Monday, April 26, 2010

Frankie Cheah - To Sir, With Perfect Diction


LATEST NEWS: 28 February 2022.

Frankie Cheah, from a video I saw on What'sApp, is still around and well.

"I'm alive, I'm alive," he confirmed with his wife beside him.

Be careful of fake news. But trust my blog. Always read it first.




When I heard Frankie Cheah, a Malaysian Chinese, singing *Woman In My Life for the first time, I didn't believe he is Asian. He has perfect diction that is practically non-existent amongst singers in this region, with a strong and clean voice to match, one that suits the ballads he sings. His interpretation of this lovely song has an appeal that is still fresh today. It will definitely be a big hit if released again and is one of the very few songs by a local singer that I appreciate.

Frankie Cheah was a mathematics teacher from across the causeway at Segamat, Johore Bahru, Malaysia and recorded with giant EMI. His other big hit, Cheryl Moana Marie, also won accolades and Cheah is as much a household name in Singapore as he is in Malaysia and the region. During pop concerts in Singapore, Cheah's performance usually draws a full house at the National Theatre (Tank Road), the Early Bird and Musical Express gigs at cinema halls in Singapore.

In the early 70s, besides recording in EP and LP format in English (produced by Reggie Verghese of The Quests), he has also recorded some Malay songs. His English selection includes popular ballads like Chotto Matte Kudasai, It's Impossible, You've Got A Friend, Lovers, Help Me Make It Through The Night and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

The above image shows a bootleg EP which has My Name Is The Wind, Love Story, Song Of A Sad Man and Why. Because his records sold well, as they were all number one in the Malaysian Top 20 in the early 70s, the Pirates took advantage as usual.

Even with his Malay album, Cheah sings with feeling and conviction keeping to the difficult rhythm of the Malay 'asli' beat. The selection includes one very popular EP with Amalan Suci (ReggieVerghese/Ismail Haron). The other three songs are Putera Putri (Jimmy Boyle/Dol Baharin), Putus Sudah Kasih Sayang (P. Ramlee) and Syurga Pura Pura (Ismail Haron).

Cheah has since retired but his achievement in the pop music field did not go unnoticed as he was recognised by the Malaysian music industry and awarded the Anugerah Sri Wiramar (2004). He was at EMI (UK) in 1977, headhunted by Warner Music, Malaysia and managed it a year later. When he left, he started Pacific Music which was bought by BMG Malaysia/Singapore where he rose to Chairperson.

*Has been recorded by Bobby Vee, Engelbert Humperdinck, Dutch group called, Left Side.

Information: YouTube/keithyoong.

Image/Article: Andy Lim Collection.


Anonymous said...

Nat King Cole has perfect diction.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes I must agree. He reads Phonetic symbols too and is able to read foreign words correctly.


I'll be glad to know he's alright.


Yes, very bad.

Sorry I got the news from a chat group so I presume they know him but not aware that there is another guy with the same name.

I met Frankie many years ago in KL where he was the MD for EMI and lost touch when he retired and went back to Johore to set up a restaurant.


I thought so.


Thank you Frankie
Bless you are still an icon and one of heroes.
Blessings to you and Jean
Jimmy of the STRAYDOGS.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to all who responded.

It's important that we do not spread news items about people, especially news pieces that have not been confirmed in any way. It would hurt the integrity of the person and family members.

It was great of Frankie Cheah to take it calmly with a video to say, "I'm alive, I'm alive!" and with his wife beside him.


Orang belum meninggal
Chakap sudah meninggal
Tah baik, la abang ni!
Baik betul Enche Frankie tu,
Orang-nya bersabaran.

Lain kali CHECK betul2 lah.

L. LIM [SINGAPORE] said...

Kabar ini diterima dari Malaysia.
Siapa tahu berita ini asli atau palsu.
Tidak bisa salahkan umum.
Ma'af ya.


I'm not doubting that he is well. But with easy access to social media, fake news are rampant.
So can't blame anybody. It's just a coincidence that the dead man is also Frankie Cheah.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

The buck stops here. Frankie is still around. HURRAY!

More comments please about Frankie and his fantastic vocals; one of the best singers this side of the Pacific.

Anonymous said...

Glad that Frankie is well and healthy.