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Cigarettes, Inc.An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism$
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Nan Enstad

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226533285

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226533452.001.0001

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The Intimate Dance of Jazz and Cigarettes

The Intimate Dance of Jazz and Cigarettes

(p.187) 6 The Intimate Dance of Jazz and Cigarettes
Cigarettes, Inc.

Nan Enstad

University of Chicago Press

Jazz dance and cigarette smoking became intertwined as social practices in the interwar cabarets in both the US and China, forming an assemblage that influenced the circulation and resonance of both commodities. As jazz dance became massively popular, it only made sense for salesmen to urge cabaret owners to sell cigarettes on site. Cabarets in both the US and China became an important new public scene of the cigarette, and the racialized and sexualized connotations of jazz dance and music shaped the experiences and resonances of smoking. This process began organically but was pushed further by marketers. Cigarette companies fostered the synergy between jazz and cigarettes by sponsoring jazz radio shows in the US and China, The Lucky Strike Hit Parade being the first in the US. Collectively, cigarette companies became the primary sponsors of US network radio jazz and, because they refused to air African American musicians, discernably shaped the music itself. This chapter examines the formation of the synergy between cigarettes and jazz, the role of marketers in its further development, and the experience of the assemblage by Southern white employees of BAT in China; black musicians in China; and Southern black tobacco workers in the US.

Keywords:   jazz, dance, radio, cigarette, cabaret, African American, China, taxi-dancer, sexuality, assemblage

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