Playmate of the Month June 1980 - Ola Ray
Ola Ray became Miss June by way of Japan. It's not the usual route to the centerfold, but not much Ola does is usual. She left the United States when she was 13, taking up residence on an Army base outside Tokyo. Her adolescence was not the normal blend of high school and happy days, à la Donny and Marie. "I formed a dancing and singing group with my twin brothers. We would hop on the train and head down to the clubs in the Ginza. We called ourselves the Soul Train Puppets. We'd sing and dance to songs by L.T.D., Earth, Wind & Fire and the Dramatics." The group was successful, playing towns from Nagasaki to Sapporo, and Ola learned to handle herself in strange situations. "A lot of the guys in the clubs belonged to the Japanese Mafia. You could tell by their tattoos. If one of their fingers was missing, it meant they'd messed up." Ola took it in stride. "Most Japanese are quite nice. They are warm, close people. If we were lost, they would get in a cab and take us where we wanted to go. And the discos were terrific. In the U.S., men ask women to dance. In Japan, everyone gets up to dance. If someone has a new step, everyone stops and watches. The next thing you know, everyone is doing it. It's a permanent party." When Ola returned to the U.S., she continued to dance and make plans for a career. A Playmate test in Los Angeles was one step, acting, voice and dance lessons another. "I want to get back onstage. I like to wear wild clothes, to hear people clapping. I love that vibe." Our guess is that you'll be seeing more of, and hearing more from, Ola.