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이난영 - Lee Nan-Young (Lee, Ran Young) / Yi Nan Young ; (-Oka Ranko-)

The first few tracks show the best of possibilities, in that Lee Nan-Young has the sort of qualities in her voice and singing that shows a certain emotion in her voice, with a distinctive sad sensitive quality. The first track is just acoustic picking, violin and voice only, which shows these qualities best. Most tracks are in Trot style with a minor old time jazz influence. The voice goes very high. A few track are in dialogue male/female voice, with some harmony singing too (18). Often we have the small combo of brass/reed and strings, here and there with Korean clarinet, fute or violin solos or accordion, wahwah trumpet with a small solo accent. There are a few special melodies and songs (14). An enjoyable release.

The second volume reveals that the repetition of Trot style has it’s consequences in that some of it’s music becomes too predictable, making more a style than really re-inventing the moment of inspiration, even when Lee Nan Young’s voice is good, her range becomes also more limited that way. New on this is the use of more Hawaiian guitar, and more influence from jazz, boogie and so on without exaggeration, but when it does a bit more it does give a welcome alternation expanding a style exercise, a tendency which still start to bore me after a while. It still is a bit a shame for all the qualities present here. Last few tracks shows some use of vibes too (with accordion/guitar/piano,..).

This one came from this 23-CD box:

유성기로 듣던 불멸의 명가수: 이난영 1 /

the once great immortals from the phonograph era : Lee Nan-Young vol.1

* 1 고적(孤寂) / Archaeological site (1933) (OKEH 1587)

2 사랑의 고개 / Head of Love (OKEH 1618)

* 3 오대강타령(五大江打鈴)/ Odaegang Taeryeong (OKEH 1681)

* 4 봄강 / Spring River (OKEH 1681)

* 5 어촌(漁村) 낙조(落照) / Fishing village (OKEH 1733)

* 6 목포(木浦)의 눈물 / Tears of Mokpo (1935) (OKEH 1795)

* 7 봄아가씨 / Girl of Springtime (OKEH 1795)

* 8 낙화(落花)의 눈물 / Tears of Falling Flowers (OKEH 1889)

9 남포(南浦)로 가는 배 / Ship to Nampo (OKEH 1901)

* 10 명랑(明郞)한 젊은 날 / A cheerful young day (OKEH 1906) -jazz tune cover-

11 이별(離別) 전야(前夜) / Goodbye Eve (OKEH 1928)

12 추억(追憶)의 등대(燈臺) / Lighthouse of Memories (OKEH 1943)

13 고향(故鄕)은 부른다 / Hometown Calls (OKEH 1963)

* 14 올팡갈팡 / Alpine Galpine (OKEH 1963)

15 문허진 황성(荒城) / Moon Hue Jin Hwangseong (OKEH 12039)

16 피 무든 편지(便紙) / Blood soaked Letters (OKEH 12039)

17 산호(珊瑚)빛 하소연 / Coral (OKEH 12113)

18 미소(微笑)의 코스 / Smile (OKEH 12148)

19 괄세를 마오 / Mao's Tariff (?) (OKEH 12155)

Tracks with * I consider essential listens or classics, or tracks not to miss to check out. They are of course also very suitable for western radioshow airplay.

유성기로 듣던 불멸의 명가수: 이난영 2 (STNCD-126) vol 4

the once great immortals from the phonograph era : Lee Nan-Young vol.2

* 1 목포(木浦)의 추억(追憶) / Memory of Mokpo (OKEH 12204)

2 돈 반(半) 정 반(半) / Half the money please (OKEH 12216)

3 달 업는 항로(航路) / Moonless Passage (OKEH 12237)

4 남행열차(南行列車) / Southern train (OKEH 12247)

* 5 바다의 꿈 / Dream of the sea (OKEH 12263) -jazz-

* 6 연락선(連絡船) 비가(悲歌) / Ferry Rain (OKEH 12273)

7 다방(茶房)의 푸른 꿈 / Blue dream of tea room (OKEH 12282) -jazz-

* 8 담배집 처녀(處女) / Tobacco House Maiden (OKEH 20004) -whistling-

9 사공(沙工)의 딸 / Daughter of Sagong (OKEH 20008)

10 우러라 문풍지(門風紙) / Munfengji Temple (OKEH 20016)

11 항구(港口)야 울지마라 / Harbour, don't you cry (OKEH 20025)

12 항구(港口)의 불근 소매 / Robust Retail in Ports (OKEH 20058)

13 가거라 똑딱선 / Go straight (OKEH K5011)

14 서창(西窓)의 밤눈물 / Night Cry of Seochang (OKEH K5021)

* 15 꿈꾸는 타관역(他關驛) / Dreaming Taegwan Station (OKEH K5026) -train whistle-

16 진달래 시첩(詩帖) / Rhododendron hinge (OKEH 31016)

17 날짜 없는 일기(日記) / Diary without a date (OKEH 31019)

18 할빈 다방(茶房) / Harbin Cafe (OKEH 31099)

19 목포(木浦)는 항구(港口)다 / Mokpo is a harbor (OKEH 31103)

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 1]

* 18 고적(孤寂) / the left-behing (archeological site) (1932/33)

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 2]

* 1 불사조(不死鳥) / Phoenix (1933)

* 11 봄마지 (봄맞이) / Spring Break (1934)

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 3]

1 목포(木浦)의 눈물 / Mokpo Tears (1935)

2 어촌(漁村) 낙조(落照) / Fishing Village (1935)

12 갑판의 소야곡 / Soyagok Deck ?? (1936)

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 7]

5 다방(茶房)의 푸른 꿈 / Blue dream of tea room

This warm soulful song clearly has an American blues feel to the singing, and has also rather jazz arrangements.

