Filed under: South Korea
South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea (Korean: 대한민국), is an East Asian country occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. To the north, it is bordered by North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with which it was united until 1945. To the west, across the Yellow Sea, lies China and to the southeast, across the Korea Strait, lies Japan.
The Korean people trace their nation’s founding back to 2333 BCE by the legendary Dangun Wanggeom. Archaeological research shows that the first Korean settlers have occupied the peninsula since the Lower Paleolithic period with territories expanding as far as mainland China and eastern Russia during the Gojoseon period, the first nation established by Koreans. Korea’s history has been turbulent at times with the last emperor of Korea dating back to the age of the Korean Empire. Since the establishment of the modern republic in 1948, South Korea has struggled with the aftermath of the Japanese control (1910-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and decades of authoritarian governments, undergoing five major constitutional changes. While the government officially embraced Western-style democracy from its founding, it was not until the December of 1987 that direct and fair elections were held and true democracy began to solidify.
The duo were originally introduced as the Kim Sisters by their mother Yi Nanyŏng, who was an actress and singer during the Korean War. It was Bae In Soon who picked up on the idea and after winning a contest at the U.S. Eighth Army stage show managed to enthuse her sister Bae In Sook to become the Pearl Sisters around 1968.
By the early 1970s, the Pearl Sisters were fairly popular, partly because they had the genius of composer – and Korea’s father of Rock ‘n Roll – Shin Jung-Hyun behind them. The album ‘My Dear’ (친애하는 1968), named after their best selling song, also included the hit ‘A Cup of Coffee’ (커피한잔). Other albums were called ‘First Love’ (첫 사랑 1969), and ‘Goodbye Rain’ (비 안녕 1970). But, by the mid 1970s the sisters could no longer stand each other, and split.
Younger sister, Bae In Sook, continued to sing into the ‘disco‘ era of the late 1970s until 1984. Bae In Soon, re-entered singing in 2004 with a brand new set of songs on her CD ‘A Cup of Coffee with My Song’.
Catalog number JLS-120346 on Jigu Records of South Korea, released 1969.
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