In a 2003 telephone interview, Pat Kim Loo firmly stated, with a twinkle in her voice, “I think I can claim that we were the only half-Chinese, half-Polish entertainers in America. We had a very unique background.” My book on Soundies and jukebox shorts, due out in the spring of 2022, will have close to eighty interviews with those involved in the production of the shorts, including one with Pat Kim Loo. Her story is a fascinating one!
The Kimloo Sisters (as billed on screen… the family name was Kim Loo) appeared in two Soundies during the war years, around the time they were on tour with Ina Ray Hutton and her Orchestra. While this was a golden opportunity for the use of racial stereotypes, William Forest Crouch was way too savvy to turn in that direction. A member of the armed forces, along with a civilian, are Asian American. However, they just hang out enjoy the music with everyone else.
The three sisters are the featured in a song titled “Gee! The Jeep Jumps,” a second cousin to the Andrews Sisters’ “Six Jerks in a Jeep.” Eccentric dancer Bobby Davis also gets a chance to display his talent. Davis was a Manhattan favorite and was appearing at the La Conga nightclub around the time of the production of the series.
But it is harmony and presentation of the three sisters that impresses us today. The trio’s clear diction, pitch-perfect blend and swinging performance make this Soundie a personal favorite of mine.