SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY'S POP MUSIC INFLUENCE: ON THE MUSIC N MEMORY TRAIL IS MY OWN BLOG N ROLL PROJECT. NOSTALGIA IS PERSONAL HISTORY N PICTURES TELL STORIES. POP MUSIC NOT PILLS. ANDY YOUNG. (November, 2008). IT'S DONE WITH MUCH TIME AND LOVE.


'CLAIR' FROM O'SULLIVAN AND CARNABY STREET.

'CLAIR' FROM O'SULLIVAN AND CARNABY STREET.
A previous neighbour from the 60's talks about 'Clair' and Carnaby Street. CLIK PIX TO READ.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Huang Qing Yuen (黃清元) Recorded 800+ Songs

Image: From Giam Bistro

A Goat Year Posting:
I am not too enthusiastic about Chinese New Year any more because like Christmas and other festivities it is so commercialised that I immediately leave shopping malls that play CNY songs especially when the number one ear-breaker, Quo Xin Nian or He Xin Nian is heard. No offence meant. 

But reunion dinners and visiting friends are a must.

So blogging during CNY becomes a problem because I don't want to post cliched stories about fire-crackers, reunion dinners or angpows. But I need to feature a Chinese singer especially for surfers who love local Mandarin fare.  I am also thinking of Valentine's Day which was just celebrated by lovers around the globe.

               
                     Mun Li uploaded by Mr Rainbow64. Thanks Vernon Cheong.

I rummaged through my record collection of Chinese EPs bought at random during these past years at Sungei Road and vinyl shops, wondering who to write about, when I chanced upon this image of a bespectacled gentleman among my dusty records.  He has a clean cut with Tancho greased hair and staring at me with a pleasant half smile.  Ah, a posting at last.


Like Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones our singer from the 60s is a living legend. With his recognizable strong baritone voice he has endeared himself to so many fans from all over South East Asia.  It is common knowledge that telephones at broadcast stations keep ringing as fans call to show loving support for this heart-throb after his songs have been played.
Followed by ladies everywhere he appeared.
Crooner Wong Ching Yian, a veteran on stage and who has recorded about 800 songs, is a pleasant but serious looking gentleman. He looks more like a university professor than a pop singer. His admirers come from a matured age group who would probably be in their 50s  or beyond since he rocketed to fame in the 70s after winning a competition. Wong became one of the Far East Top Ten Singers in 1975 with contemporaries  like Wan Sha Lang, Fung Fei Fei and Jenny Yen.

Youthful Huang Qing Yuen in the 60s
 It has been rumoured that grandparents take their grandchildren to watch him sing at the various venues when he appears on stage.  Huang Qing Yuen  (黃清元) as he is known in Pinyin began his singing at the youthful age of 19 but not before he participated in some contests and talentimes. He remembered his prize for one contest - two large cases of soft drinks.
Stylers accompanied Huang Qing Yuen on his recordings.
It hasn't been a smooth road for Wong. In 1988 a serious heart condition forced him to give up singing but with proper medical care he managed his health and did an encore performance in 1995. Wong explained that he would carry on with his singing for as long as he could because of his fans. He added that he would never retire since singing is his second love. A devoted family man, Wong admits that they are his first love. Talk of Valentine's Day!

His first hits were Man Li and Lu Dao Xiao Ye Chi, the same two songs that he sang during competition.  All these years Wong has been recording and many of his 800+ songs can be found on CDs nowadays.

Some of his songs with translated titles and thematically suitable for 14th February include: Goodbye My Love, Bitter Wine, A Woman's Heart, Forget Me, My Love, Missed Chances, Cheers and many others.  His first hits Man Li (lady's name) and Lu Dao.... (Green Island Song) are Chinese hits and have been recorded by others.

He released his Golden Hits in the late nineties and with modern recording techniques plus newly minted songs he felt that he could go on for some years.  Bands that accompanied him during recordings were well-known guitar groups The Melodians or The Stylers and had cut vinyls for companies like Panda and Cortersions Records.  His songs usually carry the same theme - love.

Maurice Patton and The Melodians.
Because of his fame and popularity Wong had many tribute artistes who impersonated him. One well known performer was Lee Jung Ping who won a Huang Qing Yuen Impersonation contest in 1996. Wong who judged some of these contests was neither concerned nor unhappy that others were copying his style. He felt they had to find their own since mimicry would not take them far in the entertainment business.

