Tempest Storm, 93, Stripper With Enduring Va-Va-Voom.
On a Saturday afternoon (October 12, '57) Elvis left Memphis for a ten-day vacation in Las Vegas. He stays at the Sahara Hotel, dating exotic dancer Tempest Storm, she was not the only girl who drew his attention though . . .
Elvis Presley and Joan Adams | Las Vegas, October 1957
Joan Adams was "Miss Nevada 1957," and ended second runner-up in that year's Miss USA Pageant.
She had just made a network TV appearance on "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" two weeks earlier. Elvis was very interested in this beautiful little girl and that interest was not mutual . . .
The Daily and Sunday Express. Thursday, July 2, 2020.
Presley's "ex-girlfriend." "I thought he BROKE his back after I turned down his advances."
Miss Nevada Joanie Shoofey aka Joan Adams has revealed how she turned down Presley at first and how she worried he'd broken his back after pushing away his advances.
By GEORGE SIMPSON
During his 42-years-old, Elvis Presley had relationships with many glamorous women. One of them was former Miss Nevada Joan Adams, who dated Elvis in 1957. Now in a new interview, the woman who would later sign Presley with her future husband Alex Shoofey to a residency at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, has revealed how she turned down ol' swivle hips.
Speaking with Elvis expert Billy Stallings ─ Spa Guy ─ on his YouTube channel, Joanie Shoofey née Adams said: “When I dated him I turned him down at first. However, Miss Nevada’s boss begged her on his knees to date the King as it would be great publicity.
Joan said Elvis wasn’t her type but eventually agreed to just dinner, making clear that’s all that would be on the table. In the end, he took her on a motorcycle ride, but they had a flat tyre. On a visit to her trailer on another occasion, Elvis was shocked to find Joan didn’t have any of his records.
He said: “You’re right, you’re not an Elvis fan.”
Joan revealed: “Next day he started trying to fool around and I grabbed his shoulders and shoved him and [he] hit that cheap coffee table, on the corner of it."
“We thought he’d broke his back, he was laying on my floor.” Panicking, Joan asked Elvis: “Do I call an ambulance? Colonel Parker?”
The King replied, “Let me lay here,” before later finding he could walk and leaving.
The next day, Joan received all of Elvis’ records, delivered on a pillow. She admitted: “I still have them unopened . . . as I wasn’t an Elvis fan.” Joan recalled: “I told him I liked one of his songs and he started singing all these songs to me because I couldn’t remember the name of it. Elvis got around to singing Love Me Tender at which point Miss Nevada called out “That’s it!” The flabbergasted star replied: “You couldn’t remember Love Me Tender?!
“I made a movie called Love Me Tender!”
Elvis Presley and Sandy Preston | Las Vegas, October 1957
Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth, Texas
Friday, December 06,1957.
The brass Sandy Preston recently linked in a romance with Elvis Presley has been duetting regularly with Jackie Clark a comedian at Cerutti's.
While at the Sahara Hotel, Elvis and his date for the evening, New York model Sandy Preston went tot he opening show of Marge and Gower Champion’s clown act. He also met Sahara owner Milton Prell and husband and wife singers Louis Prima and Keely Smith who performed regularly in Las Vegas.
Elvis Presley and Tempest Storm | Las Vegas, October 1957
. . . However, a long-legged red-headed burlesque dancer had other things in mind to mess with Elvis' head!
“Well, I’m as horny as a billy goat in a pepper patch. I’ll race you to the bed.”
About Tempest Storm: Storm is a true superstar of burlesque. She was born Annie Blanche Banks on Wednesday, February 29, 1928.
With her statuesque figure and enticing stage show she was the queen of burlesque in the 1950s and 1960s and enjoyed high profile relationships with male celebrities including Mickey Rooney, JFK, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis.
Tempest Storm has one of the greatest stage names for any burlesque performer ever, but that isn't all she had. Standing 5'6" tall, with flaming red hair and a figure that men (and many women) would kill for, Tempest soon went from chorus girl to strip-tease star. She also became a pin-up sensation with the help of legendary photographer and director Russ Meyer (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls).
She was one of the defining women in the golden age of the striptease, creating a lasting myth that every classic bachelor is thankful for. For those of you who weren't around to see her in her prime, you can luckily still find some of her strip-tease movies, most notably Teaserama, which stars her and Bettie Page.
These films were meant then to be just stag films, but now are treasured as a glimpse into a world that no longer exists. Tempest continued to appear live on stage until the 1980s. Tempest and Elvis participated in a promotional shoot in Las Vegas in 1956 where their relationship began.
