|Matthew and the Mandarins from Website of a private photo shot.|
When our Singapore dudes and dames started singing their cowboy songs, most of the songs were imported from the Wild Wild West. They were simply covers and these included, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Naomi & The Boys), Silver Threads And Golden Needles (The Crescendos), Lonesome Town (Bobby Lambert & The Dukes), Love Is A Golden Ring (Henry Suriya & The Boys). Sakura Teng too recorded, I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes and The Surfers with, By The Time I Get To Phoenix.
But one dude who covered many cowboy songs is Matthew Tan with his group The Mandarins. Matthew wrote two songs, Singapore Cowboy and Let's Put The Sing In Singapore. He is the only Country singer from Singapore who recorded at Nashville, Tennessee.
They used to play at the Hotel Negara, Singapore and were popular during the 80s oil boom, when many American oil riggers were stationed on the island. They were also at the Peacock Lounge, Shangrilla Hotel. Today they seem an almost forgotten local talent, except to country music fans.
Lately, they have been performing at a Singapore private club. In hand, there are two albums of popular country and western songs on the EMI Singapore label titled, Matthew and The Mandarins, I and II. Having heard them on record and having seen them perform at the hotels, there is no doubt that they are a talented country and western group.
Original article: Andy Lim