100 Greatest Singapore 60s - The Definitive Collection

The onset of the Sixties saw Singapore well poised to ride the waves of international pop trends. It had been a scant six years since the first wave of Rock and Roll hit our shores. To the elders it had seemed like the end of civilisation as they knew it. This was youth culture. At once mysterious and alluring. The elders had no part it. The music was for the most part unintelligible but it conveyed its message to the young. Soon a few of the brave were venturing forth creating what they heard on records. Singers, duos and trios abounded. Only a few bands such as The Stompers and Esquires formed before the Sixties loomed.

It was a Cliff Richard and The Shadows concert in Singapore held in November 1961 that opened the floodgates. Suddenly light bulbs popped in more than a few budding Singaporean musicians. The blueprint for a band. Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Fronted by a singer. Suddenly bands were forming all over the island and clamoring for gigs wherever they could get it. The entrepreneurs, owners of restaurants and night clubs sensed an economic opportunity. If they could offer venues for the bands to play in that would bring in the punters. They were not slow to follow it through. Venues mushroomed round the island and then tea dances were held over the weekends. To be young in the Sixties was to be spoiled for choice. Shows almost every night and bands and singers by the dozens.

It would not be long before the recording companies would come sniffing. They were skeptical initially. Yes there is a lot of excitement but would it sell. Into the fray entered Philips. They signed Ruby Wah and released an EP which contained Jazz and mainstream oriented material. Respectable sales but no real indicator. Then they decided to take a chance on a vocal quartet fronted by the irrepressible Susan Lim. This was the Crescendos. Their first two releases sold upwards of 25,000 units and hit number one in both Singapore and Malaysia. At that time, Malaysia and Singapore was considered one market and it was not uncommon for a single to be released simultaneously in Singapore and Malaysia and followed by a long haul tour the length and breadth of Malaysia.

Suddenly the gates were swung wide open. Philips decided to go whole hog. Their talent scouts checked out venues and shows all over the island beginning 1964. There was a joke then that the depth of talent in Singapore was so deep that semi finalists of the Radio and Television talentime of that year were being signed. The artistes that you hear on this collection shows that diversity. Philips signed a wider range of talent than other labels. They were not afraid to take a chance on bands playing Rhythm and Blues such as The Cyclones, Bryan Neale, those playing the new fangled Soul such as Denni Wilson and The Commancheros and even emerging psychedelic which peeps out via Clansmen and Stevie Lorraine.

However pop still ruled the roost and artistes such as Naomi and The Boys, Shirley Nair and The Silver Strings, The Thunderbirds, Wilson David, Sonny Bala and The Moonglows, The Dukes with their various singers, Henry Suriya, Veronica Young and Heather provided plenty of releases in that direction. The releases became a flood in 1965 and fans were delirious knowing that each week would bring new releases from Philips. They did not disappoint and soon enough by 1966 had the largest roster of artistes in Singapore. They also entered the Malay and Mandarin market when they realised that Pop Yeh Yeh and Mandarin Pops had their own following.

For a four year period from 1965 to 1968 Philips had a major presence in the Singapore music scene and made names like Naomi Suriya, Shirley Nair, Heather, Thunderbirds, Cyclones, Alan Lyford household names not only in Singapore but also in Malaysia and even in Brunei where some of these acts did shows. This five cd box set of Philips Sixties depicts a time in Singapore's pop music history when the universal fever for pop also reverberated here and the breadth of styles and music played here reflects that diversity. Perhaps a feat never to be repeated.

By Joseph.C.Pereira, Author of "The Legends of the Golden Venus' book


JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

This box set IS the "History of Philips Singapore." Absolutely!! I cherish many of the old songs in this retrospective 5-disc compilation because of the memories triggered, and I salute and thank Joseph Pereira and Universal Music from the very bottom of my heart for making this dream become a reality for sentimental fans like me. This box set is a most worthy addition to our music collection.

We all owe Joseph Pereira such a big debt for his perseverance in keeping this CD project alive since "Treasures From The Past" was released in 2002. I don't believe this new 5-disc compilation would be released in its present glory today if not for Joseph's strength and courage in the face of intense discouragement and pessimism that came his way. I am very proud of my friend for rising above all those obstacles.

Today is a very good day for celebration because of this marvelous box set, yet we know you are not done making your magic, Goldenvenus, Guru of Singapore 60's Pop Music. Thank you again, Joseph Pereira.

Best regards,
Joe Wu

Anonymous said...

Great job, Joe ! Thanks for making this a reality. Have not listened to all the tracks yet. A quick glance of the track listing gives the impression that these were the "who was who" in the local music world during the 60s' time. I do have problems reading the track lists as the prints are too small. Don't forgot we are fans of the 60s, most of us aged between 50 to 60 over years old and at this age our eye sight is failing. The producers could have considered this point during the prints.

Thank you.

Rob Lee

Vernon Cheong said...

During one of our coffee chat sessions at our regular Kopitiam in Simei, Joe Pereira, the Guru of 60s local music, once told me that we should form a "Society for the Appreciation of 60s Music". Members would comprise of like-minded local music lovers who would normally spend their weekends sourcing for old vinyls of The Crescendos, The Thunderbirds, Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings, Naomi & The Boys, The Clansmen, Cells Unlimited, and others. These are just a sampling of activities among fans like Joe, myself and others in trying to revive the local music scene. We can spend the whole afternoon talking about the good old 60s' days or covering the streets of Chinatown and Sungei Road for oldies.

Many people ask what kept us going and believing in our brand of music after all these years? Well, I guess it's a strong sense of belonging during our growing up years. We were proud of our local talents with whom we can still relate despite our transition from teens to adults and now even elders. All of us have a burning desire deep within us to document and publicize the type of music for the younger generations to appreciate, our simple means of entertainment, performed by our own kind for the local audience like us.

The quest to seek recognition for our childhood heroes was a long and sometimes frustrating experience for many of us. Most recording companies shut their doors on local products from the 60s. Only a handful was successful in getting limited releases on CDs over the last decade. These included Universal's release of Treasures From The Past, EMI's Recollecting The Quests and Singapore 60s series. While EMI Singapore takes pride in having groups like The Quests, The Western Band, The Xperiment etc in their hall of fame, Universal Music can also walk tall in having the likes of The Crescendos, The Thunderbirds, Naomi & The Boys and others, who ruled the airwaves of the 60s with much ease with the support of fans.

In 2006, when Universal Music in Hong Kong released a box-set of 4 CDs containing 72 tracks from various local artistes and groups like Teddy Robin & The Playboys, Joe Junior & The Side Effects , The Fabulous Echoes, The Mystics, there was a glimmer of hope among us that the music we believe in may soon be heard all over again in some of our humble homes, just like our contemporaries in Hong Kong. We pushed on, and now, 3 years later, Universal has decided to reward us with a box-set of 5 CDs, featuring the majority of local artistes and groups from the 60s.

Thanks to the hard work of Joe Pereira, fans of the 60s can now sit back and reminisce the good times along with Susan Lim & The Crescendos, Heather & The Thunderbirds, Veronica Young & the Moonglows, Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings, Bobby Lambert & The Dukes, Katherine & The Firebyrds, Mike & Herb, The Cyclones, The Jets, Wilson David, Brian Neale & The Checkmates, and the list goes on and on......a total of 100 songs from those were the days era.

The waiting is over, friends. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire this limited edition box set of local music from the 60s. Pick up your copy before stock runs out. Happy hunting and listening. Cheers.

Best Regards,
vernon cheong

Anonymous said...

Hi Vernon,

Interesting posts from you and the "Guru" of 60s music, Joe Pereira. Can you provide the track listing of the 5 CDs ? I am still looking out for my copy of this great box set. Based on what I have read from the Today's newspaper, it seems to be a fairly comprehensive compilation of Philips recording artists from the 60s. As expected, there will be some disappointments among fans if their favs are not included in the set. I noticed that The Cyclones are given good coverage here, even featured on the front cover. Shouldn't The Checkmates be featured as well since they are the backing group for the duet and they also have their own EP release ? Maybe Joe can advise on this ? That's my observation at the moment. Otherwise, its a great leap forward for local music. Thanks for making this possible, Joe.

Vernon - great enhancements on yout Blog, especially the audio features. Presume these are your favourite songs ? Mmmmmmm....some tracks are missing....but I am not surprised Ta!


May 22, 2009 9:01 PM

Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Izlynn,

As much as I would like to publish the track listing here, I would prefer that you read it from the box set. I'm sure you're going to pick up your set or sets over tis weekend, right ? As mentioned by Rob, its a real challenge for senior citizens like us to decipher the text due to its smaller than usual print. Otherwise, its a great compilation.