Tempest has retired from performing, but hits the stage every once in a while (like she did at the 2006 Exotic World Weekend) to show the current generation what the golden age of burlesque was all about.
One astrologer commented that being a Pisces, Ms. Storm would have a slim body. The following excerpts are from her best selling autobiography, ‘The Lady Is A Vamp,’ published in 1987 by Peachtree Publishers. It is a colorful and highly entertaining autobiography.
Standing next to the publicist, I could see the dark, handsome features of Elvis towering over a circle of chorus girls just down the hallway . . . the publicist giggled at his own cleverness and scurried away to pull Elvis from the clutches of the young dancers from the chorus line. Even with his dark skin, Elvis blushed deeply when he saw me.I could tell he was trying not to look at my plunging neckline as he said in a deep but boyish voice tinged with a southern accent, “Hello, Miss Storm. Your show is the greatest.” As the photographer’s flash winked, Elvis asked what I would be doing later. I coyly told him that I already had plans. It was true. I’d planned to dine with Major Riddle and an oilman from Texas who’d sent flowers to my dressing room the previous night. I suggested that we might get together another time. Then I guided his arm around my waist and told him to think naughty thoughts, “like we just got out of bed together.”His face reddened again. He turned toward the camera and didn’t look away until the photographer had finished. His uneasiness made smiling a breeze for me. Not only were we going to get some great publicity photos, but I was also going to linger in Elvis’ mind as a different sort of woman, someone not ready to swoon at the opportunity to be near him. After several flashes, I put one hand on the upper part of his bare chest above the opening in his silk shirt. Still, he didn’t look at me. I finally called a halt to the picture session and turned to leave. “I’ll see you soon,” he said as we parted.
Once we were alone at the table, Elvis didn’t waste any time letting me know what was on his mind. He said he wanted to see me away from the hotel, away from the lounge, away from other people. I asked in my most teasing tone just what he would do, enjoying my power over this man who held so much power over so many women. I shall never forget how his face reddened and he struggled to express himself.
“Well, we could, uh . . . ”
I didn’t intend to let him off easy. “We could do what, Elvis? Go to some secluded place and make mad, passionate love?”
I had heard tales about Colonel Parker, Elvis’ manager, friend, and father figure. “I’ll bet he wouldn’t like your getting all romantically involved with the wrong woman, would he?” I teased. Elvis said he usually did what he wanted to do, that he was free to dine with whomever he chose. And if he felt like seeing someone that Colonel Parker didn’t approve of, then he’d just leave his security men at the hotel and do what he wanted. I said, “Elvis, that’s sneaky.” He said he’d do it anyhow.
Wanting to know just how successful I had been at arousing this legendary sex symbol, I couldn’t resist asking, “Would you sneak out for me?” He suggested we get together that night, but I demurred. I had another show to do, and I needed my beauty sleep. Then I smiled at him and said, “But tomorrow is another day.” Indeed there were other days.
Elvis and I became almost inseparable. We dined together, danced together and laughed together. As much as I enjoyed the feeling of power that came from having the idol of millions idolize me, I also felt real compassion for Elvis.
I understood the pressures of being a star, of having fans who felt that your onstage persona was theirs for the asking offstage. I also knew what it was like to be constantly concerned about your image, to calculate the effect of every appearance, onstage and off─so gradually, I felt myself growing closer to Elvis, and I became less concerned with playing games and more interested in a real relationship.
The one thing Elvis and I had not done was make love.
When I received a late-night phone call from him, remembering our past conversations, I didn’t have to be a mind reader to know what he wanted to talk about at that time of night.
“Tempest, honey, I’m busting out of here tonight, and I want to see you. Real bad,” he said. I had been coy long enough, so I consented. But still concerned with my image, I added, “You can’t come through the lobby. No man has ever been seen coming to my suite, and I’m not going to start with you.“That’s just as well,” he said. “Colonel Parker is raising hell about us already, and I’d rather come in the back way.”
Thus, from the very beginning, our intimate relationship was, in part, controlled by our public images and by those concerned with protecting and maintaining them. This was a lifelong pattern for us both. I reminded Elvis that there was an eight-foot security fence behind the hotel. He said he would climb the fence if I would just tell him where my suite was located. I promised I would open the drapes and turn on some lights so he could see me. Then the phone went dead.
