Singing breasts: musical topless groups of the second half of the XX centuryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/singing-breasts-musical-topless-groups-of-the-second-half-of-the-xx-century
Women sing on stage with bare breasts. It seems that this idea is so simple and so brilliant for a mass audience that it is surprising — why is no one engaged in producing such collectives on an industrial scale? However, history shows that the fate of such girl bands is not always as simple as it seems at first glance.
The Ladybirds ("Ladybirds") is a female band of the 1960s from New Jersey. The participants were cute, frankly did not know how to sing and received the main popularity along with incredible condemnation for appearing on the stages of nightclubs topless.
In their hometown, every appearance of the group created a real stir, so when the level of condemnation exceeded the level of male approval, the "Ladybugs" moved to Las Vegas. There, the young ladies still did not recognize the covered breasts and performed at the Aladdin Hotel together with the comedian Godfrey Cambridge. Sometimes The Ladybirds appeared on the stage of the Blue Rabbit Club in Hollywood and at the Tipsy Club in San Francisco.
While the girls were creating their ambiguous reputation as "the first and only female topless group", they did not hesitate to perform under the soundtrack (after all, it is unlikely that the audience came to listen to their wonderful voices). However, the strip singers still had to learn to sing for real after several incidents with a jammed tape right during the concert.
After Voss Boreta and professional golfer Raymond Floyd took over the promotion of the band, The Ladybirds began to give concerts throughout the United States and Canada. In 1968, the girls sang in the Crystal Room in New York, in clubs in Vancouver and Quebec. And of course, every time their performances caused a stir. The police have repeatedly arrested the band members for their half-naked performances.
The participants themselves were delighted with their work. The guitarist of the band Marcel Mitchell compared topless performances with incredible freedom. The girl worked in a clothing company, "before she found out how great it is to play the guitar with a bare torso." Keyboardist Debbie Diane sincerely believed that when you are in love, the whole world seems to live topless.
The group gained wide popularity in the media — many newspapers interviewed the participants and made news notes about the performances. Of course, the reviews were not always positive, but this did not prevent the audience from looking at the "singing female breast".
In 1968, everything was going well in Toronto, but it wasn't always like this. For example, in 1967, the "Ladybirds" were denied access to the Las Vegas stages by order of the head of the city's music community. After a relatively rapid surge of interest in the topless group, it also quickly faded away. In fact, there is nothing left of The Ladybirds except photos — the girls did not make a single studio recording. The only thing that serves as a reminder of this extravagant girl band is a piece of video from their concert at the Hollywood club "Blue Rabbit", which was later used in the film"Wild, Wild World of Jane Mansfield".
Frankly speaking, together with the" Ladybirds"in the USA in the 60s, another female topless group, The Hummingbirds ("Hummingbirds"), performed. The band was formed at the same time as The Ladybirds to replace them in the Tipsy club during the tour. The highlight of the group was Angela Walker, known in San Francisco for her burlesque shows. As a rule, the girl performed under the stage name Angel of Satan.
The Hummingbirds lasted even less than The Ladybirds. Very often they had to give eight 45-minute shows a night and work seven days a week. Despite this schedule, the girls were paid very little, and soon Angela left the group to return to burlesque.
The Danish band was united and produced by Pierre Beauvais (founder of The Strangers). Just like the first such group, the girls called themselves The Ladybirds, and very often they were announced on stage as "The Ladybirds Music Show". In July 1968, the band visited the Norwegian city of Bergen and on the 29th gave two short concerts in the Star Hall. After their hot performance, the local newspaper Dagbladet broke out a two-page article with a detailed description not so much of the concert as of the band members themselves.
In September of the same year, the Danish "Ladybirds" performed twice as an opening act for The Yardbirds during their Scandinavian tour. Later, The Yardbirds will change their name to Led Zeppelin.
In the next few years, The Ladybirds became wildly popular on the Scandinavian Peninsula and throughout Europe. The girls performed in Copenhagen, Munich, Berlin, Dortmund and in several cities of the Netherlands. A couple of times, the young ladies honored the residents of prim England with their presence, causing a huge stir in the media. Mostly Danish beauties performed at stadiums and before sports events. The group existed for about 10 years.