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Rules of Burlesque Censor Says Net Pants Happy Ray Gets Lucky but Clients Get No Cooch

The rules of burlesque. An original backstage snapshot which provides some guidelines for the girls. Kansas City, 1953, and from the collection of one Happy Ray, a former burlesque comic and emcee turned manager of Connie Ray (which if the photograph I find of Mrs. Ray is true, Happy got lucky...REAL lucky.

Digging around lets you follow Hap's career a bit, with things like "Happy Ray after 12 weeks on the Empire Burly circuit...joined Boob Brasfields company in stock."

The photo, which I purchased from photograph dealer Stonewarezilla on eBay shows a theater manager in Kansas City. Clown feet at left...but I was most interested in the sign of rules.

Kansas City is hardly a place one would think rules mattered too much (being the place where they "got some crazy little women there and I'm going to get me one" after all) but I guess even in somewhat "open" towns the nipple is no no.

In fact, this very sign is mentioned in the book "Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show" by Rachel Shteir on page 248. Ms. Shteir is my kind of writer...in addition to Striptease she's just published a history of shoplifting!

"Net Pants" were nylons which covered the g-string. Net Pants? Pfft. It certainly didn't say anything about net pants on the poster out front!

Original Snapshot, 1953 Kansas City Backstage at the Folly (Burlesque) Theatre, ex-collection Happy Ray Collection Victor Minx