Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The MELTONES as related by Ronald Ho

Original Meltones 1966: L to R: Ronald, David, Jimmy, Richard, Malcolm.
Meltones at house function 1968 and at SIA CLUB 2018.

For a band to get together again and 50 years later with the same boys is truly remarkable. This group has not changed members so when I asked Ronald if he could do a short write-up he agreed. Ronald sings as his famous brother Raymond (Crescendos) does. Thanks for taking time off  to write your 60's music adventure my friend.

My brother Raymond was original Crescendos. My siblings are all musically oriented, play guitars, sing but never went professional except for Raymond. My other brother Rennie back in the 70s also sang with some groups for many years but stopped after he started work with a Japanese company, Ataka. I, with Jimmy Appudurai, Richard Ang, David Lim and Malcolm Alphonso started the Meltones in 1963.

 We continued playing as a group till the 70s and performed at many gigs... Ocean Park Hotel, New Penangway, high teas, functions, and RAF Changi. We were part of the Push Push Show Tour back in 1966 or so with the Quests and performed at JB, Muar, Melaka, KL, Ipoh and Penang. But Meltones never played professionally or regularly. We each had our various careers. Except Jimmy who went on to play professionally.

 But in 2013, Meltones came back together again and started playing again at various functions. In 2015, we performed at the Esplanade Open Air theatre. In 2016, we performed at the Esplanade Recital Hall to 3 sell out shows, and again in 2017. And in 2018, we performed at the Esplanade main concert Hall. Jimmy flew in from England in all instances to perform with us.

 At our 2nd recital Hall show, I brought in the Crescendos,  as guest artistes. But just Raymond and John performed. Again, at the final main concert hall show in 2018, I brought in the Crescendos as guest artistes. 

In 2019, Meltones performed at Pek Kio Community Hall as invited by Jerry Fernández. And at National Library as part of Arts Festival. New Meltones is still alive but without Jimmy who is stuck in England.

 Our members are Richard Ang (lead guitar), David Lim (bass guitar), Kelly Tan (rhythm guitar and vocals), Hansen Beng (drums), and myself Ronald Ho (vocal singer and spokesman for the group). We play songs from the 60s and 70s and cover a huge span of music.

 Article and Images: Copyrights Reserved.
YouTube Video: Foo Jong Fook.
 Written by Ronald Ho. 

Jimmy Appudurai writes: 

This is so cool, I remember the pictures but not seen them for a while... brilliant... love playing with them, so much fun. Never ever talk about money. 

Even coming Singapore to play. They will use their payments for my airfare plus they provide me meals as well... amazing guys.  If the payments do not cover the airfare, in two cases both Ronald and Malcolm will subsidize the extra; they never want me to lose out. 

There is that loyalty thing ingrained in my classmates; they are so special. One of those bands that made no records and all totally around still today. They are all from the same class at St. Patrick's School in Katong. And they are Catholics except me. 

Thanks Andy for your wonderful blog xxxx. 


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Why wasn't Ronald with the Crescendos since his brother Raymond was with the group?

RONALD HO said...

Raymond is 4 years my senior. When he was 18 years old and started the Crescendoes with John and Leslie, I was 14 years old. And deep into studies. When he was 20 years old, they took in Susan Lim who was my age and cohort. Susan was Leslie's sister Judy's classmate and friend. She was 16 in Sec 3 when they heard her sing and decided she could be part of their show. In any case, we have 4 brothers. Raymond, Rennie, Ronald (myself) and Robin. We sing Everly Brothers, Blue Diamonds, etc as teens and still do now. When we get the chance.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Andy -🙋🏻‍♂️ greetings from the Meltones. Thanks a lot for including us in your blog which I'd say is very attractive n interesting.
Great job!👍🏻
God bless.🙏🏻
David Lim

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you David,
I have left the message as it stands since it came direct from Charlie Yap via SMS and WhatsApp for me.
Hope to meet up with you and the others one of these days.

RONALD HO said...

Thanks Andy.
I saw the post when David Lim posted on our classmates' chat group. David, Jimmy, Malcolm, Richard and I were term mates and classmates at St Patrick's School - I was there from Pri 1 (1955) till Sec 4 (1964) together with Richard Ang. David, Jimmy and Malcolm were at St Stephen's for their Primary education and joined St Pat's in 1961 (Sec 1). We all came out of Sec 4 (School Certificate) in 1964. We all escaped National Service, and in 1969 or so, we all went our separate ways career wise although we still played music together till the 70s. Sometimes, with Raymond and Rennie (my brothers), Peter Soh on the drums, Israel and Kelly Tan on guitars. Just having fun.

RONALD HO said...

My pleasure, Andy. It was a nice blog arrangement. As long as there are avenues to play, the Meltones will try to chip in. After all, the music of the 60s and 70s are evergreens. And many baby boomers, like ourselves, feel assimilated and full of memories when the music starts.


I was telling Ron the most unreal thing we did was carrying the big amps up and down the 35 or more steps to my house on the hill. Should have included that in the blog.I don't think any other groups went that far...

RONALD HO said...

You see, Andy, we always practiced at Richard's place as all of us lived in tiny places. Richard, on the other hand, lived on top of Sennett Hill (along Sennett Road, Siglap). His house was large and he had a badminton court. And there was space for amps, drum set, etc. The only thing is the car does not go up the hill. Have to walk up. So each time we have a gig, we had to haul at least 3 huge amps, drum set up and down the 35 steps to the house from the road below. It took lots of passion, strength and craziness to be doing this. But we did for 5-6 years.


Good afternoon, Andy.
Thank you once again for sharing these blogs. I read the one on Mr Jimmy Appudurai-Chua, and I find it inspiring. Despite all of the setbacks along the way, he always pulled himself straight up and soldiered on, and that is truly amazing. I've met him once or twice, and, despite being a famous musician, there wasn't any "airs" about him. I remembered the time I shared the stage together with him during a jam session (I played the drums) at The Music Room, and boy, was I a bundle of nerves back then! But, he was ever forgiving if I had made any mistakes. He has earned my respect thoroughly! 🙏🙏👍👍👏👏


How kind you are Steve.saying such Wonderful things it's people like you that makes the world such a great place to be in thank you xx


Andy, regarding songs.....the Meltones instrumental music repertoire comes close to 70 song titles which we have played in the past and can still play. As for vocal music, we cover like 20-30 artistes and perhaps 150-180 song titles. Like I had mentioned before to many people, the Meltones do not stick to songs from just 1-2 artistes.

We cover songs made popular by many artistes, and do not repeat songs. As an example, as I just happened to look at my notes, at the 2016 Esplanade Recital Hall, we covered like18 songs (some medleys) within 45 minutes with songs made popular by Shadows, Bill Haley & Comets, Bobby Vinton, Brian Hyland, Bobby Vee, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, Englebert Humperdinck.

We also sing songs made popular by Johnny Lion, Everly Brothers, Blue Diamonds, Beatles, Johnny Tillotson, Bobby Bare, the Cascades, Bobby Helms, Ray Peterson, the Drifters, Beach Boys, Glen Cambell, Bobby Vinton, Robin Luke, Roy Orbison, Marty Robbins, Del Shannon, Bobby Darin, the Jumping Jewels, etc.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

A comprehensive and expressively written article with detailed explanation of the MELTONES machinery.
Thanks to all who participated.