SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY's POP MUSIC INFLUENCE IS A PERSONAL MUSIC, MEMORY TRAIL. I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOUTUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS, IMAGES AND ARE UPLOADED FOR FUN, EDUCATIONAL, ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES. THEY HAVE BEEN CREDITED. BLOG IS NEITHER SPONSORED NOR SUPPORTED BY ADVERTISEMENTS. INFORM ME IF COPYRIGHTED AND THEY WILL BE DELETED IMMEDIATELY. ANDY LIM LA (NOVEMBER, 2008).

Monday, June 18, 2018

端午节 Dragon Boat Festival With 粽子 Zongzi (Ba Zhang)

 Huge festivities these few days: (1) the Trump/Kim Summit (2) Hari Raya Puasa (3) Father's Day (4) FIFA World Cup and of course, (5) the Dragon Boat Festival. Anything else guys?


The Festival:

On 18 June 2018, Chinese Singaporeans celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. It originated in China and the actual date varies from year to year. The festival occurs during the Summer solstice i.e. on the 5th-day in the 5th month of the Chinese calendar.

On our island, Dragon Boat races are a regular yearly affair when the famous Singapore River is filled with colourful dragon boats of drums, gongs, flags and paddlers ready to beat their challengers to win the race.

Rice dumplings or bah-chang are sold everywhere in the country. There are huge ones, middle-sized ones and even baby ones, mostly wrapped in different shades of green. The insides too are of different colours and taste and meat and content.



The Legend:


During this period, glutinous rice-dumplings (sticky rice) filled with meat are eaten to celebrate the occasion. Legend has it that an incorruptible minister, Qu Yuan, during the Warring States in China took his own life and drowned himself in the river because of political intrigue.


To keep him intact, faithful followers and town folks paddled boats loudly in the river to distract flesh-eating fish from eating his body. Others threw cooked rice wrapped in leaves in the hope that the fish would eat the dumplings instead.

鄧麗君-燒肉粽 (Sio Ba-zang) Teresa Teng - Rice Dumplings. Video: Mr Sirtea.

The Song:

This particular song has no relevance to the legend at all but explains about street hawkers who sell their wares by singing to attract. The rice-dumplings or bah-chang are obviously popular during the festival.


Sung by legendary Chinese pop star Teresa Teng, the song describes the plight of poor parents whose daughter, a university graduate, has to sell rice dumplings because she is facing unemployment problems. It is a temporary job and she is selling roast meat stew (rice dumplings filled with meat). The composition is sung in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect used often in Taiwan.


A Happy *Sio Bah Chang Festival To All.

*Hot
The term has been so used in a sensual and comedic term to mean sizzling hot breasts among the naughty boys. This sexy phrase also has a song to boot. 😅
Rice dumplings with meat within. For lunch or dinner. One is sufficient.

An original piece with information from the Internet. 

If there is misinformation regarding this article, do write in to comment and it will be amended.


Images/Video: Google and YouTube

The sweet version of the rice dumplings for dessert or tea, drinking them with coffee. Again one dumpling is more than sufficient for the average guy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Russia World Cup 2018: Inspires Soccer Stories, Chants

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is on and millions of soccer fans will be following the games at the various stadiums in Russia, on their television sets, smartphones or even the radio.  

Soccer chants today are just as creative as they were some years ago. When Russsian players were reprimanded recently for verbal abuse using soccer chants against France's soccer team, it is not something new. Chants have been used since football existed.


For the past 8 years, this blog has been telling soccer stories and soccer chants that these tournaments have produced. Abusive or encouraging, soccer chants are here to stay. Below are the connections for such stories. 

I must thank writers of this blog like Happy Tay and Allan Thompson who have kindly contributed these football tales about Singapore and international soccer. 
I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles: A famous soccer chant, by which football club?

Check them out. Click connections below:

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/06/boots-made-for-walking-soccer-stars-are.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/06/what-is-evolution-of-soccer-chant.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2015/10/pele-in-singapore-meets-happy-tay-n.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/07/world-cup-willy-1966-and-loch-lomond.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/07/world-cup-1966-soccer-songs-nostalgia.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2010/06/soccer-fan-chants-use-60s-pop-music.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2013/06/raf-soccer-team-1st-ndp-contingent-n.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2014/07/soccer-countries-foreign-phrases-in.html

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/8.html


Images: Google.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri To Muslim Surfers


The Kampongs:

As I lived in the Geylang neighbourhood in the 50's, I first learnt this song from my many Malay friends who were in the area. I used to frequent Kampong Wak Tanjong at the vicinity of the Paya Lebar Fire Station today and I would walk across the road from my home to Kampong Melaka where the Lion City Hotel and Shopping Mall stand now at Tanjong Katong Road.