As for the recent enhancements introduced on this Blog, credit should go to my brother-in-spirit, Joe Wu in Seattle. Thanks again bro Joe ! Ta, Ta, Izlynn.

best regards,
vernon cheong

nadorozny2001 said...

how does one get a copy of this boxset? i'm in the usa

DJ Carlito said...

Hello Vernon! thanks for the info! Im a radio Dj here in the US and thanks to Mr Pereira, i still might actually be able to get a copy of this to play on the air here! Its too bad that they arent distributing this here because i know LOTS of people who would want to buy it! This is such an incredible miracle and I agree with the others here, we are truly lucky to have Mr Pereira championing the cause for all of us fans of Singapore 60s Pop!

I posted some info from your blog here on my page - maybe the demand for this will be so great here in the USA that Philips will do a second international run? :) we can only hope so!!


Anonymous said...

This is the greatest thing that ever happen in the local pop scene for us since the emergence of The Crescendos in the early 60s ! Overall, the tracks selection offers a good representation of the music industry of those days. However, I note that The Checkmates' only instrumental EP was not included in the set. They were among the pioneers of Philips. We missed out their original instrumentals like 45 RPM, Galaxy, Lady In White and Sylvia. Joe must have been so excited during his selection process that he omitted it although their recordings with Brian Neale and The Cyclones were there. Personally, the best tracks here are Susan Lim (Sue's EP), Rose Iwanaga & The Avengers, Veronica Young (was it the Silver Strings with her?), Katherine & The Firebyrds, The Clansmen and Cells Unlimted. Yes, local pop music of the 60s was more than those under the wings of EMI. Thanks to Universal Music and Joe Pereira for such a fabulous box-set. As Joe mentioned in his message...." Its probably a feat never to be repeated" by any other recording company here. Regards to all 60s fans.

Jenn Seetoh.

Anonymous said...

I will answer the latest letter and work backwards. For Checkmates we already had them on twelve tracks as the backing band so we had to leave the instrumental ep for a future edition. It was not meant to slight them. There was a lot of deliberation over who to include and what to leave out. It was no easy decision. But I think on the balance it has worked well. I think cd five should be of interest to those who wondered what some of the experimental bands were doing. We tried to cater to as wide a segment as possible.



Anonymous said...

Dear Izlynn,

Like I said there was no intention to slight any artiste. We had to work within certain parameters and ensure that as many artistes got exposure. That said one limitation was the source material we worked with. Thanks to the generosity of a few fans and experts we were able to get these 100 recordings. We still have in reserve many recordings that were not used. So start fantasising about a second box set.



Anonymous said...

Dear Rob,

When doing design, graphics work with industry norm. Most times they use a size 12 font. Size 16 fonts which we are thinking about are a rarity. I do agree that size 9 fonts or below could be hard on the eyes. I have a friend, the venerable Dr Tan who carries a magnifying glass in his bag every day. This is to examine detail.

Wise move that. I use one myself.



Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

One more thing I have to add. Nothing was done in isolation. A small group of us met often to discuss Singapore Sixties pop when no else around, or so it seemed, were doing so. That helped sustain interest. I have to say a big thank you to them for all the help and moral support they have rendered.



Anonymous said...

This Box-Set of 100 tracks of local music from the 60s is the Mother of all Releases. This is a master stroke from the Guru himself.

When Treasures From The Past was released a few years ago, we were very optimistic that more CDs would be released from the series, Volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on. Never in my wildest dreams would I envisage that there would be a box-set of 100 tracks ! Frankly, I'm speechless when I first read about the good news on Today's newsclip last week.

This box-set has beaten previous releases by others in terms of both quality and quantity. The Recollecting series were good but not good enough, pale in comparison to the Golden 100 ! As an example, My Lonely Heart by The Thunderbirds matches any of the best local tracks others have produced in the past and the sheer volume of choice artistes and groups from Philip's stable of talents simply overwhelmed their closest competitor.

This is an excellent product but there is still room for improvement. It could have been the dream box-set of the century if Universal had added a 6th CD comprising groups and artistes from the region. I'm sure no one would complain if they had extended the talent scoop to include superstars of the 60s like Anneke Gronloh, Sandra Reener, Boy & His Rollin' Kids, The Blue Diamonds and others, all Philips artisites. Tunes like Midnight In Malaya, Sunrise In Malaysia, Oh Malaysia, Nina Bobo, O Papa Jia, Ramona, Oh Carol, would have been the real icing on the cake for us.

Finally, while Joe explained that several of the tracks featured The Checkmates, I note that they were only acknowledged once as Bryan Neale & The Checkmates. Why don't give them due recognition as The Cyclones & The Checkmates on their featured tracks while the same level of acknowledgement were given to The Silver Strings (with Shirley Nair), The Moonglows (with Sonny Bala), The Dukes (with Bobby Lambert). There were some inconsistencies here. Please don't take this as a complaint, it's only my observation.

Great job, Joe ! You have done us 60s fans proud !

Best Wishes,
Rachael Ann-Tan

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe,

Thank you very much for sharing your collection of old vinyls with us. I don't think Universal could have done it without you. As usual, there will be both positive and negative comments as with all local releases in the past. I would like to believe that most are well intended. Music taste varies among fans and its not easy to satisfy everyone. You are the true GURU to 60s local music in terms of knowledge. Hence, who else could have done a better job. I am very appreciative of your efforts in making this a possibility for fans. Thank you again. With a little bit of luck, hopefully we will have another box set in the near future. Regards.


Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel,

Thank you for your comments. We followed the original EP covers. Cyclones were billed as such. Only for Bryan Neale was it billed as Bryan Neale and The Checkmates. Maybe I am shooting my foot here. There were reasons why some artistes were billed alone. To fit the format of the five cds. Too complicated to get into and will add more debate.

As to your other comment of a 6th cd featuring regional artistes, for this release it was decided to keep it within a Singapore release parameter. For instance Valentine and The Phantoms were from Negeri Sembiland but released their single via Philips Singapore. So we included them.

However your suggestion is a viable idea and it will be for the record company to act on it.



Anonymous said...

Dear Mona,

Thank you for your comments.

Comments will come from all quarters. Better than blaseness and no comments.

There are many possibilities opened up by this release but it will depend on how well this release do.

We can hope for the best. It took seven years from Treasures to 100 Greatest. Hopefully the interval for the next release will not be that long.



Jane said...

This boxset is certainly fabulous and beyond words to express. I spend the whole day listening to all the 5-discs and indeed was a great joy listening to all those songs...its like back to the 60's days. Definitely WORTH keeping this collection.

Only problem are the prints... sori but most of us are in the mid 50's and eyesight isn't that good. A magnifying glass a great help.

Many, many thanks to Joe Pereira for all his efforts on this 5-disc compilation. Also, thanks to Universal Music, to Joe Wu of Seattle and Vernon Chong.

To all those die hard fans...ENJOY!

Best regards.

jeffbeck said...

I am somewhat disappointed that 2 of my favourite songs, 'Seashell' and 'Sixteen Candles' recorded in the 60's by Charlie and The Infinites are not included in the '100 Greatest Singapore 60s-The Definitive Collection.

I would appreciate if anyone tell me where can I get hold of their songs.

Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Jane,

Thanks for your kind words. It's the Guru (Joe Pereira's) efforts in getting this Universal release. Like most 60s fans, I am also enjoying the fruits of his hard work, listening to the 5 CDs over and over again. Its always encouraging to receive feedback from fans like you and I'm sure such feedback would spur the Guru to push for more releases of good old local 60s music. Cheers.

vernon cheong

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff,

You should be pleased to hear Love Is Blue by Heather. You did an instrumental version back then. The box set only showcase Philips artistes. Charlie and The Infinites recorded for a local label and unfortunately they fall outside the purview of Universal. I know many other records were released on local labels and it remains to be seen if there is a possibility of gathering them and releasing them in the future.



Anonymous said...

Congratulations Joe, this is a big step forward for reviving local music of the 60s.

I've been listening to the CD set since last weekend and would like to take this opportunity to share some of my views on it (not complaints!).

Overall, I don't think any 60s fans would have any complaints on the product and its pricing. Value for money, to say the least.

