Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heather And Cliff Together! Congratulations!

Bootlegs are not legitimate commercial releases and are illegal but some collectors want them. It is true that all illegal items - not just records - are hard to advertise, buy or sell. So most bootlegs have little value.

They come in several categories though. Some bootleg LPs often feature tracks that have not been commercially released because the recordings are stolen ones. Some are illegal recordings of live concerts.

EPs include re-releases of rare or valuable 45s. Some bootleg 45s are exact copies of rare records with the original label graphics and numbers - these are known in the industry as counterfeits. In Singapore 60s, a record does not need to be rare. As long as it sells well, a bootleg copy is available.

During blogger's search for vinyls, he comes across many bootleg copies. Some of them are so common that they are worthless today, but some of these fakes are being sold in the market for a higher price. At the end of the day it depends on how much a buyer is willing to pay and how badly the seller is willing to part with the bootleg for the amount involved.

The above vinyl, from a flea market, costs S$2.00 but blogger was offered quite a staggering amount for it by a collector. It has a unique cover with our Singapore sweetheart Heather's most popular song, Love Is Blue.

But what makes it special is Cliff Richard's pasted photograph below with the song Congratulations. Together with Green Tambourine Heather (who was with The Diamonds Four), sings Kiss Me Goodbye. And the label is Hi Fi Record without a serial number. They could've have been more imaginative.

Anyone interested in bootleg? Do you have some at home?

Click to read: or

Image/original article: Andy Lim.

Monday, March 29, 2010

50s And Early 60s Rock N Roll Snippets - Enjoy

So who influenced our earlier Singapore 60s vocal groups and singers like The Crescendos, Bambinos and Sundowners? Watch this You Tube classic that's too good to miss. Blogger shares with everyone this timeless snippets of classic rock & roll music from the 50s and early 60s, introduced by Bobby Rydell. So enjoy the few seconds with each song.
The songs start with youthful Bobby Rydell's version of Volare followed by Bobby Darin with 'Dream Lover'. Then Condensed Classics, by Si Melzer, has Elvis Presley, The Four Seasons, Richie Valens, The Shangi-Las, Ruby and the Romantics, The Drifters, Brenda Lee, Beach Boys, Jay & The Americans, Everly Brothers, Little Anthony & The Imperials., Clyde MacPhatter and Barbara Harris.
Then there's Dee Dee Sharp, Connie Francis, Ben E. King, Martha & The Vandellas, The Crests, The Orlons, The Marvelettes, The Shirelles, Chubby Checker, The Temptations, The Diamonds, Paul & Paula, Jan & Dean and many others. Nine minutes of fun and nostalgia. Enjoy!
From You Tube: condensedclassics (July 5th, 2007).
Image: Mickey & Sylvia. Classic: Love Is Strange.

This blog is under construction. Please excuse the colour changes which may blind the unwary! Thank you.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

(II) Jerry Bheem, One Muskrat Caught From Net

While searching on the Internet, blogger found one Muskrat. He noticed the resemblance in the previous posting (image) of Mr Bheem and the name on the signature. So here goes:

"Gerad 'Jerry' Bheem started playing dance music in the 1960s. His first group in the early 60s was called the Muskrats covering Shadows, Ventures and Beatles tunes and they were popular those days playing at the Victoria Memorial Hall, National Theatre and appearing on TV shows.

Next came the Dolphins a Latin American group specializing in Latin, Samba, Bassa Nova, Pop and dance music. His 3rd group (early 70s) was known as Fried Ice a 3 piece group that played Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and John Mayal tunes. This group build its reputation with the teenagers at RAF Tengah, RAF Changi, Seletar British Club, American Teens Club, Tea Dances along Orchard Road during the early 70s.

Fried Ice was a band popular with the British and American Club in Singapore. Gerry joined a group called, Cupid's Experience. They played Soul & Funk music."

Image/Information: From RETRO GROOVE
1. I remembers Mr Bheem playing with Retro Groove in 2008 at The British Club, Singapore.

