Thursday, November 27, 2014

Irene Ryder (黎愛蓮) Ryding Hong Kong Pops 60s Part 1

Hong Kong Protests Today

Hopefully, the two-month long pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong will be resolved soon because the island has brought back pleasant memories of Tsim Sha Tsui's shopping district and the hunting around for old records.  Here's one HK pop artiste I used to listen to in between the Indonesian groups and Singapore ones.

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.

English Diction:

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.

Vic Cristobel:

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.  

Bruce Lee
Part 2 Next Week:

(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.


chakap chakap said...

Robert Lee, brother of Bruce Lee is the founder of a popular Hong Kong beat band called The Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds were a pop group on the same Hong Kong/Macao musical circuit as Danny Diaz & The Checkmates, Zoundcrakers, Anders Nelson & The Inspiration, D'Topnotes and Teddy Robin & The Playboys.

He founded the group in 1966 and quickly became famous in Hong Kong. They recorded some singles mostly sung in English with Lee singing a duet in one vinyl with Irene Ryder.

He later moved to Los Angeles in the United States and stayed with his older brother Bruce.

After Bruce Lee's death he released an album dedicated to him called, 'The Ballad of Bruce Lee'. A single of the same title was also released.

Talk Talk Only said...

Hong Kong 60s:

The Beatles concert in Hong Kong in 1964 marked the birth of the golden age of the Hong Kong pop scene. From 1964 to 1969, a great number of bands appeared.

They sung in English, as Cantonese and Mandarin songs were considered to be old fashioned. These bands normally did cover versions of songs from the UK or the US. This scene reflects the multicultural diversity of the city.

Musicians of different nationalities were active in the Hong Kong band scene: Chinese, British, Swedish, Macanese, Portuguese, Pilipinos, Singaporeans and Indians, among others.


Freedom House said...

The current pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong came in response to an August decision by the Beijing government to limit voters’ choices in future elections for the autonomous territory’s chief executive.

The move effectively ended a 17-year period in which Chinese leaders attempted to retain control of Hong Kong politics while still holding out the promise of eventual universal suffrage.

Democracy activists have also raised concerns about growing encroachments on Hong Kong’s civil liberties, including media freedom.

Freedom House Blog Website.


Chaos is in every part of the world. Indonesia is also not immune to it. People is unhappy to recent drastic increase in fuel price. Little do they know that the government is trying to reduce national debts and improve quality of life. A big challenge for President Jokowi.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Herry, just wondering if there are shops in Djakarta selling Indonesian vinyl records from the 60s, like The Steps, Ernie Johan, Bing Slamet, etc. I would like to expand my collection. Let me know.


Finding vinyl records are like hunting for buried treasures but they should not be a problem. I am not very sure but this link should be helpful.

Bob Ng said...

Miss Ryder was already a star when she appeared in RTV Sound beat 67. Her vocal, appearance was first class. Cannot believe now we are all in the 00's. God bless Irene.
You tube

KaiserPCS said...

Does anyone knows when did EMI ended the use of labels like Regal, Pathe, Angel etc?

Nmk Chung said...

You Tube:
Thanks for the video which bring me back to 60's Joe Jr.,Robert Lee,Teddy Robin and the Playboys, Anders Nelson and the Continentals, Michael Remedios,Irene Ryder,Agnes Chan,Sam Hui,Joe Chan.

Actually,Robert Lee was the ex-husband of Sum Sum Miss 30 cents of "Enjoy Yourself Tonight"

Irene Married a Kung Fu actor Leung Sui Long, a real fighter but at the time people said that they did not match because she was too beautiful for him and much popular than him.

All in all,those were the days.

iris wigle said...

You tube:
Under a different moon this is so deja vu of a Janis Joplin and Bobby or a Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin.

Robert Lee looks a tad like a young Russel Crowe... I don't remember Robert Lee but I am trying to... did he sing on occasion with Alanis Morisette? Sissel? Patsy Cline? Sandi Shaw? Mary Hopkin? Dana Winner? Leanne Rimes? Kate Nash? Maybe Kate Nash Huh?

kayiu li said...

I was fortunate enough to watch Ms. Irene Ryder in one of the famous night club in Kowloon when I was a child. She was not only a great singer and she was so beautiful. She had every quality to be a world famous singer.

All the best to Irene and Robert Lee. They sang so well with this song. Thanks for posting!

alfredwinghungchan said...

You Tube:
The name of the TV program was 'Sound Beat 68, 69' depending on the year of course on Rediffision TV, which was before TVB.

Robert Lee lives in Monterey Park, Calif. He is an IT engineer now, very down to earth. Irene ages like everybody else, gained a little weight but still sings as lovely as ever.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Comments from You Tube Video:

These comments were posted 4 or 5 years ago from the above connection. I have extracted them because of the interesting information provided about HK's 60s music scene and about Irene Ryder/Robert Lee.

Any misuse is unintentional.

DK said...

Hi Andy,

Yes I know her personally. Very talented and attractive girl at that time. She was going steady with my friend. Something happened and they split up.

REG said...

Love your Hong Kong background stamp pattern.

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