Posted - 08/01/2003 : 03:55:14 AM
I wanted to let people know a little about Larry Ching, who was in Na Leo Nahenahe, our Hawai`ian chorus in San Francisco.
Larry was one of the founding members of our chorus, only about three years ago, and was the first male member(and the only one for quite a while, which he loved!).
A few weeks ago he and his wife were at our Monday rehearsal and he was really excited because he had just released his first CD, after having recorded on vinyl in the 40's.
He was visibly proud of his work, which included both old and new material.
Later that week, Friday, Uncle Larry passed-away from an aneurism.
I hadn't know it before then, but Larry had this whole career back in the 40's and 50's in San Francisco at the Forbidden City Nightclub.
There's a documentary called "Forbidden City; U.S.A.", which was shown on Bay Area TV; you can buy his CD or DVD, and learn more about Larry and the Forbidden City at:
and the documentary DVD at:
Larry's wife, Jane, invited us to sing for his private service in Berkeley, and I liked what one of his sons said. He said they didn't think of him as the Chinese Frank Sinatra, but they thought of Frank Sinatra as the Italian Larry Ching!
When I first met Larry, he asked me "why don't we do a duet some time?", I laughed and said sure, thinking it was just his schtick, which it was, but I sure wish I had said "you bet uncle, how about right now!"
Aloha Oe Uncle Larry
we miss you big time
The Songs on CD:
1. I’m In the Mood for Love
2. I Only Have Eyes for You
3. Prisoner of Love
4. Once In a While
5. Hawaiian Wedding Song (Ke Kali Nei Au)
6. All of Me
7. Embraceable You
8. Blue Hawaii
9. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
10. It Had to Be You
11. Hawaiian Paradise
[Bonus tracks recorded in the 1940s:]
13. How High the Moon
14. Too Young
15. That’s For Me
16. Till The End of Time
Edited by - rossasaurus on 08/01/2003 04:29:19 AM
Posted - 08/26/2003 : 4:04:50 PM
| I just your article about Larry Ching. I am one of those who knew Larry Ching, but did not know about Larry's singing until much later.
It was in 1964 that I first met Larry when I got my first newspaper delivery route in San Francisco. Larry was the manager of about 12 or 15 of us who delivered the old San Francisco News Call-Bulletin (the evening version of the Examiner; same owner, more pictures, less text) in his district.
From all appearances, Larry was a truck driver, wearing work clothes that one would think a longshoreman would wear. However, I vividly remember that Larry would break out in song at times while some of us were being driven around the streets of San Francisco by him in the newspaper truck. I remember thinking, "Wow. He sounds like he could do it professionally". Little did I know that he had actually had a professional singing career, although for some reason he never mentioned it. Now I realize even more so of what a treat it was to hear his singing in 1964 in the newspaper truck. It was not until I saw Arthur Dong's Forbidden City documentary  that I realized that Larry actually had a pioneering and successful career in show business that concluded about two years before I worked for him.
Larry was my first boss, and gave me much advice and deserved criticism that gave me a good foundation for having the right attitude toward one's employment. When we had down time, Larry kept me out of mischief that I otherwise might have gotten into. These were good times. I don't think many people knew much about this phase of Larry's life, as I knew nothing about his previous career. Larry was good to us.
To me, Larry was not just a delivery truck driver, and I want you to know that I feel that Larry Ching is truly a treasure in many ways. I am fortunate to have known and worked for him, and am extremely happy to know that his voice is preserved so that we and many more can continue to enjoy the smooth singing that I first heard almost 40 years ago.
Yes, as it turns out, Larry's singing voice got captured just in time. What a story that is in itself.
I know that Larry's being featured as the the "Chinese Frank Sinatra" was all hype. Actually, he's much BETTER than Sinatra. I know. I've heard each in person.
I have previously sent the above to Larry's wife, Jane, and to those who were involved in the CD project, as well as those who published or wrote articles about Larry.
I had purchased copies of the CD, and wished to have Larry autograph them, and he responded by email the day before he died:
Thank you for your kind words. I had actually stopped singing professionally in 1962 and never sang again until 1989 when they filmed the documentary, Forbidden City, U.S.A.
They released the DVD last November and that's when things started happening.
My memory is very poor now, but I do remember you. I remember all my boys. I talk about those days constantly.
I'll be glad to sign CDs for you. Just let me know when, and we can make arrangements.
Despite all that was going on after Larry's passing, his wife, Jane very kindly sent me an autographed CD cover.
Larry was well-liked by many people. A search of the web reveals many commentaries and bylines, originating from Hawai'i to New York.
I appreciate the opportunity to let you know a little more about Larry Ching.