The Stylers - Our Songs

For fans who believe in the romance of traditional kampong music from the good old Singapore/Malaysia 60s' days, this album from The Stylers is a "must to listen" ! Appropriately titled Our Songs, there are 14 lovely tracks that would bring fond memories of our Growing Up Years during the 50s & 60s:-

1. Rasa Sayang
2. Impian Semalam
3. Dayang Sampan
4. Sunrise In Malaysia
5. Bengawan Solo
6. Nina Bobo
7. Sapu Tangan
8. Chan Mari Chan
9. Singapura (Our Song)
10. Di Tanjong Katong
11. Potong Padi
12. Bahiera Laju
13. Nona Nona
14. Midnight In Malaya

The Stylers contributed much to the local scene during the 60s with their immense repertoire of songs from instrumentals to vocals in Mandarin, English and a little bit of local dialects occasionally. Recently, I came across two such recordings made by the group during the golden era and would like to share them with fans here. So, crank up your speaks, click on the MP3 tracks and enjoy their original renditions of "Belachan" in English and "I.O.I.O aka Aiyoh, Aiyoh (Casino Song)" in Hokkien. There are lots of local flavour on these two songs. For fans of the recently launched Singapore casino, I.O.I.O is a timely reminder to exercise prudence in your new found hobby on the game of chance and luck. And a big thank you to The Stylers, especially Randy Lee Keng, one of the two original founder members of the group for sharing these two special songs with us. Cheers !


Anonymous said...

ha,ha..so funny. IOIO should be the signature song for Singapore Gamblers Incorporated ! The Stylers have their own style and did it their way as far back as the 60s. Don't think they ever envisage that there would be a Sentosa Resort World in Singapore as today when they recorded this song. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

hi Vernon,

I like the two songs very much. Reminds me of an album released by Siva Choy - Why U So like That? Had a good laugh listening to both tracks. These guys have originality and talent. Small wonder they are one of the best supported groups among the Mandarin pop fans. Their ability to record in English and Hokkien is a big plus factor to their popularity. Yes, those were the days....keep it coming dear. tks

Margaret Tan

Anonymous said...

Are these two songs available on any CDs ? Would like to purchase a copy if available. These subjects are very close to our hearts, eating Belachan, local spice and the recent excitement on casinos in Singapore. Thank you very much for the inclusion of the songs on your interesting blog. regards


Serene said...

My recollections of The Stylers was a group that performs instrumentals of popular Chinese tunes in the 70s. They were the undoubted Champions of Chinese music, and probably has a much bigger following of fans than any other local groups.

I am glad that someone has given them due recognition for their past achievements. Thank you for reminding us of this fabulous group of talented musicians.

Stylers Music lives on and on thru the years....

Serene Jie

Jet said...

Oh Boy ! The Stylers were the originators of the "Off-Beat Cha-Cha" sounds in Singapore then. If The Quests rules the Western pop music scene, The Stylers were their equals if not better in the Mandarin pop scene. These guys were really BIG during the 60 and 70s. In fact, almost all the Mandarin pop artists with some form of popularity had one time or other made a record with them. Their music is still very much in demand today, unlike the Western music groups.

Frankly, the support for Mandarin music is much better than Western music since time in memorial here, up to this present day. Stylers were the Kings of Rediffusion's Silver Network (broadcasting in Chinese).

I believe their lead guitarist John Teo is still active in the scene, producing instrumental albums that are still available in places like Chinatown. John is probably one of the best guitarist in Singapore, ranking along the likes of Guitar Guru Reggie Verghese of The Quests.

Hey, Vernon - when did you take an interest in their music ? Thought you only listens to Western pops ? Are you in contact with any of the Stylers members? Good of you to expend your music interests as there is much more in local music besides The Quests, Trailers, Thunderbirds, Crescendos etc.

