V.A.: 팝스코리아나 / Pops Koreana: ASCOM & the Eighth Army Years 1963~1972

January 16, 2020

 

I have not found a copy of this LP yet but the story is too great to miss.

 

‘미8군, 애스컴에서 발화되어 한국 대중음악의 여명기를 밝힌 노래들’
Various Artists 'Pops Koreana: ASCOM & the Eighth Army Years 1963~1972'
여러 아티스트 <팝스코리아나: 애스컴과 미8군 사운드의 주역들 1963~1972>

 

SIDE A
1. 신중현 SHIN JOONG-HYUN - 밀양 아리랑(연주곡)
민요, 편곡 신중현 (1963년)
2. 키보이스 KEY BOYS - 그녀 입술은 달콤해
작사 주리오, 작곡 김영광 (1964년)
3. 점블씨스터즈 JUMBLE SISTERS - 키타맨(Guitar Man)
개사 지명길, 작곡 Lee Hazlewood, 편곡 정민섭 (1966년)
4. 이씨스터즈 LEE SISTERS - 철 없는 기집애
작사 임희재, 작곡 정민섭 (1967년)
5. 최희준 CHOE HUI-JUN - 태양
작사, 작곡 이봉조 (1969년)
6. 배호 BAE HO - 그 이름
작사, 작곡 배상태 (1969년)
SIDE B
1. 윤복희 YOON BOK-HEE - Sunny
작사, 작곡 Bobby Hebb, 부분 개사 전우, 편곡 이봉조 (1967년)
2. 박인수 PARK IN-SOO - 의심 받는 사랑(Suspicion)
개사 지명길, 작곡 Mort Shuman, 편곡 최영훈 (1971년)
3. 아이들 IDOL - 배신당한 내 가슴(Purple Haze)
개사 김미성, 작곡 Jimi Hendrix, 편곡 최이철 (1971년)
4. 히식스 HE 6 - Dance To The Music
작사, 작곡 Sly Stone, 편곡 김홍탁 (1971년)
5. 데블스 DEVILS - 별들에게(You Don't Know Like I Know)
작사, 작곡 David Porter & Isaac Hayes, 편곡 데블스 (1972년)
6. 김대환과 김트리오 KIM DAE-HWAN & THE KIM TRIO - 꿈을 꾸리(연주곡)
작곡 김미성과 최이철, 편곡 김대환 (1972년)

 

Anyone with an interest in Korean pop music is surely aware of the crucial historical role that the 8th US Army played during the early years of pop music in Korea.

 

Ever since the 8th US Army command relocated from Japan to Yongsan, Seoul in 1955, the term ‘8th Army’ has become a common byword for the USFK in general. Show stages for entertaining US servicemen and civilian employees were expanded and became established into permanent installations. Initially, entertainers were flown in from the US to boost the morale of the servicemen. However, it soon became apparent that this would be grossly insufficient to cover all of the permanent stages. Eventually, the US military came to invite Korean musicians to play on the stages. It was not long before a huge number of Korean musicians were playing the ‘8th Army circuit’. Compared to the average wages in Korea at the time, these musicians were paid extremely well – this led to the creation of countless ‘entertainment agencies’ that supplied musicians to US bases.

 

As of the mid 1950s, the number of US Army clubs stood at 264, and the sums that the US military paid out to the Korean entertainers rivaled the entire annual export volume of Korea at the time.

 

Cha Young-soo, who led the band ‘Pioneer’ and an ASCOM club band, and who was also a club proprietor during the 1960s, recalled thus in an interview: “There were more downtown clubs where bands played in ASCOM City than in Yongsan. The ‘Seven’ club was particularly popular among US servicemen because they played country music.” ASCOM, which processed all US personnel arriving in Korean, was located at Samreung in Bupyeong and Shinchon.

