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Carol Doda's Condor Club in 1973
Carol Ann Doda (b. ca. 1944 in Solano County) was a topless stripper in San Francisco, Californiamarker in the 1960s through 1980s, one of the first of the era.

In 1964 Doda made international news, first by dancing topless at the city's Condor Clubmarker, then by enhancing her bust from size 34 to 44 through silicon injections. Her breasts became known as Doda's "twin 44s" and "the new Twin Peaks of San Francisco."

Early life

Doda grew up in San Francisco. Her parents divorced when she was 3. Although private about her personal life, she claims to have dropped out of school, and become a cocktail waitress at age 14.

Topless entertainer

[[Image:Condor Club.jpg|right|thumb|Historical marker at the original Condor Clubmarker site. Full text:"The Condor; Where it all began; The birthplace of the world's first topless & bottomless entertainment; Topless - June 19, 1964 Bottomless - September 3, 1969 Starring Ms. Carol Doda; San Francisco, California"]]Carol Doda attended the San Francisco Art Institute and worked as waitress and lounge entertainer at the Condor Clubmarker at the corner of Broadway and Columbus in the North Beach section of San Franciscomarker. Doda's act began with a grand piano lowered from the ceiling by hydraulic motors; Doda would be atop the piano dancing.

She descended from a hole in the ceiling. She go-go danced the Swim to a rock and roll combo headed by Bobby Freeman as her piano settled on the stage. From the waist up Doda emulated aquatic movements like the Australian crawl. She also did the Twist, the Frug, and the Watusi.

On June 19, 1964],, when Doda was approximately 19 years old, the Condor's publicist, "Big" Davy Rosenberg gave Doda a "monokini" (topless swimsuit) designed by Rudi Gernreich. She performed topless that night, the first noted entertainer of the era to do so. The act was an instant success. Two months after she started the rest of San Francisco's Broadway was topless, followed soon after by entertainers across America. Doda became an American cultural icon of the 1960s. The Republican National Convention was held in San Francisco, during the summer of 1964; many of the delegates came to see Carol Doda. She was profiled in Tom Wolfe's 1968 book The Pump House Gang and appeared that same year as Sally Silicone in Head, the 1968 film created by Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson, and featuring The Monkees. The movie was produced by Columbia Pictures. She appeared in a Golden Boy parody with Annette Funicello, Sonny Liston, and Davy Jones.

Encouraged by her success, Doda soon decided to enhance her breasts with silicon injections, going from size 34 to 44. Doda became renowned for her big bust, and was one of the first well-known performers to be surgically enhanced. She had 44 injections, a large dose of silicone, at a cost of $1,500.

For the topless and waterless Swim Doda wore the bottom half of a black bikini and a net top which ended where a bathing suit generally began. Doda performed 12 shows nightly so that management could keep crowds moving in and out. The large lit sign in front of the club featured a cartoon of her.

Bottomless entertainer

On September 3, 1969, Carol Doda began dancing bottomless (i.e., totally nude) at the Condor. She danced bottomless until the California alcoholic beverages commission passed a rule in the autumn of 1972 prohibiting nude dancing in places that served alcohol.

Court appearances

On April 22, 1965 Doda was arrested with Gino del Prete, owner of the Condor Club. They were cleared when two judges instructed innocent verdicts. Judge Friedman's memorandum to opposing attorneys read Whether acts...are lewd and dissolute depends not on any individual's interpretation or personal opinion, but on the of the entire community... del Prete and Doda were arrested during police raids to stop bare-bosom shows in North Beach. Peter Mattioli owned the Condor Club by 1967 and Doda still appeared in shows there.

Doda was a witness during the trial of two all-nude dancers who were arrested for indecent exposure and lewd and dissolute conduct, in 1969. The defendants were dancers at the Pink Pussy Kat in Orangevale, Californiamarker. Presiding Municipal Court Judge Earl Warren, Jr. moved the trial, temporarily, from the courtroom to Chuck Landis Largo club. There Doda performed to live song and dance numbers, along with a movie entitled Guru You. She was cross-examined by a deputy district attorney about what she hoped to convey to audiences in her act. Doda was dressed in a red miniskirt which had dark blue piping (sewing) and beige boots. She responded that the movie represents a satire of's to show people the humorous side of sex. Several members of the 10-man, 2-woman jury kept in check their smiles as Doda explained the 17-minute movie. The deputy district attorney opposed asking her to perform, considering it irrelevant to the case. He was overruled by Warren.

Later career

From the late-1960s through the late-1970s, Doda was the spokesmodel for what is now the San Jose, Californiamarker television station KICU-TVmarker Channel 36, then known as KGSC-TV. Filmed from the waist up and wearing clothes which amplified her most prominent physical attributes, she would coo "You're watching the Perfect 36 in San Jose." She would also occasionally appear on-air to do editorial commentary on the issues of the day.

In 1982 Doda was again dancing at the Condor three times a night. She was 45 and performed to rock 'n' roll, blues, and ragtime. Each act was the same, with Doda appearing in a gold gown, traditional elbow-lengthgloves, and a diaphanous-wraparound. Her clothing was removed until shewore only a g-string and the diaphanous wraparound. In the final portion she was attired in only the wraparound. Her small body looked slimmer without clothes, a perception which was emphasized by the dwarfing effect of her breasts. At the time she was taking dance and voice lessons but had no definite plans for her future.

Doda retired from stripping in the 1980s and now runs "Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique", a lingerie shop in San Franciscomarker.

As of 2009 Doda had been performing (fully clothed) for several years at several North Beach (San Francisco) clubs, including Amante's and Enrico's Supper Club.


External links

  • NNDB listing: Carol Doda
  • California Births, 1905-1995 Carol Ann Doda
  • After 45 years, stripper still pack's 'em in, San Francisco Chronicle, August 23, 2009 [194161]

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