Elvis. — God, what magic that name bore! Even though I wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone, I was thrilled at the prospect of what the next few hours might bring. I stood before the mirror and admired the negligee I’d bought in Los Angeles a few weeks before. I loved it. But I decided that it wasn’t sexy enough for Elvis, who was only twenty-one at the time. So I changed one more time – to a blue shorty that would show off my legs better. Then I put every hair in place. After all, if Elvis Presley was going to leave his security men behind and climb a fence behind my hotel, I wanted him to remember ─ for all time ─ that first glimpse of me when he came around the swimming pool and looked through my patio door. I wanted it to be just like a scene in a movie, the kind of scene I had imagined back in Eastman as I thumbed through my dog-eared movie magazines for the hundredth time.
Perhaps fifteen minutes after Elvis hung up the phone, I saw a leg slide over the top of the fence. Then he stopped, hanging comically with one leg at the top of the fence and the other pointing toward the ground. Obviously, he was hung on something. I couldn’t help from smiling at the sight of my glamorous date’s daring arrival.
I’ll never forget that naïve country boy’s saying, “Well, I’m as horny as a billy goat in a pepper patch. I’ll race you to the bed.” So much for the way I would have written this scene. He grabbed my hand and started toward the nearest door. I told him that it led to the hallway. He swore and turned toward another. I said that was the bathroom door. He smiled, and Stormy started growling to let me know she wasn’t happy to have a visitor, I nabbed her, dropped her into the living room and closed the door before she could scamper back into the bedroom. She immediately started whining and scratching at the door. Our romantic evening was about to turn into a silly comedy sketch. Elvis complained about the distraction, but he wasn’t distracted for long. I knew how to turn the tone back toward romance. He was the impatient lover that night.
As the sounds of lovemaking grew more intense, so did Stormy’s growling and scratching. Once Elvis asked if I would mind if he strangled Stormy, but I managed to take his mind of the dog. Later, we lay side by side while our breathing slowed. It was a tender moment between two people who understood the lives they each were leading in the fast lane of a very busy highway, a life that could also be very lonely.
As with any lovers, for Elvis and me these special moments after lovemaking were the time for talking, for sharing feelings, for holding on to that feeling of closeness the physical intimacy helped to create. He kissed me and said he wanted to be with me as often as our schedules allowed, but he’d have to be careful because Colonel Parker was in a huff about me. I knew what was coming ─ the stigma I often dealt with, that of being a stripper. The gossip columns had labelled Elvis and me “breakfast pals” and had speculated that things might be getting serious between us.
Tempest Storm, Who Disrobed to Enduring Acclaim, Dies at 93
One of the most celebrated strippers of her time, she began her career in burlesque’s golden twilight and continued performing into her 80s.
By Margalit Fox The New York Times
April 21, 2021
Tempest Storm, one of the most celebrated strippers of midcentury burlesque, who continued plying her craft until she was in her 80s — not because she had to, but because she could — died yesterday, on Tuesday, at her home in Las Vegas. She was 93.
Harvey Robbins, her longtime manager, confirmed the death.
Routinely named in the same ardent breath as the great 20th-century ecdysiasts Lili St. Cyr, Blaze Starr and Gypsy Rose Lee, Ms. Storm was every inch as ecdysiastical as they, and for far longer. Almost certainly the last of her ilk, she was, at her height in the 1950s and early ’60s, famous the world over, as celebrated for her flame-red tresses as for her vaunted 40-inch bust.
“Everything you see,” Ms. Storm proudly told an interviewer in 1975, “is all mine.”
Playing burlesque stages in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Bay Area, London and elsewhere, she was reported to earn $100,000 a year in the mid-1950s (the equivalent of about $950,000 today). Her breasts were said to be insured with Lloyd’s of London for $1 million. “Tempest in a D-Cup,” the headlines called her; “The Girl Who Goes 3-D Two Better.”
American stripper Tempest Storm poses next to a promotional poster for her burlesque act in front of a theater, 1954. Credit Getty Images
Visiting the University of Colorado in 1955, Ms. Storm precipitated a riot among eager male students that caused hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage — by doing nothing more than removing her mink coat.
She was seen by still wider audiences in midcentury burlesque performance films, including “Striptease Girl” (1952); “Teaserama” (1955), which also starred Bettie Page; and “Buxom Beautease” (1956).
More recently, she was featured in the documentaries “Behind the Burly Q” (2010) and “Tempest Storm” (2016).
Along the way she acquired four husbands and many lovers, among whom she said were John F. Kennedy (“He was a great man in everything he did,” she said) and Elvis Presley (“He really was the King”), while losing, night after night, her mink, gloves, gown, pearls and hat — though retaining her G-string and fishnet bra, and with them her virtue.
