I have to give credit to Kliph Nesteroff in his 2012 post on Ray Bourbon, "Murder in Mink", at the WFMU blog, for this odd little highlight. Imagine that you're a housewife in Bakersfield, California in 1931 and, in your local paper, find a full page ad for the unveiling of the latest spring fashions … Continue reading Ray Bourbon Models Spring 1931 Fashions at Bakersfield Department Store
One of the more outlandish and remarkable stories about Ray Bourbon is that he rode with Pancho Villa. In drag. But did he? After Ray was put in jail for conspiracy to commit murder, his defense lawyer, William W. Bell, as taken aback by the eccentric old man he had signed on to defend. Ray … Continue reading Did Ray Bourbon Ride With Pancho Villa … In Drag?
In the mid-1990s, on a hunch, I sent a public records request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if the agency might have a file on Ray Bourbon. With Ray's many travels, his high profile as a performer, and notoriety for his arrests for dressing in drag, I wondered if the FBI might … Continue reading The Strange Case of Ray Bourbon, the FBI, and the Russian Defectors
One of the most curious questions about Ray Bourbon I've been trying to sort out for several years is how he became friends with Bob Hope. There are several second-hand reports that Ray knew Hope and that Hope attended shows at Ray's nightclub in Los Angeles. Ray's lawyer, in an interview about a decade after … Continue reading Ray Bourbon and Bob Hope
Images of Ray Bourbon are fairly hard to come by. According to friends and people who knew him, Ray had a large collection of scrapbooks and even carried around a tape machine and used it to record or try out routines. But, when he was arrested for murder, all his personal effects were, quite literally, … Continue reading Ray Bourbon Images at the Los Angeles Public Library
Searching for some images of Ray on Google recently, I ran into a curious listing of a previous eBay auction I missed at WorthPoint. "THE RAE BOURBON STORY, SCREENPLAY BY WILLIAM KENNEDY The RAE BOURBON story, screenplay by William Kennedy -125 page manuscript THE DETOUR , an original unproduced screenplay imagining a happier time for … Continue reading William Kennedy Screenplay for the Ray Bourbon Story
For over twenty years, I maintained a section of my personal website devoted to Ray Bourbon. Over time, the site, which was originally hand-coded in HTML, became cumbersome to update and change. Now, with some possible new projects opening up concerning Ray and with new information coming to light about Ray more frequently, I decided … Continue reading Welcome to the New Ray Bourbon Site!