Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Andy Singapore 60s Music Blog










Sunday, August 07, 2022

A National Day Special 2022: Social Harmony In Kampong Amber: Pianist Baba Sam Gan

Renowned pianist Sam Gan at the keyboard with 
Michael Bangar in sunglasses and Horace Wee in black.


Sam Gan is a baba or peranakan [Straits-born], so the reader might have to go through Malay words in his letter below but they have been carefully explained, so go a little slow to read. Unless you are familiar of course...

Hi Andy,

Bringing back memories of my family and me growing up in Kampong Amber [Amber Village], from 1947 to 1953. Best years of my childhood... Malay, Chinese, Indians, all living in harmony... We played, ran around barefooted, shirtless, in the rain, in the sunshine. 

According to the time of year, playing gasing [top spinning], layang layang [kite-flying] ,keeping fighting spiders in match-boxes, fighting fish in glass jars, rubber-bands competitions, *goli [marbles], catching, rounders [simple baseball] not many arguments, but a lot of fun. 

Playing marbles *[goli] in the 1960s

We were very proud of our kampong [village], so when asked, "Tinggal di mana?" [Where do you live?]

We would proudly reply, " Kampong Amber!" I still consider myself a Kampong Boy from Kampong Amber! 

Puasa Time [Fasting Month] was different with the Carbide Cannons made from Bamboo, booming in the evenings; the Kenduris [food social gathering] and kompangs playing at Malay Weddings. 

Then there's the rains that flooded our Kampong every year during the N.E. Monsoon from November to late January; kids selling fresh nasi lemak [coconut rice and fried fish with chilly-paste] and kueh kueh [Malay cakes]. They come in the mornings for ten cents a bungkus [banana-leaf packet] for breakfast. 

The Mee Siam [spicy Thai noodles] from the Javanese lady selling her tikar2 [mats], and the 30 cents takeaway (bring your own duck egg) Mee Goreng [fried noodles] from the Mamak [Indian] provision store , Plain Roti Prata was five cents a piece and a glass of Kopi [coffee] and Teh Susu [tea and milk] costs ten cents from the **Sarabat [Indian drink-hawker] stall next to the Chinese Swimming Club new pool at Amber Road.

**Selling Sarabat Tea [1963]. 
Photo credit: MITA/NAS Geraldine Soh.

Then there was the Pasar Malam [night market], Chinese Wayang [Chinese street opera] during the Chinese 7th month and of course the Orang Minyak [Oily Man] stories to frighten the young girls and ladies to be home before dusk. ..these are just some of my memories of My Kampong Amber!... what a time to grow as a boy in the old days, 75 years ago.

[It took me a bit to edit this one Sam, but it's well worth it. Thank you.]

NB: From what I understand, having read Finance Minister & Future PMs, Lawrence Wong's Facebook posts, his parents lived in Kampong Amber in the 60s.

This article is original and has been copyrighted.

Google image sources have been identified individually.

'Di Tanjong Katong' with ***Sakura Teng. 
YouTube Video by Medan Fan.

***One of the more renowned lady pop singers from Singapore 60's.

'Di Tanjong Katong' is a traditional Malay folk song describing the East Coast seaside. It is close to Kampong Amber where Sam Gan used to live.

Sam Gan: 'I Love You For Sentimental Reasons'
YouTube Video by Sam Gan.


Saturday, August 06, 2022

RIP Judith Durham: The Seekers: I'll Never Find Another You.

The late Judith Durham, lead singer of the Seekers.

3rd July 1943 to 5th August, 2022

With the many friends I know or knew, JUDITH DURHAM was an unknown name but when one mentions THE SEEKERS everyone knew the group. And voices would scream out I'LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU, GEORGY GIRL, MORNING TOWN RIDE. And the list goes on.

Judith Durham, the petite girl with the fringe on top and lead singer of the group, had passed away just, aged 79 years young. She was an angel with a voice quality that carried her far and wide across the world from her Australian hometown.

The Seekers: I'll Never Find Another You. 
YouTube Video from: rich963.

Well, like a friend mentioned, The Carnival Is Over, but the songs never end. Goodbye Judith. Thanks for the lovely folk songs you brought into Singapore. And from my wife too because she loves one of your best hits, GEORGY GIRL. 

R.I.P. Ms. Judith Durham. We'll never find another you...

From your thousands of Singapore fans, seniors now mostly. 

