Pancy Lau (Lau Fung Ping, 劉鳳屏 or 刘鳳屏, also referred to as Liu Feng Ping) was born sometimes in the late 40s / early 50s in a family of musicians; her father Lau Bak Lok (劉伯樂) - also known as Tin Ngai (天涯) - was a well-known Cantonese Opera Star. He was her very first music teacher, and guided her through the entertainment world.
Her career started when she was around 8 or 9 years old singing Cantonese Opera. As a teenager she transitioned to singing songs she enjoyed: Pop music. During the early 60s she participated two times in the Sing Tao Daily Singing Competition in Hong Kong with no significant results. In 1965 at last she won the Mandarin section of the 6th edition of the contest with the song "三年" (Three Years). Upon winning the competition, she became a resident singer at the prestigious Golden Crown Night Club (金冠).
Television Broadcasts Limited (電視廣播有限公司), commonly known as TVB, commenced broadcasting in Hong Kong on 19 November 1967. Pancy Lau was one of the first musical artists who participated in the popular show "歡樂今宵" (Enjoy Yourself Tonight), which was the longest running variety show in Hong Kong's television history.
In 1968 Fung Hang Records released her debut album entitled "My Heart Is Beating - 我的心蹦蹦跳". It was the first in a long series of recordings that continued for more than fifteen years.
"山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan"), the EP which is the subject of this post, was released in 1969 and features four songs that were also included on Pancy Lau's second and most successful album entitled "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look").
For a more detailed biography of Pancy Lau I suggest that you read a previous post I dedicated to her here on Stereo Candies: "The Very Best of Pancy Lau Volume 1 [1968-70]".
Here's the track list for this 7" single:
01. 山前山後百花開 (2:18)
02. 媽媽您在何方 (2:30)
03. 送君 (3:07)
04. 寂靜的夜 (2:29)
All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl release in March 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.
As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.
In 1962, he composed his first hit (Mandarin Chinese) song "夢" (Dream) and later another hit song "郊道" (Country Road). In 1974, he wrote the first Cantonese TV theme song "啼笑姻緣" (Between Tears and Laughter), which became the actual first popular Cantopop song.
Here's what I discovered searching information about the songs included on this EP; the translations of the song titles are approximate in most cases, but anyway...:
01. The original version of the sweet "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan") was recorded in 1962 by 劉韻 (Liu Yun, available here). The song was also later covered by 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong, available here) and 奚秀兰 (Stella Chee, here), among others.
02. "媽媽您在何方" ("Mother, Where Are You?") is a very sad song adapted from a Japanese composition which was originally performed in 1952 by 美空ひばり (Misora Hibari, available here - the song begins at about 00:30). In early 2013 the song was used in a bizarre commercial performed by Will Ferrell.
03. "送君" (Farewell) was originally performed in 1939 by singer / actress 周璇 (Zhou Xuan), one of China's seven great singing stars; you can listen and watch the original version here.
04. "寂靜的夜" (The Silence of the Night) is a Mandarin version of the Japanese classic "ウナ・セラ・ディ東京 - Una sera di Tokyo" (One Night in Tokyo), which was initially performed in 1963 by vocal duo ザ・ピーナッツ (The Peanuts) with the title "東京たそがれ」" (Tokyo Twilight). When touring Japan in1964, famous Italian singer Milva recorded her own version adding the 'Una sera di Tokyo' line to the refrain. The song became successfull and The Peanuts re-recorded it with the new title and lyrics.
Joseph Koo, circa late 60s / early 70s
The following clip offers a preview of the remastered single, enjoy the title track: "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan")!
More information about Pancy Lau is available here:
I'm currently trying to compile a Pancy Lau exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.
All my posts dedicated to Pancy Lau on this blog are available here.
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.