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.|
Image/Article: Andy Lim Collection.
Article In Full:
Ocean Park Hotel: Rehearsal To Reality Dec 1963.
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|
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 singas.co.uk