Sunday, July 31, 2011

1975 - SuZanna Teo, Final 1: 'Loving You'

In April 1975 a young lady from the U.S., with a five-and-half-octave vocal range, composed and recorded a song, Loving You (not the Elvis Presley version) with much success. The singer was able to enunciate in the high registers to set her apart from other whistle-register singers. Unique *Minnie Julia Riperton became a star when Loving You sold a million copies and opened her to the pop music world.

Eight months later in December, a young lady from Singapore sang the same hit and won the 1975 Discovery #Talentime at the Shangrila Hotel in Orange Grove Road. Her main prize was a recording contract with EMI where she recorded the Riperton number with 11 other covers on an LP titled, SuZanna Teo Loving You (EMGS 5003).

Nineteen year old Suzanna, who was a Pre-University student at Victoria Secondary School, owed her singing success to Curtsie, the guitar she strummed and hugged during the competition. In her last year as a teen, Suzanna explained that music was her life for the moment and something which she could do "wholeheartedly." When asked about her future plans during her interview with The Straits Times, she added that she wanted to be a social scientist.

In addition to her grand prize, she won a trip to Hong Kong and an appearance at the **Frances Yip TV Show. Suzanne also bagged a pewter tropy, a $200 record voucher, a cassette player and other useful gifts. 

According to the Straits Times report, an RTS (Radio TV Singapura) announcer Adaline Scheerder was the runner-up and Samuel Owen, a veteran vocalist, won the third prize. The judges were a distinguished line-up of personalities then and included, George Favacho from RTS, Daisy Devan and Keith Bruce from EMI and Lawrence Magnan from Shangrila Hotel.

                                                          Video By: eosyeo

This interesting LP was the only one recorded by Suzanna. It was produced, arranged and conducted by Reggie Verghese (Quests' Lead Guitarist). The recording/mixing engineer was Vincent Lim. The sleeve design was by THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE with photography by Bernard Chan.
Side One: Follow Me, Rock and Roll Coaster, This Time I'd Be Sweeter, Danny's Song, When The Party's Over (Riperton), April Fool. Side Two: Loving You, Never Can Say Goodbye, Please Tell Him That I Said Hello, Tomorrow, You're No Good, Special To Me.

Like our own Olivia Ong today, Suzanna Teo was a hit in the mid 70's. According to Audie Ng, music impresario, he contracted her to sing at the Imperial Hotel Singapore in the early 80s when she was at the top of the hit parade. Have you heard Teo singing or listened to her recording before? Tell us.

*Wikipedia: Singer/Songwriter Riperton died of cancer in July 1979.
**Pop lady singer of the 70s who hails from Hong Kong.

#Many young hopefuls those days participated in singing competitions which might help them secure a recording contract and some fame. Fortune is something else. Click 'Talentime' label below for similar themes.

So there you are Singaporeans, before Final 1  from Media Corp in 2013 and Singapore Idols in the years before, there was Talentime.

Information from: The Straits Times Press, Singapore 5/12/1975, Pg 10.

Images: EMI Records Singapore/Andy Lim Collection.


Unknown said...

CBS Copyright © 1974 Loving You Thomas J. Mitchell.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you for the connection.

Anonymous said...

Where is she now?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I honestly don't know. Thank you for the visit.

Anonymous said...

I met her in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1991. She is currently living in California.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks for information and visit. I have a mail from Liza De Buzzi who commented on Suzanne and her whereabouts today but shall only post it next week as I am not in Singapore.

Please check again next week on Thursday or Friday.

JimLim35 said...

I knew Suzanna Teo when I attended the same church as her, The Holy Light Church Johor Bahru. If not mistaken she is a Malaysian then and she stayed at Jalan Straits View with her parents, 2 sisters, Pauline and Jenny plus a younger brother. Her sister, Jenny Teo became a DJ with the then SBC hosting a programme on what is now Gold 90FM.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Jim. She's a big name now in US. Supposed to write about her but busy with other postings.

I see you are connected to Doc Lee's blog? Good friends?

Anonymous said...

Where is Jenny Teo now? Was an ardent fan of hers during her SBC radio 1 stint.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

She will soon be featured again. Teo is now in the US singing for the Lord Jesus and is active in her church.

Thank you for visiting and your interest in 70s music.

Do write in again when you can.

salmah shariat said...

Shes now known as Precious Jade
Try and google...previously she was my schoolmate primary n secondary SIGS.JB

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Salmah. Please write in again to tell her story if you like.

Appreciate you visiting the blog. Please come again.


I agree with you that Suzanna Teo has a beautiful voice. She won the EMI contest and was sent to Hong Kong where she met another great singer, Frances Yip. Suzanna also performed at the Le Bristol Lounge below The Tropicana. She has a sister, Jennie who worked in Radio Singapore.

Suzanna Teo is also known as “Precious Jade”.She had some American made songs that Brian Richmond played now and then in his “Vintage Showcase” on Sunday