Showing posts with label Decibels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decibels. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Kugiran Les Jolly Jets, The Dreamers: Johore.

1) From You Tube video by miha 622
It has been a while since I posted articles about kugirans (Malay pop guitar groups) from the 60s so when an email and a photograph came from friend Jimmy, Decibels' former guitarist, I decided to publish the information he provided. He wrote:
2) Jimmy's photograph taken at site.
Hi Andy,
I was enjoying my nasi padang at an eatery in Nusajaya Johor Bahru recently when I looked across where I was seated and saw a few old cameras and an old vinyl record displayed on a shelf against the wall. I learnt from the owner of the eatery, Mr Fadli that his wife's uncle was a member of Les Jolly Jets. The band only lasted for a couple of years though. He obliged when I asked if I could take a picture of the displayed record (pls see attached). I also told him to check out your singapore60smusic blogspot. Btw, do you know of this band?

Best regards,

Dear Jimmy,

Thank you for the email and photograph. There were bands mushrooming all over Malaysia those years and I am not familiar with many.  So I checked You Tube and found this group featured. Les Jolly Jets might have had a good following in Johore Bahru in the 60s as these bands played at home parties, weddings, cinemas and night clubs in the area. Like any business opportunities, Malaysian record producers would contract these more popular bands to cut a vinyl. 
The Dreamers from Muar Johor.
Some time ago I bought an EP of a band called, The Dreamers and from the information on the cover they came from Muar, Johore (image 2). I am just wondering if any reader is familiar with these two groups from the same State.  The songs, if they are of any help, include: Tetap Setia, Kemana Menghilang, Gadis Impian Ku and Kenangan Menjelma. Very roughly they mean, Always Faithful, Where Have You Disappeared To, My Dream Girl and Girl Reincarnate.
I guess Zaino Mum is the lead singer for Les Jolly Jets and from the information on the back cover, Zainal Omara and Shahrin Shah are the singers for The Dreamers.  Apparently Zainal Omara was also popular with two hits, Dodoi Anak and Sapu Tangan (is this the pop folk classic from Indonesia?)


If group members are still around in J.B. and reading this posting, give me a write.
Image 1: You Tube miha 622.
Images 2. Jimmy Ch'ng.
Image: 3. Andy Lim Collection.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Decibels: 1965-1970 A Band In The Making Part 2

Part II:
Decibels drummer Jimmy Chng shares his experience as a band boy in this final episode:
Our very first gig was at someone's birthday party held in an HDB flat in Jalan Bahagia and we were paid $30. Through friends' recommendation and word of mouth, we did get quite a lot of gigs, especially on weekends. These were usually birthday parties, Dinner & Dance parties, festive occasions, Tea-Dances, etc.
We even had an opportunity to play at the Lido cinema, providing background music to models strutting on stage in Maidenform lingerie. This was in conjunction with the screening of the movie, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (image 2).
.As the local music scene matured, the demand for bands with singers ensued. We first had a friend who would sing mostly Johnny Lion's hits. He sang with our band for less than a year. Then Evelyn Tan (image 1) sang with Decibels for a brief period too. She later joined The Siglap Five and made some records under Evey Lyn with The Siglap Five.
Our very first taste of competition was at the Battle Of Guitars (organised by ACE Enterprises) which was held at the National Theatre. We performed well enough to get into the finals but did not win. Our second and last competition which was organised by Rediffusion, was held at the Odeon Cinema. Again, we entered the final but did not win.
We got a 2 month contract to play at Toby's Paradise Bar in Anson Road. We were recommended by The Vigilantes as their contract there had ended and they got a better paying contract at West Point Niteclub in Pasir Panjang. Incidentally, most of the original Vigilantes band members were my classmates in Queenstown Secondary Technical School.
The original Decibels lasted till around 1969 or 1970. We disbanded partly due to waning interest and partly due to fewer engagements coming our way. Charles, our bassist subsequently joined The Tones whilst Steven and Patrick concentrated on their job careers.
My memories of the later stages are not too clear. After some months, I continued the Decibels band with some members from D'Quivers. We had a one month contract at Toby's Paradise Bar this time.
After the contract, the lead guitarist left. We looked for a replacement and managed to find a lead guitarist by the name of Bernard Chua. He had a friend named Samad, who had a very good and powerful voice and we invited him to join us too. He could belt out Tom Jones numbers with ease. I can't remember how long this chapter of Decibels lasted but when we finally disbanded, Bernard went on the join The Hi-jacks.
Image 1/Original Article: Jimmy Chng Collection. All Rights Reserved.
Image 2: Google Images.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DECIBELS 65: A Band In The Making Part One

A sincere and humble member of pop group Decibels writes from his heart. Thanks very much Jimmy Chng for taking us into your world.

"For each renowned local pop band of the 60's, there must have been at least a dozen or more lesser known ones. Allow me to introduce myself and let you in on one of the lesser known pop bands of that era.

My name is Jimmy and the band I was in was called Decibels. Our 4-member group comprised Steven Lo (lead), Patrick Lian (rhythm), Charles Yip (bassist) and myself on drums. I must mention that my former school and Singapore Polytechnic classmate Douglas Cheng was the catalyst for the formation of a ad-hoc pop band which eventually led to the birth of Decibels.

The organisers for Singapore Polytechnic's 1965 Orientation Night were looking for a band for the occasion but were unable to find one. Now, Douglas could play rhythm guitar whilst another Poly classmate Steven Lo, could play lead. Douglas managed to get a drummer and a bassist friend to help out.

Together with some borrowed guitar amplifiers and only one or two practice sessions, this ad-hoc band was ready for the Orientation Nite gig! Thankfully, there was a last minute guest band - I can't remember the name - that the organisers managed to hire that "saved" the nite. Reason was that the ad-hoc band's repertoire was pretty limited.

All this while, my involvement was like that of a stage-crew - viz. helping out in setting up the guitar amplifiers, microphones, power extensions, etc. This one-off event sparked my interest in forming/joining a pop band. I had never learnt how to play the guitar nor the drums though.

Steven had a friend Patrick, who could play the guitar and I had a neighbour, Charles, who also could play the guitar. My late dad was an electronics engineer and he knew how to build amplifiers. Here we have 3 guys who could play the guitar so if I wanted to be part of the action, then I had to learn to play the drums!

I promptly bought a pair of drumsticks from Swee Lee or was it TMA? With some guidance from Patrick who had some rudimentary drumming skills, I started practising like hell... on table tops or whatever surfaces deemed practical.

Soon enough, my dad bought a set of second-hand drum set and that was the beginning of the band. The band's name Decibels was suggested by my dad. It is an electronic term used in measuring the loudness of sound. It seemed apt for a band's name and sounded nice too. Hence we adopted that name and in mid 1965, Decibels was born."

Image/Original article: Jimmy Chng Copyrights Reserved.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Eveylyn & Siglap Five. Is This The Real Deal?


During the 60s in Singapore when copyright laws are practically non-existent and land sharks multiply by the day, "boot-leg" vinyls are available in most record shops on the island.

The Siglap Five with Eveylyn (image) and other bands that are in demand have pirated versions that suffocated even top recording companies like Philips, Cosdel, RCA, etc.

Is the above a bootleg copy? Check the recording label and make a guess.