Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Elvis All-Star Tribute 2019 || Full Set || HD 1080p: Blake Shelton, Shawn Mendes, Adam Lambert, Keith Urban, Ed Sheeran, Kelsea Ballerini, Jennifer Lopez, Pistol Annies & More

Like what this blog's viewers say. Nothing like Elvis singing his own songs. But then he's gone, a long time ago and this is one way to relive some of his goldies, with pop stars singing his hits in their own style with their own interpretation.

If only our local boys would interpret Presley songs likewise, they'll be so much more entertaining and meaningful, rather than trying to imitate an American Caucasian who's more famous than any singer on earth. It's not wrong though and could be fun to watch. But then...

I like our Elvis Tribute Artistes (ETA) and some of them perform well. Wilson David is one, Jimmy Preslee is impressive with his sideburns and sparkling suits; HT Long from Malaysia is exceptional; don't forget Rocky Teoh who is still remembered today. 

Now the above show; I love Mr. Davies singing his own composition. Adam Lambert was hot with his blue outfit, right down to the shoes. My best song interpretation was Love Me by the three ladies called Pistol Annies. In fact all of them carried Mr Presley's hits so well I would love to have more of these tributes. 

What about you?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Singapre 60s Music: Best Heavy Metal Band Led Zeppelin By Michael Bangar

The Greatest Heavy Metal Band Is LeD ZEppELiN.
Written by: Michael Bangar.

The letter below was written in reply to my short review of the Illustrated Biography 'Led Zeppelin' book by Gareth Thomas from Transatlantic Press (2009). Michael has always been thinking out of the box. That's the way it should be. Thanks, Mike.

Hi brother Andy,

I am a big fan of the band. I watched on YouTube when President Obama presented the three surviving members (as you know their drummer John Bonham died in his sleep - apparently choked naturally) their Kennedy Centre Awards. MC Jack Black called them, The Greatest Band of All Time. I think The Greatest Heavy Metal Band would have been more appropriate.
Stairway To Heaven, the best song ever for many Led Zeppelin fans.

I am a nobody in this huge worldly music business, but I don't agree with Mr. Jack Black. The title of Greatest Band Of All-time must be bestowed upon the Beatles as all great music experts and critics would agree.

But coming back to L.Z., I can't think of any other band to give the number 2 title to, number 2 to the Beatles, that is. All LZ albums are excellent pieces of music. Coupled with the way each band member excelled at their respective instruments, (like bassist John Paul Jones who played excellent keyboards too).

They took heavy metal from The Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (the inventors), pushed it into a new direction and opened it up to the world. Many bands tried to follow in the footsteps but few succeeded. Their monster hit, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, was voted The Song With The Best Guitar Solo Ever. 

Strangely they never had a Top 40 Single in any music chart. All their great music was released in album format, not in Singles format.  The late '60s and '70s were the era of record albums. Albums with huge sales even found their way to the singles charts during that era.

How Led Zeppelin was born: after their last US tour, The Yardbirds, Keith Relf, Jimmy Page, Paul Samwell Smith and Jim McCarty (guitarist Jeff Beck had already left by then) were in the doldrums and splitting up.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Page who had so many musical ideas in-store was asked to go check out a group called, The Band Of Joy. Impressed he offered singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham to join his new band. Then he called his old-time recording sessions buddy John Paul Jones to join. They completed their remaining US dates as The New Yardbirds.

Then The Who drummer Keith Moon passed a serious comment to them: "If you guys don't make it, you are gonna come crashing down like a lead zeppelin (The Hindenburg). They decided it would make a great name but took out the 'a' in lead. That's how the band got its name.

The rest is a great music history. And you know what brother Andy, as soon as I see it, I'm gonna buy this book for my collection.

Cheers, my friend. 


So come on guys; is this band the greatest?
Or do you know of another that's better?

Read the original posting and book review:
The book that was reviewed that lead to Mr. Bangar's comment. Thank you.

Images: Google and YouTube.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Singapore 60s Music Opinions 'Trouble' (Elvis). 'We Can Work It Out' (Beatles): Belinda Poh's Thoughts

The cool, calm, collected characteristics of a sophisticated Belinda Poh. You can realise these natural sparkles in her writing below. These short papers are well-placed thoughts and gently persuasive. Thanks again Belinda:

Thought One:

Trouble passes. What has caused you to burst into tears will soon be forgotten. You may remember that you cried but not why you did so. As we grow up and go through life, we are often surprised at how we lie awake at night, brooding over something that has upset us during the day. 

We may fly into a rage at the spur of the moment over something, and later wonder what it was that we were so angry about, and be surprised to realise what a waste of time and energy it had all been. 

