A friend recently had the pleasure of having dinner with Rusty Warren in Palm Springs. He texted to suggest her for the “Style Icon” series and I knew immediately that she needed to be part of it. I first heard her songs a several years ago an became intrigued by who this woman was. She clearly was breaking all the rules back when there were rules, that takes guts. It turns out she is still fearless, still amazing, and still breaking all the rules.
Rusty Warren (born March 17, 1931) is an American comedian and musician.
Known as the Knockers Up Gal, she has frequently been called the mother of the sexual revolution. Her career began in the early 1950s in Phoenix, Arizona. Later she moved her act to Las Vegas, Nevada. Her comedy routines exposed the subject of sex from a female perspective. Her most famous contribution to the sexual revolution was the song “Knockers Up” from the 1960 album of the same name. The women in the audience were encouraged to stand up and march through the room with “their knockers held high.” This was followed by the song “Bounce Your Boobies” in which Warren encouraged women to relieve themselves of their bras.
From Her Website:
From Rusty to Blue
My real name is Na#&@ G*!#8man. Oops… major typo, I’ll fix it later. But the rascals, er, children, next door called me Rusty on account of my hair. “Warren” came from an avenue in Milton, Mass, where I grew up and up and up. I studied voice and piano from the tenderized age of 6. Back in 19#@ the New England Conservatory of Music gave me a B.A. — Bawdy Arts degree. Summer vacations found me playing piano at clubs and hotels. I could talk a blue streak. Well, it didn’t start out blue. I was too young to drink, but honey, I could sing and play and joke and flirt. A nightclub act began to hatch in my fertile (some would say “filthy”) mind.
From Conservatory to Controversy
Years later the Pomp Room in Phoenix scheduled me for a standard run. It lasted 8 months because of the 108,112 curtain calls. From gigs at piano bars and nightclubs came my first comedy album, “Songs for Sinners.” Since there were lots of sinners to sing to, I was in business. My shows gave preachers lots of material for Sunday sermons. Mother of the Sexual Revolution, yesssss! Ideas for my “Knockers Up!” album came from ad libs at a club in Ft. Liquordale, Florida. When I put Knockers on the map, Mother was apoplectic, which means “popular at bridge games.” For years she’d tell anyone who would listen, “I know what she’s saying, but where in God’s name did she learn it all?” Mom was a great gal. She lived till 95 and loved taking her bows at all my Las Vegas appearances.