|On the Singapore Music Memory Trail|
|The Cathay at its oldest?|
|Live bands in cinemas before a movie was common in the 50s and 60s.|
There was hardly any entertainment those years so you can imagine the ruckus that was going on about school girls singing on stage. And it happened before any Singapore's Millie Small, Connie Francis or Cliff Richard impersonators were around.
|Mamie Van Doren (not Doris Day) with Clark Gable.|
The movie, Teacher's Pet, won two academy awards and was a local hit those years because of our dynamic duo (Day and Gable) and more so because of blonde bombshell and Playboy Bunny's favorite cover girl Mamie van Doren (right) in a co-starring role. Like a Marilyn Monroe copy and paste, she was sexy and voluptuous.
With all this publicity in mind, the show at 9.30 that evening was a sell-out. On stage were four girls, chosen to appear for the finals of Singapore's Doris Day Singing Competition and they included, Nancy Renjaan, Ellen Ong, Pearl Silus and Nelly Martinus.
|Image of an applause meter. Clap hard and hand will move!|
|The sign lit up when it's time to applause.|
When the winner was announced, Nancy Renjaan (image right: Straits Times Press) from the Singapore Telephone Board clinched the title and became the Doris Day of Singapore, one of the first few pop impersonators on our island. School girl Ellen Ong was second and the others were runners-up.
Were you at the Cathay that night? Were you one of those who participated in the contest? Love to hear your story. Let's hit the Nostalgia Meter button and create some noise too.
She was the top female box-office star of all time and is today ranked (believe me!) sixth among the top 10 box office performers, both male and female, as of 2012. That is a champion indeed. If you've heard, Que, Sera, Sera, that's her song.
Images: Google and The Straits Times Press, Singapore.
Original article with information from newspaper advertisements.