Pop music of Singapore in the 1960’s became naturally feasible and heavily influenced by Rock and Roll in its purest form and was gradually overtaken by Pop-Rock, Country-Rock, Blues-Rock, Folk-Rock and later by Psychedelic-Rock, which had progressed in popularity. The Country-Rock and Folk-Rock influenced style associated with the mid half of 1960’s Rock Music, reproduced a distinctive generation of performing Bands and Song-Composers in Singapore who wrote and performed their own compositions and achieved a No1 spot on the local charts with international acts like Cliff Richard & The Shadows, The Dave Clark Five, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Beatles, and just to name a few. Now, Looking Back at Singapore’s 60’s Music History, I would like to mention that “Naomi and The Boys” were very popular on Radio with their first original hit song "It's All Over" on Philips Records.
It was their Passion and Love for Music that took them to the “Top of the Charts” in Singapore and Malaysia’s TV and Radio. Their envisioned aim was to just entertain music lovers and they found their Fans all over Asia and all the way to Holland.
At the same time, Robert noticed that the Pop Recording Music scene in Singapore was starting to boom and he had to come up with new ideas and new sounds to keep achieving with what was already happening in Singapore. So Robert decided to look for a “Female Singer”. He found a few through musician’s suggestion, tried them out but none of them was up to his expectations as a Pop singer. At that point in time, Naomi Suriya was acknowledged as a remarkable singing talent on Singapore’s TV. It was a talent competition that was held somewhere in Anson Road. Naomi’s younger sister Fiona remembered it well because as she used to be her chaperone. Naomi got through her auditions and that night at the final competition Naomi sang “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”, the famous Skeeter Davis song.
Subsequently as a result of knowing enthusiastic show promoters like Robert Chua, Robert had gigs for local shows and Naomi had significant practices with the band until she was ready to perform on stage and face the competition with then-popular female-fronted groups such as “Susan Lim & The Crescendos”, “Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings” and a few other popular recording artistes. At that stage, “Naomi & The Boys” were endorsed very promptly with a contract to achieve their first EP. Robert had to swiftly work on ideas that would showcase Naomi’s vocals and also create uniqueness for his Band.
At this stage, Robert decided to act fast as he already was given the green light by “Philips Records” to record another EP as soon as possible, but had to discover a Drummer to his liking and to round up “The Boys”. However while looking for a Drummer that week. Glen Knight a Guitarist friend told Robert that he knows a Drummer performing at the Champagne Night Club at Anson Road working with a Pop Group named “The Flares”, (I had performed with Glen Knight previously with a group “The Midnighters”) and that night
The next event I remember was meeting Naomi, Peter, Moses and Robert at the Kinetex Recording Studios at Wan Toh Avenue off upper Serangoon road. On that day we rehearsed the whole morning and after lunch, with Mr Lee King we recorded “Happy Happy Birthday Baby” and “I Know”. The following day we came back to the studios and recorded “Please Baby Please” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Loved You”.
Remembering Naomi & The Boys Fans Response Was Very Positive At Live Shows As “Happy Happy Birthday Baby” Became Their Favourite Hit Song And It Was On Radio Every Day And Surprisingly It Went To No: 1 On Singapore’s, Malaysia’s And Indonesia’s Hit Parade Chart And Stayed In That Position For Few Weeks. Later That Month We Were Told By Our Recording Manager That It Was Also Aired On Hollands Radio Stations Hit Parade.
I remember in December 1965 it was voted by the media as the best song of 1965. Following this success, Naomi & The Boys were offered several live performance treaties (Touring Concerts) to most of the states in Malaysia. They were organised and produced by a creative show promoter Robert Chua who now lives in Hong Kong as a very successful TV shows Producer/Director.
The many “Live Shows” Naomi & The Boys performed were events that appeared quite spectacular, like “Miss Lion City 1966” it was a beauty contest show at the National Theatre in December 1965. “The Top Talent Show” in 1966 took place at the National Theatre. “Show Time 66” at the National Theatre in June 1966. “Peep Pop Show” at the National Theatre in December 1966. “Ready Steady Go Show” at the National Theatre. “Poly X ’mas 1967” a Christmas show in December 1967. “Musical Express Show” was an early Sunday morning performance at the Capitol Theatre in April 1967.
Mr Lee King the manager of “Philips Records” realised that he had a credible Band on his hands and decided to become the manager of “Naomi & The Boys”. The band leader was very pleased and so were we. At that time requiring money to upgrade our musical instruments was not a problem at all. Naomi & The Boys managed to get the best of Musical instruments and most of the money was paid off within six months from “Naomi & The Boys” recording royalties.