Elsie Mae T.V. Mama
When I was about fifteen years old I was in Houston with my mother, and I started to meet some interesting people..(I was a wanderer).The lady that baby sit my sister and brother, was the sister of a 70 year old stripper or shake dancers as they were called then, Miss Tiny, I loved to hear her talk about the days of dancers and what the clubs had been like,of course I did not at the time realize that she was still dancing!! Her granddaughter and I were in school together , so I was at their hous often and loved to meet the old trouppers...The conversations were amazing...They spoke a whole different language to anyone else i knew at the time...and loads of laughter.I can get a mind picture of that house in my head even now..it was a happy time...
So I was so surprised when i was invited to go out with Miss tiny and entarage for a show at a 5th Ward Club..(in those days a teenager could be in a club if with an adult) this is not the story though...When miss Tiny came on I was shocked ! I know i was sitting with my mouth open! She could dance, I totally forgot her age...It was fantastic...After the show she was paid and we left and went to Club Matinee on Lyons Avenue and I was in Lala land..The band was Bobby Blue Bland, and the blues was kicking, I had never seen so many well dressed men and women in my life...I am talking class all the way..But that is still not the story..
As other clubs were closing (12 o'clock) The Matinee was filling up with other entertainers from other venues, and Miss tiny knew everyone so I was meeting all of Houstons Blues and bar crowed and baby I was in heaven!! I was dancing my little butt off and laughing like I had never laughed in my life...and I met my first crush!! and with meeting my 2nd crush I met Miss Elsie Mae T.V.Mama!! T.V. she was one of the most elegant women I had ever met she was pure glamor, it was a joy to meet her and she was about 300 pounds of solid beauty. I was in love!!!I did find out that night that T.V. performed at a club called The Blue Flame owned by Salina Rogers another well known entertainer ( I learned this later) accross the street from Club Matinee..( Now you know I was already planning) All the way home that night my mind was racing how was I to get back there??????
Now I knew if I dissapered the next night which was Saturday night it would take them only a moment to find me...So I went on with my normal wanderings and visits for 2 more weeks,,,swiped my current stepfathers id(Social and drivers license, no photos in those days..)and Friday night caught the bus 2hours and 3 transfers later, I was standing infront of the Blue Flame!!! I don't think my heart had ever beat so fast, I have never been so excited and scared in my life...it was about 8pm and finely dressed people had started to arrive,I waited and watched for about an hour before I got up enough nerve to go in..The band was swinging, I knew enough to only order a soda as I sit at a corner table. One of T.V.s group saw me and remembered me and came over to talk. the first show would be starting in about 10 minutes and I was grately relieved I was not getting kicked out.. As Langston wrote "Maybe it ain't right but children of the night will give a snake a break"I was well taken care of that weekend. .
The show was well done the entertainers were just amazing!! Salina did a song call "Hot Nuts" that had me on the flo laughing!!(Salina is a post alone) And then T.V.Mama with the wide wide screen was called to the Stage and I was lost!!! She wore this beautiful green evening gown and baby this lady could sing!!!She rocked the joint..Her Last song was "All of Me" half way through the song T.V. grabs the front of her gown and it dissappears like air!! She has on a fringed G-String and baby could she dance..she could take her butt in a complete circle stop and take it back the other way!!! I had never seen anything so amazing in my young life...There was not a person still in their seat at the end of her number and the applause was deafning, me included....I met and talked to her almost all night,and refused to go home, I wanted to live this life they were living...They all lived above the Club so I stayed the weekend..long story short.( In the post on Salina Rogers I will tell how my Father found me) Because Sunday I was in the back of my fathers station wagon on my way to Louisiana. LOL..on that memory...
The next time I saw T.V. I was in my home town in Louisiana and won a radio name that song contest to see the show at a club named "The Arrow" even though I passed it every day I had never been in! Of course i am now 18 and legal LOL.. When I walked in T.V. Saw me and she remembered me and I felt so good seeing her once more and we had a wonderful time and once more the show was just amazing..well Life goes on and T.V. Was leaving for California the next day and we lost touch for quite a few years..because the next time I saw her I was visiting home after University and Went to see James Brown at Ball's Auditorium,and saw this woman walikg through the crowed to the stage and Could not believe my eyes! There was my dear friend Miss T.V. Mama and she was part of the James brown revue!!! After the show we talked for hours that night. I still think of her often and would love to see her once more...
You can find her on James Brown, Funky Diva's Album..This is the only photo I can find of her and if anyone knows her please let me know,,,I have known the best....
Well Jazzlovers Until next time,
Keep the beat..