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How are pop musical genres launched into global circulation? How might the movement of vernacularized musical forms help us map the emergent transnational musical circuits of the 1960s? How were these circuits both constructed and circumscribed by linguistic barriers and the geopolitical architecture of the cold war? This essay listens closely to the musical cinema of Hong Kong and Taiwan of the 1960s in order to answer these questions. Jones focuses on the Hong Kong diva Grace Chang and her appropriation of Afro-Caribbean genres, such as mambo and calypso, in a series of high-flying transnationally distributed Mandarin films, such as Air Hostess (1959) and Because of Her (1963). The essay goes on to consider the roughly concurrent arrival of mambo and other pop genres in the marginalized Taiwanese dialect musical cinema, as exemplified in the music of Hong Yifeng.

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