Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sugar Sugar: Pickett, Sinatra, Singapore: Lara Trailers, Nancy Sit

Maroon 5 Sugar; A Long Way From Pickett's Sugar, Sugar:

This posting is actually a comment from Dr. Steven Farram in response to a previous article about song titles with the word, sugar. I searched and found some vinyl covers.

In the 1960s many original songs from the West were translated from English to local Asian languages and dialects; the lyrics may differ in meaning but music and rhythm are retained. These 3 song samples are only a few of them.

Thanks, Steven for the support. Your expertise is always welcome.

Sugar, Sugar by Wilson Pickett: YouTube Video by northernsoultrain.

Hi Andy,

Thanks for mentioning the Wilson Pickett song Sugar Sugar. I had never heard it and had to look it up. It is actually a version of The Archies song, but a more mature version. 

It's great. Girl band The Teepees, from either Singapore or Malaysia, did a version of the same song (following The Archies style) in Malay. They called it Perchaya-Lah (Believe It). It was on an EP on the Eagle label. 

And both Nancy Sit and Lara and The Trailers did versions of Nancy Sinatra's Sugar Town. Both of them sing it in Chinese.

Best Wishes.


The Teepees Cover: If you have a clearer version please send me a copy and I shall replace the above. 

Images: Google and YouTube Videos
Lara and The Trailers with a cover version of 'Sugar Town' in Chinese (above), YouTube video is by OVI, that experiments with beautiful and vivid HD images. The song was also recorded by Nancy Sit below:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Dr Ng Eng Hen: Students *Edusave Awards 2018/2019. You Decorated My Life: Kenny Rogers


When you watch the children grow and see them going up on stage a few years later to receive an award, that's the most pleasurable reward any Senior could receive.

It was a double whammy when the grandchildren, accepted with some vigor, their certificates for an education achievement from Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen. Quietly,  the parents and grandparents sang their song ❤❤❤with calm delight. 
You Decorated My Life. The song is sung by Kenny Rogers.  "It takes a village to raise a child." So says the African proverb.

Thanks to all involved for guiding the kids on a hopeful educational journey that is paved with much learning. Then meeting Dr. Ng after the ceremony was a pleasant encounter. Much appreciation for accommodating two very proud Seniors for the group photo taking. 

And t
he kids? Yes, you both decorated our life...  

There was no harmony
Life meant nothing to me
Until you all came along...

It really takes a village to raise a child. ❤❤❤

Congratulations on getting the awards!!!

Singapore's Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen during the education award ceremony 2018 and 2019.

*Edusave Good Progress Award (GPA).

Images: Google and A Personal Collection.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

MAROON 5: SUGAR Pop Hits & Reduce Sugar Intake

With nearly 3 BILLION viewers on YouTube - not a million - you cannot ignore this song. Again, it's a modern pop hit and introduced to me by my granddaughter. She hooked me to The Greatest Showman soundtrack earlier last year and recommended that I listen to this one too, or else...😀

This new hit didn't quite get to me at first but after watching this particular video and listening to MAROON 5, I got hooked. This song is simply called, SUGAR. It's not an oldie but became a hit only four years ago and still running sweet today.
Maroon 5 Sugar: YouTube Video: Maroon 5.

So don't only listen to Sugartime (1958) by The McGuire Sisters or Sugar, Sugar by the Archies but give this one a chance. The word, in its literal sense, is some sweet edible. 

I chanced upon this health subject during the festive season because taking excessive sugar is a hot topic nowadays in Singapore and our doctors have warned us about consuming too much of the tiny white crystals which will definitely result in diabetes and other ailments. Cut down on the drinks; many sodas or canned drinks contain as much as 15 teaspoonfuls.

Sugar is also a term of affection for one's girlfriend, boyfriend or someone dear and near to you. Many songs use this word as an expression of love and beauty. 

John Lee Hooker: Sugar Mama. One of the best songs from his Boom Boom Album.

Back to the songs. In case you don't like Maroon 5, John Lee Hooker and Pat Boone are posted with Sugar Mama and Sugar Moon. There are lots of other sugar songs from the past 50 years. Here's a list selected but only from the rock n roll period:

Sugar Town - Nancy Sinatra
A Spoonful of Sugar - Burl Ives
Sugar Moon - Pat Boone

Sugar Walls - Sheena Easton.

Sugar, Sugar - Wilson Pickett 
When I take my Sugar to Tea - Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby 

Sugar Baby - Bob Dylan

Sugar Mama - John Lee Hooker
Sugar - Stevie Wonder
Pat Boone with Sugar Moon. Yes, the moon is certainly sweet with another landing recently.