The Wak Tanjong mosque is still there but the kampong is no more. Some of the residents who lived along Sims Avenue and Lorong 39 near the kampong were Lim Yew Hock and his family. He was once the Chief Minister of Singapore. These residences were huge bungalows. Abdul Wahab, a merchant, lived across Lorong 39 from him and financed the band Velvetones
Saloma with Selamat Hari Raya. Video from: kcselambe.

Kampong Melaka was across the road where City Plaza stands today. The roads nearby are Guillemard Road, Sandy Lane, Lim Ah Woo Road with a Catholic Church nearby. And Kampong Melaka sat right in the middle.

The Song:

The Hari Raya song above was sung by Saloma and composed by Ahmad Jaafar with its original lyrics by Shariff  Rachman.  This song was featured in a 1955 Malay movie by Cathay Kris Film Production with the same theme,  Selamat Hari Raya.
The words, Dam, dam, dum, Bunyi mercun (Dam, dam, dum, sounds of fire-crackers) have not been left out in the above version.  Since fire-crackers had been banned because of fire hazards in tiny Singapore these words had been replaced after newer versions of the song had been recorded.

Enjoy a cool and peaceful Aidil Fitri to one and all. Andy.


Video from You Tube: http://keselambe.blogspot.com


Saturday, June 09, 2018

Singapore Summit 2018: Trump, Kim: Rocket Man Elton John

Part One:

The term Rocket Man has come into prominence lately when Mr Donald Trump tweeted in a message on 30 November 2017 that: "the Chinese Envoy who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man," and that, "China and Russia condemned the launch." 

This twitter remark came after North Korea's ballistic missiles' tests when Mr Trump referred to Kim Jong Un as Rocket Man. The name stuck.

The phrase brings to mind Elton John's song of the same name. Released in 1972, it became a big hit going to number 2 in the UK. It was positioned in the halfway mark at number 24 under Rolling Stone List.

In the early 70's the space race had tapered down to a whisper and the Apollo missions and once heroic astronauts were treated as mundane and workers just doing their job. So suggests the lyrics by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.


And all this science I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

Rocketman burning out his fuse up here alone
Mr Trump, of course, has a different take on the phrase, Rocket Man and finds Mr Kim a nuisance with his gadgetry and so-called firepower.  For Mr Kim, it's a threat of war.  

In his own way, the North Korean leader, to Trump, is also a "rocketman burning out his fuse," always in a fury, frustrated and raging his ego. According to Trump, Kim forgets that his own people are "living in such horrible conditions."

Let's all wish that the Trump/Kim Summit on Tuesday would be the beginning of a journey towards a nuclear-free world.

Catch Andy with Trump and Kim:
https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2018/05/donald-trump-n-kim-jong-un-summit.html


YouTube Video:

This live rendition of "Rocket Man" is taken from The Red Piano, Elton's first residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Recorded in April 2005, it uses the video footage for "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" on the background screen.


Part Two:
The Beast, the Presidential car that will haunt our roads will be seen in Singapore these few days, especially around the Orchard Road areas. This car is a moving fortress.

The jams and security are tight guys. Keep clear of these areas around Shangri-la Hotel and St Regis Hotel. Pix below on 9 June 2018.



Wheels by Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra 
1961 Instrumental Hit



Images: from Google and A Personal Collection.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Alphonso Soosay: Memories Of Naomi & The Boys

My Memories of “Naomi & The Boys”
By: Alphonso Soosay

Pop music of Singapore in the 1960’s became naturally feasible and heavily influenced by Rock and Roll in its purest form and was gradually overtaken by Pop-Rock, Country-Rock, Blues-Rock, Folk-Rock and later by Psychedelic-Rock, which had progressed in popularity. The Country-Rock and Folk-Rock influenced style associated with the mid half of 1960’s Rock Music, reproduced a distinctive generation of performing Bands and Song-Composers in Singapore who wrote and performed their own compositions and achieved a No1 spot on the local charts with international acts like Cliff Richard & The Shadows, The Dave Clark Five, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Beatles, and just to name a few.

Now, Looking Back at Singapore’s 60’s Music History, I would like to mention that “Naomi & The Boys” were very popular on Radio with their first original hit song "It's All Over" on Philips Records. It was “Naomi & The Boys” Passion and Love for Music that took them to the “Top of the Charts” in Singapore and Malaysia’s TV and Radio. Their envisioned aim was to just entertain music lovers and they found their Fans all over Asia and all the way to Holland. 



