Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Checkmates, Flamingos, Stylers, Robert Song

Shirley Nair left the *Checkmates, to join the Silver Strings in the mid-60s. Robert Song, who was percussionist with The Flamingos Combo Band (check out posting on James Choa), replaced Nair. Although Song fronted the Checkmates as a vocalist he was still playing with the Combo band for some time. He was also with The Stylers (check out the previous posting under 'Stylers').

The song was the Johnny Ray - Cry - of Singapore and already in the music scene since the mid-50s. He also produced the Paul Anka Competition at the Rex Cinema in 1959 and other stage shows, since he was with Shaw Brothers then. He was best with jazz standards but could sing rock and roll. Just Walkin' In The Rain, was one of the standards he did.

The Checkmates play instrumental song Sylvia.wmv. Video: eosyeo.

Robert Song and The Checkmates performed at the Cellar and other venues that included the Golden Venus and the Celestial Room. Golden Venus was a rendezvous for British servicemen stationed in Singapore then.

Song, always with a personal touch, distributed postcards of the band while he was with the group. As a graphic artist and an excellent one at that, he designed the above card. Many of the huge cinema posters in the 60s, fronting the Capitol Cinema at North Bridge Road, were created by Robert Song.

The card (image) was a gift from the talented singer. Song had since migrated to the Philippines.

*The Checkmates comprised, Benny Chan (lead), Lanky Lawrence Lee (bass), Hans Hussein (rhythm) and Amir (drums). They were one of the top guitar groups in the 60s.


Delvy said...

My dad si Amir samsudin.. he reside in Jakarta now..

Andy Young* said...

Thank you for your comment Delvy. Just seen it. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I like it a lot of your materials and if you could please get a hold of me at obaki65@gmail.com
Thank you.

Andy Young* said...

Will try sir, as soon as I can. Thank you fore appreciating and supporting this blog.

It's all done free for the love of 60s melodies.