ALFRED HO is the consummate entertainer with over three decades of performing experience at numerous stageshows, private functions and nightspots across the country. Although blind he has endeared himself to audiences for his interpretations of evergreen numbers from legendary crooners Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, and various country and western performers.
Alfred's mellow but powerful voice is irresistible to those who long for the days when songs had words you could actually hear and appreciate - a time when melodies were not obscured and drowned by crashing guitars, pounding beatboxes and techno rhythms.This Perak-born (from Penang) performer continues to surprise audiences wherever he goes with everything from soothing ballads to rock and roll and even throws in some Spanish, Malay, Cantonese, Japanese and Hokkien numbers to prove his diversity.
Listening to the talented Alfred is a walk down memory lane, reviving gems from past that you may not have even heard on the radio of late. Alfred has such a wide repertoire that he has been known to play for four straight hours, with still some songs to spare.
Struck blind after a bout of measles at the age of three, Alfred showed a love for music from an early age. At Penang's St Nicholas School for the Blind, he taught himself to play the guitar and formed a four-piece schoolboy band called The Sharks. He later honed his craft doing the pub circuit as a solo guitarist and developed an uncanny sense of being able to 'read' his audience from the stage.
His first brush with fame came as a semi-finalist in RTM's Bakat TV, the popular talent show of the 70s. Alfred also did a few shows called Take Five with a commercial broadcasting station in that period and even cut two EP vinyl records of his own compositions.
Two songs, Train To Tennessee and Wendy's Love Song (above vinyl) were particularly popular and he recorded several cassettes back then that were played on local airwaves.
In 1984, having garnered a following and dubbed Malaysia's Jose Feliciano, Alfred finally quit his steady job as a telephone operator and went into music full time. A decade of performances later, during which no record label was willing to sign him on, Alfred self-produced an album of 22 covers of his favourite hits called "Special Gems".
Today, his loyal fanbase, from ambassadors to royalty, from vinyl connoisseurs to lovers of classic dancing, still speak of Alfred with fondness and continue to enjoy his special brand of music.
(From Website: National Council For The Blind, Malaysia/Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Orang Buta Malaysia).
Images: From You Tube and Andy Lim Collection.
Check his videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q9gkJ41mhY