Midnight Annie was the illusion of Owen Pride Roach. A local St. Louis bar owner named Gary Reed befriended her when he bought Lementine’s back in the 1980s and recruited her for their first drag show. To make the event more of a draw, Gary billed it as “Midnight Annie’s Final Performance”. Of course, it wasn’t, really. She performed her crazy numbers where she’d howl at the moon.
Some say she earned her name back in the 1940s when she’d bribe a prison guard to “entertain” inmates at midnight. “She lost many fortunes,” Gary said, suspecting she came from great wealth and would inherit large sums from time to time, only to blow it all on shady characters.
In her later years, Annie lived a few blocks from Clems and was a fixture. When she fell ill she gave Gary medical power of attorney, which fortunately he never had to use. Because he was essentially her legal guardian, Gary referred to Annie as his only child, even though she was decades his senior.
Midnight Annie passed away on on April 6, 1995 at the age of 73. Her ashes sat on a friend’s mantle for years until the time came to remodel the Lementine’s and the decision was made to place her in the wall, right behind the false doors on the Allen Street side. When Clem’s closed, he had her ashes removed and took her with him.
MIDNIGHT WAS A TRUE ICON of DRAG in St Louis! SHE WAS NOTORIOUS!
Midnight Annie and Friends