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 8]

18 울어라 문풍지(門風紙) / Cry Wind, Cry (1940)

19 흘겨본 과거몽(過去夢) / Past dreams (1940)

유성기로 듣던 가요사 / Songs that I heard during the musical period from 1925~1945 [Disc 9]

9 진달래 시첩 / Rhododendron hinge (1941)

Oasis (CD) 이난영 - 오리지날 힛송 총결산집 1991.08.22

This compilation of old pop songs with trot and mambo influences sounds remarkably fresh and great to listen to. Recommended classic. There's no real mood overdoing it, the overall effect is still successful as an album after all these years.

1 목포의 눈물 / Mokpo tears

2 해조곡 / Algae

3 선창에 울러왔다 / Came to the dock

4 알아달라우요 / I know

5 임 전상서 / Im Sang-Seon

6 과거몽 / Past dreams

* 7 봄 아가씨 / Spring babes

* 8 봄맞이 / Spring

9 목포는 항구다 / Mokpo's port

10 불사조 / Phoenix

11 고향 / Hometown

* 12 해수욕장 풍경 / The beach scene(ry)

13 달없는 향로 / Moonless Censer

It's hard to say if any of these songs are or can or cannot be classics. I tried to pick out the tracks that catch most attention, to check out first.

Other tracks I have heard:

눈감은 포구 / Eyes are muzzle (1940,11)

해조곡 / Algae Song (1937)

일허버린 아버지 / Her Father (1939.8)

세월은 간다 / As Time goes by

흘러간 학창 / Flowing school window (1941.4)

흘러온 남매 / Siblings (1947)



Lee Nan-young (Korean: 이난영; June 6, 1916 – April 11, 1965) was a Korean singer and actress most famous for the 1935 hit trot song "Tears of Mokpo", which sold 50,000 copies.

Lee was born in Japanese Korea, in the port city of Mokpo, South Jeolla Province. Her name at birth was Lee Ok-soon (이옥순), but it was later changed to Lee Ok-rye (이옥례).Her father's name was Lee Nam-soon (이남순) and she had a brother, Lee Bong-ryong, who was a composer. She had a difficult childhood and did not graduate from school. She became an actress in 1930, and debuted as a singer under OK Records in 1932, with the stage name Lee Nan-young. She was also a member of Jeogori Sisters, considered to be Korea's first girl group. She was the original singer of 'Tears of Mokpo,' one of the hit-songs in the history of Korean popular songs.

She married Kim Hae-song, a singer, composer and a conductor, in 1937. The couple had seven children, including Sook-ja Kim and Ai-ja Kim of The Kim Sisters. During the Korean War, the family lost their home in the bombing, and further more Kim Hae-song was captured and killed by the North Korean army. To earn money, Lee and her children sang for the American troops. She later performed in Busan nightclubs with her oldest daughters, Young-ja and Sook-ja. She died in 1965 in Seoul, and is buried in Lee Nan-young Park in Samhakdo, Mokpo.[9]

References: Duffy, Michael (October 6, 2013). "Hallyu in the Sixties". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 20, 2016. Park Jeong-ho (February 5, 2016). "Origins of Korean pop". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 20, 2016. Park Si-soo (October 31, 2013). "Roots of K-pop". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 19, 2016.

Choi Seong-hwan (March 30, 2006). "항구의 딸로 목포에서 태어나다". Oh My News (in Korean). Retrieved April 20, 2016. Teszar, David (September 21, 2011). "From Seoul to Las Vegas: story of the Kim Sisters". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 20, 2016. "Girl Groups in Korean Pop Music History". KBS World Radio. May 29, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2016. Bahk Eun-ji (March 24, 2016). "History of K-pop girl bands (from 1930s to present)". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 19, 2016. Lee Joo-hee (March 30, 2010). "Embracing pain, looking ahead in Mokpo". The Korea Herald. Retrieved April 20, 2016.​


Lee Nan-Young Born June 6, 1916 ~ April 11, 1965

The story tells that she grew up in a difficult famiy situation and also did not succeed to graduate school. At age 15 she joined being an actress on stage from 1930 onwards. In 1932, while still with a theatre troupe she had started to sing and was given her stage name.

A break through came with the song “Tears of Mokpo” (Lee Nan Young & SP Orchestra), recorded in 1935 a song that still is considered a classic. Later in the 60s it was covered by Blue Bells with the duo Young Lee and Hoon Lee Moon. The song is about a woman on a cold Saturday suffering silently in pain. It was a suffering that people associated with a difficult to change situation during the Japanese occupation days.

From the 3000 films made across the country, the song “Tears of Mokpo” had been selected as the people’s favourite. It was released on Melody Orchestra records. The vocal technique used in it reminded people of sobbing and showed relation to the p’ansori style and rhythms of the province of Eseona. It also expresses the soul of the Han people’s resistance against Japanese occupation. One can count at least a 5 million copies of the song being printed since its debut, it also can be found on numerous CD’s. It also popular in Japan too where it literally should mean “Ranko Oka” 岡 蘭 子 but is in fact known as 李 蘭 影., Jeollanam-Do.

Other original songs one writes had jazz-full influences and a youthful atmosphere and several had been composed by her husband Kim Hae Song. Until 1943, she mostly worked as a cover singer. She recorded many more songs on the Okay records label.