Sugar Daddy - Tom Jones

Sugar Moon - Willie Nelson 
When My Sugar Walks Down The Street - Nat King Cole

Sugar On The Floor - Elton John, Kiki Dee 

Sugar Man - Kris Kristofferson
Sugar on Sunday - Tommy James and The Shondells 

Sugar and Honey - Roy Orbison 

Sugar Babe - Stephen Stills
When My Sugar Walks Down The Street - Peggy Lee 

Sugar Cane - Herb Alpert 

Sugar Pie - Ella Fitzgerald
Sugar - Kool and The Gang
Maroon 5: An American rock pop band from LA California, US. Their hit Sugar
registered nearly 3 billion viewers.

Sugar Trade - James Taylor

Country Sugar Mama - Howling Wolf
Sugar Mama - Bonnie Raitt

Shake My Sugar - Suzie Quatro

The Sugar Cane - David McCallum
Poison Sugar - Reba McEntire

There are repeat titles with different singers.

Images: Google.

Sugiman Jahuri Has Passed Away RIP

According to a Facebook comment by Freddie Kang (former Thunderbirds) and confirmation with me on WhatsApp, Mr. Sugiman Jahuri the Man From Bukom has passed away on 16 December 2018. 

Mr. Sugiman was also known as Singapore's Johnny Mathis. He had a velvety smooth voice that calmed the hearts of many Singapore listeners. Families would rush home to watch him on television. This was the period when local pop music was at its hottest. 

Mr. Sugiman was a regular on local TV, having appeared in most shows that had been produced locally, whether it was a Malay programme or English variety show. He was an all-rounder and sang well in both languages. He was very popular with the masses and was known to have recorded many songs.
A typical kampong boy from Pulau Bukom he had, according to a fan, a phenomenal voice. He was humble always and was seen singing karaoke on a YouTube video. Many seniors miss his performances afterwards. He became well-known when he won second prize during an RTS Talentime contest in 1968.

We send condolences to his family.

RIP Mr. Sugiman Jahuri.
Mr. Sugiman in later years has a YouTube video where he was interviewed.

This blog has five articles related to Mr. Sugiman:

Images: Google.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Happy 84th Birthday Elvis From Singapore 2019

Front row from left: Elvis Presley, Irene Yap, Andy Young. Back row: Joe Woon, Rickie Chng, and John Cher.

This was a big deal.

He came to OLPS and agreed to do the group picture if only he sat next to Irene Yap.

"I've heard her sing before, and she's good, so I wanna sit next to this lady." 

Who can say no to the King? 

Elvis Presley with one of his many hits, Gotta Lot of Livin' to Do, from his
second movie, Loving You.

Joe Woon was not surprised. He looked like he's known Elvis all his life. Rickie was a little taken aback but very calm. Irene was shaken but happy sitting next to Mr. Presley.

But we must thank John Cher for contacting the King. Even if they are somewhere else John can get them. In the picture, I still looked stunned.

So the moral of the story is, you never who's going to visit us next at OLPS. Come on over the next time.


Saturday, January 05, 2019

Fish, Plastic Bags, Ikan Kekek, Malay Folk Song

The ban on plastic bags is a hot topic. Let's keep on highlighting this issue until the world gets rid of them. Below are two inter-related stories and a folk-song about fish dishes.
The above poster was taken off Alexandra Hsieh's Facebook post. Thanks, Alex. 

Fish in plastic or plastic in fish?

Hooray, the world says it's getting rid of plastic bags. It will take some time.  

Lately, I went to one of the biggest Singapore supermarket chains and asked for a small paper bag. I was given instead a small plastic bag. 

"We don't have paper bags!" said the lady in charge. Strange.
(The picture is a representation of a dead whale from ingestion of plastic created by Greenpeace Philippines. Credit: Greenpeace Philippines)

2) Whales eat people or people eat whales?

No, whales swallow plastic bags and bottles.  And, yes, in a certain country, some people are still catching whales to eat.

"We have been eating them for generations! It's in our culture!" says a citizen. 

I love eating fish but definitely not whales. So be careful not only of fish bones but plastic pieces.

3) Ikan Kekek Folk Song:

Here's a Malay folk song I remember that little children sing in kampongs (villages) in the 1960s. It is just as popular today and sung in primary school classrooms in Malaysia and in Malay classes in Singapore.
Ikan Kekek Ma Iloi Iloi: a song for children in Malay. Video from siti fairus.

Ikan Kekek is, according to a website, PONY FISH, pictured above, a favourite fish dish.

