Mandarin Pop Songs, otherwise known as Mandopop(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandopop), were the pioneers of modern Chinese pop music.
Originated in Shanghai in the 1930's, Mandopop amalgamated Western popular music of that time and traditional Chinese folk songs. Accompaniment was mainly by an American-style band but Chinese musical instruments were added as and when needed.
Earlier mandopop were mainly performed in cabarets, nightclubs and dancehalls for the enjoyment of the affluent class, later became more popular by gramphone recordings and movie soundtracks.
秋水伊人by KONG Qiu-xia龔秋霞. Written by the famous music academic and songwriter HE Lu-ding(賀綠汀) for the film "Strange Case of the Ancient Pagoda" 古塔奇案. KONG's very girlish voice and style were typical of Mandopop of that era.
郎是春日風by BAI Hong白虹 . BAI Hong was a veteren of Mandopop. She was discovered by LI Jin-hui,(黎錦輝) one of the earliest organizers of cabaret troupes.She later married LI's brother LI Jin-gwang (黎錦光), "The Father of Mandopop", who wrote numerous classic tunes, many of which are still performed by modern singers today.
恨不相逢未嫁時by LI Xiang-lan李香蘭, alias Yoshiko Yamaguchi(山口淑子) A Japanese woman of enigmatic background, who became a superstar in film and music before and during the Japanese invasion of China. She could speak fluent Mandarin and starred in numerous successful Chinese films. During the war she made some propaganda films for the Japanese occupation. Many people love her songs but some detest her, accusing her a Japanese spy. She grew up in China and learned classical singing from a Russian teacher. She had superb singing skills and recorded numerous hits. After the war she was detained briefly in prison but was soon released. She then returned to Japan, where she made a few more films and eventually became a parliamentary politician.
明月千里寄相思By WU Ying-yin 吳鶯音 A hugely popular singer with numerous hits, WU has been fortunate to be the original performer of some of the best works of modern Chinese songwriters. This song is the most well known of them all, and has been performed in other adaptations like Cantonese Pop or even Cantonese Opera!
魂縈舊夢By BAI Gwang白光 One of the most sexy and charming actress/singer of the 1950's, BAI Gwang was China's answer to Marlene Dietrich. Often playing femme fatale roles in films, she was always daring in her attitudes towards men which often led to her destruction. Men loved her and women loathed her. Her husky voice and "carefree" way of singing remained unique until the appearances of later Cantopop superstars Paula TSUI (徐小鳳)and Anita MUI(梅艷芳)who kicked off their singing career by mimicking her style.
玫瑰玫瑰我愛你By YAO Li 姚莉 YAO enjoyed success in Shanghai and after the Communist takeover of China, a even brighter singing career Hong Kong. Her brother YAO Min was a genius who could compose songs of a wide range of styles and never short of beautiful melodies. This song is however written by CHEN Ge-xin, another great songwriter. The song became a hit in China, later sung with English lyrics and became the first Chinese hit song in the US pop chart.
天涯歌女By ZHOU Xuan周璇 Considered the greatest diva of Mandopop of all times. Named "The Golden Voice" by her fans. She is superb in both her singing skills and also the largest number of hits she recorded. The globally renowned Mandopop superstar of 1970-80s Teresa Teng(鄧麗君) simply followed her style. This song was performed again by TANG Wei in LEE Ang's controversial film "Lust, Caution"(色．戒)。