My Recollections Of The 60s

Looking back through the years, the 60s was probably one of the most exciting periods for the post-war babies. Some of the events that captured my imagination and left lasting impressions until this day helped shape my life and destiny to a certain extent.

The first pop song that rang in my ears during my early childhood around the late 50s was Fraulein by Bobby Helms. That was also when Rediffusion began to eclipse Radio Singapore as my favorite broadcasting station. At that time, Rediffusion was the rallying point for teenagers who were hungry for western music, culture and more. A very competent and popular group of DJs helped its cause, with the likes of Mike Ellery, Larry Lai, Eric Lim, Peggy Ross, Noreen Sales, among others.

Programs like Top Tunes Of The Week, PO Box 608, British Top 20s, Stars On Wings, and Rediffusion Discovery Show etc. kept most of us glued to the music box day and night. The talentime shows brought some of the best entertainment value, not only during the show proper but also during the audition stages. The potential contestants were required to showpiece their talents to a panel of judges before they could qualify for the competition. There was this guy who probably held a metal plate with a stick, waiting for the signal from the judges to “strike off” contestants in the midst of their performance with a loud “GONG!” I always wonder about the feelings of a 4-piece instrumental group that had spent weeks or months practising their song only to be struck off within a minute or less during their audition. Remember this funny bit?

There was another program entitled “Feuding And Fighting”, hosted by two of the most popular DJs from Rediffusion. Each week there would be a contest between two pop groups or artistes and fans would vote for their favorites, e.g. Beatles vs Rolling Stones, Cliff vs Elvis, and each of the DJ would lend support to one of the two contesting parties. During the program, there would also be some contests where listeners were invited to participate by naming the title or artiste of songs featured and prizes given out to winners were normally the latest LP albums. There was this occasion during an evening show when the DJ announced that the first listener who turned up at the Rediffusion studios at Clemenceau Avenue would receive a gift. Not surprisingly, the winner was someone who turned up in a pair of pajamas! There was also a 15-minute program when listeners were given a chance to be the DJ and got to select his/her own choice of songs. Those were really fun days, thanks to Rediffusion.

When I started my record collection, the first SP that I purchased from a shop along Middle Road was by The Fabulous Echoes of Hong Kong. The titles on that SP were Little Peanut Shell and Waray Waray. Ring a bell to anyone? Don’t think so because both were not hits at all! When the local groups came knocking at the door, Susan Lim & the Crescendos stood out prominently with hits like Mr. Twister, Waktu Fajar, The Boy Next Door, Besame Mucho, and the list went on and on. Don’t Play That Song by Keith Locke & The Quests was a major milestone in local music. The first time I heard the song, I thought it was by a foreign group! Another great vocal recording then was My Lonely Heart by The Thunderbirds. Of course, there were many other great recordings from the local scene, but I shall not attempt to name all of these for the simple reason that I may omit some inadvertently. They were all great tunes from a golden period, rich with local talents and strong support from fans.

Some of the songs that reminded us about the wonderful region we reside in included Singapura by Sandra, Oh Malaya by Anneke Gronloh, Midnight In Malaya & Sunrise In Malaysia by Boy & His Rollin’ Kids, Malaysia Wonderful by The Sundowners & The Tornados etc. Each time I hear any of these songs now, I would try and recall what I was doing during that period in time. A strong sense of nostalgia.

The Xperiments also stood out after my two-year interval from the local pop scene, serving National Service. They were the resident group at the Lost Horizon, Shangri-La Hotel at Orange Grove Road. My colleagues and I frequented the joint despite our meager monthly income of about $280. That’s when I was introduced to the “horns” or brass instruments, listening to songs like Vehicle by the Ides of March, We Got To Live Together by Buddy Miles, and some of the evergreen favorites like Let Me Try Again & Love’s Been Good To Me by Frank Sinatra, If I Could Reach You by Johnny Mathis, After The Lovin’ by Engelbert Humperdinck, among many others.

