Thursday, 29 December 2016

PANCY LAU (劉鳳屏) "莫負青春" (1970)



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". The album was the first in a long series of recordings that continued for more than fifteen years.



Following two EPs entitled "水長流" ("Water Flows Long") and "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan"), Pancy Lau's second album was finally published in late 1969. "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look"), contained twelve songs, including the eight tracks already released on her previous EPs.

The record was a huge success with no less than four editions published - and sometimes also bootlegged - by different labels in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. At the time, a lot of popular music was coming from being featured on television or were theme songs from television drama series. The album, however, did not need any push from the media to become an instant hit, as it contained enough fresh material to estabilish itself as a modern classic.

It's not easy to come up with an exact chronology of Pancy Lau's early output because in a few years she released many records and none of them includes a release date. I suppose that FHEP 623 "莫負青春" (Don't Turn Your Back on Youth), the subject of this post, was released in 1970 but I'm not completely sure about it...

Anyway, as a matter of fact, all the four songs on the EP were also included on Pancy's third album, "劉鳳屏之歌" (Pancy Lau's Songs), released by New Wave Record Co. (新風) in 1970, which is pictured on the back cover along with two other previously released EPs.

For a more detailed biography of Pancy Lau, please have a look at this other post of mine: "The Very Best of Pancy Lau Volume 1 [1968-70]".


Pancy Lau, circa 1969


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

01. 莫負青春 (2:19)
02. 我還是永遠愛著你 (2:46)
03. 暗淡的月 (2:51)
04. 淚的衣裳 (2:14)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl release in December 2016 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.



Here's what I discovered searching information about the songs included on this EP:

"莫負青春" (Don't Turn Your Back on Youth) is a song from the movie with the same title; it was originally performed in 1947 by singer / actress 周璇 (Zhou Xuan), one of China's seven great singing stars. You can listen and watch the original version here.

"我還是永遠愛著你" (I Will Still Love You Forever) is an old Taiwanese folk love song, and during the years it has been performed by many famous female singers including 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong), 鄧麗君 (Teresa Teng), 湯蘭花 (Tang Lang Hwa) and 陳芬蘭 (Chen Fen Lan).

"暗淡的月"(A Dim Moon) is a cover of a Taiwanese pop song originally written and performed by 吳晉淮 (Wu Jin-huai) in 1957. The original version is available here.

"淚的衣裳" (Dress of Tears) is a Mandarin version of a Japanese song originally recorded by 翁倩玉 (Judy Ongg) in 1969. This was also part of the repertoire of 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong), 謝雷 (Xie Lei), 林竹君 (Lena Lim) and many more...




The following clips offer a preview of the remastered EP, enjoy the title track "莫負青春" (Don't Turn Your Back on Youth) and "淚的衣裳" (Dress of Tears)!






More information about Pancy Lau is available here:

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

http://home.ied.edu.hk/~hkpop/music/hkpophistory.html

http://www.goldenage.hk/b5/ga/ga_article.php?article_id=1079

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157608139056712/

http://baike.baidu.com/view/5637119.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-uAR5gOXNg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtPVPIy6v6s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUIeOiDudhg&feature=related

http://robokon.orgfree.com/5080/5080_LauFungPing.htm

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/%E5%8A%89%E9%B3%B3%E5%B1%8F

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/entertainment/art/20130325/18206169

http://hd.stheadline.com/ent/ent_content.asp?contid=223625&srctype=n

http://ent.qq.com/a/20070424/000092.htm

http://sleepless.chiba78.com/articles-1640.html

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 are available here.



As a last note, I'm still struggling to find somebody who can help me with translations:

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!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

THE WANDY FIVE "CHRISTMAS A'GO-GO" (1966)



It's been more than five years since I started this blog and, whatever the reason, I never posted any Christmas music. Well, I believe it's never too late for a change, so at this particular time of the year I decided to treat you with "Christmas A'Go-Go", a 7" EP by The Wandy Five.

The four instrumentals on this record are easily available on other blogs and on YouTube, but I guess that this is the first time they are presented in a clean remastered version. A small present for all the followers of Stereo Candies, if you want.



In 2017 I will keep on working to present more and more interesting releases. They won't be as many as I would like, but I'll do my best as usual in the few spare time that I am allowed.

If you enjoy the blog then let me know about it leaving some comments: the fuel that powers me is my own passion for music, but it's always nice to learn that somebody out there is downloading, listening and enjoying the music presented on these pages.

Now, on to The Wandy Five and... Merry Christmas!!!

The Candyman


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

01. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer (2:45)
02. White Christmas (2:58)
03. Mary's Boy Child (2:05)
04. Silent Night (3:09)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl release in December 2016 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.



"Christmas A'Go-Go" was released by Roxy Records sometimes in late 1966, probably - and aptly - just around Christmas time. Cleverly, the back cover could be customized by hand to include the names of both the donor and the recipient, making it a perfect gift for young people.

