Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs (Trina Robbins)
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Title: Forbidden City
Sub-title: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs
Author(s): Trina Robbins
Publish Date: November 2009
|From the late 1930s to the early 1960s, Chinese nightclubs flourished in San Francisco's Chinatown. They were the first, and in those days the only venues for talented Asians who sang or danced professionally. Asian entertainers came from everywhere to perform in Chinatown, and they all found a home in the Chinese nightclubs.
For publicity purposes, many of the entertainers were compared to famous Caucasian stars. They were billed as "The Chinese Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers," "the Chinese Frank Sinatra," "the Chinese Sophie Tucker." They sang and danced for the GIs during the war, and Hollywood stars like Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman came to their shows.
In this book, the men and women who performed in the nightclubs from 1937 to 1964, tell their stories in their own words. And they tell the stories of those now gone, like tap dancer Tony Wing, Larry Ching, "the Chinese Frank Sinatra," and Stanley Toy, who made a comeback at the age of eighty-nine. This book brings back to life an age of glamour and a long neglected slice of Asian-American history.
Contents: Introduction. The Clubs. The Golden Age: 1937-1950. The Silver Age: The 1950s-1970. Grant Avenue Follies. Curtain Call. Addendum. Index.