Knit to This: Antique Shanghai Pop

January 22, 2022

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  • One correction since I turned this in: the word “original” isn’t quite right to describe a big swath of the selections; a bunch of them are folk songs or poems or traditional Chinese songs re-set into pop arrangements of the time.

  • I just popped over to sample and I will definitely be back for the total experience. My first reaction is that I’ve heard this music in the background of old movies. Second, I’m off to find The Joy Luck Club to add to my watch list. One of my favorite book/movie combos. Classic mother/daughter story in rich, textured background. Thanks for my Saturday quick start, DG!

  • Love it! Thank you for sharing this. I especially like #20 .

  • Oh, I look forward to checking this out! I spent a few years living and working in Japan after I finished college, and taught a group of adult students on the side. We would go to karaoke together sometimes, and one of my older students sang this amazing song called Ginza Kankan Musume. I loved it, so I learned it and it became one of my go-to songs. I didn’t know at the time that it was from 1949. I surprised a lot of Japanese friends when I sang it – they couldn’t believe that an American girl knew such an old song. (It’s a really fun, delightful song – definitely recommend a listen!)

  • You are so right about one of the best things about the internet. Every time I get irritated with the commercials or disgusted by the “news” I just remind myself that I can decide to listen to Jerry Lee Lewis or Vivaldi with the touch of a finger. Just bookmarked Antique Shanghai Pop so when I finish waking up I can try it out. Thanks again for being such a great source of new things for me.

  • OK. So this is a rabbit hole I would never have found! Now I feel I really must go sit with it awhile! I’ll be back…

  • So I fired this up and let it play while I worked, and it is so mesmerizing. Cristina is right when she says that the fact that we can’t understand the words turns the singer’s voice into an instrument. Of course that’s always true of singers’ voices, but here, it’s especially noticeable. Cool site.

  • I was so happy to find out about this website. My parents lived in Shanghai in that time period before both their families escaped communism. They know a bunch of the songs and have been singing along. It’s a welcome distraction

  • I know never to doubt recommendations from DG, and after 20 minutes of listening I am hooked.

  • My grandparents listened to music like this. I hope Ling plays “Moon Represents My Heart” by Teresa Tang recorded it in the 1970s but it feels a lot like these classics

    • I’ve listened to all of the episodes, and I don’t think he plays anything that late.

  • I’m listening to Li Li Hua and Bai Yun, because my Chinese name is Li Li Hua (first Li is the surname). Cool!

  • I’ve been obsessed with 80’s Tokyo city pop (it’s fun and energetic but since I don’t speak Japanese it’s not overly distracting, which was great for studying) and I can’t wait to get into this. Thanks for the suggestion DG! Always appreciate broadening my horizons.