Her husband (who appeared in two movies) died very young. With the outbreak of the war in 1950, she had a difficult life raising their children alone. From here the translations become a bit unclear and the stories differ. One source says she started drinking after that and finally died at age 49 from alcohol poisoning. Elsewhere it states she moved to the States in 1963 and died there of a heart attack.

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“사공의 뱃노래 가물거리고/삼학도 파도 깊이 숨어드는데/부두의 새악씨 아롱 젖은 옷자락/이별의 눈물이냐 목포의 설움...”

-일제 하인 1935년에 발표된 문일석 작사, 손목인 작곡, 이난영 노래, '목포의 눈물' 1절 가사이다.

'목포의 눈물'은 일제 하 우리 민족의 '망향가'였고 해방 후에는 설움 받는 호남인들의 '시름가'였다. 그리고 민주투쟁의 연대에는 장렬히 산화한 열사들에 대한 남도인의 '진혼가'이기도 했다.

이 노래는 목포시민, 그리고 호남인들의 삶과 함께 했다.

이 노래는 마치 세발낙지처럼 입에 착 달라붙어 힘들고 슬플 때, 그리고 기쁘고 즐거울 때도 '목포의 눈물'은 어김없이 함께 했고 또 지금도 함께 하고 있다.

1934년 조선일보사는 일제의 갖은 탄압 속에 위협받던 우리 민족의 고유한 정서를 북돋우기 위한 문화사업의 하나로 당시 Okeh레코드사와 손잡고, 향토노래가사를 공모했고 여기서 목포의 무명시인 문일석(文一石, 본명 윤재희/1916~1942)의 작품 '목포의 노래'가 3천여 통의 응모작 중 영예의 1등으로 당선되었다.

애절한 별리의 한을 담은 이 '목포의 노래'를 Okeh레코드사 사장 이철은 '목포의 눈물'로 제목을 바꾸어 작곡가 손목인에게 작곡을 의뢰했고 당시 목포 출신의 19세 소녀가수, 이난영(1916~1965) 에게 부르도록 했다.

'목포의 눈물'은 우리 가요로서는 최초로 일본어로도 취입되어 일본에서도 히트했다.

이 노래로 가수 이난영은 목포를 상징하는 동시에 가요계의 '불멸의 여왕(女王)'으로 군림하게 된다.

'난영가요제' 그리고 '목포가요제'의 모티브가 된 가수 이난영은 1916년 6월 6일, 철공업을 하던 부친 이남순(李南順)과 모친 박소아 (朴小兒) 사이에서 목포부 양동 72번지에서 태어나 1965년 4월 11일 새벽 서울 회현동 자택에서 마흔 아홉 나이에 파란 많은 인생을 마감하였다.

필자는 몇 년 전 그의 주검을 처음 발견했던 이로부터 실로 충격적인 증언을 들었는데 그 자세한 언급은 이 글에서는 피하기로 한다.

‘난영(蘭影)’은 가수로 활동하기 시작하면서 지은 예명, 본명은 ‘옥순(玉順)’, 이후 ‘옥례(玉禮)’로 개명한다.

故 이난영 여사를 추모하기 위해 그녀의 사후 3년 뒤인 1968년부터 '난영가요제'가 호남매일신문사 주최로 열리게 되었고 또한 '목포의 눈물' 노래비가 유달산 중턱, 목포 시가지와 삼학도 그리고 다도해가 한 눈에 내려다보이는 곳에 세워져 있다.

1969년 6월 10일 목포악기점을 운영하던 박오주에 의해 세워진 이 노래비는 우리나라 최초로 대중가요 노래비 제1호로서 의미도 함께 지니고 있다. 앞면 ‘목포의 눈물’ 가사와 그 아래 ‘살아있는 보석은 눈물입니다. 남쪽하늘 아래 꿈과 사랑의 열매를 여기 심습니다. 이난영의 노래가 문일석 가사 손목인 작곡으로 여기 청호의 넋처럼 빛나고 있습니다.’라는 추모 글이 새겨져 있다.

그러나 이 노래비는 작곡자 누락, 가사 오류 등으로 크고작은 잡음을 불러일으키기도 했다.

호남매일신문사 주관으로 1968년부터 시작된 '난영가요제'는 한 때 중단되었다가 1991년부터 목포 MBC 주관으로 다시 전통가요의 맥을 잇기 위한 수레를 돌리기 시작했으며 또한 1989년부터는 KBS에서도 이난영의 맥을 잇는 '목포가요제'를 매년 개최, 현재까지 이어오고 있다.

현재 목포시에서는 '난영기념관' 건립도 추진 중이다. 故 이난영 여사를 추모하고 신인가수를 발굴하기 위해 23회 째를 맞게 되는 '난영가요제'와 16회 째를 맞고 있는 '목포가요제'는 각각 MBC와 KBS, 양대 방송사를 통해 전국에 중계되기 때문에 가수가 되기 위한 등용문으로서의 역할이 더욱 기대된다.

매년 150명~200명의 지망생이 각각 몰리는 이 대회에 입상하면 상장과 상금, 그리고 한국연예인협회에서 가수 인증서를 받게 된다. 대한민국이 인정한 정식 가수가 되는 것이다.

이 대회를 통해 가수 최유나, 이정옥, 아랑, 듀엣 오즈의 신은정, 이하린, 김상민, 홍성남, 송광호, 그리고 최근 화제의 가수 춘자, 국악가수 김산옥 등도 이 대회를 통해 배출되었다.