Room for improvement ? Definately. Since it's such an uphill task to get the recording companies to release local oldies, I thought one should have taken this opportunity to include only pop songs for sales purpose. I can understand your rationale for including some R & B materials but it would have been advisable to confine it to the more popular groups like The Checkmates. With due respect, a couple of the other groups featured do not enjoy sufficient support of the masses. Don't forget that the fate of a follow-up release(if any), depends much on the sales of this set. The bottom line is $$$ & cts, there is no room for sentiments in the commercial arena.

I agree with some of the fans that The Checkmates could have been given more prominence. They deserve at least a single track from their instrumental EP. In my opinion, there was an overkill on some of the groups, given as much as 8 to 12 tracks compared to a miserly 1 to 2 tracks for others.

Some even missed out completely on the set, despite their valuable
contributions during the 60s, e.g. The Mysterians, Elizabeth & Marilyn, Tom Reyes and others.

Sorry to harp on this again, the prints could be bigger. As the market for this set would be oldies above the age of 50+, most of us would have to strain our eyes to read the track listing, magnifying glass not withstanding.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that this is a great CD set and a must for all collectors of local music from the 60s. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible, Joe. I look foward to more 60s goodies from you, our great Guru.

warmest regards,
Jet Jon

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe,

Top marks for your selection of songs by The Crescendos, The Jets, Veronica Young, The Cyclones, Rose Iwanaga & The Avengers & Sonny Bala with The Moonglows.

An average rating for the rest while a few others were there to make up the numbers. This is my personal assessment after listening to all the tracks for a couple of times.

Speaking to some oldies' fans, the majority of them are just too happy to be proud owners of such a historical box-set. Appreciate your contributions on this massive project. Thanks.

A 60s' Fan.

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

I got my 2 copies of "100 Greatest - Singapore 60s" today, thanks to a very dear friend in Singapore.

FIRST THOUGHTS (before opening the box set):

(1) Attractive packaging and artwork. Not as fancy and expensive as "Treasures From The Past," but it's still classy.
(2) I can read the tracklist on the back.
(3) Of the 100 tracks, the first 16 are repeats from "Treasures From The Past." There are only about 25 tracks that I do not have, so these will get my attention.
(4) So delighted to find "That's Amore" by Wilson David. (Check out my August 6, 2008 posting at the Wilson David blog here for my memory of this song.)
(5) I wanted to see Joseph C. Pereira credited on the outside of the box as the producer, but he is not.
(6) Who is this Sue with no last name? I know Tony Chong sang with The Thunderbirds, but who's Janice Wee? I also do not remember The Dee-Tees, Denni Wilson and The Commancheros, and Valentine and The Phantoms. So sorry. Getting old. If this box set ever turned out to be the one final major reissue of 1960's Philips Singapore, I would also have liked to see included: Marilyn and Elizabeth's EP, and also Shirley Nair and The Silver Strings' "You're The Boy."
(7) The inclusion of the top 1960's Philips headliners here makes this compilation a credible History of Philips Singapore, but it's nowhere close to a "definitive collection."

MORE THOUGHTS (after opening the box set):

(8) Surprised to see Brian Richmond listed as the Producer/Presenter of this box set. Not sure what Mr. Richmond did during the making of this box set to make him the "Producer." I only know Joseph Pereira was the one who did most of the dirty work gathering these tracks together and talking with Universal Music since "Treasures From The Past" in 2002. I believe that if it had not been for Joseph Pereira's efforts and psychotic perseverance, Universal Music would not have this particular compilation to release today.
(9) The mini-poster is a nice touch. The booklet inside is also a nice bonus. Good to see that it features Joseph Pereira and Alphonso Soosay.
(10) On the last page of the booklet, everyone is given nice credits, except for Joseph Pereira, who is only given credits for providing "all photographs" and providing "kind assistance."

EVEN MORE THOUGHTS (listening to the CD's)

(11) I suppose, after all is said about this new box set, the one thing that really matters to the fans is the music. And what an extraordinary set of Singapore 60's music this box set contains!!! It's one gem after another. While it's true that those of us who already own many of these recordings may be jaded due to overfamiliarity, to the fans who had not heard these recordings for decades, it's Christmas time.
And that's really the best thing about this box set, that it contains so many of the great recordings of Philips Singapore that were out of print and unavailable for many years.
(12) Yes, there were some covers of popular British and American hits of the day, but the Singapore originals were the ones that really stole the show in the 1960's and they are back today with a vengeance in this box set.
(13) The first time I heard of this box set, I had wondered, why "100 Greatest - Singapore 60's"? Surely, without The Quests, The Trailers and many other non-Philips stars, this compilation could not possibly be the 100 Greatest Hits Of Singapore 60's. Then I found out from the Web that world-wide Universal Music Group has a popular series of "100 Greatest" Whatever box sets, and this just happened to be the next one in their pipeline, albeit a local release in Singapore only.
(14) This box set is a big winner. The fans win big. Universal Music wins big. The people who worked on this project also win, the Universal staff and the free lance producers. How about the songwriters and the recording artistes who created this music? Let us hope and pray that Universal will also properly compensate all these songwriters and artistes.
(15) One more thought. Thank you, Joseph Pereira, for everything you did.

Anonymous said...

I hope there will be further volumes because there are many more hits from Philips that were exclude such as Mark Yun, Alan Lyford, Douglas Lyford, and "Your Cheating Heart' by Sonny Bala.

I also hope to see a box set of all The Thunderbirds' releases, including those that they provided music accomplishment to singers like Alan & Douglas Lyford, Roy Steven, The Reyes Sisters etc etc.

This '100 Greatest...' just make us want to have more. As reported in the press, it is only about 20% of the total releases marketed by Phonogram

Anonymous said...

Now that we have Greatest 100 from Universal, how about a response from EMI Singapore ? Would be a good match with a box set holding recordings by the local groups that recorded for EMI. Some of their household names like Quests, D'Starlights, McCoys, Brown Boys, Rita Chao, Sakura Teng, Sundowners, Blackjacks, Anita Sarawak, The Xperiments, Frankie, Surfers, Sugiman Jahuri etc...anticipating with great hope. Thank you.

Roxas, Manila

Jane said...

Since this box set is a collection (& limited edition), this is just my suggestion that why not compile a set entitle "GREATEST COLLECTION OF SINGAPORE 60s - 3 VOLUMES" with all the Singapore local bands. I'm sure this will be a total sell out to all the fans!!

With this final old songs 60s fabulous compilation (doesn't really matter if it gonna be a 3 volumes of 5-disc) I am sure many will buy for keepsake as it bring back many wonderful memories to those who live thru the 60s era.

Vernon, what are your thoughts?

Best regards.

Vernon Cheong said...

Great suggestion, Jane. But the problem is that the local groups and artistes recorded with different recording companies like Philips (Universal), EMI, RCA, Cosdel etc. There are copyrights issues should any of the recording company decide to procure a CD compilation as per your suggestion. Maybe the Guru can elaborate further on this matter. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

EMI still has a lot of stuff in the vaults. The company at least in Singapore does not exist. Thus we have no way to get them to do issues. Universal have rights to Decca so there is some possibility of Teresa Khoo's two EPs, Albert Ventura's EP and one Naomi and The Boys EP on Decca being released on Universal. I am not sure about RCA because they had artistes like X-periments (who are Commancheros) in the Universal 100 Greatest, Idaly Sisters, Elroy Peace and The Bee Jays etc. I dont know who holds the rights to RCA. Then there are the talentime finalists. That was released on the RTS label. That has some fabulous tracks. The tricky part is licensing.



Anonymous said...

If you are free Saturday night tomorrow, watch CNA Big Picture program at 10.10 pm. That will have a Singapore 60s segment. It will possibly be features on the Channel 5 news tomorrow night.



fal464 said...

Hi guys, wud you have any write up on the band Gingerbread ? Also wud love to hear the song 'Roses'. Txs

Club Mulgoa said...

Where can I get this 5-disc compilation from overseas?

Anonymous said...

A little late in the day but congrats to the people in compiling the box set.

And your blog Vernon is as pop as ever.

60s music always.

Vernon Cheong said...

Thanks to all 60s fans for your interesting posts.

Fal 464 - I note your request for Gingerbread's "Roses" and will include it in the next revision.

Club Mulgoa - I don't think there are any online sales of the box-set at the moment. Best bet is to get someone here to purchase a copy on your behalf.

Andy - Thanks for your kind words. We all share the same vision for 60s music.


Anonymous said...

hi-everyone, my name is v.s.wong and i bought the 5-disc compilation today, After listening to them,many fond memories of Singapore's music scenes, lifesyle - bell-bottoms,austin cambridge taxis,etc, were brought back to life!

A big thank you to all of you involved in the making of this fantastic conmpilation.

savvyyeo said...

