SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY'S POP MUSIC INFLUENCE: ON THE MUSIC N MEMORY TRAIL IS MY OWN BLOG N ROLL PROJECT. NOSTALGIA IS PERSONAL HISTORY N PICTURES TELL STORIES. POP MUSIC NOT PILLS. ANDY YOUNG. (November, 2008). SUPPORTING SG50


Monday, May 02, 2016

What's Bootleg And What's Not? Help! Pirates!



1910 Fruit Gum Company. Video by rwells47.

Records @ Two Dollars Each:

When Sungei Road was at its peak not too many years ago I would visit the unique place at least once a month to buy old vinyl records from a guy called George. A tough, fierce looking man with thick, long wavy locks George would be selling both LP's (Long Play records) and EP's (Extended Play records) at two dollars a piece. Whether they had torn covers, new covers, scratched and dirty surfaces or shiny and clean ones don't matter. They all cost two Singapore dollars each.  

In his collection you can find an array of English songs, Chinese songs, Indian songs and the collectors' Malay EPs available. Whatever you need and if you are lucky enough you may get them. I would sit on a stool and choose the records I wanted. 
Amidst the deluge of piring hitam (Malay language: black plates) I realised they were a bargain. At first I would look for the genuine pressings but later found that the pirated ones were more interesting and unusual. With their pimples, sores and imperfections, I fancy they could be collectors items soon. So here you are looking at only a few from my collection which I started in 2010.

Unless both records and covers are in your hands it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between an original copy and a pirated version. Let's have some fun.
Record Sleeve Image 1 and 2:

It is obvious which record above is the genuine one i.e. the real McCoy and which is the fake or bootleg version.  The first record cover is from Buddha Records while the second one is from a local syndicate called Oscar Record.

The clarity of print, quality graphics and professional artwork show the way to a beautiful illustration that befits a record sleeve. These attributes the reader will notice in the first picture.

In the second picture, the give-aways include the wrongly spelt, Congratulation, different print colour to indicate the group's original song and three songs that are not by the bubblegum band. Poor design and cheap printing was the order of the day. Worse, the vinyls themselves are of poorer quality, thick and easily scratched. 

In case the reader is not from the same generation, A Man Without Love and Call On Me are by singer Engelbert Humperdinck,  and Congratulations sung by Cliff Richard. Only Simon Says is by the group 1910 Fruitgum Company. 
Record Sleeve Image 3 and 4:

This second pair is not too obvious, or is it? The RCA logo could never be a fake but the R Record might. It is doubtful if pirates would dare to gamble and use the famous trademark when they can produce their own. So which is the real thing? Strange but true, the first sleeve is the bootleg version.

Yes, this time around could you guess the truth i.e. which is the diamond and which is the cut-glass?  Look carefully. Why would the pirates want to sketch the faces when they can get the real photographs for free.

And, by the way, one of the above E.P. has these songs in place, Theme From The Monkees; Let's Dance On; Last Train To Clarksville and This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day. They are all Monkees hits. So there!
Record Sleeve Image 5 and 6:

Bootleg or pirate vinyls were common in Singapore in the 1960's when recording studios were fully utilized to press all kinds of songs that were at the top of the pop parade. As long as they made their money, nothing else mattered. 

These bootleg records were massed produced by the thousands. I remember Henry Suriya (brother of Robert Suriya from Naomi and The Boys) telling me once that when his fans came up to him to ask for autographs they were handing pirated copies of his records, not the original ones. But he signed them. 

Bootlegs were popular because the buyer got four top hits of the season on one disc for the same price of an original EP, which would probably have one hit. Surprisingly, according to local recording artistes from the 60's, these bootleg copies flooded the market earlier than the originals. 

The 6th image above shows four hit songs one one vinyl disc for about S$2.80 cents. There's Elton John with Your Song, Too Young To Be Married (Hollies), She's A Lady (Tom Jones) and Rose Garden (Lynn Anderson).  Buying them on singles would cost about S$1.80 per piece with an unknown B-Side. Four songs would cost nearly $8.00. 

