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What are other examples of Morrissey-in-East-L.A. Syndrome?
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November 03, 2011, 03:00 PM
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In Chicago in the 1990s on lowly public access TV there was a sketch comedy show starring Dale Chapman called "We`re Geniuses in France," the joke being that they were nobodies at home. 

Everybody knows that Jerry Lewis is more popular/respected in France than in America. Another example of this phenomenon is the popularity of Morrissey, formerly lead singer of the English 1980s art mope band The Smiths, among East L.A. Chicanos. 

Morrissey is #3 on Stuff Chicanos Like, ahead of the Dodgers and Pretending to Hate Thanksgiving, and behind only the Virgin Mary and Art Laboe. Art is an octogenarian Armenian disk jockey who may have invented the phrase "oldies but goodies." Chicanos traditionally love pre-British Invasion r&b and rock `n` roll, especially doo-wop. 

They cannot, and I repeat, cannot, get enough of their “Oldies but Goodies”, or their “Memories of El Monte”. Art Laboe, a syndicated radio personality, gets to the core of Chicano culture with his dedication show where you can hear a plethora of Chicano callers from all over the United States call in and say things like “I’d like to dedicate ‘Angel Baby’ to my baby Angel who is locked up, baby, I love you” or “Yeah, I’d like to dedicate ‘These Arms of Mine’ to my hyna Rosie, hope you visit this weekend” or Art Laboe himself will send the dedications, “Little Puppet from Cypress sends his love to Babygirl, says he misses you and can’t wait to be home”.

 

I think the last time I listened to Art Laboe`s dedication show was driving back from Mt. Whitney in 1977 when nothing else was coming in on the AM radio in my dad`s Buick. "Angel Baby" was one of the songs dedicated (or maybe it was "Earth Angel," or, now that I think about it, probably both). So, some things never change. 

Doo-wop started out as an African-American vocal harmonizing style, and then spread to Puerto Ricans and Italians in Eastern cities. There were black L.A. doo-wop groups like The Penguins. On the charts, it peaked around 1961, but Mexican-Americans in East L.A. kept the faith. So, loving doo-wop in the 1970s in East L.A. was kind of like loving Morrissey in the 2000s in East L.A.

Anyway, what are some other examples of this phenomenon of individuals being more popular in some other culture than in their own, like Jerry Lewis in France or Morrissey in East. L.A.? Which blacks are more popular with whites than with other blacks? Which whites are more popular with blacks than with whites?