Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Rock And Roll 60's Hits: By Michael Bangar Part 2

Here he is again ladies and gentlemen, Michael Bangar, pop singer and rhythm guitarist with The Silver Strings, doing his second love, writing for this blog, right straight from the heart. 
Thanks very much Michael.

Dear Andy,

Part Two

Meanwhile, in the UK and Europe, Cliff Richard and The Shadows and their likes were rocking the charts with some of their own catchy hits. In the US pop music in the charts were watered down to keep in line with the authorities idea to phase out rock n roll eventually. 
Michael Bangar

In the meantime, the US troops that were stationed in Germany, especially the African American were bringing with them and introducing their music to the European audiences and bands performing there by Rock and Roll artistes like Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, Bill Haley and His Comets, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and of course King Elvis Presley.

African American artistes included: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ray Charles. Blues singers like BB King, Albert King, Freddie King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, etc.

In Hamburg, a relatively unknown five-piece band from Liverpool, England calling themselves The Silver Beatles were doing the rounds there in clubs like The Star Club, doing covers of American rock n roll, pop, soul and blues. Made up of 3 guitarists John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums, they drew the crowd.

They paid their dues there working long sets to hone their craft. During a violent tragic incident where they were beaten up by thugs, Stuart succumbed to his injuries and passed on. Sad!

At home in the UK, some bands were doing the same thing. The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals, The Searchers, and others were also doing the rounds in clubs and concert halls polishing their skills, doing mostly covers of American music.

The Fab Four were smart enough to shorten their band name to The Beatles and dressed in matching outfits. With their Beatle boots and moptops, they started a fashion craze worldwide. In a short while in the UK, bands started sprouting out all over the place imitating them and their image.

Upon returning to England, Paul switched to bass and Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey - real name) replaced Pete Best on drums. They got involved with Brian Epstein who took on their management. He worked on a recording deal for them. 
Decca Records rejected them first saying that "guitar bands are on the way out" before EMI (Parlophone Label to be exact - who put them on to producer George Martin) took them on. Then they started their run of hits: Love Me Do, Please Please Me, From Me To You, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help, A Hard Days Night and the list went on and on.

The groups formed and The Searchers had Sweet For My Sweet, Needles And Pins When You Walk In The Room. Gerry and The Pacemakers had How Do You Do, I like It, Ferry Cross The Mersey and the Liverpool Football Club Anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone. 

Freddie and The Dreamers gave us If You Got To Make A Fool Of Somebody, I Understand a remake of The Four Tunes 1954 hit (integrated with Auld Lang Syne) and Do The Freddie (their dance hit). Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas hit the British charts with George Harrison's Do You Want To Know A Secret, Bad To me, I'll Keep You Satisfied and Little Children. 

All the groups came along and followed their footsteps. They gave The Rolling Stones their first hit, I Wanna Be Your Man, which Ringo Starr recorded on their first album called, With The Beatles. Other Stones' hits followed - The Last Time, Under The Boardwalk (American group, The Drifters original) their giant hit Satisfaction and Get Off Of My Cloud. 

The Kinks, with their hits You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and Waterloo Sunset. Manfred Mann with hits like 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, If You Got To Go, Mighty Quinn, Go Now, Pretty Flamingo and Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo. The Dave Clark 5 gave us Glad All Over, Catch Us If You Can, Because Because I Love You, Reelin' and A-Rockin', a Chuck Berry original. 

The Animals with House Of The Rising Sun (an American traditional folk song first popularised by Nina Simone), Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Bring It On Home To Me, We Got To Get Out Of This Place, See See Rider. Hermans' Hermits and their hits I'm Into Something Good, No Milk Today, A Little Bit Better, Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter.

During that period, the early 60's there were some short-lived groups that had their songs in the UK charts as well. Like The Merseybeats with hits like I Think Of You, Sorrow, Wishing And Hoping. 

The Fourmost hits were A Little Loving, Hello Little Girl, Baby I Need Your Loving. The Honeycombs with a lady drummer gave the UK charts, Have I The Right, Leslie Anne, That's The Way. After a short period, these bands faded away from the UK pop music history book.

