Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Singer Songwriter Robert Suriya: To Be A Woman/Walk Back To Me.

1.  Robert Suriya 2013.
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I wrote to Robert Suriya on his Facebook asking if he could do a blog posting on his single To Be A Woman and Walk Back To Me and to provide some information on this particular vinyl.

Being the nice person that he is he replied that he's been trying to have someone send him these songs as he has forgotten how they sound like. Once he listens to them again he will be able to recollect how they came about and then asked if I have a copy of the record so he could listen to the songs.

I have a copy, heard it a few times but didn't send him the songs although I could do it via the internet.  But his reply came as Robert remembers the recording.  The following paragraph is his answer verbatim.

"Dear Andy, when I used to read in the news about young girls - running away from home - hanging around the streets till late - This was happening in the USA and its still happening now - This is when I got inspired to write To Be A Woman, about a wasted future. As for Walk Back To Me, I co-wrote with Peter Thomas - and I played the Sitar on this song. Peter played the Harmonica on To Be A Woman."

Thank you Robert.  It's a short piece but sufficient.  If you have more information about the record let it rip. It's been a while since I wrote about local 60s groups and I am doing it again because readers have been asking that I quit the memory trail for a bit as it's getting stale.

I don't have much to write about nowadays since Singapore 60s music articles are everywhere on the internet. Seek and ye shall find but whatever records I have in my vinyl collection I shall try to dish out slowly. But sorry, no music. Just sleeve-cover articles and some pictures.

The recording below is not found on any of Naomi and The Boys' CD selection.  Or am I wrong?

2.  Philips single record with illustrated front cover.

Some Sleeves Speak: (Back Cover):

"Considerable excitement and comment was generated when You've Gone was released some time ago.  the interest was understandable. For the first time ever, a critical public was listening to The Boys, making their debut single as artistes in their own right, and the overwhelming success that accompanied that single has firmly established The Boys as a pop phenomenon to be reckoned with.

The Boys with their characteristic combination of intricate harmony, falsetto, intelligent lyrics, and pulsing rhythm have introduced a refreshingly welcome element into the local pop scene.  Always ready to incorporate new ideas and sounds into their experience, The Boys have produced this remarkable follow-up, using for the first time with noticeable effect, the harmonica and sitar.

Evidently a great deal of thought have gone into the composition of the lyrics and song-writers Robert Suriya and Peter Thomas (who incidentally also vocalise on their respective compositions have succeeded in blending their music and lyrical content into pleasing wholes.

This musical experiment is a result of a more than just musical talents, and reflects on the versatility and dedication of its creators. There won't be another record to beat this one for quite some time... except their next record perhaps?  From: Philips Record 338709 PF."

Lead guitar, vocal, sitar = Robert Suriya; Rhythm guitar, vocal, harmonica = Peter Thomas; Bass guitar, organ, piano = Moses Tay; Drums, tambourine, percussion effects = Alphonso Soosay.

If you have stories to spare about our local 60s music scene do write in. 

Image 1: from Robert Suriya's Facebook and 2 from: Andy Lim Collection.



Nice to see fans of Robert reacting to his original compositions.

Alphonso Soosay
Looking Back At “Destiny” Now…..What A Wonderful World It Was With Delightful Memories Of Singapore 60’s Musical Experience Working With Many Talented Musicians, Especially Performing With "NAOMI & THE BOYS". I Believe Robert Suriya Ranks As The Most Prolific Songwriter Of Our Singapore Pop Scene In The 60's. What A Blessing It Was To Be Working With Him Then.

Andy Young
Thanks Alphonso, coming from you that's an Emmy and Oscar put together. You were one prolific member of THE BOYS too.

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