Today I have a secret, and I'm going to spill the beans. It's really not my style to announce my #1 most wanted record, but today is the day. I REALLY want the album pictured in our video below, because it contains Rita Chao's version of 'Venus'.
Rita Chao is one of the wonders of Singapore's 60's pop "scene". Her voice is unique, and often when singing English, it's awkward sounding to Western ears and the notes often sharp - perfect for her beautiful renditions of traditional Mandarin songs!
I discovered China's hidden 60's pop music while living in Toronto. A record store had purchased a good pile of assorted ethnic 45's and I bought them. There were a few good Portuguese EP's (all of them covers) and a handful of Chinese records. A few of the 45's were "a go go" records but I couldn't read the labels - I suspect now that one or two were either the Trailers or the Quests backing male and male/female duos. At the time I was working with a woman who spoke only Mandarin, and she adored the records, so when I moved the records stayed with her, but those records sparked an interest to find out more about Asian music in the 60's.
Here's Rita with her version of 'Venus'.
Click here for our latest Crayons To Perfume, featuring Rita Chao, a handful of Beatles girls, along with some pop and soul! Check us out here at WFMU's Rock 'n Soul Ichiban each Monday morning - and just search on Crayons To Perfume for all of our past shows. In the coming weeks we have some great stuff planned for your listening pleasure - all kinds of surprises!
Rita Chao: Hanky Panky
Rita Chao: Love Is Me, Love Is You
Rita Chao: How To Catch A Girl
Rita Chao: Shake Shake
Rita Chao: It’s Gonna Be Alright
Bonnie JO Mason: Ringo, I Love You
Linda Gayle: Twist & Shout
The Bootles: I’ll Let You Hold My Hand
The Carefrees: We Love You
Claudette & Sylvie: Oui C’est Vrai (Hold Me Tight)
Shangri-Las: Train From Kansas City
Chymes: He’s Not There Anymore
(Raparata &) The Del Rons: Your Big Mistake
Julie Driscoll: Don’t Do It No More
Tootie & The Bouquets: The Conqueror
Erma Franklin: Hold On I’m Comin’
Nanette: He Knows How
Irma Thomas: Teasin’ But Your Pleasin’
The Velvelettes: He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’
Martha & The Vandellas: Dancin’ In The Street
Gigi & The Charmaines: Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Blues