Written By:
Michael Bangar.

The information provided may not be accurate since it was an SMS document from Mr Michael Bangar who wrote the article from memory. If there is factual misinformation, do write in to allow us to make corrections.

Have you read Part One?

Images: Google.
Articles: Michael Bangar (Copyrights Reserved).

Beatles Ringo Starr Is Now Sir Richard Starkey

The youthful Ringo who became a Beatle and later with a moustache; finally his full beard with the medal of honour. A journey of success that had to be. 

Sir Richard Starkey gets his Star. Congratulations to Ringo Starr who received his knighthood on the 20 March 2018. He received it after Beatles Paul McCartney received his 21 years ago.

Wear it well Sir Ringo because your songs with the Beatles have been ringing in our ears for a long time now.

In Singapore 60's The Beatles were so popular that in the Malay music scene, the guitar groups - rock, pop or RnB - called themselves collectively, Kugiran Pop-Yeh-Yeh. 

They were using the phrase from a famous Beatles hit, She Loves You, Yeh Yeh Yeh. The Malay word ku-gi-ran came from the first syllable of three words: kumpulan, gitar, rancak which means: a group of lively guitars.
Les Flingers from Muar Johore with A Zanne singer.  Check their Beatles outfit.

And mop heads and Beatle boots with suitable Beatle jackets. Nearly every Singapore pop band and the population of youth copied the style.

And of course the Beatles of Malaysia too, Mike and Herb, resplendent in their mandarin collar and shimmering tops.

Images: Google and A Personal Collection.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fake News: Contain The Contamination. "You Lied."

Keith Locke said, "You lied, lied, lied, lied, lied..." 😈

The rampant spread of poisonous fake news liquid is covering much of internet space and before we know it the whole earth may be drowned in a scripted deluge of tainted fluid. Our children may drink this contamination too.

Please be careful when you write or make comments. So far this blog has received none of these unpleasantries and I thank my readers for being so positive in their views.

Stop fake news before we become addicted to them.

A point to ponder though; what if the news piece is real and you can prove the facts? Can you publish? Surely?

Don't Play That Song, You Lied, You Lied: Keith Locke and The Quests Video from Krazy Karaoke. Thank you.


The Quests was a Singapore grouped unparalleled and consisted of its singer Keith Locke who recorded the song with backing by Reggie Verghese who played lead guitar, Henry Chua who played bass, Jap Chong on rhythm and Wee Guan on drums.

Reggie Verghese and Jap Chong have since passed away. Keith Locke left Singapore many years ago. Both Henry Chua and Wee Guan are still active today in local music circles.

*Written by Ahmet Ertegun and Betty Nelson, the wife of the original singer Ben E. King, it was a chart-topper in 1962 for King and later for The Quests. It has been covered by many, including Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Beverly Knight, Peppino de Capri and others.

Keith Locke and Irene Yap (recording artiste and nightclub singer in the 70's). Now, this picture is for real. Not a fake one. So don't steal it for your new book because that's IP (Intellectual Property) thievery, which the authorities will be dealing with soon. 😐 Thank you.

Images from Google and A Personal Collection.

Video from Krazy Karaoke.
Information is original and a personal message.
*This piece is from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alphonso Soosay: Leaves "Flares" Joins Naomi's Boys

'Your request to know more about The Flares.'

This simple and short line from Alphonso Soosay (drummer from Naomi and the Boys) showed his willingness to share stories about local 60's pop music. He put it up on my Facebook posting. 

When I asked him further if his story could be posted on this blog he responded positively for the second time. Thank you, Alphonso, for your story; appreciate the time you took.
Alphonso Soosay, clean-cut, well-groomed drummer with The Flares, in action.  

From What I Can Remember, The 1960’s Were Often Considered The Best Decade Of Music In The World And Singapore. “The Flares” Was The Unknown Mystery Singapore 60’s Band. As Mysterious It May Seem From The Distance Of Over 50 Years, ”The Flares” Burst Out Of The Gate From Fun Practices, Once A Week, To Working At The British Camps Weekend Gigs At Changi. 