Besides live performances by local acts at the National Theatre and the Singapore Badminton Hall, there were also the more economical options, like the Musical Express Show at the Capitol and the Early Bird Show at the Odean cinemas. For an admission fee of only $2, you got to enjoy about 2 hours of live entertainment by some of our best local talents such as The Trailers, The Thunderbirds, The Quests, Sakura Teng, Rita Chao, Lara Tan, top comedians like Uncles Wang Sa & Ya Fung, Hamid Bond & Ah Leng, et al.

And there was Sungei Road where you could get second-hand items ranging from radios, magazines, watches, clothes, records etc, anything under the sun! Record stalls were in abundance, carrying local and foreign recording labels. The Mandarin pop culture was more dominant here, loudspeakers blaring out latest releases by The Stylers, The Travellers, Wang Ching Yuen, Lina Lim, Chang Seow Ying, Ling Seow, Suyin, Sakura Teng, Rita Chao, Lara Tan, Lam Leng and more. Among the goodies, there were also bootleg versions, selling at half the price or even less! I picked up several records by local groups and artistes from here, until this day. Time has moved on, but Sungei Road is still the same as it was during the 60s.

Well, these are just a few recollections of my 60's years which I hope would also rekindle your own favorite moments of those times. Do share them with us here. Cheers!

Best Regards,
Vernon Cheong


JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

Wow, Mr. Cheong, thank you for your stirring recollections of The Golden Era of Singapore Pop Music, the 1960's. I had actually forgotten many of the DJ's and the great memories of those good old days that you have evoked, so this blog is a fabulous stroll down memory lane for me.

Your blog has confirmed for me that The Golden Era of Singapore Pop Music was also The Golden Era of Rediffusion in Singapore. Looking back, I think that the emerging cable radio network was more able and willing to propagate and nurture the new local pop artistes far beyond what the established Radio Singapore would have been allowed to do. And the new local pop artistes thrived on the sweet attention that Rediffusion gave them.

"Top Tunes Of The Week" was surely the most anticipated radio program among our generation of schoolchildren. Every week we would gather around the little brown box speaker to find out which records made the Top 10. It was always especially exhilarating to follow the fame and fortunes of our local heroes as they competed so successfully for the #1 spot with not just the English and American artistes, but also among themselves. We were so proud of them. The Crescendos, The Quests, The Trailers, The Jets, Naomi and The Boys, The Thunderbirds, The Cyclones, The Checkmates, Wilson David, every one of them. The Golden Era of Singapore Pop Music, indeed.

And let's not forget the requests and dedications on Rediffusion. Yes, it was over 40 years ago, but how many of us guys can ever forget something like...?

"This next request is from Susie Q, the girl with the dimples and the long black hair, who would like to dedicate this next song to that cute boy who takes the same bus to school with her everyday. She's wondering when you're going to ask her out." Segues to "Please, Baby, Please" by Naomi and The Boys.

One more comment for this blog.

This particular "Oh Malaysia" EP that is shown here. I do believe that this was the very first record that I ever purchased, so this record marks a monumental milestone in my life. Unfortunately, I left all my vinyl records behind when I left Singapore, but this "Oh Malaysia" EP remains one of my most favorite records of all time. As far as I am concerned, "MIDNIGHT IN MALAYA" by Boy and His Rollin' Kids (released in 1962, and again in 1963) has got to be the definitive record of early 1960's Singapore and Malaysia Pop Music. Everytime I hear it today, I am instantly transported back to my beloved Singapore, and it's 1962 again. Thank you for the warm memories, Rediffusion.

Anonymous said...

May I include Joseph Goh, my favourite, into the list of DJs that made Rediffusion tick! There were also Roger Kool, Christopher King and our former Quests front-man Vernon Cornelius in the Rediffusion family.

The local artists during the 60s received much support from the broadcasting stations, especially the little brown box! Thanks to the DJs, their recordings were often given the same amount of air-time on the shows. Apart from the request programs like PO Box 608, most of the recording companies also have their own programs to introduce new releases. Of course, the Philips program was my favourite as it featured mostly local artists like The Crescendos, The Checkmates, The Jets, Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings, Mike & The Mysterians and many others.EMI has its own program to show-piece The Quests, The Blackjacks, D'Starlights, The Reynettes etc.

