Thursday, 12 May 2016

RITA CHAO (凌雲) "THE BOY NEXT DOOR - 我不能沒有你" (1967)



Rita Chao, best known to her Mandarin-speaking fans as 凌雲 (…Ling Yun, Ling Ying or Seow Mei-Mei, depending on the source of information you'd prefer to rely on…), was born in Singapore, probably sometimes in 1949 or early 1950; she grew up there, where she received her education.

Anyway, according to some reports, her family originated from the city of Hangzhou (杭州), which is located in the Zhejiang Province (浙江省) in Eastern China, not so far from Shanghai (上海).

Rita, the youngest of six children with three brothers and two sisters, started singing at the tender age of 8 and was already working as a singer and actress at 14. At school she was not very interested in her academic studies, instead she excelled with performance arts: singing and acting.

Luckily enough, she was born in a family of artists: her grandmother, Zhao Yongchun (趙永春), was a known Chinese Opera singer, and her mother Jing Yu Xian (荊玉仙) was a Chinese Opera singer too. Growing up in this environment allowed her to be familiar with life in the entertainment business, and helped to mentor her future career.

Her parents and relatives saw her potential as an artist quite soon, and decided to pull Rita out of school to follow the Opera troupe on their performances. Rita was given chances to perform Chinese Opera on stage and her performances were very good.

It is unclear when and where Rita embraced Pop music... However, at the end of 1965 - when she was just 15 - while touring Malaysia with her former group, she joined a band called Super XX.

In the meantime Zhao Yongchun, determined to turn her beloved granddaughter into a star, increased her vocal training, became her manager and successfully arranged for her to perform in various nightclubs in Singapore.

Rita was discovered on the local entertainment scene by Su Yin (舒雲), a.k.a. Henry Foo, a Singaporean singer, songwriter and lyricist, who at the time was also the A&R manager for the Chinese section at Columbia / EMI.

In 1966 she was signed by the label and released her very first 7" EP. On this record, she was paired with the top guitar band from Singapore, The Quests. The EP sold over 50.000 copies, and for Rita it was instant stardom.

During those days Rita met Sakura Teng (櫻花). As the story goes, Sakura was already a star singing at various Cabarets throughout South East Asia. On one occasion before going on stage, Sakura and Rita were backstage talking; they instantly clicked and started singing together. Sakura thought they had a very distinctive sound and that night she decided to add a segment to the show in which they would sing a duet. Obviously, they received a stunning reaction from the public and decided to join forces...

Well, probably that is just the romantic version of the story...: since both singers were doing quite well, it is an easy guess that EMI felt that pairing them would give both their careers a boost. In 1967 Rita and Sakura began performing as a double act and constantly toured Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, building a fan base at each port of call.



During her heyday Rita Chao recorded many great Mandarin covers of popular English songs and she was part of the pioneers who launched the Rock Movement in Singapore. Along with Sakura, they were both known as 'A Go-Go Queens of the Sixties"; in those days, they used to perform at the now defunct New World Amusement Park and they both lived in Jalan Besar.

Rita's career lasted about ten years. In 1975, when her last solo album was released, she declared in an interview that she was about to make a movie in Hong Kong and that she was tired of singing all the time... In 1980-81 she briefly returned on the scene releasing two albums with Sakura, just before disappearing completely.

For more than three decades there has been no news about her in the media, only during recent years unconfirmed information appeared on the Internet that she may have been suffering from a psychiatric illness that required long-term treatment.

In early February 2015 the news about her death spreaded: Rita's 90-years-old mother confirmed that the former singer passed away in July 2014; she has been suffering from colon cancer for about three years when she died at the Singapore General Hospital surrounded by her mother, brothers and sisters. Her ashes were scattered at sea after a short wake and funeral attended by family and friends. The family did not inform show business friends as they wanted the past to be forgotten...

Most of the information included in this post was translated by our best friend Brian (...thank you!!!) from a rare article found in the May 19, 1970 edition of "Hong Kong TV Magazine" available in this post on the great macaenese5354 blog.

I am also in debt with Joseph C. Pereira, whose books "Apache Over Singapore" and "Beyond the Tea Dance" are a constant and invaluable source of information and inspiration, thanks!!!


