Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pathé 100: The Series

A guest upload by Remorseful Prober, this one might be the most interesting one in the history of this blog.

The first decades of the XXth century were a time of upheaval around the world - politically, technologically, and culturally. It was the Jazz Age in the States, the era of dramatic literary experimentation in Russia, explosion of modernity in european culture... China, though walking its own historical path, did not stay behind. The opium wars and european political meddling throughout the previous century cracked the empire open, and the seeds of foreign culture that came through the cracks gave their first shoots in the 1920s. Shanghai, the most prosperous and open city of the time, saw the emergence of shidaiqu - a fusion of Chinese folk music and European jazz.
Pathé Records was the record label dominating asian market at the time. Throughout the next decades, Pathé documented the development of this new music. The revolution of 1949 effectively ended Pathé activities on mainland, so the label continued operating from Hong Kong. It's been taken over first by Columbia, and then by EMI. Recently, Pathé started a retrospective called Pathé 100: The Series and dedicated to the the glory days of shidaiqu - 30s, 40s, 50s. The Shanghai Lounge Divas albums (here) introduced the style; other discs from the series are dedicated to individual performers or are topical. The next few posts will feature several albums from the series, all shared by Remorseful Prober.

The first one is by the Loo sisters - Chang Loo (AKA Zhang Lu), a singer and a movie star, deceased earlier this year at the age of 77, and her less famous sister Xiao Loo. This disc might be a good intro to chinese pop for the wary, as it includes several covers of american songs, including Merle Travis' 16 Tons and Oh Susanna, complete with a banjo solo. I guess she had a thing for country'n'western; she also did a cover of Hank Williams' Jambalaya, hear it here.

Vol.1: Zhang Lu and Xiao Lu
Tagged in Chinese, on mediafire pt.1 and pt.2
Tagged in English, on megaupload, translation by RP.
1. Spring Flowers
2. Where the Fish Are
3. I Hear Music and See the Lover's Shadows
4. Little Mottled Dog
5. Blue Tango
6. Mambo Italiano
7. 16 Tons (the Chinese Translation is "Patiently Waiting")
8. Hu-La-La-Yi
9. Tonight
10. Little Wooden Horse
11. Chinese Mambo
12. Lover's Snare
13. Oh Susanna (A Banjo on my Knee)
14. Golden Palace Dance
15. Happiness and Tranquility
16. Evergreens
17. A Woman's Lament
18. Open the Bottle
19. Song for a Cold Night
20. Red Pomegranates
21. Raindrops
22. Sister's Sowing Her Boyfriend's Wallet
23. A Cold and Snowy Day

No info on this one.

Vol.2: Fong Jing-Yin AKA Fang Tsin Ying
Tagged in English on megaupload or mediafire
1. A Young Girl's Dream
2. Dragon Lamps and Kites
3. Wait for Me Darling
4. Asking for Trouble
5. Buying Dumpling Soup
6. It's Good to be Young
7. Wonderful Spring
8. Wake Up!
9. Strict Father
10. Crazy Fun
11. On the Mountain Road
12. Hey Mr. Guitar
13. Silver Star
14. Come quickly to See Me
15. Ya Ya Ya Cha Cha Cha
16. Phoenixes Flying
17. Ya Cha Cha
18. Round and Round
19. Dangers of the Wandering Heart
20. Life on the Installment Plan
21. A Glass of Wine
22. Carrying Goods to Market
23. My Little Lover


  1. Whoa - there're 30 of these?!? Thanks - I think.
    Yesasia.com is the only seller I could find so far -anybody know of any others?

  2. See this,too.


    Some of this stuff,like "Round and Round",and "Sixteen Tons",is clearly later than the 1952 date given for the shutdown of the Chinese pop music industry.I guess these were done in Hong Kong.

  3. This page has a little info in Chinese on the 2nd:

    I think this would be a correct translation:

    Dragon Lanterns and Kites: Fang Jing-Yin was called Little Chang Loo. In the Late '40s she moved from the mainland to Hong Kong with her family. In 1952 she began recording for EMI. Unfortunately, she died in a car accident in 1959.

  4. I guess I'll also try to translate the info about the 1st one from the same page:

    Winter Jasmine (lit. "Welcome Spring Flower"): Chang Loo (1931- )is the mother of the Taiwan and Hong Kong singing star of recent years Du De-Wei, and Xiao Loo is Chang Loo's younger sister. Originally named Zhang Xiu-Qin, she has a singing voice close to her sister's. She began her concert career in Suzhou in the late '40s and later performed with her sister in Shanghai. Between 1953-1954 she went to Hong Kong to record for EMI. In 1956 she returned to Shanghai and dropped out of music.

  5. "went to Hong Kong" should've been "arrived in Hong Kong" (i.e. I take it she kept recording after '53)

  6. Thanks for posting these.

    THere is a broken link.
    Vol.2: Fong Jing-Yin AKA Fang Tsin Ying
    Tagged in Chinese on mediafire pt.1 and pt.2

    Part 2 is broken.

    I don't know if the english tagged link is broken or not as it is never accessible from Hong Kong, so, for all practical purposes, "megaupload" is permamently broken for me.

    If you would fix the part 2 Chinese tagged link I would be so grateful.

    Cheers and thanks again for this.

    Merry Christmas

  7. To me, the links look like they work. I can reupload it in a couple of days, but for now please try it again and let me know if it works or not.

  8. Hello again re the link...

    I am still unable to access pt. 2 of the mediafire link to Vol.2: Fong Jing-Yin AKA Fang Tsin Ying

    When I try to access it, mediafire tells me that the link is broken...

    The mediafire link to part 1 of Vol.2 works fine but the files will not download without part 2...

    And, megaupload is never accessible in Hong Kong. Megaupload blocks Hong Kong, and, likely, all of Asia, from its list of permissible client sites. I guess.

    Anyway, if you would be willing to reupload part 2 I would be delighted because Vol. 1 is so much fun, and I have not been able to find Vol. 2 from any of the the stores here in Hong Kong. Warehousing is huge issue here because of the scarcity of buildable land, so many things go out of print and out of stock rapidly.

    Cheers and a hopeful thanks...

  9. Wow. Thank you so very, very much. What a wonderful find, for me, and thank you SO much for taking the time to repost. I really, really appreciate it. I also quite like where your taste is heading. I have been appreciated the Art Farmer, the Sonny Stitt, the Hindemith Sonatas, and the choro, too, which is absolutely new to my aural palate.

    Curio cabinets are frequently delightful, but not frequently cared for. No dust in this one, obviously. So, once again, huge thanks to you for your collecting gems, for your sharing your gems (for educational and personal use only, obviously) and for your expending all the energy and time that you obviously do. Your positive karma must be a gushing geyser, not merely an artesian well...

  10. Thank you very much for sharing it. Each music for me is like a trip and you made me travel somewhere I would never thought I'd go.

  11. I am sorry to be just finding this blog late in 2013, with the news you are moving on to other things. Thank you for all your efforts. I hope you keep these links alive so we can read the history and enjoy the music. I only recently started researching this music and was disappointed that there wasn't more information and discography available. This blog is a global treasure.

  12. Hi, can someone reupload Fong Jing Yin's? Related links are dead. Thanks!