제2, 제3의 이난영을 꿈꾸는 가수들을 발굴하기 위한 대회로 난영가요제, 목포가요제는 계속 출전곡을 이난영의 곡으로만 규정하는 것은 그 가요제의 성격과 취지를 분명히 한다는 점에서 일단 수긍할 수 있다. 그러나 한편, 이난영이 발표한 노래만으로 레퍼토리를 제한함으로써 보다 다양한 재능을 가진 가수를 발굴하는데 한편 장애가 되지는 않는지, 한번쯤 검토해봐야 하지 않을까 생각된다.

사실 이난영이 발표한 노래들은 그렇게 다양한 장르를 가지고 있지는 않기 때문이다. 아울러 지난 해 목포가요제에선 남자 출연자의 경우 남진과 나훈아 곡으로만 참가곡을 제한한 것 또한 우려할만한 대회 규정으로 반드시 재검토해야할 사항이 아닌가 여겨진다.

조선중기 문인 윤선도, 남농 허건, 의제 허백련을 비롯, 우리나라의 대표적인 문인, 예술인, 대중가수 등 걸출한 예술인들이 다른 어떤 고장 못지않게 많이 배출해냈고 지금도 풋풋하고 넉넉한 인심이 살아 있는 목포, 나라 잃은 민족의 한을 노래한 '목포의 눈물'의 이 고장에서 전국적인 규모의 가요제 행사가 두 개씩이나 매년 함께 열리고 있다는 사실은 매우 고무적인 일이다.

글/박성서 (대중음악평론가, 저널리스트)

- Copyrights ⓒ 韓國歌謠作家協會報 2005. 3월


Rough translation (with still several mistakes):

Being a servant under Japanese rule Il-seok wrote the lyrics for Tempo Tears in 1935, with Lee Nan-young singing. They were a product of being under Japanese rule, and therefore such poems were despised after the liberation. Never the less is was about the lives of Mokpo citizens and Honam people. It is like something is stuck inside, people are still happy being together. In 1934, the Chosun Ilbo joined the Okeh Record Company and invited a local song lyrics as one of the cultural projects to encourage the unique sentiment of our nation, a sentiment which was threatened by the suppression of Japanese imperialism, where Moon Il-seok (文一石, real name Yoon Jae-hee) / 1916 ~ 1942), with 'Song of Mokpo', won the honor of the 3,000 entries. Okeh Records CEO Lee Chul changed the title to 'The Tears of Mokpo', and asked the composer's wristwatcher to compose a song of Mokpo's sadness. The 19-year-old singer, Lee Nan-young (1916 ~ 1965) did the performance of it. Mokpo's Tears was the first Korean song ever to be taken in Japanese and was a hit in Japan.

With this song, singer Lee Nan-young symbolizes Mokpo and reigns as the immortal queen of the music industry.

Singer Lee Nan-young, who became the motive for the 'Nanyoung Song Festival' and 'Mokpo Song Festival', was born on June 6, 1916, in Namdong, Mokpo-bu, with father Lee Nam-soon and mother Park So-ah. At the age of forty years old, at the age of forty-nine on April 11, she ended her sad life.I've heard a shocking testimony from someone who first discovered her remains a few years ago, but I'll avoid that in this article.

'Nanyoung (蘭影)' was renamed 'Eungsun (玉順)', followed by 'Oksun (玉 禮)' and 'Orye (玉 禮)'.위해 To commemorate Ms. Lee Young-young, since 1968, three years after her death, 'Nanyoung Song Festival' was hosted by Honam Daily Newspaper, and the song 'Tear of Mokpo' was overlooked at the middle of Yudalsan Mountain, Mokpo City, Samhakdo, and the Tea Ceremony. It is built in a visible place.

Established by Park O-ju, who ran Mokpo Musical Instruments on June 10, 1969, this song ratio has the meaning as the first popular song song number 1 in Korea. On the front side is the tears of Mokpo and the living gems below are tears. The fruit of dreams and love is planted here under the southern sky. Lee's song is a song composed by Moon Il-suk's efforts and shines like the soul of Cheong-ho. However, the song cost caused loud and small noises due to missing composers and lyrics errors.

The 'Nanyoung Song Festival', which was started in 1968 under the leadership of Honam Daily Newspaper, was once discontinued, and since 1991, Mokpo MBC has begun to turn the wagon to connect the traditional song. The Mokpo Song Festival is held every year and continues to this day.

Mokpo City is also promoting the construction of the 'Nanyoung Memorial Hall'. 23 In order to commemorate Ms. Lee Young-young and discover new artists, the 23rd `` Nanyoung Song Festival '' and 16th `` Mokpo Song Festival '' are broadcasted nationwide through MBC, KBS, and both major broadcasters. It is expected to play a role as an open door to the future.

Each year, 150 to 200 inquirers will be awarded a prize, a prize, and a singer's certificate from the Korean Entertainment Association. It is to become a full singer recognized by the Republic of Korea.

Singer Choi Youna, Lee Jung-ok, Arang, Shin Eun-jeong of Duet Oz, Lee Ha-rin, Kim Sang-min, Hong Sung-nam, Song Kwang-ho, and recently talked about singer Chun-ja and Korean traditional singer Kim San-ok were also taken off there.

It is a contest to discover singers who dream of becoming the 2nd and 3rd Lee Nan-young. The Nanyoung Song and Mokpo Song Festival can be accepted in that defining the song as only the song of Lee Nan-young makes clear the nature and purpose of the song. On the other hand, by limiting the repertoire to only the songs released by Lee Young-young, one would like to find also a singer with more diverse talents.

