"TAN SWEE LEONG passed away on 18th December, 2015. This article was written when we met at a social gathering in 2012. Leong died of rectal cancer." Andy.
What do Singapore Sixties pop DJ's do when they retire? To Tan Swee Leong retirement is not a word he uses to describe his time since he left the recording studios at Rediffusion. He's still the business person, show promoter, singer, piano player and cat lover (he's got eight cats at home in Holland Village).
When we met at a party recently he entertained us with some 50's favourites singing, A You're Adorable, Chattanooga Choo Choo and Alfie. Just as versatile, his fingers danced on the ivories as he played both Chinese and English hit tunes. Like old friend Jimmy Chan, he could have been successful recording some of his music.
Leong's been keeping himself busy these days both with his work and socially. Friends who know him well are aware that he is also a Mee Siam and Leg of Lamb culinary expert. Many of his kakis and colleagues, including some well-known personalities, have tasted his especially delicious mee-siam.
"Hey, Swee Leong, time you opened a restaurant to let others taste this popular Asian dish," I told him one day.
"Wait till you taste my leg of lamb," he replied, "Then you'll want me to open a Deli..."
We all remember Tan Swee Leong, the man who had interviewed Marlon Brando, Cliff Richard and The Beatles when he was still at the only cable network from the 60's
From his school website, Old Victorians' Association, he's been described as the legendary radio/tv compere and DJ "listed in the Who's Who in Singapore and Malaysia, a publication on prominent personalities."
The writer added that, "Singaporeans of the older generation would remember with fondness the great voice and witty presentation of Swee Leong, first on Redifusion and later with RTS and TCS." Remember Swee Leong.
5C's he's got: Crooner, Cook, Cat Lover, Candid, and... Compere.
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18th December, 2015.
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Image: Swee Leong n Cat Ouzo by courtesy of Peter Boudewyn
Rejuvenated Post on 18th December, 2015 because of TSL's passing away.