고운봉 / Go, Woon-Bong / Go Un-bong / Ho Woon Bong / Koun Bong / 高 雲峰

November 2, 2019

Tracks you can find here:


유성기로 듣던 불멸의 명가수: 진방남, 고운봉, 송달협 편 vol.16 / 

Immortal singers heard during the meteor period: Jin Bang Nam, Go Un Bong, Song Dal Hyeop 


1 국경의 부두 / Pier at the border (.. 8640) (1939)

2 아들의 하소 / Calculation of the son (.. 8640)

3 통군정의 노래 / Song of Tonggunjeong (Columbia 40895)

4 황포강 뱃길 / Huangpu River Waterway (Columbia 40897)

5 들국화 / Wild chrysanthemum (Columbia 40920) (1945)

6 모래성 탄식 / Blowing Sand (OKEH 31011) (1940)

7 선창 / Dock (OKEH)


Pier" of the Border" is a fine, nicely sung mainstream trot song with sparse arrangements (acoustic guitar, violin, Hawaiian slide guitar with additional small accentuating parts with clarinet & trumpet, some percussion).

"Calculation of the Son" is arranged with violin, acoustic guitar, slide guitar parts, a flute arrangement and some clarinet, showing a soft voice and singing.

Also the track after that shows a gentle voice of the singer. That song is basically strings and guitar with some violin solo. "Huangpu River Waterway" is a gentle nostalgic song which, without understanding the lyrics, already sounds a bit more like just a style example without adding new musical elements to it.

Also "Wild Chrysantheum" is just a gentle trot song with some orchestrations and slightly exotic clarinet. It still is a nice but also definitely also a middle grey area example for the genre.

"Blowing Sand" has suffered a bit from the sand, but this could of course eventually add also some charm to the recording. Also this track is a mainstream trot song.

"Dock" has this hissing noise as well. This alone already gives it the impression of featuring an 'old times' song. We also hear a small part with some imitated birds in the background. It has a gently walking rhythm, a predictable melody and rhythm and small orchestrations.



유성기로 듣던 가요사 (1925~1945) [Disc 6]


11 국경(國境)의 부두(埠頭) / Pier at the border (1939)

12 남강의 추억 / Memories of Namgang (1939)

13 울고싶은 마음 / Wanting to cry (1939)


"Memories of Naming" is another quite fine mainstream Trot song, arranged with Hawaiian guitar, banjo and accordion and additional arrangements (violin solos). Also "Wanting to Cry" is classic trot track with a variety of small arrangements.



* 이대로 죽을수는 없다 / You can't die like this (Shanghai Loch)

제 아무리 부루스 / No matter how


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. In this case I found only one track.


I have checked an 8 more tracks. Shanghai Loch stands out as a fine walzing jazzy and also in fact a bit country-like song.




For western collectors I must say that this is the grey zone of mainstream trot, without surprises, without anything out of the ordinary. Except when you look for the perfect middle zone where all comes to halt peacefully, I would not recommend checking this artist further out.





Born February 9, 1920 during the Japanese Colonial Period, Died August 1, 2001 (age 81) ; Activity Period 1939 ~ 2001.


Important songs : Wharf of the Border 1939, Memories of Namgang 1940, Docks, 1941,  Let's go to the white horse 1942, Myeongdong Blues 1958, 


Go Un Bong (高 雲峰, February 9, 1920 to August 1, 2001) was a Japanese troop singer and a Korean trot singer. His real name is Gomyeongdeuk (高明 得).


He was born in the region of Chungcheongnam-do Province. Since childhood, he dreamed of becoming a singer. In 1937, he graduated from the budget public agricultural school and went to Kyungsung.


He visited Park Young-ho, director of the arts department at Taepyeong Records, and was hired as a singer. After preparing for his debut as a member of the troupe, he made his debut in 1939 by releasing "Pier of the Border" in Japan. Gounbong's creation method was clear and the song was so sad that he was promoted as an independent singer.


He became a popular singer when "pier of the border" became known, and after that, he continued to hit the memories of Namgang.


Combining record-taking, stage performances, and broadcast music appearances, he wrote lyrics such as Kim Sang-hwa, Lee Jae-ho's composers' "Hearts to You", and "Letters of Tears". The music of Namgang was recorded on LP. His wild chrysanthemum is a song written by Chae Gyu-yeop which he gave a different interpretation.


He added several songs to the Columbia record, but in 1940 he transferred to the Oke record, wrote Jo Ryeong-chul (lighting), composed of Li Bong-ryong, written "Sanding the Sand'', written by Jo Ryeong-chul (lyrics), and Kim Hae-song (song). Dock songs were popular among people at that time. Besides "pier in the Pacific", he also had a song "pier at the border. 


