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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Can You Name This Singapore 60s Mystery Group?


CAN YOU NAME THIS CHOIR FROM THE 60s?
SOME SLEEVES SPEAK:

To keep the mystery intact, an edited version of the sleeve-liner from the back-cover of 'ami' Records (without serial number) tells you about this group. Each blank ( _ ) represents a word. Try it:

"The first thing that strikes most people about _ _ is our name. It merely means that instead of walking up the middle _ of the _ _ _ , we stick to the side _!

We have often been confronted with an embarassing, 'Well, what are The _? I mean, well... what are you?' The answer comes in two words: We sing. We sing of what _ means to us, we sing of Singapore, we sing of love, hope, faith an of running and catching the wind.

We have grown tired of sitting down and arguing with people about faith and _ . So instead of yelling pointlessly for hours on end, getting bad tempers, sore throats and headaches, we sing. We have found that music is a language everyone understands, and so we use music as our medium of _ .

Started in 1965 by the _ _ _, the group originally consisted of girls from St. Margaret's Secondary School. We later expanded to include men and girls from the various denominational _ and are now based at _ _ _ .

The _ _ have appeared over TV Singapura and Malaysia and made broadcasts over Radio Singapura and Rediffusion, besides singing in _ and concerts halls.

This album is a live recording of one of our performances. Two of the numbers, 'Dem Bones' and 'Go Tell It On The Mountain', are spirituals which have been rearranged by the group, and the Christmas calypso 'On A Day' is an original tune based on words by Dr. D. T. Niles. 'Morning Town Ride' is one of the many folk-songs sung by us, while The Great Spirit, composed by the Colwell Brothers, is one of severa MRA songs often sung by the group (anonymous)."
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The clues are all there. So one last clue. Five of the girls would have formed a pop girl group and cut records with Philips (Universal Music Singapore) in 1967. Can you name the above group and their place of practice?

Image/article: ami Records/back sleeve cover.
Image of St. Andrew's Cathedral from: http://www.victorianweb.org/

3 comments:

DEBRA CHONG said...

Hi Mr Lim,

I came across your post on "Can You Name This Singapore 60s Mystery Group" and was wondering if the group you were referring to was the Sidaislers?

I'm a freelance researcher/writer working on an upcoming documentary on Singapore's national music, and am actually trying to track down existing members of the Sidaislers or Friday Girls, whom I believe were involved in the creation of songs such as Singapore Town and To Build A Rugged Society.

Was wondering if you might by any chance have any clues to the whereabouts of any of the members, or could provide any further information, as I've not been able to find much about them.

If possible, would greatly appreciate it if you could drop me a mail.
Thank you!

Regards,
Debra

Andy Lim* said...

Hi Debra,
Am on holiday now. Will attend to your request when I am back.

Thanks for visiting the blog.

DC said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your email. Apologies for the late reply to your previous email as I was out of town over the weekend.

With regards to the Friday Girls, I believe that they were also a part of the Sidaislers group from St Andrew's Cathedral so my leads pretty much stem from there.

I actually met a Mr Chay recently, who used to be part of the Sidaislers, but unfortunately he doesn't remember who any of the girls are, only that they were students at St Margaret's and that they were mostly Eurasians.

Also came across a book entitled "Songs of the Sidaislers" in the reference section of the National Library, which contains lyrics to some of the songs they performed.

The words and music for the song, "There is an Island" have been credited to a Susan Cheng but I'm afraid I don't know anything else about her. The other names mentioned in the book were Vernon Perreau and Albany To, if that rings any bells.

There was also a Michael Cheng mentioned, but I understand that he passed away many years ago.

I believe they performed as part of the Sidaislers in a National Day Special on RTS in 1967 or 1968, if that's of any help.

Regards,
Debra