Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Texas Guinan: Lipstick

Under the coded byline "Lipstick," New Yorker staffwriter Lois Long wrote an amusing nightlife column, "When Nights Were Bold" and TEXAS GUINAN was liberally quoted and noted in it. In this recent article for Entrepreneur Magazine, both women were brought together again.
• • "Women Entrepreneurs Take the Stage during New York's Jazz Age" • •
• • Lois ("Lipstick") Long • •
• • In journalism, Lois Long, fresh out of Vassar, covered Manhattan's nightclub life for The New Yorker and became its first fashion editor. She wrote humorous criticism of the Fifth Avenue fashion scene, built up a loyal readership and helped establish The New Yorker as America's quintessential metropolitan magazine. Tall and slender, her jet-black hair fashionably bobbed, a long string of thin pearls dangling from her neck, "she could have modeled for Miss Jazz Age," wrote Dale Kramer in his 1951 book Ross and The New Yorker.
• • "Lois Long invented fashion criticism," said New Yorker editor William Shawn. She "was the first American fashion critic to approach fashion as an art and to criticize women's clothes with independence, humor and literary style." Her column brought The New Yorker exactly the readership it needed to bring in the retail advertising that allowed it to survive and thrive. Beginning in 1927, The New Yorker placed in the top three of American magazines in number of ad pages sold.
• • Texas Guinan • •
• • In entertainment, Texas Guinan, a former silent film star from Waco, Texas, partnered with a gangster and opened one of Manhattan's first nightclubs, starring as its raucous, wisecracking hostess. In 1926 she opened her own club, earning her the moniker "Queen of the New York Night." (In 1929 she appeared in the film Queen of the Night Clubs.)
• • "Get hot is my slogan" • •
• • "Texas Guinan of New York has emerged as a nationally known trademark for indoor fun after midnight," Vanity Fair reported. "Get hot is my slogan," said Guinan, "to encourage bedlam and get the crowd wild." But this brash, peroxide blonde was a devout Irish Catholic who didn't drink or carouse. She had an acute mind for business, investing her profits shrewdly and giving generously to Catholic charities.
• • In battling federal Prohibition authorities to keep her clubs open and winning a succession of court cases, Texas Guinan gave the lie to the idea that all American women supported Prohibition. Her headline-grabbing court battles encouraged other prominent women to form political groups that helped pass the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution, ending Prohibition.   . . .
• • Source:   Article: "Women Entrepreneurs Take the Stage During New York's Jazz Age" for Entrepreneur Magazine; published on Thursday, 11 September  2014 
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• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Jim Timony are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Texas Guinan is in some scenes, too.
Watch a scene on YouTube.

• • Website for all things Mae West 

• • Exciting Texas Guinan news is on the horizon. More anon.
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• • Photo: Texas Guinan
• • 1928 club ad, The New Yorker • •

Texas Guinan.

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