BTW George is still at Sungei Road and if you haven't been there lately, *Robinson Petang (Robinson's In The Evening) occupies a much smaller area now.  But he hardly sells records anymore. 

*Sungei Road is also called Thieves' Market. It used to be a tourist attraction but many people from other countries still come today to buy up both Asian and local records.

              The Roaring 60's - We Love The Pirates Video by jimmytheferret.


Images: A Private Collection.

Monday, April 25, 2016

US Troops From Vietnam Plays Motown On Jukebox




It has been a while since Allan Thompson wrote his tales of intrigue and suspense. Below is another, more thrilling than ever, as he takes us on his own trip down memory lane to investigate the juke-box joints in *decadent Singapore. We're back in the 60's now as we join him hunting down military establishments with his ang-moh kakis.

It is an exciting trip and what you're about to read is true. Thanks again Allan. 
Dear Andy,  

I seem to recall that juke boxes were not permitted in bars of other public places in Singapore during the 1960's.  I was told at the time that this was because of protection rackets over the supply of the machines and records.  (This was part of the plot of the Jayne Mansfield film, The Girl Can't Help It).  

Maybe you have *more information on this?  However, military establishments were allowed to have juke boxes, and I know they were installed in the NAAFI, the Chalet Club, and the Malcolm Club at RAF Changi.  

The Chalet Club also had a Scopitone film juke box which cost 50 cents for each play, which was more expensive than the normal record juke box.  There was also a delay between songs because the films apparently had to rewind after each number.  

The favourite selections on the Chalet Club machine were Robot by The Tornados, who were filmed in woodland wearing cheaply made helmets and dancing with girls while miming to the record;  Francoise Hardy on a swingboat, miming to one of her songs while her skirt blew up every time the swingboat swung;  and I've Got The World On A String which featured voluptuous bikini-clad American girls dancing on a beach while the lucky cameraman took some interesting and provocative overhead cleavage shots! 
Because of the juke box ban, many Singapore bars played music on record-players, tape recorders or the radio.  I remember one occasion when some friends and I went into a bar near Raffles Place and were met with the sound of loud Motown music on the record-player while six tall black American sailors in their white uniforms danced in a line in the middle of the room in the style of the Four Tops (image below).  

It was an unforgettable sight.  In those days many American servicemen used to visit Singapore while on leave from Vietnam, that terrible, pointless war which devastated that beautiful country and maimed and killed so many innocent people.   
If only the United States had let 'Uncle' Ho Chi Min run the country for the benefit of the Vietnamese people instead of flexing their muscles and causing so much destruction.  I think it says a lot for the dignity of the Vietnamese that they are so forgiving of those who oppressed them for so many years.  There ends my sermon for today!

Good wishes, 
Allan. 

NB:

(1) On 8th June, 1959, the newly elected PAP government launched a campaign against yellow culture (Chinese: huangse wenhua = decadent behaviour). Although there were attempts to eradicate it earlier, the campaign was a sustained and extensive enterprise, easing only in the 1980's. 

Spear-headed by the Culture Ministry, the authorities launched a nationwide clamp-down on Western culture seen as promoting anti-social life. So pornographic publications and films, strip shows, jukebox dens, pin-table saloons, rock music as well as long hair on men were banned. It promoted instead healthy cultural activities that focused on forging a common Malayan culture. 

From: HistorySG, an online resource guide.
                  'I've Got The World On A String' - A Scopitone Film Juke-Box

(2) Scopitone was a 1960's type of jukebox featuring a 16 mm film component. Scopitone films were a forerunner of modern music videos. The first Scopitones were made in France. 

*written tongue-in-cheek.
Images and Videos from Google and You Tube.

Kick-start words:
Vietnam War, Rest and Recreation, US soldiers, army

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Andy Sneak Peeks: Media Corp Toggle: 'Not The 5 Show' Episode 19.

Andy Young with Silver Strings 


                         Chua En Lai, Jack Neo, Ailen Tan
                   Suhaimi Yusof, Moses Lim, Simone Heng
       Nick, John, Michael, Andy, En Lai (Show Host), Audie and Rickie.

TOGGLE : WATCH 'NOT THE 5 SHOW' (EPISODE 19) SILVER STRINGS. 

http://video.toggle.sg/en/series/not-the-5-show/ep19/394203

Behind the huge video cameras at Caldecott Hills last Wednesday, 13th April 2016, when the afternoon was at its hottest in Singapore at 36.7 degree C , a group of us were happily huddled in the cool comfort of one of Media Corp's colourful sound stages. 

It was a busy bee situation as the camera crew was preparing to shoot our performance on a slightly raised platform.  The floor manager was simultaneously taking and giving instructions to both the band and production crew. There was the usual sound check and dry run for a show The Silver Strings were invited to participate in.
Band members who were scattered on stage, were checking the amps and cables to make sure each piece of equipment was properly connected to their solid guitar. The sound check took some time and the rehearsals some effort.

There was keyboardist, Lobo Nick Stravens (far left) checking his electronic piano, towering dude rhythm guitarist Michael Bangar (with sun-glasses), leader and bassist Audie Ng (in checkered red) and the cool one, lead guitarist Ricky (far right), strumming to balance the volume. 
This blog's contributing writer, John Cher was lost earlier somewhere between the drums, looking for his giant chopsticks to  rock the joint but was sitting satisfied later waiting to roll. I was holding the heavy and powerful Media Corp Shure microphone and snapping some pictures. On stand-by near me was the little bottle of water. Throats parched easily under such a condition.

We're not supposed to reveal anything yet but if you had been following this blog in the last few days, you would have noticed that the Silver Strings were involved in another programme that had been recorded live for prime time on Channel Five. The last time the band was featured on TV was in Rolling Good Times with Dick Lee and Rick Astley in May, 2015.
Some of the popular stars on television and radio would be in this show which highlighted pop music from the 60's and 70's. The personalities included host Chua En Lai, actor and movie producer Jack Neo, TV host and Malay comedian Suhaimi Yusof. There were other stars.  


The sound check I described lasted for a bit. When we had left, the stage crew welcomed the studio audience in. Performers were ushered backstage for a simple dinner and a rest before proceeding to the make-up room. 

We met more TV and movie personalities as we waited backstage. They were appearing with us on the show. There was also another pop guitar and vocal group. Hot, hot, hot. The band.

So as we leave John (left), his face heavily powdered by our pretty lady at Caldecott Hill, we say farewell until Wednesday evening 20th April, 2016, when the programme will be on air at 7.30 pm. 

Many media savvy Singaporeans know that the broadcasting studio at Caldecott Hill would move out of its present location soon. The Silver Strings and I are glad to have participated in two of the shows before its closure.

Following the teaser on Media Corp's Channel 5 Program for this week, Jack Neo, Mark Lee and the cast of the new movie Long Long Time Ago join us for a nostalgic look back at Singapore and their own lives in the 1960's and 70's. Other young celebrity guests experience the challenges of yesteryear in Singapore's last remaining kampong.

Don't miss it. Lots of surprises. And by the way, it is not The 5 Show. Don't let the logo fool you.

NB: Posted After Telecast on 20th April, 2016.

The two songs performed by SS that evening were: Walking My Baby Back Home (Dean Martin) and Mean Woman Blues (Elvis Presley). Each song lasted about two minutes as there were time constraints.


As it was the procedure we waited behind the soundstage where there was ample room for relaxation and a meeting up with the other participants Moses Lim, Jack Neo and Ailen Tan. They were friendly, warm. Picture taking, especially with Moses Lim, was done with ease and a natural calm. Mr Lim had no airs about him.

Chua En Lai (left) was just as polite backstage but kept a low profile because he was the host and had his hands full holding the show together, having had to open chat on camera with Simone Heng and Suhaimi Yusof who were co-hosting. Sweet and charming TV host Bharathi Rani, whom we met in the elevator, told the audience her kampong tales.