The box set is a rare gem !!! Its a MUST for music lovers of our Golden Era. A big THANK YOU to Joseph Pereira for making this Masterpiece possible.
Do continue to bring more of this compilation, it will make us feel young forever.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

You have re-created a great piece of history from the past. All fans of 60s music in Singapore should be beholden to you for your good work. Without your support, Universal could not have got this box-set off the ground. Dreams are made of these.....congrats on your success. I am very fortunate to have received a copy from a dear friend in Singapore. Keep the 60s music loud and rolling Joe.

kind regards
carina yip

Scouserone said...

Hiya Jo,
This is Tony from the "DEE-TEES."Thank you for all your hard work, not only for us but for ALL who played during the 60'S era. Keep up the good work mi amigo.
Kindest Regards.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your kind words. Once again I want to mention and thank the many friends who have kept the Singapore Sixties movement alive. We shared, talked about it and dissected it endlessly. That kept it alive.



p.s An American Radio Dee Jay friend just sent me a cdr containing two songs by Evey Lyn backed by Moonglows. I have never seen this single myself. He bought it via E-Bay. He lives in America. This music is Universal (pun unintended). Evey Lyn is of course a candidate for a next compilation.

moo said...

There are too many songs for me to play critique to and list them one by one

IM right now making my way through the CDs and the collection of songs is impressive . Dear readers , you must bear in mind that Im a 60s baby and I was born in the era when I was too young to appreciate the finer details of the songs

I grew up as mentioned previously hearing these songs in the back ground not knowing what the titles were and Until today that stands

I recognise the tunes but have a hard time putting a title to the song

The quality of sound for me wasnt too great . I guess it cant be helped given the circumstances under which the songs were recorded onto the CDs

I just made my way through CD 1 and basically just went along with the flow . A favourite from CD 1 was Silver Threads and Golden Needles

I have yet to start on CD 2 but I see another favourite listed : Lollipop by Veronica Young . I had the chance to hear her perform live and the tune has stuck itself in my head since

How I feel about a song often depends on my mood and frame of mind at that time

I guess soon as I have the chance to play the other tracks I will update this post with my 2 cents worth

The CDs were worth it . I do hope there will be other sets out sometime


moo said...

CD 2 now this is something I really enjoyed

I have this preference for instrumental music and often find myself trying to make out the different instruments

CD 2 is great for me in that it has an instrumental section and vocals too

My pick
Naomi and the boys with- As tears go by...

Lovers concerto.. aurora .. both of which are instrumentals by the Jets ( did I get the name right ? )

And the everlasting Veronica Young



Serene said...

Dear Joe,

Thank you for the music. Kudos to Susan Lim & The Crescendos, The Jets, Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings & Veronica Young for a majestic show of their talents.

Its a pity that some of the better songs by the other groups and artists were not included in this set. It could have been a better package. The sound quality belongs to the 60s but I don't think many would complain.

Also congrats to the rest who made it into this great box-set for whatever reasons. I'm sure Joe has his reasons for including some of the marginal ones.

Well, anything from the 60s are treasures from the past, although some shine brighter than others. Thanks for all your contributions, entertainers from the 60s. We are family.

This great album would not be possible without one Mr. Joe Pereira, MR. GURU of 60s music.


Laila said...

Hi Joseph,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for this collection of oldies which many of us would not have dreamed of hearing over again, least of it possess it now.

After the euphoria of possessing it and listening to the full track listing over the last few days, I began to ask questions about its quality and went on further to compare it with previous local CD releases.

Quality is not the hallmark of this box-set, sad to admit, it's evident that it was a quickly assembled album, as if there was a target date for its release.

Maybe it was a deliberate attempt to leave the hissess and scratches from the vinyls on the CDs to provide the sounds as it were during the 60s.

In this modern age of technology, one would have expected a minimum clean-up of the vinyls before recording, no need for elaborate digitizing etc.

Perhaps the producers wanted to make the CD set affordable to the masses. Well, I am only guessing. The intend may be good but did anyone did a proper due-deligence study on the fans' preference. Considering that most fans are now in their 50s or 60s of age, most would have enough spending power to afford a better quality product which they would treasure forever. Guess it was a good intention that went askew for us, the fans.

However, at the end of the day, I am are still very thankful to you and Universal Music for this box-set and hopefully, the sound quality could be improved upon if there is ever a second box-set. BTW, the packaging is a bit loose, as the CDs tend to drop off when you open up the sleeves.

Joe, I hope you will take my personal feedback in the right spirit. You are still the Guru of 60s music, just as the great Reggie Verghese is the Guitar Guru from that period. Wish some of the Quests' recordings were included in the set. Thanks for hearing me out.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ladies & Gentlemen,

Take it easy on Joe Pereira please. The guy has done a great service to all of us by getting the 60s oldies released on CD. Let's rejoice over this achievement instead of quibbering over the audio quality, selection of tracks, groups, artists, even the small prints...give the man a break !!!

I am sure his hands were "tied" in many aspects during the production of the CDs. If there is anyone who knows our taste of music best, its Joe himself. His knowledge of 60s music testifies this without doubts.

Thank you, Joe, you are the Man of the Moment, others don't matter.

Keith Lok.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vernon!

Thank u for your recommendation on the "100 Greatest Singapore 60s - The Definitive Collection".

I really enjoyed all the CDs which I programed into my MP4 and managed to listen to them during my recent trip to Penang. I sang along those songs that I knew but some are new ones to me which I had missed out during the 60s.

It would be great if Universal would also release another set of CDs by Matthew Tan & The Mandarins. Please keep me posted if this happens.

My brothers are also very glad that they can now listen to these old songs again since their childhood time. Once again, thank you sincerely for your recommendation.


Anonymous said...

I remember WEA released two cassette tapes during the 70s, titled Act I and Act II or something like that, featuring groups like Speedway, Tokyo Square, Chris Ho and many other local groups from that period. Any takers for 100 Greatest Singapore 70s ? Should be an interesting event to work towards, Joe ? Thanks.


JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

Dear Laila,

I took the liberty of forwarding your feedback to Gary See, General Manager of Universal Music of Singapore, with copies to the co-ordinators of this box set, Lim Teck Kheng, Linda Na and Salina Abdullah.

They need to read your most respectful and tactful feedback. Hopefully, the nice folks at Universal Music will also read some of the other sincere feedbacks here from us fans.

Best regards,
Joe Wu

savvyyeo said...

These songs on the CD set are the actual and original songs of that era. We are so fortunate that there are kind souls who have done so much to bring these songs back to our lives. So why complain about the quality of the sound and things like that. I rather have the songs with all the hisses and scratches than nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rebecca,

I have to leave the Seventies and later decades to other experts. They would know it more intimately than me. I have chosen to focus on the sixties because that decade interests me the most.



Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

There were a few comments about the artistes included, the song selection and the sound quality. I will answer those aspects which I had input over. Those which I had no control over I will have to leave out.

As to artistes deemed marginal who is to say they are marginal. Imagine being signed to Philips and described as marginal. If we included the usual artistes like Naomi and The Boys, Thunderbirds, Crescendos, Cyclones, Shirley Nair and The Silver Strings, Veronica Young, Henry Suriya, Heather, Mike and Herb, Sonny Bala and The Moonglows etc then we will satisfy quite a few fans but we will not be able to excite more.

Why include the Brits ? That was the reality then. They were signed because they had pulling power. An Anglo Singaporean band. There were quite a few. Dee Tees is in the category of British bands that recorded in overseas territories.

CD 5 is of interest to many people because that is where the most contemporary sounding bands in even present times are present. The mix of styles there speaks volumes for Philips. They were not afraid to take chances on bands that were pushing the envelope.

So I hope that you can listen to this with an open mind.

There are still a lot of artistes waiting in the wings. Alan Lyford, Douglas Lyford, Edison Eddie. Evey Lyn. Tom Reyes. Act Sect. Marginal. Not likely. Not when you are signed to a major like Philips.



Jet said...

Dear Joe,

Thank you for your response. I do apologise that I am not convinced with your views on the term "marginal".

Not all artists signed on by a reputable recording company made it in the musical industry. Many artists shared the same recording company as The Beatles, Rolling Stones etc but they are not in the same league in terms of popularity and record sales.

Back home, there were also groups sharing the same recording company as The Crescendos, The Quests, The Trailers etc, but their records were hardly ever featured on the daily radio Request Shows.

Hence, signing on with a record company do not equate one as being successful in the music scene. These are two different benchmarks.