Thanks to TV Singapura we got to see some of these artists and groups in shows like Istana Pesta, Pop Inn Show, and even the Chinese Variety Show. The local artists also received good exposure on magazines like The Radio Weekly, Rediffusion Times, Fanfare and some of the local newspapers. Record shops would not shy away from displaying the latest local recordings on their shelves along with the established stars like Beatles, Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley.

Even the small segment of Malay program on Rediffusion, think its between 12noon to 2pm often featured The Quests with their Malay EP recording. The Quests were also featured on the Chinese programs, thanks to their link-up with Rita & Sakura.

With such overwhelming support from various sources, its not surprising that the local music scene during the 60s was very vibrant.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our good old days of the past on this Blog, Sir.

Warm Regards,
Gloria Peh

Anonymous said...

Look who's back ? Glad to see you posting again Vern. Great recollections from the past. Right, the 1st time we did something during our childhood days will always be embedded in our minds.

My 1st record was by Helen Shapiro - "Walkin' Back To Happiness", and reading your blog sure brings me back to the wonderful lyrics of that song. There was another song that tickles me alot then, by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren - "Goodness Gracious Me!" It was a big hit at that time. Have you hear of this song before? Very humorous lyrics and conversation between the two super stars. Guess that was the early days' "rap" ! In fact, I think rap was started by Cantonese opera singers, they talk alot with the lyrics of their songs ! Agree?

Rediffusion...well, the amount of money I spent buying postcards for song requests made me live slightly above the poverty line today! It's true , Vern, all my school pocket money went supporting The Quests to make sure that they remain in the No. 1 spot on the top tunes chart from Don't Play That Song to Da Doo Ron Ron....

best regards,
rachael ann-tan

Anonymous said...

Hey Rach, tell us what else tickles you besides Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren? That's a very revealing confession, lady !

Anyway, you never fail to surprise or even shock me with your posts since RTQ days. Glad that you showed up again after such a long absence!

In the 60s, one of the greatest American hero on the silver screen was the great John Wayne, riding in from the horizon with his posse of men and beating the daylights out of the poor Red Indians. Remember we used to cheer them on and even applause in the cinema? That's when I begin to take to a liking for Country & Western music as well. Great hits like The Alamo, El Paso, Jim Bridges, Big Iron......always cheer me up with a beer whenever the gloom sets in occasionally.

Back then, most of the local bands would like to imitate The Shadows and some of the more enthusiastic ones would even take on to Hank Marvin or Reggie Verghese as their guitar icon. The Quests themselves were very much aligned to The Shads during their early days. British music seems to have a bigger influence on us than the Americans, probably because of our colonial background.

Rediffusion was popular because the masses could afford it at $5.00 rental fee per month and there was no charge for electricity consumption. Credit must also go to the team of fabulous DJs behind the station. It was one of the most common means of affordable entertainment. I guess one of the main reasons for the decline in support for local talents today is the absence of an alternate channel to Rediffusion. That's my humble opinion, of course.

Have a great weekend. Cheers.

Jet Jon

Anonymous said...

Hi Vernon,

The record sleeve on display in this post...I thought the original title of Anneke Gronloh's song was "Oh Malaya"? How did it ended up as "Oh Malaysia"? When did you purchase this EP? Maybe the lady recorded a revised version of the song and changed it to Malaysia instead of Malaya. Personally, I think Malaya is more authentic in this instance. Just a curious observer.

Glad to see the old gang "in dialogue" or more like nibbling at each other yet again ? Oh Boy ! The ladies never change.

Take care, pal.
Rahim (remember me?)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned the Xperiments. They were one of top acts during the early 70s. The group had some periods at the then Imperial Hotel and Maxim Nightclub at Penang Road.