 

Back in 1939, the Government-General of Japanese-occupied Joseon had established an armory for the Imperial Japanese army in an area that now covers Bupyeong 1-dong, Sangok 3-dong, and Sangok 4-dong. On April 1st, 1940, when Bupyeong-gu was annexed as a part of Incheon, the armory was also expanded. The Bupyeong Armory soon grew into a center of the armament industry, and the arms produced there were supplied to Japanese soldiers throughout the peninsula until the end of WWII.

 

When the US 24th (XXIV) Corps landed on the southern half of the peninsula as an occupying force in late 1945, they commandeered the Bupyeong arms center, garrisoned the 24th Army Service Command at the premises, and sectioned the area off into Camp Market, Camp Grant, Camp Tyler, Camp Harris, and Camp Hayes. The local residents came to refer to this place as ‘ASCOM City’, after the acronym of the US command.

 

In 1951, when UN troops regained control over the Incheon and Bupyeong areas from the joint communist forces of North Korea and China, the ASCOM complex resumed operations. The US Marines installed the ‘Incheon Force Replacement Depot’ and a support command in the ASCOM area. US servicemen would spend two to three months there before being sent to their posts in Dongducheon, Songtan, and Pyeongtaek. So it was only natural that a great number of clubs – in addition to various other industries catering to US soldiers – sprouted up in the areas surrounding Bupyeong’s Sangok-dong, where ASCOM was located.

 

Most of the early ‘8th Army’ scene musicians during the 1950s, such as the Kim Sisters, had played at ASCOM clubs, as did some 10 other bands starting with the ‘Tommies’ led by Kim Yoon-ok. With the advent of the 1960s, these musicians introduced western genres such as standard pop, swing jazz, and rock n’ roll to a domestic scene that had previously been dominated by ‘trot’ music.

 

ASCOM was also the venue for countless ‘8th Army’ stars including Choe Hui-jun, Han Myeong-sook, Patti Kim, Shin Joong-hyun, the Lee Sisters, and Jang Mi-hwa.

 

As mentioned by Cha Young-soo, ASCOM provided a space for Korean musicians to perform and earn their livelihoods in that the concentration of clubs there was even higher than in Yongsan. The musicians who played at ASCOM clubs lived in the vicinity, too. The book, <Music City Bupyeong>, which was released by the ‘Local Agenda 21 Bupyeong-gu’ committee of Incheon City in the December of 2013, also quotes an article stating that hundreds of musicians lived together in Bupyeong 2-dong at the time.

 

As the Vietnam War drew to a close, the US Army began arms reductions amid the détente in the cold war. Accordingly, when the 1st Army Corps and the 7th Infantry Division withdrew from the Korean peninsula, ASCOM also began to downsize. In 1972, when missile / air support operations were transferred to Camp Humphreys and heavy equipment support functions were transferred to Camp Carroll, ASCOM became less operational. Eventually, ASCOM was downgraded to a support unit for the 8th Army.

 

On Jan. 31st of the following year, ASCOM ceased operations and control over the premises was handed over to the ROK Ministry of National Defense on Jun. 30th. Although the facilities left behind by the US forces still retained the previous name (Camp Market), many of the clubs that had once catered to US personnel went out of business. As a result, many of the bands who earned their living by playing that those clubs were forced to relocate. For professional musicians, Bupyeong could no longer support their livelihoods.

 

However, the significance of the ASCOM scene remains in that it served as a bridgehead via which western pop music came to be introduced to Korea, in addition to the fact that the tireless efforts put in by musicians to pass the auditions held there directly contributed to improving the quality of Korean pop music in the 1970s.

 

The present compilation, <Pops Koreana: ASCOM & the Eighth Army Years 1963~1972> focuses on musicians and bands for whom ASCOM at Bupyeong marked the starting point of their careers in the 8th Army circuit. It mainly features musicians from Incheon, as well as musicians who were deemed to have ties to the US 8th Army stages in the Incheon area at the time.

 

The repertoire, which comprises cover tunes that would have been played at such venues, offers a glimpse at the evolution of Korean pop music, which transitioned from swing jazz / standard pop to small-ensemble combo bands, eventually morphing into early rock n’ roll.