The Seekers: 'Georgy Girl' 
YouTube from: rich963

A Tribute from Cedric Collars, Perth, Australia:
The voice of the Seekers is gone. Judith Durham passed away and with that so have their songs into the music memories. 

Thanks Andy, I grew up on these songs and her voice always stood out in the group. We will miss her like so many others who have left us with musical artistry and songs to remember, sing or hum with fond memories. RIP JUDITH.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

History Of Victoria Theatre Singapore: Nostalgia Aids Mental Health

At the patio in a bungalow from the 1960's, 
Andy with sunglasses. [Image: Copyrights Reserved]

A journal article reads that n
ostalgia is not a psychiatric disorder and occurs in all cultures and amongst all age group. Research suggests that it can promote psychological health with overall positive feelings including higher self esteem and the increased feeling of being loved. It counteracts the effects of loneliness and increases perceptions of social support.

Nostalgia provides a link between our past and present selves i.e. it may provide us with a positive view which could help to give a greater sense of continuity and meaning to our lives. It may acquire greater significance in old age as elderly adults are vulnerable to social isolation. "Nostalgia is now emerging as a fundermental human strength and we play a starring role in our nostalgic scenes."

The first image shows a house party, at a bungalow at Mountbatten Road, which I  organised. It shows the dancing that took place at the large patio. For dance music, records spin from a radiogram and tapes on large spools were played that evening. Later on in the evening, the lights were dimmed. 

Just across Mountbatten Road and beyond a row of bungalows was the open sea at Tanjong Katong, where many young couples enjoy a private moment. The second image shows the Victoria Theatre with its clock tower where many dances and music events are held. It still stands today, renovated, stately and ready to stand for another 100 years and more.
Judy, Judy, Judy by Johnny Tillotson 
was one of the favourites of the bungalow owner.
YouTube Video from: SVansay.

http://PsychCentral.ComRick Nauert (PhD), Senior News Editor, Association for Psychological Science15.12.2008.

Image 1: 
Home Party-1963 Andy Lim Collection. 

Image 2: 
Victoria Theatre - 1962 from National Heritage Board Website.

Victoria Theatre (posted on 4th August, 2010)
"Reliving the Glory Days:

The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District is one of the most historically versatile buildings in all of Singapore. In the course of its nearly 150-year history, apart from being a focal point for arts and cultural entertainment, this handsome Victorian-era colonial landmark with its distinctive Palladian clock tower, Italianate windows and rusticated columns was once a town hall, hospital and a war crimes trials court.

The history of this building is a fascinating one. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that it wasn’t even originally intended to be a theatre. Designed by prominent architect John Bennett, it actually began life as the young colony’s Town Hall in 1862. The fact that it had two large halls on each of its two floors allowed it to stage concerts. And soon, while it thronged to the footsteps of municipal employees in the day, amateur groups were busy putting on plays and concerts at night.

When Queen Victoria passed away in 1901, the colonial government decided to erect a memorial to her long reign, deciding that a public hall alongside the existing Town Hall building would be a fitting tribute. And sensibly, they decided, in the name of continuity, to keep the same architectural style as the earlier municipal building.

The new building was christened Victoria Memorial Hall upon completion in 1905, and almost immediately, the Town Hall underwent renovations to turn it into a theatre, with the space between the buildings earmarked for a splendid clock tower. The makeover project (to turn the complex into three different parts) was completed in 1909 when Victoria Theatre officially opened.
Vic. Hall today. It's always a full house.

In the period before World War II, the Victoria Theatre and Memorial Hall staged many concerts, musicals and plays, including a performance by Noel Coward in 1930. It was lucky to have survived intact during the Japanese air raids, and during the Japanese Occupation its strategic location in the city saw it being used as a hospital.

During peaceful times, it was also the scene of political milestones, chief among them the launch of the ruling People’s Action Party in 1954. And then in 1962, the original bronze statue of Singapore’s founder Stamford Raffles, which had been standing at the nearby Padang for years, was moved to the front of the building. When the Singapore Symphony Orchestra moved in 1979, the complex was renamed Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

To preserve the grandeur and allure of the old dame, it had closed later in 2009 for an extensive two-and-half year renovation, before reopening in 2013. So on your visit to Singapore, don’t miss your final chance to capture a slice of its old glory."

[This article has been edited to suit the time and format of this posting's publication. No other information has been changed.]

Information from:

(I acknowledge the article was taken from the above website. This posting will be taken off if it contravenes copyright laws. Please write via the latest posting on this blog for removal. Thank you.)

