Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rolling Good Times Singapore 2: Behind The Cameras

The Silver Strings appeared on the premier episode of Rolling Good Times on 17th May, 2015 (Channel 5) but the actual live recording was done on the 4th of May, two weeks before the show.  It is general knowledge that performers had to come in early for the shoot, hours before the audience arrived at 7.30 pm.  We met at Reception at three in the afternoon . Security is always tight so if you're going for a show, don't forget to bring your identification card.

Ushered into the underground studio and beneath the cosy comfort of Caldecott Hill, we faced a large sound stage that had hosted many a variety show in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It was cavernous enough to seat a few hundred people.  We joined the performers scattered in the front rows waiting their turn to rehearse. (Image 1: Media Corp @ Caldecott.)
Dick Lee, Tabitha Nauser, Reuby, Mathilda D'Silva, Wendi Koh
We didn't wait long when Dick Lee came on stage with 19 year old Reuby, co-host Tabitha Nauser and Singapore's Tina Turner Mathilda D'Silva. They set the mood with Dick's and Tabitha's natural TV chatter as they introduced the show with a song. The resident band that accompanied them was incomparable.

When Wendi Koh performed she went into a spin and transformed the studio into a rock n roll, free for all, disco hall with her singing. We were wowed by all of them.  Such talent and artistry.  When Mathilda came on she looked extremely sexy with her outfit and special hairdo.  You'd think Tina Turner was out there. Then Reuby performed as he eased our nerves with a ballad. (Images 2, 3, 4: Sound studio; Artistes; Resident Band with Silver Strings.)
We knew our turn came when we saw drummer John Cher's throne of kings rolling in. There were drums everywhere on the sound stage with the percussion instrument elevated on a large box.

"And you're going to sit up there?" I asked him laughing.

Then Fender amplifiers were placed, together with the toy Nick Stravens was supposed to tinker with on national television (image above).

The whole session lasted for some time as the camera crew, lighting specialists and sound men went into action testing their equipment.  The Silver Strings managed the routine as Diana was introduced again and again during practice. Paul Anka's famous baby-sitter came alive once more. (Images 5,6: Silver Strings practice with Nick Stravens in the foreground; Audience.)
For the interview segment, we were seated with Dick Lee, and as places were established we thought it was going to be a long session practising but he managed the chat so professionally, we became engrossed in a conversation that went pretty well on screen. All in one take!

After the dry run we had our meals, heavy fried chicken with nasi-lemak, Chinese sweet and sour fish or a bee-hoon dinner, all served with vegetables. Then make-up time as we went into the tiny room filled with mirrors and facing professionals in black.  I thought it was a Batman costume party. Honestly, this group was the quietest and nicest ever as they went about their duty struggling hard to make seniors look like juniors. They had succeeded with Audie, Rickie, John and Nick. (Images: 7, 8: Wendi Koh practice; Rick Astley.)
After the make-up and costumes it was waiting at the wings for our turn as we chatted and met the other participants of the show. By then it was about 7.30 pm and members of the public came streaming in as they filled up the seats in the sound studio.  We watched between the curtains. The audience too had to go through certain routines with encores, sing-a-longs and music quizzes.

The live recording started on time and we did our segment around 8.30pm.  At the end of the evening before our famous guest star came on he managed some photo shots with the Silver Strings  Rick Astley was one of the most friendly and pleasant singing stars.
Andy Lim, Audie Ng, Rickie Chng, Nick Stravens, John Cher (Silver Strings 2015 line-up)
If you've seen last week's telecast, you should know what happened afterwards. I think this first Rolling Good Times was a successful one.

If you have a chance to see it live get a ticket because I understand Media Corp @ Caldecott Hill may close soon to relocate. Uncertain though.

Nice visit for an SG50 family getaway before another iconic building disappears. (Images 9, 10, 11, 12: Rickie Chng, Audie Ng; Make Up artistes; John Cher; Andy Lim.)

Sunday Night: 24th May, 2015: The Dukes, Julie Sudiro, Veronica Young. Also interviews with the Western Union Band, Chris Ho and Najib Ali and Rahimah Rahim.
And don't forget JOHNNY HATES JAZZ in the final show on this series.


Other episodes on Rolling Good Times include 60s, 70s and 80s stars: Johnny Hates Jazz, Frances Yip, Rahimah Rahim, Ginger Bread, Maizurah, Ramli Sarip, Mel and Joe Ferdinands, Jacintha and today's stable of current Singapore popsters.

 Read Rolling Good Times Part 1. Click below:


                              Johnny Hates Jazz: I Don't Want To Be A Hero

Images: A personal collection and Google.                            



Andy, good morning n thanks for text, quite a lot to read.

AUDIE NG said...

Good write-up.

JOHN CHER said...

Hi Andy, Don't know how you can recall the details. I'm impressed.


I saw your latest blog but there isn't any video of the song Diana?

MERLIN LIM said...

Andy, we're family too. I've not forgotten you bro. Take care. Keep in touch.

YEN CHOW said...

Sounds fun backstage. Just wonder where to watch back this program episode.

FABIAN FOO said...

Morning Andy. Tks for the info. Yes Caldecott Hill Mediacorp will relocate. Look forward to tonight show.

RICHARD said...

Thanks Andy!!

Malvin Chua said...

Great read, thanks Andy! :)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for response. And Tan Soo Khoon too from FB.

Victor said...

Caught you singing Diana during the show. You've still got what it takes. Keep up the good work, Andy.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks also to the FACEBOOK group of friends who supported this posting.

They include:


Rickie Chng said...

Hi Andy

You did a nice write up on the 1st episode of the rolling good times 2015. I am sure with lots of trouble going through to get all the names right. If it was me, I will be having a hard time but to you, it is just a fun thing as I suppose you are used to it.

Great and Cheers

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

No trouble at all. Easy to remember since we've met them all. Thanks for comment and Milo at the Y.

Dolly said...

Hi Andy. where can we catch past episodes of rolling good times? I did not know that mediacorp's toggle was not going to have it on catch up.



ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

RGT VIDEO was on Toggle for a few days but I could not find them afterwards. Perhaps a call to the station would be a good idea? Because it's so popular maybe they're thinking of a re-run on national TV soon?

ShiGGa Shay said...

"I’m not super-educated about the Singapore pop scene, but I know The Quests, The Crescendos, The Silver Strings … I have so much respect for them because they came out before social media and all that and to be able to make music at that point in time, to have all those fans and do shows, it’s amazing. The quality of music also, the way they were singing … it’s a history lesson for me.”

(From TODAY Newspaper: 11.05.2015)

Jackie said...

Hi Andy,

That is a nice write-up and it is a pleasure meeting you. :-)
I had an awesome time being the audience, dancing and singing along to JHJ tunes.
Still remember who envious I was of you that I didn't manage to catch Rick Ashley in action.