Showing posts with label Tracy Huang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tracy Huang. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tracy Huang: Soft, Sweet, Sophisticated, Stylish

She was Singapore's sweetheart in the 70s and drew sitting room audiences during her shows on local television singing love ballads. With her beautiful face, soft, sweet voice and sophisticated appeal, Tracy Huang (黃露儀) became a hit with Singaporeans. She became a good friend to all her fans interpreting their joys and sorrows on TV and on vinyls.

In the 70s, when the EP was in less demand, her Long Play (LP) records filled the vinyl shops along North Bridge Road. I remember seeing her albums dominating the shelves in the 70s and were beside Teresa Teng's bit hits.

Huang has two names. In Singapore she is known as Huang Luyi, but back home in Taiwan she is Huang Ying Ying. She became a popular singer at the exclusive American Club where audiences were necessarily limited, but enthusiastic. Her specializing more in English songs than in Chinese ones earned her a fan base with local Singaporeans who do not understand Mandarin.

When she came to Singapore, the local television organisation contracted her as a compere for the Chinese Variety Show series. As an example, in one of the shows in April 1978, Tracy was the MC for Musical Showcase for Channel 8  and featured singers, Mimi, The Tang Sisters, Pai Sar, Ai Loon and the popular Ching Wai and Chopstick Sisters. She did well professionally and at that time also signed on with EMI to do covers of English songs.

Her popularity soared and she completed many albums up to the 80s. Name a chart buster from yesteryear and she would probably have covered it. In fact, she has an album that covered only the sixties biggest hits like: San Francisco (Flowers In Your Hair), Fool On A Hill, Hurt So Bad, To Sir With Love, If We Are Only Friends, Rhythm Of The Rain, Sound Of Silence and more.

No Singapore singer can be so demure and enchanting.
Many of her EMI vinyls were produced and arranged by The Quests' top gun, Reggie Verghese and engineered by Vincent Lim. Singapore's ability to produce vinyls of quality in the 70s brought many Asian artistes to our shore to record.

Her first English album Feelings was rewarded with a Hong Kong Gold Disc Award for outstanding sales and a similar trend followed with Mississippi and I Don't Want To Talk About It. She also became a hit in Australia.

Tracy Huang didn't forget her Mandarin followers and the quality recordings set new standards too. Her albums succeeded in the most difficult of markets and she soon became a household name in this region. Slow numbers or fast ones, her sophistication remains. And she has covered many songs, both in Chinese and English.

And if anyone doubted Huang's singing ability just listen to her with, On My Own a 1987 recording where she displays her vocal range, especially at the end of the song. Since 1974 Tracy Huang has recorded 49 albums.

Just wondering where she is today? Anyone?

Images: Google.

Original article: Andy Lim.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Philippines Rivera Floods - 70s Songbird Gracie

The people from the Philippines that blogger has encountered are mostly warm, gracious and gifted with music in them.
D' Starlights and The Fabulous Echoes came in the 60s and Freddy Aguila later. In the 70s a pretty young Philippino lady sang her way to the hearts of nightclubbers in Hong Kong and SEAsia with her beautiful voice and charming personality.
Gracie Rivera signed up with EMI/HK and produced a number of English records. This particular selection from GRACIE (image) includes: Torn Between Two Lovers, Fairy Tale, Morning Of My Life, Somebody Waiting, Both Sides Now, The Music Of Love, It's Time, Fly Away, Like A Sad Song, I Am A Rock and personal favourites, Erestu and of course Amazing Grace.
EMI Records were big because they released a string of English albums in the second half of the 70s by artists that included Teresa Carpio, Esther Chan, Rowena Cortes, Felicia Wong, Tracy Huang, Frances Yip and Gracie Rivera.
Then there were George Lam, The New Topnotes and The Western Union Band. Two independent labels also released English albums in the 1970s. The company's main rival was Polygram.
The vinyl was recorded in 1977 (EMGS 6012). It was arranged and conducted by Fabulous Echoes and Kong Ling personality Vic Cristobel. Comment anyone?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

(5) Country Western 60s: Singapore Cowboys

They are one of the best bands in Singapore and they specialise in Country and Western Music. Matthew Tan is the vocalist and plays rhythm guitar, Michael Png plays steel/acoustic guitar, Richard Danker plays bass, while Derrick Danker is on lead guitar. Phillip Monteiro plays drums.

For their EMI the group recorded, Singapore Cowboy, Broken Lady, Lucille, Daytime Friends, That'll Be The Day, Legend In My Time, City Of New Orleans, Movin' On, Margaritaville, It Was Almost Like A Song, Lovesick Blues, Play Born To Lose Again, From Graceland To The Promised Land and The Last Farewell.

For Part II, on EMGS they recorded, Let's Put The Sing In Singapore, Love Or Something Like, I Can Almost See Houston From Here, Honky Tonk Downstairs, *Stranger, Shenandoah, Get Down Country Music, Leaving YOu Is Easier Than Wishing You Were Gone, Tulsa Time, North To Alaska, More Than Just A Memory and Showboat Gambler.

*Female vocalist of the 70s Tracy Huang accompanied them in Stranger. Both recordings were produced by Reggie Verghese, engineered by Vincent Lim and strings arrangements were by Martin Pereira.

Information: EMI Records (Long Play Vinyls). Image: Back Cover of EMGS5016 - Andy Lim Collection. Original Article: Andy Lim

Friday, July 03, 2009

'Sayonara' 60s Music: American/Japanese Influence, Marlon Brando, James Mitchener, Irving Berlin, Miyoshi Umeki, Tracy Huang

J-Pop or Japanese popular music reminds me of two songs significantly Japanese, but neither is J-Pop. One of these songs became popular because of Marlon Brando's encounter with Miyoshi Umeki and Hollywood's exotica about everything eastern.
Sayonara the movie (1957), from the book by James Mitchener and Sayonara the song by famous lyricist, Irving Berlin, encompassed everything that was stereo-typical about the Japanese in the eyes of the American. "Sayonara, Japanese goodbye/Whisper sayonara, but you mustn't cry/No more we stop to see pretty cherry blossom/No more we 'neath the trees, looking at the sky..."
But the public absorbed the song like tears to tissue paper and it became a hit in Singapore in the late 50s and lingering beyond the 60s. And Brando's line, "Well, that's the cutest thing I ever saw honey..." after listening to the song, confirmed America's ideas about Eastern people and culture.
The original version by Miiko Ta'aka, is from the soundtrack of the film, while the one played on radio was by Miyoshi Umeki. Her 45 rpm vinyl, Sayonara - Japanese Farewell Song - has Be Sweet Tonight on its flipside (Mercury 71216). Both versions are great to listen to.
It is still a popular song and there were numerous covers done in Asia. Singapore pop band, The Quests, did an instrumental version in the 60s and in the 70s, Tracy Huang our beautiful, sophisticated recording artiste did a cover too. It can be found on UTube. The book by JM? Good read.
Original article: Andy Lim Collection.