My Family History

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                   Huang Qing Yuan 黄清元   1944 -

The background music playing is Huang Qing Yuan and The Melodians singing Man Li . It is 320 kbps which is high mp3 quality mp3. If you wish to stop this music, please go to the foot of this page and adjust the small player accordingly.

Huang Qing Yuan (黃清元) or Wong Ching Yian, is a famous Singaporean singer who started singing in the 1960s. The song he is most well known for is Man Li (蔓莉). He started singing at the age of 7 when he joined a Childrens Singing Competition where he got First Place and remembered the prize well because it was two cans of soda. He began his singing career at 19 but had participated in contests and talent shows for some years. He then recorded over 100 EPs and LPs which are still available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. With his strong baritone voice, he endeared himself to fans from all over South East Asia. He recorded over 800 songs. In the 1970s, when Sony launched its first color television set in Singapore, it asked Huang to sponsor the product. He appeared in a television advertisement that features him performing live in front of an array of Sony color TVs.

He would also lead tours of other popular Singapore-based performers into Malaysia, including the comedians Wang Sa and Yeh Fung as well as popular instrumental bands. They would put on live variety shows in Chinese communities. This helped to promote Singaporean music and spread the a-go-go sound beyond Singapore’s borders. Telephones at broadcast stations would keep ringing as fans called to show support for this heart-throb after his songs had been played. Yet he looks more like a university professor than a pop singer. It wasn't a smooth road for Wong. In 1988 a serious heart condition forced him to give up singing but with the proper medical care he managed his health and did an encore performance in 1995. Wong explained that he would carry on with his singing for as long as he could because of his fans. He added that he would never retire since singing is his second love. A devoted family man, Wong admits that they are his first love.

Goodbye My Love, Bitter Wine, A Woman's Heart, Forget Me, My Love, Missed Chances, Man Li, Green Island Song, and Cheers are among his best known songs. He released his Golden Hits in the late nineties and with modern recording techniques plus newly minted songs he felt that he could go on for some years.  Bands that accompanied him during recordings were well-known guitar groups The Melodians or The Stylers and had cut vinyl for companies like Panda and Cortersions Records.  His songs usually carry the same theme - love.

Because of his fame and popularity, Wong had many tribute artistes who impersonated him. One well-known performer was Lee Jung Ping who won a Huang Qing Yuen Impersonation contest in 1996. Wong who judged some of these contests was neither concerned nor unhappy that others were copying his style. He felt they had to find their own since mimicry would not take them far in the entertainment business. He used to run a family jewellery and cosmetics business assisted by his wife. He is probably in his mid-60s by now. He used to perform at a hotel along Bukit Timah Road near Raffles Town Club. At the 2015 Getai Awards he received a Contribution award in honour of his 40 years of getai performance.  Getai means "song stage" in Mandarin, referring to street performances of songs and skits. They are usually staged during the Hungry Ghosts Festival on the seventh month of the lunar calendar. ( Thank you to Singapore60s music blogspot )