Monday, February 27, 2006

Carol Doda




As a kid growing up in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but snicker every time we crossed the intersection of Broadway and Columbus Streets. There at the corner stood a giant illuminated sign advertising The Condor, the city’s infamous strip club. The sign promoted Carol Doda’s Topless Love Act and there was an illustration of her and her storied breasts. The part that really got us kids going, though, was the red light blinking right where her nipples would have been.

The sign was taken down when The Condor was converted to a Sports Bar sometime in the 90s, and Carol has moved on to selling lingerie. But that image of her blinking breasts remains seared in the memories of all San Franciscans.

When I showed my soft circuit test to my girlfriend, she immediately grabbed the piece, put it to her chest and said, “Hey, I’m Carol Doda!” Thus I set out to pay homage to Carol and to San Francisco’s freewheeling past.

12 Comments:

Blogger Charlene D. Evans said...

HAHA - good one! I totally remember that sign!!!

8:45 PM  
Blogger ThePerfect36 said...

Oh yes, I remember seeing that grand Condor Club sign for the first time as a child in the mid 70's. It was at night while my family and I were touring SF; the best time to view the sign!! It's a damn shame the sign was destroyed when it was dropped from a crane boom when the Condor was shut down. I've lived in the bay area all of my life, and I remember when Carol Doda would do the station identifications on KGSC TV-36, which is now KICU TV-36. Carol would purr, "This is the perfect 36 in San Jose, a very independent station." I still have an audio tape recording from 1977 that I recorded off our TV when I was 9 years old of Carol Doda purring that classic KGSC station identification. Too bad Carol was no longer on the air when the station switched to KICU sometime in the 80's Too bad all of the truly independent TV stations are gone. They had MUCH better formats than the crapola of today's "network" independents. I loved the old KBHK TV 44, KGSC-KICU TV 36, KTZO-KOFY TV 20. Today KBHK is dead; replaced with a JUNK TV network! KICU is still there; 9/10ths of it's programming stinks! KOFY still there; somewhat of a true independent, again; I would have to say 9/10ths of it's programming stinks, too. Carol Doda ruled back then and she still does today!!!!!

11:09 PM  
Blogger Mike B said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Doda last week (May 27th, 2007) she is everybit as much as personality today in North Beach as she was back in the day. Amante's after 7:00 PM - she has a wonderful voice as well.

mike.bosnick@comcast.net

12:23 PM  
Blogger Mike B said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Doda last week (May 27th, 2007) she is everybit as much as personality today in North Beach as she was back in the day. Amante's after 7:00 PM - she has a wonderful voice as well.

mike.bosnick@comcast.net

12:23 PM  
Blogger SupaSistah said...

I remember the sign also! So funny of Martine to get into the act!!! Bro, I have been looking all over for you trying to find you missing you because of your and my moves periodically. Please contact me!

SupaSistah@sbcglobal.net
Nadine Bent

12:15 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

It's crazy how hard it is to find old pictures of that sign on the internet. My East Coast-raised BF didn't believe me when I told him about the old sign. :)

7:16 PM  
Blogger Amul Raj said...

Carol Doda was a famous stripper in San Francisco in the 1960s. She worked at the Condor Club and the large lit sign in front of the club featured a picture of her. Doda's act began with a grand piano lowered from the ceiling by hydraulic motors; Doda would be atop the piano dancing. Doda was renowned for her big bust, one of the first well known to be surgically enhanced. Her bust was a size 34B before silicone injections increased her to a size 44D.
------------
Brukewilliams
News Story Marketing

1:20 AM  
Blogger samantha said...

The sign is inside now. She is my cousin, and I can say I would not be here, had she not introduced my mother to my father (her cousin) back in the early 1970s.

God, I remember that sign well..

10:03 PM  
Blogger videochas said...

I was the production manager at KGSC during the Doda era. Larry Sturges, the Operations Manager, and myself wrote all the mildly salacious IDs for Carol to read. One of my favorites was Carol on a tennis court holding a racquet. Her line was "I've got the racquet if you've got the balls."

Another ID had Carol turning over in bed and saying "With me, you're on top!" We shot it in Larry's house, and when his wife Barbara saw it there was considerable domestic strife.

2:51 PM  
Blogger hotrod61 said...

Say, how come there aren't any of those station IDs or the Viewpoint editorial clips available online? Or just available period? How would one go about procuring such rare gems? I've been a huge fan since puberty and especially since I had the most memorable pleasure of meeting her in person at the Condor right after I got back from serving overseas. I'm extremely hopeful that a former station Exec or a family member can help me with this Quest, yes? Oh please, oh please, oh please.
😃

4:46 AM  
Blogger hotrod61 said...

Say, videochas ol'buddy ol'pal, how come there aren't any of those station IDs or the Viewpoint editorial clips available online? Or just available period? How would one go about procuring such rare gems? I've been a huge fan since puberty and especially since I had the most memorable pleasure of meeting her in person at the Condor right after I got back from serving overseas. I'm extremely hopeful that a former station Exec can help me with this Quest, yes? Oh please, oh please, oh please.

4:59 AM  
Blogger hotrod61 said...

Greetings my dear, it's quite obvious that beauty runs in your family and I'm hoping it's accompanied with a helping hand. I often wonder how come there aren't any of those station IDs or the Viewpoint editorial clips available online? Or just available period? Would you happen to know, or might help one figure out how, one would go about procuring such rare gems? I've been a huge fan since puberty and especially since I had the most memorable pleasure of meeting her in person at the Condor right after I got back from serving overseas. I'm extremely hopeful that a family member can help me with this Quest, yes? Oh please, oh please, oh please.

5:17 AM  

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