Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nhat Truong

Nhat Truong AKA Tran Thien Thanh
Nhat Truong (1942-2005) also known as Tran Thien Thanh, was a famous singer, songwriter, director, and film actor of South Vietnam prior to 1975.  He was considered among the top 4 male vocalists in a particular genre of Vietnamese popular music known as Nhac Vang, which appealed massively to the general music audience of South Vietnam and literally translates to "golden music", along with Duy Khanh, Hung Cuong and Che Linh.  Upon completion of high school in his hometown of Phan Thiet, Nhat Truong moved to Saigon at 16 and enrolled in military academy.  In 1965, he completed his studies and worked briefly as a high school teacher.  From the early 1960s, Nhat Truong had formed a pop music group in Saigon, known as the Nhat Truong Quartet, with three female vocalists; Nhu Thuy, Van Quynh and Diem Chi, that had performed often at various events in support of the ARVN, the military of South Vietnam.  In addition, Nhat Truong was an active participant on Dai Truyen Hinh Viet Nam, South Vietnam's nationally broadcasted television programs where he appeared as a musical performer and as an actor on numerous dramatic skits, often alongside popular singer / actress Thanh Lan.  His dedication and faithful commitments to the ARVN, the military of South Vietnam, reflected many of his compositions as a songwriter.  By the end of the 1960s decade, Nhat Truong along with Hung Cuong and Che Linh had become famous for their signature appearances on stage dressed in military uniform whenever performing which represented their deep respect and support for the ARVN.

In the early 1970s, Nhat Truong starred and directed two motion pictures in South Vietnam, Tren Dinh Mua Dong (1972) and Mong Thuong (1974).  Thanh Lan, on both films, costarred as his leading lady.  Nhat Truong also had founded his own record label and produced many of his own successful albums recorded in Saigon prior to 1975, as well as for many other famous recording artists of South Vietnam.  As a songwriter, his most famous compositions included Chuyen Hen Ho, Gap Nhau Lam Ngo, Nguoi O Lai Charlie, Khi Nguoi Yeu Toi Khoc, Chieu Tren Pha Tam Giang, Tu Do Em Buon, Tinh Dau Tinh Cuoi, Anh Ve Voi Em, Khong Bao Gio Ngan Cach, Hoa Trinh Nu and Chiec Ao Ba Ba.  After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Nhat Truong was among the artists who had been banned from public performances under the new communist regime.  In 1984, he was finally given permission to resume his career as a music performer, but chose to remain inactive due to his anti-communist beliefs.

Nhat Truong and My Lan
In 1993, Nhat Truong moved to the United States and shortly remarried to overseas Vietnamese singer My Lan.  In 2005, he died from lung cancer in Westminster, California at the age of 63.

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