One of Joe Chandran's famous quotes those days at the Lost Horizon was "The more you drink, the better we sound.." He can even transform the lyrics of Johnny Mathis' "Maria" to 'Fatimah"! The band used to have a very versatile Filipino trumpeter, quite a small bit guy but his lung-power on the trumpet was beyond one's imagination for a local group.

Thanks for reminding us of this great group.


Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I recall during my primary school days when I was in the school choir singing this nursery
rhyme.. "Hail , hail the gang's all here, we're gonna have a party time !" Looks like the gang is back here after going into hibernation for several months following the closure of the RTQ site. Welcome back, Rach, Jet, Rahim, Jenn....good to hear from all of you again. Maybe more to come from the other former RTQ members.

May I comment that the Xperiments were not the only group that provides "blowing"(pardon the term!)music then. Anyone recalls Tony Castello, another great musician ? Other groups in this category of music included Rahimah Rahim & The Adaptors at the Kasbah, Mandarin Hotel, The Flybaits, Log, Stock & Barrel (hope I got the name right?), The Starlights and I am sure there were others I'm not aware of. All were good musicians.

The Xperiments were probably better extablished among the lot, having even released a couple of LPs and some compositions of their owm like Living In The Past, Waiting, Geraldine, Hot Pants, Time To Get It Together ? Yep, Lost Horizon was their strong post. Had to queue and push our way in during weekends and eve of public holis like Christmas, New Year.

My favourite song from Joe then was "Wildflower", the lyrics were very touching, tells about how a young lady facing hard times, fought back the tears, paying a debt she never owes, and sleep was the only freedown she knows. A great composition to remind ourselves how fortunate most of us are in life.I recommend this song to those who thinks they are in the damps in life...look at the brighter side..many are far worse off ! Enough of my philosophy of life, feels like a preacher for a moment ! I think the original singer of this wonderful ballad was Johnny Mathis. Check it out.

Thanks for this blog, its an interesting subject for all those value the 60s' Diamond years.

Ta !

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

That's a real sob-story, Wildflower? Yep, it was one of Joe's frequently sang song at the Horizon. Looks like most of us at some time or other were there during our havoc days !!! Perhaps bumping into each other on the dance floor during the weekends when its full house. I presume you must have made several requests for this song from the band then?

Hi Jet, don't be naughty..remember the last time you were naughty ?? hehe..

Hello Joe Wu - you are always leading the pack ! Brothers-in-arms with Vernon as usual. Keep the good vibes flowing pal. Take care. Warmest regards.

rachael ann-tan

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

Dear Rachael Ann,

Thank you for the nice shout-out.

My recollections of Singapore 60's only go up to July, 1968. When I left Singapore, I also left all my precious vinyl records behind. From 1968 to 2003, a period of 35 years, I did not physically hear any Singapore 60's Pop Music. Yet there were some Singapore records that always played loudly on the virtual jukebox in my head. They kept me company and comforted me whenever I was homesick. They always made me remember my happy childhood days in Singapore, so I never stopped spinning the records. Here are some of my top memory makers.

"OH MALAYSIA" - Anneke Gronloh, and "SINGAPURA" – Sandra (1963)
This Philips EP was the very first record I ever bought, and still one of my most favorite records of all time. I remember playing this EP over and over. Loudly, to show off to all the neighbors, of course. Those Southeast Asian gamelan drumbeats in "MIDNIGHT IN MALAYA" still remind me today of Singapore in the early 60's everytime.

"BENGAWAN SOLO" - The Sundowners (1963)
The power of Rediffusion. My primary school, the Boys Brigade, Katong Beach, Marine Parade, the Botanical Gardens, Clifford Pier, the Padang, curry puff and curry chicken with rice.
"Wherever she may go, she may be all alone,
I'll be waiting by the shore to take her home forevermore."

"MR TWISTER" - The Crescendos (1963)
Listening to this song now always make me recall watching Susan Lim (with her beehive hairstyle) and The Crescendos on black and white TV Singapura. Nice choreography to go with the beginning "1, 2..., 1, 2, 3." Susan Lim was the first Singapore Idol.