 

*이 앨범은 부평 음악·융합도시 조성사업 ‘2019 ASCOM CITY PROJECT’의 일환으로 제작됩니다.
 

Beatball Music - September 2019
‘미8군, 애스컴에서 발화되어 한국 대중음악의 여명기를 밝힌 노래들’


Various Artists 'Pops Koreana: ASCOM & the Eighth Army Years 1963~1972'
여러 아티스트 <팝스코리아나: 애스컴과 미8군 사운드의 주역들 1963~1972>

SIDE A
1. 신중현 SHIN JOONG-HYUN - 밀양 아리랑(연주곡)
민요, 편곡 신중현 (1963년)
2. 키보이스 KEY BOYS - 그녀 입술은 달콤해
작사 주리오, 작곡 김영광 (1964년)
3. 점블씨스터즈 JUMBLE SISTERS - 키타맨(Guitar Man)
개사 지명길, 작곡 Lee Hazlewood, 편곡 정민섭 (1966년)
4. 이씨스터즈 LEE SISTERS - 철 없는 기집애
작사 임희재, 작곡 정민섭 (1967년)
5. 최희준 CHOE HUI-JUN - 태양
작사, 작곡 이봉조 (1969년)
6. 배호 BAE HO - 그 이름
작사, 작곡 배상태 (1969년)
SIDE B
1. 윤복희 YOON BOK-HEE - Sunny
작사, 작곡 Bobby Hebb, 부분 개사 전우, 편곡 이봉조 (1967년)
2. 박인수 PARK IN-SOO - 의심 받는 사랑(Suspicion)
개사 지명길, 작곡 Mort Shuman, 편곡 최영훈 (1971년)
3. 아이들 IDOL - 배신당한 내 가슴(Purple Haze)
개사 김미성, 작곡 Jimi Hendrix, 편곡 최이철 (1971년)
4. 히식스 HE 6 - Dance To The Music
작사, 작곡 Sly Stone, 편곡 김홍탁 (1971년)
5. 데블스 DEVILS - 별들에게(You Don't Know Like I Know)
작사, 작곡 David Porter & Isaac Hayes, 편곡 데블스 (1972년)
6. 김대환과 김트리오 KIM DAE-HWAN & THE KIM TRIO - 꿈을 꾸리(연주곡)
작곡 김미성과 최이철, 편곡 김대환 (1972년)


올 가을, 비트볼과 부평문화재단이 공동기획한 모음집 LP <Pops Koreana: ASCOM & Eighth Army Years 1963~1972>를 발표합니다. 앨범은 인천-부평 지역의 미군부대를 중심으로 활동하거나 동지역 출신을 교집합으로 하는 가수/그룹의 곡들로 구성돼 있습니다. 한국 팝/록의 여명기를 대표하는 음악인들의 숨겨진 명곡을 한 음반에서 즐겨보세요.


SIDE A 1. Shin Joong-Hyun Shin Joong-Hyun - Mill Arirang (piano song)
Min Yo, arrangement shin Jung-Hyun (1963)
2. Keyvoice key boys - her lips are sweet
Lyricist Jurio, composed Kim Young-Kwang (1964)
3. 점블씨스터즈 JUMBLE SISTERS - 키타맨(Guitar Man)
Gaesa Jimyeong-Gil, composed lee hazlewood, arrangement jung min-Seob (1966)
4. Issisters Lee sisters - a girl without iron
Lyricist Lim Hee-Jae, composed by jeong min-Seob (1967)
5. Choi Hee Jun Choe Hui-Jun - sun
Lyricist, composed lee bong-Jo (1969)
6. Baeho bae ho - that name
Written by, composed by bae (1969)
SIDE B 1. Yunboghui Yoon Bok-hee - sunny
Lyricist, composed bobby hebb, part of the part, arrangement lee bong-Jo (1967)
2. Park in-soo park in-soo - doubt love (suspicion)
Gaesa Jimyeong-Gil, composed mort shuman, arrangement choi younghoon (1971)
3. Kids idol - my heart in betrayed (Purple Haze)
Gaesa Kim mi sung, composed Jimi Hendrix, arrangement choi lee chul (1971)
4. 히식스 HE 6 - Dance To The Music
Lyricist, composed sly stone, arrangement Kim Hong-Tak (1971)
5. 데블스 DEVILS - 별들에게(You Don't Know Like I Know)
Written by David Porter & Isaac Hayes, Arrangement Devils (1972)
6. Kim dae-Hwan and Kim dae-Hwan & the Kim Trio - Dream (piano song)
Composed by Kim mi sung choi, arrangement kim dae hwan (1972)

