Showing posts with label The Tidbits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Tidbits. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

'Tidbits' Female Teenage Trio: Island's First RCA/Cosdel Artistes In 1968 - I Believe

1968 - 29th February: National Theatre, Tank Road, Singapore.

Tears of triumph streamed down the cheeks of the three young school girls backstage, as the packed crowd roared with approval when they heard the announcement over the loud speakers. It was the moment the Tidbits had dreamed of since the day they participated in the 1967/68 Radio Television Singapura (RTS) Talentime.

They could not believe it had actually happened and when compere Tan Hock Lye asked the three young winners to come up to the microphone to say a few words to the audience, Melina Wee (12) could only sob. "We are so happy we are crying." The other two Tidbits, Serene Wee (13) and Bernadette de Souza (12) sniffed in agreement. The occasion had over-whelmed them.

It had been a touch and go affair as all the finalists at the competition exhibited a high standard even though they were amateurs. But the trio "emerged as the undisputed champions (when) they sang their way into the hearts of all through their scintillating number, I Believe. And it was just the beginning..."

1968 - 1st June: RCA - Cosdel Cocktail Party, Singapore.

Three months after winning the competition and rounds of singing engagements, the trio were in the lime-light again. It was another memorable day on June lst for The Tidbits when they signed up with Cosdel (Singapore) Ltd, on the world famous RCA label, to record four songs for an Extended Play vinyl: SGE - 0001, beautiful digits indeed.

Since they became the first to record for RCA in Singapore and that it was ground breaking day, top officials from Cosdel and RCA were present to witness the union. Backed by Cosdel's pop guitar groups The Trailers, the songs were: I Believe, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Never My Love and Lace Covered Window.
1969 - 2nd Album, 'California Dreamin': RCA Victor, Singapore.

According to the producer's note on the back sleeve of their second EP, the Tidbits "have matured tremendously in their vocal harmony work (and) each individual singer in the group is now extremely polished and are soloists in their own right." The producers believe they had selected the most appropriate songs for the girls because of their "calibre of singing."

The EP title song, California Dreamin' (image - SGF 0017) was given a strong vocal harmony by the girls, backed with an infectious beat and a strong rhythm. The ballad Scarlet Ribbons' rendition was tongue-in-cheek but heart-throbbing. Bernadette contributed the lead voice with "beautiful harmony work" by the other two.

Tragedy had been given a brand new arrangement and the fourth and final song, Come Softly To Me was "unique with an augmentee to help the girls feel their vocal harmony". The note explained that a George Lim was the man behind the girls' success. The trio were backed by RCA artistes, the X-Periment, one of the "slickest band in town" then.

Comment anyone?

Image/Information/Quotes: You Tube. Tidbits RCA record-sleeve covers. Souvenir programmes (1968/1969).

Original article: Andy Lim.

Shades Of Blue! Anita Sarawak, Stylers, Silver Strings, Tidbits, Rediffusion Tan Swee Leong

(Image reads: The new Shades consist of Rich, who plays the lead guitar, sleepy Joe on rhythm, Vince on bass, Malcolm on drums and vocalist Raj. The boys are practising very hard for this morning show, and with their talent and co-operation, they will do their best to entertain you.)

In October 1968, a church in the east coast of Singapore organised a musical concert at the Odeon Katong cinema called, Morning Melodies. It was certainly not the usual service because the names of the stage performers on the programme were unique indeed. They were to appear that early Monday morning at nine, so it could have been a public holiday.

The entertainment included a guitar group called The Shades Of Blue (image), a Reverend Philip Chan (dubbed on the programme as 'The Singing Pastor'), the Heralds Choral Society of Singapore, four female vocalists who could have sung in Chinese, Malay or English. They were Hazel Lee, Judy Lee, Fong Yin and Murni Sarawak. There were also male vocalists Steven Ong and Chang Suen.

What was most surprising were the appearances of Las Vegas diva Miss Anita Sarawak, The Tidbits (early-teen school girls: Melina Wee, Serene Wee and Bernadette de Souza - Radio Television Singapore, 1968 Talentime winners and RCA recording artistes), The Stylers and The Strings (The Silver Strings momentary change of name). And the compere for the morning event was Rediffusion's Tan Swee Leong, debonair DJ and pop MC for many stage and musical shows.

The show was in aid of an "educational and scholarship fund", so you could have imagined the heat on stage that morning with these top performers giving off their best for a cause. Wow! It was an alumni of the best musical talents from the late 60s, gathered under the Odeon Katong roof.

Do you remember this gathering of 60s music stars? Were you in the organising committee? Were you a member of Shades Of Blue? It's been a long time but if you still remember Morning Melodies, please write in.

Information/Image: From Souvenir Programme. Thanks to Randy Lee of The Stylers.

Original article: Andy Lim.