Nearly half a century ago and also hailing from Holland came one of the most proficient and popular group to Singapore's shore. This group mesmerised me with their tinkling guitar sounds and stage presence.
With their own unique instrumental rendition of popular Indonesian folk songs they were a special group indeed. So 'Nona, Nona, Zaman Sekarang', 'Nina Bobo', 'Stambul Bunga Mawar' and "Kapal Ladju' became chart poppers again in Singapore and Malaysia with special tribute albums to both countries when they were here in April and May, 1964.
The Jumping Jewels were a group with total musical discipline and controlled presentation. Instrumentals like, 'Trek To Rome', 'Wild Geese', 'Smoke Signals', 'Zero Zero', 'Blue Skies' and 'Jumping Can Can' became as popular as the Shadows classics and were played by many of our own guitar groups. In fact 'Cossack Melodies' (not an original JJ) was so popular a few bands would be playing it for one stage show. It became an unwritten rule that bands prepared other tunes just in case.
When they began in October 1960, JJ would read Johnny & Jewels which later became JJJ, Johnny Lion & The Jumping Jewels. They soared with their version of 'Wheels' in their own country and with 'Guitar Tango' in France. Oldies like, 'A Hundred Pounds Of Clay', and 'Twilight Time' started people whistling the tunes again.
Johnny Lion became a star too and fronted them with 'Teenage Senorita', 'Devl Woman' and other hits. 'I Wanna Dance With You' made it to the Billboard Charts in May 1965.
My two favourites are *'Irish Washerwoman' by the group and 'Judy' by Johnny Lion. In fact I sang it during the VivoCity gig.
*Slick, quick pick. Absolutely fantastic guitar fingering.
So there you are JJJ fans, one vintage photo, one of JJ and the last of JL. Wow!
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