We may fly into a rage over something but it is a waste of time and energy.

Why should we allow others or our troubles to drain away our energy and make us unhappy? The answer is that they do not. It is we who make ourselves unhappy. 

You may have some trouble in your working place but never infect your home in a bad atmosphere. Whenever we fail to find a solution to a problem, we are inclined to find a scapegoat, on whom we vent our frustration. We are not prepared to admit our own shortcomings. It is easier to put the blame on others. 

We must not show resentment towards others. We should do our utmost and calmly resolve our own problems. The solutions could be found in achieving freedom from our selfish desires, by eradicating all forms of confusion and ignorance. Therefore, always stand strong and be prepared to face up to any difficulties that we encounter.
Elvis Presley sings 'Trouble' from movie 'King Creole'. Thanks to YouTube.

Thought Two:
The secret of happy, successful living is to do what needs to be done now, and not worry about the past or the future. We cannot reshape the past, nor can we anticipate everything in the future. There is only one moment of time over which we have some conscious control and that is the present. We tend to just worry about the future. We have to learn to adjust ourselves to the circumstances. Whatever castles we may build in the air, whatever dreams we may have, we must always remember that we are living in this world of constant friction and change. 

"There are no stars which we could trust,
There is no guiding light,
and we know that we must

(Written by Ms. Belinda Poh.)


Thought Music:
I never look for trouble
But I never ran (Presley)

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend. (Beatles)

My own two interpretations of what Ms. Belinda Poh was trying to express with two 60s pop songs I know. The ideas could be miles apart. The above video is Elvis Presley's TROUBLE and the one below is the Beatles with WE CAN WORK IT OUT. Do you think the articles and songs have some parallels?

Comment readers?

This article is her second. You can connect to read her first:
The Beatles with 'We Can Work It Out'. Thanks to YouTube.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Sngapore 60s Music RIP Jay Shotam (October Cherries)

Jay Shotam passed away on 4th October 2019 

Age 71 
Lead singer, composer, songwriter and bass guitarist/keyboardist with The Surfers and The October Cherries with several music albums to his credit.
A loving husband and father, he leaves behind his immediate family, relatives, friends, and fans to mourn his loss.

Tribute From Stephen Han:

I remember the Surfers, with Jay Shotam in the lead, were always practising their songs in a book shop opposite the former Amber Mansion. My house was facing the back of this shop and I enjoyed the music played. 

However, someone who stayed at the Cathay Building and didn't appreciate music complained to the police that the noise was a nuisance.  As the Surfers were playing within the eleven pm hour they were only told to lower their volume. 
I had the pleasure of meeting Jay again at a concert organised by the National Heritage Board in 2002 at Raffles City. The Back To The 60s Show also featured Riem De Wolff (The Blue Diamonds), Vernon Cornelius, Larry Lai, Silah Kassim, and Tan Swee Leong.

Jay Shotam was an easy-going guy and I'm glad to have met him.

RIP Jay.

(Mr. Stephen Han is a good friend and guest blogger. Thank you, Stephen.)

There are many postings about the 'October Cherries' as a band. 
Go to the Content column on the right side of this blog and you can connect.
Written by Jay Shotam and Peter Diaz. Peter sings 'Far Away Now' with the October Cherries. Thank you.

This tribute is written in good faith with positive intention. If there is any objection, please write on the comment page and the post will be deleted immediately. Thank you.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hong Kong Protests Bring Back Pop 60s Music (香港抗议 60S 音乐, 是)

This Connection Post is dedicated to my school mate Yeo Choon Meng
who loves HK Pops. Thanks, Meng, hope you enjoy the music and stories.

The poster above is for illustration only since some of the music stars have passed away.

The Hong Kong protests and riots have lasted for some months now. It is indeed in a sad state of affairs. 

Let's hope the situation will improve and the island will once again turn on its neon lights to dazzle, sparkle and illuminate itself. In music history, HK has one of the most excellent entertainment industry on this side of the world. It must channel its forceful creativity back to the energetic island that used to spell the best in popular culture.

I have, in the past years, posted many articles about Hong Kong's 60s and 70s pop musicians and singers. Most of the artistes have strong ties with the island.

Below are some connections that may interest you.

Irene Ryder sings 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me'. Thank you.

Shao Fong Fong:

The Fabulous Echoes 1:

The Fabulous Echoes 2:

Irene Ryder (Part One)
The Wynners: I'll Never Dance Again. One of the top HK groups in the 70s.

