Friday, January 19, 2018

Mariah Carey, Ken Lee, Karaoke, Talentime, Gong Show

Ken Lee audition! Probably the funniest audition ever on Idols misheard and misunderstood lyrics of Mariah Carey's Without You leaves this contestant on Bulgarian Idol singing a completely different song!

From youtube video: Idols Global. Nearly 5 million views. Thank you.

Don't laugh because it's been happening here in Singapore too during Karaoke sessions and at our own Talentime in the 1960's. Here are the stories:

Singing in Singlish in Singapore

Karaoke 2017:

A friend explained what happened when she attended a karaoke session at a private club one evening. 

So hilarious. Some years back we were at a country club in the East at a Karaoke lounge after dinner. My cousin and I had just finished a duet where we sang, 'The Moon Represents My Heart' in Chinese.

A towkay (rich businessman) took the microphone and wanted to sing but didn't know how to work the amplifier system to select the song. So he asked me, "You find song?" in his best English.

"What's the name?" I asked.

"Ah Chen My Loti," he replied confidently. Literally, it means, 'Ah Chen Buys Bread'.

So I asked him, "What language?"

"English," he answered, getting impatient.

I told him I have never heard the song, so I signalled the captain for help.  They seemed to understand each other perfectly because the song was played and Mr Rich Businessman was belting out, 'Unchained Melody.'

It was his horrific adulteration of the lyrics. For crying out loud, he didn't stop. His announced his next number proudly, "Now I singing, 'Four Line'. 

It turned out to be Bobby Helms, 'Fraulein.'
Before American Idol There Was Talentime 1960's:

In the 60's Singapore had its share of singing competitions known as Talentime. During auditions, participants had to go up to the pianist and give the song title and sometimes the original singer's name, before facing the microphone.

This Chinese guy came on stage and wanted to sing, 'Boh Sway Chew' (literally means No Wash Hands). The pianist was flabbergasted and held his laughter.

"Never heard of this song. Who's the singer?" the pianist asked.

"Hay bee!" replied the singer. Hay bee (literal: pounded dry shelled-shrimp).

The pianist stood his ground, "HAY BEE? Who's Hay Bee?"

The pianist couldn't contain himself when someone shouted, "ELVIS! 'BLUE SUEDE SHOES'!"
We Will Rock You: This Indian lady's version of Queens' big hit. Cute! From Razzump Video.
Steven Lee used to host The Gong Show on the radio where those taking part in the Talentime would be eliminated by him depending.

The Gong Show by Horace Wee:

The precursor to the Talentime show was the Gong Show produced for radio by Steven Lee. Held at Victoria Theatre, participants would be knocked out by the gong depending on how good they were.

Some hardcore ones who had entered many times would get knocked out after they uttered their first note. You should see the incredulous looks and the protests. Sometimes the audience participated as well.

Gif: Google.

Read on Talentime Comments below.

Wing sings "Beat It" on NZ TV! Video by Martin Lee.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Tribute To Winston Filmer by Horace Wee

The Late Winston Filmer
Image from: Mun Chor Seng
A time to every purpose, under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
To everything, there is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

(Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes)

My time has turned for more than fifty years knowing Winston as a friend. Through all the changes, ups and downs in the world, changes in our lives, we remained friends till his passing on the 12th of January 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

We were not close as best friends are, but our paths separate as they were, would cross over the years. There were arguments and disagreements over the years, something he said recently was the "foolishness of his youth". I left it at that.

When he left for Australia with his family in the eighties, there were only a few occasions that we came in contact. The last around 2012 when he came back to Singapore for the memorial service for his wife Teresa. Frail and having difficulty in walking, we managed to spend those few days together catching up on past years.

These last few years, we had conversations over the phone probably longer than we ever had in the past. He found it difficult to face the loss of his wife and found in me a willing person and confidant to listen to his outpourings of grief, aches, pains and recollections of all the years gone by.

