The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has passed away. Robert Vaughn, suave, serious but always with that certain charisma had made him the 1960's hero Napoleon Solo on the small screen at home. Like James Bond. But he had a side-kick (60's heroes usually had partners in crime). He was called Ilya Kuryakin i.e. actor David McCallum.
We rushed home to catch the series which came a year or two after national b/w television came to Singapore in early 1963. Just as popular was the theme song. I don't remember any of our band boys playing this melody, not even the top names in our local line up. Perhaps it's because the music needed the big sound of an orchestra.
The original Jerry Goldsmith composition was recorded by Hugo Montenegro who carried the theme with style and pomp. It was typical background music that could create an atmosphere of suspense during a scene, common in 1960's TV shows. But one great Singapore band did record this movie theme.
Way back when, Marie Tang recorded an EP with a guitar group. She is the daughter of Wilma Tang, the late nightclub singer who used to perform at Ocean Park Hotel at East Coast Road, near St. Patrick's School.
Marie Tang wrote me a note some years ago because she was a talentime participant and talked about Uncle Larry Lai (well-known Rediffusion DJ), Uncle Charlie Lazaroo (pianist in the radio orchestra) and The Man from Uncle. Here's her letter:
Wow! This is really a surprise! The one and only E.P. (Extended Play Record) I cut was with *The Stylers, and I have some very fond memories of the many practice sessions we had during those days for my record, which also contains the song from The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Uncle Solo! Oh my goodness! I was only 15 years old then...
You have a very interesting blog and it will surely bring back many wonderful memories and smiles for many of us who contributed to the music scene during the 60s.
Your posting of my mum... I've just sent it to her through MSN and she too was mesmerised and surprised.
*The recording was done with The Comancheros not The Stylers.
Read her letter by connecting below:
Images and Video: Google and You Tube.