2. Retro Groove backed The Esquires and Wilson David at the 60s Reunion Gig at VivoCity Harbourfront Ampitheatre on 8th November, 2008 where I appeared with the Silver Strings.

(I) Searching For The Muskrats. Know Them?

Here they are, The Muskrats. Can you remember them? Please write in if you do. We'd love to hear from you. Below is a Straits Times advertisement from 1965 showing Andy Young appearing on the same National Theatre stage with The Muskrats and other pop bands.

Image: Courtesy of Juliana Lim.
Image 2: Straits Times Press advertisement.
She has an exceptionally informative website at:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chuckle With 'glee' - 60s Music Revived On TV. Have You Seen It Yet? Best Show In Town

60s music fans are in for a treat. For many weeks now there's a new television show that plays pop hits of yesteryears. Yes, in the latest episode 'Ballad', the Fox Broadcasting Company production 'glee' on Singapore cable TV features, Bill Withers' Lean On Me, The Pretenders' I'll Stand By You and the Lionel Ritchie & Diana Ross classic, Endless Love.
Then the big treat came when, Young Girl (original performers Gary Puckett and The Union Gap) were featured with (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka. It was a thrill to watch these songs revived, energised and sung by the best of today's youthful talents from the cast of glee.
Other songs from the 60s music category featured in other episodes were, Dione Warwick's I Say A Little Prayer, the West Side Story evergreen, Tonight, Queen's Somebody To Love and The Supremes' You Keep Me Hanging On.
The best was yet to come when Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, the My Fair Lady hit, I Could Have Danced All Night and Tina Turner's Proud Mary were performed by the very talented group.
So 60s music fanatics, look out for future episodes when this truly versatile group of boys and girls will sing and dance their way through TVs new musical extravaganza with, Papa Don't Preach, True Colours (both 1986), Imagine, Don't Rain On My Parade, and selections from Hair.
And the theme song that runs through the whole episode? Don't Stop Believin'. I won't!
Have you seen it yet?
Image: google images
Original article: Andy Lim Collection
Checkout GLEE website: http://www.fox.com/glee/

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just In Jest - Carol: O Come Ye Old Faithful!

The image shows the back cover of an Extended Play (45rpm) vinyl produced in the 60s. It has a Christmas theme but what is interesting are titles of the songs. Mary's Boy Child is obviously happy with the celebration and becomes, Merry Little Boy Child.

It is correct that in speech the final /t/ consonant is not pronounced in the word "silent" before a word like "night". So Silent Night becomes Silend Night. Clever. And since the old faithfuls have come forward to sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, the carol has been changed to O'come Ye Old Faithful. Which is appropriate.

But typographical errors on record sleeves are common with recording companies managed by Asians, especially when song titles are in English. This one is no exception.

But ours is a music blog and to be fair, the band plays well and is comparable to other groups in similar genre. In fact, The Silverstones (image) are great!

You can listen to them on You Tube and the boys are a picture of youth and vitality. They look resplendent in their brown suits don't they? Comment?


Image/original article: Andy Lim Collection.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Girls In The Garage? How Others View Our 60s Asian Lady Singers. Stereo-Typed Again?

Way back in 1999 on 13th February, an album of Singapore 60s English and Chinese pop songs were released. Many enthusiasts would have realised this but just in case... On this 13 track CD, we have an interesting selection that includes:
1 Penny Lim & The Silverstones - Kung See, Kung See, Let's Be Happy 2 Rita Chao & The Quests - Hanky Panky 3 Lara & The Trailers - Sugar Town 4 Nancy Sit - Love Potion #9. 5 Rita Chao - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy *6 [unknown] - If You Ever Go 7 Naomi & The Boys - As Tears Go By 8 Naomi & The Boys - I'd Like to Know 9 Rita Chao & The Quests - How to Catch a Girl 10 Nancy Sit - Hanky Panky 11 Sakura & The Quests - My Boy Lollipop 12 Nancy Sit - Come Back When You Grow Up 13 Nancy Sit - Fever.
*The Silver Strings & Shirley Nair. (check Comment by Steve Farram).

