Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hoang Oanh | Souvenir 08

Listen to "Mua Gat Moi" 

Get it all here.

Born Huynh Kim Chi on January 27, 1950, in My Tho Province, Hoang Oanh (which means "Golden Songbird") grew up with five sisters in Saigon. 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 recitation before 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 other two 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.


Holly said...

Gary, Gary, Gary!


Tyler Hewitt said...

Love this!
Do remember where on Argyle St. that store was/is, or it's name? I live in Chicago, and get up to Argyle a few times a year (love the grocery stores), but haven't noticed a big media store there.

peter said...

hey gary! just one suggestion for improvement not included in the survey: i would request more comprehensive scans of the album notes and tracklists, to facilitate readers with knowledge of the language filling in historical/discographical details (i am thinking of myself mainly of course, but i'm sure there are others who would be glad help out also!) not saying these would necessarily be part of each post, but maybe included in the zip file?
that's my 2 cents!

Gary said...

@Tyler It's across the street from the red line exit, on Argyle between N. Broadway and N. Winthrop. It does NOT look like a big place from the outside; it's deceptive.

@Holly I have 3 more discs by her, with some fabulous stuff on them, though they aren't as good as this series.

@Peter Here's my promise to you: If I can get the tracklist for any script (Lao, Thai, Greek, Russian, Urdu, etc.) by scanning it, I'll do it. Then, (a) If I know the names of the artist and album, I'll include the scan in the .rar file. If I don't know, I'll include it in the post so helpful folks can help me identify it. Sound like a deal?

peter said...

gary, that would be fantastic!
btw on the topic on hoang oanh, i once found the whole series on some vietnamese message board! after you post what you've got i'll see if i can dig it up. (your rips are much better quality, of course)

Gary said...

Hi Peter! Is it this one:

You can only get the links if you create an account and sign in, which I did. I couldn't figure out once I had the links, though, how to download the songs, which were posted individually.

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