Van Ky

Van Ky, a musician, was born in Central Vietnam during the late 1920s. As a 15-year old schoolboy in Thanh Hoa he joined the Viet Minh movement and worked clandestinely distributing leaflets and proselytizing. He was arrested by the French authorities in 1944 and imprisoned and tortured. After the Japanese coup against the Vichy French colonial regime in Indochina he was freed along with other political prisoners and resumed his clandestine work with the Viet Minh. Following the August 1945 revolution he became the chief of the Viet Minh self-defense militia forces in a district of Thanh Hoa province. After serving in this post for over a year, his musical talent was recognized and he was assigned to a small roving propaganda/entertainment unit that worked clandestinely in the French-occupied area of Quang Tri-Thua Thien province in the late 1940s. After a year in this dangerous work, he returned to Thanh Hoa and served in the province’s culture and entertainment unit until the end of the war against the French. He continued his musical work during the war against the Americans, spending the entire time in Hanoi. Van Ky is a well-known songwriter whose most famous work is the song “Hope” [Hy Vong], which was written during the war against the French and became very popular.

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