Below is an article posted by Mack Hagood on February 22, 2004 09:24 pm by The Far Eastern Audio Review:
"As Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation heads for the video stores and awards shows, some are having second thoughts about the film. Kiku Day's scathing indictment in the U.K.'s Guardian and other late reviews have held up the film's jokes about Japanese food, stature and English pronounciation as examples of anti-Asian racism.
Coppola, who lived in Japan for a time, is probably taken aback that a film she intended as "a love letter to Tokyo" has been interpreted as racist. The key to the controversy is in the film's title: Lost in Translation is about the alienation, wonder and--yes--humor to be found at the limits of people's understanding of one another.
The problem is, like her two protagonists, the director doesn't push those limits hard enough and little beside the wacky and exotic make it through the filter of her Western gaze. This isn't racism (it lacks the intent and cruelty that word implies), but it is a missed opportunity to see the Japanese on their own terms.
Which brings me to The Girls in the Garage Vol. 9: Oriental Special. Again, the (somewhat unfortunate) title tells us a lot: This installment of the 60's girl rock series brings us wacky finds from the flea markets of Singapore.
Compiler "Bradley Ghoulstein" is knocked out by the hilarity of what gets lost in the Chinese translation of Western pop, so the filter we get here is in the playlist, which is comprised almost entirely of familiar American songs. The goal here is a cool, funny addition to garage collections and on that level it works well.
Rita Chao and the Quests' version of "Hanky Panky" (one of two versions on the CD) is brilliant. Greasy-dirty guitar tone, funky drumming and Rita's charming vocal delivery--complete with "R" and "L" mixing and implied lesbianism when she doesn't change the gender of "her baby" in the lyrics--all conspire to create the perfect party single.
Nancy Sinatra's "Sugar Town" sounds great in Chinese by Lara and the Trailers; "Love Potion #9" fairs a little poorer in the shaky hands of Nancy Sit and her band. Yes, that's right... Nancy Sit, a Nancy Sinatra knock-off responsible, by the way, for the oh-my-god-it's-so-bad-turn-it-off-now second version of "Hanky Panky" on the disc. Cross-cultural weirdness abounds on this record and it's damn fun.
Racist? I can't see how. Reductionist? That's a different story. Mr. Ghoulstein's liner notes seem to be made up of whatever he could glean from the album covers. Intrigued by their beautiful version of "As Tears Go By," I checked the notes for information on Naomi and the Boys and learned they were "Malaysian (Indonesian?)" with vocals "sung in almost perfect English... damn."
A quarter of the tunes here belong to Nancy Sit, not because she's good, but because she's funny. But by far the best song is an original, Penny Lim and the Silverstone's "Kung See, Kung See, Let's Be Happy." The liner notes call it an "undescribably baffling masterpiece of New Year's (Chinese of course) bubblegum." I can't improve on that description. It's Chinese 60's pop on its own terms - incredibly weird and enjoyable. It opens Oriental Special and the rest of the CD pales in comparison.

Lost in Translation and The Girls in the Garage Vol. 9 both view Asians through the filter of Western culture and divide them into two groups: hipsters who get it "right" and (much preferred!) amusing folks who don't. In either case, the Westerner is really looking at himself--whether it's the flattery of good imitation or a funhouse mirror.
I don't condemn us for being this way--all cultures are self-obsessed, after all. But when we stick only to the safe confines of the Tokyo five-star hotel and the goofy Singaporean cover versions of our own songs, we miss out on true Asian originals and the chance to push beyond the limits that separate all of us different styles of human."
Image/article by: Mack Hagood who is currently completing his MA thesis in Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. He is creator and editor of the Far Eastern Audio Review. From: Folklore of East Asia Folklore Forum 38.1 (2008).
Listen to the songs on You Tube. Do you have comments to make or do you have a copy of the CD and Bradley Ghoulstein's liner notes? Would be an interesting read.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

(8) Golden Venus, Easter Show, Latin Quarters


Lance Raymond continues his story about his stint at The Golden Venus Club and Bar on Orchard Road, Singapore from 1963 to 65 and his connection with some musician friends. This association gave him a lead into the music scene in Singapore as several of them were playing, recording and broadcasting on Radio Malaysia and TV Singapura. They were also ‘session musicians’ and played in most of the large hotels in Singapore, including the famous Raffles Hotel.

