Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Peggy Tann Story Part 2 By Henri Gann

Part 2 of The Peggy Tann Story by Henri Gann appears below. It is the last part and I wish to thank my good friend again for taking much trouble to research, write and produce it. If you have photographs and recordings of Peggy Tan to spare please write to me on the Comment page. Andy.

3,500+ views for Part 1,2
since its was released.

Picture 5

The ads in the local Straits Times would often read " Dance to the HH Tan's Orchestra and hear Peggy sing ". They would be performing at the El Amigo Nightclub, the Ocean Park Hotel, the Mandarin Hotel or the Cockpit Hotel

Many times they would find themselves playing at fashion shows alongside with Joan Booty Modeling Agency. In one instance, they went all the way to the Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur just to play at the Press Queen Beauty Pageant.

Occasionally, Peggy and her father would travel to perform in the clubs of Hong Kong. In 1959, they were invited by John Calvert to play with his troupe on his Around The World Tour. That was a major event as reported in the Straits Times by reporter Emma Baptista

However, during the interview for the show, Peggy surprised her fans when she said that she would prefer a "quiet life " away from the limelight of show business. (Straits Times Feb 6, 1959). By that time, Peggy had decided that playing for dances at the clubs and hotels were to be her forte rather than touring and playing at fashion shows.

Picture 6 

In later years, Peggy named her band the Prince's Trio or Quartet. In a very short period, she was the resident group at the Prince's Tea Room and the Jennifer's French Restaurant; both at the Cockpit Hotel. 

Years later, Peggy would eventually accomplish resident group status at the Shangri-La Hotel; thus fulfilling her dream of being a professional musician in a luxury 5-star hotel.

The Recording Artist

Peggy released a total of 5 albums/records in her career. Her first attempt at recording was on local music with a good folklore story. She recorded the famous Bengawan Soloan Indonesian/ Malaysian song made popular after the 2nd World War; and the ever popular Soochow Serenade, a romantic poetic melody from a popular 1942 post-war movie "Suzhou Night" sung by the late Chinese-born Japanese Singer and Actress Yoshiko Yamaguchi (Wikipedia). On subsequent recordings, she selected classical jazz pieces, movie themes, and popular hits. (see list below)

Her favorite musicians were the legendary pianist Oscar Peterson and the great organist Jimmy Smith. The jazz and pop singers she liked were Nancy Wilson, Vic Damone, Peggy Lee and Johnny Mathis. Peggy played many of the themes from the movies and that was a good reminder of the great era days of movie classics.
Picture 7

Filipino producer Gene O'Campo and recording engineer KK Wong both worked with Peggy on her "Love" with Life album. They were very impressed by her flexibility, versatility, and tenacity in her pursuit of perfection during the recording sessions.
Peggy had left us a legacy of beautiful dance tunes and lyrics for her memory. A talented musician, she was just too shy for fame. 

As she stated on the cover of one of her LPs "I live to communicate with my audience, and if this succeeds, I feel so much better.

For her, that communication with her audience was dancing to her music. That was her passion and her satisfaction was the enthusiastic fans.

Read Part 1: Connect below:

This posting is an original article by Henry Gan and is Copyrights Reserved. 

Images: from Henri Tann, Google.
Picture 8
    " Au Revoir Peggy! "
My little boat is like a note
Bouncing merrily along
Hear it splashing up a song

Here's my Spotify Playlist on the Music of Peggy:

( copy and paste )
And some YouTube link to her music selection:

   1.  If Ever I Would Leave You -  B.Adair

   2.  I Will Wait For You - Lisa Lovbrand
   3.  Something Stupid ( Frank and  
           Nancy Sinatra )

Picture 9

    4.  Unchained Melody ( Nora Jones )
     5.  Hati Yang Luka ( Betharia Sonata )
  • this article was inspired by a sad note from Melvyn Tan in Andy's blog regarding his aunt Peggy Tann ... " my dearest aunt passed away at 7:55 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016, and had left us with a treasure trove of her music and sweet memories of her soul. "
  • Peggy was a good friend of my uncle when I was a kid and I had heard stories about her from my brother to whom my uncle had confided in.


Henri Gann said...

Here's the new Youtube link to Betharia Sonata
"Hati Yang Luka."

Henri Gann said...

New Youtube link to
"If Ever I Would Leave You" by Beegie Adair

Samuel Siang Kiang Foo said...

