Sunday, July 22, 2018

National Day Parade 2018: JULAI TAN Violinist Performs

Mr Julai Tan during his years as a recording artiste on 60's and 70's vinyl.

It's time. 

He's finally 'officially recognised' and will be put on the NDP (National Day Parade) to perform this year. That's an encore for those people who are in charge of the annual national get together on August 9. This music maker deserves it.

Mr Julai Tan who is 93 years young will be in action and the most senior musician to be on stage. He will be playing a Bach piece, Air On The G-String, accompanied on the organ by piano man Jerry Monteiro. 

He has performed with the BBC Orchestra during his youthful days for three years from 1964 to 1967. Prior to his engagement in England, he was with our own Singapore radio orchestra in the 1950's. He returned here in the late 70's.

Eight years ago in 2010, I wrote two articles about him and mentioned, "He must definitely be put on the list of prominent Singapore 60s musicians as his career spans more than 4 decades."

Mr Julai Tan (left with violin), where he appeared in a Malay movie in the 1950's. From Thank you.

Please connect below to read:
Mr Tan was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass) Awards in 2010.

Congratulations Mr Tan and your wife, Madam Ng Siew Lan. We'll all be watching you on TV this National Day Parade 2018.

If you remember Mr Tan, do write in to tell us.
Bach: Air on the G String from his 3rd Orchestral Suite in D major, BWV 1068.
Video by smalin. Thank you. This video has 9.5 million views.


Chinese Indonesian names are often misspelt. Similarly with Mr Tan's, who was promoted as JULY TAN on his vinyl.
Julai Tan with Irene Yap, pop singer @ Jazzistics Singapore, an annual get together of jazz musicians @ The Esplanade and other venues.

Irene Yap Copyrights Reserved.
A Personal Collection and from

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BILLY JOEL DAY 18 July Madison Square Garden 100th Performance

It's the 100th time that this singer and piano man performed at Madison Square Gardens. So today, 18 July 2018, is Billy Joel Day, declared the Governor of New York City. 

The honour was for his 'most consecutive performances and most lifetime performances' with his leadership and contribution to the music industry in the State of New York. It's been more than 50 times that he's appeared in the Big Apple.

He's from the Bronx man! Born and bred in New York. Appropriately a day for Mr Piano Man himself must be in that city.


All his songs, like Uptown Girl and We Didn't Start The Fire, sold more than 150 million copies internationally.  Billy Joel has written and recorded 33 Top 40 Hits in the US.

He is a six-time Grammy Award winner and a 23-time Grammy nominee and one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. Billy Joel is the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.

I used to forget the title of We Didn't Start The Fire so I usually describe it as the song with a mouthful or, it's got: Einstein, Budapest, Chou En Lai and River Kwai in it. In fact, Mr Joel himself admitted he forgot the lyrics sometimes and would read the lips of his audience for reference. 😂

This video carries 85.5 million views and 17 thousand comments. Now that's pop.

To have a day named after you? Hey, that's better than getting a knighthood or a million bucks.

I think he deserves the accolade, don't you?


Can local readers remember the names of vocalists or bands that performed Billy Joel songs on stage during Singapore's golden era of music? There are recordings too of his music recorded by locals on vinyl?

Image and YouTube Video by courtesy of Google.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Great British 60's Music Invasion Part 3 By Michael Bangar

Check it out below. The continuation of Part 1 and 2. He remembers most as he unravels again the 60's music makers that had made a monumental effect in our own backyard. The influence from the west will never be forgotten. Thank you, Michael.
Jo Stafford and Peggy Lee, two songbirds from the 50's, render sweet love melodies.

Across the Atlantic in the USA in the early 60's, the first generation of Rock n Roll Stars had faded. The US hit parade still consisted of the old singing stars like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frankie Laine, Andy Williams and female stars like Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee (image: above), Ella Fitzgerald. 

The newer pop stars were Frankie Avalon, Fabian (Forte), Bobby Rydell, Brian Hyland, Bobby Vee, Johnny Tillotson. Female Stars like Little Peggy March, Leslie Gore, Little Eva, Linda Scott. The Beach Boys were the new creative and exciting band at the time together with Simon and Garfunkel. They all dominated the US Music Charts. 
Calling themselves, The Band, a Canadian/American group from Toronto.

At the time there was a great unknown group that was formed in Canada making the rounds there and the US called The Band. Also paying his dues and doing the circuit the great Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman).

Then in 1962, in the UK occurred a musical phenomenon that will change music in general forever. No other musical entity from any genre has ever repeated this.

