Thursday, February 02, 2017

Troupadors: 60's Pop Band From Perth Australia

After university lecturer Steve picked up my story, When Phones Were In Booths, Not Pockets*, he wrote me an article about a group from Perth, Australia that had performed in Singapore in the 1960's.

As a teacher, his writing style questions readers on information they might want to disclose to help others understand more about Singapore music. Do respond if you have any information regarding the records and bands he is discussing. His reply and article appears below.

Thanks very much Steve (image right).

Recently Andy showed a record cover which depicted members of Singapore band The Jets using the telephone booths at Singapore’s old International Airport. It’s now the Paya Lebar Air Base. I sent Andy a photograph of another band using the same phone booths and he asked me to write about them. This is what I know.

Dr. Steven Farram, Darwin, Australia.
The Troupadors were a band from Perth in Western Australia that formed in the mid-1960's. They had the reputation as one of the best show groups around and are reported to have appeared on radio and television, as well as the usual nightclub circuit.

In 1969 they travelled to Singapore with singer Lyne Mather. The band had a lot of line-up changes over the years and I am not sure who the other members were at the time.

Advertisements in the Straits Times from May 1969 show that they appeared at a number of different clubs, including The Kelong at The Cathay Hotel (‘Singapore’s finest entertainment rendezvous’), and The Moonshine Nite Club at Ocean Beach Hotel (said to be an exclusive new dine and dance spot that had just opened that month).

They also had a regular Sunday T-Dance gig from 3 to 6 pm at The Baron at 39 Upper Serangoon Rd. Other regulars at The Baron (advertised as Singapore’s first supper club-disco) were The Blackjacks and The X-Periment. As well as the bands, ‘dance hostesses’ and ‘fine cuisine’ were also available. Admission was free. Sounds like a good deal to me. Does anybody remember those clubs?

According to the Music Minder website, drummer and bass player Jimmy Lee was not only a member of the band when they were in Singapore, but also manager. It sounds like he might have been a local. Does anybody know anything about Jimmy?

The same website claims the band cut four records between 1967 and 1972, but totally overlooks this one, which appears on the local Life label and was presumably recorded in Singapore.
For me the standout track is Conversation, which is a good rendition of the Greenaway-Cook-Lordan song that was a hit for Cilla Black in 1969, first entering the UK charts in July that year (according to the Official Charts Company).

I have no idea how long The Troupadors remained in Singapore, but they eventually returned to Australia and continued playing there for many years. From what I can see on the internet, they reformed a few years ago and are still putting on a show today.

Lyne Mather is not with them, however, and I get the impression she was not with the band for long. Nevertheless, she was with The Troupadors at the right time to make her own contribution to Singapore 60's music history.
Eliza Arifin and JB Musafir

I have seen one other record that shows the Paya Lebar Airport phone booths on the cover, but I can’t remember whose record it was. Does anybody know? I do, however, have one other record that depicts something of that old airport. It’s by Eliza Arifin backed by band JB Musafir, whose members were presumably from Johor Bahru. The photo on this record cover shows Eliza standing in front of a fountain at the airport.

There are quite a few record covers that show members of bands in front of another famous Singapore 60's landmark. Can anyone guess what place I mean? (Clue: It’s no longer there. It was demolished in the 1980's).

Images and You Tube of Troupadors: Today Tonight Channel Seven Perth, 7 May, 2014.

Copyrights Reserved: Dr. Steven Farram and Andy Lim.


SHIRIN said...

Hi Mr Young,

Hope all is well on your end.

I would to connect with you and was wondering how I could go about contacting you?

Thank you.


Hi Andy,

Please see attached an article for your blog and two photographs. I hope this is something you can use.

All the best.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Steve,

I'm like Peter Sellers when I saw your pictures and article. "Goodness gracious me!"

Thank you so much for this quality write-up of a band I hardly know about. I have heard of the name but didn't know they were quite an established group.

Appreciate what you did. You eveN gave an introduction to the write-up.



Heard but not personally. I was still at school.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you sir, anytime you feel like telling your stories about our music from the 60's, let me know.


I saw them at the Baron with Joe Chandra and the X=Periments in the 60's. Good swing jazzy feel about them.


Thanks Andy.

Well done to find the other photographs and the video link. The fellow doing the interview is your namesake, Johnny Young. He had a few hits in the 60s as well. At the end he is singing one of them, Step Back, which was written for him by Harry Vanda and George Young from the Easybeats.


ReinventMusic Twitter said...

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”
― Ludwig van Beethoven

Smurfstools Oldies Treasure Chest You Tube said...

sounds great Tiger... your mix presents a live sound stage that's very enjoyable to the ears... cheers!


Published on Feb 16, 2016 You Tube

Stereo remix of this virtually mono song from one of Australia's premier showbands. The Troupadores come from Western Australia & formed in 1963 (they are still together). They released very few records & as far as i know only 2 singles. This is the B side of Sing A Song. It was written by Huey Smith & John Vincent & was a hit for Frankie Ford in the '50s. A very rare single. All credit goes to The Troupadors.

Current Play on You Tube

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...


Thanks for interesting tweets to keep in touch with music scene. When are you coming over to play in Singapore. We had Paul Anka, Bellamy Brothers, Engelbert, Queen, Madonna, Kenny Rogers, etc. Big time here for top notch artistes to play, of which you are one. Musicals too like Les Miserables, Chicago, etc. Cheers.



ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Steve,

Many fans in Perth I think? Picture speaks for itself. More than the Red Rooster posting.
370 readers plus viewed this post alone by today.


Thanks Andy.

I might get you something new soon.

I’ll be in touch.