Japanese singer pays tribute to Trinh Cong Son

By Tam Ky   April 3, 2019 | 01:52 pm GMT+7
Japanese singer pays tribute to Trinh Cong Son
Tokiko Kato sang Diem Xua (Old Love) and Ngu Di Con (Lullaby) and played the guitar at Son's 18th death anniversary event. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

Japanese artist Tokiko Kato performed two of Trinh Cong Son’s songs at a memorial event Tuesday for the legendary musician in Saigon.

She sang Diem Xua (Old Love) and Ngu Di Con (Lullaby) and played the guitar at his 18th death anniversary event.

Son, dubbed the "Bob Dylan of Vietnam" by American folk singer Joan Baez for his anti-war songs during the height of the Vietnam War, composed more than 600 songs. They are still widely performed in Vietnam and abroad by overseas Vietnamese.

Kato, 76, dressed in the traditional Vietnamese ao dai, also sang Bai Ca Tang Anh (A Song For You), a song she wrote for Son, and, together with Vietnamese artists, Son's song Hay Yeu Nhau Di (Let’s Fall In Love) to end the first night of the two-day event. The previous day she had visited his grave. 

Japanese singer pays tribute to Trinh Cong Son

Kato, 76, dressed in the traditional Vietnamese ao dai, also sang Bai Ca Tang Anh (A Song For You), a song she wrote for Son. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

In 1997, after listening to Old Love, Kato flew to Vietnam to meet him. She had started her singing career in 1965 as a student at the University of Tokyo and quickly become famous. Her husband was the leader of the anti-Vietnam War student movement in the 1960s. In fact, they got married when he was in jail. They have three daughters.

Together with Vietnamese artists, Kato sang Hay Yeu Nhau Di (Let’s Fall In Love). Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

Together with Vietnamese artists, Kato sang Hay Yeu Nhau Di (Let’s Fall In Love). Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

Son became a composer and lyricist in the 1950s, writing on themes ranging from love and romance to philosophy. His most famous songs include Old Love, Ha Trang (White Summer) and Cat Bui (Dust). His Lullaby about the mother of a fallen soldier was a hit in Japan in the 1970s, selling over two million copies.

He was also a poet, painter and occasional actor. He died in Saigon in 2001, but his musical legacy lives on, with his songs still popular and performed by some of the country’s top singers like Khanh Ly and Hong Nhung.

 
 
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