A Singaporean but of Shanghai parentage, she came into prominence when she won the Rediffusion Talentime singing contest in the late 60's.
She was signed up for a recording contract immediately and a song, Three Dreams, was specially written for her first new album. Soon Zhang Xiao Ying became a household name.
Since A-Go-Go music was popular during that period, she signed up with Golden Urn Records and produced some. She became very much in demand.
In the beginning, she was accompanied by the instrumental group, The Travellers but was later backed by The Stylers who were more popular in the region then.
When she came under Denon's Prinstar Records the promotion of her latest pressing would be broadcast on Rediffusion weekly. She is known to sing her songs clearly, with perfect diction, energy and feeling.
Some of her fans did not realise she could sing just as well in the Indonesian language. Again her pronunciation and ability to speak the language proved a hit with those who loved to hear her (video above).
In the early 70's, when black and white TV was popular, RTS - Radio Television Singapore - had a programme called Hua Yuen Liang Xiao (梁萧华) hosted by famous comedians Wang Sar and Ye Fung. Scheduled on Friday evenings, Zhang Xiao Ying appeared every third Friday dishing out her latest hits.
Many Singaporeans who were familiar with Mandarin rushed home from work and waited in their sitting rooms for her to come on screen. It has been known that her programmes also drew hundreds to the Community Centres where many television sets were placed for the general public who did not own one at home.
The magic of today's media has brought us back to the 60's again. And because of the flexibility of You Tube and the internet, Ms Chang is again with us.
One of the most pop Chinese New Year song by Zhang Xiao Ying 张小英 that came out in the 70's. The title Ta Di Hui Chun (大地回春) means the welcoming of spring in the big land which refers to the homeland (China).
More of her:
Image/Article: Andy Lim Collection.