In 1959, a few young lads formed a band and did a gig (a school fete), doing their cover versions of early R n R and pop hits of the time. Calling themselves The Quarrymen, they were led by a young John Lennon who got the group together with his schoolmates. 
The Quarrymen - That'll Be The Day recorded on 14 July 1958. Video from MaryanneLily.

A friend of Paul McCartney's insisted he gave them a listen. On hearing that Paul could play music, John called him up on stage to jam.  The Beatles or The Silver Beetles at first - a tribute to Buddy Holly's band - The Crickets, were from Liverpool, England. 

John was impressed with Paul's guitar playing, fascinated by his left-handed technique. Paul recommended another guitar - playing school friend of his who could play Duane Eddy's guitar instrumental "Raunchy" note for note. His name: George Harrison so they tried him out and John liked what he heard. And that's how the nucleus of The early Silver Beatles came about. 

All 3 played the guitar at first. John wanted his handsome, part-time model, non-musical buddy Stuart Sutcliffe in the band. So they brought him in on the bass guitar where they had to teach him all the bass lines of songs they did.
The Silver Beatles: Do you know the difference in the line-up? One member is different?

They then had an offer to go play in Hamburg, Germany and became a 5pce. Band when they added Pete Best on drums.  Germany is where they did their apprenticeship, playing many long sets nightly to mostly American troops stationed there. 

They covered and picked up Many Genres Of Music, along the way polishing their craft. Jazz, Blues, early Rock n Roll, C n W, the Pop of the period, Latin, European Languages songs, even some Classical Stuff. They worked very hard at perfecting their music. When they were given requests for songs they couldn't do, they worked on it and made sure they could play it the next time it was requested. 

On their free time, they would go to another club to watch a band called Rory Storm n The Hurricanes whose drummer fascinated them. His name: Ringo Starr ( real name Richard Starkey ).
Rory Storm and The Hurricanes with drummer Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) before he joined The Beatles.

Written by Michael Bangar, this posting will continue to Part 4 and 5.

Images: Google.

Below is information regarding The Silver Beatles, which is why, photographs with the 5 together, are not readily available. Thanks to rockonvinyl below who writes from Melbourne, Australia.
The Silver Beatles in 1960, auditioning before Larry Parnes. Left is Stu Sutcliffe,
who had just joined the group. At the time he could hardly play bass which he is
trying to keep his back to the audience. John, Paul and George are in the foreground, trying very hard. The drummer, looking very bored, is Johnny Hutch who stood-in at the last moment as they arrived without a drummer.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018: Gotta Go Home: Boney-M

So the 2018 World Cup's finally ending and the closing ceremony big parade will be performed soon after the Finals between France and Croatia.

There was an earlier article on soccer chants which was mostly about the English teams. Many had high hopes for England but despite the raves and the cheers, England lost to Croatia. 😕

It wasn't a disappointment for me really because I am neither a soccer fan nor a gambler on football stakes. But I received the same videos from some dedicated English fans via WhatsApp. For the whole day, these two videos were coming in...
Boney M - Gotta Go Home (Long Version: 1979) Video from FFFclub. Thank you.

I'd like to share them with all my readers. 

Boney M has returned especially to celebrate England's team. Without further ado, my dear readers, enjoy the lovely song. 

And don't forget to watch the 2nd video below. The emphasis here is again on Coming Home. It 
shows an Irishman's praying hard to stop the World Cup fro... Hee, hee.😊

14 July 2018:
And the prayers have come true. England is not even in 3rd placing, losing to Belgium 2 - 0 @ St Petersburg Stadium. Apparently, according to manager Gareth Southgate, Belgium's too strong for England.
This Video was taken from Irish Central and YouTube by Rory's Stories. Thank you. Your prayer has come true.

A Double A-Side single from Oceans of Fantasy by Boney-M, a German pop group famed in the 70's. It featured Gotta Go Home. This particular vinyl was released in 1979 by Hansa Records.
Images: Google.
Video: YouTube; Irish Central.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Tab Hunter 'Young Love' Gone @ 86 (1931 - 2018)

Tab Hunter has passed on at age 86. I didn't know he acted in so many films, 40 of them, remembering him only as the singer for Young Love, a big hit when I was still in my teens in 1957. It came tops in the Billboard Charts.

I never liked Sonny James' version, which came earlier, preferring Hunter's deep, smooth and soothing voice. Hunter died three days short of his 87th birthday, on 8 July 2018.
Tab Hunter with Young Love: YouTube Video by Michael McKenna. Thank You.