"MALAYSIA WONDERFUL" - The Sundowners w/ The Tornados (1963)
Brings back those exciting new days of the new country Malaysia. So much political drama. Lee Kuan Yew, PAP, Tungku Abdul Rahman and Negaru Ku. A new national pride in the face of Confrontation with Indonesia, which our elders who had survived World War II in China and the Japanese Occupation feared was the beginning of another all-out war.

"WAKTU FAJAR" - The Crescendos (1964)
Who can ever forget this haunting Malay song by our beloved Susan Lim? During my 35 years of wandering in the wilderness, I could not remember all the Malay lyrics, but I could never forget Susan's voice and face. My most favorite Crescendos song even now.

"SHANTY" - The Quests (1964)
I also initially thought this record was The Shadows. Very impressed when I found out that this was a local instrumental group. Alas, 1964 also witnessed the awful race riots in Singapore. Paranoia and fear everywhere. Chinese and Malay neighbors looking at one another in a funny way. The Quests' follow-up "TEA BREAK" (1965) was another chart-topper, but my childhood had lost its innocence because of those race riots.

"DON'T PLAY THAT SONG (YOU LIED)" - Keith Locke and The Quests (1965)
First time I heard this record, I was so sure that this was a group from America or England. Still faintly remember watching the Keith Locke television special when he sang this song in a billowing cloud of cigarette smoke. I must admit, though, that at that time I was more into "BE MY GIRL" because I loved to sing the yeah-yeah's with The Quests.

"THE SOUND OF MUSIC" - The Quests (1965)
The very first Quests record that I ever purchased. Good guitar rendition.

Another one of my most favorite EP's. This song still brings back great memories of my days at St. Joseph's Institution, the strict teachers, our all-white uniforms, the girls from CHIJ and St. Anthony's, Beatlemania, my best friend at that time, Vincent Ng.

"IT'S ALL OVER" - Naomi and The Boys (1965)
My very first Naomi and The Boys record. I fell in love with Naomi Suriya, and I had to have that photo of her on that record cover.

"HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY" - Naomi And The Boys (1965)
I loved this EP also because of "PLEASE, BABY, PLEASE." I had such a huge crush on Naomi. My first gal.

"MY LONELY HEART" - The Thunderbirds (1966)
Surely one of the most significant made-in-Singapore records ever. I can still visualize The Thunderbirds performing this song on black and white television just like it was last week.

"BE FAITHFUL, BE TRUE" - The Trailers (1967)
This record always makes me recall watching The Trailers performing this instrumental on television, with Benny Koh playing the drums! The Trailers, with all their Westernized Chinese tunes such as "THE PHOENIX THEME" and "ALI SAN," always make me think of Chinese New Year in Singapore in the 60's, the family dinners and visits, the red packets, the red fire crackers, the smell of the blackpowder, school holidays.

"MUSTAPHA" - The Quests (1967)
The Quests record that rocked the jukebox in my head for all those 35 years. I remembered practically every guitar lick, every guitar riff, every chord, the bridge, the coda, and this was the very first Quests track I wanted to play when I finally got my chance in 2003, thanks to Henry Chua who sent me "The Quests - EP Collection And More" CD.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very interesting walk down memory lane. Looking at all the record sleeves and photos from the 60s here is like flipping through the pages of a history book of my childhood days. You guys are incredible, collacting so much treasures from the past. Right, we were part of a proud generation that make the 60s remain relevant until the present days. Regards.

Jeffrey Goh

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cheong

Someone should document the Singapore / Malaysia / Hong Kong music scene of the mid '50s till mid '60s. Back then, prior to industrialization, we had a very lively local music "industry".

In the '50s and '60s, the British Bases provided the demand for "live" music in the nightclubs and "tea dances". Local artistes could make a living off their talents. Also many groups and artistes wrote music and recorded them.

We should have a repository for our future generation. The '50 and '60s were to me the most memorable years as I grew up from a carefree teen to a responsible adult contributing to the growth of our nation. It would be very sad if we do not have at least a "oral history" of that era as otherwise that part of us will evaporate as many of the artistes and those connected to the recording industry are getting on in years and some have even passed on - as an example, Sonny Bala of Sonny Bala and the Moonglows.