Here's the track list for this 7" EP:

01. 隔壁的冤家 (The Boy Next Door) (2:00)
02. 別纏住我 (Only Friends) (3:33)
03. Sixteen Candles (3:15)
04. 往日的舊夢 (Gonna Be Alright) (2:22)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in May 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments section for the download link.



"隔壁的冤家 (The Boy Next Door)" was released by EMI /Columbia in early 1967. It is one of the most common Rita Chao singles available on the second hand market, and also one of the cheapest, so it would be a good starting point for anyone wishing to collect her early releases... The picture on the front cover is the same that also graces her debut album issued a few months later, just... reversed. Once again, the backing band duties are performed by The Quests; now let's have a closer look at each track.

Side 1 opens with the title track "隔壁的冤家 (The Boy Next Door)", a song written by Johnny Madara and David White that was originally performed by American girl group The Secrets in 1963. The same year the song was turned into a huge hit in Singapore by The Crescendos, you can listen to their version own by clicking here.

"別纏住我 (Only Friends)" is a Mandarin cover of "Ton meilleur ami", a song originally performed by French singer and actress Françoise Hardy in 1962. An  English version of this song was popularized in Singapore by Heather and The Thunderbirds.



On Side B we find "Sixteen Candles", the immortal youth anthem written by Luther Dixon and Allyson R. Khent, and originally performed by American Doo-wop group The Crests in 1958. On this release Rita sings a slightly adapted version of the original English lyrics; a version with Mandarin lyrics was also recorded and released during the same year.

The EP comes to an end with "往日的舊夢 (Gonna Be Alright)", another Mandarin cover version of Gerry and The Pacemakers' hit. The song was written by Gerry Mardsen and originally performed by the group in 1964.


The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered EP, enjoy!










More information about Rita Chao is available here:

http://www.discogs.com/artist/385494-Rita-Chao

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/rita_chao

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/rita_chao_and_sakura

http://blog.roodo.com/macaenese5354/archives/25610568.html

http://blog.roodo.com/macaenese5354/archives/25707290.html

https://questing.wordpress.com/category/rita-chao-%E5%87%8C%E9%9B%B2/

https://questing.wordpress.com/category/sakura-rita-duet-%E6%AB%BB%E8%8A%B1-%E6%B7%A9%E9%9B%B2/

http://illfolks.blogspot.com/2014/04/rita-chao-chaod-mary-proud-mary-in.html

http://mocamborainbow.blogspot.com/2008/07/rita-chao.html

http://www.tofu-magazine.net/newVersion/pages/gogo.html

http://www.smartshanghai.com/articles/nightlife/music-tuesday-far-out-east-2

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2009/01/rita-chao-pop-go-go-for-william-dad.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Singapore

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157625310673913

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/rita.chao.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/rita.lp.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/sakura.rita.chao.html

http://women.asiaone.com/women/people/agogo-princess-rita-chao-died-6-months-ago

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/a-go-go-queen-rita-chao-dies-of-colon-cancer

http://www.lollipop.sg/content/partner-shocked-news-agogo-princess-rita-chao-died-6-months-ago



In the next months I will post more Hong Kong/Taiwan/Singapore/etc. Pop/Instrumental records released in the late-60s / mid-70s. As usual, I would like to provide information about these releases and their authors.

Unfortunately the Internet doesn't offer much information - written in English - about these artists and this is the reason why I need help: if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

It's been difficult to obtain these vinyls, some are not in the best conditions and I'm currently working hard to properly master them. It seems that these artists and their music are poorly known in the West, of course it's a real pity because they made stunning releases: I'd like to share them with you with a proper presentation, hope that someone will be able to help.

SAKURA (櫻花) - A DISCOGRAPHY



This page will contain a detailed discography of Sakura (櫻花). At the moment this is a work in progress and, as you can clearly see, it still is in its early stage and far to be complete. I will add more entries as soon as possible.

