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Nagasaki

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"Nagasaki" is an American jazz song from 1928 by Harry Warren and Mort Dixon that became a popular Tin Pan Alley hit. The silly, bawdy lyrics have only the vaguest relation to the Japanese port city of Nagasaki. It was one of a series of US novelty songs set in "exotic" locations popular in the era starting with Albert Von Tilzer's 1919 hit "Oh By Jingo!"; "Nagasaki" even makes reference to the genre's prototype in the lyrics. Even more directly the song "On the Isle of Wicki Wacki Woo" was written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn in 1923. [1]

"Nagasaki" was covered by many big band jazz groups of the late 1920s through the 1940s, and the music remains to this day a popular base for jazz improvisations. The song was most famously covered by the Benny Goodman Quartet. Others who performed the song include Fats Waller, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Don Redman, Django Reinhardt, Adolph Robinson,[2] Stéphane Grappelli, and Chet Atkins.[3]

Writing for Time magazine, Richard Corliss described "Nagasaki" as "something like the definitive gotta-get-up-and-do-the-Charleston song, with Warren's effervescent syncopation dragging the folks onto the dance floor and Mort Dixon's lyric goading them into a singalong: 'Hot ginger and dynamite / There's nothing but that at night / Back in Nagasaki where the fellas chew tobaccy / And the women wicky-wacky-woo'."

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