 

This fall, bitball and bupyeong cultural foundation will announce lp <pops koreana: Ascom & eighth army years 1963 > The album is composed of the song of the singer / group, which is used by the us army in Incheon-Bupyeong region.

 

Enjoy the hidden song of musicians who represent the KOREAN POP / rock.Anyone with an interest in Korean pop music is surely aware of the crucial historical role that the 8th US Army played during the early years of pop music in Korea.

 

Ever since the 8th US Army command relocated from Japan to Yongsan, Seoul in 1955, the term ‘8th Army’ has become a common byword for the USFK in general. Show stages for entertaining US servicemen and civilian employees were expanded and became established into permanent installations. Initially, entertainers were flown in from the US to boost the morale of the servicemen. However, it soon became apparent that this would be grossly insufficient to cover all of the permanent stages. Eventually, the US military came to invite Korean musicians to play on the stages.

It was not long before a huge number of Korean musicians were playing the ‘8th Army circuit’. Compared to the average wages in Korea at the time, these musicians were paid extremely well - this led to the creation of countless ‘entertainment agencies’ that supplied musicians to US bases.

 

As of the mid 1950s, the number of US Army clubs stood at 264, and the sums that the US military paid out to the Korean entertainers rivaled the entire annual export volume of Korea at the time.Cha Young-soo, who led the band ‘Pioneer’ and an ASCOM club band, and who was also a club proprietor during the 1960s, recalled thus in an interview: “There were more downtown clubs where bands played in ASCOM City than in Yongsan. The ‘Seven’ club was particularly popular among US servicemen because they played country music.” ASCOM, which processed all US personnel arriving in Korean, was located at Samreung in Bupyeong and Shinchon. Back in 1939, the Government-General of Japanese-occupied Joseon had established an armory for the Imperial Japanese army in an area that now covers Bupyeong 1-dong, Sangok 3-dong, and Sangok 4-dong.

On April 1st, 1940, when Bupyeong-gu was annexed as a part of Incheon, the armory was also expanded. The Bupyeong Armory soon grew into a center of the armament industry, and the arms produced there were supplied to Japanese soldiers throughout the peninsula until the end of WWII.

 

When the US 24th (XXIV) Corps landed on the southern half of the peninsula as an occupying force in late 1945, they commandeered the Bupyeong arms center, garrisoned the 24th Army Service Command at the premises, and sectioned the area off into Camp Market, Camp Grant, Camp Tyler, Camp Harris, and Camp Hayes. The local residents came to refer to this place as ‘ASCOM City’, after the acronym of the US command.In 1951, when UN troops regained control over the Incheon and Bupyeong areas from the joint communist forces of North Korea and China, the ASCOM complex resumed operations. The US Marines installed the ‘Incheon Force Replacement Depot’ and a support command in the ASCOM area. US servicemen would spend two to three months there before being sent to their posts in Dongducheon, Songtan, and Pyeongtaek. So it was only natural that a great number of clubs – in addition to various other industries catering to US soldiers – sprouted up in the areas surrounding Bupyeong’s Sangok-dong, where ASCOM was located.

