would detonate. Piloting one was considered a great honor, though few hit their targets due to their fragility and lack of maneuverability. These were dubbed by American servicemen “flying coffins,” for obvious reasons. This example was captured on Okinawa, which is why you see a “keep out” sign and a U.S. military policeman standing guard. The photo, which is one of the better ones we've seen, was published today in 1945.
She makes you wish June lasted all year.
Above: month six of the 1972 Reiko Ike Weekly Playboy calendar. As always, Reiko looks uniquely wonderful, though that brick surface couldn't have been comfy to pose on. Well, art requires sacrifice, and we thank her for all she did. As you can see, the editors of Weekly Playboy decided to use this image to span two months, which means in July we'll have to give you a substitute shot to cover—or uncover—that month. We have plenty, so look forward to that.
It was a place filled with natural wonders.
We found this advertising flyer for Abe Weinstein's famed Dallas burlesque venue the Colony Club floating around online, and we think its lovely model and deliberately skewed text make it interesting enough to share. An image search doesn't reveal where online it originated, but its size (1,600 pixels wide) causes us to suspect it first appeared on someone's blog. Abe Weinstein, along with his brother Barney, was a big player in the Dallas nightclub scene, and dancers that passed through his clubs included Lili St. Cyr and Candy Barr.
As the line-up from May 10th to 23rd 1954 indicates, musical entertainment was part of the draw too, helping to attract not just men, but couples. The lingerie-clad woman, presumably a dancer, gracing the front of this flyer is not known to us. We figure she could be the Joan King mentioned, but there were no images of Joan King online when we searched. We'll keep an eye out. In the meantime, if any of you can identify this person, feel free to get in contact.
The infamous Jack Ruby owned a club called the Carousel on the same street as the Colony. While the Colony worked to cultivate an aura of reputability, Ruby's club was a dive that he opened above a delicatessen two doors away in hopes of capturing Colony's overflow. His musical entertainment was a bump and grind band, he sometimes showed porno reels before the dancers went onstage, and some of the girls were said to moonlight as prostitutes.
Ruby and Weinstein didn't get along. Weinstein even barred Ruby from the Colony for trying to hire away the staff, and, according to Weinstein, Ruby threatened to kill him a week before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Just another tidbit from the dark annals of American history. But back to the original subject of burlesque, we have dozens of entries about it. We can't find all of them right now because time is short today and there are more than 6,400 posts in the site, but we located some good ones here, here, here, here, here, and here. Abe Weinstein surrounded by some of his dancers.
Hey, since you're back there, tell me something. Do I look as amazing to you as I do to me?
We've arrived at what would be month five of the 1972 Reiko Ike Weekly Playboy calendar, but we already used that image a while back, so we're offering a substitute. Above, Reiko climbs atop her vanity to get visual confirmation of her own unusual beauty. We'd spend a lot of time in front of the mirror too, if we were her, but we'd be touching ourselves in every possible way. This shot came from a 1974 issue of Heibon Punch and was accompanied by other interesting photos we'll probably share down the line. We will return to your regularly scheduled calendar next month.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1920—U.S. Women Gain Right To Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified despite heavy conservative opposition. It states that no U.S. citizen can be denied the right to vote because of their gender.
1958—Lolita is Published in the U.S.
Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita, about a man's sexual obsession with a pre-pubescent girl, is published in the United States. It had been originally published in Paris three years earlier.
1953—NA Launches Recovery Program
Narcotics Anonymous, a twelve-step program of drug addiction recovery modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, holds its first meeting in Los Angeles, California.
1942—Blimp Crew Disappears without a Trace
The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears on a routine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crashes in Daly City, California. The mystery of the crew's disappearance is never solved.
1977—Elvis Presley Dies
Music icon Elvis Presley is found unresponsive by his fiancée on the floor of his Graceland bedroom suite. Attempts to revive him fail and he's pronounced dead soon afterward. The cause of death is often cited as drug overdose, but toxicology tests have never found evidence this was the case. More likely, years of drug abuse contributed to generally frail health and an overtaxed heart that suddenly failed.
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