Friday, June 18, 2021

Posters On Music, Covid, Fake News, Calcutta, China

In Singapore there are ambassadors who make sure 
you commit to Covid rules or face monetary fines.



Sunny June is hot but frequent bursts of showers and thunderstorms 
amidst quiet Singapore streets juice up the daily boredom.

It can be deafening most times, especially on 
What'sApp and the other unchallenged news media.

A so-called copy and paste creativity passes the
hours away as we send such messages to friends.

Michael Bangar accompanies on rhythm guitar, 
when masks were unheard off and gigs were part of 
the entertainment we have in Singapore's music scene.

Considering the problems when people meet people 
outside and at home, it is good advice.

Audie Ng, Silver Strings boss and bass man, accompanies 
during a leisurely evening before Covid became rapid.

This poster warns about moving around only in twos. 
No more, or be fined. A repeat offence could result in
 a worse penalty. Two's company, three's a crowd.

Definitely more and more fake news on the world's media platform. 
Don't get cheated, monetarily, morally or mentally.


Is the song discussing these ladies. 
they look smart and snazzy. 
'Calcutta'  - The Four Preps.
A Lawrence Welk instrumental taken from 
a German pop song was recorded vocally by 
The Four Preps in 1961. YouTube Video by SVansay.

These shots were taken off a video showing off ladies 
from a street in the heart of a city in China, not Calcutta. 

'Standing On The Corner' - Dean Martin. 
By Frank Loesser it became popular in 1956. 
YouTube by 'OnlyVocalHQ'


 Images are a combination of Google, creativity and self versatility.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Blackpink [블랙핑크] K-Pop Girls In Your Area - A Singapore Perspective [Part 1]

     UP TO 300 VIEWS    
       20+ COMMENTS     

Watching K-pop girls on YouTube can be fascinating. To me it's visual art in motion and with their good looks, colourful, eye-catching apparel, referencing these ladies could be a problem.

Why... Because I cannot understand the lyrics. I don't need to, I know, especially with their delightful choreography, youthful music and exceptionally beautiful and imaginative video clips.

''Oh, wait til' I do what I (do)

Hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du du (ah yeah, ay yeah!)

Hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du du (ah yeah, ay yeah!)...''

But more than a BILLION viewers can't be wrong.  So I spoke to a special fan, a teenaged lady who is a blink [a Blackpink fan]. And she tries to answer my questions. 

I told her, ''They are just eye-candy.'' She stared at me and promised to explain why Blackpink is so popular. 

Now, that would be nice...👍. After all Elvis was more than a pelvis...

Part 2 soon...

1,605,004,486 views - during my download.
2.5 million-plus comments.

Image/Video from Blackpink sites. 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Robert Suriya [Naomi n Boys] Chats With Andy

''I've always admired Bob with his song-writing skills.'' [Andy].


Chatting with Robert Suriya in Guam brought about this story of how a famous Singapore band made it, with memories to savour... Most of us know the Naomi and the Boys story but we just wanted to hear it again, this time from the man himself.

Encore and thanks Robert.

Hi Andy,

Naomi and the Boys were actually formed in 1960 and the original members were Peter Richards [Keyboard], Henry Richards [Bass], and Joe Ahmad [Drums] with myself on lead guitar.  We toured East Malaysia, Kuching, Miri and some other islands. Naomi did not go but The Boys toured. We had completed our first EP with Naomi in Singapore before we left for Malaysia in 1963.


After being contacted by Mr. Lee H. King [AR Manager of Philips Recordsto record our next EP, It's All Over and since it was a big  hit for us, I needed to make a change in the music we were doing. So I reformed the group, with a newer feel to suit Naomi's voice and style.

I reformed the group with Naomi, Robert Suriya,  Moses Tay, Alphonso Soosay and Peter Thomas. This is when, Happy Happy Birthday Baby, hit number one on the Malaysian Charts followed by another one of my compositions, I Know

Vinyl record covers of the Extended Plays [EPs] 
by Robert Suriya's top of the pop Singapore group.

Naomi had many hits. It's not that she is my sister that we did the recordings but it is because she had a tremendous feel in the songs. We rehearsed at my home at 14 Lim Ah Pin Road in Singapore. It was also great to play and write for my brother Henry Suriya who had some hits too.

So the years went by, as quickly as a wink...

