Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DRAG HISTORY...SOME EARLY QUEEN

Drag History continues with some of the early divas who have paved the way for today's queens. I was amazed by just how many were around and how popular some of them were! Very fascinating.


Canadian Jean Fredericks migrated to the UK in 1960 and found fame of sorts with her style of comedy opera. Besides the very rare EP that she recorded, she released the equally rare LP "Recitals Are A Drag" and was known in London society for staging drag balls.


Guilda, born in Paris, France. on June 21, 1924, 'The Toast of Paris' and protégé of the famous French Film Star Mistinguett, was brought to the United States by Mr. Lou Walters of the Latin Quarter in New York. He was the only female impersonator to ever play the famous Latin Quarter Revue. Guilda is a female impersonator who made a career in France and in Quebec, Canada. Jean Guild of Mortellaro came from good stock and lived a life of luxury in the South of France until the crash (depression)of 1929 put an end to this life of dreams. He then joined a touring troupe (vaudeville like The Jewel Box Revue here in the USA) where he became a dancer and learned all about choreography, makeup, etc. He survived through the lethal Second World war raids and went back to show business, where he discovered how easy it was for him to imitate women. He thusly cultivated this talent. Noticed by cabaret owners, he soon became the head of many FI shows, which took him to North Africa and Italy.


Ty Bennett was another successful drag artist, starring at the famous New York City Club 82 from 1958 for over a decade. Sadly he released only one album, because his story telling was first rate.



Lynne Carter was a star of the famed Jewel Box Revue. His impressions of two celebrities, Pearl Bailey and Josephine Baker, were so good that they both gave him some of their gowns to use in his act. He recorded one album, "She's a He," around 1957.




Charles Pierce, "master and mistress of disguise," impressionist and comedian, has entertained audiences in night clubs and theaters since 1954. Between engagements he has "guest starred" on many television shows: "Fame," "Laverne and Shirley," "Starsky and Hutch," "Wonder Woman," "Love American Style," "Chico and the Man," "Merv Griffin," "Mike Douglas," and "The Dick Cavett Show." He has appeared in San Francisco on the popular "Front Row Video" and "AM San Francisco" shows. A televised Concert from the Dorothy Chandler Music Center in Los Angeles, "Ladies of the Silver Screen," has been seen on both the Playboy and Select TV channels. An album, "Charles Pierce at Bimbo's" (Blue Thumb) recorded in 1971, is a much sought after collectors' item to this day.Charles Pierce resided in Hollywood, California, until his death on May 31, 1999. Among his many friends and neighbors were Bob and Dolores Hope; Jo Anne Worley; Jonathan Winters; Alice Ghostley and her husband, Felice Orlandi; and veteran actor and acting school classmate, Bill Erwin.

10 comments:

  1. Pioneers and "founding mothers", all! Jx

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  2. The toast of Paris indeed. You make a history lesson interesting.
    JP

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    1. Cheers! Hope your recovery is going well! Thank you dear.

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  3. Lynne Carter's boobs looks pretty authentic! How do you think she made them?

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  4. Ty Bennet looks larger than life....like a roit a minute.

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  5. More names I didn't know, even though they became kinda mainstream!

    Sidenote: I am a HUGE Sammy Davis Jr fan ... I have all the music! He was such a cool cat!

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  6. Lot's of people I knew nothing about. And I'll bet there are plenty more. Hugs, my mistress!

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  7. Its like the Madonna song Vogue.....they had style they had grace.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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