I agree with you that some of the British groups were popular during the 60s but lets not forgot that the majority of their fans were probably from the British forces and their families stationed here. It's a different situation today, the Brits have left. The present young generation of teens would only go for the original international super groups and artists from USA, UK etc. It's unlikely that a local teen would pick up the Singapore 60s box-set because of the couple of British groups featured.

Joe, rest assured that most, if not all of us appreciate your immense contributions in the release of this box-set. We would also like to do our part in sharing feedback with you to further improve on the product. Thank you again.

warm regards,

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

To: Universal Music Singapore
Mr. Gary See, General Manager
Mr. Lim Teck Kheng, Marketing Manager

Thank you both for your prompt and kind replies to my initial e-mail. I really appreciate it. Let me give you my word once again that I will NOT be posting your private e-mails at any blogsite on the Web.

This response to your nice e-mails, though, is something I would like to post at only one blogsite, Vernon Cheong’s “Singapore 60’s Pop Music Hall Of Fame,” only because there are many nice fans there who are interested in knowing how you thought about their feedbacks that I had hyperlinked to you.

Thank you so much for being so open to the feedbacks, both positive and negative.

Fully realizing that we fans have no experience in the intricate process of putting a CD project together, like you folks in the business do, please allow me to summarize what I think are some of the main points the fans at our favourite blogsite want to respectfully convey to you.

As you know, many of us are passionate fans of this music for 50 years. Please forgive us when our passion sometimes overflows in our feedbacks at the blogsite. Yet this is the same passion that keeps us interested in purchasing all your 1960's retrospective CD box sets.

In some chronological order, here are some of the recurring themes that have been posted:
(1) Fans want to thank Universal Music Singapore for releasing this new "100 Greatest" box set. A very nice selection of 1960's Philips' timeless classics, lost oldies and rarities. We are eagerly waiting for more of such compilations from you in the near future.
(2) Very pleased that you involved Mr. Joseph C. Pereira, the Guru of Singapore 60's Pop Music, in this box set. A person of his stature, someone whom fans respect and trust, gives your box set instant credibility.
(3) I think you already knew that it would be improbable for this box set to please everyone everywhere. The reactions will be very diverse and very passionate. High praises, criticisms, suggestions for improvement, etc. Folks will be asking why these songs and those artistes were not included, rather than what and who are included.
(4) The fine prints are giving some of us trouble reading because we the longtime fans who grew up on this music are now in our 50's and 60's.
(5) The sound deficiencies. Of the 100 tracks, many are very nice and clean, but a handful of tracks do have record pops and hisses, and, sadly, these are the few tracks that are creating a fair amount of distraction.

Allow me to dwell a little bit here on those sound deficiencies.

Thank you for bringing up your 2002 "Treasures From The Past" box set because that is Exhibit A in our books for superlative audio quality. Those 16 tracks were remastered by Jason Shahul of Gingerbread Productions. Mr. Shahul is a legend who also did "The Dukes" and "The Trailers" CD's with Joseph Pereira.

When we heard that Joseph Pereira was involved with your “100 Greatest,” we were expecting the same kind of superlative audio excellence. Not to say all the tracks in “100 Greatest” are all bad, of course, but there are some tracks that clearly do not meet the high audio standards we had come to expect from Joseph Pereira and Universal Music. The contrast between the pristine tracks in the “100 Greatest” and the tracks with sound deficiences is very noticeable. And many of us who had been looking forward to recollecting these resurrected classics are quite surprised that they do not meet the standards of audio excellence set by Universal previously.

Some of these tracks are long lost oldies that would be sounding so much better if they were like those 16 tracks from "Treasures From The Past."

We are more than willing to pay more for better sound quality. Our generation can easily afford it, so please keep this in mind for your future box sets.

Thank you so much again for taking the time to read my e-mails and the fans' feedbacks at our "Singapore 60's Pop Music Hall Of Fame" blogsite.

Yours respectfully,
Joe Wu

Vernon Cheong said...

Dear Friends,

I read with great interests the thread of diverse postings on this box-set. Its most encouraging that there are still local music fans from the 60s, feeling so passionate about getting it right, each in their own ways.

Maybe we should take a step back and assume that Univeral did not release this box-set. There would not be the prevailing discussions. Would we be feelin' any better or happier ? Obviously, most of us would prefer to have the box-set, albeit with some friendly exchange of views, right ?

Like any other consumers, all of us have the option to decide on whether to purchase it or let it pass, considering its quality, cost, entertainment value etc. For those like me who would get our hands on the first sets available at the nearest CD store without even a wink on its contents, its obvious that we consider the compilation as "Treasures From The Past" and are most forgiving even if there are any shortcomings in the packaging, recording, costing etc. For the more discerning ones, take your time to arrive at your best informed decision while stock may be depleting progressively.

The cost of the box-set is real value for money. From my own experience, the normal market rate for a 60s local group EP ranges between S$10-30, depending on the popularity of the artiste, condition of the vinyl etc. Furthermore, there are only 4 tracks on each EP. Some years back, I purchased an LP by Kong Ling & The Fabulous Echoes at S$80.00, with only 12 tracks. At less than $20.00 for 100 tracks of local music from the 60s, its a real gem, thanks to the kindness of Univeral Music and the man who made its release possible, Joe Pereira.

In reality, most of the tracks are in reasonably good condition, especially those featuring The Jets, The Crescendos, Veronica Young, The Cyclones, Sue, and some others.

Consider this, when we pick up a CD of our choice from a local store, there will always be some tracks that we are more receptive to than others. Besides, there will always be a couple that we wish were not included in the compilation and replaced by those of our own choice. But what we dislike may be the favourite of others. Hence, at the end of the day when all factors are considered, the result would be fairly equitable to all.

Friends, I think we have had enough discussions on this subject over the past weeks. It's time for us to move on and enjoy the music which most of us have lost out over the years. Thank you for the music again, Joe !

best regards,
vernon cheong

Anonymous said...

To :
Mr Gary See (Universal)
Mr Lim teck Kheng (Universal)
Mr Joseph C Pereira

Thank you and congratulation for releasing the '100 Greatest...'.

Please do not stop the good works and I hope there will be further releases. Some featured EPs were not fully represented in this first vol and I hope the remaining tracks from similar EP would be included in future releases.

I hope Universal can release the complete recordings of The Thunderbirds in 2 different sets. One the band itself and the other as the band backing other singers which can be called 'The Thunderbirds & Friends'.

After Universal has released CDs by The Cresendos & Naomi & The Boys a few years back, I was hoping The Thunderbirds would received similar honour.

On the subject of Naomi & The Boys" there are recording, mainly cover versions, not included in the first release. I hope Universal can consider a Vol 2 as their covers of international hits are just as good and even better in some songs.

Aside to Mr Joseph Pereira: You have done a great job for The Trailers' recording a few years back. I hope you still have plan for some others especially those whose recording company has ceased. I am dying to own CD with recording by The Mysterians, The Burns, Charlie & The Infinite, Charlie & The Boys, Simon Junior, Maurice Patton & The Melodians, The Jets (after they left Philip), Western Union Band (before EMI), Matthew & The Mandarins (before EMI) etc etc.


Rach said...

Dear Friends,

I agree with Vernon that we should stop complaining about the minor negatives of the box-set but focus on its positives instead.

Thanks to the efforts of Joe Pereira and Vernon Cheong, some of us are now proud owners of some of the rare local music from the 60s. I'm sure both of them have put in alot of hard work in unearthing these old vinyls from different parts of Singapore, although I understand both are also collectors of local music from young. Besides the fans, some members of the 60s groups may also be beneficiaries, like getting to listen their past recordings, etc.

To recap, Joe's contributions were Treasures From The Past (Vol I), Singapore Pop 60s - The Trailers and in some ways, Bobby Lambert & Dukes albums. Vernon's connections with EMI Singapore gave us Recollectiong The Quests Vols I & II and Recollection Singapore 60s Vols I & II. It's a pity that EMI has ceased operations here, otherwise we can certainly expect more from this combination. Well, we still have Universal and Joe to rely upon for more 60s oldies but goodies.

Past events has proven that once stock of these local releases are exhausted, it will be very difficult to pick up any copies from the shops, e.g The Complete Crescendos, Remembering Naomi & The Boys, Matthew & The Mandarins... Hence, my advice to fans is to grap a copy of the present Greatest 100 box-set when stock is still available.

Thanks to Joe Wu for highlighting the collective feedback of fans from this blog to Universal Music. I'm sure there are good lessons learnt here for the next box-set(being optimistic). The present generation of 60s fans are getting older by the day. The faster the releases are done, more fans will benefit from the good work. Personally, I am waiting most impatiently for the next happening on 60 music here.

