07 September 2008

Supporting another live performance

It's almost the end of summer and the harvest moon is about to greet us in one week's time, although the scorching summer sun is still charring Taipei Basin. Following the star-chasing and film-besotted experience in the summer, I went to a concert last Sunday to support one of my favourite Mandarin singer, this time with my mum.

Certainly it was not a rock show nor a pop gig, but rather a oldie concert. To celebrate her seventieth birthday, Meidai (美黛) presented an evening of no-frills performance and Mandarin pop nostalgia.

Septuagenarian as she was, auntie Meidai crooned and trilled almost uninterruptedly for two hours, taking only a two-song break to change when the only guest Jinpeng (金澎, find his short biography here, only in Chinese) reinterpretted two of Meidai's signature pieces.

Meidai launched her recording career in 1963 with the release of Unforgettable (意難忘 Yinanwang). It was the hit 'Unforgettable' in the album made her name among Taiwanese people. This album sold remarkably over one 1,000,000 copies in Taiwan when the island had a population of only 7,000,000.

Before Meidai's 'Unforgettable', apart from Chinese immigrants who moved to Taiwan after 1949, very few local Taiwanese showed interest in Mandarin songs. It was 'Unforgettable' that brought together the two audiences.

'Unforgettable' was originally a Japanese song, 'Tokyo Serenade' (東京セレナーデ), released in 1950 by Yamaguchi Yoshiko (山口淑子, better known as Li Xianglan 李香蘭 among Chinese people). Listen to the original Japanese version below and see which you prefer.

(historical recording from this blog)

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