4) Songs with Fish titles:

I don't know too many songs about fish in the English language but here are a few:

Fish and Chips - Chuck Berry
Pisces Fish - George Harrison
Saturday Night Fish Fry - BB King

Gone Fishing - Bing Crosby n Louis Armstrong
Fish Song - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Pray For The Fish - Randy Travis

The Fishin' Hole - Andy Griffith
Moby Dick - Frankie Laine
The Down Easter Alexa - Billy Joel

You can improve the list of fish songs. Splash them on.


Thursday, January 03, 2019

Tribute To Billy Yap: Sings Like Perry Como & Tony Bennett

Good friend, Billy Yap passed away on the 31st December 2018.
Below is a tribute and a poem by Lim Kuan Min, former school principal. 
Billy was a lover of jazz standards and sings them just as well.

Billy Yap: Singapore's Answer To Tony Bennett
Written on September 9th in 2013

A few years ago I went with a friend to a recording studio where he recorded some popular standards like Strangers in the Night, Too Young, It's Impossible to name a few (check below image for list).  

There was no trial run before his recording, no notes he found too high and no mistakes made in his lyrics. His rendition of the songs he selected was perfectly pitched, clearly defined and peppered with the touch and feel of a professional.

Billy Yap who is 82 this year (2013), sings like Tony Bennett with a voice so smooth ladies swoon when he sings at house parties, wedding dinners, and karaoke sessions.  To me, Billy Yap is Singapore's, Tony Bennett. 

"I need no big band accompaniment," he says proudly, "Just give me a good pianist who can feel my song. The other alternative is a quality, karaoke backing..."

Perry Como And I Love You So 

A retired teacher, table-tennis super league player and great-grandfather Billy says he practices during Karaoke sessions with friends and family. He has been singing for the past 70s years and his musical ability stems from his mother who used to play the piano and sing after the family dinner. 

Billy sings everywhere; in the house, in the car and during our kopi sessions at Thompson Plaza. He tells me he even sings in the bathroom and before he goes to bed. During a group journey overseas, Billy sang using the microphone on the tourist bus. It was a trip heading to Beijing, China.  Most of the tourists in the bus loved Chinese pops so when he sang, I left my heart in San Francisco, I thought he would be in deep trouble. Instead, the 35-strong group cheered and asked for more.  

When I asked Billy what he thought of today's pop scene he remarked, "Singers do not sing the evergreens like they should be sung.  Nowadays current singers interpret the composition in their own way and it becomes a totally new song. It's a personal opinion." Well, Billy, I have heard his duets with some of today's pop stars.  They sound great actually.

He attended the Andy and Silver Strings Concert at the Esplanade in 2009 with Kuan Min. It would have been a privilege to invite him on stage but Billy was most comfortable with karaoke or just a piano to accompany him.

only printed about 10 copies of his CDs that come with the package. He has given them away except the one for himself. We cannot afford Tony Bennett to sing at our home parties but Billy is available if you need someone to croon evergreens. No charge actually. Just drive him to the venue and back. He would love to sing for you.

"Strangers in the night, Exchanging trousers, Love at first sight, What are the chances?" One of Billy's jokes!

(written when Billy was ill in hospital)

by: Lim Kuan Min

Not a cheery morn for me,

When I learned
Billy again warded.
Now in mid 80s
Lost his usual vigour
And humour,
A hand in perpetual tremor.
Can't recognise me
Oftentimes when I call.
Our friendship
Born in the '70s
When I was 20s
And Billy 30s
A decade plus separating.
Both Aries we click
Like an older bruh to me, he is.
A charmer with dimpled smile
That must have won the hearts
Of fair ladies aplenty with his wit
Humour, gentlemanliness.
Always a kind soul
With a generous spirit,
But an easy target for cheats,
He sees only goodness in people

Together with SS Andy
We travelled and bonded
Through Land of Smiles
Land of Dragons.
Once, he zoomed in from Melbourne,
Met us at Changi,
Without skipping a beat,
Off we winged to Beijing.
Wife lost thru illness,
Fire ravaged his home,
Billy survives loneliness
Material loss stoically

With warmth of family, friends, laughter.
Sings like Perry Como
Even recorded an album*,
A treasured gift in my possession.
Time flies, our friendship lasts
Into our twilight moment,
Meeting, bantering, reminiscing
Of times spent in bygone days
About people, places, happenings.
Moved into a 3-roomer
His pure white Samoyed by his side,

Billy often seen at Bishan Park strolling.

Health failing, more and more

In solitude, he seeks solace.
Meetings less frequent
As aging cruelly saps his vigour
And Vitality.
With heavy heart I pray that Heaven is kind
Whatever your illness.
Hopefully, waiting the day of your Homecoming.

Images: Google and Andy Lim Collection.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Andy 60s Music Wishes You A Happy New 2019


Images: Google