If you have any useful information about Sakura - especially corrections and improvements to this discography - please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

[last update: 18.05.2016]


7" singles / EPs



      

   
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
提醒你 - Like I Do (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 557, Singapore)
1966
A1. 提醒你 (Like I Do)
A2. 可愛的春天 (My Bonnie)
B1. 知心話 (Sad Movie)
B2. 心事無從說起 (Listen People)
[mono]
[made in India]
[accompanied by Sounds Anonymous, an alias for The Quests]
[A1 and A2 are also included on 33 ESX 602]
[all tracks are also included on SREG 9516]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


         
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
牧童之歌 - I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 562, Singapore)
1966
A1. 牧童之歌 (I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes)
A2. 我沒有人愛 (Nobody's Child)
B1. 做一對小夫妻 (I Need You)
B2. 要說就說 (Kopi Su Su)
[mono]
[made in India]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[A1 and A2 are also included on 33 ESX 602]
[all tracks are also included on SREG 9516]


         
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
我愛牛郞 - Cowboy Sweetheart (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 574, Singapore)
1967
A1. 我愛牛郞 (Cowboy Sweetheart)
A2. 什麼道理 (Stupid Cupid)
B1. 真友愛 (Michelle)
B2. 歡樂今宵
[mono]
[made in Singapore]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[all tracks are also included on 33 ESX 602]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
甚麼是愛 - Puppet On a String (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 579, Singapore)
1967
A1. 甚麼是愛 (Puppet On a String)
A2. 會情郎 (Yam Yam Cha Cha)
B1. 永遠不分离 (My Boy Lollipop)
B2. 女大不中留 (Rock & Roll Yodeling Guy)
[mono]
[made in Singapore]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[all tracks are also included on SREG 9516]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
新桃花江 - Cherry Blossom (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 589, Singapore)
1968
A1. 新桃花江 (Cherry Blossom)
B1. 为了你 (I'll Never Be The Same)
B2. 独身女 (Single Girl)
[mono]
[released as Rita & Sakura]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[made in Singapore]
[track A1 by Rita & Sakura, tracks B1 and B2 by Rita Chao]
[all tracks are also included on 33ESX 606]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
愛情酒 - Let's Pretend (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 590, Singapore)
1968
A1. 愛情酒 (Let's Pretend)
A2. 教我怎能忘記 (There Goes My Everything)
B1. 痴痴的望 (Lace Covered Window)
B2. 女人心
[made in Singapore]
[all tracks are also included on 33ESX 606]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
愛你入骨 - Honemade Aishite (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 603, Singapore)
1968
A1. 愛你入骨 (Honemade Aishite)
A2. 藍色的夢 (Blue Dream)
B1. 愛上了你 (She Wears My Ring)
B2. Tell the Boys
[made in Singapore]
[all tracks are also included on S-33ESX 607]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
負心的人 (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 614, Singapore)
1968
A1. 負心的人
A2. 我在幻想 (I Pretend)
B1. 對你沒辦法
B2. 失去了你 (A Man Without Love)
[made in Singapore]
[accompanied by Tino Gatchalian and His Band]
[all tracks are also included on 33ESX 611]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Koio Surunara (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 615, Singapore)
1968
A1. 愛情曲 (Omoidewo Arigato-O)
A2. Koio Surunara
B1. Konichiwa Akachyaan Sakura • Sukiyaki
[made in Singapore]
[accompanied by Tino Gatchalian and His Band]
[all tracks are also included on 33ESX 611]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rita & Sakura Show - 傻瓜与野丫头 (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 627, Singapore)
1969
A1. 拜年 (New Year Visit)
A2. 哈哈哈
B1. 傻瓜與野丫頭
B2. 愛相思
[released as Rita & Sakura - 凌雲 与 櫻花]
[made in Singapore]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
美馬 姑娘 一 朵 花 (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 628, Singapore)
1969
A1. 美馬 姑娘 一 朵 花
A2. 常相依
B1. 水長流 (Love Without End)
B2. 朦查查(Sleepy Joe)
[tracks A1, B1 and B2 are also included on S-33ESX 615]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
相思何處寄 (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 638, Singapore)
1969
A1. 嬌滴滴
A2. 今天不回家
B1. 相思何處寄
B2. 戀夜
[all tracks are also included on s-33ESX 619]



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
鄉下姑娘 (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 640, Singapore)
1969
A1. 鄉下姑娘 (Woodpecker Song)
A2. 忌妒心 (Jealous Heart)
B1. 印度情歌
B2. 採紅菱
[released as Sakura & Rita Chao]
[all tracks are also included on 33ESX 620]


more soon...


LPs



soon...


CDs



soon...