Finally, let's not forget to thank Vernon for hosting this blog which keeps us in the loop on the latest development of local music from the 60s. Also a big thank you to all those who have contributed with their posts on this blog. Guess you own me a drink now, Vern.

Regards to all,
Rachael Ann-Tan

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tian,

Those recordings by bands on small defunct labels are of interest to us too. We know there will be no way to get them released but some kind friends have made cdrs which we trade privately. We have one cdr with tracks of the second edition Jets. On Blue Star label. We have the first and second ep BY Jets on Blue Star label and also one EP by Judy Wee who I think is backed by Jets because it also came out on Blue Star and the sound is very like their own Blues Star releases. Similarly we have Burns on Blue Star label and one release by Mona where the backing band sound remarkably like Burns. Both are on Blue Star label too. If you like you can get in touch with me via this blog and we can make you a copy. We also have one cdr of two tracks by Mysterians and 6 tracks by Leroy Lindsay backed by Mysterians. Only too happy to share it with you.

By the way there is a second version of My Lonely Heart which appears on the Thunderbirds LP. Word is that Alan Lyford is on bass on the second edition. Who knows the full line for that ?



Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Joseph C Pereira

Thank you for the reply. I very much like to get hold of what you have mentioned. I don't believe in 'free lunch' so I will pay for it. My email is sohtianhua@yahoo.com

The 2nd version of My Lonely Heart (MLH) was recorded for the LP simply called 'My Lonely Heart' and the band's name was printed on the label as 'The Thunderbirds with Heather & Harvey'. Bassist William Wee, who played on the original version of MLH was replaced by Alan Lyford. With this LP both Alan & Heather have became member of the band. The others members remained ie Derrick Fitzgerald (lead guitar), Ivan Fitzgerald (percussion)& Freddy Tan (drums).

On the subject of this LP, at the time when Universal released the CDs by The Crescends and Naomi & The Boys, I remember Peter, proprietor of Da Da Record, has a copy which he refused to sell. Subsequently, he told me he has handed it to someone from Universal Music with the hope of releasing it on CD. However, nothing has happened since and Da Da Record has ceased operating.



Annie Ng said...

As a Checkmates fan, I'm very proud of their contribution of the 12 tracks here, accompanying The Cyclones on 8 tracks and Bryan Neale on 4 tracks.

It's a real pity that their instrumental EP featuring 4 of their own compositions - 45 RPM, Galaxy, Lady In White & Sylvia was not included in this famous box-set.

Joe, I sincerely hope you will make room for them, if ever there is going to be a 2nd Volume to this Greatest 100 series. The Checkmates was one of the top groups from the 60s, comparable to The Trailers and Quests, if not better. Incidentally, I believe some members of the Quests were former members of The Checkmates.

Guys, I am very proud of your contribution on this set. Keep the bass up, Lawrence !

Annie Ng

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

Remembering Bob Bogle of The Ventures, 1934 - 2009.

My most sincere apologies that this is so off the current topic, but I thought we should pause for a brief moment and remember Bob Bogle, who formed The Ventures with his buddy Don Wilson in 1959.

Bob Bogle passed away last Sunday somewhere near Seattle, Washington, at the age of 75 after a period of illness.

This was the man who played the lead guitar in their biggest hit, "Walk, Don't Run" (1960), and we fans know how much The Ventures, The Shadows and The Jumping Jewels inspired the guitar bands in Singapore in the early 1960's, such as The Quests, The Jets, The Checkmates, The Trailers, The Thunderbirds, and the list goes on and on.

During their heyday, The Ventures comprised:
Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist and some bass
Don Wilson, rhythm guitarist
Bob Bogle, bass guitarist and some lead
Mel Taylor, drummer

You may view Bob Bogle's obituary in The Seattle Times, and anyone is welcome to sign the Guestbook.

Rest in peace, Bob Bogle. And when you pass through the Pearly Gates... Walk, Don't Run.

Ronald said...

Hey Joe!
Small Point Sizes. Missing Artist. Too Much Of This. Too Little Of That...

Just Remember You Did It When No One Else Would Or Could. You Gave Them Their Fix. You Helped Them Remember Their Youth.

It's Easy To Just Buy And Give Opinions.

So That Makes You The Man. The Guru To Some.

To Me You're Just 'Hey Joe!'

Now For The National Theatre Second Chance Compilation. Rock On Dude!

Ron (CBE)

Anonymous said...

Dear Annie,

Since this was a one off attempt (at least for now) to release the Philips catalogue we had to take hard decisions on who to include and excluse. Believe you me there was a lot of deliberation. We decided that we should showcase Unit 4 Plus 2 Plus 1 so that the full band can be featured. In the case of Bryan Neale and The Checkmates it does include Cyclones too. You can hear Siva and James harmonising and Siva playing organ on some tracks.

We would definitely consider including Checkmates first EP if there is going to be a future release.

I do agree with you about Lawrence's bass work. For 1965 and 1966 recordings his bass has the crunch. Could only be a Fender bass.



Anonymous said...

Cont'd verdict from a 60s baby : CD 3 .. Background music that I can play while working. It’s not jarring like hot rock and makes for a pleasant break in monotony when you have a lengthy piece to type. The ballad of Bonnie and Clyde and Your thoughts your cares and you (something I’d not heard in so long ) were my favourite two on disk 3. I found myself tapping my feet to some of the tracks.

CD 4 did not really excite me.
But two songs stood out that I enjoyed: Love is blue . Green tambourine. Many of the songs in CD 4 were of the doo-wah mode and granted my mood at that time I wasn’t really into it .. nothing personal .. just a mood thing. Likewise the song Wilson David belted out was enjoyable, Cold and Lonely I believe was the title.

CD 5 was for me similar in mood and 'feel' to CD 4. Amongst all 5, I’d say my favourite would be the one with instrumentals and Veronica Young ... was that CD 2? CD 1 follows a close 2nd.

Hmm, for some reason I’d missed out on the instrumentals on CD 5 . I must have left the comp room at that bit. I back tracked through my media player. I like Track 3 and 4. Non distracting nice back ground music that I can play and not get annoyed by.


Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Catch of the day. A Chinese female singer singing Love Is A Golden Ring. A few months, a friend shared another female singer called Honey who recorded Shirley Nair's You're The Boy. That got me thinking. How many Mandarin language versions of English hits of the sixties are there. Especially those related to the bands and singers of Singapore Sixties. Other examples, Su Yin singing First Bend In The River in Mandarin, Honey singing Forget The Time, another female singer singing Dont Play That Song. Who else can name other renditions of top Sixties hits done in Mandarin ? I know that Rita and Sakura did quite a few. If you know of any share with us so that we can build a data base. Then we can double our Singapore Sixties recordings with English versions and Mandarin language versions.

Annie Ng said...

Dear Joe,

Thanks for your response . I am glad that you will consider including The Checkmates on any future releases.

BTW, on the subject of local artistes recording Chinese versions of English songs, I came across an EP by Wang Ching Yeng singing Be My Girl. It was his 1st EP released under the Shallow label.


Anonymous said...

Dear Annie,

Thank you for the information on Wong Chin Yian. There are thousands of records by Chinese Singaporean artiste sold everywhere. Not being able to read Mandarin is a handicap.



savvyyeo said...

I am a great fan of our local music scene of the 60s. So eventhough I dont read Mandarin, I can understand it, hence I am a great fan of Wong Ching Yian. I still have quite a lot of his EPs a home and well, his CDs too. Talking about Mandarin versions of English songs, WCY has done "Evergreen Tree","Dont play that song for me ", " Delilah" and a few more. One of my favourite Mandarin song translated from English version is "Sixteen Candles" by Rita Chao.

Regards to all,

Pamela said...

I am disappointed that the very first hit recording of the following groups were not included in this 100 Greatest Singapore 60s:

Naomi & The Boys - Its All Over

Shirley Nair & Silver Strings - You're The Boy

Susan Lim & The Crescendos - Mr. Twister

Shouldn't these hits be included in this "Greatest" box-set ?

Well, please don't label this as another complaint, I'm just surprised and disappointed as a fan.

Nevertheless, I am still glad that Universal Music has released this compilation of local 60s recordings, both hits and misses.

Pamela Han

Jet said...

Yes, as Pam had rightfully pointed out, some of the greatest hits of the groups featured were not included in this set. Was there a theme during the compilation of tracks or was it based on the personal favourites of a few persons involved in its production? Since its termed "Greatest 100", shouldn't only the best be included?