 

Most of the early ‘8th Army’ scene musicians during the 1950s, such as the Kim Sisters, had played at ASCOM clubs, as did some 10 other bands starting with the ‘Tommies’ led by Kim Yoon-ok. With the advent of the 1960s, these musicians introduced western genres such as standard pop, swing jazz, and rock n’ roll to a domestic scene that had previously been dominated by ‘trot’ music. ASCOM was also the venue for countless ‘8th Army’ stars including Choe Hui-jun, Han Myeong-sook, Patti Kim, Shin Joong-hyun, the Lee Sisters, and Jang Mi-hwa. As mentioned by Cha Young-soo, ASCOM provided a space for Korean musicians to perform and earn their livelihoods in that the concentration of clubs there was even higher than in Yongsan.

 

The musicians who played at ASCOM clubs lived in the vicinity, too. The book, <Music City Bupyeong>, which was released by the ‘Local Agenda 21 Bupyeong-gu’ committee of Incheon City in the December of 2013, also quotes an article stating that hundreds of musicians lived together in Bupyeong 2-dong at the time.

 

As the Vietnam War drew to a close, the US Army began arms reductions amid the détente in the cold war. Accordingly, when the 1st Army Corps and the 7th Infantry Division withdrew from the Korean peninsula, ASCOM also began to downsize. In 1972, when missile / air support operations were transferred to Camp Humphreys and heavy equipment support functions were transferred to Camp Carroll, ASCOM became less operational.

 

Eventually, ASCOM was downgraded to a support unit for the 8th Army. On Jan. 31st of the following year, ASCOM ceased operations and control over the premises was handed over to the ROK Ministry of National Defense on Jun. 30th. Although the facilities left behind by the US forces still retained the previous name (Camp Market), many of the clubs that had once catered to US personnel went out of business. As a result, many of the bands who earned their living by playing that those clubs were forced to relocate. For professional musicians, Bupyeong could no longer support their livelihoods. However, the significance of the ASCOM scene remains in that it served as a bridgehead via which western pop music came to be introduced to Korea, in addition to the fact that the tireless efforts put in by musicians to pass the auditions held there directly contributed to improving the quality of Korean pop music in the 1970s.

 

The present compilation, <Pops Koreana: ASCOM & the Eighth Army Years 1963~1972> focuses on musicians and bands for whom ASCOM at Bupyeong marked the starting point of their careers in the 8th Army circuit. It mainly features musicians from Incheon, as well as musicians who were deemed to have ties to the US 8th Army stages in the Incheon area at the time. The repertoire, which comprises cover tunes that would have been played at such venues, offers a glimpse at the evolution of Korean pop music, which transitioned from swing jazz / standard pop to small-ensemble combo bands, eventually morphing into early rock n’ roll.

* this album is made as part of the ' 2019 ASCOM CITY PROJECT ' in bupyeong music · 

Fusion City project ‘.

 

See also the article 

http://sites.uci.edu/aas55spring2014/files/2014/03/05.27-KimShin-The-Birth-of-Rok-.pdf

 

"The Cradle of Rok: U.S. Military Camp Shows

 

The main source of American popular music in the years before the Korean War was the clubs of the U.S. Army Twenty-Fourth Division, which had entered the country soon after the Japanese surrender in August 1945. The music played at those clubs was called chyasu ̆, which refers ostensibly to jazz, but actually encompasses all kinds of nonclassical Western music from swing jazz to French chanson to Argentine tango.9 The business really took off after the Korean War as the Twenty-Fourth Army Division expanded to the Eighth Army Corps. Although the United Service Organizations (USO) camp show tours brought in some of the best American entertainers, such positions as Nat King Cole and Elvis Presley, they could not satisfy the huge demand coming from the more than 150 camps and bases around the country. The U.S. Army thus hired Korean musicians to fill the void, and, amid the des- titution of postwar Korea, many hungry musicians flocked to bases for the precious jobs.

