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이미자 - Lee Mi-Ja

Tracks can be found on:

유성기로 듣던 가요사 두번째 (1945~1960) / The second generation of Meteor singers

CD3-19 워싱턴 블루스 / Washington blues

This song is recorded a bit loud (perhaps on this CD), but shows a bluesy pop song with brass band arrangements. I wish we could have heard it in better preserved conditions.

가요(歌謠) 박물관 / Music Museum: 220 Best

CD2-17 두형이를 돌려줘요 / Give me back my brother (1963)

CD2-22 열아홉 순정 / Becoming 19 (1958)

The first song is mainstream orchestrated trot. The second track is arranged in a rather TV show-like way, which in the end is not bad but still a bit commercial in context. The song itself, a boogie song and its voice however is good enough.

CD9-18 햇빛 없는 그림자 / Sun without shadow (1964)

with 황금심 / Hwang Keum-Sim

Also this is a (mainstream) trot song with accordion and background strings and piano recorded with some extra echo attention on the voice. At some stage we hear harmony/duet singing with a second voice.

권혜경 골든 / Kwon Hye Kyung Golden [Disc 1]

12 성난 독수리 / Angry eagle -soldier's march-

with 권혜경 / Hye Kyung Kwon & 강수향 / Kang Soo-Hyang 남일해

This is a filmic soldier's march for which the participation of Lee Mi Ja was asked. It is clearly meant to mobilize potential soldiers. Lee Mi Ja is only the second voice.

김인배 작곡집 / Master Builder Series : composer Inbae Kim

CD2-2 야속한 님아 / Nimbus

CD2-7 태백산맥 / Taebaek Mountain Range

"Nimbus" is mainstream trot music with arrangements of accordion and strings. It shows nothing out of the ordinary. Also “Taebaek Mountain Range” is like that. Lee Mi Ja’s voice is good enough but in a way style singing easily becomes this way a rationalized version of what used to be something based upon emotional recognition. Pretty mainstream.

백영호 작곡집 / Master Builder Series : composer Young Ho Paik [Disc 1]

1 출가외인 / A foreigner

2 성난 독수리 / Angry eagle

남일해, 강수향, 이미자, 권혜경 / Nam Il-hae, Kang Soo-hyang, Lee Mi-ja, Kwon Hye-kyung

3 비둘기 소식 / Pigeon news

8 순애의 노래 / A song of love

9 나룻배 처녀 / Ferry maiden

When you hear a couple of tracks after each other, with a still rather bright voice, with attention to orchestration, some guitar, sax, etc, even when this is derived from an ever repetitive circle of ideas, it begins to work like a comforting background carpet, like a gentle breeze under a flying carpet with its slightly eastern flavours it could work that way, like an ever accompanying exotic dream. It gently calms you down in a comforting way.

백영호 작곡집 / Master Builder Series : composer Young Ho Paik [Disc 2]

1 지평선은 말이 없다 / The horizon is silent

7 그대 옆에 가련다 / I'm next to you

9 내 고향 포구 / My hometown muzzle

review soon

박춘석 작곡집 / Master Builder series: composer Park Chun Seok [Disc 1]

1 흑산도 아가씨 / Heuksan Island Lady

2 가로등 켜진 육교 / Streetlight on overpass

박춘석 작곡집 / Master Builder series: composer Park Chun Seok [Disc 2]

8 나그네 임금 / Wayfarer king

11 해방둥이 / Liberator

reviews might be added later



"In the period 1960s-1970s the prevailing music genres were t'trot'u and standard pop. The latter was also referred to as easy listening (Fiji rising). T'trot'u was best represented by the songs of lee Mi-Ja, who has been called the queen of elegy and whose song "Tongbaek Agassi" (Camelia Lady), released in 1965, became an all-time favorite in the genre."

Michael Fuhr (Globalisation and popular music in South Korea, 2016)

From the introduction to "Decolonizing Korean Popular Music: The “Japanese Color” Dispute over Trot" Seung-Ah Lee

"For 20 years after its liberation from Japanese colonial rule, Korea did not have any diplomatic relationship with Japan and banned all forms of Japanese culture, including Japanese popular music. However, since 1965 when Korea normalized relations with Japan, the question of whether trot should be considered part of Japanese or Korean culture—and therefore whether it should be banned or permitted—has been up for debate. For instance, the most famous song of this period, “Camellia Lady” by Lee Mee-ja, was banned due to its “Japanese color.” Nonetheless, trot was the most popular musical genre in Korea even after the country’s liberation from Japan; it was also the comfort music enjoyed by Koreans during the Korean War (1950–53)."


Wikipedia (on Trot music):

"The country was slowly recovering from the aftermath of the war, although the political situation remained unstable. This ongoing disorder of society caused military coup d'état in 1961. Despite this political turmoil, pop culture continued on its own path. Songwriters and singers who had picked up fresh ideas from US Army clubs and cultural exchange with Westerners, incorporated them into Trot. Modern sensibilities fused with those traditional to Korea in new songs. Han Myeong-suk released "Yellow Shirt Man" (Korean: 노란 샤쓰의 사나이) in 1961, in a swing style. Its success swept across the country, so the singer from a nobody became a star.

A few years later, a new Trot singer rose to fame. Lee Mi-ja recorded "Camellia Lady" (Korean: 동백 아가씨) in 1964, the title song for the 1964 film of the same name. She recorded a lot of hit songs in the 1960s like "Yellow Robe Mast" (Korean: 황포돛대, 1964), "Cry Fever" (Korean: 울어라 열풍아, 1965), "Heuksando Lady" (Korean: 흑산도 아가씨, 1967), "A Woman's Life" (Korean: 여자의 일생, 1968), "A Father Goose" (Korean: 기러기 아빠, 1969). Through her numerous hit songs and over two thousand Trot songs she has released during her 60-year career, she is the singer of Trot par excellence.

Well, the two songs evoque different images of people at the time. The image of the "Yellow Shirt Man" bursting with vitality was portrayed, but "Camellia Lady" was the traditional female figure in Korea who practices patience and fidelity in marriage.[57] Kim In-bae (Korean: 김인배), at that time a trumpet player in US Army club, was one of the composers who aimed to update Trot music. Therefore, in composing he oriented more on contemporary American pop, which he was familiar with in US Army clubs, than the sensibilities and tone of conventional Trot. Kim's "The Old Familiar Faces" (Korean: 그리운 얼굴, 1963) was in a waltz style, whilst Kim's "Red Shoes Lady" (Korean: 빨간 구두 아가씨, recorded by Nam Il-hae (Korean: 남일해, 1963) and another renewal-loving composer Son Seok-u's (Korean: 손석우) "Yellow Shirt Man" had elements of swing music. The prominent Trot composer Park Chun-seok, who had debuted as a pianist in US Army Club, also wrote ballad-style music like "Early Rain" (Korean: 초우, 1966) in addition to conventional Trot. This song and [Choi Sook Ja (singer)|Choi Sook Ja]]'s hit song "Forsythia Girl" (Korean: 개나리 처녀 and Patti Kim's hit songs, "Don't Forget You" (Korean: 못 잊어), "Love Went By Leaving Autumn Behind" (Korean: 가을을 남기고 간 사랑, 1968), "Does Anyone Know This Person?" (Korean: 누가 이 사람을 모르시나요), all composed by Park, had semblances of what would become popular 'adult contemporary music'.


One LP listed at

#KoreanPop #Trot #L

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