Weekly Burlesque: Tami Roche

When I was growing up in Atlanta, I saw the strip-joint signs and old burlesque signs; I was also aware of Atlanta’s burlesque star, Tami Roche.

Because I started working the clubs in 1980, there were still some dancers who had done burlesque in the ’50s and ’60s around.  Some of them were still dancing but most of them not interested in the full-nude table-dance format (and sometimes not so nice about us doing it), still working in the clubs as costumers or managers, wearing fabulous hair and nails and giving us great advice about showmanship and terrible advice about how to make money.

I didn’t get to meet Tami Roche but her name came up frequently as one of the last great tassel twirlers.

She appeared in Russ Meyer’s Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens with Kitten Natividad (one of the most lovable and darling people ever born). And she appeared in Ann Corio’s revival of This Was Burlesque in 1981 (available on VHS as Here It Is Burlesque).

Recently, I was at a meeting with several of the people who are participating in Deitch Project’s Liz Renay Retrospective. Scott Ewalt has put together an incredible book on Liz Renay, to die and die and die for, and we talked about a few people who are difficult to get information on by simply Googling, and Tami Roche came up — so I thought I’d give her a shout out!

– Jo Weldon

Jo Weldon is headmistress of the award-winning New York School of Burlesque and is a regular burlesque performer. Visit burlesquedaily.blogspot.com to read her daily blog.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Burlesque: Tami Roche”

  1. I was a customer of Tami at various Atlanta clubs. She became a friend who taught me SO much about behind the scenes of Atlanta’s adult entertainment industry. Tami is the perfect example of a “Man’s Woman” … That can’t be taught, a woman is born with the ability to make every man (who Loves women) love her!

  2. I worked with Tami in “This Was Burlesque” and was the short, out of step, bubble gum chewing blonde comedianne of the chorus line. So – Tami, if you read this I’d love to hear from you.
    Marilyn (you used to call me “Little Bits”)

  3. I worked with Tami at the old Centerfold in 1984. She and her daughter, Rabia aka Lisa, were wonderful people to be around.

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