The Queen of 60s music, Susan Lim - had several great hits that were glaringly missing here. Top of the list are songs like Frankie, Waktu Fajar, The Boy Next Door, Besame Mucho, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, In The Good Old Summer Time, and obviously their 1st No. 1 chart-topper, Mr TWISTER.

If this is a one-off release without a follow-up Volume 2, then we have missed the best opportunity to show-case the best of our 60s talents. The box set is not a true reflection of the best from Philips and definitely not from the local scene since its confined to Philips artists only. Top Guns like The Trailers, The Quests, Keith Locke, Xperiments etc are not in the equation here.

Again, I must emphasize that this is sincere feedback, not complaint, and hope that it would be taken in the right spirit by all concerned. All said, its still a very good buy, which could have been better. Thank you.


Richard Lu said...

Can someone help me ?

How can I get a copy of "The Complete Cresendos" CD which was released in 1994?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

That release came out in 1994 on Polygram. Your best bet would be to scour the older records shops or music shops as we call them now and hope that they might have a copy.



Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

The surprises never end. I just found out that Naomi and The Boys released an LP on Decca titled Best Of Naomi. Have anyone seen this LP or (gasp) own a copy ? There are some tracks which originally came out on Philips. I wonder if these were licensed from Philips or new recordings at that time. It looks like a 1967 release. Any information on this topic would be much appreciated.



Coffee said...

Dear Joe,

Could I ask you a question? I hope you can help, it's about Fabulous Echoes - Dancing on the moon, I already knew the song writer name, but do you know that how can find them? Or they are belong to whcih music company? Thanks a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Coffee,

You will have to check with Vernon Cheong for help regarding Fabulous Echoes. He is the expert on that band.



callmekc said...

I believe someone asked here how you could get a copy of this if you're in the U.S. Well, I'm in Washington D.C. and a huuuuuge Singapore 60s music fan! So...how do I get this incredible set? I've searched through Google, eBay, Amazon, etc. and came up with nothing. Please help! :)

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

(Part 1) 100 GREATEST - [PHILIPS] SINGAPORE 60's - Tracklist - for those people on the Internet who do not have this historic box set of Philips Singapore in the 1960's.

Guru Joseph C. Pereira tells me that of the 100 Philips recordings here, 64 are original Singapore compositions. Something that we Singaporeans can be very proud of because this statistic clearly shows that Singapore 60's Pop Music was not just copycat covers of hits made popular by international artistes.

100 GREATEST - [PHILIPS] SINGAPORE 60's - Tracklist


02. PLEASE, BABY, PLEASE (Robert Suriya)
03. I KNOW (Robert Suriya)
04. HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY (Scott/Weisman)

05. I'LL (Lawrence Lee)
06. OH NO, SHE DIDN'T SAY (James Choy/Siva Choy)
07. SHE'S MINE ALL MINE (Lawrence Lee)
08. THE DEW (James Choy/Siva Choy)

10. LONG TALL SALLY (Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell)
12. HE'S THE BOY (Madera/White)

13. MY LONELY HEART (Harvey Fitzgerald/Gerald Pasqual)
14. HEY, GIRL (Harvey Fitzgerald/Gerald Pasqual)
15. MY HULA GIRL (G. B. Fitzgerald)
16. YOU WERE MADE FOR ME TO LOVE (Harvey Fitzgerald)

17. I'LL REMEMBER TODAY (Dickie Tan)
18. TWO PEOPLE (Shirley Nair)
19. TOO LATE FOR TEARS (Shirley Nair)
20. COME HOME TO ME (Shirley Nair)


01. I'M THE LOSER (Robert Suriya)
02. AS TEARS GO BY (Richard/Oldham)
03. I'D LIKE TO KNOW (Peter Thomas/Robert Suriya)
04. I NEED YOU (Baker/Knight)

05. WALK ON BY (Hayes)
07. LEMON TREE (Holt)
08. LOVER'S CONCERTO (Rundell/Linzer)

09. AURORA (Edward Tan)
10. FANTASY (Alan Poh/Edward Tan)
11. THE METEOR (Edward Tan)
12. ESCAPEE (Alan Poe)

14. DREAMS OF LOVE (Patrick Seet)
15. LOLLIPOP (Patrick Seet)
16. THE THRILL TO LOVE YOU (Patrick Seet)

17. GIRL OF MINE (Sonny Bala)
18. ATALANTA (Sonny Bala)
19. IS IT TRUE? (Sonny Bala)
20. TROPICAL NIGHT (Sonny Bala)

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

(Part 2) 100 GREATEST - [PHILIPS] SINGAPORE 60's - Tracklist


01. TELL ME YOU ARE MINE (Harvey Fitzgerald)
02. WHAT GOES ON (Lennon/McCartney/Starkey)
03. MOHAIR SAM (Frazier)
04. CALL MY NAME (Harvey Fitzgerald)

06. A NEW MAN (Lawrence Lee)
08. I'LL BE HOME (Washington/Lewis)

SUE [SUSAN LIM with The Thunderbirds] -
12. BABY NOW THAT I'VE FOUND YOU (McAuley/Macleod)

13. LONESOME TOWN (Knight)
14. EMPTY HEARTACHES (Terry Marsden)
15. THINKING ABOUT YOU (Terry Marsden)
16. TRYING TO GET TO YOU (McCoy/Singleton)

17. MOJO (Dixon)
18. SHE (Siva Choy)
20. MAN HUNTER (Wright)


01. LOVE IS A GOLDEN RING (Dehr/Miller/Gilkyson)
02. I'M SO LONELY I COULD CRY (Robert Suriya)

03. LOVE IS BLUE (Cour/Popp/Blackburn)

05. I'M AS SAD AS I CAN BE (Tony Chong)
06. LITTLE LADY (Tony Chong)

07. A RING FOR MY DARLING (Tisana/King)
08. VALLEY OF DREAMS (Terry Marsden)

09. DON'T TAKE PITY ON ME (Terry Marsden)
10. MMMMMM (Jerry Murad/Winston Walters)

11. THAT ONE BOY (Robert Suriya)
12. IF LOVE COULD BE (Tills)

13. COLD AND LONELY (Robert Suriya)
14. THAT'S AMORE (Warren/Brooks)

16. YOU BELONG TO ME (King/Stewart/Price)

18. RAVE ON (West/Tilghman/Perry)

19. I WON'T MISS YOU (Robert Suriya)
20. I WANNA BE FREE (Boyce/Hart)


01. I'VE BEEN A FOOL (Peter Van Dort)
02. LET EM COME (Dickie Tan/Mike Van Dort)

03. SELINA (Harry Martinez)
04. RHUMBA DE HAVANA (Harry Martinez)

06. BABY, DON'T (Robert Suriya)

07. JUST BECAUSE (Dee Tees)

09. FIRST TASTE OF LOVE (Denni Wilson)
10. TILL YOU CAME ALONG (Mervyn Nonis)

11. IF YOU ALWAYS SAY (Terry Marsden)
12. IT'S GONNA BE ME (Terry Marsden)

13. I'LL LET YOU KNOW (Valentine and The Phantoms)
14. ROSALYN (Valentine and The Phantoms)

15. YOU'VE GONE (Robert Suriya)
16. OUT OF SIGHT (Peter Thomas)

17. SIR BARCLAY MORE (Terry Marsden)
18. SHA LA LA LOVE (Terry Marsden)

19. MORNINGS AND EVENINGS (Jeffery Jalleh/Roy Oh)
20. WHERE AM I LIVING (Jeffery Jalleh/Roy Oh)

Vernon Cheong said...

Dear Friends,

For overseas fans who may be interested in purchasing this box-set, I suggest you check out "Popular Bookstore Singapore" on the Internet. Cheers.

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

“Please, Baby, Please” by Naomi and The Boys, “Long Tall Sally” by The Crescendos, “Let Em Come" by Mike and Herb with The Silver Strings, “Your Thoughts, Your Cares And You” by The Cyclones with The Checkmates, and “Rhumba De Havana” by The Dukes - these are only some of the toe-tappers in this new Universal box set that are recalling the glory days of Singapore 60’s Pop Music.

These lesser-known recordings might not have turned the world upside down when they were first released over 40 years ago, but along with all the more well-known chart-toppers and pop classics included here, such as “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” by The Crescendos, “Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby” by Naomi and The Boys, and “My Lonely Heart” by The Thunderbirds, all 100 recordings collectively show they have clearly withstood the tests of time and music fads.

