Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ocean Park Hotel Singapore With Wilma Tang

            This image of Wilma Tang has been copyrighted by its owner.

We have our own well-known female vocalists too. I shared the same stage with WILMA TANG (image taken off a dance-ball magazine) when she sang at a charity dinner in the 60s.

She was a hit those days as a professional singer and appeared regularly at the Ocean Park nightclub at East Coast Road, Singapore.

Singing both in English and Chinese, she was also one of the earlier personalities who graced the television screen locally.

While Miss Teng Siew Ping was entertaining patrons at the Cathay Restaurant in town, Wilma was entertaining her nightclubbers at Ocean Park Hotel near the sea, accompanied by Sid Gomez and His Band.
Wilma Tang, Ahmad Daud and Winston Filmer. Image by: Mun Chor Seng.
Do you know Ms Tang? If you have more information about her please write in. Wilma is the mother of youthful pop singer, Marie Tang.

Image/Article: Andy Lim Collection.

Article In Full:

Ocean Park Hotel: Rehearsal To Reality Dec 1963.

Andy Young with Susan during a rehearsal for the big show that night. Now whatever happened to Susan?

Ocean Park Hotel Dinner and Dance Venue was held at an open hall where the sea breeze, cool evening and great entertainment made it a memorable night for many patrons, guests and performers.

It was situated at Upper East Coast Road near the present St. Patrick's School and Jackie's Bowl, one of the first few bowling alleys in the 60s. Andy Young is seen singing to Susan during the rehearsal for an end of year dinner and dance at the hotel. It was held on December 21st, 1963.

The practice song was Paul Anka's Diana as Andy had to sing it to Susan that evening. The song became Andy's signature tune whenever he appeared during the many variety shows held in the 1960's. All this came about before he joined the Velvetones and the Silver Strings. 
Partying at Ocean Park Hotel. Image by Mun Chor Seng
For the show that evening, Andy was accompanied by Robert Suriya and his band, one of the groups that performed. Both Robert and Henry Suriya came from St. Andrew's School so they were familiar faces then. Were they known as The Boys already? Naomi wasn't present that night.

Called the Queen of Queens Grand Finale, the other guest artistes included MC Siri Perera, The Checkmates, Kiss Me Quick singer David Baskaran, Siva and James Choy better known as the Cyclones, talentime winner and jazz specialist Eunice Sim, Singapore cowpoke Henry Suriya (he came well before Matthew Tan) and the 60's version of cross-dresser Kumar, Ms Percy Leceister.

Percy could wow the crowd with his shimmy, songs and sensuality. The crowd would get very excited when Percy appeared as they would shout his name and clapped whenever he did his Latin dance routines on stage to the beat of bongo drums and the maracas.
The entrance to the Ocean Park Hotel and nightclub at East Coast Road.

It was organised by Hitachi and a fashion house. The night was hauntingly frightful because a Pontianak and vampire were roaming around the nightclub, disturbing the young ladies... Remember it was late 1963 and the bands and singers were just blooming.

Because there was hardly any entertainment in the evenings back then and the usual sophisticated Singaporeans could not adapt themselves to the crowd at the Happy World in Geylang, many Katongnites, Siglapians, the Peranakans and Eurasians would patronise these dances during the weekends. Because such an activity came few and far between, a night like this one practically drew the East Coast Road population to Ocean Park.

As Elvis would say it in one of his songs, "Such A Night!"

Image 1/original article: Andy Lim Collection.
Image 2: by Mun Chor Seng.

Image 3: by


Andy Young* said...

According to Mr Dennis Tan her daughter Marie Tang has recorded Fireball XL5.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me where Ocean Park Hotel was located on East Coast Road.


Andy Lim* said...

Where Ocean Park Condo is today, near St. Patrick's School.

the eclectic reviewer said...

Hi Andy,

Was the Ocean Park Night Club where Julie Sudiro and Saloma used to perform also located within Ocean Park Hotel? Also, I'm looking for any old photographs of Saloma and Julie Sudiro, do you have any or know when I can find them?


Andy Lim* said...

If I remember correctly it's an open air night club and is adjacent to the Hotel.

The best images would be from their record and CD covers which you can easily find at music shops. I think there's a cluster in the Geylang Serai area.

Google Images has quite a supply. I counted at least 50 of Saloma's and a few dozens of Julie's.

I went through your blog and find the postings on movies pretty up to date and interesting reads.

Thanks for the visit.


I saw her performing at Tanjung Rhu Inn.Enjoyed her singing very much.


Wow.. Wilma Tang!
It’s been like centuries!


Wow missed the old dazed St. Pat's next door the Rev Brothers almost caught me... Lol


I was in boarding school in st pats. We use to sneak into the hotel.


Reading all the above comment heeeeee you guys were cheeky !!!


We were just naughty boys..the forbidden fruit syndrome...I was young


Yes we were just playful young those days ,,,how about now ,,playful senior ha ha ha ...enjoy this !!!!!


Ocean Park. Wow I played in the Sid Gomez band.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This posting is nearly 10 years old and still gathering comments. Thank you all for reviving it.

We were all pretty young then. I was only 23 in 1963 when it all happened. Most local guitar bands were just starting to bloom and we were the pioneers. These were exciting times indeed.


Think one time or another I accompanied Wilma Tang. I recognise the hut that was the bandstand at the Ocean Park. Terrible place for instruments. Strings used to rust in a day.

Sid used to drive his car, a maroon Ford Anglia to the end of the park which was the sea. And polish his car.

How's that for trivia.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Horace for trivia and nostalgia. You're one of the very few professional musicians left who has been kind enough to provide me with some information regarding the scene those years, scenes that you now share with those who are not familiar with Singapore music in the 60's.

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