Well written! .....It may take a lot of your time but to leave a legacy for the next generation is a good way to give back.

Samuel Siang Kiang Foo

Eng Hong Lee said...

Hi Henri
Thank you. Another side of you seldom seen by us Bravo.

Wendy said...

Thanks Henri
I followed the link etc, would have loved to hear her voice. Tried through a few different links to find her, but so far unsuccessful. Will keep trying. Have found this link am now downloading the music so I can listen to her. Had to download RAR opener, all worked great and was able to listen to her. She has a fantastic voice
Great article!

Wendy said...

Thank you for your flattery and kind words Andy. You have inspired me and I am sure many others to write. Here's a good quote for all.

"There is no Greater agony than bearing an Untold Story inside you." Maya Angelou, American Poet


Thank you for your flattery and kind words Andy. You have inspired me and I am sure many others to write. Here's a good quote for all.

"There is no Greater agony than bearing an Untold Story inside you." Maya Angelou, American Poet

Henri Gann said...

Peggy's Recording:
Compliments of Hank Madrotter ( ref: Wendy Taylor )
Nice R & B/soul album from singer/piano player Peggy Tan....

GET IT HERE ( Download and Unzip File with Zip Extractor )

anonymous said...

Knowing Peggy Tann personally and having worked together, she loves to play George Shearing. Ms. Tann had a strict upbringing.

Henri Gann said...

Thank You. It's comments like yours that brings to live
the beautiful memories of Peggy...

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This comment post keeps itself alive with periodical answers from Henri the author. Thanks, Henri.

A friend met Peggy's brother recently who commented that he would like to meet the writer of the blog. The question is which writer, so I shall try to sort it out and find out if this brother of P. is based in Singapore.

My friend does not have his connection. Henri?


The Peggy Tann tribute reminded me of other pianists who also recorded albums featuring film music during the 1960s: Roger Williams, Frank Chacksfield, George Greeley and, of course, Rawicz and Landauer.

Easy listening at its finest in the midst of the Beatles, Stones, and all the rest of the pop groups of that time. It was always good to relax on my bed with some light music on my Phillips record player under a creaking, lethargic ceiling fan after a hot day's work.

Henri Gann said...

Thank you Alan !
You have certainly "described the music moods of Peggy Tann". Those were the days when the "lyrics of music were both beautiful and romantic" ( james randall, youtube ).

With your mentioned of Frank Chacksfield (1995), famous British Pianist, many of us can still remember if not hum along occasionally to the tune of Fascination, I Only Have Eyes For You, Stranger in Paradise, My Prayer, Singing in the Rain, I Could Have Danced All Night and the Isle of Capri.

And Roger Williams (2011), popular American Pianist, sure brought back memories of the days in Singapore when you could always tell when someone had a new record player with music of Autumn Leaves, Born Free, Near You and Flight of the Bumble Bee blasting away from his home.

And of course who can forget George Greeley (2007), famous American-Italian pianist, with movie themes like Tara's Theme, An Affair to Remember, Moonglow, and If I Loved You

And, Rawicz and Landauer (a "wow" to the world's greatest piano duo) with famous piano pieces like Carmen, Home Sweet Home and Fledermaus Fantasy.

Thank you for bringing back the wonderful memories of the Music Classics of Peggy Tann.

sam tiang choon gan said...

Hi Andy,please reply if you have received my comments sent to you


Sam Gan

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Sam,

I have certainly received your story about Peggy Tann and will publish it on the blog as an individual posting in a week or two.

Please write to me again on this comment page with a returning EMAIL ADDRESS. I shall not reveal nor publish your address but will reply to it confidentially.

Thank you so much for writing in.



Peggy was indeed a great and multi-talented professional whom all Singopreans can be proud of especially me who had the privilege of knowing her.

(The full text of Sam Gan's tribute will soon appear on this blog. Check it out.)

Henri Gann said...

Good Morning Sam
Just to let you know that your piano skill had left a lasting impression
with a 14 yr old ( Trekker's ) drummer George Wang in your days
at Radio Singapore. He still talk about you to this day.
On listening to your YouTube ( ) you
can be my Richard Clayderman anytime.
Thank you Sam and Andy !
p/s comments like yours keep Andy's blog alive.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

My uncle is home. Resting his feet.
Welcome home uncle.
I'm glad you're OK.
Worried about you and your folks during the big fire.