Winston started his career as a sound assistant for the fledgeling Radio Singapore that operated from the Cathay Building next to Dhoby Ghaut. Later he progressed to selecting records and music for radio programs. As a musician, he had strong associations in the keronchong music community and was in demand to play his guitar for various events. 

Of course, he was also part of the club music scene of the fifties and played the current music then. Later, when he was introduced to his future wife Teresa née Khoo, they would form their own band and hold court at the Adelphi Hotel in Coleman Street.
The Late Winston Filmer is 2nd from left with bass
Image from his Facebook Page.
When I first met Winston, I vividly remember that day when he brought me to his home, one of the two-storey terrace houses along Geylang Road not far from Haig Road. Listened to some of his records and then took a trip to Sungei Road (thieves market) to browse around for electrical parts.

We would be working together many times after that. From the early recording sessions of the Crescendos, Ruby Wah a popular songstress at that time to a variety of commercial sessions at EMI, Kinetex, Reddifusion and Life studios. Not forgetting the various programs and shows on Radio and Television Singapura that included the Talentime series. He would be the bass player in all these sessions. Prior to leaving Singapore, his last stint was a bassist in the SBC orchestra.

He was not active as a musician in Australia, playing only a few occasional gigs. With failing health he spent his years in retirement.

With his passing, I wish him a safe journey to heaven and to reunite with his beloved Teresa.

My prayers are that he finds all the peace and happiness he has wished for.
May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.

Goodbye Winston.

Sent from my iPad

Thanking Mr Horace Wee (professional guitarist) who wrote the above tribute to Winston Filmer. Also thanking Mun Chor Seng for the first photograph and Mr Filmer's family (Facebook Page) for the second photograph. 

Article by Horace Wee.
Image from Mun Chor Seng.
The article and images have been copyrighted.

14 January 2018
1,335 Page Views Daily
A Record High

Winston Filmer RTS 60's Musician Has Passed On

Winston Filmer
(Straits Times Image)
 "Mr Winston Filmer passed away this morning at 11 am. Melbourne time.  May he Rest In Peace."  
(From Horace Wee who will write a tribute. This post is a temporary one. Please check this page again soon.)

"The fact that he was a part of our country's RTS Band during the heyday, he, therefore, deserves our respect for his talent."
(From Blog Reader FL.) 

Condolences to his family.

Teresa Khoo Connection:
Winston Filmer (left)
Images are unclear and taken from Mr Filmer's Facebook page. If anyone can spare some pictures to publish on this blog, it will be great.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Memories And Tribute To The Late Ismail Ahmad

The passing away of Ismail Ahmad revived some memories for music friends, Michael Bangar, Audie Ng and Jalani Mohamed. This article provides snapshots of his connections with other well-known band friends from the 60's and 70's.

Thank you, Mike, Audie and Jalani.

9th January 2018
According to an article by NUR DHUHA ESOOF from Berita Harian  Singapore, Ismail Ahmad, a member of Impian Bateks, passed away this morning aged 70 years. He had been hospitalised for the last six days at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. Mr Ismail was the keyboardist for the band. 

We send condolences to his family. May he Rest In Peace.

From Michael Bangar:

Hey Andy! 

I just read your write up - an excellent tribute to Ismail Ahmad. I have to add a little more information on this late gentleman who played excellent all-around keyboard, i.e. the piano, organ and synthesiser.

I knew him very casually in the early 70's. After The Impian Bateks disbanded he replaced Patrick Carrol on keyboards, who went on to join band The McCoys, with the superb band, The X'QuisitesThe main vocalist and drummer Nick recently fronted The Beejays at the Kallang Theatre Concert on 23 December 2017. 

What a great band they were and they had a long stint at the Hotel Shangri-la's Lost Horizon Nightclub - a club you seldom hear about nowadays. I used to go watch them whenever I had a chance. Happy Times! When the band disbanded he spent a long while working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the early to mid 70's, his younger brother, a very good guitar player Wan Ahmad formed a band called The Breed fronted by vocalist the late Allan Loh, who had earlier fronted The X'Quisites in their formative years. 

