Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SRS Naidu: Compere, Mimic, Ventriloquist (Part II)

2nd and concluding article about SRS Naidu:

Entitled, Meet Malaysia's Most Wanted Compere, the short introduction in the souvenir programme highlighted the difficulties the organisers experienced when they tried to get the services of Naidu for the dinner and dance they were organising because he was "the most sought-after compere" in Singapore.

It also explained that "SRS, as he is popularly known to many of us, is one of the very few in Singapore or even in the East who can compere or tackle any social or sports event. He is always at his best."

"Last year (possibly 1964) he was invited to a Grand Ball at Tapah, Perak to compere the visit of H.H. The Sultan of Perak. He had also compered the world famous Don Yada and His Latin Follies Show, the Johnny Nakamura Show, the recent Miss Singapore contest, a Hindi pop show featuring 60s Bollywood Legend MGR and hundreds of others in his fifteen years as Master of Ceremonies."

In his working life, SRS was popular with the nurses in Singapore hospitals when he was attached to the Singapore General Hospital." When he left GH he secured a "good post" in the Car Parks Divison of the Ministry of National Development.

The article again emphasised his ability at "big fun fairs (where) he plays a leading role" because, as an "organiser of socials and sports, (he) is known to many. A natural baritone, with an American accent, we are proud that he accepted our invitation and we know that you are going to enjoy his wit."

I had occasions to meet this man on stage when he formally introduced singers who were about to perform. He was good. So why was he called The Birdman? Because SRS was a ventriloquist who could mimic bird calls. It was the 60s remember?
Image from Squidoo: Bluebird Bag by maggieO2.


Anonymous said...

Dear Andy,

My name is J. and I am an independent producer currently doing research for a documentary about Singapore music in the 1960s particularly the years before independence.

I came across your website in the process and very much enjoyed your writings and insightful observations on the scene then.

I wonder if it's possible for us to arrange to have a short interview with you to find out more?

Many thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you :-)


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you J for visiting and your interest in 60s music.

Arrangements will be made soon so we could meet.