And that’s why we celebrate this box set, “100 GREATEST – SINGAPORE 60’s – THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION.” Thank you very much, Universal Music Singapore, for this rich compilation of Philips Singapore 60’s records. We earnestly hope there is more to come.

A 5-CD box set like this, one that includes the best of Philips Singapore 60’s, such as The Crescendos, Naomi and The Boys, The Thunderbirds, The Jets, The Cyclones, The Checkmates, The Silver Strings, and others, owes apologies to nobody.

True, without EMI's Quests and Rita Chao, and Cosdel's Trailers, and so many other non-Philips homegrown stars, we fans already know this collection cannot possibly be the 100 “Greatest” Recordings of The Golden Era of Singapore Pop Music, no matter what the box set says. Heck, with so many big Philips hits not included here, we also know these are not even the 100 Greatest Philips Singapore 60’s recordings ever. But it’s all right, we can all get past the marketing hype of “Greatest” and “Definitive,” get past whatever imperfections or omissions that passionate fans are bound to perceive, and I think we can still joyfully celebrate this box set for what it is. A much needed preservation of these100ea recordings from the most prolific record label in town back then, Philips.

For those of us who were born in Singapore in the 1950's, we were one most lucky and plucky generation of teenagers to actually live through the Golden Era of Singapore Pop Music first-hand. Think about that for a minute. Our generation actually experienced the joys and the triumphs of the best pop music in the history of Singapore AT THE TIME it was being created. We WERE THERE when it was happening!!

So when I am hearing my old favourites like “I Know” by Naomi and The Boys, “Aurora” by The Jets, “Love Is A Golden Ring” by Henry Suriya and The Boys, “That’s Amore” by Wilson David and The Moonglows, or even the long lost oldies, the names of which I had long forgotten, but quickly reacquainted with, such as “A Ring For My Darling “by The Reyes Sisters, “Mmmmmm” by Winston and The Dukes, and “I’ll Never Find Another You” by Rose Iwanaga and The Avengers. A very pleasant walk down Memory Lane. It's one historic Philips Singapore 60's recording after another.

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

(Cont'd) There were at least three big factors contributing to the glory of Philips Singapore 60's.

First, the singers. Susan Lim, Naomi Suriya, Harvey Fitzgerald, Wilson David, Siva and James Choy, Rose Iwanaga, Shirley Nair, just to name some of my personal favourites in this box set. And I am sure you all have your own list of favourite vocalists, so forgive me for not listing them all.

Second, the bands. The Boys, The Thunderbirds, The Jets, The Checkmates, The Dukes, The Silver Strings, The Dukes, just to name some of my personal favourites. Man, we really had some very talented bands at Philips. And then there were all those amazing lead guitarists. Such as Robert Suriya (Boys), Derrick Fitzgerald (Thunderbirds), Benny Chan (Checkmates), Dicky Tan (Silver Strings), Jerry Murad (Dukes), Edward Tan (Jets), just to list a few. Add them to non-Philips superstar lead guitarists like Reggie Verghese (Quests) and Victor Woo (Trailers) and John Teo (Stylers), and you can see we really had something very special going on in Singapore during the 1960's. Guitar heaven!

Third, the song composers. Thanks to Guru Joseph Pereira, we have learned that 64 of the 100 tracks here are Singapore original compositions. That's righteous cause for a big toast, already. Robert Suriya, Siva and James Choy, Harvey Fitzgerald, Shirley Nair, Patrick Seet, Sonny Bala, Terry Marsden, just to name a very few. Just take a look at the names on the tracklist inside the box set, and you will be blown away.

Yes, after all is said and done, it's still the music that counts. Philips Singapore was the biggest label in town in the 1960's, so this compilation box set is definitely one worth killing for. So thank you again, Universal Music Singapore, for making this Philips box set a reality.

But I have to tell you, Universal Music Singapore, I have not yet decided if I will forgive you for spelling THAT song "My Lonely Hearts (plural??)" and for calling HIM "Harvey Fritzgerald."

Anonymous said...

Dear Callmekc,

Popular Book Store in Singapore have an online website and you could try to get in there and place your order through them.



six foot pigeon said...

This in response to 'JeffBeck' who mentioned the songs by CHARLIE & THE INFINITES; I wonder if he ever did track down those songs he was after? I have the EP and have never seen it mentioned anywhere before. Anyway, if he reads this contact me at sixfootpigeonAThotmaildotcom and I'd be delighted to help him out

Anonymous said...

Dear Joseph,

I'm really delighted to this album and my father really like it so much that he ask me to order for him, The selection of songs is really good.

I just wonder beside Popular Bookstore in Singapore, where can I buy this album again.

Please help....

Anonymous said...

Besides Popular I believe it is available in most major record shops. I have seen it in HMV and Sembawang and some others.



Andrew said...

I'm in London, England and I'm a fan of sixties music. I recently worked in Singapore for a couple of weeks and was delighted to be able to pick up this compilation.

Not having done any research before my trip, I had no idea Singapore had produced music like this so I was pleasantly surprised. My favourite disc overall is probably CD5 and I especially like Mike and Herb With The Silver Strings, Dee Tees & The Clansmen.

I am hoping to return to Singapore later in the year and will read as much as I can about this music before my next trip.


Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Those of you into You Tube type in HMS Eagle Stand Easy and you will see Dee Tees who are featured on the 100 Greatest Singapore 60s appearing for a short while performing Let The Good Times Roll. Never thought I would get to see this band. Maybe more such film clips of other Sixties Singapore bands or by association are out there.



Anonymous said...

Any time now. Get ready with your wallets.


Scouserone said...

Hi, I'm Tony the founder of THE "DEE-TEES." I just want to add my great thanx to Joseph for all his help in allowing us on the 60@s CD set. It was a privilidge and the remaining two members also send their regards.
Our singer Paul Bradbury sadly died some years ago, but I forwarded the CD set to his widow and Daughter. They were over the moon!!
Take Care EVERYONE!!

Kerry said...

Is this still avaialble please? If so where in Spore?

Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Kerry,

You may be able to find some of the albums featured here at the HMV outlets at Orchard or City Hall, Gramophone at Cathay or Odean Buildings & the Popular Book Stores in Singapore, among other outlets. Cheers.

Kerry said...

Hi Joseph
where can we buy this set please? I have tried in Spore through my neice but have had no success. Would love to have this set. Please help.

Canberra, Australia

Anonymous said...

Hi, can someone post the two songs recorded in the 60's by Charlie and The Infinites.

1) Seashell.
2) Sixteen Candles.

I understand that 'Seashell' was the group's original.

In my opinion 'Sixteen Candles' was the best song ever sung and recorded by a local Singaporean group.

I am very suprised that these 2 songs were not included in the
'100Greatest Singapore 60's Collection'

Ray said...

Hi Vernon,

I'm doing some research into Asian music and am wondering if the musical genres of funk and soul influenced the music scene in Singapore during the '60s and '70s.

I noticed a lot of surf rock along the lines of The Shadows, but haven't heard much in the realm of soul music.

I'm wondering if there was an equivalent of an Otis Redding or a James Brown. Or even musical groups like the Temptations.

If you can point me to a few artists and to a few people who might know more on the subject, I would be very grateful!


John Keenan said...

Hi Vernon
Our band was called Fumskrew and we recorded with Philips in 1966 in Singapore. We were in the navy at the time. We met a Mr King at the Orchard Hotel who asked us to record our own material. 46 years on we met up again and are going to record again in the UK.

Daniel Tills said...

My Dad is Adrian C Tills, a.k.a. singer Roy Stevens. He wrote songs for himself to perform and record and also for several of the groups mentioned in this (and other Singapore 60's blogs) including popular recordings by Janice Wee, Rose Iwanaga. He also performed with The Thunderbirds.
I am trying to get hold of a copy of this 5-disc '100 Greatest Singapore 60's' box set for him, but it does seem hard to track down online. Also, and other CD versions of his recordings or recordings made by other artists of his songs. These may be credited as A Tills, A C Tills, Adrian C Tills, Roy Stevens (or variations of these!).
'Popular Bookstores Singapore' was a great tip, but their website is currently undergoing some kind of improvement. HMV in Singapore are out of stock. No luck on Ebay either!
If anyone can help, I would be grateful.
Dad is finally coming round to investigating what has happened to his songs and the legacy of the 60's music scene in Singapore. He is using the internet these days and has email, so it may be that I can encourage him to be in touch or available for comments on these fondly remembered times. I am mindful of his privacy though, so please contact me in the first instance.
Daniel Tills