Monday, May 09, 2011

Singapore Band In London Had Three Names?


This group went to England in 1962 and were paid for their services when they played in a West End nightspot in London accompanied by their manager Tom Gan. Leading the group was 19 year old guitarist George Teo, cousin to brothers Andrew (18) and John (19) Gwee. Andrew played bass guitar while John the drums.

The two brothers were from the Singapore Junior Trade School and had gone to London to study music. Known as The Hilltoppers, the four became popular when they were runners-up in The Blue Diamonds Show Case in the 60s. They had played at parties and functions but when they acquired the engagement in the West End, they called themselves Singapore Islanders.

(Hardly anyone attempted the Quiz. Only current DJ Mr William Xavier got the answer correct. Apparently the group was also called The Etceteras. A phone conversation with pop music culturalist, Singapore 60s image collector Dennis Tan, confirmed the information.)

Besides recording the single in 1964 on Oriole (image) with Now I Know and Little Lady, Dennis also revealed that the group recorded another earlier single, Bengawan Solo with an original song on the flip, Where Is My Love. So the quest ends here; it's the same band but with three names: The Hilltoppers when they were in Singapore, as Singapore Islanders when they performed in England and became The Etceteras as recording artistes. If there are corrections to be made regarding information please let us know.

Thanks to LL for the connection, Mr X, Dennis and blog follower 'Jimmy', who recently provided the same answer! Four lunches for all. Anytime.

Images from: You Tube by 'my7inch'

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