BTW, I love the two songs that you have recently included on the blog, Balachan & I.O.I.O. (recall this was a very popular English song recorded by The Bee Gees in the 70s). The Stylers should consider a re-issue of this song and change the title to The Singapore Casino Song. Who knows, it may be an ovenight smash hit with the recent gambling craze here ???

Thanks for keeping this blog interesting.


Laila said...

Wow ! What a scoop of traditional Malay folk songs on this album of Our Songs. I do have a copy of this LP but its not playable now due to wear and tear over the years. It was brought by my brother years ago. Its a family favourite since we can related to most of the tracks which were popular Malay songs. Many of these songs were also recorded by top vocalists during the 60s like Anneke Gronloh, The Crescendos, Sandra, Boy & The Rolling Kids.

Every track tells a story of our proud tradition or history of local music during those glorious 60s days. My favorite tracks were Midnight In Malaya and Sunrise in Malaysia. Think the recording company got one of the track title wrong as Midnight In Malaysia!

Vern - I beg to differ with you that The Stylers were very much a group that excels in Mandarin music only. This album attests to the fact that they were just as good in handling other types of music, something we should give them due recognition. They were a very talented and versatile group of musicians.

There was also another album by The Jumping Jewels of Holland which paid tribute to Malaysian music. They recorded 4 melodious tunes that include Kapal Ladju, Nona Nona Zamang Sekarang, Stambul Bunga Mawar and Nina Bobo as their own Tribute To Malaysia. The Stylers could have taken a cue from this album then.

Thanks to you and The Stylers for reviving those fond memories of my adolescent age. Love it !


Anonymous said...

Shiok mann !!! Balachan and IOIO Casino songs are the best I ever heard from Singapore band for a long long time. Stylers The Best !! Huat Ah ! Kam siah.

Ah Huat

Anonymous said...

Let me share my thoughts about this amazing group. While other local groups have come and gone over time, Stylers' music is still very much alive here. Their immense popularity was probably due to the fact that the man in the street can easily related to them, their Mandarin and dialect albums. The members dress simply and appears to be very down to earth, no signs of being aloof. I've attended quite a number of their shows in the past, think at the New World Amusement Park, Early Bird & Musical Express shows at the Odean and Capitol cinemas and other venues and was always impressed with their simple showmanship and music. They ranked among top local groups like The Quests, Thunderbirds, Trailers in popularity, although with support from a different mix of fans. Songs like Balachan and IOIO (Casino song?) are good examples of their connection with the masses, comparable to Hong Kong's famous Cantopop star Sam Hui who produces several hits like The Private Eye that was very well received by the ordinary people. Its not surprising that Stylersmania still thrives till this day !

Another Stylers Fan

Anonymous said...

During the 60s, there were several local bands producing instrumental albums with favourite Chinese songs and tunes. The Stylers were one of the most popular groups from that period. Others include The Travellers, Silver Stones, Maurice Patton & The Melodians, The Vigilantes, The Tokens and others.

The Stylers have their own unique Off-Beat Cha Cha sound which captured the imagination of the fans. Because of their big following, several popular singers like Wang Chin Yuen, Chang Siow Ying, Lena Lim etc also made use of their back-up music in their own recordings. It was a win-win situation for both the artist and the group.

These guys were great but under rated by the English media since they concentrated more on Chinese music. By comparison, they would have probably made more recordings than any other local groups here. Over the years, the band has included more Chinese traditional instruments in their recordings.

It would be interesting if someone can pen the success story of The Stylers since they were one of the top recording groups here.

Luke Chan

Anonymous said...

I just heard Sunrise In Malaysia by The Stylers here. It was a very commendable effort by the group. This particular arrangement is different from the version by Boy & His Rolling Kids and has its own merits. I like both versions. Is there any chance of getting a copy of this interesting album ? I will pay for it. I suggest that The Stylers should consider re-issuing some of their past recordings as in the case of "Our Song" and include a few more tracks like the Casino and Balachan songs. I believe it would be well receive by their fans. Thanks.

