Saturday, 17 September 2011

On a Wing and a Prayer

A regular visitor to the World’s Worst records, Mark Lammas, wrote to me recently and reminded me that I’d yet to post anything by Wing. Let’s put that right this instant.

The New Zealand-based Wing Han Tsang, known simply as Wing, was born in Hong Kong in 1960. She took up singing as a hobby after emigrating to New Zealand, entertaining patients at nursing homes and hospitals in and around Auckland. Despite her unconventional style she was encouraged to record an album and, after receiving a grant from Manukau City Council she released her debut – Musical Memories of Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera - a selection of popular easy listening and show tunes to the accompaniment of a programmed electronic keyboard. To date she’s released 18 – yes, 18 – albums in all (including such titles as Wing Sings the Carpenters, Wing Sings AC/DC and, the latest, Wing Sings For All the Single Ladies and Raps for all the Safe Parties) and shows no sign of slowing up.

More Madame St Onge than Mrs Miller, Wing came to international prominence in 2005 when she starred in episode three of the ninth series of South Park: co-creator of the series Trey Parker received a letter of thanks from her for the sales boost she enjoyed as a result of the show. Two years later she made her US concert debut and, in 2008, she performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend festival. Since then she’s successfully toured the US (in the cheekily-titled Wing Over America tour) and has buddied up with Seattle-based nerdcore rapper Rappy McRapperson for the thoroughly bizarre single Safe Computer: "Jam on it! Jam on it! Wiki wiki wiki wikipedia!"

Says Mark: “She sounds like some species of mouse trying to sing loudly, but failing utterly. Her voice seems to be entirely in the high register. Her attempts to sing AC/DC songs are gobsmacking, and she must rank among the worst Beatles cover artists ever, with her version of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” Personally I think Wing’s version of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is on a par with the brilliant William Shatner version, and her take on I Want To Hold Your Hand is hysterical..

She seems to be a genuinely lovely, humble lady, and it takes a lot of guts to stand up in front of an audience not knowing if they are laughing with you or at you; it’s such a shame that when she opens her mouth she sounds like someone boiling a cat. Still, I like her; with her fractured diction and strained English she’s not a million miles away from early Shonen Knife, and I absolutely love them.

So, here for your delectation, I present a track from the amazing Wing culled from her 2006 album Dancing Queen – her rather off-kilter version of the Abba classic Mamma Mia (oh, if only Meryl Streep had sung it like this!) If you want to hear, and buy, more, visit her website – where you can even get her to record a phone message for you or have her sing a very personal Happy Birthday.


  1. Thanks. I will certainly pray for NEVER hear Wing again.

  2. This is actually a superb rendition! You just have to change the speed on your turntable from 45 to 33 rpm!!! (I wish...;)

  3. Speaking of what i wrote above, Wing could do Alvin & The Chipmunks type material without the need for speed/pitch alteration!

    Surely there's some value in that!?!?

  4. If you want a U.S. C&W version of this phenomenon, check out Trudy Andes, especially the ALWAYS ON MY MIND and WORLD TOUR LIVE CDs. Gorgeously lousy no range voice singing flat-flat-flat cover songs over generic karaoke backing. Listening to "Friend's Prayer" (backing suggests a poetic reading over an "American Trilogy" karaoke track) is comparable to Napoleon XIV's "Split Level Head," or Gary McVay's "Battle Hymn of Sara Palin" (more the latter).

    I'm taken with Wing's interpretation of several Celine Dion songs, especially the Titanic theme, "My Heart Will Go On."

    (p.s. -- you may recall my 45 of that Ric King Capitol Vietnam ode a while back.)

  5. I am, at this very moment, listening to Trudy Andes sing 'The Wind beneath My Wings' and finding it incredibly hard to do so with a throat full of vomit. It's here if you want to torture yourself:

    Have you noticed all the comments about her and her gung-ho 'we love our boys' warbling on YouTube, Amazon and other sites? They seem to be written by different people but are all in exactly the same style. A peculiar coincidence, or some shameless, Johann Hari-esque self-aggrandisment?

  6. Check out Trudy Andes' pedigree -- she is/was married to someone's rather musically famous father.... Windbag

  7. She's Glen Campbell's daughter in law! Blimey!

  8. I enjoyed reading your post, it was nice and fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

    Charles A

  9. To heck with y'all, she has soul and y'all don't. Eff off, know-it-all geeks.

  10. She performed it at a military funeral and it seemed to have a favorable response and touched a lot of hearts. It came out right after 9-11 bombing.

  11. Glad to hear that others have noticed the sheer dreadfulness of Trudy Andes Campbell. I had the 'pleasure' of meeting her (and her 1-man entourage) when she was looking for a rental property and they acted like she was a big star, throwing Glen Campbell's name around and even presenting me with a brochure , her business card and website info. Having met them and going into that site, listening to some of the clips was excruciatingly painful. And yes, it's pretty obvious that all of her biography and reviews were penned by herself, as surely as she appointed herself with the title (and official seal!) of "Ambassador to the Troops". What a shameful way to make a living, pandering off of our military in such a self-serving phony way. Ugh.

  12. Trudy Andes sang at my sons funeral, and turned down any type of payment because my son was a veteran suffering from PTSD, and I am forever thankful to the kindness she showed to my family,she also put a $3000.00 donation to my grandchildrens college fund, I too have a brochure and I don't see any where that she is married to Glen Campbells son, she only has Trudy Andes on the coin she presented to my family, so I don't think you have your facts correct, and I would hope you would have someone be as kind to you as she was to my family, if and when you lose a loved one. I feel sorry for the people that have nothing better to do than waste their time and hours writing such mean things.


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