Sonny Bala to me epitomized Singapore R&B / Blues / Pop music of the mid '50s. Thereafter we had a slew of great names - Susan Lim and the Cresendos, Naomi and the Boys, The Thunderbirds, Quests, etc. They wrote and recorded good originals and even re-recorded better versions others.

There have been some books written but we really need to document this period. Any suggestions?

I just visited www.last.fm.com.I think we can set up a site like that and let our music live on forever.

Richard Lu

Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your posting. Yes, the 60s were special years to many of us who supported local music. Most of us have our own local heros then, be it Heather & The Thunderbirds, Sonny Bala & The Moonglows, Susan Lim & The Crescendos, Naomi & The Boys, etc.

It would be great if the music and history of that period could be documented and preserved. In some ways, this has been done, although not as a collective effort. As you have rightly mentioned, there are already some books published about that period, e.g. Legends of the Golden Venus. Hopefully, there will be more of such publications in the future. Some of the local artistes' recordings from the 60s has also been released on CDs by recording companies, e.g. Treasures From The Past by Universal Music, Recollections from Singapore 60s by EMI Singapore etc.

We can only hope that more will be done by fans of the 60s to keep the legends alive through the years to come. Regards.

vernon cheong

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

I read with interests recent postings on documenting and preserving the music and history of 60s local groups and artists.

While there is definately sufficient interests on this subject, the same cannot be said about support. History has shown that while many fans yearned to have access and ownership of 60s music and literature, only a handful are ready to pay for it. The simple fact that recording companies and publishing firms are hesitant from investing on these projects speaks for the sad state of affairs. The limited number of CD releases of local recordings from that period is a true reflection of the poor support (sales in this case) for the CDs. Given that the decision makers of the companies were not even borned during the 60s, how can we expect them to be convinced and take risks on money losing investments involving local talents.

Even concerts by local groups like The Quests were not well supported. Anyone remember that a proposed Quests reunion concert in the mid 90s was cancelled probably due to below target ticket sales? Only free concerts are well supported here. Its a sad situation but that's the real world here. However, in places like Hong Kong, the support for oldies is still very strong. Concerts by groups and artistes from the 60s still enjoy capacity house support from fans. Some of these concerts even made it all they way to Singapore and Malaysia successfully.

Until such time when local fans have a mindset change on our own home-made talent from the 60s, we will have to saviour whatever are made availabe to us by ardent and die-hard fans like Joe Pereira, Joe Wu and Vernon Cheong. But don't expect too much from them because these people probably have other priorites in their life. Its only a hobby to them, I believe.

Thank you. Regards.

Rachael Ann-Tan

Anonymous said...

Hey fellows, thanks for mentioning Rediffusion! Its one of the best thing that happened during the 60s
It was one of the major force for "family bonding" then, espeically during the dialect story telling programs hosted by Mr. Ler Tai Sor (Cantonese stories) and Mr. Ong Toh (Hokkien stories). I remember my whole family glued to the box listening to the daily 30mins episodes. Most of these were Kung Fu stories. There was also the weekly Ghost stories around midnight where my borthers and sisters will huddle together in bed listening, most of the times closing our ears ! It was fun those days, simple form of entertaining for all walks of life. The worst program on the English network (Silver & Gold networks, remember?) was a program called "Consider Your Verdict", some kind of a court session....boring, boring, boring...should replace it with another request show !

My favourite 60s group then was Mike and The Mysterians. Sadly, they recorded only one single play. I am still keeping that record today for sentimental reasons.

Thks for this interesting blog, Mr. Cheong.

Jenny Chan

Anonymous said...

Midnight In Malaya was the No. 1 instrumental in this region during the 60s. Boy & His Rollin' Kids were there long before the likes of The Crescendos, The Quests, The Trailers and many others hitting the local scene.

