I chat with Zainal Abidin time and again on the phone and he tells me that The Dukes are now active and running. So catch them while you can. His letter follows:
I am forwarding the flyer for The Dukes performance on 4 Jul 2014 at Mandarin Orchard Ballroom. We were very hot in the 60s with The Quests, The Trailers, Silver Strings and so on. Our main Sunday performance was at the old Prince Garni Hotel at Orchard Road (see picture taken at Prince Garni in the 60s).
Every Saturday night we played at the RAF and British Army Clubs all over Singapore. We have not played together for more than 30 years. Vernon Cornelius and his band, The Meltones and Jerry Fernandez and the Neufaces also performed.
|Dukes in the 1960s|
|Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Pastoral Centre|
|Poster for the show in July 2014|
Will catch up with you soon and update you if The Dukes have performances in future.
PS from Andy: I realised that one of the songs he recorded with his band was Rhumba De Havana, a song title with a city name (theme for my last posting). You need to listen to Selina first on above You Tube as Havana comes afterwards.
According to Zainal, both songs were mentioned in the international BMG magazine in May 1966. The songs were penned by Harry Martinez, music composer and tutor to many aspiring Singapore band boys and girls. The publication was popular then and discussed banjos, mandolins, guitars and cost one shilling and sixpence.
I must thank Malaysiaboleh for posting the song, the only one of many recorded, I think, available on You Tube.
Many readers remember the Dukes. Please write in if you have a story to tell about your experience with this group.
Images: Zainal Abidin.
Image right: BMG Magazine from ebay.ca.uk
You tube video from: Malaysiaboleh.