In fact, the songs released by Lee Nan-young do not have such diverse genres. In addition, last year's Mokpo Song Festival limited male songs to Nam Jin and Na Hoon Ah's songs.

In the mid Joseon period, outstanding artists such as Yoon Sun-do, Nam Nong Hugan, Agenda Hur Baek-Ryun, Korea's leading literary artists, artists, and popular singers have produced as much as any other troubles. It is very encouraging that two national music festivals are held together every year in this song of the tears of Mokpo."

Written by Park Sung-seob (pop critic, journalist).


Taken from Embedded Voices In Between Empires, Yongwoo Lee:

"From the mid 1930s, the dominant cultural forms of jazz and popular song Yuhaengga recordings (Yuhaengga is Korean term for popular song, a translation of the Japanese wod ryūkōka) tended to oscillate between developments from western and Japanese trends, which provided the dominant influences on jazz and popular music in colonial Korea. There was an influx of multiple and diverse popular forms, and genres such as jazz, blues, nonsense songs, enka, rumba and tango continued to proliferate until 1937, when Japan began to launch propaganda campaigns announcing that Koreans should think of Japan and Korea as united in a single body (naisenittai), and to regard their Korean selves as a part of a greater national entity (kokugo). The emergence of jazz in the mid-to-late 1930s in colonial Korea involved to a large extent musician-celebrities such as Lee Nan-Young, Lee Erisu, Kim Hae-song, Lee Jae-Ho, Wang Su-Bok and Che Gyu-Yup, who appropriated and copied the rhythms, chords and vocal styles of western compositions and performances. In a musical terms, appropriation is often considered ―a kind of betrayal of origins, where ―musicians perceived as copying other musicians‘ styles or inflections are ―associated with an assumed exploitation of weaker or subservient social or ethnic groups by more dominant and powerful groups as the appropriation of Black-American musical forms by white musicians, (Mitchell 1996:8). However, in the Korean context, mimicry and the appropriation of jazz and other western or Japanese music genres by colonial musicians and composers increased the subjective sense of the present and crystallized cultural perceptions regarding colonial circumstances, acting as a symbolic and ritual means of consuming western modernity, morals and values systems through the appropriation of hip jazz songs, while also incorporating indigenous elements to preserve Korean sentiments and traditional values in the form of a new kind of traditional folksong, Shinminyo.

However, Korea‘s cross-cultural dilemma illustrates a displaced western modernity shared by and filtered through the imagination of the Japanese colonizer. Thus the use of jazz as means of both consuming western vanity and indirectly counteracting the Japanese modernization was also reflected in the Korean popular songs. With the advent of jazz culture, youngsters‘ accommodation of western culture through jazz songs and the trendiness of the middle class consumption phonograph records empowered and homogenized these unidentifiable exotic western sounds as commercial commodities that could act as an ―oppositional and liberational signifier,‖ as Gilroy puts it (Gilroy 1991:9). Gilroy describes ―an overarching ‗Afro-centrism‘ which can be read as inventing its own totalizing conception of black culture. This new ethnicity is all the more powerful because it corresponds to no actually-existing black communities.‖ Thus colonial Koreans‘ imaginative relationship with jazz strengthened the idea of America and American culture and communities as a genuine and even utopic modernity, geared by the commodity fetishism of jazz records and modern technologies such as the gramophone and radio transistor.

Despites its popularity, many critics and conservative Koreans considered jazz a serious threat to the nation‘s morale, blaming it for supposedly implicitly welcoming rebellious behavior and producing an evil influence at home that could result in immorality or even dementia. Critics of the domestic play of phonograph records brought up issues regarding the wife‘s use of ―sane, sound‖ music at home. As Park elucidates, ―singing a vulgar song at home is an unpleasant thing. Clean and cheerful songs have to be played at home by utilizing radio programs to expel vulgar popular songs… Currently, many military songs and patriotic songs are played at home, which is a very stimulating fact. Having cheerful and immaculate songs at home is equivalent to having a sound and noble home. Since women, who played phonographs during the day while their husbands and children were away, dominated the market for phonograph records, the discourses of popular music selection, purchase and appreciation of recorded music were focused on the housewives of colonial Korea alongside articulations of Chonghu (home front) identity.

Meanwhile, the Charleston, one of the modern dances associated with jazz music, ignited the popularity of jazz for the Mobo and Moga. The jazzy gestures and the allure of American popular music under the suppressed colonial sovereignty quickly gained enormous popularity amongst colonial youngsters. Younger generations were ―desperately looking for a good Charleston player [as long as he/she can expertly dance to Charleston], they don‘t care even if it‘s Negro,‖75 which challenges dominant social morals. By appropriating alternative colonial narratives by consuming western culture as a means of sustaining emancipatory impulses, the colonial subject mimicked western attitudes by consuming modern symbol-jazz, and, at the same time, the appropriation of western culture in this younger generation also embraced the idea of a ―strategic reversal of the process of domination that turns the (colonizers‘) gaze of the discriminated back upon the eye of power by destabilizing colonial authority and challenging traditional morals in accommodating the febrile jazz craze as a subversive narrative.

