09. Kim Hae-song, an Incomplete Dream of Korean Jazz


1. 이난영, “다방의 푸른꿈”

1. Yi Nan-yŏng, “Tabang ŭi p’urŭn kkum”

From: “Tabang ŭi p’urŭn kkum” / “Kŭriun kŭdae” Okeh 12282, 1939, 78 rpm.

Yi Nan-yŏng: vocal, Okeh Orchestra: all instrumentals.


Korea Record Archive

Kim Hae-song left Okeh Records for musical practice for two years and returned in 1939. It was the first song he released after his return which attracted public attention since his wife Yi Nan-yŏng performed in unique singing style. Kim tried various musical works in Japan and Korea, and he especially focused on digesting jazz as Korean style. This song is a representative result through such tries.

2. Kim Chŏng-gu, “Nak’hwa samch’ǒn”

From: “Nakhwa samch’ǒn” / “Kŭdae wa na” Okeh 31084, 1942, 78 rpm.

Kim Chŏng-gu: vocal; Okeh Orchestra: all instrumentals.

Korea Record Archive

It was a theme song of musical Nakhwa Samch’ŏn. It was first performed onstage in 1941 and was used in the soundtrack in the movie You and I, and it was eventually released in the album. It is one of few musical works of Kim that remain today. We can see how Kim incorporated Korean traditional musical elements into his works. This song was also misunderstood that it supported Japanese colonialism since the movie You and I was a propaganda movie to promote Japanese colonialism.

3. Kim Hae-song / Yi Ŭn-p’a , “Ch’ŏlli ch’unsaek”

From: “Yŏllakssŏn ŭn ttŏnanda” / “Ch’ŏlli ch’unsaek” Okeh 1959, 1937, 78 rpm.

Kim Hae-song / Yi Ŭn-p’a: vocal; Okeh Orchestra: all instrumentals.


Korea Record Archive

It was released along with “Yŏllakssŏn ŭn ttŏnanda” in 1937. It shows Kim’s style of sinminyo. He did not compose many sinminyo, but each work has a distinctive feature. “Ch’ŏlli ch’unsaek” uses various instruments to express a splendid sense of color, and it can be seen as a song that brings harmony between Korean traditional music and Western music.

4. Kim Hae-song, “Namuamit’abul”

From: “Namuamit’abul” / “Ssangssang t’aryŏng” Columbia 40847, 1939, 78rpm.

Kim Hae-song: vocal, Columbia Orchestra: all instrumentals.


Korea Record Archive

Kim Hae-song wrote this song when he was in the Columbia Record. He interacted with Japanese popular musicians and tried to extend his jazz senses. We can see many of his present works exhibiting Koreanized or Kin Hae-song-style jazz. Kim added sinminyo elements in this jazz song, which we can see his humorous expression as a singer.