“I think taking off all your clothes — and I’ve never taken off all my clothes — is not only immoral but boring,” Ms. Storm told The Wall Street Journal in 1969. “There has to be something left to the imagination. If you take everything off, you please a few morons and chase all the nice people away.”
She began her career in burlesque’s golden twilight, performing to a live band amid clouds of feathers and sequins, with elaborately staged production numbers featuring flocks of chorus girls and punctuated by winking asides from baggy-pants comics.
She continued through the waning of the genre, brought on in the 1960s by television; through its death rattle, sounded amid the feminist sensibilities of the 1970s; and — against all expectations except, perhaps, her own — on into the 21st century.
Ms. Storm at her apartment in Las Vegas in 2008. She continued performing into her 80s.Credit Jae C. Hong - Associated Press
Ms. Storm in performance at the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s annual All-Star Burlesque Weekend in Las Vegas in 2008. Credit Jae C. Hong - Associated Press
A “vintage stripper,” The New York Times was already calling Ms. Storm in 1973, when, as it turned out, she had more than 40 years to go.
Ms. Storm could scarcely have envisioned a career of such length — or, for that matter, a career in the field at all — when she was plain Annie Blanche Banks of Eastman, Ga.
She was born there on Feb. 29, 1928, the daughter of poor sharecroppers soon to be made poorer by the Depression. Her parents’ marriage ended before she was born, and after her mother remarried, Annie became the family Cinderella.
“I never knew my dad,” she told The Daily News of New York in 1965 in her still-rich Georgia drawl. “I had three stepsisters and two stepbrothers. And I did all the chores: cookin’, cleanin’ and bed makin’. All the while I wanted to be a movie star.”
She left home at 14 but got only as far as Columbus, Ga., where she held a variety of jobs, including inspector in a hosiery plant. She married a Marine soon afterward, though the marriage was annulled about a day later. In her midteens she wed a shoe salesman, though that marriage, too, was short-lived.
By the time she was in her late teens she had made her way to Los Angeles, where she found work as a cocktail waitress. A customer told her she ought to be in show business and asked whether she could perform a striptease.
“I said, ‘What is that?’” Ms. Storm recalled in a 2013 interview with The Quad-City Times. “I was from a small town, I didn’t know. He said it was just dancing, but you take your clothes off. I said: ‘Oh, no, not me. My mother would disown me.’”
But the man arranged an audition with Lillian Hunt, the choreographer of the Follies Theater in downtown Los Angeles, who put her in the chorus at $40 a week.
A few weeks later, Ms. Hunt offered her a $20-a-week raise if she would strip. She nervously took the stage, wondering whether she could muster the nerve to part company with her gown.
The decision was taken out of her hands when the spotlight hit her and the gown, badly fastened, fell to the floor on its own.
“That was when I learned the basic rule in this business,” Ms. Storm told the film critic Roger Ebert in 1968. “No matter what happens, keep moving.”
Ms. Storm, seen here in the 1950s, always kept something on.
“I think taking off all your clothes — and I’ve never taken off all my clothes — is not only immoral but boring,” she once said.
For a stripper, the name Annie Blanche Banks lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, and Ms. Hunt gave her a choice of stage names: Sunny Day or Tempest Storm. She chose the more turbulent of the two, and made it her legal name in the late 1950s.
A third marriage, to the owner of a burlesque theater, ended in divorce, as did a fourth, to Herb Jeffries, who sang with Duke Ellington and starred in early Black westerns as a singing cowboy. Her marriage to Mr. Jeffries broke midcentury racial taboos, costing her work. But it was not for that reason, Ms. Storm made clear, that they divorced.
“A guy marries a girl in this business and he thinks he can handle it,” she told The Kansas City Star in 2014. “They love you when you’re engaged, but they can’t handle it when you’re married. All of a sudden they want you to wear dresses all the way up to your neck.”
Ms. Storm’s survivors include a daughter, Patricia Jeffries, and a granddaughter.
Through all the years, Ms. Storm kept moving, through the occasional arrests for indecency, through the closing of one burlesque house after another, through a fall onstage in her early 80s in which she broke her hip, through audiences who left in the middle of her act because, in the age of cable TV and the internet, they found it too tame.
She persevered, appearing in Las Vegas nightclubs and at burlesque festivals and nostalgia nights — her figure as shapely, and her hair as red, as ever.
“I guess I’d miss it when they stopped looking,” she told the British newspaper The Independent in 1996, when she was 68. “So I make sure they do look.”