He also explained how a particular Japan pop chart radio-broadcast was not influenced by any recording company. Interesting indeed.
He looks like Jackie Chan don't you think?
Thanks so much, Hiroshi.
It's so nice to hear from you. I have never lived in Singapore but I'm very interested in Singaporean pop music history.
I live in Japan, in Shimonoseki City, that is the southwestern end of Honshu. The nearer big town is Fukuoka. It was in 1991 when we went to Fukuoka to see the Dick Lee concert.
During my early years, I stayed in *Granada for a few months when I was 22 years old. I am much older now. I have a lot of happy memories of my younger days there and I am still trying to look for the people I made friends with.
*This is the poster I had put up on the walls in Granada, Spain. So far no success.
Translation: "I'm a Japanese man looking for my elderly friends. You know someone?"
I first went to Singapore back in 1981 as a tourist and became interested in the island. The more I learned about it the more I got caught up with its pop music culture.
The picture above was some 30 years ago. I was half compelled to go up on the stage and play "Rock 'n' Roll Music". It was at Europa. I pretended to play the keyboard. It was one of my happy memories on the southern island.
I like the group very much. It seemed just like yesterday. We enjoyed the sing-along with Rod Stewart's "I Don't Wanna Talk About It". We sang with the band at the top of our voices. That was at Europa at Changi East Coast, the most exciting 'live' hours at that time.
Now a little about our western pop scene in Japan. In February of '65, I was busy preparing for the entrance exam to junior high school. I haven't started playing the guitar which my mother bought me at a pawnshop. I still have this Yamaha-made instrument.
Around the time when many young Singaporeans were interested in what was happening during the Rolling Stones Concert at SBH on Guillemard Road, simultaneously, in another part of Asia, "I Feel Fine" was at the top of the pops.
We had a hit parade radio program called, "Popular Requests by 95 Million People". It was most popular and not influenced by any record company. The population of Japan was 95 million at that time. I remember waiting anxiously for the evening when the program was broadcast.
It is not on the air anymore. But I am sure a great number of people my age have a lot of happy, impressive memories of the program.
The Pop Request by 95 Million People List:
1. I Feel Fine, the Beatles
2. Constantly, Cliff Richard
3. La Plus Belle Aller Danser, Sylvie Vartan
4. Long Tall Sally, the Beatles
5. 500 Miles, Peter, Paul and Mary
6. Un Buco Nella Sabbia, Mina
7. Angelita, Los Marcellos
8. Diamond Head, the Ventures
9. Keep Searching, Del Shanon
10. Rock 'n' Roll Music, the Beatles
11. Slow Down, the Beatles
12. Whisper Whisper? Reny Ray?
13. The House Of The Rising Sun, the Animals
14. Have I the Right, Honeycomb
15. Love Potion No 9, the Searchers
I also found a few pictures in my photo album. Let me send it in case you might be interested.
At Europa in Marine Parade (image above), me and my wife half compelled to stand up on the stage. I sang "Japanese Girl" by Sam Hui. Is he Moses?
The Thunderbirds at Carriage Bar, York Hotel, Orchard Road, Singapore. With Derrick Fitzgerald on lead, this group played for nearly 20 years there.