Popularised it in his nightclub act. Written already in 1915 by Johnny Black, who hit the jackpot five years later with Dardanella. When the money ran out, he sold the old Paper Doll for a small amount to music publisher E.B. Marks, who published it in 1930. After Marks's death in '41, his son stumbled upon it and gave it to the Mills Brothers. Many years before this, the same son had already jump started the rumba craze (see: El Manisero).
Not to be confused with Lee David's Paper Doll written in 1921.