Gong Xi Fa Cai! (CNY 4718)

January 11, 2020


The Chinese New Year or “Spring Festival” was celebrated from the reign of Emperor Huang Di 黄帝 (The Yellow Emperor) in 2697 BC. Legends told of a mythical beast called the Nian or Year 年 which would come to devour livestock, crops and to prey on human. To appease Nian, the villagers would put food in front of their doors with the hope that the beast would be filled and not attack again. One day, it was observed that Nian was scared away by a young child wearing red. Hence, the villagers would hang red lanterns and spring scrolls outside their houses and popped firecrackers to frighten Nain away. It was believed that an ancient Taoist monk, Hongjun Laozu 鸿钧老祖, later tamed Nian, used it as his mount and rode away never to return. Celebration of the new year is called guo nian 過年, meaning the “passing of the beast”.

Traditional CNY songs:


CNY songs by Rita Chao & Sakura Teng:

The Moonstrucks

May 26, 2019


The Moonstrucks were fondly styled as the original Pinoy “Campus Darlings” from Manila, Philippines. The lineup variedly consisted of Alfredo Lozano Jr – founder, lead guitar (’62-’69), Rene “Toto” Ealdama – lead vocal (’64 up to now), Danny Subido – (’62-’68), Eddie Nicolas – vocal, drummer (’63-’67), Cesar “Boyet” Manahan – rhythm guitar (‘63-’74), Bert Buencamino – bass guitar (’63-’70), Isagani “Sonny” Calagian – vocal, bass guitar (‘71-‘78), Ador Toleros – lead guitar, and Bobby Sabater – drummer. Danny Subido composed “If That’s True” which became a top hit for them in 1965. They also produced an instrumental hit of the soundtrack from the popular 1960 local (Sampaguita Films) movie, “Love At First Sight.” Today, Toto Ealdama has continued to lead and front the band, playing classic rocks in authentic 60s style to an enthusiastic live audience. In 2016, Bandcamp released a digital album of a collection of the greatest original and cover version of songs by The Moonstrucks.

The Tielman Brothers (Andy Tielman)

September 3, 2017

Tielman (Cartoon)

The Timor Rhythm Brothers (Andy – lead guitar, Reggy – guitar/banjo, Ponthon – double bass, Loulou – drums) with sister Jane (vocalist) was a family band from Surabaya, Indonesia. They repatriated to Holland in 1957. They started calling themselves The Four Tielman Brothers or The 4 T’s  and quickly became popular enough to be invited to play at Brussels World Fair of 1958. They captivated an audience with their ­­exciting stage antics (described as “Andy played guitar with his foot, the guitars were played reverse in the neck, his guitar was played with the drumsticks of Loulou, the double bass was handled in a sheer acrobatic way and guitars were tossed between the brothers”). They signed with Fernap label and recorded “Rock Little Baby of Mine” and “You’re Still the One.” By the end of 1958, they were invited to play on Germany TV and in the movie “Paprika” and later recorded a single with Boverma label (“Record Hop” and “Swing It Up”). The band now named The Tielman Brother had started to play a new genre later to be called Indorock, a fusion of Indonesian and western rock ‘n roll. By 1960, they went back to studio and recorded “My Maria” which became their most requested song ever. An LP “Tielman On Stage” appeared in 1961 with the instrumental “Night Train”. They then recorded several singles with Ariola label including “Tahiti Jungle” and “Java Guitars”. Jane started to appear more often with her famous brother on tours in the early 60’s. In 1963, Andy and Reggy were involved in a bad car accident. Reggy recovered quickly but Andy’s rehabilitation took several months. In 1967, “Little Bird” was recorded which reached no. 7 on Dutch Top Forty. In the late 1970’s, An­­­dy abruptly reclused to the jungles of Kalimantan to live among the indigenous tribe, the Dayaks, for over two years. With the support of Carmen, a fan who sought him out and would be his wife later, Andy returned to the “civilized” world and restarted his music odyssey. In later years, the Tielman Brothers would move to Australia. In 2006, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded Andy Tielman with Star of the Order of Orange Nassau Services. The Tielmans were remembered as the legendary Dutch East Indies (Indonesian) band, one of the pioneers of rock ‘n roll music scene in the Netherlands and was at the forefront of the Indorock phenomenon. They were documented in the movie “Rockin Ramona”.