As with the Silver Strings camaraderie was strong with the Media Corp cast and crew. The video and sound recordings that evening ran without a hitch and the Floor Manager was a perfect gentleman, cuing us most times and helping us with stage positioning, sound check, the usual stand-by procedures in front of the floor cams.
        
Topics discussed during the actual shoot:
Kampong, Ponggol, Chua Chu Kang, Yeo Chu Kang, Tea Dances, Discos, Zoey Tay, attap houses, Long long ago
                           Toggle: Episode 19 with The Silver Strings

Disclaimer:
This article is a personal experience of my time in the studios and it has no intention of promoting any person, place or thing.

Images: A Personal Collection; Google; Media Corp.
An Original Article from Andy Lim (Young).
                                            Moses Lim with Silver Strings

Not The 5 Show with Suhaimi Yusof, Simone Heng, Jack Neo, Bharathi Rani, Ailen Tan.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blast From The Past: Pop 50's Unfamiliar Today


           Natalie Cole - Almost Like Being In Love - Video: Vadim Shinnick.

Songs I Love

Before Cliff Richard:

This article came about when I was searching for Natalie Cole's songs on You Tube.  She had passed away on the last day of 2015 and I chanced upon her singing, Almost Like Being In Love, a personal favourite. 

It is a 1947 song and a lovely one at that. What with Tan Swee Leong's death on the 18th December, just days before hers, I thought of our vulnerability and how fragile we mortals are. These professionals reminded me too of the unique heritage they have left behind as entertainers. 
Almost Like Being In Love is not well-known to many young people here (pardon if I'm wrong) and even to some 60's music enthusiasts.  So if you're keen to know what some of us listened to a long time ago before Cliff Richard and The Shadows came to Singapore's Badminton Hall, read on.

Not the usual Top Hit List, as many of the titles are unheard of these days and the songs are presented as they come to my head. But some are not that obsolete since they were popular during the 1950's but came a little before The Young Ones.  A couple of singers are still around. Twenty songs should be sufficient but it is my own compilation and personal favourites.
              Thumbelina - Dean Martin - Video: eocarcharia channel


Pop Songs Unfamiliar Today: Sung by 50's Legends

Almost Like Being In Love - Frank Sinatra - 1947
Chee Chee Ooh Chee - Dean Martin - 1955
Money Burns A Hole In My Pocket - Dean Martin - 1954
Lay Down Your Arms - Anne Shelton - 1956
Where Will The Dimple Be? - Rosemary Clooney - 1955

Green Door - Jim Lowe - 1956

Hana Ko San - Miyoshi Umeki - 1940's to 1950's
I'm Hans Christian Andersen - Danny Kaye - 1952
Thumbelina - Danny Kaye or Dean Martin - 1952*
Around The Corner - Jo Stafford - 1952
              Baby Let's House - Elvis Presley - Video: Adem Presley

Baby Face - Bobby Darin - 1926
'A' You're Adorable - Perry Como - 1948**
Ivory Tower - Gale Storm - 1956
Dark Moon - Gale Storm - 1957
Fire Down Below - Jeri Southern - 1957
              
Baby Let's House - Elvis Presley - 1955***
Any Place Is Paradise - Elvis Presley - 1956
Majorca Isle of Love - Petula Clark - 1955
Imitation of Life - Earl Grant - 1959
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard - 1956

None of these songs have been covered and recorded by our local vocal or band groups.  Are they still being played on Singapore's English radio today?

Do you have some songs to add to the list?

*A song I teach my grandchildren.

**Tan Swee Leong usually sings this song to entertain. It was one I heard from him when we were gathered at a party at Grandma Mary's home. 

***Lost the precious 78rpm piece which would cost some today. The mumbling Elvis and echo plays are killers! 

Part 2 will come on soon. That's when I document songs recorded by our own local bands but unheard of today.
Images: Anne Shelton, Bobby Darin, Little Richard (horizontal); Petula Clark, Miyoshi Umeki, Perry Como (vertical).

You Tube Videos.

This article is copyrighted.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Pay $200 To Watch Tom Jones Live In Singapore?

