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Jewel Box Lounge, Kansas City...


THE JEWEL BOX LOUNGE (1948-1982): Known for its "femme mimic" performers in the late 50s and 60s, Jewel Box Lounge on Troost Avenue was the place in the Midwest to see local and nationally-recognized female impersonators like Rae Bourbon and Skip Arnold perform their comic diatribes and singular renditions of popular songs from the time. Sandwiched between the Cat Baleau and the Yum Yum Club (a house of burlesque and strip club, respectively, all owned and run by John Tuccillo), Jewel Box Lounge welcomed audiences of all kinds. Heterosexuals and "homophiles" (or homosexuals) came together here to drink, smoke, mingle, and share a laugh.

Throughout the 50s, the Lounge survived bans on crossdressing and police raids on gay bars--part of a local and national effort to crack down on the "homophile problem" during the Eisenhower years. The Lounge remained at Troost until 1972, when it moved to 31st and Main Street--coinciding with a general shift in drag performance trends from cabaret song-styling to lip-syncing. The Jewel Box Lounge closed its doors for good on Saturday, March 6, 1982 with a final performance by the legendary Sandy Kay.

Above history from this site

Also see this link: Private Birthday Party

Jewel Box Lounge

NOTE: this one features Rae Bourbon!

and was used in his trial, hence the "state's exhibit" stamp on the last page

Jewel Box Lounge


below, Rae Bourbon was the washerwoman

Don Winters   Nikki St Cyr

Terry Lee   Tommy Baker

Skip Arnold   

Above, Joey Block, Butch Ellis, Jamie Greeney, Carey Davis, Skip Arnold, & GG Allen

Skip Arnold on right

Above, a coaster, and below, matchbooks including the JBL



Below, on my copy of the flyer is handwritten "July 2, 1965"

Bobbie Benet   

Above, Bobbie Benet, and below, Rae Bourbon, Terry Kaye & Salome, all Misters

Rae Bourbon, Terry Kaye, Mr Salome   

Above, Buddy Chris, Just Tempest, Tommy Temple and Scottie Carlyle

Terry Lee


From 1962, Skip Arnold, Rickie Jade, G.G. Allen, Carrie Davis, Gene Evol

Below, grabbed these images from an eBay auction,
one I unfortunately did not see in time to "buy it now"...:(
They include rare photos of Butch Ellis,
and each card was advertized to be about 4" x 5"


Below, Trifold of Troost St Clubs

Postcard Flyer

The five below from an eBay ad...


and this one is not JBL but has a couple of its stars, Butch Ellis, GG Allen


Top row: Timi Saxton, Butch Ellis, Tommy Temple, Roby Landers, second row of that book, Carey Davis, GG Allen

and a very rare cardboard fan...



St Louis Club Ads

more Barbara LeMay

Read Excellent 2015 Article about the JBL

Current view (2018) of the building that housed the JBL
photo by Kevin Taylor