SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY'S POP MUSIC INFLUENCE: ON THE MUSIC N MEMORY TRAIL IS MY OWN BLOG N ROLL PROJECT. NOSTALGIA IS PERSONAL HISTORY N PICTURES TELL STORIES. POP MUSIC NOT PILLS. ANDY YOUNG. (November, 2008). IT'S DONE WITH MUCH TIME AND LOVE.


JOSE MARI CHAN: 'BEAUTIFUL GIRL' VIDEO ANTHONY LOZADA.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Rita Chao And Mike Ellery Have Both Passed On!


RITA CHAO PASSED AWAY IN JULY 2014.

ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST STARS IN THE SINGAPORE 60s MUSIC WORLD MS CHAO LEFT A LEGACY THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED BY ALL WHO KNEW HER AND LOVED HER, BOTH AS A SINGER AND AN ENTERTAINER.

MAY SHE REST IN PEACE.

When I posted the above news item a few readers wrote in to comment about Ms Chao. Writing to a few friends who had worked with her on stage, I received three replies, one each from Ronnie See of Ronnie and the Burns; Victor Koo, a blogger; Larry Lai, 60s DJ from Rediffusion and Danny Koh, pianist and leader of Danny and The Musicators.


From Ronnie See:

Rita Chao was popular during the 60s; she was singing duet with Sakura Teng during the Musical Express Sunday Morning Show at the then Capitol Theatre. The duo were better known as the a-go-go singers. Rita has a sweeter voice than her partner Sakura.

Both of them are pretty good but Rita has a slight edge over Sakura because she sings both in English and Mandarin. During that time Henry, Soon Yin the Managing Director of local EMI was promoting them.

I was singing with The Stylers then and backed the girls and the late Soo Yin too during the morning show. Tan Swee Leong was the emcee. Rita's manager was none other than her elder sister Mimi Chao. I am not sure if Rita had emigrated but Sakura lives in WC, USA.
                                               The Stylers
From Larry Lai:

I remember Rita Chao as a sweetly innocent girl, but painfully shy and reticent. In all the times we worked together with Sakura, I hardly had more than a few polite words with her.  Her sister Mimi, who was her manager, was the one I negotiated with...  I wish her well.

From Danny Koh:

I did two records with Rita Chao but was not close to her at all. Tony Zee, the Trailers' drummer, had worked with her during recordings too. It has been a long time.

From Mr Rainbow (You Tube):

Rita Chao, aka Seow Mei-Mei, the A-Go-Go Queen of the 60's. Recorded her first EP with The Quests that included one of her greatest hits during that period, Shake, Shake, Shake or Yeow, Yeow, Yeow in Mandarin. Like Sakura, she sang in Mandarin, English and Japanese. Most of her recordings were accompanied by The Quests. Sixteen Candles was one of her most popular English songs.

From Victor Koo:

I remember being mesmerised by the young pretty faces, the sweet singing and the suave dance moves of the a-go-go duo Rita Chao and Sakura Teng when I was a kid in the 1960s. 


I was staying in a cramped 4-storey SIT flat in Cheng Yan Place with my parents and 4 growing siblings. Lying down on a bed, I watched their performances from a close distance via our very first black-and-white TV set mounted on the wall next to the bed, much like in the hospitals nowadays. I believe this could be a contributing factor to my developing high myopia from a very young age. 

*As for Mike Ellery, I remember him as a DJ. His voice came through the Rediffusion service which we also subscribed to at $5 per month in those days. Fortunately, there was a limit to how loud the Rediffusion set could be turned on. Hence my hearing was not badly affected by Mike Ellery's music. May Rita and Mike rest in peace.

Image/Video from Google and You Tube.

MIKE ELLERY AT REDIFFUSION STUDIOS IN THE 60s SINGAPORE.
*SLIP-NOTE:

NOT SOMETHING I LIKE TO DO, ANNOUNCING THESE NEWS PIECES, BUT MIKE ELLERY HAS JUST PASSED AWAY ON 3rd FEBRUARY, 2015. 