Then 1969 came around. Some of the members started showing interest with other plans. I felt really bad and like most bands it happened. Like the Beatles and the Shadows and many more. But the band lasted for a while. So we did an LP, The Best of Naomi and the Boys. It contained fourteen songs.

In 1970 I did a recording with Naomi on the Polydor Label. The four songs which I wrote showed the real Best of Naomi, The Life I Wanna Lead, Today, He's Mine and I Call Your Name. The musicians had Quests percussionist, Lim Wee Guan on drums and flute, Steve Bala on electric bass and I did the rest, the Leslie organ, the piano, the guitars, acoustics and the electronics.

With Hank Marvin, lead guitarist 
from The Shadows. 
The beauty about music is that it lives in your system. I still write new songs but just *Christian songs and other pop ones. I play and sing for the prisoners in Guam, USA. These people have made the big mistake in life.

The way I feel is in the title by Naomi and the Boys, So Sad To See Good Love Go Bad. A beautiful memory I cherish.

I thank God for the blessings in music.

Kind Regards,

Bob Wickeremasuriya [Robert Suriya].

This posting is in memory of Fumiko Suzuki.


My late wife Fumiko Suzuki Wickeremasuriya  [3-7-1942 till 2-4-2019].  We were married in Tokyo, Japan on 6th December, 1976. We had two children, Carla and Carl. She was a wonderful wife and mother and was with me for four years before we got married in Japanese tradition. We were together for 39 years afterwards. I miss her.

Connect to similar topics.

Robert Suriya [right] plays the sitar, 
a Ravi Shankar phenomenon.

Those years smoking was a craze,
nobody really bothered.


Lim Wee Guan, from Quests
joined Robert for an EP.

Three bands in unison, Alfonso Soosay [The Boys], 
Jerry Fernandez [Neu Faces], Robert Suriya [Boys], 
Audie Ng, Andy [Silver Strings] in 2012.

Images are most from Robert Suriya and 
Alfonso Soosay's private collection. 
Copyrights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Songs By], 姚苏蓉 [Yao Su Rong] - 負心的人 [fùxīn ni rén] 今天不回家 [jin tian bu hui jia]



Songs I Love

[負心的人] fuxin ni ren

She is one of the prettiest lady singers from Taiwan hailing from the late 60's and her songs were big hits. I learnt about them from a Chinese school teacher friend who explained to me what one of her famous songs, [負心的人] fuxin ni ren meant.

''A cruel-hearted lover'', he explained, ''who jilted another.'' Of course.

Still hummed, whistled and sung today this memorable Chinese pop classic remains in the hearts of many.

And the lady singer is Yao Su Rong. 

[今天不回家] jin tian bu hui jia

I found later that another song I was familiar with originated from the same singer. In English it translated to, Today, I Won't Come Home, or [今天不回家] jin tian bu  hui jia. It was this song that brought her fame. And the title brought me confusion.
姚苏蓉 [Yao Su Rong] -  負心的人 [fùxīn ni rén] - YouTube Video by meme ko. Thank you.

Translated literally, the lyrics tell about a wandering person, with a hesitating heart, lost in a cross street and not returning home. The past is like smoke, love is like a mystery. Living with the hazy moon and dim star he has lost his heart. Don't forget the sweetness of home. But he's not going home today. Why doesn't he go home today.

When I first heard the tune it was played during a Chinese funeral band procession on a Singapore street in the 70s. I was familiar with the title and the music but not the lyrics. They were totally irrelevant to the scene that I witnessed or imagined on that street. I realised that, Today I Won't Come Home, had a different reference altogether. 

姚苏蓉 [Yao Su Rong]

Known as The Tearful Singing Queen, as some of the more famous Chinese singers had nicknames then, Ms. Yao recorded sentimental love ballads that were the order of the day. She has a captivating voice, Mandarin diction that was revered by her fans and became Taiwan's diva from the early 70's. Tears welled in her eyes when she performed on stage leaving her audiences sobbing too.

This singer and actress had recorded about 200 songs within a span of about 5 years and made twelve films. That's her significance. But nearly half of them that she recorded were banned as ''unhealthy and immoral'' in Taiwan. So South East Asia, especially Hong Kong, became her open stage and playground and it is easy to realise why she has remained to stay quietly in Singapore and made it her home to this day. A legend indeed. 

Comments are welcomed. 
姚苏蓉 [Yao Su Rong]- 今天不回家 [jin tian bu hui jia] YouTube Official Video. 
From Life Records. Thank you.

