SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY's POP MUSIC INFLUENCE IS MY PERSONAL MUSIC AND MEMORY TRAIL. PICTURES TELL STORIES BUT I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOU TUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS OR IMAGES. THEY HAVE BEEN UPLOADED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES SO INFORM ME IF COPYRIGHTED AND THEY WILL BE DELETED. ANDY LIM (NOVEMBER, 2008).

Monday, April 20, 2009

A. RAMLIE Kugiran Pop Yeh Yeh Melayu 60an

The Pop Yeh Yeh phenomenon was one of the most significant east-west cultural event that had ever occurred in Singapore and Malaya. Malay boys and girls, some as young as 15 years, were up on stage twanging their amplified guitars and drums before a large audience in a hall or cinema. 

Those years these shiny, solid 'guits' were the envy among band-boys. You could own a Hofner, a Japanese Teisco or the more high-end Fender. The drum sets were either an Olympic a Pearl, or if you have the money honey, Rogers.

Most of the band members would be dressed to the nines with full suits and ties. Shaking their heads and screaming their hearts out they would be singing in Malay but with a rock and roll beat to similar tunes that the Beatles would churn out. That's why the name "Pop Yeh Yeh."
In the 1960's venues for these Malay pop concerts were held in non air-conditioned halls. The St. John's Ambulance Brigade Hall at Beach Road would be an example. 

With the rebel-rousing voices, thick garbs, their gyrations and the warm surroundings, it only took minutes before the bands and the youngsters gathered were raining under their clothes. 

Yes, it would have been very hot and stuffy too especially when the bands played for Malay weddings in the mid-afternoon.  During those years nobody went on stage with a T-Shirt and ragged jeans and slippers. 

Whatever it was, nothing could stop this generation of youth from doing what they wanted to do, and that was to let themselves go.  With this scene in mind we look at one personality who became a cult figure in this arena of lagu2 pop Melayu and some in his group who were responsible for this Golden Age of our local popular music.

Kaki Bukit, Singapore Boy:
A. Ramlie, born in Kaki Bukit in Singapore, was one of the top Malay artistes during the 60s and 70s. He gained recognition when his guitar group The Siglap Five was placed 2nd in a competition in 1954.
Rhythm Boys:
From then on he never looked back and joined The Rhythm Boys where they won the Pertandingan Kugiran Seluruh Singapura (guitar group competition) in 1965. He was also with groups like The Click Four, The Times Orchestra and The Clans. He was very popular indeed fronting these bands throughout the early years of his singing career.

The Night Walkers:
In 1971 he appeared on TV Singapura in a programme called Istana Pesta, cut many EPs on the Panda label and was usually accompanied by a band from Johor Bahru called, The Nite Walkers.

Yusnur Ef: Many of his songs were written by Yusnur Ef. Yusnur was featured in an earlier post on this blog. The EP (image), produced by Kassim Masdor, included his songs, "Berpisah", "Kalau Aku Jadi Kahwin", "Perpatah Punjangga", with lyrics by Yusnur Ef and "Nak Dara Rindu" by P. Ramlee (singer, songwriter, actor, director, also featured in an earlier posting.)

Parkinson's Disease: In later years A. Ramlie settled in Malaysia and entertained listeners on Radio Malaysia. He passed away in 1996 suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

An original article from Andy Lim 
Images: from Andy Lim Collection and allmusic.com
You Tube Video by sharkbreakerz.

Read notes by Dr. Steven Farram about A. Ramlie on 'Comments' below:

8 comments:

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Andy, might I inquire what Ramlie's sound is like?

rogerpoh said...

Hi Dino. I have read your Dinoblog and your Dinolove shines through.

Andy Young* said...

A. Ramlie's songs and the sound of his voice would be what Yusnur Ef describes as soft and soothing. He says that A. Ramlie's voice is "original" so he doesn't try to emulate. The song titles from his EPs explain Ramlie's style, Berpisah (PARTING), Kalau Aku Jadi Kahwin (IF I DO GET MARRIED), Perpatah Pujangga (WORDS FROM THE LITERARY WRITER), Nak Dara Rindu (Virgin Girl's Lament or Longings).
I wish I could stream the songs for you but I can't. In short then, Ramlie could be a crooner and sings romantic songs or songs of the heart and that's the reason why I have grouped them together.

Andy Young* said...

Hi DinoMartinPeters,
Perhaps, to get a clearer picture, or listen to their songs, you might like to visit:
garagehangover.com one of the best music sites ever.
A friend, Steven Farram, an expert on Singapore music, writes about Malay bands and he features The Rhythm Boys too.
Cheers,
Andy

Andy Young* said...

Hi Andy,
I was reading your post about A Ramlie. There are many posts on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch
This one is his first big hit ‘O Fatima’. In the original version he was backed by The Rythmn Boys, but this is a re-recording for television. 1970s by the look of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?
This is his second big hit ‘Hidup Bersama’. This clip is from a concert a few years before his death and he does look a bit ill. The soundtrack is the original recording with The Rythmn Boys. A great song.

Regards
Steve

Dr Steven Farram
Research Associate
School of Creative Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Law, Business and Arts
Charles Darwin University
Darwin, Northern Territory
Australia.

Andy Young* said...

Thanks again Steve for your letter to my private email. I have taken the liberty of posting the full letter so we can share your knowledge on Pop Yeh Yeh Singapore 60s.
Regards,
Andy

Andy Young* said...

Sorry everyone,
Key in: youtube a ramlie oh fatimah
and
Key in: youtube a ramlie hidup bersama

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Note the significant spelling of this group's name because 'RHYTHM' was spelt 'RYTHMN' but they were truly a fabulous group with their playing and beat in their songs.

Rhythm Boys had a very large following in the 1960's.