Gangtai style

“Gangtai” is a subset of Chinese pop music, romantic rather than revolutionary, not allowed on the mainland until the middle 1970s, though it flourished in Taiwan and Hong Kong before Beijing decided to let it come across. One of the first actual hits from gangtai was “The Moon Represents My Heart,” sung by several but not truly iconic until Teresa Tang recorded it in 1977.

Teng, born in Taiwan in 1953, got her first record deal at fifteen; five years later, she managed to crack the Japanese market, and recorded material in Cantonese and Mandarin in the expectation that she could do the same in China.

Teresa Teng on stage in the early days

Teresa Teng's Greatest Hits

Teresa Teng's dazzling smile

Beijing decided shortly thereafter that this bourgeois love-song stuff was incompatible with the revolution after all. Red China, however, was not prepared for the black market, and the ban didn’t last long. Unfortunately, neither did Teresa Teng; while on holiday in Thailand in 1995, she suffered a severe asthma attack and died.

“The Moon Represents My Heart” remains a popular-music icon today, covered by famous Pacific Rim singers like, um, Jon Bon Jovi.

3 comments »

  1. Roger Green »

    28 January 2019 · 10:24 pm

    Born in ’53? Damn, she’s ANCIENT!

  2. CGHill »

    28 January 2019 · 10:28 pm

    That was a long time ago.

  3. The Other McCain »

    4 February 2019 · 7:43 am

    Rule 5 Sunday: Naomi Wu

    […] Sex in Advertising is covered by Essence. At Dustbury, it’s Teresa Teng and Gemma Arterton. […]

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