I used to replace Allan in the band, whenever he was called for reservist training. Wan had also played with the famous Malay Rock Band Sweet Charity. 

After The Breed split up, he went on to join his elder brother in Kuala Lumpur. The last time I met Wan he was still working and residing in KL. 

They also have a famous sister, the late 60's to 80's Malay vocalist and recording Artiste Aida Ahmad. Ms Aida was both well-known in Singapore and Malaysia.

The Impian Bateks' lead guitarist Harris has now, for a good 20 years or more, played the bass guitar for The Thunderbirds. 
The Late Mr Ismail Ahmad
(image from Berita Harian)
From Audie Ng:

Ismail Ahmad was with the Downtown band and accompanying handsome singer Halil Chik, also known as the Tom Jones of Singapore. They were sent to Taiwan and Japan.

The drummer Ariffin of the Downtown band performed at the Stadium Restaurant lounge called The Tilted Tankard. 

Jalani Mohamed:

He was living in Kuala Lumpur for some time. He came back to Singapore when he was unwell and was admitted to our local hospital. The doctors explained that he had would not have much time until I received the news of his passing...

According to the Malay newspaper, Berita Harian, he had been unwell since 2014.

R.I.P Ismail Ahmad. We will always remember you and your music with The Impian Bateks. 

Please let me know if there is any misinformation regarding the late Mr Ismail Ahmad as this tribute has been written verbatim. 
Andy Lim.

The images are from Google and Berita Harian. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Australian Pop 60's Influence Johnny Young Part 4

Johnny Young

Speaking of Perth … that was home for a young Johnny Young before he broke into the pop star world with his single ‘Step Back’/‘Cara-Lyn’ in 1966 (both on the E.P. I brought to Singapore).

‘Step Back’ was written by Stevie Wright and George Young of the Easybeats. The story goes that when the band was performing in Perth, Johnny pestered Stevie and George for a song that he could record and they handed him ‘Step Back’. Whose idea it was to record ‘Cara-Lyn’ by US band The Strangeloves is less clear to me. Anyway, it’s a good version.

Both songs did well and according to what I have read, another Perth youngster with pop star aspirations was watching Johnny Young’s career starting to take off and thought to himself that if Johnny Young can do it so could he. His name was Bon Scott, who achieved far greater fame when he fronted AC/DC.

Johnny Young, meantime, was a genuine pop star in Australia, but like many of his peers he thought he should go to England. After some initial success in 1967, it was clear Johnny wasn’t going to be a hit in the UK and he returned to Australia in 1968.

Johnny then took on a new role as a songwriter. His first big hit was the Russel Morris psychedelic monster ‘The Real Thing’, which he followed up with ‘Part Three Into Paper Walls’. He wrote more songs for Russel Morris and others, but then started looking into other avenues of work. He already had radio and TV experience and fell easily into DJ work and as a television compere.
In 1971 he started to compere on a program called Young Talent Time, which featured the work of young performers, some children and some teenagers. A number of them became genuine pop stars later on.

Because the show lasted for nearly twenty years, most people mainly identify Young with it, but he had a lot more experience and talent than many people appreciate. He went back to performing when Young Talent Time finished up and he’s still doing it today.

Article: Dr Steven Farram (right), from Darwin U, Western Australia. Read Steve's articles by clicking his name under Labels below.

News Flash:
This blog's monthly page views have nearly come up to 40,000 readers which is a record high. Thanks to my readers.

Images: Google

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Tracy Chapman: Honour Yatie Nasir Give Me One Reason

It's a wow factor when I first heard her sing. Published exactly a year this Smule video by YATIE NASIR is one of the best blues renditions of the Tracy Chapman favourite, Give Me One Reason.

A powerful voice indeed, but Ms Yatie received 1,500+ viewers to date. I had expected something different when I first watched her, but man is she good. 

The video is a little short though but her rendition is gutsy and from the heart. And very bluesy. Wow!!! She should enter a talent quest.

Thank you Yatie. 

Not much about Yatie on her YouTube post but her connection is below. Thanks also to Jimmy Chng from The Decibels and Smule video for the introduction.

