M. and Mme. Paul Derval owners of the Folies Bergere embrace Lydia when she received the Croix de Guerre.
The Folies Bergere in Paris
I phoned through to the publisher and managed to get John Izbicki’s phone number. We rang him and explained who we were and that we would like to engage her for a short season at the CDP in London which he knew, and how the publicity would help with the sale of his book, etc. etc.
He gave us her number in Paris and we spoke to her and arranged that we would fly to Paris immediately and meet with her to see whether we could arrange a contract for her to appear at the Casino de Paris. We wanted to get there fast before Paul Raymond had a chance to chat her up. We did have a friendly relationship with Paul but there was always a sense of competition between us. Pauls Revue Bar was on a far grander scale than the CDP. But artistically our shows were far superior.
We booked into the Scribe Hotel in Paris which was by the Opera and very central to everywhere. The following night Ray and I waited by the Stage Door for Lydia after her performance.
Lydia Lova backstage at the Folies Bergers
We hit it off with her immediately, we explained who we were and where the CDP was in London and that she would appear as a Special Guest Star and that we would like to engage her for a month.
We knew that she was under contract to the Folies Bergere but maybe (fingers crossed) they would release her for a month and we explained to her that it would be great publicity for her, the book, and the Folies Bergere (like they needed it) but it sounded good. She said that she would speak with Michel Gyarmathy
Michel Gyarmathy major domo of the Folies Bergere
She said that she would speak with Michel Gyarmathy who was the director and running the Folies, and see whether it was possible for him to release her.
Lydia was so gentle and amusing and lovely. It was just impossible for us to imagine that with all the suffering and pain that she had lived through, she could emerge from it all like a beautiful butterfly. Lydia explained that she had never done a solo act but we soon calmed her and said that we could arrange the music and choreography and that with our lighting and presentation she would be a hit.
I knew that on the day she left an envelope with all her passport details that we had clinched the deal.
Lydia Lova was engaged to appear at the Casino de Paris for 3 weeks commencing July 8th. 1963.
By this time Rosemary Andree had fallen for Elliott Gold’s ‘extra charm’ and I must say that under his influence she blossomed. With her doll like beauty Elliott treated her like a Queen and he dressed her like one. She became his No.1 Lady, and was always on hand. So apart from her beings our Agent she was also Elliott’s ladylove. Which meant that we had the choice of every girl or act that went into her office. Lucky for us! Of course he still kept his hand in with a few of the old regulars, so there would always be the extra bit on the side who would meet up with him for the odd service. Let alone he was hung like a horse, he must have had the stamina of one!
My Father Sidney, Johnny Gold, Elliott Gold, Ray and Renee, one of Elliott’s Ladies.
Apart from Elliott’s sex life he still carried on with his gambling which was on the rise, we could always tell by the jewellery and furs that Rosemary would be wearing. I have to say that he took such good care of her. Meanwhile Ray and I continued with the shows, and they got better all the time.
Around this period a pretty young lady came to the Casino de Paris, it was either through Rosemary’s Office or she just came in off the street. Her name was Sadie Powell and she was from Wales and a real rough diamond. I asked her ‘whether she had had any dance training or whether she had stripped before?” and she said “No, but I’se can do it! You just show me and I’se do it.” Whatever I asked her she said she could do. She reminded me of myself when I was an actor and would be asked whether I could ride, fence or ski. I would say yes to everything; although I hadn’t a clue. Well, I liked her gall and enthusiasm and Ray thought that she looked good and moved well. So we engaged her and that was how Marissa Lang was born. Sadie loved her new name and soon gathered around her a number of admirers. This included Frank who was known for his association with the criminal fraternity. Still he behaved himself when he was in the Casino and very soon Sadie moved in with him. So she became Sadie the Gangster’s Moll or otherwise the glamorous Marissa Lang.
Marissa Lang about to sing.
To motivate Sadie you had to give her a plot once she had a plot and a character she was away. If she was the heroine, villainess, vamp or just stripping she had to have a plot. We did this raunchy Stoker number which took place on a supposedly Cruise Ship, which whenever I asked her to explain it to me had me doubled up with laughter. In fact it became her party piece. In Sadies words: “ Well, I’se a Lady of Quality and I’se on a cruise wiv me Millionaire Usband. Well ees gawn orf to our Luxury Cabin to kip, cause ees old and nackered. Me, I’se young and orny and I’se on the deck thinkin about nuffin in particular and listening to the dance band and suddenly I’se can hear the noise of the engines down below decks and it gets louder and louder and I’se getting ornier and ornier.”
Breath “Well I’se goes down below in search of the noise and in the hold I’se comes across these two stokers. Stoking!” Breath “Well, these two orny guys rip me cloths orf and we’se goes into this sexy dance and when I’se finished wiv em both. I’se goes back to me cabin. To kip and see whever me old man is still alive!”
By this time I usually finished up on the floor. Sadie certainly had a way of turning a phrase.
Lesley Glory, Tony Koon and Marissa Lang in “UNFAITHFUL”
Lesley Glory and Tony Koon in ”SEX BALLET”
You can read the full story of the Casino De Paris by clicking on the following link