Sunday, May 26, 2024

"60s Music Stars From US, UK, Europe, HK Were At My Doorsteps," Says JK Lim.

                                                   



JK Lim's collection of memorabilia that includes show 
  tickets, posters, photographs, signatures and others. 



If you check carefully, you can read 
the names of the musicians and singers 
who signed JK Lim's memorabilia. 

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When I asked JK if he could do a write-up like his contemporary HH Chew about the pop concerts he attended he agreed. It took a while but here they are my dear readers, so many you would not believe. But how could he do it? 

I’m like *HH Chew [connection below], chasing concerts and bands and singers! It's mainly due to my home, a building beside the Odeon Cinema in North Bridge Road, opposite Jubilee Theatre near the Capitol Cinema and walking distance to Cathay Cinema. The amusement centres in Singapore 60s were close to each other in this part of town where I lived.

And coincidentally, the girls-only school, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus [CHIJ] was right smack in the middle of these movie theatres. And the young ladies would come out after school, at about one in the afternoon, in their white and hue blue pinafores.

The Odeon Cinema at North Bridge Road, Singapore
in the 60s. JK Lim lives in the same neighbourhood.

The school is also in the same neighbourhood at Victoria Street.

During the late 1950s and the early 1960s whenever they launched a show there's a hue and cry publicity where the actors and actresses involved, will come and sing a song or two before the show and super stars like Grace Chang [Ge Lan] 葛蘭 - 說不出的快活 電影《野玫瑰之戀 of Ja Jambo fame would have an autograph session at Level 4 [called the Hollywood Room] at the Odeon building. She would have come all the way from Hong Kong. Imagine the crowds that evening with North Bridge Road jam packed like the cinema itself!

On the other hand we had pop singers like, Johnny Lion and the Jumping Jewels from Holland performing at the Odeon. Remember them? He sang 'Let's Make a Habit of This', 'Judy', 'I Like It' and a host of other hits. 

The late Johnny Lion and the neat, 
smooth and velvety Jumping Jewels.
They came from Holland.

This cinema and others were all under the Cathay Organisation and the movie stars Hayley Mills and her father, John Mills came and appeared on stage before the shows. And they still keep coming today, the big stars like the Rolling Stones, Cpldplay, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

Then across the road at Jubilee Cinema, which screened mostly Chinese shows had the Canto [Cantonese] stars appearing, with the likes of Fong Po Po and Chan Poh Choo. Today it's the National Stadium, where groups like Black Pink, top K-Pop groups from South Korea come bob bob bopping along.


The Jubilee Cinema, across the road from 
the Odeon, showing mostly Chinese movies.

Further down the road towards Shenton Way and opposite the St. Andrew's Cathedral stands the Shaw Brother's cinema group irreplaceable, Capitol Theatre. The great Bai Kwang, Old Shanghai diva performed on stage too. I managed to attend. Chinese, English stars! I love them all.

And over at the Cathay, a short distance away, Frank Sinatra, one of the best US 60s crooners, was there. He was truly my favourite and I managed to catch him in his room at the Cathay Hotel above the cinema and got his autograph too after school. I was studying nearby at St. Joseph's Institution. 

Frank Sinatra surrounded by a crowd in his car 
when he came to Singapore in the 1961.

Crossing to the East side of Singapore, at Guillemard Road. It was concerts galore when Cliff Richard and the original Shadows came. This group included Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Tony Meehan and Jet Harris. 

There was Pat Boone and Debbie Boone. It was a wonderment with tickets costing Fifty Cents to One Dollar for hard step-like concrete seats at the Badminton Hall and at the Happy World Stadium.

Yes, yes! 

"Those were the days my friend, 

We thought it'd never end..."

Manfred Mann: Do Wah Diddy.
REMASTERED VIDEO TRUE 1964 
STEREO HiQ Hybrid JARichardsFilm
YouTube video from: jarichards99utube

Fung Poh Poh Hanky Panky 
YouTube Video from: kraftwerk2012

But it did. Now in Singapore concerts cost so much more. A coming one will cost pop music enthusiasts more than a thousand dollars per ticket!

The best deal I experienced was a three-in-one concert for one dollar at the Badminton Hall where I witnessed the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and The Kinks. Now that was a record breaker indeed [pun intended].

