Saturday, September 19, 2009

(1) Singapore Formula 1 Race '09, Michelle, Green Berets, Boots Are Made For Walking '66

The Singapore F1 Formula Race next week on Sunday September, 27th takes us back to the 60s when Singapore had its lst Grand Prix in April, 1966 at Thomson Road.

Previous editions were held before Singapore became independent so there was much excitement that week. Blogger remembers that the buzz phrase was, "Grand Prix" (ie, 'gron pree') but the term was verbally abused by our folks.

While the focus was on the race, the froth was also brewing on the international pop music scene in April 1966. Why? Although the Beatles reached top positions in the world charts, they didn't do too well in their own British homeland.

Another surprise was Sergeant Barry Sadler's Ballads Of The Green Berets (image) which praised Vietnam but came 42nd on the list. This song never became popular in Singapore for obvious reasons but the ballad came up to the top on the US charts in later weeks.

Singapore Top Tunes lists Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walking (covered by Nancy Sit and a few other local artistes) and Sounds Of Silence by Simon And Garfunkel in the top spots. Also Michelle by Billy Vaughn, and not the Beatles, was at number 3. What about our own bands and singers?

Image: Wikipedia.

YouTube Video: Konshito -Nov 2006. All time classic/original version.

Original article: Andy Lim


Andy Young* said...

This note came from Peter on my email:

I believe the word "puff" in that song was the culprit. It is associated with smoking marijuana and cannabalis. I can share a similar experience I faced during my school days. I wrote a class play for the Drama festival in 1970. The play was titled "That Girl Is A Woman Now" and we won the Best Supporting Actor Award. The actor was none other than the owner of St James Powerhouse.

All finalists' scripts had to be submitted to the police at Central Police Station in South bridge Road for approval. This was because we staged a public play and this required a police permit. I was interrogated by the police, being the playwright. I was questioned on a) Why did I choose that title and b) one scene which showed us puffing a pipe stimulating marjuana had to be taken out. The police also objected to many scenes like abortion and foul language. In the end we had to concede otherwise we could have stopped the drama festival altogether.


Andy Young* said...

Thanks Peter for the feedback. I appreciate the information and agree with you wholeheartedly. I wish I could somehow post your note to Peter and Paul. They have interesting websites where they explain their cause.

Andy Young* said...

Sorry, the two gentlemen called Peter seem confusing. Peter Chan, Singaporean, who wrote to me, used to be with a pop band and played the Orchard Road, Singapore circuit in the late 60s and 70s. Please check his posting at: where he writes about his experiences.

The other Peter is from the Peter, Paul & Mary group.