Who is the longest performing peeler in Burlesque? That honour goes to Tempest Storm.
Born Annie Banks on 28th February 1928 in Georgia, USA. Before the age of 20, Annie was twice married and divorce; finally leaving Georgia to follow her dream of show business. Originally, Sunny Day was Annie’s first idea for a stage name. Thankfully she settled for Tempest Storm in 1950 (legally amended her name in 1957). Tempest had her breast insured with Lloyds of London for one million pounds. She appeared in Irving Klaw’s pin up photography when she was not performing. This even included an appearance in Klaw’s feature ‘Teaserama’, along side fellow 50’s siren Bettie Page in 1955. Not quite a film in the traditional sense of being shown in a mainstream cinema. Klaw’s films were for a more ‘specialised’ audience. Of course, as all the great peelers of the 40’s-50’s Tempest took Minsky’s by storm in 1957. When she was not hanging out with the Rat Pack in Las Vegas, where she still resides.
Tempest was involved with Mickey Cohen, Elvis Presley and even John F. Kennedy. She was also married to Duke Ellington, (the first black cowboy) at a time when interracial marriage was a big taboo.
Even when Burlesque was falling out of favour, Tempest carried on performing. Officially, 1995 was the year Tempest retired from shaking her ‘moneymaker’. Though she did perform every once in a while until 2010 (breaking her hip). Regardless of whether she is performing or not. Tempest is one of the last links we have to the Burly Queens of the past, a stellar vintage I am sure you will agrees.