Disclaimer:
The experience written is a personal one of a friend who attended the show and is not sponsored by any commercial enterprise, advertising company, event or media agency. The above picture is used for this posting only. Any objection, do
write in on Comment page for immediate deletion.
Below is a direct SMS transcript and fillers from good friend LK Min. He took the time to message me immediately after the show about the Tom Jones Show in Singapore on 31st March, 2016.

Thanks Min for your contribution and glad you enjoyed the performance.

I received the ticket image on Thursday evening before midnight and three minutes later good friend Min came bursting through my What'sApp screaming, "Just came home after watching TJ." 

He continued, "He is still very good at his age. Solid two hours with no intermission."

When I asked him if he loved the performance his reply was, "Thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Worth the ticket!" It was a premier ticket and Min paid more than $200 for a seat. And with a friend to accompany him that was an exorbitant $400 for the performance.
"Wow that's expensive," I replied. "I can just watch him on You Tube and big screen at home for free."

I wanted photos and his reply came, "My friend took one or two shots," adding, "if Jones comes around again next year, still worth to catch him."  Min then asked if I fancied Jones and explained that he would have taken more pictures if he had not forgotten to bring his hand-phone.

I replied, "I prefer Engelbert Humperdinck. Jones' wild animal ways are more for the ladies."

"Did our Singapore ladies throw panties?" I added in jest, knowing very well this act of innocence would never happen in Singapore, not even in 2016.

"No, he was gentlemanly and even sang *one or two songs in tribute to Elvis. He sang a couple of gospels too. Came across as rather saintly... big contrast to his younger days of wildness and sexiness."
I wanted a description of the audience and band in the 5,050 seat theatre at the Star Performing Arts Centre.  His reply came fast and explained that he was seated,  "Six or seven away from the front. It was quite near the stage for that price. Jones sang the favourites like, Sex Bomb, Green Green Grass of Home, Never Fall In Love Again, Kiss, Delilah, It's Not Unusual and others."

According to Min, there were, "No dancing girls nor chorus. Just him alone belting out all the songs for two hours. He must have taken some fantastic Ginseng if not Viagra!"

The band section composed of, "Trombone, organ, a couple of solid guitars, a tuba and the usual drums. The hall was almost filled."

I told him Mr Jones failed Singapore fans the last time he was here. He had an unlucky bout of laryngitis before his appearance. According to a friend who attended the show, Jones sang only one song on stage and disappeared afterwards without any apology. 
                               *Tom Jones sings, Elvis Presley Blues.

S$212 for 2 hours of Tom Jones. That's $212  divided by 120 minutes. At S$1.76 per minute that's a reasoanble deal to watch a man who came from the 1960's in a time machine, all the way from Wales.

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone
It's not unusual to have fun with anyone...

1) Would you pay S$200? 
2) Do listen to the video above and if you have an opinion of Elvis Presley Blues, please write in.
                                  Tom Jones with Elvis Presley.
Extra Notes:
Tom Jones was knighted by QEII in 2006 and received numerous other awards for his music achievements. In February 2015, he received an invitation to perform at the 25th Anniversary of MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honouring Bob Dylan, alongside Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Beck, Jack White, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and others. 

Sir Tom is a living legend, one of few musical artistes whose profession began at the dawn of pop music and who continues to record and perform to this day.

*Time (The Revelator) is an album by Gillian Welch written together with David Rawlings and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Elvis Presley Blues sung by Tom Jones is one of the tracks in this music album. The song is also included in his own album Long Lost Suitcase with 12 others of his own.
             The Star Performing Arts Theatre @ Vista Green Singapore

Concert Information: LK Min.
TJ Information: Star Theatre Website
Images: A Private Collection; arch daily; Google.
Video: You Tube from Tom Jones VEVO; Mars Attack: Mr Frollo.

Tom Jones in Mars Attack: It's Not Unusual

Monday, March 28, 2016

Steven Seagal Fights Are Like Elvis Presley Songs

ELVIS PRESLEY SONGS

1950's - 1970's

There came a time in the late 70's after Elvis Presley's death that many of his followers wanted to see him only in those parts of his movies where he sang rather than watch the whole movie. 