Given the relative ease with which the record can be obtained on the second-hand market, I understand that probably many copies were sold during those pre-Christmas days, exactly fifty years ago.

At that time, the A Go-Go craze had taken hold in Singapore and every band tried to incorporate elements of such style (...also known as Hala-hala, a Cha-Cha-descended style...) in their music. Moreover, plenty of records featured that magic word on the cover, usually in big fonts, cashing on the trend.

So, an A Go-Go Christmas record in Singapore in 1966? Good move, Roxy!

The four Christmas carols included on this release are so well-known that it wouldn't make much sense getting into them as usual. Let's spend a few words about The Wandy Five instead.



According to the information I found on the Internet, it looks like The Wandy Five were a group of Malay local musicians active during the '60s in Singapore. The group was founded by Hj Wandly Yazid as one of the many projects of a versatile mind.

Wandly Yazid (1925-2005), born in Sumatra, was a renowned musician, composer and arranger. He was educated in Dutch primary and high schools, and graduated from the Teachers Training Institute, West Sumatra.

At seventeen he began to study music. He learnt to play the violin and the clarinet, as well as water-colour and oil painting in Bukittinggi, Sumatra.

In 1947, passion for music and the arts brought him to Singapore, a vibrant city where the film industry was thriving. Here, he studied the piano and also learnt to play the saxophone.

Soon he formed his own orchestras, Wandy Yazid Orchestra and Megawati Orchestra, and composed music for films by the Nusantara Film Company and Malayan Film Unit. In 1956 he became member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as a violinist.


Wandly Yazid

Wandly founded the Fajar Record Company in 1959, where he composed and arranged songs, and accompanied singers like Julie Sudiro, Orchid Abdullah and Rosiah Chik. He also trained various young singers who later became very successful, including Ernie Djohan and Rafeah Buang.

In 1964, at the age of thirty-nine, he was appointed Music Director of Cathay-Keris Films. He composed and arranged songs and background music for many classic films, and is best remembered for "Gurindam Jiwa", the lovely theme song for a romantic film of the same name. Originally performed by R. Ismail and Rafeah Buang, with lyrics by Hamzah Hussein, the song is now an evergreen favourite.

During the late '60s, he left a few more traces of his work with The Wandy Five accompaning singers Rahim Ali and A. Amin on a couple of singles.

In the '70s, he joined the Singapore Broadcasting Orchestra as a violinist, performed with his own group, Café Vienna Trio, and also gave solo piano performances at major hotel establishments. Retired in 1992, he continued to perform and gave lessons to young music students.


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

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More information about Wandly Yazid and The Wandy Five is available here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandly_Yazid

http://wandlyyazid.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKp3T86aZQM


If you have any other useful information about this post or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Monday, 12 December 2016

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #19: LOMBEGO SURFERS "THIRD STAGE / TEMPTATION" (2001)



Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.



In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The nineteenth Sheep Records release marked the return to the label of Swiss Garage-Rock stars Lombego Surfers, after about five years since their split 7" single with The Feebles that we have documented here long ago.

"Third Stage / Temptation" was released in April 2001 as a 7" single limited to 300 copies on blue vinyl and 700 copies on black vinyl, for a total of 1,000 copies.

On Side A we find "Third Stage", a short and fast instrumental whose simple structure doesn't allow more than a brief guitar solo which is repeated during the three sections that the song is made up.

Side B offers "Temptation", a much slower and evocative piece that suggests distorted images of a bar in Tijuana where hopes sink in rattlesnake Tequila as generous and conspiring señoritas invite customers upstairs... Sort of...





Here's the track list and credits for this 7" single:

01. Third Stage (2:11)
02. Temptation (3:41)

Recorded by T. Bruderer at TT-RecsSt. Gallen, Switzerland.

Both tracks were remastered from the original vinyl release in December 2016 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.


Here'a short bio of Lombego Surfers sourced from the Internet...

"The Lombego Surfers are not some tanned sunny boys from California but rather the hardest working Voodoo rock punkers with the coolest guitar riffs since the Stooges. The three rock’n’roll pagans from Boston and Basel don’t give a hoot about trends: the rock’n’roll road is straight on, the clubs on the way are old pals where a cold beer is always waiting and the last man standing puts the bones away. That’s the Lombego Surfers’s way. Right now they are on the road with their highly recommended new album Ticket Out of Town in their duffel bag."




The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Third Stage" and "Temptation"!






More information about Sheep Records and Lombego Surfers is available here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140810033155/http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html

http://www.lombegosurfers.ch/

https://www.discogs.com/artist/134916-Lombego-Surfers

http://www.musicdish.com/mag/index.php3?id=1558

https://web.archive.org/web/20131209013559/http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/lombego/lombego.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20131209020714/http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/lombego/lombego2.html


The Sheep Records story series will continue during the next months. Your input is more than welcome: if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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