He was also invited to record for a Radio Malaysia show at the Victoria Theatre in Singapore (image: front right). He added that he participated in a show sponsored by a well-renowned company. Of several shows on Singapore television there was the Easter Show and a show called, ‘Latin Quarters’, where they played and recorded some Latin Jazz.

The question that was always asked of him was: "Did you get paid for all shows and on radio and TV broadcasts? The answer is yes and I even got paid for repeats long after I returned to the UK."

Image/Original article (edited): Lance Raymond. Thanks to PETER CHAN.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is This Violinist Julai Tan? 60s Chinese Music

Blogger found the above image on e-bay. The CD consists of Chinese songs and entitled Where Is She? with the name, JULAI TAN prominently displayed on the cover. Is this Mr Tan himself? If you remember and recognise him, do write in.

He must definitely be put on the list of prominent Singapore 60s musicians as his career spans more than 4 decades.

Image: Andy Lim Collection.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Julai Tan Or July Tan Orchestra In Song Recital

Blogger is certain the orchestra that accompanied Chinese singer Chin Whai in a "song recital" on this recording is JULAI TAN's and not JULY TAN as printed on this back sleeve cover from Eagle Record (image).

Mr Julai Tan is a well-known violinist and music teacher from the 60s and had played for many a packed hall in Singapore. 

He was at the Raffles Hotel for some years performing both pop and semi-classical music to patrons who visited the hotel for an evening's entertainment and night out.

Could someone confirm that this particular recording is by Julai Tan? Or is there a July Tan? Are there many more recordings of this nature? Do write in.

Image/Original article: Andy Lim Collection.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Oscars Academy Award Winning Songs: 39-59

The 82nd Academy Awards (Oscars 2010) are around the corner and blogger is ready with a list of Oscar winning songs that he loves, remembers and is familiar with:

Year - Academy Award Winning Song - Movie

1939 - Over The Rainbow - The Wizard Of Oz
1940 - When You Wish Upon A Star - Pinnochio
1942 - White Christmas - Holiday Inn
1947 - Zip A Dee Doo Dah - Song Of The South
1948 - Buttons And Bows - Paleface
1949 - Baby It's Cold Outside - Neptune's Daughter
1950 - Mona Lisa - Captain Carey's Daughter
1952 - High Noon - High Noon
1953 - Secret Love - Calamity Jane
1954 -Three Coins In A Fountain - Three Coins In A Fountain
1955 - Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing - Same Name Movie
1956 - Que Sera Sera* - The Man Who Knew Too Much
1957 - All The Way - All The Way
1958 - Gigi - Gigi
Are you familiar with any of these songs? Can you remember the singers? Have some of the songs been recorded by our Singapore 60s bands or sung and played by them on stage?
Well, there are at least 3 that blogger knows. Do you remember which one?
Image: *Doris Day sings, Que Sera Sera.

Maurice Patton & The Melodians With Simon Jr


pipa wrote:

Hi Andy,

Have you got any info on Maurice Patton and The Melodians featuring Simon Junior? It seems they were very influential in the 1960's. Nothing much on the internet about them. Can't find much information about them elsewhere.
Thank you.

