View Single Post
Old 02-08-2005, 05:05 AM
Crandolph Crandolph is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,534
Originally Posted by NattoGuy
I think that, prior to "Kung Fu Fighting" in 1974, the tune in question probably existed. But it probably coexisted with dozens of such variants.
There are variations of the tune in The Hollies' "Oriental Sadness," as well as in two instrumentals that "surf" type bands recorded a lot in Europe in the early to mid 60s, "Changhai" and "Hong Kong." I believe Les Sauterelles (sp?) had a minor hit in continental Europe with the latter. So that brings it back as an established stereotype at least a decade earlier.

In the US you also had a rash of quite racist tunes with variations among garage and surf bands in the same period.

I'm going to check some of the anti-Japanese tunes (I know, wrong ethnic group, but I've a feeling "all those people look alike" to the composers...) I have from the 40s to see if they draw on that directly. You may well find variations in racist hot jazz tunes from the 1920s as well, but no particular titles come to mind offhand.

Earlier than that the best bet in tracking it in popular music is likely sheet music. I'd be shocked in there aren't racist "Oriental" joke songs from the turn of the last century or earlier whose sheet music still exists. Anyone up on those collections?