Words by Jessica Peace

‘Let's all go down the Strand - Have a banana!...’ Written in 1904 by Harry Castling and C.W. Murphy, the ‘banana’ was banged out on the Music Hall circuit and is still belted out today.

Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, but soon reincarnated as Josephine Baker on the Harlem Renaissance stage, Baker was one of the first black entertainers to move to Paris in the 1920’s. Here she created the infamous ‘Danse Sauvage’, shimmying in nothing but a skirt of bananas. (Everyone should do it once.)

In 1965 Andy Warhol produced the debut album for his mates, ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’. He shoved a big yellow one on the cover (natch) and held up the album release by adding peelable banana skin stickers on the original copies.

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