Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Japanese Experiences Singapore 60's Pop

Below is a letter from Mr Hiroshi Deguchi whom I met on Facebook. He is a friendly gentleman and willing to share his pop music experience when he was in Singapore.

He also explained how a particular Japan pop chart radio-broadcast was not influenced by any recording company. Interesting indeed.

He looks like Jackie Chan don't you think?

Thanks so much, Hiroshi.

Hi Andy,

It's so nice to hear from you. I have never lived in Singapore but I'm very interested in Singaporean pop music history.

I live in Japan, in Shimonoseki City, that is the southwestern end of Honshu. The nearer big town is Fukuoka. It was in 1991 when we went to Fukuoka to see the Dick Lee concert.

During my early years, I stayed in *Granada for a few months when I was 22 years old. I am much older now. I have a lot of happy memories of my younger days there and I am still trying to look for the people I made friends with.

*This is the poster I had put up on the walls in Granada, Spain. So far no success.

Translation: "I'm a Japanese man looking for my elderly friends. You know someone?"

I visited Singapore last summer for the first time in 15 years. I was away from the city so long but I didn't feel out of place because I stayed abreast of what is going on in the country; thanks to the internet.

I first went to Singapore back in 1981 as a tourist and became interested in the island. The more I learned about it the more I got caught up with its pop music culture.

The picture above was some 30 years ago. I was half compelled to go up on the stage and play "Rock 'n' Roll Music". It was at Europa. I pretended to play the keyboard. It was one of my happy memories on the southern island.

I like the group very much. It seemed just like yesterday. We enjoyed the sing-along with Rod Stewart's "I Don't Wanna Talk About It". We sang with the band at the top of our voices. That was at Europa at Changi East Coast, the most exciting 'live' hours at that time.

Now a little about our western pop scene in Japan. In February of '65, I was busy preparing for the entrance exam to junior high school. I haven't started playing the guitar which my mother bought me at a pawnshop. I still have this Yamaha-made instrument.

Around the time when many young Singaporeans were interested in what was happening during the Rolling Stones Concert at SBH on Guillemard Road, simultaneously, in another part of Asia, "I Feel Fine" was at the top of the pops.

We had a hit parade radio program called, "Popular Requests by 95 Million People". It was most popular and not influenced by any record company. The population of Japan was 95 million at that time. I remember waiting anxiously for the evening when the program was broadcast.

It is not on the air anymore. But I am sure a great number of people my age have a lot of happy, impressive memories of the program.

The Pop Request by 95 Million People List:

1. I Feel Fine, the Beatles

2. Constantly, Cliff Richard
3. La Plus Belle Aller Danser, Sylvie Vartan
4. Long Tall Sally, the Beatles
5. 500 Miles, Peter, Paul and Mary
6. Un Buco Nella Sabbia, Mina
7. Angelita, Los Marcellos

'Diamond Head' by the Ventures. YouTube Video by Robert Varga. This guitar group was one of the most popular in 60's Japan.

8. Diamond Head, the Ventures
9. Keep Searching, Del Shanon
10. Rock 'n' Roll Music, the Beatles
11. Slow Down, the Beatles
12. Whisper Whisper? Reny Ray?
13. The House Of The Rising Sun, the Animals
14. Have I the Right, Honeycomb
15. Love Potion No 9, the Searchers
I also found a few pictures in my photo album. Let me send it in case you might be interested.

At Europa in Marine Parade (image above), me and my wife half compelled to stand up on the stage. I sang "Japanese Girl" by Sam Hui. Is he Moses?

The Thunderbirds at Carriage Bar, York Hotel, Orchard Road, Singapore. With Derrick Fitzgerald on lead, this group played for nearly 20 years there.

Images and story are copyrighted and belong to Mr Hiroshi Deguchi.
YouTube Videos from Robert Varga and minipanda9.

'My Lonely Heart' by The Thunderbirds. Video by: minipanda9. Thank you.



Thank you so much, Andy.
You gave me a pleasant surprise. Not only me but my wife and our dog "Sakura" and a daughter are having much fun reading it.


Thank you so much, Andy. You gave me a pleasant surprise. Not only me but my wife, our dog "Sakura" and daughter are having a fun reading it.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

That's great. Hope all your friends and relatives will read it too. Thanks for allowing me to post your interesting story. Cheers. :-)

KOH SUI PANG said...

Is he going to sing to us ??

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes, if you ask him. He can do a recording. You should request la, Sui Pang.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks to all below for LIKING this post
John Cher
Stephen Han
Jennie Law
Angela Leow
Ann Rowena Lim
Davychandavy Chan
Kwandy Yao
Tommy Gomes
Herman S K Lee


Hiroshi is so popular among his Facebook, Japanese and International fans, he's at NUMBER 4 on the blog's MOST POPULAR POST LIST from ZERO. And within the hour.

That is much to comment about.


Chotto Matte Kudasai, I need some time to practice singing.


A versatile writer.


I'm also interested to know how the Hawaiian music was like before and after WWⅡ.I have no idea how it was even in Japan. That was before the pop music from USA and Europe had caught on here. I heard some older generation than we became crazy about the music since Hawaii-born Japanese came back to the country and introduced the music and instruments such as the teel guitar and Ukulele. Our generation are not familiar with them but we turned to the electric guitar and were chasing indtrumental guitar groups like The Ventures in particular here in Japan. not so much for The Shadows. I was the minority being a great Shads fan. Now I am curious to know how Singaporean people liked Hawaiian music and were influenced. I thought SG culture were more influenced by British and not so much by American and Hawaiian.


John Cher
Foo Jong Fook
Rose Khoo
Stephen Han
Jalani Mohamed
Hiroshi Deguchi
Ann Rowena Lim
Yip Dick
Charlie Bogosoff
James Kwok
Rauno Heiman
Peter Cheong
Belinda Poh
Francis Anthony Rozells
Davy Chan
Jimmy Fong
Ser Kiong Tan
Patrick Chng
Moody Cash
Somkid Lakhawat
Colin Colin