El Cerrito: Margo the Z Bomb at the It Club (1954) and dancing in “Mambo Girl” (1957)


The El Cerrito night club scene was not as vibrant in the 1950s as it had been in the 1930s and ’40s, when people came to town from a wide area for drinks, adult entertainment and (frequently) gambling. By the 1950s, the rising popularity of television was also choking off the night club scene, but there was still an audience and several of the San Pablo Avenue clubs carried on — particularly the It Club.
Above is an ad from May 1954, when the It Club offered three shows nightly at Central and San Pablo avenues. Headlining the It Club bill, and we presume appearing in all three shows, was Margo the Z Bomb.
Margo was a popular performer at the It Club and other strip joints around the Bay Area, but found greater popularity in the Far East, as noted in a post on softfilm.blogspot.com, which also offers a definition of “Z Bomb”:

According to War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War, a Z-bomb is “a mythical bomb of such power that exploding it would ‘end it all’. The term was used in the 1950s, and a stripper of that period, Lolinda Raquel, billed herself as Margo the Mexican Z-Bomb ‘The Absolute End’.”

Below is a clip of Margo the Z Bomb dancing in the 1957 Hong Kong musical “Mambo Girl.” We don’t imagine the It Club stage was that large.

Chris Treadway