Review: Tales of Tammi True

Dear Constant Reader,


  The Wild and Wayward Tales of Tammi True by Nancy Myers & David Hopkins (2015).

Nancy Powell (now Myers) danced under the name of Tammi True in the Dallas area in the 1960s. She got her start when she was hired by a band to go-go dance, but the club that booked them wanted a stripper instead. After her successful debut, she performed in many of the area clubs, like the Theater Lounge and the Skyliner Ballroom.

Her infamy came when she was called to testify before the Warren Commission because she had worked at Jack Ruby’s Carousel. Before the newspapers published her personal information, she had successfully been keeping her burlesque career a secret from her neighbors. Although she continued performing after that, she retired before the decade was over.

The book isn’t very long and about one-third is about her burlesque years. The writing came out of interviews with Ms. Myers for a magazine article and it shows. My biggest quibble with the book is that the authors can’t seem to decide how to present her story. It’s predominantly a verbatim transcription of Tammi’s reminiscences, but there are sections in Q/A format and some third-person passages. I also wish that the section of photographs had been captioned.

I didn’t find her story particularly wild or wayward (especially compared to some I’ve heard from Legends), but my perceptions are probably a bit skewed compared to someone with no grounding in burlesque history. That’s not to dismiss her story; everything we can learn first-hand about burlesque back in the day is valuable.

M2

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Published in: on 18 August 2016 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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