I first met Harry Cheok (image: 2nd from left with band and supporters) at a private club in Singapore at the beginning of 2010. He was sipping an iced drink despite the cool air-conditioning in the lounge and had just completed the Rolling Stones hit, Walking The Dog, accompanied by his band Blu Moon. Audie Ng, Silver Strings band leader had introduced Harry as Singapore's Johnny Lion. He won the competition singing, Let's Make A Habit Of This.
"Where are the Jumping Jewels?" I asked jokingly. "Gone back to Holland," was his immediate and humorous reply, "but do you know that my own band, Willy Jokers won the contest at the Singapore Badminton Hall in 1965."
When I asked him how his band had such a unique name, he explained that the band's financier had a son called Willy and that all of them enjoyed a joke or two regularly when they got together.
Harry related his experience when he joined Willy Jokers as a singer in 1963. Young and fancy-free they performed for house and birthday parties from Tanjong Katong to Tiong Bahru. As they became more popular with their RnB selection, RAF Changi contracted them to play at the mess.
Cliff Richard and the Shadows contest held at The National Theatre in 1964. Harry sang Gee Whiz It's You and remembered that Hamid Bond was the compere with Wilma Tang the guest singer.
More about Harry Cheok in future postings with his other band Wes Cossacks (1965 - 1968).
Image: Harry Cheok Collection. Copyright Reserved.
Article: Original article by Andy Lim.
The above posting was written in 2010, this one below in April 2018.
Met Harry again and here in his own words, his band history in a nutshell as he provided the names of his band members: