Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tania, Velvetones, Bands With Paul Ibrahm

Paul and I knew each other when we were young. The connecting link was this group called THE VELVETONES.  We were neighbours - that's how band boys got together sometimes - and gathered some evenings to sing with this band. Our focus was a huge bungalow across the narrow road from the former Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock's corner house at Sims Avenue. We gathered there time and again. And I met Paul.

Paul is as good with his voice as he is with his wits. A naturally quiet person he only gives his lot when he sings and performs on stage. From ballads to rock, Paul Ibrahm carries a song well. Now you know why he's with TANIA. 

We lost contact for many years; I kept on looking for him. We're in touch now. Thanks Paul for saying hello with such fantastic pictures.

The question here is, which one is Paul and what were the bands that he used to play and sing with?


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Straydogs 'Freedom' Played @ Lecture: Student Likes My Blog

Some words from a tertiary student who likes this creative blog. Thank you Anon.

Hi Andy,

I am an undergraduate student majoring in music teaching, and in the course of my studies, I was introduced to and became interested in Singapore's popular music scene in the 60s.

Incidentally, "Freedom", was one of the songs played to us during our lesson. I feel really lucky that I am able to read the stories of the people who wrote this song, and no less from the lead singer himself. I must thank both Byrt Mallanyk for writing about his experience and yourself for creating this blog.
Sadly, as a Singaporean youth, I too share the sentiments that the valuable experiences and personal histories of the past are under-appreciated today. In fact, it had never occurred to me that Singapore actually had a popular music scene in the 60s before I learned about them in school. I really appreciate your blog as I enjoy the stories of Singapore's music scene that would have been otherwise left undocumented. 

To me, the lack of awareness of Singapore's popular culture in the past is a very pertinent issue today. I have so many questions that I would like to ask you, and I'd appreciate it if I could discuss them with you via e-mail.
Thank You! 
The Straydogs - 'Freedom' (covered by Reverie ft. Jimmy Appudurai)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Money Money Money & Windmills of Your Mind: Written Treasures By Ms Belinda Poh

Ms. Belinda Poh writes with much profundity and thought; she operates the keyboard with an efficient mind. And that's hardly the ideal today when images are more sought after than words. So I asked for permission to post her two short but sharp articles. 

Thank you very much, Belinda, for your online presence and enlightening pieces of art:

"Many people believe that they can solve all their problems by just having money. They fail to realize that money itself has its attendant problems. Money cannot solve all problems. Wealth is not something for you to accumulate for craving's sake. It is intended for your welfare, as well as the welfare of others. 

Try to make the world around you a better place to live in. Use your wealth wisely to reduce the sufferings of the poor, the sick and the aged. Your property will remain when you die. Your friends and relatives will follow you up to your grave, but only the good or bad actions that you have done during your lifetime (karma) will follow you beyond the grave. 

For our personal happiness, we should acquire wealth righteously. Blessed are they who earn their living without harming others. Our happiness cannot be long-lived and meaningful if our wealth leaves sorrow and suffering in its wake. The wealth that is floured arouses envy, but the wealth that is well managed earns respect. Your wealth can edify your house but not you. Only your own virtues can edify you. Your dress can adorn your body but not you. Only your good conduct can do so."

"A human's mind influences his body profoundly. The mind has just as much potential to be a medication as it has to be a poison. When the mind is vicious, it can kill a being but when it is steady and diligent, it can benefit others. 

A man, who does not know how to adjust his mind according to circumstances is almost like a dead man. It is only when the mind is controlled and properly directed that it becomes useful to its owner and society. 

All the havoc wrought in this world is the creation of men who have not learned the way of mind-control, balance, and poise. Sadly, there is no way that we can change everyone in this world to our way of thinking. It is not even desirable. If everyone agrees with you, the world will soon run out of ideas. Still, We need to control our Mind. 

Calmness is never a weakness. A man with a calm attitude at all times demonstrates himself as a man of culture especially when things go wrong. It is this difficult quality that is worth achieving because by exercising such calm and control, a man builds the strength of character."

Written by Belinda Poh.
The two videos are my own feelings of how I read the Belinda Poh articles and they are a personal interpretation.

Video 1: Money, Money, Money from Abba
Video 2: The Windmills of Your Mind from Barbra Striesand.

Images: A Personal Collection from Belinda Poh.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Andy 60s Music Facebook Readers Support

I post below the August 2019 images of Facebook friends and people who appear on the current birthday list. It's a personal thanks for supporting the blog and the SG musicians who have appeared on it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Beatlemania Becomes Beat Le Mania: By Eddie Eng

The Beatles not only brought with them their brand of music but their style of fashion too. From their mop heads to their collarless suits, drainpipe trousers, and unique boots, they were an enigma.  

Eddie Eng tells of his lovely Beatle boots and thick black hair (image below) which he could never style into a mop like the Fab Four, for fear of the school head with the long cane.

Thanks, Eddie. You enjoyed your youth I think.


"The Fab Four had tremendous influence in the life of teenage boys in the 60s era. From the accompanying photo, you would notice the ubiquitous boots on my feet. 
Eddie Eng enjoying his youth with Beatle boots but a Tony Curtis hair bob, or near enough 'kiss curl' thrown by Bill Haley. Compared to the mop, these were old hairstyles.

I would have sported their mob hairdo if not for a very strict principal whose purpose-made can once land on my buttocks for a minor transgression. Always immaculately dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt and with a tie, he administered the whizzy stroke with a detached air of professionalism, much like a doctor administering a painful treatment to his young patient. 

It was over in a second and the effect was immediate: humbled and subdued. In self-consolation, I quietly sang to myself on the way back to class  "When things  go wrong, just sing a song..." This oldie "Sing C'est La Vie."  by Sonny and Cher had served a great purpose in later life when things did not turn out my way.  