And I managed to get all their autographs!

Many stars do a transit stop in Singapore here before heading Down Under in Kangaroo county, Australia. These pop stars included: Helen Shapiro, Millie Small, Blue Diamonds, Anneke Gronloh, The 3 Degrees, Stylistics, Manhattan Transfer, Herman’s Hermit and Gilbert O'Sullivan.

Written by: JK Lim. 

Author: JK Lim
With his recollection and
memorabilia from the 1960s.

Images: Google and The National Archives, Singapore.

*HH Chew's story about meeting Skeeter Davis:

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Latest News: 26 May, 2024
This blog has surpassed 3.6 million views today.

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Andy 60s Music Blog Hits 3.6 Million Plus Views

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Latest News: 26 May, 2024
This blog has surpassed 3.6 million views today. 
It increases to about 100,000 views every 50 days.

Thanks to all readers, contributing writers,
followers, fans and friends for the support.
26th May, 2024.

Blog is:

1] Number 2 on the top 15 'Best Music Blogs in Singapore'.

2] Number 21 on the top '50 Best Music Blogs in SE Asia'.

3] Read by 204 countries under 'Flag Counter' App.

4] Read by President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

5] Archived by National Library Board Singapore.

6] Mentioned on VintageRadio.SG 
by Brian Richmond: 'Music n Me' interview.


We Are The Champions: Queen [Live].
YouTube Video from: Queen Official Video.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Happy Vesak Day To Buddhist Readers & Friends: [Buddhist Pop Singers].


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A HAPPY VESAK TO MY BUDDHIST READERS AND FRIENDS

Musicians From The West Who Practise Buddhism


Based on internet findings here are some singers and music makers who practise the Buddhist faith. 

In the U.S., the U.K. and other western communities, film stars, musicians and other top names promote the message of Buddhism in their movies, music and lifestyles.

Here they are:

Alanis Morissette
Annie Lennox
Belinda Carlisle
Cher
Courtney Love
David Bowie
Gene Vincent (?)
Herbie Hancock
Jennifer Lopez
KD Lang
Leonard Cohen
Patti Smith
Sandie Shaw 
Sting - Gordon Sumner
Tina Turner 


Information: from Relevant Websites and may not be accurate.

Annie Lennox, Cher, Courtney Love, Jennifer Lopez.

David Bowie, Herbie Hancock, Leonard Cohen, Sting (Gordon Sumner).

Songs

I am no expert on Buddhism and have tried without much success to compile a list of '60s to 80's western pops that has a Buddhist theme.  A search on the net hasn't revealed much but below is a rather shaky list which will suffice for the moment.  

Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala
Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind
On the road to Shambala 

Shambala: Three Dog Night. 
YouTube Video from: BOMBAYBOB1

Although some of the songs have reasonable lyrics they do not deal much with the topic beyond the titles. A few of them show familiarity with Buddhist teachings. There is no intention to misinform, so please write in if otherwise:

 1.    Karma Man: David Bowie: 1968.
 2.    Instant Karma: John Lennon: 1970.
 3.    Sold To The Highest Buddha: Gong: 1973.
 4.    Bodhisattva: Steely Dan: 1973.
 5.    Shambala: Daniel Moore: Three Dog Night: 1973.
 6.    Dust In The Wind: Kansas: 1977.
 7.    Refuge Of The Road: Joni Mitchell: 1976.
 8.    Kharma Chameleon: Boy George: 1983.
 9.    Within You Without You: Beatles: 1967.
 10.  Tomorrow Never Knows: Beatles: 1966.
 11.  Oh Very Young: Cat Stevens: 1974.

 If you have more information regarding the list above, please contribute.

Click below for more information:

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/2014/05/a-happy-vesak-to-my-buddhist-friends.html

This article has been published earlier.
Images: Google.
Information from the Internet and may not be correct.

Monday, May 13, 2024

"Music From The 50s And 60s Targeted Teenage Market," Says Robert Gay.




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Robert Gay writes with soul when he uses 50s songs and movies as milestones for his teenage journey. Detailed and heartfelt... 
Thanks Robert for taking time off to pen this very touching story of yours.

