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[Photos] A Look Back at the 'Golden Age' of Vietnamese Music

Between 1960 and 1975, South Vietnam’s music scene underwent many phases, eventually culminating in a "Golden Age" of music. This rich musical ecosystem featured different genres and offered something for everyone, no matter their age or class.

In the early 60s, South Vietnam’s music industry was heavily influenced by the country’s ongoing political turmoil. Music and entertainment during this time was restricted by the government of Ngo Dinh Diem, limiting music to radio and small cafeterias.

Singers and bands like the Black Caps, Les Vampires and the Fanatiques, to name a few, often recorded covers of foreign music. There were also others, such as Tran Trinh, Nhat Truong, Tran Thien Thanh and Pham Duy who wrote their own.

But as restrictions on artistic expression began to loosen in 1965, the "Golden Age" of music in South Vietnam began and names like Phung Ha, Nam Chau, Tham Thuy Hang, Kim Cuong could be seen on the marquees of theaters around Saigon.

This era saw a diversification of music based on demographics: intellectuals relished the lyrics of Trinh Cong Son, Pham Duy, Ngo Thuy Mien, Nguyen Anh 9, Y Van; blue-collar workers enjoyed the ballads of Che Linh, Duy Khanh, Trang Thanh Lan; and the nostalgic elderly found pleasure in the songs of Van Cao, Doan Chuan, Pham Duy.

Here are some covers of sheet music that were written between 1960 and 1975:

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