Saturday, November 12, 2016

Man From UNCLE Robert Vaughn Dead RIP

Did a Singapore 60's band record Man from UNCLE theme?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has passed away. Robert Vaughn, suave, serious but always with that certain charisma had made him the 1960's hero Napoleon Solo on the small screen at home.  Like James Bond. But he had a side-kick (60's heroes usually had partners in crime). He was called Ilya Kuryakin i.e. actor David McCallum.  

We rushed home to catch the series which came a year or two after national b/w television came to Singapore in early 1963.  Just as popular was the theme song. I don't remember any of our band boys playing this melody, not even the top names in our local line up. Perhaps it's because the music needed the big sound of an orchestra.

The original Jerry Goldsmith composition was recorded by Hugo Montenegro who carried the theme with style and pomp. It was typical background music that could create an atmosphere of suspense during a scene, common in 1960's TV shows. But one great Singapore band did record this movie theme.

Way back when, Marie Tang recorded an EP with a guitar group. She is the daughter of Wilma Tang, the late nightclub singer who used to perform at Ocean Park Hotel at East Coast Road, near St. Patrick's School.

Marie Tang wrote me a note some years ago because she was a talentime participant and talked about Uncle Larry Lai (well-known Rediffusion DJ), Uncle Charlie Lazaroo (pianist in the radio orchestra) and The Man from Uncle. Here's her letter:

Hi Andy,

Wow! This is really a surprise! The one and only E.P. (Extended Play Record) I cut was with *The Stylers, and I have some very fond memories of the many practice sessions we had during those days for my record, which also contains the song from The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Uncle Solo! Oh my goodness! I was only 15 years old then...

You have a very interesting blog and it will surely bring back many wonderful memories and smiles for many of us who contributed to the music scene during the 60s. 

Your posting of my mum... I've just sent it to her through MSN and she too was mesmerised and surprised.

Marie Tang.

*The recording was done with The Comancheros not The Stylers. 

Read her letter by connecting below:

Images and Video: Google and You Tube.



I got no idea if we ever recorded UNCLE.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

According to Marie Tang there was a recording. On an EP.

Anyone has a copy of this EP?

Thanks Randy.


Maybe back up music for her. Too many artistes... can't recall instantly.

HELEN POK said...

How old was he? Yes I remember him and David McCallum. Very suave and good looking guys of the 60's. The music brings back memories of the good old days.

chakap chakap said...

Robert Francis Vaughn
Birth November 22, 1932
New York City, New York, U.S.

Died November 11, 2016 (aged 83)
Ridgefield, Connecticut, U.S.
Cause of death
Acute leukemia


A testimony mainly to Vaughn's ability that the MAN FROM UNCLE series stood toe to toe with the BOND movies in terms of intrigue and charisma. RIP RV.

BC Teoh said...

Andy, I remember the TV series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E".

Thanks for putting the show's music at the side bar too. I have not heard the music for so many years. Wonderful!

comment repeat from 22.5.10

Victor Koo said...

Uncle, you are the man. :p

I have totally forgotten how the theme song for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. sounds like. Now it sounds like a new song to me.

Thanks for posting this tune.
comment repeat from 26.5.10

Jay Cee said...

marie, your EP of Uncle Solo and Fireball XL 5 was with THe Comancheros

JC said...

Yes I remember him. When the series were shown we were still using black and white TV.
Thanks Andy.

chakap chakap said...

Four extremely successful years (1964-68) followed as THE MAN FROM UNCLE series became one of the most popular television series of the 1960's. It made ROBERT VAUGHN an international television star, but he wanted to embark on a career in film, and did so soon after the series ended in 1968 by co-starring in 'Bullitt' (1968) with Steve McQueen.

Linda said...

A great actor who will be sadly missed. I used to watch The Man from Uncle, but it has been so many years...I will have to find some old episodes on YouTube, if I can, and watch them. Great post.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Appreciate very much for the comments and information provided by all.

I remember running to the TV whenever I hear the first few notes of the theme song and making sure I don't miss a scene during each episode. Sometimes even with dinner plate in hand, eating in front of the very small-19 inch screen that shows black and white pictures.

FL said...

I believe the series Man from UNCLE showed in Singapore TV OR RTS from 1963 to 1968, then I think I hv missed the programs. My family bought the B & W TV only in 1969. When I was secondary student, one classmate (with TV) used to share with me this show (UNCLE)and how exciting the program was with David and Robert. I think I read about the two actors briefly in RADIO WEEKLY (tabloid. Well, you guys were lucky to own TV sets earlier !!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

FL, your information and enthusiasm about the 60's period have always been distinct and honest. Yes, many of us enjoyed those years when TV first came to Singapore. We managed a small Philips model and later a bigger Sierra one with four legs. Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin were the talk of the town.

But we knew them as "Solo" and the "Russian chap with messy yellow hair" :-)

A special thanks to you for the observation and constant support for this blog.

sgcs said...

Your post is very nice.