coral
Bang bang, she shot me down. Coral Honter in 1956

In 1956, there was indignation when a Bicton dance hall presented Coral Honter doing the daring Dance of the Seven Veils. The stunning 18-year-old entertainer, originally from Colombo, raised more than just eyebrows with her strip teases.

Now living in South Perth, the young beauty had developed a fan base among the local ‘jazz sophisticates’. So when Coral announced she would perform the songs of American singer-songwriter Ruth Wallis, it was always going to be controversial.

The songs of Ruth Wallis were banned in Australia, her records confiscated by the authorities, and even possession of them was illegal.

Wallis’ lyrics were pure double entendre from start to finish. A typical verse would run:

Johnny’s got a yo-yo
It really is a wow
Teacher keeps him after school
So he can show her how.
It’s shiny and he says it is brand new
And he can do more tricks with it than his dad can do.
You can’t learn to play with it just by wishin’,
You gotta know how to hold it in the right position
By intuition…

Apart from Johnny Had a Yo-Yo, Coral announced she would also be singing Tonight For Sure, The Pistol Song, Sweater Girl, The Admiral’s Daughter, Down In Montevideo and The Psycho Mambo.

Setting out to provoke Perth’s conservative elements, Coral sweetly said: “I couldn’t care less if a few prudes make a fuss about my singing these songs. Most people, I am sure, will enjoy their sexy sizzle—that’s if they’re sophisticated.”

Coral’s charms had not gone unnoticed by wannabe sugar daddies, especially as she developed a reputation for liberal distribution of kisses during her numbers. “I’ve got one weakness,” she slyly admitted. “Bald heads.”

Sugar daddies had better watch out. This is one smart cookie.