I was fortunate to have met Robert Suriya sometime in mid-1965. With regards to clarifications of my memories, I recollect Robert enlightening me about how “The Boys” first got together in 1963 with talented musicians like Peter Richards, Moses Tay, Henry Richards and Joe Ahmad. They were just performing at gigs and at British Forces entertainment venues at weekends and occasionally performing in Night-clubs and took on tour performance to Sabah & Sarawak but “The Boys” according to Robert at that time were not making any progress.  

At the same time, Robert noticed that the Pop Recording Music scene in Singapore was starting to boom and he had to come up with new ideas and new sounds to keep achieving with what was already happening in Singapore. So Robert decided to look for a “Female Singer”. He found a few through musician’s suggestion, tried them out but none of them was up to his expectations as a Pop singer. At that point in time, Naomi Suriya was acknowledged as a remarkable singing talent on Singapore’s TV. It was a talent competition that was held somewhere in Anson Road. Naomi’s younger sister Fiona remembered it well because as she used to be her chaperone. Naomi got through her auditions and that night at the final competition Naomi sang “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”, the famous Skeeter Davis song. 

It so happened that Robert and his band were the backing bands for an entire lot of artistes that night. Naomi won the competition and it was flashed on RTS news that night. Mr Lee King. “Philips Records” manager happened to be there on that night and approached Naomi, asking if she was interested in a recording contract. Naomi was only sixteen years of age then. It was then that Robert had a chat with his band members and decided that Naomi was the best-esteemed Singer for the Band and decided to name it “Naomi & The Boys”. 

Subsequently as a result of knowing enthusiastic show promoters like Robert Chua, Robert had gigs for local shows and Naomi had significant practices with the band until she was ready to perform on stage and face the competition with then-popular female-fronted groups such as “Susan Lim & The Crescendos”, “Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings” and a few other popular recording artistes. At that stage “Naomi & The Boys” were endorsed very promptly with a contract to achieve their first EP. Robert had to swiftly work on ideas that would showcase Naomi’s vocals and also create uniqueness for his Band.
Alphonso Soosay

By that weekend Robert had an idea of the four songs he wanted to record. Then all of a sudden that Monday week “Naomi & The Boys” were asked to go to the Kinetic Recording Studio (the finest at that time in Singapore) and they recorded their first EP. That EP was released in June 1965 which included three original songs named “It’s All Over”, Poncho, Blue Mist. The only cover song was Tennessee Waltz. Roberts composition “It’s All Over” became a No1 hit in Singapore & Malaysia.

In spite of these righteous things happening, there were disagreements already with their philosophies as “The Boys” argued among themselves as who should be the Band Leader as well as which direction their music should originate. Very soon Peter Richards, Henry Richards Moses Tay and Joe Ahmad decided to leave the Band leaving Robert singlehandedly. That was the moment when Robert Suriya decided to make a major change of musicians for a more modern and up-market sound as he had ideas to experiment with the band to the universal music world.

While this was taking place, Robert still had the recording contract with Philips Records and wanted to have a new impression of recording sounds. He started looking for younger Musicians for “The Boys”. He found Peter Thomas at a jam session and after a nice chat, he found Peter as a like-minded musician who also composed songs. At that time Peter was with another Band called The Stompers who had just won “The Shadows” of Singapore competition. I believed Robert sensed that Peter would be an asset to “The Boys”. Robert asked Peter if he would join “The Boys” and Peter graciously decided to become a member of “The Boys”. Meanwhile, Robert knew that Moses Tay was a versatile Musician and decided to ask him to come back and team up with the new line-up of “The Boys”. Moses sincerely decided to come back as a member of “The Boys”. 

At this stage, Robert decided to act fast as he already was given the green light by “Philips Records” to record another EP as soon as possible, but had to discover a Drummer to his liking and to round up “The Boys”. However while looking for a Drummer that week. Glen Knight a Guitarist friend told Robert that he knows a Drummer performing at the Champagne Night Club at Anson Road working with a Pop Group named “The Flares”, (I had performed with Glen Knight previously with a group “The Midnighters”) and that night 
Robert did not waste any time and turned up at The Champagne Night Club at about 11pm and introduced himself to the band leader Edmund Tan and Robert asked if he could jam with “The Flares”. Edmund Tan was delighted to allow Robert to jam with his band at the final session of the night. Robert came prepared with his expensive guitar and started jamming with the repertoire of “The Flares”. Then Robert asked if we knew the song “Take Five” and we said yes and he started straight away. It was a common song known to most nightclub musicians then. I was very impressed with his style of guitar playing; Robert then looked at me and said, it’s your turn. So I knew I had to do a Drum Solo and I did perform to my satisfaction. 

