Oh Malaysia !

Oh Malaysia, one of the most sought after EP record among 60s local music lovers. The compilation included Oh Malaysia and Pulau Pinang by Anneke Gronloh, Singapura by Sandra and Sunrise In Malaysia by Boy and His Rollin' Kids. There is another EP with the same title, featuring Midnight In Malaya and Sunrise In Malaysia by Boy and his Rolin' Kids, Oh Malaysia by Anneke Gronloh and Singapura by Sandra. Both are collectors' gem from the past.

1 comment:

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

1963 was the year Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah combined to form the new Federation of Malaysia. I remember it being an exhilarating time for young school children in Singapore, as we all started to learn the new National Anthem and to think in terms of being Malaysians and not just Singaporeans. When it came to hammering the new national spirit and pride into the psyche of the younger generations. much more effective than governmental directives were records like this "Oh Malaysia" EP.

The early 60's was for sure my most beloved period of my life in Singapore. That's the Singapore I choose to remember today, my idyllic Singapore, my Garden of Eden, my island of paradise. Good times, good music. Unforgettable!

From the late 50's to before Beatlemania started shaking the world in 1963, the English pop music playing on Singapore radios was all generally very popsy and very lighthearted. Nothing serious like social injustice, or politics, or a public confession of your psychotic inclinations, laced with profanities. Back then, it was all essentially either sweet love songs or sad songs of heartbreak.

If my memory serves me right after all these years, I am 99.99% sure that the very first vinyl record I ever bought was not this Philips EP, but that other EP that Vernon Cheong mentions in his lead posting here.

The one with:
BOY & HIS ROLLIN' KIDS - "Midnight In Malaya"
ANNEKE GRONLOH - "Oh Malaysia"
BOY & HIS ROLLIN' KIDS - "Sunrise In Malaysia"
SANDRA - "Singapura"

Today, if I had to choose just one and only one recording that captures for me the very essence of Singapore in the early 60's, it would be "Midnight In Malaya."

This recording is like a time travel machine for me. Hear the guitar intro, and I flash back to 1962 instantly.

1962 was the calm before the storm, the year before John, Paul, George and Ringo turned the whole world upside down. We had Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Jim Reeves, The Blue Diamonds, on the radio. No Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no Quests yet.

In 1962, I was not even a teenager yet, but I was beginning to appreciate the good things in life. The first time I heard "Midnight In Malaya," I knew that this was a very special recording and that I must have it. It really touched my soul and brought out the goodness in me.

A year later someone gave us a radio console with good speakers, a good record player and some 78 rpm vinyls. I remember asking my mother for some money, and then I went to the record store and bought that "Midnight In Malaya" EP.

We were not rich back then, but I learned an important lesson from my mother when I started playing "Midnight In Malaya" at home any time I felt like it, and that I did not have to wait for Rediffusion anymore to hear this record. The lesson my mother taught me was, even if you know you are not rich, don't let your kids feel poor.

"Midnight In Malaya" will always be #1 in the Singapore 60's Pop Music charts for me.