Fans just waited for the five songs or more when he would appear to do his musical and magic moves. There were many of these Presley formulaic movies with an economical budget and our clean, sauve, tancho-haired King performing his hits. He made more than 30 films.

The first few films e.g. Jailhouse Rock, King Creole and Loving You were great to watch but as the years went on his movies became too lollipop and sugary, so fans just wanted to watch him sing. 

These fans would enjoying seeing him serenade his leading ladies on the silver screen when his films came around again for second showings in the smaller theatres in Singapore. They just adored his shaking the dance floor with hot hipped gyrations and pelvic emotions. There were Presley fans today who would watch the same movie three, four times and maybe more. They never got tired of him. 
Furthermore Singaporeans would find it expensive to go to Las Vegas in the 70's just to see him perform, unless they were filthy rich. This same group of people would have collected his records too, especially the Italian EP's (Extended Plays) and the Elvis Top Hits (LP's) Long Plays that have a dozen of his songs on each album. 

Samplings of Presley movies that were popular for their song and dance scenes would include: Viva Las Vegas (with Ann Margret on video below), Blue Hawaii, G.I. Blues and many more. In fact, 241 of his songs were made specifically for movie projects.

There was one movie that Presley did not sing. Do you know the title of the *movie?


STEVEN SEAGAL FIGHTS

1980's - 2000's

Similarly with action hero Steven Seagal, a 7th Dan Black Belt in Aikido who appeared in the early 80's but smashed and punched his way to fame only in late 1988 with Above The Law

He, like Presley, was a mega star with audiences who were keen on martial arts films.  They waited for his movies and had only one thing in mind, to watch him in fight scenes on screen with his Aikido moves where he would twist, punch and mostly push his opponents into a bloody pulp.  Everything else was secondary.

Then came the mid-1990's when video technology spot-lighted the glimmering Laser Discs and the smaller DVD's. Home audiences bought by the truck-load videos of Steven Seagal movies and the focus was to watch him agonize his cowardly enemies again and again on the 19-inch small screen. He was fast, he was exciting and, after Bruce Lee's untimely exit, he was different.

When his movies were distributed in the market, faithful viewers bought his films in LD and DVD format specially to watch the fight scenes. They were hot and again like Elvis songs, the top talk in Singapore corner kopi-tiams and sarabat-stalls. Like Presley, Seagal made more than 30 movies.

Here was the big, tall man in black Buddha suit, black, straight shiny hair tied into a piquant pony tail with black beads and all. Oh, and they just loved his moves. He would slap around his nasty enemies with ease like a polar bear would a bunch of seals. But the punches came thick and the cracking brittle bones could be heard breaking on HiFi, Stereo and THX.

In a scene from Glimmer Man Seagal was insulted by the gang's bodyguard, "Why don't you and I take your sensitive pony-tail and those sissy beads and get out of here!" 

Seagal simply shoved his opponent through a glass partition in one fell swoop. The villian never got up. From his first, Above The Law to On Deadly Ground and the two Under Seige movies, Seagal was at his best the ten years from 1987 to 1997. But in later periods of his career when the novelty ended, so did his movie contracts.

The on-screen personality and charisma when Presley sang and Seagal fought soared well above the movie plots they were in. The stories were just a platform for their performance. Seagal fights are like Presley songs. The audiences just wanna watch the action.

Today with an IT gadget like the computer, Presley and Seagal fans could enjoy both their graceful art displays repeatedly without fuss.  You Tube has opened the world to instant everything.
                          Steven Seagal Fights Video by John John.
*Answer: Charro.

Disclaimer
There are millions of Elvis Presley and Steven Seagal fans out there and I am one. This posting has no intention of undermining these mega-stars. For their time and even today's, Presley and Seagal are still the best.
                                Elvis Presley Video by rockwindow10

Caricatures from:

https://capetowncaricaturist.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/a-few-celebs/

http://www.funatico.com/articles/caricature-collection-by-stephen-silver-1956.html#.VvkyGPl96M9

Images: Google.