This article is a repost from January, 2009.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Andy's Music Quiz: Singapore And International Pops


It's easy guys, give it a try. Place a letter in each blank:

Example:  L A R R Y  = Rediffusion's favourite 60s DJ.

1 ___ ___ ___ ___ = SG Music Blogger.

2 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ = The King.

3 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ = Insects with beat.

4 ___ ___ ___ = He's Chong, not Japanese.

5 ___ ___ ___ ___ = Miss Molly's behaviour.

The Neo Kings: Paul Anka's 'Diana'.

6 ___ ___ ___ ___ = SG singer Shirley's surname.

7 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ = Apache was a hit!

8 ___ ___ ___ ___  = They were with Naomi.

9 ___ ___ ___ ___ = Murray's famous bird.

10 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ = Andy's favourite girl.

[This quiz was done by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. Thanks very much.]

Answers will not be published for some time. 

Naomi and The Boys: As Tears Go By.
YouTube video from: CoverHeaven.

Images: Google.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Singapore's Illustrious Solidarity: Soiree & De Rigueur: A Letter From Jean


Actress, Singer: Jane Birkin 
Famous for her song: 'Je T'aime'.
and the Hermes Birkin bag, which is named after her.

Jean Writes From The Past:

*Hello Andy, 

I know I'm a bit late with this post as I came across your blog while looking up Amber Mansion's Celestial Room. My late mother (who was a Eurasian from Katong in Singapore) often talked about the tea dances there and how jovial & classy they were. Everyone made an effort to dress smartly for a soirée back then. Elnett sprays for girls and Brylcreem or Tancho for the boys were de rigueur.

Thanks for the picture. It gave my search an added identity to my Mum's anecdotes about her teen years in her beloved Singapore in the 50/60s. She was so proud to have come from a rich multiracial society that was/is Singapore. Such solidarity is illustrious and unseen elsewhere in the world.

Cheers Andy!

Yesterday Yes A Day - Jane Birkin. 
YouTube Video by: Nikita Chen.
This song is for Jean, one of her favourites.

Hi Jean,

Thanks for the beautiful tale about your late mother. She must have been quite a 'cool cat' those years.

Glad to hear about Elnett, Brylcreem and Singapore's multi-racial face. You are right about solidarity being "unseen elsewhere in the world."

Appreciate your visit. I went to your profile but could not link to your blog...
Writer *Jeanne

*Hi Andy,

Excuse me for the late reply due to heavy workload.
I have no blog yet. I meant to seriously open one about my passion for Egyptian and Greek archeology but just never got round to it yet LOL. No time lah. One day soon I hope.

I go through your fabulous blog whenever I get the chance. Its a comfort zone for nostalgia buffs like me. Thank goodness for the Internet that's changed almost everyone's lives in creating a global village with communication at the touch of our fingers.

Cheers Andy!


Thanks so much for your huge support. It's letters like yours that keep me going. If you're still reading this blog, please reply. Thirteen years is a long time.

[This note from Jean, written in May 2009, is a re-post.]

*Jean or Jeanne to the Francophiles. I'm trilingual and love my dog and cat, animals and their welfare, music, The Golden Girls, jogging, the ocean, Spain, weekends, sleeping, sweet desserts. I grew up in Asia and London before moving back home. Schooling was unconventional to say the least but I always got good grades anyway. My heroes are my parents, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Amber Mansion in the 60s. 
And where Dhoby Ghaut MRT is located today.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Latest COE Prices Singapore: Beatles, Deep Purple, Joe Bonamassa. Wen Hing's New Song, RIDE.

Longest Traffic Jam In History [by Tamas Varga]
Beijing/Tibet Expressway: August 2010.


The recent COE prices have soared right back up to pre-COVID days, and who can blame us. Owning a car in Singapore will always be our dream. With a car-per-capita ratio of 1:5, Singapore ranks right in the middle of about 200 countries on the list. But if we use the car-per-kilometer ratio, our ranking shoots all the way up to number two! For a land-starved country like Singapore that says a lot about our love for cars.

And our love for songs about cars and driving too! Although we don’t get to cruise our beloved marquees on the autobahn or on the highways - with the top down and the wind on our faces; we can almost get the same experience from songs such as “Drive My Car” by the Beatles or “Drive” by Joe Bonamassa. But how can I leave out “Highway Star” (Deep Purple)!? Although this song may be deemed too “heavy” for this blog, it certainly is a beloved song that many - including me, grew up with. It is a classic for many a Purple fan, but for a greenhorn like me I had always wondered what it is like ‘racing it to the ground’. 