More information about Sakura is available here:

http://www.discogs.com/artist/385495-Sakura-2

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/%E6%AB%BB%E8%8A%B1

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/rita_chao_and_sakura

http://questing.wordpress.com/2006/12/01/sakura-teng/

https://questing.wordpress.com/category/sakura-rita-duet-%E6%AB%BB%E8%8A%B1-%E6%B7%A9%E9%9B%B2/

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2009/01/sakura-teng-yodel-lady-who.html

http://mocamborainbow.blogspot.com/2008/07/sakura-teng.html

http://modcentric.blogspot.com/2007/06/sakura-pint-sized-livewire.html

http://modcentric.blogspot.com/2007/03/sakura-quests-go-boom.html

http://waxidermy.com/sakura-teng-st/

http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/10/365-days-295---.html

http://www.thestar.com.my/Story/?file=%2F2005%2F3%2F1%2Ffeatures%2F10258953&sec=features

http://news.asiaone.com/news/showbiz/sakura-teng-says-goodbye

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/886328

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157625436183960/detail/

http://www.freewebs.com/ritachao/sakurateng.htm

http://marc-antoine-panda.over-blog.com/article-32061166.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/sakura.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/sakura.rita.chao.html

All my posts dedicated to Sakura on this blog are available here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

RITA CHAO (凌雲) - A DISCOGRAPHY



This page will contain a discography of Singaporean singer Rita Chao (凌雲). At the moment this is a work in progress and, as you can clearly see, it still is in its early stage and far to be complete. I will add more entries as soon as possible.

If you have any useful information about Rita Chao - especially corrections and improvements to this discography - please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

[last update: 12.05.2016]


7" singles / EPs



      
         
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
搖搖搖 - Shake Shake Shake (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 556, Singapore)
1966
A1. 搖搖搖 (Shake, Shake, Shake)
A2. 愛人你變了 (I Know)
B1. 快樂誕辰 (Happy Happy Birthday)
B2. 想起他 (As Tears Go By)
[mono]
[made in India]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[cover available in two different colours]
[A1 and A2 are also included on 33 ESX 603]
[all tracks are also included on SREG 9517]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


         
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
我不能沒有你 - Wooly Bully (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 560, Singapore)
1966
A1. 我不能沒有你 (Wooly Bully)
A2. 好風采 (Pretty Flamingo)
B1. 小姑娘 (Let True Love Begin)
B2. 愛是我、愛是你 (Love Is Me, Love Is You)
[mono]
[made in India]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[A1 and B1 are also included on 33 ESX 603]
[all tracks are also included on SREG 9517]


         
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
我不能沒有你 - The Boy Next Door (7" EP, Columbia EMI, ECHK 575, Singapore)
1967
A1. 我隔壁的冤家 (The Boy Next Door)
A2. 別纏住我 (Only Friends)
B1. Sixteen Candles
B2. 往日的舊夢 (Gonna Be Alright)
[mono]
[made in Singapore]
[accompanied by The Quests]
[all tracks are also included on 33 ESX 603]


LPs



soon...


CDs



soon...


More information about Rita Chao is available here:

http://www.discogs.com/artist/385494-Rita-Chao

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/rita_chao

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/rita_chao_and_sakura

http://blog.roodo.com/macaenese5354/archives/25610568.html

http://blog.roodo.com/macaenese5354/archives/25707290.html

https://questing.wordpress.com/category/rita-chao-%E5%87%8C%E9%9B%B2/

https://questing.wordpress.com/category/sakura-rita-duet-%E6%AB%BB%E8%8A%B1-%E6%B7%A9%E9%9B%B2/

http://illfolks.blogspot.com/2014/04/rita-chao-chaod-mary-proud-mary-in.html

http://mocamborainbow.blogspot.com/2008/07/rita-chao.html

http://www.tofu-magazine.net/newVersion/pages/gogo.html

http://www.smartshanghai.com/articles/nightlife/music-tuesday-far-out-east-2

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2009/01/rita-chao-pop-go-go-for-william-dad.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Singapore

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157625310673913

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/rita.chao.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/rita.lp.html

http://www.geocities.jp/a104gs/sakura.rita.chao.html

http://women.asiaone.com/women/people/agogo-princess-rita-chao-died-6-months-ago

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/a-go-go-queen-rita-chao-dies-of-colon-cancer

http://www.lollipop.sg/content/partner-shocked-news-agogo-princess-rita-chao-died-6-months-ago

All my posts dedicated to Rita Chao on this blog are available here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...