Dedication to Her Songs:
What impressed me about this particular lady after listening to her both on vinyl records and CDs was her dedication to the numbers she sang. Whether it was an appeal about Nobody's Child or a teenage angst where she found, Lipstick On (Your) Collar, she delivered them with sincerity and feeling.
Eurasian Good Looks:
Those years, some Asian artistes simply made covers of western hit songs to sell and she was one of many singers. But with her youth, Eurasian good looks and singing grace she was different and stood out from the crowd, as she was able to charm her record buyers and her audiences with these assets.
Irene Ryder or Li Ai Lian (黎愛蓮), a Eurasian born in Hong Kong in 1949, had an English father and Chinese mother. She was able to interpret her songs and her English diction was above par, perhaps better than some Asian lady singers in the 60s and 70s. Irene speaks Cantonese very well too.
In 1966 she acquired the unofficial title of A-Go-Go-Queen from a dance talent contest where she earned her fame. After the contest, Irene and her dance partner were invited to perform in Singapore and Malaysia and promote the dance craze, doing seven to eight shows daily.
With this exposure, she was approached by music arranger and producer, Vic Cristobal of EMI Records who started her singing career in 1967. The first single she pressed was a cover of Lulu's, To Sir With Love. She became the top singer in the territory three months after her song was released.
Osaka Exposition 1970:
The single was called *Baby Baby (video above) and it was this recording in 1968 that established her fame as a singer. She was the only female singer chosen to represent Hong Kong at the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka Japan.
(Read Part 2 next week when she had to end her singing career but... An amazing story indeed.)
Images/Video: Google, Uncle Ray 101CD Box and YouTube (Shatinterry).
Information: from Shatinterry (YouTube), Wikipedia and Websites.
Bruce Lee's Brother:
Among the other singles that she recorded was a duet with Robert Lee, a former member of Hong Kong's beat band The Thunderbirds. and the younger brother of martial arts star Bruce Lee. Robert also has a recording about his famous brother called, The Ballad of Bruce Lee.
***************Hong Kong Latest News Flash: December 2014:
From the TV footages seen, the police in Hong Kong have become more aggressive. The student-led group are doing likewise as they tried to storm government headquarters, abandoning their peaceful protest ideology.