Han HK

Anonymous said...

Its most refreshing to have The Stylers, a predominantly Mandarin music group, making a breakthrough into this blog dominated by western music. Some of the postings here really surprises me. It proves that Singapore music fans are also multi-lingual. No doubt they were a promindent local group that deserves a place in this Hall of Fame.

San San

Anonymous said...

Some of those tunes in this album are popular Indonesian songs. Love it. Where can I get a copy of this album?
I remember they do back up music for Ervinna (our Indonesian singer) in the Mandarin/English songs.
Wonder if this fab group is still around?


Anonymous said...

I dunno the title of the casino song in Hokkien. I think "Aiyoh, Aiyoh" might have been a better title for the song instead of IOIO. Afterall, the masses can relate to it better, right ? Its a winner for sure if released again with proper publicity.

Dawn Ying

Anonymous said...

Hello! Can some kind people here translate the Aiyoh song from Hokkien into English? I love this song but don't understand a word of it ??? tks.


Annie Ng said...

Hi Vernon,

I've been a follower of your blog since it was launched. Think its the first time a particular thread has dominated the "Latest Comment" column COMPLETELY ! This is no small feat as none of the more prominent groups from the 60s comes close to attract such level of interests. Could be the Chinese New Year Festive Season when many of the Stylers' CNY songs are played over the households. Kudos to the boys who assisted in keeping our traditions alive and kicking. Thanks for featuring them again at the most auspicious period of the Chinese calender. You could have included a Stylers CNY Greetings song on your blog as the icing on the cake ! Maybe next year? Kind regards.

Jane said...

Hi Vernon,

WOW!! The Stylers indeed have their own style and their own specialty of the "Off-Beat Cha Cha" in those good old days. Doubt any of the present Chinese band will be able to play like them.

Definitely will be great if they ever record all their songs into a CD as well as vinyl record. And, I am sure those die hard fans will be more than happy to include in their keepsake.... and I do have couple of their EPs as well.

I like the two songs that you have recently 'Balachan' & 'I.O.I.O'.. and those of us in that era will enjoy listening to those songs.

Thanks again Vernon for posting all those 60s songs.... and keep them coming.

Very best regards.

Anonymous said...

5. Bengawan Solo has got to be one of my favourites

Sung by the right persons its smooth .. mellow and romantic for sure


Alvin said...

Hello Vernon, I am Alvin Tan.This my first posting on your blog. I see many oldies from Stylers in your collections. Being a big fan of The Stylers, naturally I am attracted. You have a very neat site. For me, my uploads are on the Youtube. I have today uploaded about 1000 oldies on the Youtube under EHT123. Many are by Stylers or singers backed by The Stylers. You and all are welcome to visit. Junko wanted to know the IOIO version is English. I have translated it with the help from Randy Lee. It goes like this:
赌博傢伙了 The Gambler The Stylers - Sung by John Teo (Song and picture courtesy of Randy Lee of The Stylers) English Translation:- Aiyoh, ai ai ai ai ai my money's gone loh.. gone loh...(repeat) one day I go to play jimrami, play until "shiok shiok", not knowing that the money in my wallet all gone, not even one cent is left. Aiyoh, ai ai ai ai ai my money's gone loh.. gone loh...(repeat) come to Toa Payoh Lorong 3, feeling useless, my ring and my wages, all lost in gambling... regret also useless. Aiyoh, ai ai ai ai ai my money's gone loh.. gone loh...(repeat) all gamblers are muddled, promiscuous and won't care about wife, advising people not to make mistake and get into difficulty... gambling has no future. .. Aiyoh, ai ai ai ai ai my money's gone loh.. gone loh...(repeat). ...Hope this helps.

Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Alvin,

Many thanks for your posting and translation of I.O.I.O. (aka Aiyoh, Aiyoh) from Hokkien into English. I am sure Junko would be delighted.

