Bai Hong - White Light 白虹 1919 - 1992
Bai was born Bai Lizhu in Beiijing in 1919.
Her stage name, Bai Hong, means 'White Rainbow'. Her music career began at the
age of 12 when the Bright Moonlight Song and Dance Troupe came to Beijing to
recruit performers. The director was composer Li Jinhui (黎錦輝), who is said to have virtually invented Chinese
popular music together with his younger brother Li Jinguang (黎錦光). The troupe had a great influence on the development
of Mandarin pop. In 1934, after winning a big singing contest in Shanghai, Bai
Hong was crowned Empress of Song. In 1936, she married her mentor Li Jinguang.
At that time Bai was 17 and he was 47. Their marriage lasted 13 years and they
had 7 children.
Besides raising a family, Bai Hong had a busy schedule in the recording and movie studios, too. She appeared in musicals as well as in non-musical adaptations of Chinese and Western plays, for example in Cao Yu’s (曹禺) “Sunrise” (日出, 1938) and “The young Lady’s Fan” (少奶奶扇子, 1939). Bai Hong was capable of presenting traditional folk tunes as well as American-rooted jazz and blues, with the latter style taking precedence in the 1940s. She became one of China's Seven Great Singing Stars.
There was no more popular singer than Bai
with her magnetic presence and her vocal prowess. "Intoxicating Lip
Rouge" ( listen to it below) perfectly demonstrates her vocal range and
skill. Almost 'pop' opera, if such a genre exists. She was one of the 'Three
Whites' along with Bai Guong (White Light) and Bai Yun (White Cloud) Her
concert at the Lyceum Theatre, Shanghai in 1945, is considered to be the first
concert of Chinese Pop Music.
With the communist take-over in 1949, her former song repertoire was banned as representative of decadent American imperialist culture, but she still enjoyed a healthy career on stage acting in plays whose sentiments were in keeping with the prevailing political lines. During the Cultural Revolution, she was persecuted like many other representatives of the entertainment scene, but Bai survived experiencing the resumption of her own performing career. She divorced Li Jinguang in 1953, and eventually married actor Mao Yanhua.
She officially retired in 1979. She died in 1992 in Beijing at the age of 73. She had cancer, but after a mis-diagnosis, the delay in her treatment proved fatal. She was a great singer of uptempo pop and jazz songs, but if you listen to "Midnight Line" or "The Great Wall Love Song" below, you will hear the most beautiful, clear voice which will haunt you with its poignancy. Her popularity and fame today is less than that enjoyed by Zhou Xuan, Li Xianglang and others. However, in her day, she was the most popular singer of all her contemporaries.
"Earthly angels" 1934
"Beauty Well" 1935
"Exquisite Beauty" 1936
"Love Days of blood and tears" 1938
"Lihen day" 1939
"Empress Wu" 1939
"Ella fairy" 1939
"Gold and Silver World" 1939
"The Three Musketeers" 1939
"Wang Xifeng row Ningguo 1939
"Broadcasting NTU Murder 1939
"Xiaoxiang autumn 1940
"Diao Liu" 1940
The "redline Pirates box" 1940
"Islands of the Spring and Autumn" 1941
"figs" 1941 "
Stick round beads 1942
" end of time "1942
" becomes a prisoner "1943
come again "1943
The "marriage Symphony" 1944
"A Dream of Red Mansions" 1944
"The Red House Canmeng" 1948
Fog night massacre "1948
Nightingale Song "1950