Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America

Front Cover
Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated, Jun 1, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 360 pages
20 Reviews

Burlesque was one of America's most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. Gaudy, bawdy, and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified and misunderstood, left out of the history books.

By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance. Lovingly interviewed by burlesque enthusiast Leslie Zemeckis who produced the hit documentary of the same name, are former musicians, strippers, novelty acts, club owners, authors, and historians--assembled here for the first time ever to tell you just what really happened in a burlesque show. From Jack Ruby and Robert Kennedy to Abbott and Costello--burlesque touched every corner of American life. The sexy shows often poked fun at the upper classes, at sex, and at what people were willing to do in the pursuit of sex. Sadly, many of the performers have since passed away, making this their last, and often only interview. Behind the Burly Q is the definitive history of burlesque during its heyday and an invaluable oral history of an American art form. Funny, shocking, unbelievable, and heartbreaking, their stories will touch your hearts. We invite you to peek behind the curtain at the burly show.

Includes dozens of never-before seen photographs: rare backstage photos and candid shots from the performers' personal collections.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America

User Review  - Kat Cowley - Goodreads

One of my New Years Resolutions was to read books on completely off the wall subjects that I normally don't gravitate to. This was such an excellent choice! I grew up loving the movies "A League of ... Read full review

Review: Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

This book was poorly written. It read in parts like a book report an obsequious child wrote- seemingly hurried and uncaring. The information was interesting, but hard to follow. Read full review

About the author (2013)

Leslie Zemeckis is an author, actress, andaward-winning documentarian. Zemeckis wrote, directed, and produced theaward-winning Bound by Flesh aboutSiamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton as well as the critically acclaimed Behind the Burly Q , a definitive historyof burlesque.

Anicon of the burlesque industry BLAZE STARRdid more than merely take her clothes off during the heyday of burlesque. Withan act that included panthers and a couchthat burst into flames, Blaze was a nation-wide sensation. Known as much forher voluptuous figure as for her affairs with Earl Long and John F. Kennedy, Blazeremains a true original and one of the last living legends of burlesque.

Bibliographic information