You Tube   Steven Seagal by John John.
Videos:     Elvis Presley by rockwindow10

Steven Seagal Fights; Elvis Presley Songs









ARTICLE ABOVE.






Caricatures from:
https://capetowncaricaturist.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/a-few-celebs/
http://www.funatico.com/articles/caricature-collection-by-stephen-silver-1956.html#.Vvim1fl96M8

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Touched n Inspired By Hymns Through My Years...

My Good Friday and Easter Posting

School Days

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died.

I do not remember, as a young student in an Anglican school, learning specific Good Friday and Easter songs. It happened too long ago but I can still recollect being taught, for both my music classes and Religious Knowledge (R.K.) lessons, by Mr. V. Q. 

Chapel Time on Friday morning was when we got our energy together and sang our hearts out, accompanied by a truly unique church organ played by Mr Q.
It was the most enjoyable period on the time table and I loved every moment. This weekly class was usually conducted by a kind Reverend Dr D.D. C. 

During special events, the school would use the majestic cathedral, beside City Hall MRT, for prayers, blessings and hymns. We were thrilled when we first entered it and found the grandeur architecture awesome but the visits seemed too few.  There were not many inaugurations yearly.
The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, written by Isaac Watts and published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707 was one of the earlier hymns I learnt at school. The version I learnt is the one sung by Cliff Richard (You Tube One) above. 

There were many other hymns and I do remember a few like, Forty Days and Forty Nights (1856), Onward Christian Soldiers (1865/1871), All Things Bright And Beautiful (1848) and All People That On Earth Do Dwell (1650). And not forgetting the School Hymn. Woe betide the student who didn't know both, which included the School Song.

Post School Days

He touched me, oh he touched me
And oh the joy that floods my soul.

Since I left school, there was this period when I only listened to Christmas carols on the radio, vinyl records, cassettes and CD's. But because of my interest in pops, I had nearly two dozen songs recorded by an artiste who kept me in tune. 
The CD which I have till today is Take My Hand, Elvis Presley Gospel Favourites. This recording is a memorabilia among Presley fans and includes classics like I Believe (1953), Amazing Grace (1779), Put Your Hand In The Hand (1970), Joshua Fit The Battle (1865), How Great Thou Art (1885) and others. 

Then the Presley specials, Peace In The Valley (1937), Crying In The Chapel (1953), Take My Hand Precious Lord (1844) and He Touched Me (1964). There are twenty songs in all.

As the years went by, touched and inspired with this genre of music I started collecting again. One I learnt was Because He Lives (1971). Written two hundred years later after Wondrous Cross, this particular song was written by  William Gaither in the 60's. 
Gaither was an American singer and songwriter of the southern gospel and contemporary christian music.  He Touched Me (You Tube Two), the Presley favourite which became a hit, was the William Gaither breakthrough song.

Forty days and forty nights
Thou was fasting in the wild
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted and yet undefiled...

There is a second part to this piece; it will surface in another posting. 

Have a Good Friday and a Happy Easter.
NB:

The Hymn 
is addressed to God for praise, worship, adoration and prayer. It allows us to confess our sins to God, claim His mercy and promises, and pledge our loyalty and faithful service.

The Gospel song 
is addressed to the people, warn them of the consequences of sin, give the promise of liberty, peace, joy and heaven. With it we can appeal directly to the people to do likewise. 

Both Hymns and Gospels are used in Evangelistic churches.

(If errors are found in this article please write to advise; I am a novice with religious music.)

Images from: 
(1) http://www.pictures88.com/good-friday/wonderful-good-friday-graphic/
(2) http://episcopalvail.com/?event=easter-sunday

You Tube videos of Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley and Alabama from: 
(1) Sir Cliff Richard
(2) you tube addict cyber space enthusiast
(3) GaitherVEVO
Dates of song composition have been taken from WIKI.

ST. ANDREW'S SCHOOL SINGAPORE MEMORY TRAIL.