Shanghai Lil was likely named after a musical number in the 1933 musical film "Footlight Parade" starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, with extravagant musical numbers by Busby Berkeley. The show stopping song, "Shanghai Lil" written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics) is pivotal to the plot as it makes things clear that Lil and all the other girls are prostitutes working the waterfront bars.
Courtesy Harley Spiller Collection.
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