And, BTW, check Comments below. Lots of them about Yatie.

So to all blues fans...


Chapman wrote this song in the late 80's but only had it released officially in 1996. It had won many awards including a Grammy and reached number 3 on the Hot US 100 charts. 

Found in her album New Beginning, this song was included. The album sold 3.8 million copies, her biggest selling recording since 1991. Some artistes had covered it, including Eric Clapton, Junior Wells and Kelly Clarkson.
Tracy Chapman
Video and Images: Google and YouTube.
Information: Wikipedia: Tracy Chapman.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New Year 2018 From Andy 60's Music Blog Singapore

To all my blog readers, supporters, friends and home folks too. Let's hope for another healthy and safe music year. Special thanks to my Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and e-mail friends. Blog readers 1.55 million and still counting.

From: Andy Young and all contributing writers.

2017 images below
Just a selection of pictures and postings. If I missed putting your picture... 😟

Former teacher Laurence Lim (right) wrote an article for this blog about international hair-stylist Anthony Tan (AhKim) and his love for 60's music.

Fantastic SHUN NG a finger-style guitarist I was invited to meet during his concert two Christmases ago. Then saw him again with his backing vocals THE SHUNETTES. He's got up to a dozen tours all over the US in 2018.

PM LEE HSIEN LOONG was walking along the Botanic Gardens when I chanced upon him. Friendly and jovial, he taught me the best way to do a selfie without extensions. As CYLin says, "When two dragons meet..."

SILVER STRINGS with MOSES LIM, from UNDER ONE ROOF fame during a Channel 5 show, Not The 5 Show.

POTUS DONALD TRUMP with his favourite tune, SOUTH OF THE BORDER, DOWN MEXICO WAY. He's got plenty of other oldies he loves.

HENRI GANN, who writes for this blog, came all the way from California to say hello in between his business transactions. He was from THE TREKKERS and has recordings with TAN SWEE LEONG @ Rediffusion.

MATT TAN needs to be included in all future FRIED ICE re-unions in Singapore. He was the original bassist and still plays mean guitar on his own site. Spare a ticket for Matt who now lives in Canada.

RICKIE CHNG (lead guitarist) and I met FREDDIE KANG and his police vehicle one day at Novena Square. The crowd went wild. They thought Thunderbirds were flying around. He used to fly with them.

Su Goh wrote an article about LEVI'S Jeans song for this blog. She's here with hubby David and our own Guitar Hero. John Cher brought us together.

Sweetie Pie actress TAN KHENG HUA, with ANTHONY TAN and former Ms SINGAPORE. We were having tea before launch of her successful musical, TROPICANA.

Oh man, our own JIMI HENDRIX. He's RAY ANTHONY, another southpaw. Used to be with MATT TAN in FRIED ICE.

It was a treat meeting many 60's music-makers at OLPS. Can you recognise them? John Cher (2nd left), brought us together.

I used to buy vinyl records at Sungei Road and everything inexpensive there. But the people in charge had to close this flea market. Even the foreigners from SE Asia, Japan, US, Europe, etc. were surprised. 

With hair-stylist Anthony Tan and DJ Larry Lai at the Tropicana session meeting.

With a genuine guy, Tan Soo Khoon, who speaks his heart. He has to.  A former Speaker of Parliament, he used to have a pop group called, THE YOUNG ONCE.
Coming from Australia, MIKE and HERB, were THE BEATLES OF MALAYSIA 
and have cut records with THE SILVER STRINGS.

This is a power group: Henry from the QUESTS, Jimmy from STRAYDOGS, John from SILVER STRINGS and Peter from OCTOBER CHERRIES.

Anthony Tan with his own creation, the hairstyle I mean. I'm giving this
guy too much publicity!

Quiet but effective, this is CHARLIE YAP and is in charge of successful band LOCOMOTION. The write-up is now standing at more than 4,000 viewers. That's a record reading within a 2 month period.

