Monday, December 04, 2017

Australian Influence: Ray Brown and The Whispers Part 2

Ray Brown and The Whispers: (L-R) John Manners, Pat Jeffrey (seated), Lawrie Barclay, Ray Brown, Al Jackson (line up: 1964).

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When 60's Music Friends Had A Get-Together In Singapore (2):

When Dr Steven Farram (Darwin U, Australia) came to visit Singapore recently, it wasn't the first time. He's familiar with a lot of Singaporean activities, its culture and history, especially with the local music 60's scene.

I first met him ten years ago when he introduced himself, all wet and hot, after rockin' and rollin' to Mike and Herb's (Beatles of Malaysia) stage performance in 2008 at the Vivo City Roof Top. We became good friends and he never failed to write an article for the blog when I made the request.

Steve wanted to interview some band boys so I managed the help of Mr Michael Bangar (professional guitarist playing rhythm for Silver Strings) to speak to him. We had our first session and a few days later, a larger group came. 
With Andy: Michael Bangar and Steven Farram during the interview @ a food court.

Our 2nd session ended after Steve interviewed guitar legend Horace Wee, bassist Zainal Abidin, drummer John Cher and singer/DJ Jerry Fernandez (images below).

It was a successful meet when Mr Bangar provided Dr Farram with the necessary information he needed. The interview and informal chit-chat over coffee lasted nearly four hours. The lecturer was satisfied with the outcome.

Steve brought with him some vinyl records. I list the artistes and songs covered on both Side A and B. All artistes were from Australia:

Ray Brown and the Whispers:

Now Is The Time        
In The Midnight Hour (YouTube Video above)
Say It Again
20 Miles
Devoted To You
Go To Him
Fool Fool Fool 
Normie Rowe:
Ain't Nobody Home 
Ooh La La

Johnny Young (image) Let It Be Me 
Step Back

The New World: Try To Remember
The World I Used To Know 

Col Joye and the Joy Boys: (Rockin' Rollin') - Clementine 
Fools Like Me

Clockwise from left: Zainal Abidin (Dukes), Michael Bangar (Silver Strings); Pete Hanoken (CD Producer, Helsinki); Jerry Fernandez (Neu Faces); Andy Young (host); John Cher (Writer, Silver Strings); Horace Wee (Guitar Legend, Radio/TV Singapore); Steve Farram (Lecturer, Darwin U, Australia).

Here's a list of Australian pop stars on the international scene that I am familiar with:

Slim Dusty,  John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John,  Rick Price, Kylie Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia, Rick Springfield, Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, Johnny O'Keefe, The Seekers, Men At Work, The Easybeats (YouTube video below), Air Supply, AC/DC INXS, Little River Band, Savage Garden,  Keith Urban, Helen Reddy and of course, The Bee Gees. And the names go on...
It's time we have some writing about pops Down Under since we're neighbours but I am not an expert with 60's Australian pops so I have left Steve to elaborate on the records he provided. 

But that's Part 3 in this series.


Images: Steven Farram, Personal Collection.
YouTube Videos.

Wes Cossacks Singapore band covered Sorry under a Singapore label. Video from The Garage 1966. Thank you.

Read connection below about humble George Chew who used to play lead guitar with Wes Cossacks and in recent years, The Burns. Wes Cossacks had recorded a few instrumental numbers in the mid-sixties and The Burns in the 2000's which has disbanded since.


Dr. Lee said...

My favorite Aussie 60s hits are "Fool Fool Fool" by Ray Brown & the Whispers and "Sadie the cleaning lady" by Normie Rowe. Some other favorites Aussie 60s singers I like are Cole Joy, Lonnie Lee and Johnny O'keefe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

I hope you are enjoying the records. All the artists were well-known in Australia in the day, but few of the Australian 60s bands had any success overseas. It is nice that you added a youtube link to The Easybeats, because they were the exception once the song Friday On My Mind took off in Europe and the US. The song Sorry that you link to is one of my favourites, but that was before Friday On My Name and was only ever a hit in Australia, although it was covered in Singapore by the New Wes Cossacks. The Easybeats had 3 LPs and a whole swag of singles and EPs before they made it big in the UK.

I'll write in with something about the other bands and singers a bit later.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hello Steve,
Thanks for the comment. Yes, The Easybeats are popular in Singapore and other Asian countries too if I am not mistaken. I have been asking around and most agree it is a great band from Down Under.

In fact, a number of local listeners are familiar with Johnny Young too and the other bands and singers.

Good Luck with the new term at the Uni. in February? All the best for another teaching year!


Hello Doc Lee,

Thanks for still following this blog. How is Penang?

I didn't know you're a fan of Aussie music too but I still remember your library of the best vinyl and CDs in your Home Theatre when we met. Those singers you mentioned are favourites. I hope other readers will write about their experience after reading this note.


Hello Andy,
How are You? I am sorry haven't written you for a while. Have been busy
with my new release and with my shop.

I thought you might be interested in this track:

Many thanks again for sharing information of Sleepwalkers and Nono
Söderberg on your great blog. We all appreciate it a lot and are thankful
for you :)

All the best for now, and I am looking forward hearing from you.


(Letter has been edited.)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

With Steven Farram's clue about New Wes Cossacks from Singapore, I managed to get a YouTube video by The Garage 1966. It's our local version of Sorry.

George Chew, the lead guitarist for Wes Cossacks, a good friend, is still as active.

Dr. Lee said...

Hi Andy,
Ya I still keep up with your really good and very popular music blog.
I spend 10 year in Sydney in the 60s and are very fond of Aussie pops. Love to watch them on TV too. Will keep in touch Andy.
Dr. Lee Yan San