Music: A Rose Is a Rose ...

An unassuming candidate for China's 1946 hit parade was a bouncy little item called Mei Kuei, meaning "a rose." It was recorded in a thin, reedy soprano by a Chinese cabaret songstress named Hue Lee, enjoyed a modest popularity. By last week Mei Kuei's old Chinese friends would have scarcely recognized it. The Chinese lyrics had been uprooted; the new ones told the touching story of a Tommy's farewell to his Malayan sweetheart. As Rose, Rose, I Love You, the song stood No. 2 on Britain's hit parade.

The man responsible for transplanting the...

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