Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hoàng Oanh | Gold

"Ngay sua se ra sao" and "Kiep ngheo"

Download the entire CD in a single zip file here.

In September 2008, I went to Minneapolis to do a reading with a couple of others in the Flarflist Collective at the Walker. The day after the reading, we wound up on a street that housed nothing but Vietnamese restaurants and video/CD stores.

After a great lunch, I popped into the video place next to the restaurant and combed the stacks as quickly as I could, finding, among other things, this fabulous collection of songs Hoàng Oanh recorded from 1960-1975. Of the 20-30 Vietnamese CDs I have, this is one of my all-time favorites, largely owing to Hoàng Oanh's voice, which never fails to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. She's amazing. I think, although I'm not certain of this, that she's still alive and living in southern California.

When Linh Dinh stayed with me last year during a neo-benshi festival that Brandon Downing curated, I pulled out my stash of Vietnamese CDs, begging him to please please please contextualize some of it for me. Which, graciously, he did.

Apparently, Hoàng Oanh was extremely popular in Vietnam, but largely outside of Saigon, where she was considered a bit unsophisticated or "country." I was very surprised by this, but assume it's true and that sophistication, like humor, doesn't always travel well from culture to culture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger & the Trinity.

I only found your blog a week ago. Hope you can keep it alive. It's a very interesting collection that I've only begun to mine.