April 19, 2021

“My Grandma Didn’t Let Me See Her Photo Album Before She Passed, And Only Now Did I Find Out About Her Illustrious Life”

Granddaughters and grandsons usually form a really strong and loving relationship with their grandparents. We grow up with their odd stories, which sometimes turn out to be true, but a little twisted, to form our imaginations. We grow up with their overfeeding habits, but we all know that’s purely out of their love for us to see us being healthy and good. But let’s stop for a moment in the stories part. They do have a lot to tell us because they lived far more than us. But sometimes, there are things they just would rather not share. At least, not as long as they’re alive.

Johnny Quan is a curious grandson, who recently lost his grandma, about three months ago. He knew his grandma wasn’t as ordinary as she claimed to be. After she passed away, Johnny uncovered the photos she left behind and found out a lot of interesting things about her.

More info: Facebook

1. Photo Model, Around 50s

Credits: Johnny Quan

“My grandma passed 3 months ago in Feb, age 93, of natural causes. I spent a lot of time scanning photos she left behind for her funeral and scanned more over quarantine.”

“My grandma, 梁萍 (Leung Ping / Teresa Leung; sometimes “Liang” instead) was a prominent “shidaiqu” pop singer under EMI/Pathé in Shanghai, who grew up in and witnessed hardships during the Chinese Civil War, Sino-Japanese War/WW2 and Communist Revolution. Upon the latter, shidaiqu was banned, deemed “Yellow Music” (in Chinese, “yellow”, 黄, is a pun for “pornographic”). She fled to and continued singing in Hong Kong, then Singapore, before mostly retiring in San Francisco.”

“She was very private of these photos—I’d never seen them before she passed. My aunt reflected how she once asked her if she could look at them, and she smirked, “You can look at them when I go. Here’s a playlist of her music. This is a condensed version, so you can visit my original Facebook album to see more.”

“Photos are mostly focused on the 1940s, 50s (most prominent) and 60s, with a bit into modern times; and focused on her career, with a little bit of her personal life.”

2. In Her Wedding Gown

3. With Elizabeth Taylor, Mike Todd, And Run Run Shaw

Credits: Johnny Quan – w/ Run Run Shaw (Shaw Bros.), Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Mike Todd (who’d pass away only 4 months later in a plane accident). Singapore, November 1957. She was asked by Shaw to be a representative of the Singaporean entertainment industry to greet Taylor.

I originally shared these on Facebook to an overwhelmingly positive response and figured the Bored Panda community might appreciate a look too, into the past of times gone by.”

4. A Proud Mama With My Mom!

Credits: Johnny Quan

5. With Her Mom, My Great-Grandma

Credits: Johnny Quan

6. Obligatory Selfie, Nye 2013. We Miss You!

Credits: Johnny Quan

7. All Styled-Up

Credits: Johnny Quan

8.Beautiful Black Dress

Credits: Johnny Quan

9. With Marian Anderson

Credits: Johnny Quan – w/ Marian Anderson, one of the most important African-American singers who helped break many racial barriers. 1957.

10. In A Cool Background

Credits: Johnny Quan

11. A Candid Photo

Credits: Johnny Quan

12. She Still Looks Beautiful

Credits: Johnny Quan

13. Posing With A Bike

Credits: Johnny Quan

14. Heyday

Credits: Johnny Quan

15. Looks Like A Shot From A Movie

Credits: Johnny Quan

16. I’m Guessing This Was A Broadcasted Live Performance On Radio Malaya

Credits: Johnny Quan – Malaya is a former name of Malaysia, that Singapore was part of until 1965… well, basically. The 50s and 60s were a crazy time between the UK, Malaysia, and Singapore).

17. A Watercolor Painting Of My Grandma In ’89, Which Hanged In The Hallway Of Her House

Credits: Johnny Quan

18. In Malaya, In Kedazaan-Dusun Tribe Clothing

Credits: Johnny Quan

19. With My Aunt

Credits: Johnny Quan

20. Beer Ad

Credits: Johnny Quan – Advertisement for German beer, Beck’s. Was told that “Kunchi” is Malaysian for “key”.

21. Another Newspaper Clipping, Competing For Miss Hong Kong

Credits: Johnny Quan

22. With Yao Lee (I Believe That Is)

Credits: Johnny Quan – I speculate that may be Yao Lee by my grandma. Yao Lee was an important singer of shidaiqu, one of the “Seven Great Singing Stars” of Shanghai, and helped my grandma’s singing career. The two of them would sing together over the radio. You may have heard her music recently in the film, “Crazy Rich Asians.”

23. A 1967 Release, I Believe

Credits: Johnny Quan

24. 40s-50s

Credits: Johnny Quan

25. On A Bicycle

Credits: Johnny Quan

26. Another Obligatory Selfie

Credits: Johnny Quan

27. Concert

Credits: Johnny Quan

28. Still Performing In The 70s!

Credits: Johnny Quan

29. Concert

Credits: Johnny Quan

30. Broadcasting Ad

Credits: Johnny Quan – Broadcasting ad, sponsored by a multivitamins company and some good ol’ Danish beer.

31. Showing Off A Vinyl Cabinet

Credits: Johnny Quan