The Adelphi Hotel along North Bridge Road and across the road from Funan Centre today, not far from St Andrew's Cathedral and Capitol Cinema, was another popular venue for pop bands when they entertained for festivities, dinner n dance and charity balls. It had a beautiful dance floor typical of the colonial ballrooms that classic hotels had in the 60s and earlier.
The Adelphi as it was called was one of the hotels my band and I appeared when we gave performances as a guitar group during the early 60s. Other hotels and clubs that we had appeared in included the South East Asia Hotel, The Ambassador Hotel, Celestial Room, Springdale, Happy Cabaret, West Point Nightclub, Kowloon Room, etc.
|Appearing at popular Springdale Nightspot in the 1960s.|
As the advertisement shows sometimes three bands performed in a single evening, each band relieving the other for non-stop dance music. In this particular instance we appeared with Keith Locke and The Quests and Vernon with The Trailers.
Image/Original article: Andy Lim Collection.
Image 2: Straits Times Press advertisement.
Published on Jan 23, 2011In the mid-1950s，Radio Malaya started Talentime，a competition that showcased good singers and musicians。It was very successful and attracted a strong following in Malaysia and Singapore。At this time，most music acts consisted of vocal groups。 Given that the music scene was still in its infancy， many local musicians did not have formal training in either playing instruments or reading music。However，most picked up music skills through trial and error，imitation，practice and experience。
Local bands had a strong following in the 1960s。Due to the presence of British servicemen in Singapore and later American servicemen because of the Vietnam War，local bands often performed at military camps，mess halls and servicemen's clubs；as well as at dance halls，and on television and radio。Other venues for live music were the Singapore Badminton Hall and the National Theatre。Popular nightclubs such as the Golden Venus at Orchard Hotel also gave bands regular exposure by employing resident bands。
In late 1961，Cliff Richard and the Shadows played at the Happy World Stadium。Several local bands were signed on by recording companies and went on to release albums that did very well on the local music charts。 Most bands did cover versions of popular British and American songs as these were in demand。Naomi and the Boys， The Quests，The Cyclones and The Trailers were among the bands to release original compositions that did well on the local charts。
In 1964, the original Quests' song「Shanty」 became the first song by a local band to reach the top of the Singapore charts, displacing The Beatles' s「I Should Have Known Better」at No. 1，where it stayed for 12 weeks。 While local 1960s music featured the pop，rock and blues sounds，it also demonstrated the multicultural diversity of Singapore and a blend of Western and Asian influences，with a number of homegrown bands performing songs in English，Malay，Mandarin and Tamil。
Popular bands that performed in English included The Silver Strings，The Crescendos and The Thunderbirds。Malay bands included A. Ramlie 。The close of the 1960s saw the decline of the local music scene。The independence of Singapore in 1965 and the withdrawal of the British beginning in 1968 meant a decrease in foreign troops and，correspondingly，the demand for local bands to perform。
In addition, the government campaign begun in the 1950s to create a Malayan culture and reject 「yellow culture」。 Economic pressures and the inability to sustain a full-time career in music led many musicians to settle down to more conventional full-time jobs and families，while others moved overseas or were drafted into National Service。
Article by fhlew8
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