Whitey Smith was one of Shanghai's most cherished jazz bandleaders during the 1920s and 1930s. His autobiography, I Didn't Make a Million, tells his story. In a nutshell, as a young jazz drummer, Whitey was "discovered" in San Francisco by the nightclub owner Louis Ladow in 1922, and agreed to sail to Shanghai to form a jazz band to play in Ladow's new club, the Carlton Cafe. When the club folded he got work playing at the Astor House and later at the Majestic Hotel after in opened in 1925. It was at the Majestic Hotel ballroom that Whitey taught China to dance (in the words of Pearl Buck) by incorporating Chinese folk elements into his repertoire, and by simplifying the complex harmonies and orchestrations of his tunes.
He also recorded his own songs. "Nighttime in Old Shanghai" is his most well-known song, which is available on an album of "Oriental" jazz tunes. Taking a newsreel from 1929, featuring Whitey's band performing in the garden of the Majestic Hotel to a group of elegant Chinese dancers, I added this song and put it up on youtube.
Recently I found a file online of his complete recordings (as known). I do have one of his other recordings, "To a Wild Rose," but don't have any others. Would appreciate if anyone knows where to find them.