Andy's Reply:
Yes, it's a challenge indeed. I have been trying to get some information about this group of musicians and hope to compile something in the near future.
According to the information gathered from EP vinyls of the 60s, Maurice Patton And The Melodians (image with Choh Ying and Simon Jr. on drums) have recorded many songs in English and Chinese with these companies: Hero Records, Cortersions $, Blue Star Records, Art Sea, Roxy Records, Happy Records and the studio involved was usually the Pearl, Dean & Kinetex Studios. Patton has recordings where he features his own name - MAURICE - and image on the sleeves.
Simon Junior, Ling Seow, Wong Chin Yian, Choh Ying, Patrina are some of the Chinese singers backed by Patton and his group. I have also noticed that some of the Chinese songs recorded are covers with English lyrics and sung by Simon Junior.
Some titles like Man Lee, My Girl, Wait For Me, Night Dream, Born To Live, Dream Of Spring, Deep Deep Love are popular Chinese tunes available on the market presently. They are for English speaking listeners familiar with the melody but not the language.
Other songs by Patton and his boys are 60s US and UK pops. One interesting vinyl I own called 'Let's Dance Soul' has Master Jack, She Wears My Ring, Kiss Me Goodbye and Man Without Love. The other called, A Go Go, Off Beat Cha Cha has Silver Threads & Golden Needles, I Really Don't Want To Know and Where Are You and Mixed Feelings. According to one website, Patton used the echo unit to create a Chinese beat style later emulated by many Chinese bands.
The vinyl market is so large that many professional musicians grouped to record guitar instrumentals. The Stylers, The Travellers, The Silverstones, The Tones, Charlie and The White Cloud Orchestra and Patton with The Melodians are some of the successful ones.
Anyone familiar with Maurice Patton and The Melodians? Were you in one of these groups? Do write in to tell us. We'd love to hear from you.

Image/Original article: Andy Lim Collection.

Still Searching For The Velvetones Since 2008

The sleeve image on the right was sent in by Steve Farram from Australia and has the name of the band, The Velvetones printed on its cover. Just wondering if it's the same Velvetones from Singapore, or another one from Malaysia or Indonesia with a similar name?
If you are familiar with the vinyl, the recording company, Oriental, the singer S. Azim Tjan and the songs, Khayal Penyaer, Gadis Di-Jendela, Oh Mulsalmah and Puspa Kenchana, please write in.
(On Dec 22, 2008, there was a posting on the Velvetones. Click below.)

Did The Velvetones Record In Minangkabau?
Thank you Steve.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

(9) From Dr. Lee, Penang With Russ Hamilton - The Malaysian, UK, Sing60s Music Connection

A note about Russ Hamilton from Dr. Lee Yan San, Medical Practitioner, Penang, Malaysia.

Dr. Lee said...
"Thanks for your nice tribute to Russ Hamilton. Russ is an exceptionally great and friendly gentleman. I am so glad to have met him (image: Russ Hamilton, sister, Dr Lee, family) and done a long interview with him for our Malaysian radio station few years back. We became close friends.
I was so sad when his twin sister contacted me to let me know that Russ had passed away.

He once told me that We Will Make Love was his most successful song and of the songs he wrote, he loved Little One most... a lullaby he wrote for his niece in Canada. He said he wrote and sang Reprieve of Tom Dooley after meeting his friend Lonni Donegan at the studio when he was recording the hit Tom Dooley.

He had also given me his unreleased songs which are now a real treasure to me. I have collected all his released songs and made into a CD to keep. I contributed to his biography at Wikipedia some time ago."
Thank you, Dr. Lee for writing. I must say that Russ Hamilton and his songs will always be with us as we remember 60s music. He's one of the greatest singers really. It would be wonderful to have a copy of his CD with the unreleased songs as a souvenir.
Andy Lim

(You can access Dr. Lee's blog by clicking on his name above.)

To Andy Singapore 60s Music: A Note About Russ Hamilton In Passing - From The Original Chevelles, The Echoes, UK.

This comment about Russ Hamilton appeared on my posting:

"Just a note about Russ Hamilton aka Ronald Hulme. He was a good friend to myself and my band and he helped us get into the business.

We were supposed to see Russ last year in November but his nephew called us in October and told us about his passing.

