Historical facts that lead to He5 (- from Key Boys, Add4 to He5- ):

Folkie Jin : "Kim Hong-Tak (1944~) was one of the 2 leading figures in the early days of "Group Sound Era", of course with Shin Jung-Hyun(1938~).  Kim Hong Tak was guitarist and naturally leader of the group. Here, it seems better to put aside the question " Who was the first?". Because with this question of 'the first' or more properly 'the Origin', the ansters will not is the same according to the questioner's perspectives.

For example, if we take one perspective, in this case that of 'Popularity', it will be the Key Boys of Kim Hong Tak which was followed soon afterwards by the Add4 of Shin Jung-Hyun.

A little remark. This Key Boys is not the 'Later' Key Boys who sang the smash hits like "Let's go to the seashore". or "Memories of the seaside", but the 'Earlier' Keyboys. They played some 'Package shows', under the name of the Lock & Key in the stages of the 8 th U.S army which settled in South Korea.   Also they played at some new venues like 'Music listen Rooms', 'Live Music Salons', or the traditional ones like in Cinema.
[Cf. At that time the concert was held frequently in Cinema Houses. It was called as 'Cinema Show].

With these latter acts they were known to general 'Korean' public. They were nicknamed as the 'Beatles of Korea' - At that time this meant more similar to a 'cover band of the Beatles'.. (Cf. Because the stages in 8th Army of U.S. was for the Korean in the forbidden area for the evident reason of security. So generally a Korean group or artist who played there was a totally unknown figure to general Korean public).

In the mid-60s which prevailed by the worldwide phenomenon ' Beatlesmanis', the Key Boys, in molding the archetype of the Rock band (or Rock Group) who 'sing and play' (With the Kkokkirri Brothers, the Fools, the Kim Chies, became the pioneers of a new cultural phenomenon (we may now be able to say that it was the early days of 'Pop culture' in Korea). And here lies one symbolic fact concerning the popular culture in general that 1964-1965, the period of their debuts coincides with that of the birth of the 'Weekly Magazine'. With the time, the members of the Key Boys left the group: some Cha Jung Rak and Cha Do Gyun going to solos, some Yoon Hang Ki joining to the Korean Army's entertainment Unit which was sent to the Viet-Nam War, and finally Kim Hong Tak too.  But Kim Hong Tak had launched his career of guitarist in a rock group. It was the He 5.

Precisely speaking, the He5 was not launched by Kim hong Tak. According to the memories of its members, the group was found in the winter of 1967 'the five young guys' all belonged to the Wha-Yange Entertainment Inc. had set up the group together; Han Woong (Rhythm guitar and vocal) issued from the Four Guys, Cho Yong Nam (lead guitar and vocal) from the Shin Jung Hyun and the Jokers, Yu Young Chun (vocal) from the Silver Coins, Han Kwang Soo (Bass) from the Kee Jin Sung's Orchestra. For the connoisseurs, they were all 'top-class' musicians from the leading groups of that time.

And in this period Kim Hong Tak was still in the Key Boys. (Cf. Wha-Yang Entertainment Inc. was one of the enterprises who dealt wht matters concerning the distribution of musicians and entertainers for the 8th Army of USA.- tiwh the Universal, Dae-Young,Dong IL).

The He 5 begins tis gigs at the Seven Club in I-Tae-Won (a small quarter of Seoul which is now well know even internationally for its diverse markets, restaurants and bars mainly for the foreign customers. This quarter was the bassist Han Kwang Soo soon afterwards was a challenge for the He5. Kim Hong Tak was recruited as a lead guitarist (So-called 'first guitarist' at that time) and Cho Yong Nam, the griginal lead guitarist of the band changes his speciality to bass guitar. The joining of Kim Hong Tak not only strengthens the group's musical forces but also gives the occasion to the group of presenting themselves to 'general Korean public'. So ends a 'Boy' period of Key Boys, comes a new era of the 'He'."

Info : http://www.maniadb.com/artist.asp?p=112429
http://radiodiffusion.wordpress.com/category/south-korea/








































































































































































From : http://masterleemovies.wordpress.com/2008/01/12/who-were-the-korean-beatles/ :

"Master Lee -(from Master Lee movies)- doesn’t care that much who the Korean Beatles were, but one thing is for sure: in the 1960s and early 1970s a few boy bands certainly tried to emulate the success of the British band (which certainly was great). The most famous group to do so was undoubtedly the Key Boys (here pictured on their 3rd album released in 1971; K-Apple 27, 1971), but other bands such as He5 were also clearly under the Beatles’ spell. Their ‘Hey Jude’ cover song was included on a compilation album by Kim Inbae (JLS-120377). As the excellent Belgian website “Psyche van het Folk” points out here, however, being nicknamed anything in the 1950s probably implied “by American GIs”, as most of these bands set out on the stages of USO shows first, where there were only few (if any) Koreans among the audience. Compared to other Western bands of the time, Beatles songs were not that often censored, which was probably because the band’s style of performance style was not very erotic, and the lyrics not blatantly critical of militarism, or at least not in the minds of the censors (who probably didn’t consider the song ‘Hey Jude’ to represent an appropriate critique of the inappropriate behaviour of a Japanese woman – Yoko Ono, but it is an amusing idea to think one did). Sookmyung Women’s University’s Gayageum Ensemble have in recent years been quite succesful – they would argue themselves – in bridging the divide between traditional Korean music and popular music. The stale, funless and uncreative way in which they have rendered the songs ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Hey Jude’, however, does not earn them Master Lee’s accolade of “pulp”, but, instead, the antonym “crap”. "