In 1940, he moved to OK record, after which the song "Sunchang", written by Gimhae-am and Kim Hae-song, released the following year, became popular.


In addition, he was a singer who appeared in several plays including Hong Ruya Gok, Don't Cry Don't Cry, Cheol's Jung, Backing Memories, and Don't Forget.


In 1942 he moved to Columbia Records, and at the end of the Pacific War he sang a pro-unique song. After the war, he went to Japan to work on American popular music. After returning to Japan in 1958, he published one of his masterpieces, "Myeongdong Blues".


In 2000, a year before his death, a song was recorded in his hometown of Budget Deoksan Onsen. His activities continued until the end of the year, such as singing a "dock" at the Songbi. On August 1, 2001, he died of cerebral infarct following rapid aging, until he reached 82 years. In 1998, during his lifetime, he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.


Major songs include "The Dock" and "Myeongdong Blues".




Remark: in Asia one has much more respect to elder singers than for instance in the West. The sad thing about is is that singers quickly can turn into the safe zone of entertainment industry, not showing much of the creative musical expressions of ambitious youngsters struggling to be heard. In that way I need to warn for all the later recordings which also for Koreans have nostalgic value more than a creative one. The genre starts already from Trot.





선창’의 원로 가수 고운봉(高雲峰·본명 고명득·사진)씨가 1일 오후 숙환으로 별세했다. 향년 80세.

충남 예산에서 태어난 고씨는 ‘조선악극단’ 등에서 활동하다 42년 데뷔곡이자 자신의 최대 히트곡인 ‘선창’을 발표하며 순식간에 인기 가수 반열에 올랐다. 이후 고씨는 ‘홍등야곡’ ‘백마야 가자’ 등을 연속 히트하며 고 김정구 남인수씨와 함께 광복 전후 가요계를 풍미했다.

특히 ‘선창’은 일제의 압박이 극에 달하던 시절, 부두를 배경으로 이별의 슬픔을 구수한 목소리에 담아내 오늘날까지 애창되고 있다.  

고씨는 지난해 악극 ‘그때 그 쑈를 아십니까’에 출연하는 등 최근까지 왕성한 활동을 해왔다. 고씨는 가요계에 이바지한 공로로 옥관문화훈장(98년), KBS 가요대상 공로상(93년) 등을 수상했다. 지난해에는 그의 고향 인근의 덕산온천에 ‘선창’ 노래비가 세워지기도 했다.

지난달 30일 별세한 황금심씨에 이어 또 한 명의 원로를 잃은 가요계는 “원로 중의 원로가 떠나셨다”며 안타까워하고 있다. 가요계의 한 중진 인사는 “고인이 평소 자신의 주머니를 털어 후배들을 돕는 등 신망이 두터웠다”고 전했다. 

유족으로는 딸 아진씨(26)가 있다. 장례는 한국연예협회 가수분과위원회가 주관하는 가수장으로 치러진다. 빈소는 서울중앙병원에 마련됐다. 발인은 3일 오전 10시. 02-3010-2292 <이승헌기자>ddr@donga.com 


Translation :


The elder singer Go Un Bong of Sunchang died in the afternoon, aged 80. Born in the budget of Chungnam, Go was active in the Chosun Musical Troupe and became a popular singer in 42 years by debuting his 42nd debut song and his biggest hit song, 'Spear.' Since then, he had more hits. He joined the music industry before and after the liberation together with Kim Jong-gu and Nam In-su. In particular, 'sunchang' was loved to this day with the voice that captured the sadness of a farewell in the background of the pier when the pressure of Japanese imperialism was at its peak. Mr. Ko has been active until recently, appearing in the drama “Do You Know That Time?” Last year. Mr. Ko received the Ok Gwan Cultural Medal (98) and KBS Music Award (93) for his contributions to the music industry. Last year, "Sunchang" song was recorded at Deoksan Hot Spring near his hometown. He left a daughter Ajin (26). <Lee Seung Heon Reporter> 




국경의 부두 


앞산에 솜안개 어리어 있고

압록강 물우에는 뱃노래로다 

용암포 자후창 떠나가는 저 물길

눈물에 어리우는 신의주 부두


똑딱선 뾰족배 오고가는데

갈매기 놀래나서 황급히 난다

부리는 뱃짐에 기다리는 님 소식

홧길에 돌아가는 신의주 부두


석양 해 유초도 뉘여지들 않고

돛 내린 뱃간에는 불빛이 돈다

진강산 바라며 그리웁던 내 고향

설움에 깊어가는 신의주 부두  



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