Julie Gibson, like a good number of classic burlesque dancers
defined their careers with one gimmick. For her, it was the "Dance of the
Bashful Bride." Known as an East Coast dancer (with her main gig being
at the Wedge in Philadelphia),
Gibson would transform from
a sweet and innocent blushing bridge on her wedding day to a less-than-innocent
honeymoon night bump-and-grinder.
Dressed in full bridal wear, she would walk
down the stairs to the stage as if she were preceding down a church aisle.
Once on stage, more than just the bridal bouquet would be thrown off. Men,
who usually hated to attend weddings, would clamour for front-row seats
to see this woman-in-white.
With her small stature (5' 4"), curvaceous
measurements (35-23-35), and innocent pout, Gibson would
be just the type of girl that men in the club would dream of marrying.
And as a bonus, she could look sexy and seductive while taking off a big
wedding gown and all the bulky layers that went with it. It was the classic
angel/devil, virgin/whore act all rolled up into one.
Gibson, like many dancers of
the 1950's, was brought before a judge to defend her act against obscenity
charges. She called her act "art" and offered to do her dance in the courtroom
in front of the judge. The judge declined and after that the case fizzled
away. It wasn't Perry Mason, but it worked none the less.
There's also an interesting bit of trivia
concerning Gibson and the U.S. Navy. It seems in the mid-50's,
a Navy development team for a new type of underwater listening device was
located outside Philly--the main stomping grounds for Gibson.
They needed a code name for the project and so they called it Project:
Julie. It must have been a success because Gibson at
one point was honored aboard the USS Valley Forge because of her namesake