Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ngoc Lan on PBN

When we think of Ngoc Lan in music videos, naturally May Productions would most likely be the first production company that would come to mind due to her lengthy association with the label and the two very memorable solo videotapes of Ngoc Lan that had been released in the early 1990s.  Asia Productions would probably come second in terms of a production company associated with Ngoc Lan's appearances in music videos.  It is only fair to say that Ngoc Lan's work on her first two solo music videotapes produced by May Productions truly revolutionized the Vietnamese music video production industry setting higher standards in quality.  The enormous success from both of Ngoc Lan's solo music videotapes produced by May Productions undoubtedly enabled the label to launch the Hollywood Night series in the early 1990s, in which its popularity for a number of years really had given the Paris by Night series produced by Thuy Nga Paris a serious run for its money.  With each volume of Paris by Night that Thuy Nga Paris was dishing out during those years in the early 1990s, May Productions would immediately right behind them coming out with a new volume of the Hollywood Night series with just as wide of viewer audience reception.  The competition between the two labels was quite stiff as the performances of each of their products out in the market were really neck and neck.  But then right around the mid 1990s, another competitor joined in on the race, Asia Productions.  Like the saying goes, only the strong survive.  That was the case with this war between Thuy Nga Paris, Asia Productions and May Productions.   Despite having Ngoc Lan on their lineup of regular performers along with the recruitment of several top players from the Paris by Night stage such as Lynda Trang Dai, Huong Lan, Y Lan, Tuan Ngoc and Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen, May Productions couldn't stand up to the fierce competition against Thuy Nga Paris and Asia Productions by the mid 1990s.  Following the downfall of May Productions, their biggest star, Ngoc Lan, would venture out and collaborate with Asia Productions as well as Thuy Nga Paris to make appearances on each of the production companies' live show music video series.  This move by Thuy Nga Paris of recruiting Ngoc Lan onto the lineup of Paris by Night performers came as of no
Ngoc Lan's Debut Appearance on Paris by Night
Performing Duc Huy's Mua Xuan Trong Doi Mat Em 
surprise.  Afterall, Ngoc Lan was one of the most bankable recording artists among overseas Vietnamese singers.  Since Thuy Nga Paris has been the most prolific overseas Vietnamese music production label with its extremely successful Paris by Night series which has served as the primary stage for overseas Vietnamese entertainers featuring all the biggest names, why wouldn't Ngoc Lan be recruited?  Ngoc Lan certainly ranks as one of the biggest names ever among overseas Vietnamese singers.

Ngoc Lan on Paris by Night
 performing Con Mua Trong Doi
Ngoc Lan's tenure at Thuy Nga Paris, although brief lasting only from 1995-1996, would, however, entail performances on the Paris by Night stage that have been considered to be some of her most memorable.  Contrary to her performances on Hollywood Night, we see a more mature Ngoc Lan on the Paris by Night series.  The songs she had selected to appear on video for Thuy Nga Paris were more heartfelt and geared specifically toward a more mature adult viewer audience.  All five of her appearances on Paris by Night, Ngoc Lan was seen singing ballads.  Even her style of dress had changed.  Ngoc Lan would be seen wearing elegant evening gowns in all but one out of the five music videos for Thuy Nga which was a far cry from the days when she was either dressed in shorts singing and dancing to Joe le Taxi with a group of back-up dancers on the Hollywood Night stage or better yet, when she was dancing around in a lake dressed in a gothic all-black dress and wearing a hat in her music video of Johnny, Johnny.  It's not that she didn't look cute back in those earlier videos.  She certainly did.  But Ngoc Lan was an artist with enough wisdom to know how to dress and appear in a style that is age appropriate.  During the time of Ngoc Lan's collaboration with Thuy Nga Paris, although still quite beautiful, she was by then approaching 40.  She was fully aware that her days of being seen in skimpy shorts singing and dancing on stage to bubble gum music were well over and that a more sophisticated look and sound were evidently the appropriate image for her to now take on.  As it turned out, Ngoc Lan's calculations were dead on.  And because of that, she would only further gain the respect and adoration of her huge following of fans.

Ngoc Lan looking very sexy
while singing Duy Quang's Kiep Dam Me on Paris by Night  
All five of the songs that Ngoc Lan had performed on Paris by Night were nothing short of phenomenal beginning with her debut appearance on the series on Volume 33 with the song, Mua Xuan Trong Doi Mat Em.  Since this is a tune penned by Duc Huy, what other singer would be more well suited to record this song than our beloved Ngoc Lan, herself?  Ngoc Lan's performance of Kiep Dam Me was just flawless.  She looked incredibly sexy in that dress.  After hearing her rendition, I must say no other singer could even match Ngoc Lan's interpretation of this beautiful, heartbreaking ballad penned by her friend, the legendary singer/songwriter Duy Quang.  In Em Ve Nao Co Hay, written by composer Hoang Trong Thuy, Ngoc Lan really pours her heart and soul into the song.  Again, I can't think of another singer's version of that song I'd rather listen to.  Con Mua Trong Doi, a song that was originally written in Japanese and given Vietnamese lyrics written by Khuc Lan, was another flawless performance from Ngoc Lan on Paris by Night.  And finally, my favorite of them all, Ngoc Lan's performance of Trinh Nam Son's Ve Day Em clearly exemplified why I had become a devoted fan of hers.  Ngoc Lan's delivery of this song was gentle and sweet, yet passionate and full of emotion.  I still get chills everytime I watch this video on YouTube.

Ngoc Lan and Ve Day Em on Paris by Night
I wish Ngoc Lan's tenure on Thuy Nga Paris had been a longer one.  As a matter of fact, I wish Ngoc Lan's life and career had been longer.  It is rather difficult to accept how such a great artist who was so beautiful and talented like our beloved Ngoc Lan is no longer with us.  But at least we still have her music and videos to remember her by.  The legend of Ngoc Lan definitely still lives on. 


  1. Dont forget Mua Xuan Trong Doi Mat Em in the Paris By Night devoted tp Duc Huy

    1. You're absolutely right. How could I have overlooked this bit of information. Thanks for pointing out this error of mine. I promise to correct and update the article immediately.

      Much appreciated,
      VictorVoice aka Thien Phu