Listen to "Mua Gat Moi" Get it all here.
BornHuynh Kim ChionJanuary 27,1950, inMy Tho
Province, Hoang Oanh (which means "Golden Songbird") grew up with five sisters inSaigon.Her father taught singing and, by the age of eight, the fledgling songbird gave her first performances on stage. A mini-breakthrough came in 1964 when she was 14 years old and was asked to give concerts in Hue, a coastal city about 50 miles north of Da Nang. According to one Vietnamese webpage I Google-translated: "Due to complaints and often poetry recitationbefore
singing, she has made a difference for her performances throughout her career
and was rated as 'good enough song immersion.'" In other words, one assumes, she didn't bore the shit out of everyone by reciting a bunch of poetry before kicking out the jams. Seriously? I have no idea what that really means, although I suspect it does point to a shift in the live performance of Vietnamese popular music. And a shift for her as well, as she graduated from the University of Saigon with a BA in literature and briefly considered a career as a teacher. On April 28, 1975, the Golden Songbird flew out of Vietnam for New York, New Jersey and, ultimately, San Jose, Calif., where she lives to this day. I plucked this fabulous CD from the stacks of an intimidatingly vast Vietnamese media store on Argyle Street in Chicago, where I also found the othertwo CDs I have from this series. Unlike 75% of pre-1975 Vietnamese pop music currently in print, the songs have not been altered in any way (e.g., no cheesy Casio tracks have been threaded into the mix), allowing the listener to experience it all as it was meant to be heard in Saigon before the fall. PS: I'll make another push for readers to take the survey to the right before the deadline passes tomorrow evening.