(Image: Peter Chan at the Club Elite, 5th floor Supreme House Building, which is now Parkmall. Club Elite was a Japanese lounge which was part of Okoh Restaurant, owned by a Mr. Sato from Japan. Mr. Sato also ran the Orchid Inn Hotel at Dunearn Road in the 1970s.)
Raymond G. Rees-Oliviere (Lance Raymond as featured in previous postings), a friend of mine was with the British Army. He got involved with the music scene in Singapore and Malaya in the late 1950s. He knew some local musicians like the Solianos; they played cha-cha-cha and latin music.
Ray has written an article with many photographs. Golden Venus, where Ray used to play, was at the former Orchard Hotel and it still goes by the same name, situated at the corner of Orchard Road and Orange Grove Road.
When I took up music at Foorman's Music School, many of the teachers were Pinoys (Phillipinos) since there were many of these musicians from the 30s through the 60s. By associating with the Pinoy musicians I was introduced to contemporary music.
Thanks to my late father who gave me a start in music at an early age, I was able to find a safety net after National Service. I soon became a lounge pianist, not with a disco band this time because the government closed down many discos from 1974 onwards.
With the closure there were few opportunities for pop bands. The government's actions were in response to the hippie sub-culture and growing prevalence of drug addiction.
By the way, my own repertoire then was influenced by the Dragons, the Solianos and big band sounds like Glen Miller. When it comes to Chinese pop, it was more like the 40s and 50s because I used to spin records from Poon Sow Keng (Pan Xiu Qiong), Love Without End type of music and Bobby Darin, etc.
PS: Ray made a reference to a jazz pub down at Boat Quay. It was after reading an article last month that I found where the place was. It's just after North Bridge Road going towards South Bridge Road after the bridge at the first building on the left.
7th in the series under 'UK/US Bands in Singapore'. Click under 'Labels' below to read series.
Image/Original Article: P.C. Collection.