Thursday, October 24, 2019

Singapore 60s Music Girl Group The Teepees by Freda Hanum

I met Freda on board our cruise ship Silver Strings Concert 2019. She was chatting with Rickie Ch'ng our then lead guitarist. When I suggested that she posted her famous girl-group on the blog, she was kind about it and obligingly agreed. 

So here's the lady keyboardist herself relating the adventures of  The Teepees. Thanks so much dear Freda.
Long before K-Pop (Korean girl pop groups) came on the scene in today's soundscape, Singapore already had its S-Pop (Singapore girl pop groups) and if you look at the images on this posting, you will realize they were just as pretty, petite and attractive enough to hold an audience.  And they sing just as well, so much so, that some of them even performed in Europe. But let Freda, keyboardist, tell the story...
Rose Kassim - bass, Freda Hanum - keyboard, Rumini Ra’oef - drummer and Anna Law - guitar. What a reunion for the four of us after being apart for 47 years.  Well, I am gonna shoot back 45 over years ago and discover how we young ladies met in 1969 and formed this popular Singapore girl-band the Teepees. We got together through this agency Talent Promotion managed by Yem Ya'acob, Mr. Wong the finance manager, and a Korean Samuel Hong, the music instructor. Teepees got the name from the initials of Talent Promotion, T.P. and while searching through the dictionary all of us found the word Teepees, which means, American Native Indian conical tent. 
Even our first set of uniform, a design of native Indian styled pants and tops that were orange in color with brown bothers and stripes like the ones shown on our first EP cover, made us look like squaws.  All we needed then were colorful headbands and a feather each on our head. We were young and ambitious with no experience at all in the music line but managed to fulfill our dreams in the entertainment scene. We received intensive coaching and practice and within two months started our first experience working on stage nightly at the Shindig Club in Singapore. There side by side with us was the well-known Kingfisher band and later Kuala Lumpur's top guns, The Falcons performed together on the same platform. You realise how excited and proud these four young girls were to be able to perform professionally like the others popular bands.  We maintained strict discipline, reminded always by Mr. Yem our personal manager. We had to adhere to these rules at our working venues and at other performances. Meantime, Mr. Yem would arrange group advertisements, newspaper interviews and promoted us all the time.
After our first experience on stage, we went into recording and came up with our first Extended Play vinyl (EP) in 1969 titled RINDU and after a few months, our second in 1970, TEMANKU YO YO with Kamalia Latiff and Sunny Bala, from the well-known group The Moonglows, who was guiding and coaching the band.  We made appearances on Singapore TV on the popular local variety shows and also at the open-air National Theatre. With us on the same show was Anita Sarawak. She was one of the top stars then. We had regular contracts to play at many venues in Singapore, i.e. the Airport Lounge, President Neptune, Mandarin Palace, Top Tunes . The second time we went back to Shindig Club, we accompanied Veronica Young. Our big chance came when we performed and ventured into Malaysia. And the venues and appearances came like wildfire. There was the Great Eastern Cabaret at Campbell Road and at Fortuna Hotel Mayflower Nightclub at Jalan Chulan in  the Malaysian capital; in between we had a stage show, written in Anna's diary, on 24th Dec 1970 at Snowball a charity show in KL organised by the University of Malaya. And appearing also were the October Cherries and Grim Peaches.
Then to Penang for a month at Shanghai Restaurant Nightclub, where we also got to know the Alleycats, a famous recording group, and then down south to Malacca at the Iquana Club.  We got a short stint  at the Straits View Hotel in Johore Bahru, where we had Royston Sta Maria to play the bass for us while waiting for Rose' visa approval. We met quite a few foreign strip-teasers from Merchinta Night Club situated just behind Straits View Hotel. They were very friendly artistes.  The gigs came quick and slick.  About a year  later, when we came back to Singapore in 1972, we worked at the Multi Storey Nightclub, The Majestic Nightclub, Gay World Amusement Park and at the Grand Palace Theatre Nightclub, Katong and at Summit Hotel.  Due to an unfortunate incident, I had to leave in early 1973. 
Soon after, Anna had to leave the group in late 1973 when Rumini and Rose accepted a 4-year contract for a European tour, with the Teepees flag flying high,  they ventured to Europe from 1975 onwards.  But that, dear reader, is another story.
Images n Article are Copyrights Reserved and belong to the Teepees and Ms Freda Hanum.