A near iPod and one to play Wong's vinyls. Neat.
He used to run a family jewellery and cosmetics business assisted by his wife. He is probably in his mid 60s by now. I understand he used to peform at a hotel along Bukit Timah Road near Raffles Town Club. With more than 40 years of stage and recording experience I wonder if he is still singing today. Anyone?

Happy Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day 2015 to lovers everywhere.

Images: Andy Lim Collection.
Information based on an article by Sharon Wong, July 1997, New Straits Times.

Posting done on Acer A500. My DELL computer went sour on me weeks ago.

SLIP NOTE:
Thanks to Erwin Maisch, Malvin Chua, group 'Take Two' member Paddy and my MacPhersonian gang for the publicity on FACEBOOK, comments of which I have published on this posting. Appreciate your support and kindness.

31 comments:

EDWARD TAN (LEAD GUITAR of THE JETS) said...

Happy New Year to you n family brother.

YAN SC said...

Wish you and family a good and joyous CNY. LOVE THE MUSIC AND SONGS.

MAJORIE CHIEW (STAR NEWSPAPER, MALAYSIA) said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai to you n family.

SOGL said...

Have a blessed Chinese New Year

Assoc Prof. A.K. said...

A very blessed year of the goat to you and family.

CYLIN (GUEST WRITER) said...

You have come into much prominence ( no flattery intended) with your mission to keep afresh the country's music heritage. Many are looking to you and your blog for resources. Good to be of help. Christmas 2014 wasn't that long ago and now it's the Lunar New Year.....have a joyful one , you and the family.

ZZENZERO (You Tube) said...

Man Li is a Kazakh Folk Song about two lovers in Mongolia during the Sino Japanese War. The song itself was based on Wang Luobin's Xinjiang folk song written in 1939.
Wang Loubin was a Han Chinese songwriter who collected hundreds of folk songs and specialized in composing Mandarin language songs based on the music of various ethnic in Western China.

Hi Hiengsing said...

This song is best sung by Huang Qing Yuen.

270yis YOU TUBE said...

This guy has a fantastic voice, but I've always loved the guitars on his records: sounds almost like George Harrison's Rickenbacker 12
String guitar from those 1964/1965 Beatles records.

Henk Madrotter said...

Nice to read about him, I've become a HUGE fan of him, specially his much earlier work with The Melodians of which I've already posted a lot on my blog and a lot more to follow.... Thanks!

Judy and Jimmy PresLee said...

Blessed Lunar New Year To All.

Anthony Tan KH said...

Happy CNY 2015 (Sheep).

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the good wishes and greetings. A satisfaction within that there are many others interested, especially Mr Madrotter who writes from Bandung. Blog-nya bagus sekali, mesti mampir lagi.


Shaik Kadir said...

Hi friends,

How are you all guys? Hope everything is fine with you and that you are eagerly waiting for your reunion dinner with your loved ones tomorrow evening. Enjoy yourselves.

Wishing you a: Happy and Prosperous New Year.

YEN CHOW said...

GONG XI FA CAI, Andy! GOOD HEALTH too! Cheers!

Henk Madrotter said...

Thanks :) Soon a VERY BIG Melodians post, an ever bigger The Stylers post, a Chang Yiao Ying post, another pretty big The Silverstones post and much more, really got into 60's Singapore lately (and have been very, very lucky finding loads of vinyl :) )

LIM KM said...

Best wishes on this auspicious CNY.

John Cher said...

Hi Andy. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year! Cheers!

Boo said...

May you and your family be blest with plentiful wealth and good health, Happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.

SEE C.S. said...

Wishing you success, happiness and fulfillment in everything that you do.

TTT said...

Share a Lou Hei

EGO said...

And to you, good health, great happiness and real prosperity.

PAUL SPY said...

Wishing you in the year of the goat,GOOD LUCK! GOOD HEALTH!, GOOD HEALTH! AND GOOD TIMES!

ABIGAIL CHAY said...

Happy New Year!

Irene N Freddy Yap said...

Happy Lunar New Year to you Andy and family. Cheers.

Johnson Lee said...

Dear Andy, here's wishing you a Healthy, Harmonious & Prosperous CNY.

JIMMY CHAN said...

Hi Andy Gong Hei Fatt Choy to u n Family.

FREDDIE SIOW said...

Best Wishes for the Year.

Johnny said...

Wishing you a Blessed Chinese New Year.

George Chew (THE BURNS) said...

Andy A Very Happy CNY.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

A million thanks for all your support.