Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of Wedding Bells, House, Baby, Papa And Mama

(a): 'Mama looka Boo Boo,' they shout.
Their mother tol' them, 'Shut up your mouth,
That is your daddy.'
'Oh no. My daddy can't be ugly so!'
'Shut your mouth, go away...'

(b): Somebody bad stole de wedding bell
Somebody bad stole de wedding bell
Somebody know but nobody tell
Cause somebody bad stole the wedding bell
Who's got the ding, dong, who's got the bell...

The songs I listened to during my youth are the ones I still remember today. The tunes and lyrics spin in my head all the time and can be turned on immediately. It's like clicking on to the song-list of an mp3 player or an i-phone. The explanation follows the list below:

l. Where Will The Dimple Be? - Rosemary Clooney
2. House Of Bamboo - Earl Grant
3. Looking For Henry Lee - Jo Stafford
4. High Noon - Frankie Laine
5. Ivory Tower - Gale Storm

6. Papa Loves Mama - Donald Peers
7. Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell - Georgia Gibbs
8. Mama Looka Boo Boo - Harry Belafonte

Can you still remember the songs you love?

1> Rosemary Clooney (image), who is George Clooney's aunt, used to be a pop singer in the 50s and 60s and her version of, Where Will The Dimple Be (1955) was a favourite on Radio Singapore's request programme, Calling All Hospitals where Maisie Conciecao was the DJ (we use the term, 'announcer' those days). It was the most requested song for a baby dedication. And KK (Kandang Kerbau) Hospital was the maternity hospital then.

4> Tall and lanky actor Cary Cooper, the male lead in High Noon, was one of the icons for Westerns. The movie was a hit when it was shown in Singapore, drawing crowds at the cinemas. High Noon, the song (1952), by Tex Ritter, was a request favourite and played on the air everyday. The Frankie Laine version was more popular locally.

6> When Papa Loves Mama (1960) came on the air, it became the anthem for many Singapore families and a favourite for dancing the cha-cha-cha. The original and only version I know is by Donald Peers; so in this instance it's the song, not the singer. The giggling girl accompanying Peers could be Joan Regan.

7, 8> The other novelty tunes on my list, Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell (1954) and Mama Looka Boo Boo (1956) must be heard to be appreciated. With humorous lyrics and a grand calypso beat, these two classics are hardly played on the radio today. The Georgia Gibbs version of SBSTWB is unavailable on You Tube. MLBB by Belafonte is on You Tube, accompanied by Nat King Cole (side-bar). Great songs for kids too!

(c): On the baby's knuckle, on the baby's knee,
Where will the baby's dimple be?
Baby's cheek or baby's chin
Seems to me it'll be a sin
If it's always covered by the safety pin...

Shall we discuss the other songs on another posting? Are you familiar with any of these songs?


rudy djoharnaen said...

Love rosemary clooney, her sway rendition's fantastic and her 1970s 50 ways to leave your lover.

hey, email me ya: jazzdjoe@gmail.com

yes, we can have teh tarik one day and talk about the singapore 60s.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Rudy. Wow at your age, and you appreciate Rosemary Clooney. Fantastic.

Will write to you soon.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Of Old Songs:

"I'd Rather Die Young (Than Grow Old Without You."

I first heard this song when I was 8 or 9. My god-brother, Benedict Cheong, used to sing it (along with many others) around the house.

From him I learnt many songs and in my adult years, went in search for them. Songs like 'Wish Me Luck', 'A Little Bird Told Me', 'Five Minutes More', 'Slow Poke' and many more.

If not for Benedict, I would not have known about these gems from the past. I dedicate this to his memory.

My one regret is that I did not keep in touch with him after he emigrated to Canada.

Here's one of the songs he introduced me to. 'I'd Rather Die Young.' How many of you know this song? And who recorded it first?

Among the artistes who sang this song (courtesy of Google) are The Hilltoppers, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Jean Shepard. Others can be found on youtube.

You will find that the lyrics are slightly different with each singer. On Shepard's recording, there's a rather loud guitar slide, but not so obvious in the you tube clip.
Larry Lai

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Larry for the information. Anyone familiar with this song?

Julia Cates said...

i like pop music.
Thanks for share.
wedding poems

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Julia,
Thanks for visiting. I like your blog too. Full of wedding songs. I am glad you like pop music.

Keep in touch.

Anonymous said...

Loads of memories for those hot-rodders of the 50's. I agree that this is a labour of love.

But, it's not true 'Thunder Road' is the only song recorded by Robert Mitchum. I have his CD - 'That Man'.

And also attached is his version of the Harry Belafonte hit, Mama LookA Boo Boo.
Larry Lai