Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Personal Choice Of Singapore Pops (Part I)

Silver Strings with Mike n Herb on stage.

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12 June, 2021
Written 10 years ago, this post is now suffering the trauma of COVID-19 of which we are all either under home 'quarantine' or being unable to walk around free without wearing surgical masks. 

30 March, 2011
I am trying to ease the trauma and tragedy of these past weeks and the postings I had of the Japanese tsunami, the radioactive leak and the passing away of a great, pop 60s keyboardist friend... So, change of subject.

Young Matthew Tan

Friends have asked me my list of favourite songs by Singapore 60s artistes. They noticed that all the songs I love are not Singapore ones. It is a long list but I thought about it and decided that the eleven songs below could be my choice. Some of the hits are covers of US and British ones sung by our artistes while others are originals by Singaporeans Robert Suriya, Henry Chua, Matthew Tan, Shirley Nair, Harvey Fitzgerald and others.

Sensual and brooding Rita Chao
I have included The Blue Diamonds' Ramona under local as Ruud and Riem de Wolffe are so familiar in our music scene. In fact I like them better than The Everlys. Rudy has passed on but Riem is somewhat Singaporean. The songs are not in any particular order. And remember, we were young then, in our 20s?

1. Shanty - The Quests.

2. Ramona - The Blue Diamonds.

3. You're The Boy - Shirley Nair and Silver Strings.

4. It's All Over - Naomi n The Boys.

5. My Lonely Heart - The Thunderbirds.

6. Happy, Happy, Birthday Baby (Chinese) - Rita Chao.

7. Mr. Twister - The Crescendos.

8. I Believe - The Tidbits.

9. Do It Right - Benny n The Trailers.

10. Singapore Cowboy - Matthew and Mandarins.

11. Sausalito - Western Union Band.
Sausalito Album - Western Union Band - 
Remembering Chris Vadham.

And the song that transports me back to the 60s? Most of them. Do you have a local 60s or 70s favourite?

The LIFE Records Ltd, Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 
Andy Lim Collection and Google Websites.
Singapore Cowboy - Matthew Tan and The Mandarins - One of the best remembered Singapore compositions.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

I couldn't resist this one!

And as you have put 11 songs into your Top 10, I thought I could get away with 12!

The Trailers – Don’t Laugh (You’ll Cry)

Mike and Herb and The Silver Strings – I’ve Been A Fool

A. Ramlie & The Rythmn Boys – Hidup Bersama

The Jets – Lonely Time

The Boys – To Be A Woman/Walk Back to Me [both sides of this 45 are great]

The Clansmen – Sir Barclay More

Rita Chao and The Quests – Hanky Panky

The Swallows – La-O-Be

The Thunderbirds – Hey! Girl

Ronnie Ong – Buttons and Bows

Keith Locke and The Quests – I Want A Home

Sanisah Huri & The Terwellos – Siapa Gerangan


Lam Chun See said...

I thought Happy Happy Birthday was by Naomi and the Boys. Anyway, my favourite was Sausalito.

Suddenly I remember the DJ turned singer called Paul Cheong. His voice a bit weak, but still not too bad. Probably in the 80's.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Wow Steve,
I like your list but I don't know "Siapa Gerangan.' Must search for it soon.

Thanks for the feedback and contribution. Been missing your comments.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Rita Chao has a Chinese version. You can listen to it at the side-bar provided by a You Tube contributor.

Yes 'Sausalito', by J. Vos, was arranged and produced by Jap Chong.

Paul Cheong had two LPs, produced in 1978 and 1979 but most of the songs were covers.

Thanks for visiting Chun See.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Looking at Steve's listing, perhaps a song by The Swallows then, 'Mak Itty, Mak Illa'.

Anonymous said...

Hi,there was a local band from Novena Church,who won the "Bee Gees of Singapore contest.They were called "Glass Onion".They also cut a single under Life Records produced by Jap Chong.How come no mention is made of them although they were a popular as WUB with their single "Purple Lady" hitting the charts in M'sia

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for the query. Mine is a personal list of songs I love. No mention was made because Purple Lady by Glass Onion is not a personal choice.

Would you like to list the 10 or 12 Singapore 60s songs you like so I could publish it on the blog?

Please do so because I sure readers would be interested since there are thousands of songs in English, Chinese and Malay (including Indian too) that are loved by many in the 60s.

johnny yeow said...

not forgetting M Noor (passed) with Night Shadows with Puspa Dewi & Bunga Raya

Unknown said...

Why no october cherries?


Don Soh
Keith Locke n the Quest
Dont play that song 60s
Matthew Tan n Mandarin
Singapore Cowboy 70s
Western Union Band
Tokyo Square
Within you will remain 80s

Soon Mah Chye
My Lonely Heart by the Thunderbirds....

Andy Young
What's your favourite SINGAPORE 60S MUSIC pop song... Click the connection to check the list OF 10 songs. THANKS.

Soon Mah Chye
Tokyo Square...Within you will remain..

Soon Mah Chye
Silver Hearts n golden needles by the Quest....

James Kwok
I Believe – The Titbits, backed up by The Trailers

Andy Young
Ah James, that's a great choice.

Andy Young
Wow guys. Thanks for the song titles. Don Soh, you have a whole list. CHEERS.

FABIAN FOO said...

For me I will choose 3 songs by local artists.

Don't play that song you lied by Keith Locke and the Quests,
My lonely heart by Thunderbirds and
Shanty by Henry Chua and the Quests.


Freda Hanum
I remember pretty well during my secondary one school days...
the song still ring in my head The Trailers. Do it right.

Koh Lye Huat
Sung by Benny Koh with the Trailers when he was living in
Onan Road not far from my kampong.

Koh Lye Huat
I remember Andy and the Silver Strings with Shirley Nair

Ch Tn

THe unforgettable voice of Susan Lim.
The Crescendos with Susan Lim sings Mr Twister & Frankie

Deborah Batchen

Andy Young
Deborah Batchen Thanks for the response. The surname is familiar. Truly.

Andy Young
Hi, Mr Koh Lye Huat, your name sounds familiar.
Have we met in person, at Celestial Room perhaps.
I just visited your FB postings.
They are filled with beautiful old buildings; such nostalgic areas.
Thank you.

FACEBOOK said...


Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Freda Hanum
Gracie Teo
Yip Dick
Colin Foo
Ukhti Aminah
Ian Jansen
Soon Ko
Jimalifnur Mohamed
Derek Scully
Victor De Silva
Anthony Chew
Elizabeth Clare Surin
Johnny Yeow
Aziz Khan
Peter Cheong
Wei Ling
LimTzur Woo
Eric Chua Kim Hock
Lyndon Desker
Geoffrey Ng
Soon Mah Chye
Kevin Ong
Don Soh
Derek Lee


Soon Mah Chye
It should read 'Silver Threads' and not Silver Hearts'...Sorry for the mistake.

Andy Young
Yes, it's true Mah Chye, many bands, and quite a whole lot of songs too. Thanks for your answers.

Hassim Madali
No Bro, if I am not mistaken it should be " Silver Threads & Golden Needle" popularised by singer Susan Lim & her band, The Crecendos".(not mistake as well she was reported drowned in sea off Trengganu, her body never found)..

Soon Mah Chye
Yes,She drowned n her body was never recovered...I used to see her in school when she was in Pre U....Sad,she drowned.

Hassim Madali
Such a talented girl, the best female vocalist during those days of roaring 60's...RIP...

Soon Mah Chye
Yes.Always remember lfe in the sixties...Well n good...

Hassim Madali
We did have a number of good & talented home grown bands such as The Quests The Crecendos, Sunny Bala & The Moongloes, Naomi & The Boys, The Silver Strings, Benny & The Trailers just to name a few...

Soon Mah Chye
I've gone a very good friend, then, who was a drummer for the Flying Phantoms.
His band's frontman was Winston Koh, S'pore's Cliff Richard.
Those days, a lot of band boys from the Tiong Bahru areas, where I l.stayed.

Soon Mah Chye
Jeffredin n the Siglap Five,Gingerbread n Checkmates...

Soon Mah Chye
Local tops were the Quest,The Surfers (October Cherries),X-periments.

Hassim Madali
Soon Mah Chye
Think Gingerbread much later in the 70's, the other 2 bands were in that era.

Soon Mah Chye
Ya,agreed...Ginger Bread was actually in the 70's already....
Surfers already migrated several years already....

Soon Mah Chye
But, unfortunately, Singapore was'nt interested in Pop Culture in 60's n 70's and bandboys income very irregular...

Hassim Madali

That because those night clubs/ disco clubs/ singer hired lots of FTs musician especially Filipinos cos' they are talented & rather cheap compared to local talents.
Besides bands from Philippines, there were also from HK, Indonesia, Ceylon
( now Sri Langka). I visited a few disco clubs to see some of them.

But the best among the lot was this Filipino disco & showband by the name of "The Starlights"( 7 piece band but all band members all rounder, can sing & play 2 or 3 different instruments during show time).

Remember well one incident, they played Stevie Wonder's popular song at thay time," Superstitious" for 4 times in a club upon request by the patrons cos,' they play the song so well!

Soon Mah Chye
Ya,agreed.D'Starlight is a very talented n comedian group. They were in fact, the talk of the town...Local bands like Benny n the Trailers, Thunderbirds n the Checkmates were the one I saw in local clubs.

Andy Young
A special thanks to Soon Mah Chye and Hassim Madali for the interesting and informative chat. Appreciate the time taken as these chats will be transferred to the blog permanently and be a part of our SG 60s music heritage. Thanks also to others who contributed to this very popular post. CHEERS.

Anonymous said...

those were the days my friends but as to the pearls of the morning dew never to be found again