Then favourites like, Your Cheating Heart (1952) and Jambalaya (1952) by Hank Williams followed. His own personal choice was Cold, Cold Heart (1951).
Frankie Laine's High Noon (1952) Rawhide (1958) were also best sellers as the theme of the rough and tough in country music gripped Singapore, "And I must face a man who hates me/Or like a coward, a craven coward/Or like a coward in my grave..."
People who came to the US from Europe composed songs like the Texan Fraulein (Bobby Helms), and Little Dutch Girl (George Morgan). The influence was gradual though, so when Elvis Presley emerged with his first movie, Love Me Tender (1956) followed by Loving You (1957) with songs like, Lonesome Cowboy, A Lotta Livin' To Do and Hot Dog, most pop music enthusiasts went agog. Country and rock were combined. Johnny Cash joined the scene with, I Walk The Line (1956).
Then Rio Bravo (1959) hit the big screens in Singapore. Tough John Wayne, sexy Dean Martin and teenage idol Ricky Nelson held everyone to ransom with My Rifle, My Pony And Me. Rick sings an extra Get Along Home Cindy with the rest.
Marty Robbins with El Paso (1959), known as a gunfighter ballad, kept Singaporeans singing this elaborate tale of 13 verses for months on end. Then Jim Reeves, who had earlier hits provided his rendition of, *He'll Have To Go (1959) and Johnny Horton with, North To Alaska (1960).
When Glen Campbell, By The Time I Get To Phoenix (1967) hit the trail and John Denver came with Leaving On A Jet Plane (1967) and Take Me Home Country Roads (1971), the Country and Western craze woke the baby boomers up!
The Singapore 60s cowboy craze erupted when our local boys and girls came with twanging acoustic guitars and hawaiian guitars as back-up. Not many Fenders appeared on stage then. The CW craze had begun.
Then, shades of Ferlin Husky, a cowpoke from the hills of Pasir Panjang, Singapore, emerged! He was Rocky Wong and appeared on stage in full regalia, with his cowboy suit, guitar and hat. He could have been the first Singapore cowboy. (earlier posting: August 9th, 2009).
This journey, discovering country music from the 50s to the 70s, is a personal one and the songs are milestones along the way.