Friday, March 28, 2014

Shirley Houser and the After-Hours Shakedown

Just a hint at the methods used by paperback and magazine artists of the 1950s and 1960s. This is but one example, and more will follow as they are found. It's no surprise that many pinup/glamour models were in-demand for artists of the era (if they make a hit in a photo, then they should in a painting, right?), with babes like Diane Webber, Betty Brosmer, and the unknown but prolific Barbara Nichols, all lending their dimensions for adoption by the painter's palette. Here, Shirley Houser makes her mark. Houser was by no means a popular model, but clearly had the right stuff for the job. The art on the paperback looks like it could be the work of Chiriaka, but it's an often imitated style, so an exact detail is fraught with possible inaccuracy, but I'll stab. Photos of Houser were taken by Bernard (presumed "Bernard of Hollywood") for VUE. *Pickup a copy of the VUE - you'll be surprised by Candy Barr.
Shakedown Strip - Louis Malley
Avon Books T-394, c. 1958
Vue: America's Photo Digest - v11n5, Sept. 1958
Shirley Houser (front cover model)
- likeness used for cover of "Shakedown Strip"
by Louis Malley (Avon Books T-394)
Images generated by the author, using items from the author's personal library.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Miss Angelo's Nose

Whether compact hourglass dimensions, a formidable bust that, when bereft of silky support, appears to the viewer as two powerful beacons, hypnotic and only the prominence that supports the whole idea, an exact nose perfectly perky, or the brief and handcrafted lower limbs, Michelle Angelo is pleasant to admire from thousands of miles and several decades away. She took to nude figure modeling and eventually topless dancing supposedly to support a man through higher education...I admire that. Michelle made a handful of nude film appearances, some not always tame or innocent, and appeared in the raw in several hundred magazines (French Follies, Tip Top, Kingsize International, and more), on the covers of a few published novels (like Henry Sackerman's "The Crowded Bed"), and in countless photographs and their negatives...I admire that, too. Her ample breasts with built-in mocha lattes to quench our ocular thirst, and 40-25-35 measurements encapsulating a rather fit body, kept her cover-girl status in full effect for guess how long....only 2 years...abrupt, but admirable.

It's assumed that she modeled as a professional from 1966 to 1968, a period when it seems she painted the newsstand scene as her personal Sistine Chapel, but her likeness can be seen in published form as late as 1976 (on the cover of the Greenleaf book, "Ann's Boy Hunger," by Brian Laver). Miss Angelo was an immediate hit amongst breast men, and her openness to boy/girl, girl/girl photo shoots afforded her the chance to dominate other niche markets, like the leg-centric scene and the 'X'-rated film.

For years Michelle Angelo was disappeared from the world as what she flew into it, maybe raising a family, keeping a warm home, whatever, but she returned sometime in the 1990s to reconnect with fans (and there are plenty) but after some digging, I found that my only digging of the sweet munchkin was of her magazine appearances, briefly in slightly BDSM movies, and her various and sporadic book covers. If she has an official website, it's now extinct or incredibly difficult to find. No bother: her chapter in the biography of human sexuality is one of few pages, but of the purest and strongest impact.

Items pictured are owned exclusively by the author, being:
French Follies - v4n2, May-July 1967. Features 6pp and color cf of Michelle.
Ann's Boy Hunger - Brian Laver, Companion Book #4048, Mar 1967. Front cover solo, on lovely floral bedspread, mochas whipped.
The Passion Pit - Mel Howard, Brandon House #1135, 1967. Front cover with mysterious dude.
Dr. Make Love - Danny Land, Brandon House #1145, 1968. Front cover with a "Mad"man.
Tip Top - v6n4, May-July 1967. Front and rear covers and 6pp, from same shoot as Brandon House Books #1135 and #1145. Sweet, dig the garters.
The Crowded Bed - Henry Sackerman, Sherbourne Press, 1967. Front panel of the dust jacket, with two dudes.