Yes, I have visited your EHT 123 Youtube site. Very impressive indeed where I can relate to quite a number of the songs you have uploaded there. I am also a fan of Chinese songs and The Stylers and Wang Ching Yuen are two of my favourite artistes from the 60s.

You have done a great job in your EHT 123 account. Randy recommended me to your site and I must thank you for all the fond memories from the past. I still visits your video site during my leisure time to enjoy the past.

Thanks for a great job, Andy ! Keep up the good work. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hello Alvin,

Really glad that you have translated I.O.I.O. from Hokkien to English. The lyrics are simple but catchy. John Teo has a good voice and he delivers something which is close to our hearts, local dialect, favourite pastime of gambling, and most important, our type of songs which we can call our own !

Thanks again Alvin for sharing your EHT 123 Youtube vidoes with us and also to Vernon for hosting this blog, a home for Singapore 60s Music Lovers.

warm regards,

Vernon Cheong said...

The following is a post on Alvin's YouTube EHT 123 by the original composer of the song "Rhythm Of The Rain" after he heard The Stylers' version:-


RAINSONG4U - This is, without a doubt, one of the best instrumental versions of my song I've ever heard and there have been lots of them. Excellent work. What is the instrument called that you play? I love it. Is it a (spelling) Shami-sen? So wonderful. Thanks for posting it.

John Claude Gummoe, composer of "Rhythm of the Rain"


Anonymous said...

A great photo of The Stylers from the past. Thanks for posting, Vernon. The gentleman in the centre must be Robert Song, a very enterprising entertainer. Last I heard Robert migration overseas some years ago. Please keep the memories of the past flowing back to us.

Sebastian Shao

Randy Lee said...

Kerongcong maestro Gesang Martohartono, whose song Bengawan Solo gained fame all the way to Japan and other Asian countries passed away Thursday shortly after 6 pm, in Surakarta, Central Java, after being hospitalised since May 12, with a digestive problem and eventually died of asphyxiation and heart failure. He was 92.
Gesang who could not read musical notation, composed Bengawan Solo in 1940. It became popular throughout Indonesia, Japan and other Asian countries since first being recorded, and after is was aired in the 1940's on SRV, a local radio station.
In 2003, he was awarded for his long career in the recording industry by the Indonesian Records Musuem; in 2004, he received another for Bengawan Solo's record of being the song most covered by other artistes.

Anonymous said...

hi,Randy, Vernon
When I was child, my dad bought ta cassette tape The Stylers, now I want to hear again, the most The Stylers - Our Songs.
Where can I buy copy CD original?
And I wish to buy more all instrumental CD from The Stylers mostly old song, for my collection.
Please let me know and give me advise to buy The Stylers CD
Thank you


Vernon Cheong said...

Hi Harry,

The Stylers' traditional and popular Chinese music CD albums are still available for sale at some of the shops and stalls in Chinatown. But their very popular Our Song album is no longer in production. Hopefully, someday the record companies will reissue this album for their fans like yourself. Cheers.

Randy Lee said...

Hi Harry

Thanks for your interest in the Stylers. Yes Vernon is right the "Our Songs" album is no longer in production. However some of those old Mandarin songs are still available in Chinatown.
By the way how do I get in touch with you.
Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vernon and Randy

Thank you for your information about The Stylers. And I want to keep in touch to personal member like Mr. Randy, and all members of the band.

In the present time I am resident of California, USA since 1989.
Indonesia is love my country,and Central Jawa is my childhood, Jakarta is the last city before I migrant to California, USA

The Stylers CD is hard to find in USA, and I tried to many website, even Chinese store can't find it, I hope this blog make my dream came alive. Thank You


Anonymous said...

I heard some talk in the grapevine that The Stylers will soon be realising a CD album of their past recordings? Are you aware of that Vernon? If its true, then its probably the best thing to happen in local pops since the release of The Quests compilation. They were the answer to the Quests in the Chinese pop scene during the 60s/70s. I believe they were more popular in terms of fan support and had more recordings.