Sunday, January 15, 2012

Henry Fu Su Yin: Song Sold 100,000 Copies In '65

A CNY ang pow ( 红封包). Chinese Mandarin Pop Oldies (國語流行歌曲):

Singaporean singer, songwriter and lyricist Su Yin (舒雲) had a deep, powerful, bass baritone voice suitable for the Mandarin songs that he belted out. Whether it was an Eric Burdon, Engelbert Humperdinck, a Bobby Helms, Mick Jagger, Ray Peterson or even a Blue Diamonds hit Su Yin could make each song his own. And in Chinese.

His singing style went down well with local Chinese fans. Also known as Henry Fu, he became one of the most popular pioneers promoting Mandarin songs during the 60s and was instrumental in establishing Chinese artistes like Rita Chao, Sakura Teng and others from the EMI Mandarin pop stable.

Su Yin, as was the culture in the 60s, covered western pops widely and released several albums with another home grown guitar group, The Quests. Some of his tracks included: Ramona, Greenfields, Green Green Grass Of Home, Love At First Sight, Yesterday, Lady Jane and Fraulein.
                              Tell Laura I Love Her -Fu Su Yin
Then comes: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, House Of The Rising Sun, Portrait Of My Love, First Bend Of The River, Summer Wine, Tell Laura I Love Her (above) among others. Apparently, these translated versions by Su Yin, proved popular enough for Mandarin listeners to buy them in quantity profitable for the industry.

He was a manager with a record company and would usually sing covers with lyrics written by a well-known Chinese composer Li Tian (黎天). 

One song, which attracted much attention is Mona Lei (蕾夢娜), a Mandarin version of the Gilbert/Wayne 1940 evergreen Ramona which appeared on his Long Play album called, A Green Pasture At Dusk (黃昏放牛*一片青青的草地), released in 1967. 

Another, Tell Laura I Love Her came with Grand Prix sound effects that haunted me for days!
Because of his following, he had appeared in many pop shows at the National Theatre, Victoria Memorial Hall and other venues all over Singapore. Since hecould sing Mandarin favourites too, his regular appearance on the Chinese television channel, radio and Rediffusion proved as successful and Su Yin who often sang on stage with his own guitar, became synonymous with 60s music.

But the one song that launched Henry Fu Su Yin's career in 1965 was Yodelling Cowboy (黃昏放牛) which sold a staggering *100,000 copies in Asia. That was big, anytime!

*Information from local TV series: Rollin' Good Times screen crawler uploaded by: shcg1shcg.
Images: Andy Lim Collection.


Lam Chun See said...

Hey I was born in Year of Dragon. This year my cohort of ACS68 are going to have a big 60th birthday bash :(

Stylers: said...

Hi Andy
Likewise, all my best wishes to you, your wife and your family.

May 2012 brings you Good Health, Good Luck, Happiness, Prosperity and Longivity.

Best Regards,

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you both for the good wishes. All the best for a Great Dragon Year!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

Jun here from Oak3 Films. We're currently working on an info-docu for Suria titled 'Jalan IV'. The series looks at significant events in Singapore's history, and is currently airing on Suria every Thursday at 9pm.

One of the episodes will be on 60s music in Singapore. I understand that you have a blog of your own that talks about this topic, so am wondering if you have any photos or music or videos that you can share with us, and that the rights belong to you.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at --------or email me at ------.

Thanks so much, and hope to hear from you soon!

Junaini Johari.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Junaini,

I have written to you and responded but you have not replied.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Andy Lim,

We are making a historical documentary/movie on singapore cowboy song, Matthew and the Mandarins.

Wondering if you know who we can interview as:
1) a female fan who can line dance
2) an ang mo who is Matthew's fan.

Thanks for helping to record history,
Kim Ong(Miss)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks for writing. I do not know people who fit the description but have left your letter on my blog. Hopefully others can help.

I shall provide your phone and email address when they write to me.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Please help Kim Ong. If anyone is interested please write to me.

Your phone number and email address will be sent to her but will not be revealed on this blog.


Fabian Foo said...

Dear Andy,

Wow I am not suprised that many of the writers are born in the year of the Dragon. Those years in the mid 60's were our growing up years listening to Rediffusion and Radio Top 10 Hits of the UK. I remember thateach week we would have to guess the top 3 songs in the order of popularity and send in our entries with Hack and or Hudson sweet wrappers into the station. This is memory of the carefree days.
Andy may the year of the Dragoon brings us lot of Good Health, Happiness and Easy listening. Gong Xi Fa Cai.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Fabian,
Thank you for the good wishes and your thoughts about the good old days.

Yes, I remember the Hacks (brown wrapper) and Hudson Sweet (red/white wrapper) and the Top 10 Hits programme.

It's people like you that keep this blog alive and from one Dragon to another, have a great 'Loong Nien'.

Anonymous said...

Reply for Kim Ong from a reader:

Ask her to go to Serangoon Gardens Country Club on Friday nights. Matthew plays every Fri. and there are many lady line dancers there as well.

Dunno about an ang mo though. Maybe Matthew can provide one.

Erwin said...

Hello Andy,

My Roman and Chinese calendar is all screwed up here so I just would like to wish you a Happy New Year. May the year bring good tidings of the good will, grace, and favour of the dragon, to bloggers like you, through its flames.

From a unicorn without a horn. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy, a Happy New Year.

I met you once together with Auric in the CC. That's where I came to learn of your blog.

I know of a line dance female instructor. We are from a musical group. We also supported Matthew in his events.

I will get more details from Kim Ong and pass to my friend and let them proceed.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Erwin,
Thanks for your good wishes and support all the way from France.

A unicorn without a horn is a horse and that man is muscles, speed and power :}

A Happy New Year to you and loved one too.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hullo J,
Thanks for responding so quickly to reader Kim Ong who is in need of asistance.

I have already sent your email address to her. I am sure she will write to you.

Thank you also for supporting the blog. I do remember when we met at the CC.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

I am glad to be involved in this heritage project. Thanks for extending your help.

We will start the filming in beginning of Feb, after New Year,
so that's why these are needed soon.

I used to work in MediaCorp, formerly TCS. I know newsreader Norman Lim when he was there, don't know if you are from his time.

Cheers with Happy New Year wishes.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi K,

Glad things are working out for you and your project. I try to help when I can.

Do promote 60s music to your friends and family and the people involved yesteryear.


Anonymous said...

Dear Andy,
Thank you for such a vivid collection.

I could not find the name of one Malay singer who sang English songs at a Hotel which was where the Hilton now is.

He was a replica of a famous western singer.

Name ?


Anonymous said...

Hey pallie, likes Andy,
Keeps lovin our Dino!
Thanks man!

Anonymous said...

Good work Andy. I love it.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Mr. Amin was commenting on the Malay Pop Yeh Yeh postings.

Thank you for reading and your support. said...

Jan 27/12
'100,000 copies sold'
Posted by noelbynature under Lifestyle, people

Producing a song is no small feat. Having sold 100,000 copies of the song in Asia in the 1960s is an achievement!

Andy shares the story of Su Yin, whose claim to fame was the hit song 'Yodelling Cowboy' (黃昏放牛).