Ms S. LENG said...

The articles in your blog bring back memories to those who spent their youths and adulthood in the 60s to 70s era and introduce to later generations the many popular bands and musicians of that time...

Thinking of Anita Sarawak, Matthew and The Mandarins, Sakura Teng and Rita Chao.


I visited your blog.
Teepees, my favourite group.


I've heard of them but don't recollect watching them either live or on TV.
A very interesting and well-written article.
Thanks you Freda for sharing your story.

Hafizah said...

A really interesting read to me.
I never had the chance to experience this era, much less know about the different rising bands of that time. Growing up, there was not a lot of female representations in this industry so it was very heartwarming to read the origins and story of an all girl-group. Thank you for sharing this Freda and Andy!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Hafizah for the honest comment.
Yes, it's true about non-female representations in local music.
Let's hope for a few very soon.
We could have S-Pop and non-copy-cat music.

These are very brave girls who took the plunge to play away from SG for some time.


I like the Teepees as well, talented individuals and they sounded great together as well; wish they could make a comeback.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to all the above who commented so early.
Let's hope for more chats for THE TEEPEES site.


I managed to get this FB post back. Whew! Hell! Anyway, here are THE TEEPEES. Let's have some support please, especially from the girls themselves and their friends. Cheers.

Andy Young
Thanks Charlie, this is the original FB that I've been using for some time. You have been an inspiration. :-)

Jimmy Appudurai-chua

Andy Young
Jimmy you know these ladies?

Andy Young
Kali Dass thanks for the thumbs up.

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Andy Young Facebook friends. Freda at least. Believe they have a cake shop in katong some where

Andy Young
Aha!!! Now that's somethin'. We should raid the shop for free coffee and kueh2.

Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Andy Young dont know about free coffee, but, i hear great cakes. Ask freda ha ha

Andy Young
Jimmy, Rose and Mark. Thanks for LIKE.

Hiroshi Deguchi
It's interesting to know how a friend of mine led a life at the same time I led on the other side of the world. I am sure she spent all her time and energy on what she belived it was worth, even though she didn't say much about. And also she did everything she could do to make her dream come true. I guess I tried to do the same but now it's history.


Yes I remember Mr Yem.
He was our manager.
Then later Samuel Hong took over teaching us music.

Samuel presented a pipe to my father.
Visited my father many times.
Trying to get me to play in Europe.
Unfortunately my parents didn't allow.


Koh Sui Pang
Hi,guys engage a private eye to locate their where about ho ho 🧐🧐

Andy Young
They are here in SG Sui Pang. All business people now. :-)

Koh Sui Pang
👌👌👌 tq Andy

Freda Hanum
Wow Andy, We the Teepees really feel so honoured and really can't thank you enough for putting our article up in your wonderful blog. If not for your encouragement, I would not be able to do it. Thanks again Andy, for introducing your amazing blog of the 50s, 60s,and the 70s for all your readers. Last but not least thanks so much everyone for liking and comments, catch us at Pek Kio showtime on the 7th of December organized by our very good old friend and brother Jerry Fernandez. Hahaha, if you hear mistakes please don't mind, just be happy and have fun. With much love from us, The Teepees❤️💕❤️

Andy Young
I am honoured too Freda to be able to meet The Four Teepees.
I hope I can still get a ticket for your show?
Any tickets left?


I am honoured too Freda to be able to meet The Four Teepees. I hope I can still get a ticket for your show? Any tickets left?

Freda Hanum
Sure Andy, hahaha I beg steal or borrow, I will get for you.��

Hiroshi Deguchi
For me, too.

Freda Hanum
Hiroshi Deguchi where are you ��

Koh Daisy
nice photo... innocent looking girls then... so fresh ��

Hiroshi Deguchi
I am here, much closer to Hiroshima than SG.