Becoming a Teenager:

It was no coincidence that the music of the fifties and sixties targeted the teenage market! This was the period when the post war babies became teenagers! The social culture was teenage based and created a huge unprecedented market! There were dozens of songs centered on age sixteen!

Sixteen Candles, the Platters and the Crests,

Only Sixteen, Craig Douglas,

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Neil Sedaka,

You’re Sixteen, Johnny Burnette,

Sweet Little Sixteen, Chuck Berry etc.

One of my favourite songs by Lonnie Donegan starts, “Sweet sixteen goes to church just to see the boys... Putting on the Style!" Teenagers were falling in and out of love! Moodiness, loneliness, violence, recklessness were all part of the makeup of a teenager! The film Rebel Without a Cause said it all! James Dean became a superstar and, “Chicken“ became a dangerous game on the roads!

The term Teen Idol was coined! 

The famous 'Rebel Without a Cause' 
car race as mentioned in the article,
with James Dean n Natalie Wood.


Cliff Richard, Pat Boon, Elvis, Ricky Nelson and many others were conferred the title! Several of the new Artistes were teenagers! Paul Anka sang Diana which was one of the biggest hits ever! Ricky Nelson sang, Poor Little Fool and My Rifle, Pony and Me with Dean Martin in, “Rio Bravo."  We identified with them and learnt to sing these songs with guitar accompaniment!

I was thirteen in 1957! 

Author, Traveller: Robert Gay in the Galapagos.

A Teenage Crush:

I was still catching spiders, fighting fish and flying kites and fishing! Girls never featured in my activities! I was mystified by a couple of our group who raved about this girl and that girl! Then one day the inevitable happened, I was returning from fishing in the sea off Siglap when a girl on a bicycle stopped by me, smiled at me and said “How many fish did you catch Robert?”. I was kind of speechless and just held up the string of fish that I was bringing home. She smiled again and said, “That’s a good catch “ and cycled off!

I stood there just stunned ! It didn’t help that she was just prettiest girl I had ever seen and I’d never seen her before! I thought she might have been one of my sisters’ friends! But they didn’t know her. However, a couple of the guys knew instantly who she was and even where she lived! Next day, I persuaded my new classmate Lesley from ACS to come with me to see where she lived. Somewhere in Dunbar walk! 

What a Borgward 60s looks like. Usually chauffeur 
driven and owned by the rich in Singapore 50s/60s.

We were just outside her house when a chauffeur driven Borgward stopped at her gate! And out she came. She saw us and came to us asking what we were doing! I had cunningly dropped a few coins on the grass verge and we were pretending to look for them. “Let me help you” she said and proceeded to look around with us! We collected my coins then she kindly invited us in for a drink (orange juice)! She got us our drinks and had one for herself.

We chatted for a while and then she said, “ Excuse me I have to do my homework, just wait for me.”

She got out her homework and we just sat and listened to Guy Mitchell, “Singing the Blues” on the LP she had put on for us!

I noticed after a while that she looked perturbed about her homework so I walked over to see what she was trying to do, She had CV Durell's, “General Mathematics Vol. 4” in front of her. I had only just finished Vol. 4 at Presbyterian Boys' School. However, I looked at the problem she was trying to solve and surprisingly saw how to do it immediately! So I showed her how it was done and I got another of those beautiful smiles. Homework was done in no time and we got to chat and got to know each other better. 

Singapore students use this text book 
for Mathematics practice in the 1950's.

Teenage Socials:

This became a kind of usual pattern and a few of us used to gather regularly at her place. We brought our guitars and sang the hits by Pat Boon, Elvis, Harry Belafonte, Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino and others.

She taught us how to dance; the cha cha, jive and the waltz! We also went out as a group to the places like the Botanical Gardens for a picnic where she packed a lunch. The highlight of our get-togethers was a trip to Johore Bahru one day where again she packed a lunch and drinks for us! Our main group consisted of Philip and Dennis (our Everly Brothers Champions), myself and Leslie. All this was good innocent fun and it was happy days for me.

Surprisingly she usually went to school by bus! She would walk all the way from Dunbar walk, through Frankel Avenue to the bus stop on Geylang Road where she took a bus to Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, passing my house on the way! I used to wait to wave to her and have a few words. 