Beautiful music was heard when 60's pop song lovers met at the Mall. They come from Singapore, Helsinki and Darwin Australia. Much to learn from Pete Hakonen and Dr Steven Farram. And Horace Wee, legendary guitarist was around too.

I had to put this one up. Legends too but from the education sector.
Lunch date @ Apollo this year was similar to Apollo landing a long time ago.

Sitting between two drummers of legendary stature, I could not eat that evening. LOUIS SOLIANO in blue and RICHARD KHAN (October Cherries) on the left.

The pleasure of being with GEORGE CHEW (THE BURNS LEAD), LARRY LAI and his wife Serene. And LOUIS SOLIANO. 

Pete Hakonen wrote to me on the blog, came over from Helsinki. You can see his name on almost any CD made in the Scandinavian countries. He produces and promotes 60's guitar groups and Rockabilly recording artistes.

The Makan Gang that haunts food joints in Singapore consists of 60's musicians and an amateur singer.

Hosting Pete Hakonen from Helsinki are Zainal Abidin, Mike Bangar and a lady singer who came over from another table and fascinated by Captain Zainal.

Michael Bangar, Rickie Chng, Laurence Lim and Andy Young.
Buddies in music outside Raffles City Food Court.

The Straydogs surrounded others during a meeting. 
Larry Lai in the background with black cap and black Polo-T.
Jimmy Appudurai-chua again with his two bandmates during a get-together.

Yes, you need lots of love to be together. From left: Rickie, 
Audie, Veronica, Andy and John during a gig at SIA Club.

John and Andy stole the show at this huge mansion.
A sneak preview actually, emphasising sneak.
With Larry Lai and Wilson David, old folks with tales to tell.
Or 'seniors' to be polite. 

Attended one in the 80's but never again. But the song
brings the boring scene back. "Purple Rain, Purple Rain..."

Wow! Seniors on the prowl at Bukit Timah. From left: Joe Woon, Andy, Peter Chua, Tan Soo Khoon, John Cher and Henry Chua during a jam.

Now, why would I have a picture of CHARLIZE THERON? Been her fan for years. This lady beats them all with her acting ability and sultriness. I watch
her movies in between blogging. Personally, she's the new KIM NOVAK.

Another skilled actress, local star TAN KHENG HUA, 
who produced TROPICANA, THE MUSICAL in 2017.

The late Bobo, one of the best and most entertaining guitarists on stage.
Bobo passed on this year, his last big show with The Silver Strings
@ the RELC International Hotel Hall @ Orange Grove Road.

She wrote an article about her famous dad, Zainal Abidin, The Dukes leader. 
Know her name? It should be clear as Crystal. She has a PhD.
in Anthropology and Sociology from UWA.

Two fans, my students actually who watched our show.
They have been so kind and kept in touch. Thanks.

As famous as she is pretty, DAWN TAN 
Finance journalist @ Channel News Asia (CNA) 
10 pm News, did a selfie. Yes, I spoilt her picture.

With writer and guitarist Michael Bangar and Dr Steven Farram, 
Darwin U. discussing local 60's music.

SEBASTIAN TAN as Broadway Beng and Chioboos on stage at
the Capitol Theatre. They were hilarious.

He wrote 250 pop Malay songs in the 60's. Good friend and 
Cultural Medallionist YUSNOR EF and his wife 
celebrated their wedding anniversary.

Horace Wee, legend, with Dr Steven Farram and John Cher.

Actress Tan Kheng Hua with her production TROPICANA  
we attended. Outside the Capitol Theatre.

Freddie Kang, John Cher, Andy and THE TORNADOES key figure,

                       With Vernon Cornelius. Peter Pan doesn't age, does he?

And one of the Neu Faces, a very well-composed photograph featuring
the organist with flowing golden locks @ Kallang Theatre, AMIR BIN ANIN.

Now here's another star whose movies I watch when I'm not blogging. 
SCARLETT JOHANSSON is no quiet lady.  From a good woman to a nanny, from being an Avenger to Lucy with psychokinetic ability, she's my favourite, even in 2017.

Images: A Personal Collection.