Sunday, April 02, 2017

Singapore 60's Brief Pop Music History (1) Mike Bangar

I am very grateful to Michael Bangar (right) a professional rhythm guitarist who currently plays and sings with many pop bands in Singapore. He volunteered to write a brief 5 part series about our local music, which was very much influenced by music from the West. It is written for the benefit of young people who are not familiar with our pop 60's scene.

Thank you Michael.

Part One 
Singapore 60's Music and Overseas Influence:

In the wake of the recent demise of many of the great artistes, I would like to pay homage to our local music stars who are no long with us.

A teenager in the early 60's and still a student, I was a very keen fan of the Singapore bands and solo artistes of our own music scene. I listened and appreciated the pre-rock and roll era with performers like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Patti Page and others.

Kon Tiki (1961) by: The Jumping Jewels Video by: Whatzupduck. Thank You.

Even early country and western stars like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Hank Williams, Left Frizzell, Patsy Cline, Lynn Anderson (video) and a whole lot of other cowpokes.

Then rock and roll exploded on the scene with the likes of Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, (all Afro-American artistes). There's Pat Boone, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and others. Leading the pack was this kid from Tupelo Memphis who was later bestowed the title, the King of Rock and Roll. 
Pop singers Patti Page, Patsy Cline, Lynn Anderson, Bo Diddley, Pat Boone, Gene Vincent. They were music influence from the fifties and early sixties.

All this new music had a tremendous effect on the rest of the world including Singapore, especially across the Atlantic in Great Britain. It influenced this surge of the great British Invasion of bands and artistes.  

 Headed by The Beatles, all the 60's band came rockin' along: The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Kinks, Herman's Hermit (Peter Noone) and many, many others.
The British Invasion: Pop vocal groups and instrumental groups, Searchers, Kinks, Gerry n Pacemakers, Cliff Richard (singer), Shadows, Jumping Jewels.

They all took American rock and roll to a whole new level. But prior to this invasion phenomena, one Cliff Richard and his back band, The Shadows was rocking the rest of the world. Somehow though, they did not make it big in the US, in fact they didn't make it at all in Yankee Doodle land).

They were the largest influence on the early Singapore bands. Also an early influence, Johnny Lion and His Jumping Jewels and to some extent The Ventures with their brand of guitar-based instrumentals. Similarly, independent of the singers, The Shadows and Jumping Jewels were also guitar instrumentalists par excellence.

There are 4 more parts to this short music history about Singapore 60's. Check them out soon.

Read Part 2. Click below:

Cliff Richard n Shadows with Gee Whiz It's You Video from: rockabillie.

Images: Google.
Video: You Tube: Whatzupduck.



Names he may have left out:
Pee Wee King
Big Bopper
Ricky Nelson
Kitty Wells
Bonnie Guitar
Gale Storm
Freddie and the Dreamers
Billy J.Kramer and The Dakotas
The Eagles
The Mindbenders.

FACEBOOK said...

Robert Suriya
James Seah
Rose Khoo
Peter Lim
John Cher
Merlin Lim
S Mohamad Al Sungkai
Fuad Hj Aziz
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Albert Wong Ong Cheng
Joseph Goh
Ivor Lesslar
Kwandy Yao
Robert Suriya
Elsie Ho
Veronica Sotomayor


Michael Bangar is one of the best for history of local bands and musicians. Thank you for sharing Mike! Cheers!


For Someone Who is Part of the 60's Music Scene. I Must Say Thank You Mr. Michael Bangar For ALL That You Do.

henri gann said...

Great writeup Michael ! Can't wait to read the rest. Hopefully it will not be weeks later :)

FABIAN FOO said...

Brings back my memories of my school days in 60s with Top Tunes of the Week. Thanks to Michael for the write-up.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Fabian for your support and all your videos, comments and writing articles for the blog. We all truly love the music of yesteryear.


Good article by Michael. Enjoyable reading. Captures the early days succinctly😄

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi SK, back from QE2 county? Thanks for the comment. Coming from you that's a quote for the music professors.


It's 4 am here in Berlin. Woke up for toilet break and saw your post. Back in SG tomorrow😄


Hey Andy:
Re comments by Mr Freddie Kang (Thunderbirds). I respect his comment. The names I mentioned in my write up are just a few I used to make my point.

Too many names not necessary. BTW in the 50's and 60's on our Little Island Paradise very very few people knew about Gale Storm, Kitty Wells, let alone Pee Wee King. Even now, cheers.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Gale Storm had Ivory Tower, Dark Moon, my favourite singer. Kitty Wells had Amigo's guitar and Making Believe. Pee Wee King recorded Tennesse Waltz.

I was still a kid and in my teens later. My mother's fav songs too.


I'm well versed with music from the 40's and 50's era too. I have more than 6000 music and songs in my collection brother, and I listen into radio shows from the States and all over the world and when we were The Thunderbirds we get our music from friends from the UK and US and when we do the songs for our shows, the songs will be released in Singapore after 6 months and by then we have covered the latest songs already.

More to share with you and your readers soon.


Thank you for the wonderful write up. Enjoy going down memory lane

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Irene. You have also been so supportive these many years, always commenting on the blog too.