Other songs we jammed were “The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt”, “Apache”, “Wipe Out” and “Shindig”, plus a few other Cliff Richard’s tops of the charts songs. Later that night Robert asked me if I would join him for supper and Coffee at Albert Street Sarabat stall and I said yes. I remember it was about 2am and just after supper; Robert asked me if I would be interested in becoming a member of his band “The Boys”. As I was very impressed with his guitar playing and the guitar sounds he produced that night at The Champagne Night Club, so I decided to accept his proposal and said, certainly I will.

The next event I remember was meeting Naomi, Peter, Moses and Robert at the Kinetex Recording Studios at Wan Toh Avenue off upper Serangoon road. On that day we rehearsed the whole morning and after lunch, with Mr Lee King we recorded “Happy Happy Birthday Baby” and “I Know”. The following day we came back to the studios and recorded “Please Baby Please” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Loved You”. 

From memory, this EP was released very quickly by Philips Records in October 1965. Then very soon some miraculous happened with their new line-up of “The Boys”, collectively with “Naomi” the group shot into fame with a more successful double hit EP. Very soon after this successful cover song “Happy Happy Birthday Baby”, there was another surprise for Naomi & The Boys as Roberts’s composition “I Know” also succeeded the No: 1 spot in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. It was a song from the same EP as “Happy Happy Birthday Baby”.

Remembering Naomi & The Boys Fans Response Was Very Positive At Live Shows As “Happy Happy Birthday Baby” Became Their Favourite Hit Song And It Was On Radio Every Day And Surprisingly It Went To No: 1 On Singapore’s, Malaysia’s And Indonesia’s Hit Parade Chart And Stayed In That Position For Few Weeks. Later That Month We Were Told By Our Recording Manager That It Was Also Aired On Hollands Radio Stations Hit Parade. I remember in December 1965 it was voted by the media as the best song of 1965. Following this success, Naomi & The Boys were offered several live performance treaties (Touring Concerts) to most of the states in Malaysia. They were organised and produced by a creative show promoter Robert Chua who now lives in Hong Kong as a very successful TV shows Producer/Director. 

The many “Live Shows” Naomi & The Boys performed were events that appeared quite spectacular, like “Miss Lion City 1966” it was a beauty contest show at the National Theatre in December 1965. “The Top Talent Show” in 1966 took place at the National Theatre. “Show Time 66” at the National Theatre in June 1966. “Peep Pop Show” at the National Theatre in December 1966. “Ready Steady Go Show” at the National Theatre. “Poly X ’mas 1967” a Christmas show in December 1967. “Musical Express Show” was an early Sunday morning performance at the Capitol Theatre in April 1967. 

Then frequently under then-popular show promoter Robert Chua, there were many other “Live Concerts” he organised, and then it was an endeavour across the causeway at Jubilee Hall in Johore Bahru Malaysia, Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Ipoh, Kedah, Butterworth, Penang and many more venues in Malaysia. All these Live Performances supported in promoting “Naomi & The Boys” record sales. As for TV show “Naomi & The Boys” performed at the “Hiboran”, this was a local show just like the American Shindig concept and a few other TV shows followed up soon after.

Mr Lee King the manager of “Philips Records” realised that he had a credible Band on his hands and decided to become the manager of “Naomi & The Boys”. The band leader was very pleased and so were we. At that time requiring money to upgrade our musical instruments was not a problem at all. Naomi & The Boys managed to get the best of Musical instruments and most of the money was paid off within six months from “Naomi & The Boys” recording royalties.

NB:
I must thank Alphonso Soosay for allowing me to post his above article verbatim from his FB page.

This article is copyrighted and belongs to Alphonso Soosay.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kylie Minogue Happy Birthday: Stop Me From Falling

Happy Birthday, Kylie. She's 50 today 28 May 2018. Congratulations!

I must say she was one of the singers who attracted me to the 80's. 

Just watched her on the rip-roaring, Graham Norton Show with Spiderman Tom Holland, gorgeous couple Emily Blunt with hubby John Krasinski as petite birthday baby Kylie Minogue sang, Stop Me From Falling (video 1). At 50 she's turned 25. What a treat!


I was not familiar with 80's music until and after listening to Tina Turner, What's Love Got To Do With It, Dire Straits Sultan of Swings, George Michael's Wham, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Prince with his Purple Rain. I guess these songs took me across to the decade from the 70's. 