Highway Star: Deep Purple 
YouTube video from Jan Plexy

Driving in Singapore is stressful, and racing is a definite no-no! Music is always there to take our minds off the bumper to bumper situation we often find ourselves in. An interesting incident happened last year (2021) which may be a sign of just is how stressed out road user here are. This gentleman rode on a motorbike on a busy road buck naked! He must had been going through a really rough patch, and like most netizens I was both amused and sympathetic of his antics. I think he must have had music piped in through his helmet, so much so that he was totally oblivious of his actions.

The funny thing was when I read about it and saw the photo, the song “Drive” by Joe Bonamassa suddenly started playing in my head. Being a songwriter wannabe, I couldn’t resist and wrote a new set of lyrics for this song based on the story of the naked rider - sorry about that Joe. So here is my take on JB’s Drive - I named it "Ride".
Joe Bonamassa: Drive
YouTube Video from:

[Composer: Chow Wen Hing]

Man I’m slowly going crazy
Watching the same old show
It’s time to feel the wind on my face
I’m going to take off my clothes

And ride
Onto the PIE onto the PIE
Don’t close your eyes
Put on some rock and roll
And let all my troubles go
And ride

Man I’ve been indoors way too long
I can’t feel my toes
It’s time to burn me some rubber tonight
But first let me take off my clothes

And ride
Onto the PIE onto the PIE
Don’t close your eyes
Put on some rock and roll
And let all my troubles go
And ride

*Repeat till you hear the police sirens

I’m glad to inform readers that this gentleman is now being given the help and support that he needs to resist the naked urge. I wish him well and hope that he can rejoin the Singapore dream-chasing regime soon. In the meantime, let Rascal Flatt’s “Life Is A Highway” guide us on, and let’s all enjoy our mode of getting around - be it driving or riding.

An Original Article by: Wenhing    
Singer, composer and writer Chow Wen Hing.

Beside singing, Wenhing is a composer too and I can't thank him enough for another one of his well-articulated articles for this blog; he has written a number of them these past years together with many original songs.

His articles and songs have received heavy-weighted, positive feedback and comments. Kamsiah Mr. Chow. You'll be one of Singapore's well-known  composers soon.

[Click his name under LABELS below to read them.]

Images: Google
YouTube Videos and Webpages:

Friday, July 01, 2022

Weather Forecast: The Heat Is On: Glenn Frey: Singapore Sizzles


Songs I Love

July reminds me of the song, The Heat Is On, and of the weather that's about to slam bang Singapore into a sultry mode. So get ready guys, it's another hot, hot, hot month, a warning from the forecast on the website.

The song also reminds me of Eddie Murphy in the forefront, slam banging his way into the hearts of the crooked in one of the US cities. He's the famous African American, Beverly Hills Cop. Hollywood?

The late music genius Glenn Frey, one my favourite singers, leader of The Eagles, recorded it in 1984 and it became a hit at #2. But the melody and lyrics etched in my mind for years and when the weather turned red in Singapore, the fan in my mind started to whirl non-stop, grinding the vinyl [image below] that I used to own. 

*"The heat is on, on the street, Inside your head, on every beat, And the beat's so loud, deep inside, The pressure's high, just to stay alive, 'Cause the heat is on..."

For me, this song's always a hit and in heat!

Glenn Frey - The Heat Is On 'Beverly Hills Cop' Soundtrack
YouTubeVideo: GlennFreyVEVO.Watch it! 
Nearly 14 Million viewers can't be wrong.

Apparently, the word 'heat' is very meaningful in the English language, let alone in American English. Slang-wise it could mean, the police, a gun or a host of other synonyms related to being in trouble with the cops. Heat could also bring to mind relationships. The original meaning brings us home again. Yes, it's equatorial Singapore. 

But don't call the cops! 

Get an electric fan or turn on the air-conditioner!

[In Singapore and Asia the word heat now means any food item that's chilli hot. There's a programme on CNA (Channel News Asia) called, 'In Search of Heat', where the topic discusses different types of Asian food that uses lots of chilli and spices for its dishes.]

This blog welcomes comments.

The man who's always in heat; Eddie Murphy 
on the vinyl cover of Frey's hit song.


*Harold Faltermeyer / Keith Forsey. The Heat Is On lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.


