Saturday, October 3, 2009

Know your KPOP history? The Evolution of Girl Groups!


2009 seems to be the year of the girl groups. We had about a dozen girl groups that either made their debut or had comebacks. Don't you guys want to know some history of the girl groups in Korea? Who the first girl group in Korea was? How it all started? Lets turn on the time machine and explore the estrogen filled past.

So it all starts around the 1950s.

A duo group had debuted in 1954 and they were called the Silverbell Sisters (은방울 자매). The two members names were Park Ae Kyung (박애경) and Oh Sook Nam (오숙남), who are elders to us now. This group was one of the first groups to debut in Korea (girl or guy) and back in their day had gotten lots of love and success with their song "Terminal Mapo" (마포종점). Their songs weren't necessarily trot songs but it was considered an older style of music than trot.



In 1971, another girl group debuted, called the Bunny Girls {버니 걸스). The members names were Go Jung Sook (고정숙), and Go Jae Sook (고재숙). It seem like they're sisters because of their similar looks and names. They had a variety of hit songs like "Flown Song"(1975) and "Bring me that person" (1974). They had very trot like songs.


A trio group called Seoul Sisters (서울 시스터즈) formed in 1986. This group gives me a feel of Big Mama, mainly because of the huge voice and looks. The members were Bang Shil Ee (방실이), Park Jin Sook (박진숙) and Yang Jung Hee (양정희). Their hit songs included "First" and "Seoul Tango." This was when groups started to lean away from trot and more into other styles / genres of music.

It was in the early 1990's when Korean music was really transformed into what it is today. Kudos to Seo Taiji and the Boys, DJ Doc, and Deux.
Most KPOP aficionados should know S.E.S, because if you don't you're most likely a noob K-pop fan. Debuting in 1997 from SM Entertainment (TVXQ, BoA, H.O.T., Shinhwa, SNSD, Super Junior, Shinee, f(x)), they had explosive popularity and had very high album sales. Their third album, "Love" had sold over 700,000 copies and is their best selling album. The members were Bada, Eugene and Shoo. Bada and Eugene are still seen a lot on Korean TV these days (Bada had recently been quite successful with her song "Mad" and Eugene has been on many variety shows).

S.E.S. - Just a Feeling:

Of course with S.E.S. and their popularity, some competition was bound to come. Debuting right after S.E.S. were Fin.K.L and Baby V.O.X, who both had great success as well.
Fin.K.L (Fine Killing Liberty, pronounced Pinkle in Korea) debuted in 1998 with members Lee Hyori, Ok Joo Hyun, Lee Jin, and Sung Yuri. They debuted under DSP Entertainment (KARA, SS501) and has been named one of the most influential girl groups in Korea. One of their most famous songs that people still remember today is "Forever Love" which has been covered by many groups, such as 2PM. They unofficially disbanded in 2002 but some of the members are still successful (especially Lee Hyori). They briefly got together for a digital single in 2005, but shortly after unofficially disbanded again. Most of the members left DSP Entertainment after this and are signed with different companies.

Fin.K.L - Forever Love:
Baby VOX (Baby Voices of Expression) debuted in 1999 with members Kim E-Z, Lee Hee Jin, Kan Mi Youn, Shim Eun Jin, and later Yoon Eun Hye. This group was highly successful as well. Their single "Killer" won the 'Top Excellency Award' in 1999 that beat H.O.T. Unfortunately, because of many controversies the group had, the group had a hiatus in 2004 and officially disbanded in 2006. Yoon Eun Hye is still successful today as she changed her career towards acting, she has been in many dramas including Goong, Coffee Prince, My Fair Lady, etc.

Baby VOX - Doll:

If not for these girl groups in the past you probably wouldn't have Girls' Generation / SNSD, KARA, Wonder Girls, 2NE1, 4Minute, etc. Girl groups have really changed over the years, whether it be their looks, their music style, clothes, and dances. Watch the video by MBC below which is a timeline of the history of girl groups in Korea.

Source: allkpop