He was a great friend, a mentor and an all around nice guy. He is truly missed but never forgotten, whenever we perform we always do Rainbow and dedicate it to Russ." 

The Original Chevelles, 
The Echoes. 
Saturday, May 09, 2009. 

(Original Posting)

Thank you for writing. I must apologise for not reading nor replying to your note when you sent it. 

March 3rd, 2010.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Ricky Nelson, Matt Monroe Of Ipoh, Malaya (Part V)

During this time in the 60s in small town Ipoh, Malaya, there was also an explosion of singers who really made names for themselves by impersonating and singing songs by Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, Matt Monroe and Ricky Nelson.
In my hometown our well-known *impersonators include: Ho Kok Onn - Cliff Richard, Les Lee - Elvis Presley, Johhny Lee - Matt Monroe, and Richard Ng - Ricky Nelson.
Our band The Teenage Fentons, was always the back-up band for all of them when they performed at the movie theatres like the Lido and Rex Theatre.
*There are impersonators of western pop singers from all over Malaya in the 60s.
Image/original article: Joseph Chin Collection, Ipoh, Malaysia.

Teenage Fentons - A Falcons Offshoot (Part IV)

The Falcons were happily playing for gigs around Ipoh and were proud and thankful they were the only band with a manager and had instruments provided for. Everything was hunky-dory until the day Robert called the group for a meeting. Things were to change drastically as he told us that his father wanted him to stop as our manager to concentrate on his family business. It came as a shock to us.
Together we formed another band called the Teenage Fentons (image). A friend agreed to manage the band and would provide the necessary instruments for us. We started practicing as a new band playing songs mainly by the Shadows as we just had a new Fender Stratocaster. It wasn’t long before we were offered gigs to perform at dances and as guest artistes at talentimes.
In the 60s, it was common that a band performed live before the start of a screen musical and we were offered to play at the Shaw Brothers chain of cinemas. The Shaw Brothers are two movie magnates with cinema halls in Malaya, Singapore and parts of South East Asia. We had our fair share of fun and fame although we were only paid $40 for a night’s gig. After a few changes with our band members we decided to call ourselves The Drifters.
Image/original article (edited): Joseph Chin Collection, Ipoh, Malaysia.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Donny And Marie: Toothy Grin, Squeaky Clean!

The call to gather round the TV set was, "I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock n roll..." It was around the mid-seventies, when the toothy pair (image) appeared on Singapore's small screen. By then our Singapore 60s musicians and guitar groups had either settled in or quit the scene after the great clamp-down. And to those glued to the home screen, *Donny and Marie were no "yellow culture" pair.
The cliche, "squeaky clean" would clearly describe them and with songs like, Puppy Love and Paper Roses, they became a hit with our local audiences. With strong family backing and brothers *The Osmonds, blogger watched in amazement as they appeared week after week singing oldies and newbies. The Donny And Marie Show was something different to our local couch potatoes.
*Donny Osmond's career as a singer and former teen idol began with his brothers. His best known songs include, Sweet And Innocent (1971), Go Away Little Girl (1971), and Puppy Love (1972). He also popularised Any Dream Will Do written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the 1968 musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It is the opening song of the musical, sung by the title character Joseph.
Blogger can only remember Marie Osmond singing a cover, Paper Roses (1973) made famous by Anita Bryant in 1960. With 142 albums the Osmonds have sold 100 million copies, 51 of which have gone Gold or Platinum. Whatever the formula is, they are still a hit when they sing as a duo or when together as family, even up till today.
The Osmonds appeared in their 50th Anniversary World Tour on 17th June, 2008 at The Singapore Indoor Stadium at Kallang. Do you still remember this family? Would you say they made an influence on Singapore's local music scene? Comments?
(Latest media report: Marie Osmond's son Michael Blosil (18), has just passed away.)
Image: Google/flickr
Original article: Andy Lim Collection.
Information: (1) Wikipedia and (2) Uniquely Singapore Event Calendar.