Andy (1936-2011), Reggy (1933-2014), Ponthon (1934-2000), Loulou (1938-1994) and Jane (1940-1993).

Yoshinaga Sayuri 吉永小百合

April 28, 2013

Yoshinaga Sayuri 1 --1Yoshinaga Sayuri - 2-1

Yoshinaga Sayuri 吉永小百合 has been a much awarded singer and actress since the 1960's. In 1962, the song いつでも夢を (“Sudemo Yume Wo/Always keep the dream”) sang with 橋幸夫 Yukio Hashi) from her first movie キューポラのある街 ("Foundry Town"), was released by JVC Victor and received the coveted Japan Record Award. Another popular song from 1967, こんなに愛しているのに ("Even though I love you so much"), also became a very successful Chinese cover 尋夢園 ("Dream-searching garden") sung by 劉文正 (Steven Liu) and the venerable 青山 (Qing San).

Ernie Djohan

April 25, 2013

Ernie Djohan - 2-1
Ernie Djohan is an Indonesian singer from the Minangkabau Highlands of West Sumatra. From an early age, she spent much time overseas since her father worked at various diplomatic missions in the Foreign Service. It was while living in Singapore that she appeared publicly and won the “All Singapore’s School Talentime” at age 11 in 1962. She started recording for Phillips but only gained fame with the song “Teluk Bayur” which she recorded with the Buana Suara band for Remaco. The record became a golden platinum in 1966. At that same year, Ernie also began her acting career by starring in her first movie “Belaian Kasih”. In 2001, she did a live concert in celebration of her 50th birthday and 39 years of music career and several movies in Indonesia. She was chosen as the favorite female singer by Puspen TNI from 1966 till 1974.

Ernie Djohan - 1

The Kim Sisters 김씨스터즈

September 21, 2012

The Kim Sisters were a South Korean female trio who made their career in U.S. during 1950s and 60s. The sisters were Sue (Sook-ja. 김숙자), Mi-a (김미아) and Ai-ja (김애자). They started their career singing for U.S. troops in Korea in 1954. Their young widowed mother, Lee Nan-Young (이난영, one of Korea’s most famous singers before the World War II, best known for her 1935 nationwide hit song, “The Tears from Mokpo 목포의 눈물), taught them to sing phonetically since they did not know English. The family were literally singing for food and survival. In 1959 after an American scout discovered the girls, the mother reluctantly consented to let the teenage girls perform in Las Vegas. The girls persevered in a strange country without their mother. Ed Sullivan saw their act at Stardust Hotel and invited them to perform on his show. The sisters performed on The Ed Sullivan Show 22 times, the most of any performer who appeared on it. They also featured in LIFE and NEWSWEEK. They recorded KIM SISTERS “Their first album” LP which included “Try To Remember” in 1964.

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow, follow, follow, follow.

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow, follow, follow, follow.

Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
And follow.

Pearl Sisters 펄시스터즈

September 16, 2012

The Pearl Sisters was a duo of two sisters, Bae In Soon (배인순) and Bae In Sook (배인숙). It was 1967 when Bae In Soon won a singing talent show organized by the US 8th Army stationed in South Korea. She then convinced Beo In Sook to form a singing duo. The sisters were very lucky to get under the immediate tutorship and guidance of the country’s premier K-Pop musician, composer and arranger: 신중현 Shin Joong Hyun. The album 님아 (“Nimah”) released in 1968 was an instant smash success. It included their greatest hit, 커피한잔 (“A Cup of Coffee”), where Shin Joong Hyun played his mesmerizing psychedelic guitar on it. The Pearl Sisters were active until mid-70’s.

커피 한잔을 시켜놓고 그대 올때를 기다려봐도
웬일인지 오지를 않네 내 속을 태우는구려

팔분이 지나고 구분이 와요 일분만 있으면 나는가요
내 정말 그대를 사랑해 내 속을 태우는구려

*아 그대여 왜 안오시나
아 내 사랑아 오 기다려요
오 기다려요 오 기다려요
불덩이 같은 이 가슴 엽차 한잔을 시켜봐도
보고싶은 그대 얼굴 내 속을 태우는구려