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Sepia Gloria Swanson
& Sepia Mae West

There was a practice in the 1930s that I thought interesting,
of several female impersonators taking their names from
celebrities. And the ones that caught on took their names
from Gloria Swanson and Mae West. They were quite
successful, especially in Harlem, often sharing bills with
top entertainers.

Sepia Gloria Swanson was prominent enough to be
mentioned in reference books, like "Gay New York,"
by George Chauncey

And James Wilson's "Bulldaggers, Pansies and Chocolate Babies"

and a number of times in Chad Heap's "Slumming" and in
"Chicago Whispers" by St Sukie De La Croix



Harry Winston

...dies in train wreck

Walter Winston

Sepia Mae West

a name used by several entertainers...
must have been confusing

Dick Barrows


(note: sharing a bill with Bessie Smith )

San Fouche

Sam Fouche


Richard Barrow


Peggy Joyce, aka Sam Fouche


Dick Barrows

Sam Fouche, aka Peggy Joyce

Mae Johnson

Mae Johnson