Western pop

Despite being in a singing contest, singers of the Western pop section rarely picked songs that required back-breaking techniques. In 1960, the West was hip. Youngsters looked up to Western pop for their trendy sensation, not their technical superiority. As a result, the contesting songs were mostly of standard ballads favoured by American mainstream vocalists. Male singers would look to the magnetic voice of Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis. Female singers would take Patti Page, Connie Francis and Julie London as their paradigm. It was a celebration of the American mainstream.

Wong Jum-sum, as ever, chose to walk the byways. His contesting song was Ciao Ciao Bambina, which entered for Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest of that year. The original was in Italian, and demanded a much wider singing range than the typical k-songs. Whichever way you look at it, Wong’s choice was suicidal. Eventually he lost, to no one but his own surprise.

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