Jilted- the movie. Click to read.

Images from Google and Videos from YouTube.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Happy Vesak Day To Andy 60s Music Fans



I close my eyes
Only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind
Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Now, don't hang on
Nothin' lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy...
Songwriters: Kerry Livgren
[Dust In The Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc]
'Dust in the wind' by Kansas - YouTube from Kansas [Official video]
Thanks to good friend, JT Chen who created this poster and wrote the manuscript. Thanks JT.
Images - Google, JT Chen.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Singapore Original Music Compositions - Wen Hing

A recording for a classroom project with my diploma instructor and course mates.


Let’s Make Music – Singapore Style

By Chow Wen Hing

I recently commented on Andy’s blog about the band leader of a local band – the Dukes; Daniel Abidin, as follows:

“Sounds like an amazing guy, wonder what he thinks about the music and original Singapore songs of recent year? Would be interesting to hear his thoughts 🙂. I was watching a documentary about local musicians and a name cropped up a few times - Jimmy Wee. He took a chance on local acts when he was told again and again that there’s no profit in it!

I think the cost of such endeavors have gone way down, as technology has closed the gap on the process. What is needed is a “moral-boosting” Jimmy Wee, no deep pockets needed but a deep appreciation of the Singapore music scene is crucial. Of course, good contacts and entrepreneurial spirit is a big plus!

Many musicians are turning to home studios - affordable and accessible gear, technology and know-how (YouTube) has sprouted tons of “artiste”. So we would need a modern day Jimmy Wee to sieve out those who have potential and put resources behind them to support them as far as they can go.”

This prompted Andy to suggest that I share further thoughts on the local music situation – seeing how I am now a self-proclaimed “song-writer”. Thanks for the vote of confidence Andy! I am really just a novice – a late starter, and not a historian like you who is well-informed about the music scene over the last 40 years or so. But in the spirit of our shared love for music, I will put down some of my personal thoughts. A caveat here – these are just my own observations based on anecdotal evidence, so don’t take my word for it. 

With that, let me make a call to everyone who is reading this to:

Let’s Make Music – Singapore Style!

Juice - Whatever It Takes - Wen Hing - 
An original composition. YouTube by Music MAN.

I think one of the main reasons why Singapore music – that is local compositions in English, did not really take off is probably due to a lack of a cultural identify. We Singaporeans do not know who we are, euphemistically speaking. Our social diversification and multiculturalism have been so successful that, we; as the Beatles said, “are here, there and everywhere” – in a word: nowhere. We can’t really identify ourselves with Western cultures. It just doesn’t sit right with our Asian sensibilities; but neither do we clique well with the Eastern cultures; we fall short of the richness that these cultures can offer and represent.

As such, musically we are torn, struggling artistically to find our voice, our sound, our unique genre that we can be proud of. The closest to a culture is the “beng” culture - the slightly rebellious, mostly callous and care-less attitude that supposedly at its core lie the soul of the sons and daughters of Singapore. But this is giving in to a self-perpetuated myth that a “Beng-titude” is in all Singaporeans. It neglects to embrace the more wholesome, the serious, the studious, the avant grade and the “converted” amongst us.

So although deprived of a deep history, we Singaporeans nonetheless feel that we have a special identity that has been forged over our short 50-year history, that we are a melting pot of culture, practices, behaviour and abilities. But despite this, and perhaps as it is the progenitor of the “beng” culture; we sprouted something that clearly make us stand out amongst our Asian brothers and sisters. For at the very moment we speak, we are identified straightaway as being a Singaporean! It is in our style, our accent, our mannerism and our composure. Singlish has given us an identify which make us highly recognizable. 

Singapore bands from the 60s and beyond have their own original composition.

Singapore has no natural resources, and the only way it came to be where it is today is through the sheer determination and hard work of the previous generations. Here, I salute Andy and all his compatriots for playing an important role in entertaining and delighting these founding and pioneer batches of Singaporeans. They had used what they knew, and with what was at their immediate disposal. So well-known tunes from the East and the West flooded the market, and bands like The Silver Strings, The Quest, The Dukes; and in the 80’s and the 90’s bands like Tokyo Square, The Padre, Dick Lee, Zircon Lounge, Flybaits, etc – just to name those I know of, became the proxy for the real deal. Today, these bands still have their diehard fans, and there were concerts and open-mic sessions before the pandemic. Now many of them get together to jam and reminisce on the good old days.
Cats Like Us - A Wen Hing Composition 
which has gained some leverage on YouTube.