Google. Any copyrights problem, do advise and images/videos will be deleted immediately.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Teresa Teng: The Moon Represents My Heart: In English by Eliza Mammoliti 月亮代表我的心 - 邓丽君

*Teresa Teng

A Teresa Teng Fan writes in from the West:

The note below comes from blog reader Axel, to comment on*this music blog's article and video about Teresa Teng. I thought the letter would be better as an independent posting. The rendition by Mammoliti [YouTube, below] is simply beautiful. Thanks my friend for your contribution. 

Axel's letter:

Hello Andy,

Found another English version of this beautiful song - the singer also sings in Chinese. I don't know if I can embed a YouTube link here - otherwise search for WJ LimaWix, as the name of the person who has uploaded the video - the video title is also listed as "The Moon Represents My Heart - Teresa Teng, 月亮代表我的心 - 邓丽君 English Cover by Elisa Mammoliti" - uploaded in August, 2020. 

"The Moon Represents My Heart"
Teresa Teng, 月亮代表我的心 - 邓丽君 
English Cover by Elisa Mammoliti.
YouTube video from WJ LimaWix

Also this interesting comment is included "This English cover is performed by Elisa Mammoliti in Italy on Aug 1st, 2020. Instrumental orchestration is provided by my good friend Fred Chiosa in Lagos, Nigeria. All done while we sheltered-at-home in this Covid-19 era" - truly a global cooperation... 

The museum in Taipei.

I had the pleasure of meeting Teresa Teng's brother in Taipei, in 2009 - apart from eating at his restaurant, also seeing his small Teresa Teng museum, and a conversation about her life.. The song has been a favorite of mine, ever since my first trip to Asia, in 1981 - i didn't understand a word... didn't matter... the angelic voice made the connect to... well... my heart... now... my wish... would be that Andrea Bocelli makes a recording to the song...



*As many fans would know, TT's songs are banned in China. Are they still banned today? What happens to people who own vinyl, CDs and her recordings?

Comment anyone?

Teng Chang-fu
Teresa Teng's brother.

Images: Google.

Interesting Comments. Names Have Been Withheld:

Viewer A: 
Truly a melody and a memory that transcends borders. This is a song that represents the sentiments and feelings of many generations of Chinese, mainland or overseas: and I'd say to China - lighten up! 

Our hearts are always shining like the moon. Bravo to Elisa Mammoliti, you may not speak Mandarin, but you certainly speak the language of love and longing.

Viewer B:
Why the 'moon'? It is always waxing and waning, and in English [at least] Literature, it is a metaphor for inconstancy. Especially when it is the 'moon represents my heart'?

I ask out of puzzlement. Have puzzled me for some time now.

Maybe she is referring to a supermoon. We had one on 14 June, 2022. Perhaps her love was like the supermoon, so full, so bright, so perfectly round.
Viewer A:
Sigh... sometimes I think Singaporeans are so educated that we lose our sense of wonder and imagination. Can't blame some folks for calling us 'clinical'.

Viewer B:
Be serious but also not serious.
If we were dead serious, we'd be dead, literally. I take my hat off to those under oppressive regimes, who can see the irony, and therefore, the humorous side of things. Otherwise, how to survive?

Andy invites comments. 

Images - Google.

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Tribute To Robert Suriya [Naomi n The Boys] from Cedric Cork

R.I.P. Robert Suriya
17th June, 2022

"I knew Robert when he was band leader of, Naomi and The Boys with the late Moses Tay who played bass. We became great friends through music interactions during the 1960's when I was with Sonny Bala and The Moonglows, having done stage shows together at the Singapore Badminton Hall, the F&N Hall at River Valley Road and other popular venues.

We were in Vietnam too in the 1970's since our bands were under the same management. When the troupe returned to Singapore, Robert left for Guam shortly afterwards but we kept in touch only on Facebook with the other musicians.

My deepest condolence to Robert's family.

[And to my two late buddies too whom I miss dearly, Donald Thaver, Zul Sultan. You'll all be missed.]"

Top left - Donald Thaver, Cedric Cork [writer], 
Bottom left - Robert Suriya, Zul Sultan.

Article contributed by Cedric Cork.

Links to Naomi and The Boys:

Links to Cedric Cork, Vietnam War Stories:

'As Life Goes On': Naomi and The Boys. 
YouTube video by: Sheldon L. King

Singer, Tunesmith, Lyricist, Musician,
Robert Suriya embraced them all. 
A truly multi-talented school mate
from St.Andrew's. God Bless His Soul.