So, I do a little bit of work for Jazzman Records, writing up the blurb for some of their reissues and hard-to-find Rn’B numbers from the 1950s and 60s.
I was clicking through the site the other day, seeing which tracks needed writing up when I came across a seven-inch called Cholley-Oop by some outfit called the Hong Kong White Sox.
It turned out to be something of a doo-wop curiosity, a tune out of time and a pointer to how, in terms of racial stereotyping, we have come a long, long way, baby.
It appears to be from 1960 and of a piece to the exaggerated foreign ‘comedy’ accent schtick Benny Hill and the like used to get away with on national TV in the 1970s.
Or think that Peter Sellers song he did with Sophie Loren where he played an Indian doctor.
Based on the smash hit Alley Oop by The Hollywood Argyles – a slice of loveable nonsense about a cartoon-strip caveman – it features a chap singing/talking in a terrible Chinese accent about a fella who’s good with his noodles and laundry and rickshaw. You get the picture
There was plainly a time when it was okay to laugh about this sort of stuff.
Thankfully, they don’t make ’em like they used to…
For completeness, here’s the song.