So I believe that with willing contributors, the blessing of Singlish, and a readiness to develop and embrace our own culture – these are all necessary elements to give us another chance to a start. Our Singaporean accent and mannerism gave us a lingua franca of sorts which sets us apart from our fellow ASEANs but yet anchor us as Asians and Singaporeans. We can build on that! Let’s think about getting the same kind of recognition and identity in our songs and music. Let’s think about a genre or a musical tradition that is so Singaporean that it will be identified immediately with Singapore at the very first opening notes. Let’s think about a standard or a performance style that is so clearly Singapore that audiences can immediately appreciate the Singapore flavour and characteristics, and thereby judging its success accordingly. Indeed, let’s think about a musical and cultural heritage that the rest of the world would want to emulate!

It is my personal big-beautiful-audacious goal, but it is getting rather lonely just two years into this endeavour. But I am pressing on, with encouragement and the occasional jousting from friends like Andy, and reading about past successes and glories in our musical heritage. Matched with how music making has progressed in the 21st Century, I am discovering opportunities and uncovering new sounds. Come my friends, join this journey wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Let’s make music – Singapore style!

Wen Hing - Singer/Composer/Author

An original song done by Shirley Nair and the Silver Strings in the 1960s. Sung by Rene. Video from YouTube by Rene.

Siva Choy's Original Singlish hit, 'Why You So Like That -

Friday, May 14, 2021

Andy Singapore 60s Music: 2.5 Million Views - Covid Times

AS OF 14TH MAY, 2021 
AT 12.22 AM 
Pop music, not pills. You'll never go wrong if you follow this SG music trail. Thanking all friends and writers who have been 
so supportive since day one.

Stay home, listen to music.

Image - Google.
Joseph Low [FB], a new reader, says,

''Music is moral law - it gives soul to the universe - 
wings to the mind - flight to the imagination.''

Hi Andy!

Your posts are so exciting, and I learn about some music that I don't know much about. I live in Montreal, Canada and was born here as well, but I absolutely love vintage... from the 1930's to the 60's, and I love to reminisce about days gone by. Thank you so much for sharing, your blog is such a fun place. :)

Linda's Peaceful Place Blog 

Montreal Canada


Hello Andy,

Hope you're keeping well. I'm A.T.  with VintageRadio.SG. Would very much like to touch base with you.



Dear Andy and Vincent [Patton], 

My music professor is interested in getting to know more information about music in the 60s and would like to meet up with both of you (separately if preferred) over coffee or lunch. Please let me know if both of you are able to meet up with him. We are both music enthusiasts and my professor has done many research in the music field and would like to expand his knowledge of music in the 1960s.

What you're doing is great Andy! just like you've said, it really does good for a younger generation like myself as I did research on Singapore musicians in the 1960s. 

Please email me at and I will leave his contact if the meet up is possible. Thank you so much in advance. :) cheers to furthering music education in Singapore!

NB - Vincent Patton is the son of Maurice Patton from The Melodians [60s band].

find.din3 - Blog.


'I want to thank you for the great job you are doing  in keeping alive  good memories of the 60s and 70s music scene in Singapore. Through your postings you transport  many Singaporeans in their golden years to their salad days... While going through this Facebook pages  the teenage spirit  is transported back into  the more ancient shell of people who are now grandparents . Keep up the good work !!''

Harold Thio Facebook 
Indonesia - based in SG.
''How do I contact CY Lin? I am co-writing a book about the mansion with the attap roof that used to be located at 1 Paterson Hill Road with one of the late Dr. Lim Boon Keng's descendants. He recalls many of the things CY Lin has included in her blog about Lim Boon Keng's kampong. Would be thrilled to get in touch with her. My email is... Thank you.''

[Image above. A successful contact was made in 2019 and the necessary people have met.]


Dear Andy, 

I am doing a research on Katong Park as part of my school [university] work, with a group of friends. Found your blog and would really like to interview you as well as some of your friends who were residents around the area. I hope you are willing to meet us and share your memories.

[This note was in response to blog posting on Ambassador Hotel.]

Hamidah P.

''I am writing from CNA. My team is currently producing an upcoming documentary programme and I would like to check if you would be available for a research call with my producer. We can have a research chat at your convenience. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!'' [edited]

N.... -