Boys dared to grow their hair and girls dared to wear mini skirts and in Korea indecency officers patroled the street with scissors and rulers, publicly cutting hair too long and checking if skirts were too short. Shin Joong-hyung, was there with his 70s hit, Beauty,
as were other musicians and artists like Sanullim
and the Key Boys
Shin's memorable hook from "Beauty" of "I look at her once, look at her twice, I want to keeping looking at her” matched with an addictive beat and guitar riff created the trend of "I _____ once, _____ twice, I keep wanting to ______" wordplay according to Jishik Shidae's E documentary on Shin (link to part two, giving video clips, photos and some of the music from the time
). Shin was performing since the 50s, beginning his career entertaining US troops, and in the 60s in bands like Add4
and he continued to pump out popular hits that are still familiar to the ears of many Koreans today.
For example, Beautiful Rivers and Mountains
, topped the charts again in the 80s when it was covered
by power vocalist Lee Sun-hee, and is now considered one of her greatest hits (song clip is actually from a 2003 performance in North Korea as part of a "Reunification Concert" where South Korean singers went to perform in North Korea).
Shin, who is considered the godfather of rock and soul in Korea, was an influential guitarist and musician
. He also wrote songs for and worked with other acts like the Pearl Sisters
). Another one of his great hits, Officer Kim Returning from Vietnam
, was performed by Kim Chu-ja
were also a force to be reckoned with. Even though they created progressive and psychedelic music, the trio were also responsible for many recognizable hit now part of the Korean pop music lexicon with hits and exploded onto the scene with "Oh, no! Already?" (linked above) from their first album.
From Sanullim's first album:
Open the Door
A couple of songs from Sanullim's second album:
I Think It's Really Like That
Dear One Leaving Me
Lining My Heart With Silk
The Key Boys were responsible for another one of the most recognizable Korean songs Let's Go to the Beach
, a karaoke favorite and covered by numerous performers, including punk band No Brain
It wasn't just the boys who got to play, there were also female artists with a more pop sound like Kim Jung-mi
and Yoon Si-nae
Another song that most Koreans are familiar with: Song Gol-mae's 80s hit, You, Who I Accidentally Ran Into
To see album covers read up some more info (including how much collectors are paying for some of these albums!) check out Belgian Psyche Van Het Folk radio show's collection of Korean psychedelic folk music
and their labyrinthine links.
Other folk-style acts to note:
One of Shin Jung-hoon's hits was One Cup of Coffee
, (performed by the Pearl Sisters). Interestingly enough, one of the more current incarnations of Korean folk and psych tradition, Chang Ki-ha and The Faces, were able to escape unknown indie band status with another coffee-themed hit, Cheap Coffee
Chang Ki-ha and The Faces perform with an enigmatic, silent and stony-faced background dancer/backup singer duo named The Mimi Sisters," an obvious nod to the 60s-70s both in the naming convention and in their sometimes retro style of dress:
Why Does that Man...?
The Moon is Becoming Full