Arrival of Buddy Holly & Sam Cooke:
Too Much - Elvis Presley, Don't Forbid Me - Pat Boone, Young Love - Sonny James, Young Love - Tab Hunter, Party Doll - Buddy Knox, Round and Round - Perry Como, All Shook Up - Elvis Presley, Butterfly - Charlie Gracie, Love Letters In The Sand - Pat Boone.
Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley, Tammy - Debbie Reynolds, Diana - Paul Anka, Honeycomb - Jimmie Rodgers, That'll Be The Day - The Crickets Wake Up Little Susie - Everly Brothers, Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley, Chances Are - Johnny Mathis, You Send Me - Sam Cooke, April Love - Pat Boone
In the 50s Singapore had its big bands too. Because we were still a part of Malaya, the image shows the Radio Malaya Orchestra in 1957 at a studio situated in Caldecott Hill, Singapore. It comprised strings, brass, a guitar, a xylophone, a double bass and percussion.
The band members were usually full time professionals employed by Radio Malaya. Some expatriates who lived in Singapore also played for the orchestra. These musicians were also able to play local Chinese, Malay and Indian melodies. They played local songs way before Anneke Gronloh sang Burung Kakak Tua or Nina Bobo. When Malaya won independence in 1957, the radio service was split into Radio Malaya and Radio Singapore.
As we follow the Top Tunes, melodies like Lisbon Antigua by Nelson Riddle, The Poor People Of Paris and Unchained Melody by Les Baxter would be the usual fare. Instrumental versions of hits by Pat Boone, Debbie Reynolds and Tab Hunter would be played regularly too. Notice too that all the songs are still known today by many pop tune enthusiasts. And Paul Anka is still singing!
Do you know anyone who was in a big band in the 50s in Singapore?
Image: National Heritage Board Singapore/Singapore Press Holdings.
Original article: Andy Lim Collection.