TRAGEDIES ABOUND AS FATHER TIME COMES AROUND!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Andy,
There goes another one of our 60's icon of the local music industry.

Rita Chao was a very private person and
she was never in the limelight after her departure from the music industry.

RIP Rita. Your songs will always remain in our heart and memory.

Fabian

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes, Fabian. We've had a lot of hits and misses these few years. Lately Jap Chong, Bobo, Mark Yun Chong Hai and now Rita Chao.

May they all rest in peace, including Dickie, (Silver Strings lead) and Shirley Nair. With Elvis Presley and James Brown at the mike, they are having a ball up there.

Thanks for the visit.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Rita Chao, she's special on stage, retaining her petiteness with her child like voice and stature, yet dynamic enough to wow the crowd with her A-Go-Go movements and hip jiving attire. Those were the days at the National Theater.

Not much into Chinese music, her records were some of the few I bought. But they were marvelous, playing them again and again on the cheap Denon amplifier I bought for the bedroom. Kwang Sia Records, they were from.

Chakap Chakap said...

Rita Chao was 64 when she passed away.

Shin Min Daily News said that Chao's 90-year-old mother confirmed the news of the former singer's death. Chao passed away in Singapore General Hospital, surrounded by her mother and siblings.

Chao was "Ling Yun" of the "a-go-go princesses" with Sakura Teng, the yodelling cowgirl.

She was diagnosed to be suffering from colorectal cancer.

FL said...

Andy, it's shocking to hear that Rita passed away many months ago without anyone aware of it until recently ! I meant she's a Singapore celebrity in the heyday liked by many, including my family. She used to team up with Sakura in the early years. After the A go go era was over we never hear from Rita except Sakura who even appeared on TV Golden Reunions program. That's life.

KM said...

Sad to learn of her passing. She was petite but then her agogo dancing, singing plus Sakura's yodelling wowed their large following of fans. Those who grew up as their fans will miss her. May she RIP.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

She had kept out of show biz for a long time and wanted privacy so we have to abide by her wish. Yes she was a celebrity during her career, one of the top.

Thanks for the visit FL and for consistently contributing to this blog.

VIctor Woo Trailers Lead Guitarist) said...

I provide backing music during Early Bird Show.

LARRY LAI said...

Sad news. Mike Ellery passed away on 3rd February. He's been ill for a few months.

FROM ALPHONSO SOOSAY said...

Promoters from The RediFfusion Discovery team, Mike Ellery, Larry Lai, Joseph Goh, Tan Swee Leong and Eric Lim. This proactive team created talentime shows where some of the 60’s talents were groomed for lucrative recording contracts.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks KM for comment. According to Chinese pop singer Ling Xiao she takes some time to don her makeup, as long as half a day and is relaxed and composed. But when she's on stage, she becomes the party girl and like you said, wows "the large following of fans".

FACEBOOK said...

Carl Hamm (US), Richard Toh, Chen Hui Shi, Dick Yip, Tan Teng Teng like this Rita Chao/Mike Ellery posting.

TAN TENG TENG said...

Gosh, haven't heard his name in a long long time. (Referring to Mike Ellery).

RICHARD TOH said...

May her soul Rest In Peace... Singer of my era.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you FACEBOOK FRIENDS for reading the post.

Danny Koh said...

Yes so sad. We worked occasionally before at Rediffusion for the Early Bird Show and Rediffusion Discoveries. (About Mike Ellery).

James Kwok said...

Mike Ellery interviewed Ken Dodd in Singapore.

Ken Dodd? Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys1ShRxuAnY

RS said...

Dear Andy, thank you for the blog on Rita Chao and innocently I did not know she left us. (I always admire your writings; you are truly a prolific writer.)

Anonymous said...

I'm from USA, Florida originally, back in the day when a youngster, had not just my juke box on my shoulder, also a short and long wave set. Not only did I hear music here, heard the sounds of foreign waves. Do remember hearing Rita played and am DX familiar just that I heard her and others, she was great. Loved her. Still today I play her music, and will continue to do so long as I live. Thank you Rita, you will always be loved. Jeff from Bear, DE