Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Sunday, August 07, 2022
UP TO 300 VIEWS - NEW POSTING
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...
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, August 06, 2022
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.
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.
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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.
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.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Jean Writes From The Past:
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.
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...
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.
Thursday, July 07, 2022
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’.
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".
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
Onto the PIE onto the PIE
Don’t close your eyes
Put on some rock and roll
And let all my troubles go
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
Onto the PIE onto the PIE
Don’t close your eyes
Put on some rock and roll
And let all my troubles go
*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
Friday, July 01, 2022
UP TO 400 VIEWS - 20+ COMMENTS - NEW POST
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?https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/life/music/2016/01/18/photos-the-life-of-glenn-frey/78976820/
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!
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.
*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
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.
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...
*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?
Friday, June 17, 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.]"
Article contributed by Cedric Cork.
Links to Naomi and The Boys:
Links to Cedric Cork, Vietnam War Stories: