The Internet audience, who has surfed onto this site, may be wondering why the folks here are so passionate about what is referred here as Singapore 60's Pop Music. They may ask, what's so special about these pop songs from the 1960's? Well, friends, since you so kindly asked, let me see if I can give you a little explanation.
To us folks here who grew up in Singapore listening to these pop songs in the 1960's, this genre was the soundtrack of our generation. Most of us were teenagers then, and we lived and breathed this local music during a time in our lives when we, just like the rest of the world then, were being bombarded by the lifestyles and music of the Western world. We're talking Cliff Richard and The Shadows, The Beatles, the British Invasion, and also the many great American artistes. Our own local artistes brought something extra to our table. We could not help but be very proud of our own hometown heroes because they proved themselves totally capable of ruling the radio airwaves with the best of the Western world. The Crescendos, The Sundowners, The Quests, The Trailers, Naomi & The Boys, The Jets, The Cyclones, The Thunderbirds, and the list goes on and on.
Now, some friends from the Internet may say that our local singers and bands covered the Western hits a bit too much, that they were essentially copycats. That's not entirely true. Even though it may appear that way on the surface, the heart of the matter is that the Western world introduced to us teenagers a new medium of communication - pop music - and the local artistes quickly proved that they could speak the new language as well as the people who taught us the language. Besides, there were plenty of original made-in-Singapore compositions that became hits.
Along with much of the Far East, Singapore had also suffered horribly during World War II and the Japanese Occupation. After the war ended, and normal life had to be rebuilt, she saw her own post-war baby boom in the late 1940's and early 1950's. It was a very loud boom. And by the 1960's these baby boomers in Singapore were teenagers.The war had changed the world. It had become smaller, so to speak, what with newspapers, radio and television bringing us all together and opening our eyes. The first wave of Singapore baby boomers soaked in the Western influences as hungrily as a sponge absorbs water. The mass media taught us that we had the same rights as any other citizens of this world to claim our fair share of liberty and justice and prosperity for all. There was no stopping us now.
We baby boomers in Singapore in the 1960s also wanted what the teenagers in America and Europe wanted, a better life than what our parents had when they were young.Looking back, the world in the 1960's was ripe and ready to be conquered by Western artistes like Cliff Richard and The Beatles. Their pop music symbolized the new life, the good life, and we all wanted a part of it. We were young, our future was ahead of us, we didn't have to worry about paying the bills, that's for our parents to worry about.
Many new countries in the Far East, including Singapore and Malaysia, became newly-independent in the early 60's, another sure sign that the world was changing rapidly as we left the colonial days behind. We all wanted to break free of many of the old traditions that were holding us back in terms of enjoying life to the fullest. Each new country was striving to instill national pride among their own citizens, especially their young schoolchildren.Fast forward forty years to today. The folks who were teenagers in Singapore in the 1960's are now in their 50's and early 60's. So much has happened in all our individual lives the last four decades, so many memories.
Memories of people, memories of places, memories of events. Some of our loved ones have left us, some of our childhood friends we have not seen in years.One of the best things that can trigger good memories for us instantly is these pop songs from our childhood. That's why to us these are not just pop songs from forty years that come and go casually. Forget musicology. Forget music styles. These songs are truly the soundtrack of our lives.A big thank you to all our local heroes of Singapore 60's Pop Music. You guys were the absolute best, and you have our eternal gratitude and devotion.
To our new Internet friends, thank you for visiting. I hope I have shared in a small way with you why we are such long-time die-hard fans of Singapore 60's Pop Music. For us to deny this music now is to deny our own childhood, our own past, and we cannot do that. - Joe Wu, Seattle WA USA.
Posted by Vernon Cheong at 07:54