Sunday, March 02, 2014

Mona Fong 方逸華: 50's Charming, Attractive Has Passed Away

Mona Fong: EMI Record: S-CPAX-334. Cover design is by Jimmy Law.

Sad to know Mona Fong passed away on 22 Nov 2017. She used to perform at the Cathay Restaurant. Saw her singing, The Wedding in English and Mandarin in the film, The Lark and simply love her voice.

RIP Mona aka Li Menglan 
(January 1, 1934 – November 22, 2017) 


Mona Fong (方逸華) was a hit name in the 60s especially with her simple attractiveness and sweetheart smile (see image). I managed to buy one of her LPs, Summer Love, some years ago when it cost only two Singapore dollars. The surface of the LP looked good but scratchy when I played it. A patient cleaning up job didn't do much good.

The songs from Side Two which were in English were mostly covers from hits those years and included Magic, San Francisco, Lavender Lace, Summer Love, My Love Forgive Me and There's a Kind of Hush uploaded on YouTube in 2011 by RegalPCS.

Side One contained six songs in Chinese (Mandarin) and had titles in English namely, My Dreamboat, The Wedding, Blue and Black, Clouds and Mud, Tonight and Shooting Star.  

Again these were hit Chinese songs from yesteryear and Ms Fong had put her signature blush on them.  Never loud, never harsh, Mona sang them with dignity and calm. It was that 1950's charm still attractive today.  The upbeat version in English of The Wedding that she sang for this LP was one example.

The Wedding  - Mona Fong from Summer Love album: with Video by RegalPCS.

Ms Fong Yat Wah is a Cantonese born in Shanghai. She is a TV and film producer today and became one of the most popular nightclub singers and recording artistes in Singapore and Hong Kong in the 50s. She often sang English popular covers and since 1977 had produced over a hundred films. Also known as Lady Shaw she married media mogul the late Run Run Shaw.

The man behind the recording was Filipino musician Vic O. Cristobal with the usual backing of E.M.I.'s big brass and strings band. Mr Cristobal had much to his name having produced numerous recordings for SEAsian artistes during the 60s.

Summer Love was pressed with stereophonic sound capabilities in 1967. Many of these Hong Kong stars flew from the island to ours and recorded vinyl at one of the best studios at MacDonald House, Orchard Road. 

It was the same building that was bombed on 10 March 1965 by two saboteurs, during the Indonesian Confrontation under Soekarno's regime of Konfrontasi from 1963 to 1966.

There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight,/ All over the world, you can hear the sounds of lovers in love...  Keep the peace man.
Outside MacDonald House in March 1965.
Images: Google and Personal Collection.
YouTube Video: Thank you PCSRegal. 
There's A Kind Of Hush was written by Les Reed and Geoff Stephen, a hit in 1967.


FL said...

We used to hear Mona Fong's songs frequently on RTS radio and Redifusion in the sixties and seventies. She has a sweet and clear voice, and her songs are pleasant to listen indeed. Thanks. BTW Andy, how about highlighting Gao Ling Feng aka "Frog prince" who passed away recently in Taiwan. Popular in the 1970/80s in
Singapore. A very entertaining Mandarin singer on stage with his singing & dancing acts I remember on TV !

Andy Lim* said...

Thanks so much FL for your immediate comment. i am still reading and trying to edit the post when your reply appeared. Truly wonderful.

To be honest with you and my readers i struggle writing about Chinese singers since i am not familiar with the language and depend a lot on friends and publications for information. In fact I have many chinese records that i wish i could review.

Gao Ling Feng is a singer not within my scope since i dont have his recordings nor know about but I'd be glad if anyone else wants to write and comment on his songs and life. I am a life long learner. Anyone?

Again thanks FL for your frequent visits. You've opened up another avenue of fun for all of us.


Mona, you sound a lot like Doris Day! Cool version of the song.

山樵罗浮 said...

The lovely forlorn voice of yester- year! 月转星移人亦不复当年,只能遥记那童儿欢乐时!

(You Tube)

lynnlim said...

Hi Andy!
I'm not sure if you have received my previous post and question about the leader of The Dukes, Zainal Abidin.
I saw one of your blogs on him and wondered if you might have his contact. Would really like to get in touch with him and hope that you will be able to help!

Please do email me at if you see this!
Hope to hear from you!
Thank you!

Andy Lim* said...

Message has been relayed and reply received from Zainal. He will contact you.

FL said...

It's sad to learn that Jap Chong of our sixties pop band The Quests has left us. I was one of the many fans of the group during my teen years when the Quests shot to fame. My heartfelt condolences to his family & loved ones.

Andy Lim* said...

Yes many people in Singapore and those who live abroad today are familiar with Jap's good looks, magnetic personality and charming voice. He was always accommodating with his fans, playing their song requests and entertaining his audiences. At the same time he was strict with his own professional regime.

Larry Lai said...

I learnt, with a heavy heart, of the passing of Jap Chong. The last time I saw him was on the 2nd of February (3rd day of the CNY) at a friend's house. I remember that he was unusually quiet that evening. We played musical trivia with Jimmy Chan and a few others and Jap was smiling all the way through.

I don't have any songs by Penny Lane, but I suppose the best memory of Jap would be when he sang 'Jesamine' with The Quests.

EILEEN said...


We are students from LASALLE College of the Arts currently in the Fashion Media and Industries BA (Honours) course. For this semester, we will be doing up a fashion exhibition focusing on The Quests.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could grant us an email interview regarding The Quests. It would help us with our project a lot.

We look forward to your response!

Thank you!


Andy Lim* said...

I have put out your letter as it welcomes anyone keen to do an email interview with these LASALLE ladies. Please write in and I shall divulge their email address to anyone interested.


Sad to know Mona Fong passed away on 22 Nov 2017.She ideas to perform at the Ker Tai at New World.Saw her singing”The Wedding” in English and Mandarin in the film, The Lark and simply love her voice.

RIP Mona aka Li Menglan.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanking the following people who LIKE this post:
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She was singing at Cathay restaurant too .


A beautiful n strong character lady ..RIP Mona Fong !!!!


May she rest in peace. Amen


My next door neighbour in Tangling Halt, would play hers songs very often and thats how I came to know of her music. RIP Ms Mona.