 

The growth of camp shows increased professionalism in business. The hiring procedure became formalized, with the U.S. military hiring show troupes organized and managed by entertainment agencies. Usually, it began with a preaudition at an agency. If musicians or bands were deemed worthy, they were allowed to join the show troupe, which then went on to the real audition in front of the U.S. military authorities, who would make the final decision as to whether the troupe was qualified. According to various witness accounts, music and entertainment industry experts dispatched by the Pentagon presided over the auditions. Each troupe that passed an audition was also given a grade of AA, A, B, or C, and assigned to a corresponding level of shows. The audition was repeated every three to six months to ensure quality. In order to maintain or advance its stand- ing, each troupe had to work hard and continually to improve its act. The camp show act was not a simple music concert. It was an entertainment variety show performed by the entire show troupe, or ssyodan in Korean (see fig. 2). A typical ssyodan consisted of a big band orchestra, singers, comedi- ans, dancers, and other performers. The band was the centerpiece of the ssyodan, and the title of the show on the bill was usually accompanied by the bandmaster’s name. The ssyodan bands catered to the diverse musical tastes of the American military personnel—“the Beatles or the Beach Boys for the white GIs, country music for the old white NCOs, and soul music of the Temptations or James Brown at the black clubs.”11 Consequently, musical versatility was crucial to the survival of a band playing U.S. military clubs. Rather than sticking to one style or genre, most musicians tried to master as many as they could.

 

A hierarchy took shape among the bands, based on the results of the audi- tion. Those on top were called “floor bands,” which toured military bases around the country as a part of ssyodan. “House bands” were in the middle, committed to a particular club. At the bottom were “open bands” playing at private clubs in surrounding base towns (kijich’on).

 

The level of competition among the musicians to enter and stay on the camp show circuit was very high. This competitive pressure intensified musical training in general, and cramming to learn the latest hits on the U.S. pop chart in particular. With- out sheet music available, the only way to do this was to record the AFKN broadcast on tape, transcribe each instrumental part, and then practice day and night in the management company warehouse. In this way, the U.S. military camp shows and clubs collectively known as migun mudae (literally, “American military scene”) became a training ground for the Korean musi- cians playing American pop. By the late 1950s music from migun mudae began spreading out and finding its way to the ilban mudae (“general public scene”), various entertainment venues for the Korean audience. First, Tin Pan Alley–style pop singers crooned their way to stardom, and more beat- oriented music, including rock ’n’ roll, soon followed.

 

One memorable event in the early spillover from migun mudae to ilban mudae was a show at the Seoul Civic Center (Simin Hoegwan) in 1958, where many ssyodan troupes entertained Korean audiences with the repertoire normally reserved for the U.S. military. Among the songs performed at the show was Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again.” This was probably the first time rock ‘n’ roll was performed live in front of a Korean crowd.13 The typical ssyodan band at the time was made up of the “four rhythms” — guitar, bass, drums, and piano (or organ) — joined by string and brass sec- tions, which was similar to the American big band, only slightly smaller in size. Sometimes a small show was also put on by a six- or seven-piece band of four rhythms plus one or two horns. Following the jazz tradition, musi- cians called it the “combo band.”

 

The combo band, while costing less to hire than an orchestra, could still provide a big sound thanks to a technological innovation that changed music: the electric amplifier. The electric guitar, better known as the “amp guitar” among Koreans at the time, became the lead instrument as more and more bands made the guitarist the bandmaster. Figures central to these guitar- led combo bands were Yi In-p’yo of the Apple Shower Show, Kim Hu ̆ i-gap of the A1 Show, and Yi In-so ̆ng of the Silver Star Show. Although not a bandmaster, Shin Joong Hyun first earned his fame as a guitarist for the Spring Variety Show. These guitarists brought new music into the already diverse repertoire of ssyodan bands. In particular, the surf music of the Ven- tures, Duane Eddy, and others paved the way for vocalized rock music. The standard Korean combo band was still purely instrumental, however; vocals were performed by a singer or singers from outside the band. The typical rock band formation, in the style of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, was at first called the “vocal group” (pok’o ̆l ku ̆rup), since these band did their own singing." ........

 

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