Hiroshi Deguchi
pls do contact me if whenever you are down in S'pore ya, have a beautiful weekend Hiroshi��☺️

Hiroshi Deguchi
I will and get in touch with me when you come to Shimonoseki. I'll wait for you at the gate of the Dragon's Palace here.

Freda Hanum
Hiroshi Deguchi Wow, domo arigato gozaimas! Hiroshi��

Freda Hanum
Koh Daisy Thanks so much Daisy, so kind of you��

Jalani Mohamed
Wow Andy Young.. memory lane

C.LIM said...

You are doing a wonderful job in your blog... bringing together like-minded people, especially those from the good old days!

Keep it up!

By the way... FIREBALL XL5 in my mind, that name seems to be related to you.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...




Thanks to Victor and Linda for sharing.

Michael Lee
Hi Freda, thanks for the interesting story. My humble opinion has always been -if you are really talented, you have it, otherwise you don't. Cheerio, you are four beautiful talented ladies.

Freda Hanum
Michael Lee Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, yes absolutely very much agreeable with you and really we the Teepees thanks again for your support. Have a safe and wonderful weekend Michael😊

Michael Lee
My daughter is carrying the music scene in the 21st century with her Kpop company - The Academy kpop -

Andy Young
I hope you all will visit Michael Lee's daughter's website. Thanks Michael for the encouraging words you always have for our local pop 60s artistes. Michael can strip and bare any guitar and put it back

Michael Lee
Thanks Andy for the compliment. I am no expert, just a crazy eccentric certified idiot who loves music to pieces. Cheerio have a nice weekend.

Stephen Han
Good information of the Teepees

Freda Hanum
Stephen Han Thank you so much Stephen, have a wonderful weekend😊

Freda Hanum
Thank you all you wonderful friends here and specially to Andy Young thanks so much again from all the members of Teepees. If not for you there won't be any Teepees story! God bless everyone.


This is indeed a very nice present from Andy Young for me and the Teepees during this Deepavali holiday season.

Hi family & friends do click and have a peek at my S'pore 70s girl-band Teepees story.

Thank you and love you all. Have a blessed Deepavali to all fb friends. 💖🎸🎼🎹🎵🎶🎤🥁

facebook chats said...

👀 Wa so stylo milo 🤗💕

Freda Hanum
Linda Tan I really always am amused by you Linda a big thank you❤️😘

Linda Tan
Freda Hanum I am amused by you too. You get to be so stylo at that time when I am only allow to go hOUse party but with curfew time 😛

No Linda we are under very strict observation from our manager, no outings at all for the first 2 years and he stick to us like a glue, no way we can have our own individual amusement, always must be together all the time, true!!!

Linda Tan
Wa this is worst than K-pop manager. Well you were k-pop stars at that time 😁😁


Freda Hanum
Thanks so much Ann Rowena Lim for your like, have a beautiful weekend holidays🌹😊 And Patrick too.

Safiah Junaidi
Nice Freda Hanum u plays the keyboard / piano? Must be great keyboard player yeah kool 👍👍🎼🎹🎹🎹🎹🎼🎼

Freda Hanum
Good morning wonderful friends here, have a beautiful, safe and blessed weekend, we Teepees loved the Likes and Loves

Andy Young
More than 200 viewers for this posting. Quick and fast. Cheers.

Freda Hanum
Thank you Andy, it's your wonderful blog. does it 🤗


What an Adventure TPs ! Love the writeup.
It's always nice to read up the stories of others in the 60s. Keep the articles flowing Andy.


John Cher
Zainal Abidin
Hiroshi Deguchi
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Ann Rowena Lim
Lata Latifah
Jashim Jashim
Sofiah N Safiah Junaidi
Karolina Napierała
Rturo Aquino
Jerry Fernandez
Richard N Ruth Cooke
Falcons M'sia
Jutta Ehrhardt Sinarajah
Sina Sinarajah
Adi Junaidi Musa
Linda Tan
Joyce Suraya Losorata Alberto
Bob Moo
Patrick Teng
Jenny Danker
Judy Pow
Rik Omar

List of Facebook friends on Freda Hanum's 'Teepees' connection who LIKE her post.