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Check out Burlesque Babes Shop gift items on Zazzle. See the "Logo Girls", Sally the Shape, and Betty "Blue Eyes" Howard, as well as FiFi Paree, Venus Love and Lady Zorro. They're on ties, keychains, and fun cut-out stand-up sculptures ~ paper dolls for grown-ups! More goodies to come! What great gift ideas!

TONI ELLING - The Duke's Delight

Vintage Burlesque Dancer Stripper Photos

Just "Click the Pix" to see a larger view.

The Burlesque Babes Blog presents the lovely TONI ELLING.

From my archives.

  • She was billed as:
  • America's Foremost Sepia Singing Ecdysiast
  • and
  • The Duke's Delight, referring of course, to Duke Ellington
  • Said Toni:

"My stage name is based on the name of my friend Duke Ellington. I just put the "ton" at the beginning with an "i" at the end! Duke is a friend and one of my favorite people. I got his permission and his blessing -- he told me to use his music, his name, anything I needed. I wanted to make it on my own so I never said anything about the Ellington relationship until a few years later when I decided to have flyers made; I put on there that he was my mentor. He loved it!"

  • Read Jo Weldon's Daily Burlesque interview with Toni.
  • Excerpt:
  • " Toni Elling made quite a splash at the Exotic World Striptease Reunion in 2006 when she was interviewed by Lottie the Body, and another strong impression when she performed at the 2007 Reunion. She is a wonderful, graceful, energetic performer, and I can listen to her stories endlessly. She was good enough to give me a full two hours of her time... "

  • In her interviews, Toni mentions how her friend Rita Revere influenced her.

Here are a couple of quotes from another interview, Paradise Regained Detroit's Legends of Burlesque Reminisce, from metrotimes.com.

  • Toni Elling was born in Detroit. At 18, she was selling flowers at the swanky Gotham Hotel, and later went to work for the phone company as an operator. But after nine years there, she says racism prevented her from being promoted. So, in 1960, she became a stripper — at the age of 32.
    • Toni's pathway into the world of striptease came in the form of her friend, a famously statuesque exotic dancer named Rita Revere. "She kept telling me, 'You can do this, you can do it,' and she told me how much money she made. But I was so bashful."

    These interviews are very informative, and well worth your time.

    See many more vintage Burlesque Stripper photos and gift items today in my online shop-- BURLESQUE BABES, with 100's of Sexy Burlesque Strippers from my huge vintage photograph collection.

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