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. (I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOU-TUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS OR IMAGES. THEY ARE UPLOADED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. MOST ARTICLES AND SOME IMAGES ARE ORIGINAL, COPYRIGHTED AND LABELLED SUCH. KNOWLEDGE IS FREE. COPYRIGHTS ARE NOT. ANDY YOUNG. November, 2008).





Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bill Haley's Comets And Black Market Tickets


A poster, 'Rock Around The Clock' (1956), like the above was the talk of the town in the late 50s in Singapore when the rock and roll explosion hit the country louder than Chinese New Year firecrackers. The Roxy Cinema was filled to the brim when the movie invaded the theatre near the beaches at the East Coast.
When patrons wanted to buy tickets for shows like these, the queue circled round the Roxy building like a snake would round the victim's body. Black market tickets sold for as much as 100% more i.e: a 50 Cents front-seat ticket would cost $1.00 as tough, unruly boys filled the queue much earlier before a show to buy and control tickets.
Seats were cheap then and the cinema hall was divided into four sections i.e: the first 5 rows from the screen cost 50 Cents while the rest were priced from $1.00, $2.00 and $3.00 depending how far away from the screen the seat was. The circle (upstairs, back rows) was priced at $3.00.
Such was the impact when this music phenomenon rocked Singapore as Bill Haley, the Comets, the Platters and others came to town. Rock and roll took its roots way before Cliff Richard and Rolling Stones.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to watch this film at Roxy Theatre in the late fifities. The moment Bill Haley appeared and started belting out the song "Rock around the clock" the whole audience stood up, clapped their hands and gyrated to the music of rock and roll. I enjoyed the show so much that I watched it no fewer than 3 times. Thanks Andy for the nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing. I remember doing the same thing ie watched the show two times and came out refreshed and feeling I had conquered the world.
Andy