Monday, June 29, 2009

Zhang Xiao Ying (张小英) Chinese 60's Music

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.
                                            Singing Lover's Tears in Bahasa Indonesia.

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) 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.


Lam Chun See said...

Can I share with your readers something I wrote on my blog here.

It’s very strange. Somehow, when I was on the way back to camp on Sunday nights, the brain seemed to be especially receptive to surrounding stimuli. I remember another occasion, when I took a pirate taxi from Bt Timah, 7th Mile (the old Beauty World) to camp in SAFTI. That was in 1971 during my recruit or section leaders training days. We didn’t have much choice actually – so many soldiers going back to camp (Safti and 6th SIR in Tuas) and so few bus service 175’s. The pirates did our nation a valuable service if you ask me. I remember the song being played in the taxi was 心上人 by a local singer ( 张 小 英).

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Mr Lam for the nostalgia. She has a great voice, an unforgettable one.

Natural Garcinia Cambo said...

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ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I have revived this posting because of this lady, one of the best Chinese singers from the 60's era.

Two songs LOVER'S TEARS and a well-known CNY piece were the top songs during those years.She sings just as well in Indonesian.

To all my Indonesian friends, especially kawan LAURENCE LIM, this song is for all of you.

chakap chakap said...

A Lover’s Tears, considered by many to be the most romantic Mandarin song of its era, has been featured in a movie. Poon SK had sung this very song onscreen in the Shaw Brothers film Little Lark (《小云雀》) way back in 1964.

Poon Sow Keng, known as the “Queen of Alto” (低音歌后), had first recorded the song in 1958. It was composed by the prolific Yao Min (姚敏), the famous composer and producer for the record company EMI in the 1950's and 1960's, with lyrics provided by the equally illustrious lyricist Chen Die Yi (陈蝶衣).

The song has been sung by many artistes and even translated into Indonesian. At the nighclubs all over Singapore in the 60's, this song would be a request favourite among patrons who listen and dance during their visit to these night spots. Woe betide any singer who cannot sing this song.

Anonymous said...

I have been listening to her songs and never get tired of them. Thanks to her and
her illustrious singer sisters.These evergreens are of a bygone era and are indeed
testament to the glory days of such songs.
Thanks to the internet you can listen to any song by any old Chinese singer.
When you listen to these songs you go down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

Listening to 張小英 Chinese New Year songs on Spotify in California this morning. Memories of CNY in my childhood home in Singapore flood my brains. Nostalgia 🥰