The first poll vis-à-vis the most popular singer in Korea (figure 2-7) displays the popularity of phonograph records—the supplementary prize was a gramophone, as shown on the left—and the degrees of public preference for the singers at the time. Over ten thousand people participated in the poll to choose the most popular singer in Korea in September 1935,77 evidence of the enormous public interest in this music. Meanwhile, various phonograph records issued in the 12-inch, 78 rpm (revolutions per minute) format changed the music business following the popularity of phonograph record consumption and the new dance crazes along with blues and Jazz genre."


"Despite these various progressive constructions, many critics portray the time of the Total War as a period of cultural darkness by designating it as a period of cultural rupture in popular Korean music history (Lee 1998, Park 2007, Park 2009). The production and consumption of popular music in this era has been enveloped in this discourse of cultural blackout, particularly because people had to cope with Japanese militarism, contend with the exigencies of the stark conditions of the homefront and discourses of self-sacrificing for the Empire. The phonographs from the Total War era have never been completely published, re-recorded, archived or engaged with in intellectual discourses. How can the discourse of popular music during the late Japanese colonial occupation be defined and understood beyond this bifurcated category of pro-Japanese patriotism, involving both the conflict against war trauma and collective sentiments in opposition to the possibility of polymorphous identities?*

* In fact, there has been and still are several intense on-going discussions on the categorization of pro-Japanese activity and the aftermath of the unresolved history of the late Japanese occupation era in the popular music scene. For example, a popular music festival that pays tribute to singer Nam Insoo was heavily criticized by a nationalist organization named the Institute for Research in Collaboration Activities, (see here, since he contributed a song named ―Deep Gratitude of the Twenty Five Million (Icheonobaekman Gamgyeok, written by Cho Myeong-Am, composed by Kim Hae-Song, performed by Nam Insoo and Lee Nanyoung,1943) during the Total war era. Consequently, several singers and composers such as Cho Myeong-Am, Park Si-Choon and Baek Nyeon-Seol were also infamously categorized as pro-Japanese musicians. The issue unraveled on websites such as Ohmynews and Hopenews following the offensive and defensive claims of both nationalists and the fans of Nam. Due to hostile public opinion against perceived pro-Japanese activity, the name of the festival was changed, named after the birth place of the singer‘s hometown to the Jinju Popular Music Festival in 2006.

-Carioca* is the first rumba popular song labelled as ―jazz song,performed by Kim Hae-song and Lee Nan-Young. The B-side is blues song, ―Cheonggong,‖ which is a famous Japanese jazz song remake of ―Aosora,‖ (靑空) performed by Kim Hae-Song. Okeh Panphonic record, 1937.3. Thus, all the western-style songs were categorized as jazz song in colonial Korea by depending on Japanese selection and musical adaptation.

* Carioca, a term that also refers to the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, is a ballroom dance genre, mixing Samba, Maxixe, Foxtrot, Rumba and Tap. It was performed in the movie Flying Down to Rio by Ginger Rogers for the first time. Carioca as a music genre was introduced in 1933, in a song composed by Vincent Youmans and written by Edward Eluscu and Gus Kahn and introduced in the move Flying Down to Rio. ―Carioca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." 4 August 2009 <>.



Songs such as ‘Pom mach’i/Greeting the Spring’, he says, used metaphor to express emotions that were often-suppressed: winter (kyôul) refers to the occupation and the melting of ice to its ending, spring (pom) stands for Korean liberation (Kim 2000: 91). The song, composed by Mun Howôl with lyrics by Yu Sôkchung, was recorded in 1934 by Yi Nanyông:

The ice melts and the water rushes

As the water flows winter passes away

Let’s go out and greet the spring.

At the riverside a weeping willow

Drooping with a silly snicker

Writes a spring letter in the rushing water

Ôhôyadûya ôhôûri!

Let’s go for it and greet the spring.

A pair of swallows kick up water

While flying in fast

Ôhôyadûya ôhôûri!

Let’s go for it and greet the spring.

(1992: SYNCD-016; my translation)

Subtle and not so subtle references to the occupation were not uncommon. In the third verse of ‘Nodûl kangbyôn/Nodûl Riverside’, an explicit reference to the occupation’s hardships appears, when the wasted lives of those who have been displaced and those who have died is mentioned. Ch’oe Ch’angho comments that ‘The melody, through a combination of popular and [traditional] rhythms that anyone could easily recognize, reeks of a unique national spirit. Moreover, in the third verse feelings of resistance flow that oppose the hardships and misery put on our countrymen for which the Japanese occupation is the root’ (2000: 34). The expression of Korean sentiment emerges from the mixture of lyrical reference, musical allusion and historical context.


"These Lacanian symptom/Sinthomes for the new world and the ephemeral ecstasy of emancipation were represented by various popular singers, either those who served the Japanese empire and were reluctantly mobilized to make sycophantic songs praising Japanese militarism during the Asia-Pacific War, or those diasporic popular singers who were expatriated to the foreign countries, mainly scattered in America and mainland Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Manchuria.193 Narratives of popular music lyrics were also divided between those by repatriated popular singers from foreign countries extolling the glory of Korean liberation such as Hyun-In in ―Leoki Seoul” (Lucky Seoul, 1947) and Lee In-Gwon in ―Gwuiguksun” (Homecoming Cruise), or the local singers engaged in vaudeville shows such as as Kim Hae-song, Lee Nan-Young and Nam In-Soo, who crooned in elegiac empathy and sentimentalism for the national partition and alienation. The cultural spectrum, from local Korean musicians who underwent the colonial experience to the repatriated diasporic singers who underwent immigration, was molded into various expressions and sentiments to cast the Korean point of view into popular songs."


