Girl Show: Into the Canvas World of Bump and Grind

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ECW Press, 1999 - Photography - 244 pages
Girls! Girls! Girls! The carnivals, the girls, and the scams -- a journey back through time to the glory years of traveling adult entertainment. Many of these photos have never been seen before, and no one has published a book exclusively devoted to the women (and men) who performed in Girl Shows. Picture yourself at a carnival in the 1950s. It's summer, and after you wander through the midway, you head towards the sideshow area. There, on stage in front of huge banners, is Tirza -- The Wine Bath Girl. A crowd has already gathered, and the talker is describing the pleasures to be found inside, but only after you've bought your ticket. "See the beautiful Tirza, in the altogether, taking a full bath -- in wine!" Interested? Unfortunately, you can't attend these Girl Shows anymore. The last performances occurred in the mid-1970s. But you can see 200 photos from 1900 onwards in A.W. Stencell's book about this cultural phenomenon. And you can read about their European origins, their American developments, their heyday after World War II, and their ultimate demise in the face of men's magazines, strip clubs, and x-rated videos.
 

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As a kid in the sixties I loved the" Broadway to Hollywood" burlesque show on the James E. Strate midway of the New York State Fair. This book gives an accurate view of that show, and the entire lost entertainment genre, with amazing photos.

Contents

CHAPTER 1 THE BIRTH OF BALLYHOO
601
CHAPTER 2 WHATS UP FRONT COUNTS
619
CHAPTER 3 GIRLS GRIFT ON THE SHOWGROUND
635
CHAPTER 4 SEX ON THE HALF SHELL
647
CHAPTER 5 BURLESQUE STARS
665
CHAPTER 6 SHEBAS ON TRAMPLED GRASS
681
CHAPTER 7 THE GIRLSHOW TALKER
697
CHAPTER 8 A PRIZE IN EVERY BOX
711
CHAPTER 12 THE SOUL OF BACCHUS
777
CHAPTER 13 HAVE YOU SEEN MITZI?
789
CHAPTER 14 SOME HOUSEHOLD TIPS
797
CHAPTER 15 THE LAST OF THE TASSELTWIRLERS
807
CHAPTER 16 I CANT HEAR YOU
817
GLOSSARY
832
INDEX
837
BIBLIOGRAPHY
842

CHAPTER 9 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE ORGANIST IS DRUNK?
723
CHAPTER 10 GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS AND TUBBY BOOTS
741
CHAPTER 11 WELL JUDGE ITS LIKE THIS
757

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About the author (1999)

A.W. Stencell (born of normal parents) owned and operated his own circus for 19 years. Always an avid collector, he has found thousands of photos and illustrations of circuses, and interviewed hundreds of ex-carnival people.

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