The Graham Norton Show: Miss Kylie Minogue sings 'Stop Me From Falling'. At 50 she's turned 25. 

But it was the chug-chug-chugging 60's number that introduced me to Ms Minogue, Little Eva's 1962 engine (video 2 below) and the new dance moves, Locomotion. Her 1987 version brought the attention I needed because I had just come home from Winnipeg, back to Singapore and listening to a new star from Australia.  Then Can't Get You Out of My Head followed by her other hits. 


Never seen her in Neighbours. Could be interesting though and never too late. Love her new song. And 80 million records sold is a big deal.


Hey, we're in 2018. 


Hope you have a great birthday today Ms Minogue.


Read Winnipeg's Strip Club connection below:
http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/2017/09/strip-club-1984-prince-george-michael.html


Little Eva's 1962 engine and the new dance moves, Locomotion. A song recognised, a new star born.

Images and Videos: Google and YouTube.


Kylie Minogue - The Locomotion [Live on Dancing With The Stars 11-13-12] Video: Astralwerks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Music Is Like Food; Each Has Its Own Audience: Matt Tan, Canada

Matt Tan comes on again, strong and clear. "The test of a musician is... to jam spontaneously take a risk." I agree. Lots of us in Singapore play canned music, copied from the tombs of time. Note for note? But is it true?

Matt was the original Fried Ice bassist from Singapore 60's and writes from Canada.  It's time we listen to what he has to say again. Thanks, Matt.



*Old article, but I wasn't around at that time you wrote this. So I will tune in on my opinion. Music is like food... each has its own audience. This one is pure showmanship, nothing musical? No doubt I agree with Dr Tony S (Australia), who says, "Really? This is exhibition drumming and there are loads of them on YouTube."

The test of a musician is not in playing to a record, it's to jam spontaneously take risk, like Ritchie Blackmore also said of Satriani... "No mistakes, no risk, no magic". We, risk takers are just that, like jazz or experimental rock, we live for that momentarily manifestation of magic... Jeff Beck, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, all do that. they don't play the same song the same way twice. 

But on both sides of the spectrum of music, like food, we have audiences to say, "total disaster, all noise", "wow, she nailed it perfectly, note for note". It's cordeau bleu or brand fast food. Like the chef when given a burger from the super serving millions , spat out the burger. Yet, they serve millions like those rote, copy note for note playing to a record, get millions of view.
We live in world of manicured gardens where lots of ppl adore these trees looking like well-coiffed heads and rose bushes like paint by numbers. And we also live in a world where, like me, and Ritchie Blackmore, and Miles, see beauty in trees, flowers, mushrooms, creatures, etc.. all in disarray and seemingly haphazard. But like Wayne Shorter says of Coltrane's music.."it's not in disarray; it's scrambled eggs, only the eggs unscramblers know how to unscramble the music!"

Finally, to quote your favourite, I am sure, Andy... "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." 

Long Live Rock and Roll ... caprice or paint by numbers.. music or repertory! Whatever turns you on, dude!!! Just do it because it's your song, "Take it or leave it!" 
RITCHIE BLACKMORE    SATRIANI                          JEFF BECK           
Mick Jagger, when the Stones were new and fresh-faced, played at the Badminton Stadium, was later interviewed by a magazine or wherever, when critics called Stones music total garbage or something to the effect , to which Mick casually responded, "I am the musician. When I play, it's mine. Take It Or Leave It. "

Actually, Mick said something entirely different and less diplomatic... 😉


Comment anyone?


Written by Matt Tan. (the last sentence, edited).

When he was in Singapore 60's Matt Tan was with Fried Ice and active with performances.

*The article Matt was referring to:
http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/2015/06/wild-attractiveness-taiwan-lady-drummer.html

Matt's Music Connection below:

https://www.indiesound.com/index.php?a=profile&u=xinliangproductions

Images: Google and A Personal Collection.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Theme Song 2018 National Day Parade 'We Are Singapore'


The above illustration is just an imaginative composition 
that takes us back when vinyl was used to produce music recordings.
These vinyl are called Singles, Extended Play or Long Play records.
The Singles can play two songs, one on each side of the vinyl, the EP can play 4 or 5 songs and the LP plays 10 to 12 songs.

The NDP 2018 Theme Song is a revival
of the 1987 classic, ‘We are Singapore’!

For Credits check the connection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__pmy8a17pM

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/2009/07/national-day-songs-singapore-lyrics-kit.html
Images: Google and NDP Websites.