Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alphonso Soosay: Leaves "Flares" Joins Naomi's Boys

'Your request to know more about The Flares.'

This simple and short line from Alphonso Soosay (drummer from Naomi and the Boys) showed his willingness to share stories about local 60's pop music. He put it up on my Facebook posting. 

When I asked him further if his story could be posted on this blog he responded positively for the second time. Thank you, Alphonso, for your story; appreciate the time you took.
Alphonso Soosay, clean-cut, well-groomed drummer with The Flares, in action.  

From What I Can Remember, The 1960’s Were Often Considered The Best Decade Of Music In The World And Singapore. “The Flares” Was The Unknown Mystery Singapore 60’s Band. As Mysterious It May Seem From The Distance Of Over 50 Years, ”The Flares” Burst Out Of The Gate From Fun Practices, Once A Week, To Working At The British Camps Weekend Gigs At Changi. 

This Ideal Provided The Flares With An Opportunity To Get A Regular Paying Gig Every Friday And Saturday. And It Was A Test For The Band's Materials. Performing At Catholic Church Charity Functions Was Also A Joy For The Band. It Also Helped Polish Our Performance Before A Live Paying Audience. 

Then One Day Came A Night Club Offer For A Six-Month Gig. The Band Would Never Modify Much From The Clattering Guitar Shine Pop Of The Shadows And The Ventures Because of Edmund Tan, Our Lead Guitarist, Who Would Sing Many Of Cliff Richard’s Songs.
This is the band "The Flares" that Alphonso (drummer) was working with at the night-club in Anson Road.

Also, Another Vocalist In The Band, Frankie Cheam Rhythm Guitarist, Would Sing Most Of Elvis Presley’s Songs With Much Realism. Paul Soon Was Our Bass Guitarist And Was Happy To Sing Back-Up. 

The Band Developed A Well-Thought-Of Repertoire And That’s Why It Was Easy For The Flares To Get Nightclub Contracts When Auditioning For Them. Beside Performing As A Group At Night, Edmund And Frankie Had A Full Time Day Job; Paul Was A Student At Singapore University And Myself A Full-Time Musician Then. 

By 1965 The Recording Band Popularity In Singapore Was Seriously Blossoming. Although The Flares Did Not Take-Off With Any Recording Offer They Held On To A Two Year Contract Working In A Night Club In Anson Road As Resident Band.


Then one day, in the midst of a jam session, Robert Suriya walked in and offered Alphonso to join his band called, "Naomi and The Boys". The rest, of course, is history.

And that, folks, is another story.

Any comment?
Alphonso Soosay with his huge automobile in Perth Australia where he lives.
He has written a book, 'My Passion, Audio Awareness' which is all about audio recording and live sound experience: 


Copyrighted Images: A Private Collection. 
Article by Alphonso Soosay 
(Copyrights Reserved.)
Alphonso Soosay with Jerry Fernandez, Robert Suriya,
Audie Ng and Andy.




Thank you, Andy Young, for your delightful presentation of my 60’s music experience as a Musician. Those Were The Days My Friend.

FACEBOOK said...

Many thanks to the following for liking this post

John Cher
Joey Koh
Jennie Law
Terence Lee
Alphonso Soosay
Ann Rowena Lim
Van Der Beek Philip
Davychandavy Chan
Hiroshi Deguchi
Elmy Tahir
Herman S K Lee
Richard Paul M
Raymond Anthony Fernando


Thanks for filling that musical gap. Hope to meet Alphonso next month in Perth.


Thank you Alphonso for the interesting history of THE FLARES.

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful story and another piece in the jigsaw of 1960s Singapore popular music.

Many thanks to Alphonso and Andy.



ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all very much for your comments and support of Alphonso's blog. Here's one below by Michael Bangar, who explains the intricate changing of the guards with NAOMI AND THE BOYS.

Thanks again guys, all of you who have been so supportive of this blog. Every time I feel like closing it down, a timely comment so warm and informative, stops me from shutting down the shutters.

God Bless to all of my friends, readers and other quiet supporters of this blog.


If I remember correctly, in Naomi and The Boys, Alphonso Soosay took over the drummer's position from the late JOE AHMAD who was featured on their earlier recordings.

For many years Joe Ahmad worked for Robert Piano Music Store and Tanjong Katong Road till he retired. The shop is now at Parkway Parade.

I had the pleasure of playing with him when I was in the late Baby Low's Hawaiinaires line up in the early 80's.


Thank you, Andy, for the "Flares" write-up news, you implemented a delightful presentation. I will try to work on other stories.