"..the reason for the Japanese affection for Enka207 is that, first, it rehumanizes the modern audience by returning them to their own emotional ―wetness,‖ by narrating more personal and intimate details of their lives, and secondly, enka can specifically explain the Japanese sentiments (Yano 2002). For similar reasons, Korean popular songs are commonly called Gayo in Korean, build upon processes of nostalgically-framed sentiments and expressions which can serve as a displacement of collective remembering and forgetting. According to the research of Kim Jeom-Do (2001), the most frequently performed Korean popular songs on the Gayomudae program were created between 1940 and the 1950s, as follows:

Tears in Mokpo, Lee Nan-Young

What constraints does the colonial experience establish around popular song narratives during the post-liberation era? How do popular songs‘ relations to social contexts exacerbate the national ―collective ethos‖ of this specific era? The production of cultural memory through popular songs in this period is historically situated by generating recollections through voices tangled with historical incidents, such as the shift from the schizophrenic exhilaration of national liberation, capturing moments of longing and yearning and the excruciating sense of national separation and alienation accompanying the 38th military demarcation. "...


"The offspring of the famous Kim Hae-Song (composer and singer) and Lee Nan-Young (singer),are the Kim sisters, composed of three female vocalists Sook-ja, Mi-a and Ai-ja Kim.*

Kim Hae-song (Korean; 1911 - 1950) is a classical music conductor and popular music composer killed by the North Koreans during the Korean War. Lee Nan-Young (Korean, 1916 - 1967) is legendary popular singer during Japanese occupation era. "


One song, ‘ Nae kohyangûl ibyôlhago/Farewell To My Hometown’, tells of a person who has left their hometown to live elsewhere, using words such as ‘suffocating’ and ‘lonely’ to describe their mood. From their perspective, as we hear the song, the hometown becomes a distant, idealized place that is missed. Individual and family displacement during the occupation can be associated with this feeling of alienation from one’s identity so firmly rooted in the hometown, and many who heard the song would have related to its theme during a time of tremendous social and cultural upheaval. Kim considers that the ‘ shin minyo effort’ was entwined with abstract concepts such as the people’s sentiment or spirit, with song themes that spoke of hardship. Songs such as ‘ Pom mach’ i/ Greeting the Spring’, he says, used metaphor to express emotions that were often-suppressed: winter (kyôul ) refers to the occupation and the melting of ice to its ending, spring ( pom) stands for Korean liberation (Kim 2000: 91). The song, composed by Mun Howôl with lyrics by Yu Sôkchung, was recorded in 1934 by Yi Nanyông:

The ice melts and the water rushes As the water flows winter passes away Let’s go out and greet the spring. At the riverside a weeping willow Drooping with a silly snicker Writes a spring letter in the rushing water Ôhôyadûya ôhôûri! Let’s go for it and greet the spring. A pair of swallows kick up water While flying in fast Ôhôyadûya ôhôûri! Let’s go for it and greet the spring. (1992: SYNCD-016; my translation)

Subtle and not so subtle references to the occupation were not uncommon. In the third verse of ‘ Nodûl kangbyôn/Nodûl Riverside’, an explicit reference to the occupation’s hardships appears, when the wasted lives of those who have been displaced and those who have died is mentioned. Ch’oe Ch’angho comments that ‘The melody, through a combination of popular and [traditional] rhythms that anyone could easily recognize, reeks of a unique national spirit. Moreover, in the third verse feelings of resistance flow that oppose the hardships and misery put on our countrymen for which the Japanese occupation is the root’ (2000: 34).

The expression of Korean sentiment emerges from the mixture of lyrical reference, musical allusion and historical context. The lyrical imagery and the instruments used provide listeners with clues of the music’s identity, but the performer’s vocal style is similar to that of other popular genres of the time. The vocal styles of folksongs were dependant on the region, singers of central Kyônggi minyo using a slightly nasal vocalization with elaborate ornamentation and singers of southwestern Namdo minyo utilizing more earthy and emotional voices. Despite these stylistic differences, the strong and rich vocal qualities of traditional folksongs stand out against the rather thin and weak vocal quality of popular singers in the 1930s, from which shin minyo singers differed little. Very few ingers actually specialized in shin minyo, with only a handful known as shin minyo performers; many also recorded songs in other genres. They became associated with the genre when a song they recorded became a hit. For example, Kim Yonghwan, a singer who began his career on stage, recorded ‘Sum swinûn pudu/Living (or Thriving) Wharf ’ in 1933, and after that wrote and sang several songs classed within the shin minyo category. Kim Pokhûi worked for Victor Records and others, but with the recording of ‘ Paektusan agassi/Paektu Mountain Girl’ became quite a star. Yi Kyunam recorded many ‘new popular songs’ ( shin kayo) for Columbia into the 1940s.11 Sôn Uilsôn worked for Polydor, Victor, and T’aep’yông Records, recording one of the earliest songs labeled as shin minyo, ‘ Kkoch’ûl chapk ’ o/With Flowers in Hand’ for Polydor. Yi Aerosu (also known as Yi Aerisu) worked with Victor Records and is known for singing ‘ Nim maji kaja/[Let’s] Go Meet [My] Love’. Wang Subok (Wang Sôngshil) was trained in the singing of literati songs (kasa and shijo) and recorded with Columbia and Polydor records, becoming known as a shin minyo singer when she recorded ‘Ulji marayo/Don’t Cry’ although she also performed more traditional folksongs such as ‘ Nilliriya’ and ‘ Kin arirang ’ .