If ever there is going to be a Hall of Fame for the best local tune, nothing comes close to Midnight. Unlike some of the local compositions which has strong westernized influence, Midnight comes with a very high flavour of local content. You can image the breeze blowing all the trees in a coconut plantation, strolling along the local beaches when the tune comes along. It was simply The Best ! Your copy of this record is a real collector's item.

Rollin' Kid

Anonymous said...

I am looking for info on this song.
Susan I'm losing my mind over you
Susan I love you and I'll always will............

I remember it was on the radio in Singapore in late 1961 or 1962, so definitely NOT The Buckinghams(1967).

As I recall it was fairly schmaltzy and in retrospect the melody was probably ripped off from Vilja's Song in The Merry Widow.

Despite a lot of Googling, I have failed to find anything on the net so I suspect the name may be different. I have even been through weekly Top 40 lists from 1961 to 1963.

I thought it was called "Susan I'm Losing My Mind Over You", but maybe that was just the refrain.

If you have any further clues perhaps we can track this down. Any help would be appreciated .. Thank you ... Contact me... LOADSAMUSIC at AOL.COM ...

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody. All I can say at that is juncture is that something is in the works. A second book on Singapore sixties. This covers the entire decade. The English music, Chinese music, Malay music and some Indian music. There is a publisher and now the story has to be wrapped up. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful news. I hope there will be photos besides the history of the groups and artists. Any more information about when will the book be available and who is the author? Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Hi Vernon!

I remember during the 60s when I enjoyed listening & singing along songs like "Ten Guitars", Have I Told You Lately, Ginny Comes Lately, Ben, and songs from Karen Carpentar, Anne Murray, Skeeter Davis, Tammy Wynette, mostly Country & Western singers.

My favourite song is "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette. One of my sister was a singer who performed at the "Multi Storey Carpark at Shenton Way years ago. She stopped singing after her marriage and she did sang together with Sakura and Rita Chao during her time. She even had a picture taken with both of them.

My daughter sings very well too. We were approached by some church members to join their choir at Our Lady of Nativity Church, next to Monfort School. Due to my other commitments, I left the choir later but still sings occasionally. My daughter carried on choring and was approached by Peter Chua, the Talentime Winner of the 70s to join his band. The band performs only for church events like feast day etc...and they call themselves The Music Ministry Group. They perform for all churches who calls upon them. I did followed them on a few occasions when I was free to listen my daughter's singing. Both of us did sang a duet together once.... "Have I Told You Lately".

Do you know what surprised me during one of my daughter's group performance? During the church's Anniversary's Dinner where they were performing, she dedicated "Stand By Your Man" to me. I am so touched then with tears rolling down from my face during the song.

Well, that's my small contribution from the past for this blog. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Thanks for your comments and the comments of others.
I have many memories of the Far East during my service time in the 1960's, i purchased many 45's and 33's up there of many different colours and contents, a lot covers by local artists.(Eurena's Country)
One which has been lost over the years due to family break-up is a song by a male, i think it was called Susan.
I remember many of the words:

Susan I’m losing my mind over you,
Susan I love you why can’t you be true,
Some day we’ll marry but until we do,
Susan I’m losing my mind over you.

Everytime that we’re apart,
It almost btraks my heart,
My loving baby there’s no doubt,

I’ve tried to keep you satisfied,

That’s what I’m worried about,

Susan you like to look around I can see,
Deep down inside you I know you love me,
Some day we’ll marry but until we do,
Susan I’m losing my mind over you.

The tune of the son was from a lagtter section of Vilja, the Merry Widow song and has haunted me for years...anynme have any ideas where i could obtain a copy or at least the full lyrics for my slowly failing memory.
Thanks again for our times of 'back when'
Glen Tibbitts, Wollongong NSW Australia

Guy Fangeat said...

re: search for artist of this song " Susan I’m losing my mind over you,
Susan I love you why can’t you be true,"

I too am looking for the artist & song name of this song. Would really appreciate your help.

Yours truly,

Guy in Victoria, BC

Vernon Cheong said...

I do have a version of "Susan" sang by Tobin Matthews. Its from an oldies CD compilation which I purchased from Malaysia some years ago.