About "Gold" (with audio track) on http://waxidermy.com/key-boys-gold/ :

"The Key Boys were a very successful Korean rock group that got their start by playing to American GIs stationed in Korea. Often called the Korean Yardbirds, their music ranged from tepid covers of American songs to fuzzy psych freakouts. Note, this isn’t the same group as the Key Brothers, however some of the members are the same. The Key Boys lasted a span of 8 years (1963-1971) before dissolving into various groups and solo careers (Key Brothers, He6, Guys & Dolls, etc.). During this time they recorded over 8 albums, this one being a compilation of their three albums that they recorded for Universal. Most of the songs on here are more on the poppier side but there are a few nice garage/psych tracks too. The two standout tracks for me are My Love is Distant and A Sailor’s Song. Both have this cool lo-fi/garagey sound that make the drums sound like they were recorded in a tunnel, in addition to the great fuzzy guitar and heavy bass."

Korean info on http://www.maniadb.com/artist.asp?p=112429
which states that "Keyboys in 1963 were a quintet as one of the first of the 'group sounds' category, being active on the US army stage.... "

Find also some audio on http://radiodiffusion.wordpress.com/category/south-korea/
Soul & Psychedelic Sound (1969)
Korean Psych
KEYBOYS

intro, photo's & LP covers, remarks, video, LP (1975)-CD (1991)

"This cover is the front cover of a split album by the Ebonys (Side A) and Key Boys (Side B). So the picture is about the Ebonys. The picture of Key Boys is in the back cover of the album (Oasis Record, 1971, OL 982). ALthough it was released in 1971, the recording tracks by Key Boys is the ones by the early Key Boys (till 1967)." Hyunjoon Shin, Ph.D.








iTunes/    Keyboys : Gold -digi- (KO,1975)****'
airplay : track 1,3,4,8

Really a shame nothing from the Keyboys has been reissued yet on LP or CD.  This “Gold” album is the only LP I have heard so far. It isn’t too rare but I chose to pick out the Itunes version only for practical reasons although I think the difference of price between downloads and physical albums should be much more pricewise, just to stimulate the effort being putto in physical products, and the whole involvement in the making associated with such physical products.

The first track starts with a heavy guitar intro (which I remember from somewhere?), which is suddenly changed with lighter 60s vocals on top and some brass accents, as if this is a studio remix of an originally heavier psych track, it is made lighter in a popular sound of the 60s, psych-pop related way. We still hear some organ improvisation being added in between. The beat harmonies sung here are nice too. The second track has dance rhythms produced by bass, organ and drums. The nice beat styled harmonies are continued, trumpet solos are used too, and organ arrangements occur too. Two times a female backing choir is added to the dominant male harmony vocals. The third track, introduced by wordless female vocals, a samba rhythm and organ seems to be inspired on a Korean folk melody. The rhythmic bells played here are a bit belly-dance like. The song is sung with beat harmonies. We also hear some soprano sax (?) arrangements. The song is repeated by electric guitar. Also the next track sounds like a Korean melody, arranged by electric guitars, some flute and some strings of course nice close harmonies. The fifth track starts with a leading fuzz guitar, is another pop/rock/psych/beat song (with well done vocal harmonies !). It has some nice small fuzz solos too. The next track sound a bit more mainstream (lullaby), but it has beautiful flute arrangements too, with some strings and small organ melody leads. Then we have a samba rhythm track with Spanish guitar paying, one more tasteful beat /pop/psych track.

The album concludes with something very special. It starts in a traditional, acoustic way with a meditative (native-?) flute improvisation.  Then percussion is added, clearly in a Korean way. An electric guitar plays in a traditional way. The singing voice then added quickly changes the mode to Korean pop/psych, keeping the traditional melody of a song but bringing it into a different context, with some brass accents and the psych pop/rock band interpreting the song. Female singers added make the finishing touch to conclude with powerfully.

This is a nice album to trace, it has lots of elements that will please the listeners, with well performed and creatively interpreted beat, psych and crossovers ideas.

PS. Later I found the now already sold out CD release (front cover
picture added):

Seoul Rec.Keyboys : Gold -CD- (KO,1975,re.1991)****'

The CD version contains 12 tracks, while the LP/digital version contains only 8 tracks, so on this CD version there are 4 bonus tracks in a similar style.  The tracking order is different and I am also not sure if we have everywhere the same versions/mixes of songs or not. To take as an example, the first track with harmony vocals, female background singers, relaxed drum, bass and organ and trumpet solos, should be the same as track 2 of the LP but the final mix might be just a little bit different. The second track has a female choir singing a Korean melody beautifully with guitar/ bass/ organ/ percussion accompaniment, a beautiful intro for the song with male harmony vocals singing, and some clarinet too. This is followed by a vocal harmony and fuzz guitar driven track, which is track 5 from the original LP.
Let’s then just mention the bonus tracks. The 5th track for instance, a vocal harmony driven song with electric piano and strings, with relaxed drum and bass, fitting well with the previous tracks. In the same style and another bonus is the 6th track, accompanied by fuzz guitar, which remains for a while in the bass area and later shows some more improvisation, and with organ, drum and bass rhythms. Also the tenth track is an extra addition, in the same style of harmony vocals, and with a pretty, happy rhythm. The last bonus track, track 11, is played by acoustic rhythm guitars and some warm exotic picking, and with some organ and is sung with the same attractive vocal harmony singing. It is more acoustic compared to the other songs.
GO BACK TO KOREAN LP RELEASES OVERVIEW
GO BACK TO KOREAN MUSIC PAGES

Go to next page : He5 / He6