There was a tremendous development in China since 1979, so what was the story about people before 1979, in an era that even having a radio is luxury?
I asked my mother about the stories she had when she was a child, and here is what she told me:
Mother: Well, back in the 70’s when I was a child, there wasn’t anything called ‘pop-music.’ There was only Chinese Opera.
And you grandma(note: my mother was talking to me), was an opera singer before she got married. So in my childhood, I was always expecting the lunar new year, during which she will sing for the family, and issue us the red envelops(note: a Chinese tradition, by which elders give lucky money to their children).
And my brother was studying opera, so he was always practicing beside the river in our village.
Those are all the music I could have at that time. And since then, I was dreaming that I will become an opera singer someday too.
However, I was lucky that I had a chance to went to college, in which I had met your father.
Your father had a radio, which could also play tapes!
Father: Do you remember that radio? You disassembled it when you were a kid, and you didn’t figure out how to put those opponents back.
Me: Oh….that one, I remember. And I had broken the semi-conductor-cylinder in it.
Mother: yes, that one. And in college, we started to buy some tapes, and listen to the radio. I remember that every time I learned a new song, the melody just keep wandering in my mind, even in my dreams, for days.
Father: By the way, your mother and I know each other in a new year party, in which I sang a song, which named ‘Spring of the North.’ And then in the next new year party, we were singing together.
Me: Haha, that’s how you met my mother.
Mother: yeah, lol.
And today we listen to music online too, just like you. And I still love Chinese opera. I think when I got retired, I will go to the park and sing with other elders.
So, in the 70’s my mother was listening to opera performed by my grandma and my uncle, in the 80’s she was listening to radio and tape with my father, in the 2000’s I was panning for plastic-recycling disks.
What’s in the missing 90’s?
The answer is family KaraOK.
It was pretty famous that buying a VCD player family set, a set of machines which no one knows what does its name stand for, and sing something at home, draw all the attention from neighbors. I could recall clearly that each time I come back from school, the whole building which my home was in was shaking by the sound wave. And about those VCD disks, it’s interest that most of them were piracy.
Overall, now we have the picture about how people were chase music from the 70’s to the 2000’s