China Doll was, in the parlance of the 1940s, a "chop suey joint" and jazz club that was popular with the heavy drinking crowd and had a revue featuring showgirls. According to blogger and former entertainment publicist Bill Bence, the New York Sunday Mirror ran an ad in 1946 quoting the famous TV host Ed "Confucius" Sullivan, writing about the club in fake "chinee" dialect. He talked about a "slant-sational show" and how the audience "let out wolf whistles when stunning Jessie Taising and other China dolls came on." He would not get away with that kind of offensive language now. However, the ladies of the revue were probably not all they seemed. It was common for dancers to pretend to be from overseas – many of them faked accents and used heavy make-up to pass themselves off as foreign – in order to get jobs in particular nightspots.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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