Irene Ryder (Part Two)

Teresa Teng, Mummy, Mahjong and Audie Ng:

Mona Fong:

Jimmy Lin Chong:

The Wynners:

Anders Nelson, MING:

The poster above is for illustration only. The group is 'Danny' Diaz and The Checkmates.

Friday, September 27, 2019

China's 60s Pops Golden Jazz Musicians: Peace Hotel (和平饭店) Shanghai (中國上海): Henri Gann

Henri Gann travels much when he works and play. This former guitar boy with 60s 'Trekkers' SG band loves jazz. Here's his story about the oldest jazz band in the world. He took his precious time to write me his piece from China's most fun city.

Thanks, Henri.

My recent travels to Asia took me to Shanghai, a city once known as the Paris of the East or the Pearl of the Orient. While at the Bund, I came across the Peace Hotel, a place much wrote about in the history of Shanghai.

Picture 1
The Peace Hotel is a very impressive building on Nanking Street and it can be seen from the Bund. The granite structure building looks very much like the colonial buildings of Old Singapore. Additionally, it has a distinctive pyramid rooftop which can be seen from the Bund.

Picture 2
As I entered the lobby of the hotel, I was instantly struck by a feeling of the hotel past. Beautiful chandeliers and stained glass windows were displayed as it once was showing the grandeur of the hotel. The hallways were an art gallery.

Photographs of the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin, the renowned rocket scientist Qian Xuesen and the British war hero Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery were displayed together with photographs of the American President Bill Clinton, the father of radio Guglielmo Marconi, the famous British Playwright Sir Noel Coward and Edgar Snow, the man who had met Mao Tse Tung and who wrote the Red Star over China, a best seller book in the 60s.

Picture 3
Also lining the lobby hallways of the Peace Hotel were photo displays of many movies filmed at the Peace Hotel. Some of these were Shanghai Triad, the Empire of the Sun, the Silent War and the Last Aristocrats to name a few.

Picture 4
As I reached the far corner of the lobby and adjacent to the dining room, I finally came upon the famous Jazz Club. I was in awe looking at the pictures and newspaper clippings of the musicians who had once played at the club. It was estimated that the current jazz musicians had been playing together in the band for decades and that their ages ranged from the 80s to 90s.

Picture 5
As I entered the room, the rich mahogany dark wood furniture and wall paneling reminded me so much of the Old Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Sitting in rows and facing the bar counter were five musicians dressed in white suits and sitting upright with their musical instruments. If not for their silver hair, one would never have guessed their ages.

Picture 6
As the trumpet blared away together with the alto and tenor saxophone, the musicians played the Saints Go Marchin' In, to the beat of the drums, the double bass and accompanied by the piano. I could not believe the energy the musicians had displayed even after all these years and nightly performances. The carried on with, The Entertainer, the theme song from Sting (video below). It was a blast.
When they played Misty and Sinatra's It Had To Be You an elderly couple could not resist the dance floor. The audience applauded to every piece of the band's performance and the musicians always acknowledged with a modest smile, a nod or a wave to the crowd.

As I left the club, I could not help but feel nostalgic to the changing times after listening to the jazz musicians. In watching them perform I had added a sense of hope to my own pursuit of a fulfilling life.

Shanghai Bund by The Shanghai Sisters: Winnie Ho, Janet Lee, May Mow.

The Guinness World Records in 2006 had designated the group the Oldest Peace World Jazz Band. 
 Henri Gann with Andy Young: The guy who hates to be photographed with me. But he's OK alone, with his hat and sunglasses.

Images and Article: Henri Gann Copyrights Reserved.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Haze, Haze, Choking Singapore 2019 Again & Again

Here's the first poster and it comes from John Tan, artist, photographer, and a good friend.  He immediately drew this one and sent it to me. John says, "A good poster needs no words." How true.

Thanks, John for the pictures of three people suffocating in the haze.
No more outdoor activities, and we've been kind and patient but coughing and wheezing, while others are enjoying the perks of a financial harvest when flora and fauna are destroyed for purposeful gain.
This second poster was a window view of the sun hidden by the haze this morning. When the sun can be hijacked by Man and kept shrouded, what else can happen next?

Mercy Mercy Me: Marvin Gaye. "Where did all the blue sky go? Poison is in the wind. How much more abuse from man, can she stand?"

Whoa, ah, mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain't what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.

Read this connection too:
All I Ever See Is Haze by Alvin Oon. Thanks, Alvin very much for permission to use the video.

Images: John BT Tan, Andy Young.

YouTube: Marvin Gaye. Mercy Mercy Me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Andy 60s Music Thank You Poster

Thanks for blog support, everyone. I keep reminding myself that we all need love, goodwill and positive music in this very troubled world.