Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Saigon Lounge | Vietnamese Pop + Soul 1960s-1970s

Reupped one more time by special request here.

Those of you who frequent the Bodega know that Your Humble Proprietor has got a constant eye out for pre-1975 Vietnamese music what has been lovingly burned into discs of polycarbonate plastic. I've picked up CDs of this stuff everywhere from the Tu Quynh Pharmacy in Manhattan's Chinatown, to Vietnamese video stores in downtown Montreal, to a number of spots on Argyle Street in Chicago, to a place whose name I forget on Foster Road in Portland, Oregon. 

There are a lot of Vietnamese living in the Americas -- 1,700,000 in the United States and another 200,000 in Canada. Fortunately for folks like me, many of them love their 60s and 70s pop, the music the elders were listening to before Saigon fell and they were forced to make a new life half a world away. 

I've long been meaning to put together a mix of some of my favorite tunes for you; now that I've got Photoshop and can do up a Sublime Frequencies-style cover, I decided tonight to go ahead and do just that. I'm betting you're gonna like it ...


James Courtney said...

this is delightful

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! and a track list!! mind you, there are two track #16??

Gary said...

01 Groovy Song 3:37 Hung Cuong & Mai Le Huyen

02 Nguoi O Charlie 5:45 Nhat Truong & Thanh Lan

03 Chieu Mot Minh Qua Pho 4:59 Khanh Ly

04 Phuong Buon 3:32 Hoang Oanh

05 Khuc Hat An Tinh 4:41 Phuong Dung

06 Thoi 5:34 Thai Thanh

07 Chang La Ai 4:06 Thanh Lan

08 Hoai Thu 4:41 Thanh Thuy

09 Funky Song 3:44 Hung Cuong & Mai Le Huyen

10 Mua Nua Dem 6:04 Thanh Thuy

11 Ao Cuoi Hoa Ca 6:51 Tan Tai & Phuong Lien

12 Nho Mot Nguoi 5:25 Giao Linh

13 Mua Gat Moi 4:07 Hoang Oanh

14 Khi Nguoi Yeu Toi Khoc 4:52 Khanh Ly & Elvis Phuong

15 Ga Chieu 4:25 Thanh Thuy

16 Mot Mai Gai Tu Vu Khi 6:29 Thai Thanh

Bill said...

This reminds me of a few years ago when I was in a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan. They were playing what sounded like an Asian orchestra (definitely not Western tuning) playing american pop tunes like Fly Me To The Moon. Any idea what it was?--Bill

onemanparty said...

thanks for these wonderful gems,i'm supplying the first
noodle bar in Ghent,Belgium called ramen with some mixtpes...thanks for your work!!!

Quynh Nguyen said...

Might I ask how to access the whole track list? I can only listen to the first track. Thank you.

Gary said...

Hi Quynh,

To get the whole thing, in the sentence "Reupped by special request here," click on the word "here".

That will take you to ADrive, where the file named "Siagon Lounge BP9.rar" will begin to download automatically.

To open the file, click on it. If it does not open, this means you need to get free software to open .rar files. I can recommend Rar Frog, free at:


Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary,
I've yet to listen to this, but am excited to hear it. Thanks for posting. Do you have any idea what the name of the singer or the song is in the following clip from a Vietnam War doc?
...starting at 5:19.

Gary said...

Gosh, no idea who that is, the bit with her is so short and my grasp on the singers of the time not anywhere close to expert.

Unknown said...

Came across this hunting for music ahead of a visit to my vietnamese in-laws - sadly the ADrive is in 'maintenance mode', so all I have is Groovy Song - but what a tune to whet the appetite!

Great blog - can't wait to delve further

Unknown said...

Thank you for very much for these songs. My mother who is dying of cancer is bed-ridden at home and sleeps most of the day but when I played these songs, she opened her eyes and listened intently. Bless you for putting these songs together and giving my mom some serenity at this time. It meant a lot to my family.

mermaid and manatee said...

'Groovy Song' is actually called 'Gặp Nhau Mà Chi'. I'm still hunting the proper title of 'Funky Song'.

This blog post led me to many great musical discoveries, and also allowed me to make some compilations for my vietnamese mother-in-law that were very appreciated. Thanks!

Dì 12 said...

The 9th track Funky Song is called Yêu Đời, music & lyrics by Hoài Nam.

Will Henley said...

Hi Gary, great find! I'm having trouble downloading it though, is there a current link to the download?

Gary said...

ADrive, which is where I've been hosting things, has deleted all of my files for the second time since I started using them a couple of years ago.

Before that, Divshare deleted everything.

Blog's been wiped out completely three times, and I don't really have the time or energy to reupload anything at this time.

Listen to the show, if you can. Meanwhile, I'll think about it.

Will Henley said...

Thanks for the reply :) I can't seem to access the show but not to worry. Let me know if you figure it out.

Marko-V said...

Thankx for sharing.
Here is my experience about vinyl hunting in Saigon:

Matthew said...


I know you've uploaded this on adrive and the files have been removed but would you please upload one more time? I'd like to suggest perhaps wetransfer or hightail or dropbox? I've always appreciated discovering new things about the culture and would like to keep this part of history alive.

Thanks so much!


oznguyen said...

Dear Gary ... I could be wrong but the I am fairly sure the that female singer is Mai Lệ Huyền (a modern singer - quite a head of her time being a rock n roll singer) and the male singer is Hùng Cường (a well known singer and movie star) ... Both are well known to do a duet ... Again, the link is dead .. if you find time to upload it, I would be very much appreciate it ... I grew up with these songs.