Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sam Hui - 11/27 Concert

Thanks to Linda for the Concert info!!!

Reno Events Center
November 27, 2008
7:00 PM

ANYBODY who knows a smattering of Cantonese and can understand the dialogue in Hong Kong movies would know who is Sam Hui. He's that chap who popularized Canto-pop songs back in the 70s and 80s.

In fact, he became such a megastar that many Hong Kong film stars and celebrities who came after him considered Sam Hui as the "godfather of canto-pop".

Chinese hawkers and roadside pavement peddlers practically worshiped Sam. One of the reasons was because Sam put in songs the trials and tribulations of the ordinary working man.

And he's not such a bad actor as well. Sam was a natural when it came to comedies because he starred in a string of hit movies.

Some of these were Aces Go Places, Private Eyes, Games Gamblers Play and Security Unlimited.

For many years at the height of his fame, Sam was THE man when cantopop was being aired over the radio.

To be honest though, his voice wasn't that spectacular but the way he sang the songs and the phrases he used were all classic lines.

The actor/singer's full name is Samuel Hui Koon-kit. Records reveal that he's one of the few Hong Kong actors who was a university graduate.

For Sam, his degree was from psychology (University of Hong Kong). He was born on Sept 4, 1948 in Guangdong, China.

Sam comes from a family of four boys. The others being Michael, Ricky and Stanley. Most fans of Hong Kong films have heard or seen Michael and Ricky but not Stanley. Stanley stayed away from the movie world.

Even from an early age, Sam had already embarked on a singing career. It began when he was in school. At the age of 18, he formed a band with a bunch of friends and called it The Lotus.

They became very popular rather quickly and chalked up a string of successes. In 1968, Lotus Band signed a contract with RTHK. With a few short years, Mandarin music and songs which held sway over the Chinese community stretching from Hong Kong to Thailand gave away to new wave of music called Canto-pop.

Canto-pop was a fusion of Western and Eastern music which was actually a bit of a rojak but it was immensely popular among the Cantonese community that it spread like wild fire across the region.

In the midst of this cantopop craze stood Sam, the King of Cantopop. In his heyday, Sam was churning out one hit after another.

His brother Michael then became a director for Golden Harvest under Raymond Chow. Naturally, he dragged his brothers Sam and Ricky into the fray.

Sam was always given the role of a wide-eyed, slightly innocent chap who gets the girl all the time. Michael, if he acted in the movie, was the consummate joker and Ricky was the "duh guy!".

All in all, the shows were hysterical and the Hui brothers were practically Hong Kong icons for a long while.

Once during a tribute concert to Sam Hui by some of Hong Kong's biggest names, the late Anita Mui credited Sam for being a huge influence on her career.

Sam later broke away from his partnership with brother Michael as the 70s decade came to a close. The singer cum actor flew solo, so to speak and joined hands with a new outfit called Cinema City.

With his signature on the dotted line, Sam earned the honour of being the highest paid actor of his day.

His paycheque was something like HK$2 million per movie (chicken feed by today's standards). Personally, I like Sam in The Swordsman. Of course, his comedy films are classics on their own.

Sam Hui's career in the entertainment industry took a hard knock during the filming of The Legend of Wisely where he suffered a serious accident that nearly claimed his life. The location was either Nepal or Tibet.

Then in 2004, Sam re-surfaced and performed in a series of concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum. The number of concerts was reportedly 40 and it revived memories of that guy many considered "the God of Song".

Sam apparently said that the death of his chums, Leslie Chung and Anita Mui, in 2003 helped him make up his mind to kickstart a dormant singing career.

Buy Tickets HERE

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