Music certainly has a therapeutic effect on an afflicted soul."

Article by Eddie Eng.
Sonny and Cher with C'est La Vie (1965), a song with a Merry Go Round melody. See it turning round and round. 

"When things go wrong just sing this song
The birds in the trees will sing harmony
Sing C'est La Vie and soon you will see
Your cares will be free just sing, C'est La Vie"
Sonny and Cher.
(If you win with 4611, don't forget to share the prize with Eddie and me.)

Images: A Personal Collection.

13 August 2019
Happy Birthday, Eddie

He celebrates his birthday today. Thanks, Eddie for your goodwill and music vibes. Your friendliness flows naturally in tune with much rhythm and ease.🌷🌹🌻

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Love Songs From 50s n 60s Are Pretty As Stars

Song 1: A Summer Place (1959)

On this posting, I connect beautiful actresses from the '60s with beautiful songs from the '60s. The connecting link is the movie they appear in.  Below are the images of the actresses and the song related movies they starred in. 

Today? Do we get pretty ladies singing romantic songs in movies? No, they'll fight on the screen as superheroes. Sigh.

Which one of the following songs do I sing on stage?
Sandra Dee: A Summer Place

She starred in this sizzler which started a trend in the '60s. The gossip movie about small towns, whispers, and dangerous teenage liaisons. 

The song was a hit staying for weeks on the charts of Billboard Hot 100. In Singapore, most moviegoers lapped up the movie and song for weeks. The book was a best seller too. And Sandra Dee became a teen idol as many local girls called themselves, Sandra Tan, Sandra Lim or Sandra Ng.

Song 2: Come September (1961)

Gina Lollobrigida: Come September

While Sandra Dee in 1960 became the sweet girl from next door, Gina Lollo was the sultry sex symbol in 1961 and a hit around the world. Singaporeans can never forget her in Trapeze with Burt Lancaster where she showed her hourglass figure and Come September with Rock Hudson, Bobby Darin, and Sandra.

The instrumental was heard everywhere over Rediffusion, the radio and coffee shops. Composed by singer Bobby Darin and performed by the famous Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra, Come September also played match-maker to Darin and Dee who got married.

Song 3: Moonglow

Kim Novak: Picnic

One of the prettiest actresses in the  60s Kim Novak was, personally, what Charlize Theron is today. Bewitching and with celebrity looks, she was incomparable. 

I shall never forget her in the movie, Picnic where she danced with William Holden and the enchanting medley of the Picnic theme song and the 1933 independent hit Moonglow lives forever. The youtube video says it all.

The poised and sensual Kim Novak dancing to the Picnic Theme Song with William Holden.

Song 4: Pretty Blue Eyes
Stella Stevens: The Nutty Professor

When I went to see The Nutty Professor starring Jerry Lewis I didn't realize that the popular song, Pretty Blues Eyes by Steve Lawrence was referring to Stella Stevens in the movie. 

But there she was outside the classroom door staring at her professor with forlorn eyes and our slapstick comedian mesmerized by her beauty. Stevens, on the other hand, was pretty cool handling our lovesick Professor with her come-hither poses. Nearly a million viewers for this 1963 movie and song. That's something.

Song: 5 Moon River

Audrey Hepburn: Breakfast At Tiffany's:

One could be your neighbor's daughter, another a sultry pussycat working in a nightclub and the third, someone's quiet mistress. But Audrey Hepburn was sophistication personified in this gorgeous movie laden with gold, silver, and shimmering diamonds.

Henry Mancini filled the cinema hall and screen with his everlasting song, Moon River, sung by crooner magnifico, Andy Williams. Both the movie and song were the greatest hits.

Moon River as sung by Audrey Hepburn, 😊 in the movie 'Breakfast At Tiffany'. Maybe just stick to acting?

Friday, August 09, 2019


Thanks for supporting this blog for 11 years. Come this November it's going into its 12th year. 

A Happy National Day to all readers, friends in Singapore and those overseas who love our little island. Andy. 

Image: AndyYoungCopynPasteArt.

From: Fred Ching Facebook friend.

"Happy National Day Brother Andy! 
Seeing your post a while ago made me realize that I am not the only one who loves reading your blogs. Thanks so much for your excellent contributions. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily. I remain your devoted supporter and loyal friend. 

Blessing from me, dear Brother Andy👍😊."

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Majulah Singapura: Ramli Sarip & Six Anthems Before

So here it is Majulah Singapura with a different feel by Ramli Sarip.

Singapore went through quite a number of national anthems before Majulah Singapura (composed by the late Che Zubir Said). We sang God Save The King, then Kimigayo, God Save The Queen and Negara Ku before our independence in 1965. That's four national anthems. 

But wait a minute. During colonial days, the Chinese students sang Sun-Min Zhu Yi (三民主义), refusing to follow the British and following Nationalist China's anthem instead. So that's five anthems that some Singaporeans had to sing.

The Indian National Army which had its headquarters in Singapore during the Japanese occupation had their own anthem too. And they sang it in Hindi. So if this anthem is included, our citizens would have sung six anthems before our present original one.

Now that's a lot of anthems for a tiny dot like Singapore.
So sing on Mr. Rock Star, Ramli. And it's our own anthem we all sing today and it's made in Singapore too.  According to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Ramli was: "Raw, gritty and visceral – it’s soul-stirring to hear, even moving some in the audience during the rehearsals to tears." 

Images and video:
Information: 'One More Story To Tell. Memories of Singapore 1930s-1980s': Chan Kwee Sung: Anthems: Page 130-132. Landmark Books 2003.
Flags of the United Kingdom, Japan, Nat China, Malaysia.