Together with Bobby Darin (Mack The Knife); Frankie Avalon (Why?); Sal Mineo (Start Movin') and Pat Boone (Why Baby Why?) the 1950's ended with a big, loud bang. Pop music was different then.  It had style, class and cool cats on the microphone.  Like the macho guys then, Hunter was one of them.

In an autobiography, Tab Hunter, Confidential, The Making of a Movie Star (2005), he revealed that he was gay and had a relationship with actor Anthony Perkins (Psycho) and others. In 2015, the book was later made into a successful documentary.

Young days, young love. RIP Mr Tab Hunter. 

Larry Lai's Comment:
"Tab Hunter's version, along with Sonny James', was the most requested. Which was your favourite? That's hard to say. Tab had star power over Sonny."

Image: A Private Collection; Google.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Old Friends Are Best, Trudi Lalor: From Larry Lai

Here's a song sent by a good, old friend* so I'd like to share it with all my thoughtful and kindly friends. And you are one...

It's been revived by Trudi Lalor, a talented lady from Ireland, UK. Inspired by Louise Morrissey, Ms Lalor is one of the top young country singers in the UK and Irish music scene today. Garth Brooks was very much impressed by her performance when he visited Ireland.
'Old Friends Are Best': Trudi Lalor. YouTube Video from Trudy Lalor.

She's really good, a vibrant voice with clarity and charm, singing the folksy quick waltz with an Irish lilt. Hooray.

I have left out printing the lyrics. Hopefully, you will listen to it and send it out.

Thank you.
*Good old friend, Larry Lai, well-known DJ from Rediffusion days, who's enjoying his retirement years. Thanks for the song buddy.

Check this one too:
Friends? Yea! Exceptional perhaps? Wow! I'd take it. Poor girl!

Image: Google
Video: YouTube/Trudi Lalor.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

We Are Singapore: National Day 2018 Theme Song

This post is dedicated to my lovely granddaughter Jan, 
who is cheerful, bright and helpful.
Here it is guys, half a million viewers already and NDP is still a month away. That's how pop an old Singapore national song is. So for those who are familiar,  it's an old song for new, and according to my granddaughter Jan, you gotta know every word... because her teacher says so.😊 Naw... because she loves her country.

We Are Singapore - NDP 2018 Theme Song [Official Music Video]

For all Singapore songs:

Credits for 2018 song:
Creative direction by Boo Junfeng.
Original music and lyrics by Hugh Harrison Music and lyrics for preface composed by Charlie Lim Performed by Charlie Lim, Vanessa Fernandez, Aisyah Aziz, Shak'thiya Subramaniamm, THELIONCITYBOY, Joanna Dong, and ITE Show Choir Arranged and produced by Sydney Tan, Charlie Lim and Evan Low Official Music Video & Principal Partner: StarHub Special Thanks: Temasek Music Video Director: Wee Li Lin.

For full acknowledgement connect below:

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Sexy Underwear And Things: By Allan Thompson (RAF)

This product used to be very popular for many years since the 1960's.

It's been a while since Allan Thompson, (60's RAF Changi) wrote to me and contributed an article for the blog. A few stories are coming up soon. Here's a cute one when he and a friend discussed the above product.

Dear Andy, 

Many thanks for your reply and I will try to summon up the energy to rewrite and expand my barber shop story.  Actually, I can add a little (rude) anecdote right now:

One of my room-mates in Block 116 at RAF Changi was a slightly plump young man called Joe Hutchinson who came from Belfast in Northern Ireland.  

One day, when he was preparing to go out, he realised that his underwear had not come back from the laundry, so he went downstairs to the barber's shop outside the Airmen's Mess to buy a packet of Hings underpants.  
Things Ain't What They Used To Be: Ella Fitzgerald. Video by: Vws Vas.

When he returned, he ripped open the packet, removed one pair of pants, and went for a shower.  A little while later, he returned wearing his new underpants which were so tight, there were natural protrusions from either side.  As I chuckled at this ridiculous sight, Joe, with a perfectly straight face, said:

"Hings ain't what they used to be!"  

Best wishes,

Images: Google.
Video: YouTube from Vws Vas.
Article: Copyrighted by Allan Thompson.

Inspirationally, with the story, two songs came to mind, 'Things Ain't What They Used To Be' and 'Things.'
Allan Thompson laughing away at his friend's remark. Or is it?

Allan has written nearly 3 dozen stories on this blog. Humorous too. Here are some connections:
'Things' by Bobby Darin (1962). Video from: Carl's Old Record Club.

 Uncanny, Allan does look like Mr Putin. But who's the more handsome?