Amongst these, Wang was the exception: Ch’oe Ch’angho remarks that folksong singers distanced themselves from shin minyo performance, feeling uncomfortable with what they considered to be a musical hodgepodge (2000:53). Their discomfort may have been coloured by their distaste for performing music that was not pure folksong, but their absence from the ranks of those who sang shin minyo contributed, Ch’oe says, to the decline of the shin minyo genre. Shin minyo was a phenomenon of its time. The attraction it had for audiences of the 1930s made it this, but also contributed to its stagnation. For scholars, the difficulty of examining shin minyo is that there is no clearly defined account of it. There were, even within the recording companies, no organizations of composers or management associations. As Ch’oe notes, its seemingly spontaneous appearance leaves little evidence of a solid existence (2000: 52), and the lack of information plays a part in disrupting the potential momentum of shin minyo as a part of Korean popular culture. The most significant factor is that the genre could not reach its full potential in the world; it was lost in the shuffle, disdained by traditional folksong performers and lost to the popular appeal of yuhaengga. In short, shin minyo failed to thrive in the rapidly developing context of Korea. Hence, when I ask my Korean contemporaries about shin minyo, many turn up their noses and say: ‘That’s old people’s music’. The majority of Koreans I’ve spoken to know little about the genre, but all associate it with the occupation era. Shin minyo, though, is also a phenomenon of contemporary Korea, a Korea emerging from Third World economy to international player, from feudalism to democracy. While it fell out of favour and fashion, it remains relevant for three reasons. First is its status as a pioneering popular music, along with other genres of its time, setting the stage for the burgeoning Korean recording industry. One can almost see shin minyo as a marketing experiment, since it was one of the first recorded conscious attempts at creating and promoting a Korean, albeit hybrid, musical genre. Second is the emphasis on shin minyo’s extra-musical character: some contend it not only served as a representation of the Korean spirit but also provided a forum for meaningful cultural expression. Third, while shin minyo may have lost its place as a favourite among the listening public, it remains one of the original efforts at revising an old music to fit contemporary tastes. Not until the 1960s was another attempt mounted to revise traditional forms and emphasize Korean music’s communicative value for the Korean spirit.

from New Folksong: Shin Minyo of the 1930s Hilary Finchum-Sung


From Globalisation and popular music in South Korea, Michael Fuhr, Routledge, 2016:

"The subject of t'urot'u songs was always defeated by the cold and hard reality of a world full of impossibilities and was always denied fulfillments of basic human desires, and has thus become a metaphor for the nation's desperation under colonial reality (Hwang 2005, 46)." Typical examples are Lamentation of Separation by Ko Poksu in 1934 and Tears of Mokpo Port sung by Lee Nan-Yong in 1935. In addition to melancholic lyrics, both songs contain regular 4/4 meter (in contrast to the 3/4 meter of earlier popular and folk songs), minor pentatonic scale and a vocal style with heavy inflections, which together represent the standard characteristics of t'trot'u from the mid-1930s until the 1950s (Lee, 2006a,4)."

see also


From Daum 블로그

Ⅰ. 들어가며

한국전쟁의 상처가 채 아물기 전인 1957년 이난영은 일제시기 부터 레코드회사 동료였으며 수없이 많은 공연에 함께 출연했던 가수 고복수의 은퇴공연 무대에 섰다. 당시 이 공연을 기념하여 마련된 KBS 라디오 프로그램의 녹음자료가 남아 있는데, 여기에 이난영의 육성이 포함되어 있다. 녹음자료에서 이난영은 고복수와의 추억담을 말해달라는 사회자의 요청을 받은 뒤, 다음과 같이 자신의 소회를 풀어놓았다.

네, 고선생님과 저와는 잊을래야 잊을 수 없고, 또… 지금으로부터 27년 전 저는 고선생님보다 1년 먼저 앞서 오케레코드 회사에 입사했었습니다. 1년 후에 고선생님을 만나 뵙고 무대에서 같이 노래도 같이 했었고 지금 마흔 고개가 넘어서 같이 늙은 셈이죠. 오늘에 와서 고선생님의 은퇴공연을 볼 때, 저는 단지 가슴이 벅차고 눈물만 앞서서 울고만 싶은 생각밖에 아무 생각이 없습니다. [*잠시 울먹거림] 좋은 벗을 무대에서 잃어버린 것 같고 제 자신도 앞으로 무대 생활을 얼마 생명이 남지 않은 그런 기분이 들어서… 옛날만 새로워지고 옛날 추억이 그립습니다. 일본에 건너갔었을 때 고선생님이 여러 우리 동포들 앞에서 장구를 메고 그 신이 나게 칠 때 재일동포들은 얼마나 감격했으며 그때 시절을 지금 생각하면 오늘 시공관 무대에서 다시 그 시절로 다시 돌아가는 그 기분이 새로워집니다. 저는 요새 건강이 좋지 않아서 고선생님 은퇴공연에 출연 못할까봐 제일 걱정했습니다만, 다행히 죽지 않고 오늘의 마지막 무대를 같이 서게 된 것을 제일 기쁘게 생각하는 동시에 [*다시 울먹거리기 시작] 오늘 방송도 마지막으로 생각할 때 저는 단지 감개무량할 뿐입니다. 이것으로 고선생님 앞으로 저희들을 떠나시더라도 잊지 마시고 마음만은 변치 말아 주셨으면 제일 감사하게 생각하겠습니다. 우리 동지 대표로서 제가 고선생님께 감사의 말씀을 드리는 바입니다. 1