Shanghai is not only a city of impressive architecture and top notch restaurants but also fascinating personalities who contributed to its glory.
Here’s our top 5 sexy game changers on the entertaining scene of 20th Century Shanghai:
Zhou Xuan was a huge name in the 40s. She came from humble beginnings and never truly knew who her parents were. This fierce looking lady got her start in a Bright Moonlight song and dance troupe - a chorus line of cute teenagers. Her big break came when she began acting in Shanghai. She was nicknamed the "Golden Voice", and recorded over 200 songs and appeared in over 40 films in her career.
Buck Clayton was a pioneer of jazz in Shanghai in the 40s .Nobody is quite sure why he came to the city, some say just to look for work, but others argue it was to escape racism. Buck transformed the face of Chinese music at the time, working closely to fuse Shanghainese traditional music and American jazz. Buck Clayton was known as one of the most handsome, best-dressed man of Jazz with striking blue-green eyes (that won him a nickname ‘Cat Eyes’). Billie Holiday called him, “The prettiest cat I ever saw.”
Known as “China’s Mae West” Li also got her start in a Bright Moonlight song and dance troupe. Her father wasa communist spy,but she was raised by Li Jinhui, the father of Shanghainese music. She quickly rose to fame acting in major films, showing a sweet subdued personality. Eventually, Lili immigrated to California, but never forgot her Shanghai beginnings.
4. Jimmy King
Jin Huaizu aka Jimmy King was a young ,Western educated Shanghainese man looking for an expressive outlet when jazz exploded in 1930s Shanghai. Jimmy learned jazz from Filipino immigrants in the French concession and founded his first band that continues to play to this day as the jazz band of the Peace Hotel.
5. Valaida Snow
Valaida is by far the most scandalous and sexy of this list! She was born into a musical family and by age 15 she was already an accomplished singer and trumpet player. None other thanLouis Armstrong himself called her ‘the second best trumpet player in the world’ .Snow toured Shanghai with her sister playing in the local jazz clubs. She began acting in the 40's in Europe but was arrested in NAZI Germany which seriously affected her career. None the less she is remembered as a fierce and sexy powerful female force in Jazz in Shanghai.
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