I remember those mornings where I would have a Billy Vaughan LP on while waiting. “A Summer Place” and “Sail along Silvery Moon” were my favourite songs on this LP. The twin saxophones blended so beautifully! However. As all good things this would not last forever.! We were always mindful that she was a little older than us. She was fifteen and we were about thirteen. 

'Singing The Blues' Guy Mitchell. 
YouTube Video from: The Ed Sullivan Show.
[Song is usually sung on stage by Blogger Andy.]

“I’m so young and your so old”, Paul Anka's, Diana was about two years older than Paul too. We had over a year of this wonderful companionship but we always new she had older male friends who had more serious intentions.

Teenage Blush:

One day we visited as usual but she had gone. We came again the next day and were met by her older cousin waving a large screwdriver. 

“Don’t come here again!” he said, in a most unfriendly manner.

We left quite shocked and we never saw her again till many years later!

“One day she left without a word she took away the sun...” Lemon Tree, Peter Paul and Mary.

So this is how I got initiated into the teenage world! All the songs we sang were becoming true!

Comments are welcome.

Another Robert Gay memory:

https://singapore60smusic.blogspot.com/2024/01/frankel-estate-siglap-singapore-meets.html

[Author: Robert Gay. Copyrighted article.]

'Diana' by Paul Anka. 
YouTube Video from: morrisjrs1965.
[42 Million Views on this posting.]

[Song is usually sung on stage by Blogger Andy.]

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Andy 60s Music Asked WhatsApp Meta AI To Define: "Social Musicianship."

[1] Joining Larry Lai's Chat Group:

I had just joined Larry Lai's 'Music Lovers' chat group created on WhatsApp. After introducing me to the group I thanked him and the group with this reply:

Hello all, 

Thank you Larry for the welcoming introduction and for letting me taste a bit of group chatting. Never been in one before... I'm no musician, only a bystander and would love to learn the intricacies and designs of social musicianship.

Cheers. 

[2] What is 'social musicianship'?

I wasn't sure myself if I had used the right phrase, 'social musicianship' so I decided to ask my mentor Meta AI on WhatsApp. Here's my question and the reply I received: 

What is 'social musicianship'? 

Meta AI's reply:

What a fascinating question! Yes, there is such a term as 'social musicianship'. Social musicianship refers to the social and interpersonal aspects of music-making, emphasizing the importance of collaboration, communication, and community in musical performance and learning.

It encompasses skills like:

` Ensemble playing

` Improvisation

` Active listening

` Empathy

` Nonverbal communication

` Conflict resolution 

Social musicianship recognises that music is often a collective and social activity, and that developing these social skills is essential for successful music-making.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.

Thank you Meta AI.

And thank you folks for reading the explanation.

"Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty. What would life be, Without a song or dance, what are we? So I say thank you for the music, For giving it to me. [Abba.]"

Comments are welcome.

Andy with Larry Lai and young MediaCorp producer 
HH Tang, while discussing a television project 
we were supposed to participate in some years ago.

'Thank You For The Music' Abba
[Official Lyric Video]
YouTube Video from ABBA.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Andy 60s Music Kopi Kia: Automated Coffee Barista Singapore: Sam Cooke 'Coffee Song'.


Coffee and music
That's what I seek,
Aroma filled cup 
To wake me up,
Tunes shine my day
Keep the blues away.


Coffee Prepared By A Robot Barista 
@ a Mall in Jurong, Singapore.
Video from: Andy Lim.

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Drinking coffee is so popular with the world that in every nook and corner of any public place one could easily find a coffee house. 

After lunch at a nasi padang corner [coconut rice, peanuts and fish with chilly] we were looking for a hot drink and chanced upon a little coffee corner. But it was different. The barista wasn't human. 

With ease and robotic agility we watched in silence and were in awe as the coffee 'guy' prepared our brew. Perfect cuppa indeed and well-blended as Singapore coffee drinkers love.

Here's a song about coffee from 1960. It was like 60+ years ago and the song is still relevant... Yes, you should be drinking a cuppa as you listen to this song. Enjoy guys!



Sam Cooke - The Coffee Song (1960)
YouTube Video by: Overjazz.

Frank Sinatra: The Coffee Song
YouTube Video by: Frank Sinatra.

Images and videos: Google and Andy Lim.