Trina Robbins to talk about her book, "Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs"

on January 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

This Tuesday, January 26th, at 7 pm, Trina Robbins will be on Joe Marchi’s TV show,”Regards to Broadway,” talking about her book, “Forbidden City: the Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs,” and about the San Francisco Historical Society’s February exhibit based on the book at the Old Mint. Joe’s been doing the show since 1999, and it’s broadcast live on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at Pacifica Community Channel 26 from 7:00 to 7:30pm. The show is viewed on the coast, and often picked up for later broadcast in San Mateo and down the coast as far as Pescadero. If you don’t live anywhere near those locations, much less in California, the show can be viewed on Tuesday by going to at 7:00. It will be re-broadcast on Wednesday at 8:00 pm.

About the book:

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.

One Response to “Trina Robbins to talk about her book, "Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs"”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It was extremely interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

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