This Ideal Provided The Flares With An Opportunity To Get A Regular Paying Gig Every Friday And Saturday. And It Was A Test For The Band's Materials. Performing At Catholic Church Charity Functions Was Also A Joy For The Band. It Also Helped Polish Our Performance Before A Live Paying Audience. 

Then One Day Came A Night Club Offer For A Six-Month Gig. The Band Would Never Modify Much From The Clattering Guitar Shine Pop Of The Shadows And The Ventures Because of Edmund Tan, Our Lead Guitarist, Who Would Sing Many Of Cliff Richard’s Songs.
This is the band "The Flares" that Alphonso (drummer) was working with at the night-club in Anson Road.

Also, Another Vocalist In The Band, Frankie Cheam Rhythm Guitarist, Would Sing Most Of Elvis Presley’s Songs With Much Realism. Paul Soon Was Our Bass Guitarist And Was Happy To Sing Back-Up. 

The Band Developed A Well-Thought-Of Repertoire And That’s Why It Was Easy For The Flares To Get Nightclub Contracts When Auditioning For Them. Beside Performing As A Group At Night, Edmund And Frankie Had A Full Time Day Job; Paul Was A Student At Singapore University And Myself A Full-Time Musician Then. 

By 1965 The Recording Band Popularity In Singapore Was Seriously Blossoming. Although The Flares Did Not Take-Off With Any Recording Offer They Held On To A Two Year Contract Working In A Night Club In Anson Road As Resident Band.


Then one day, in the midst of a jam session, Robert Suriya walked in and offered Alphonso to join his band called, "Naomi and The Boys". The rest, of course, is history.

And that, folks, is another story.

Any comment?
Alphonso Soosay with his huge automobile in Perth Australia where he lives.
He has written a book, 'My Passion, Audio Awareness' which is all about audio recording and live sound experience:

Copyrighted Images: A Private Collection. 
Article by Alphonso Soosay 
(Copyrights Reserved.)
Alphonso Soosay with Jerry Fernandez, Robert Suriya,
Audie Ng and Andy.

The Ventures Nokie Edwards: A Tribute

Nokie Edwards from The Ventures. Another guitar hero is gone in 2018.

Another music maker bites the dust. 

Nokie Edwards from The Ventures, whose guitar instrumentals are played even today, died at 82 years on 12 March 2018. Walk Don't Run and Hawaii Five 0 with other Ventures great hits have always been performed by local Singapore bands since the 1960's. 

Two guitar bands emerged the leaders in the 60's, the Shadows and the Ventures. If the opening number on a local stage by a guitar group is not Apache (The Shadows) then it's either Walk Don't Run or Perfidia from Ventures. 
Nokie Edwards Custom Signature Model Telecaster designed for Fender.

Telecasters and Mosrite guitars were what Edwards used when he's playing. He even designed one called the Nokie Edwards Custom Signature Model Telecaster for Fender using gold and ebony for parts.  

Edwards played lead guitar and bass with the Ventures from 1960 to 1968, then from 1972 to 1985 and as a guest from 1999 to 2012 before he passed on in 2018.

The internet is filled with condolences and sad goodbyes for the famous guitarist who died in Alabama on Monday. Singapore guitar groups wish him a fond farewell too.  There's so much to read about him on Websites that we can only wish him to play more music in the Great Beyond. Twang the guit loud up there, Sir.

May you Rest In Peace, Mr Nokie Edwards. 
Nokie Edwards Lead guitar: Wipe Out, Bulldog, Sleep Walk. Video from: janelvis66

Images: Google.
Video: YouTube. Thanks to janelvis66.
Henri Gann's (Trekkers Singapore Guitar Group 60's) tribute to Nokie Edwards.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

October Cherries Vinyl Chat Drummer Richard Khan

A smartphone SMS communication dialogue becomes a publication piece. I must thank Richard Khan of the October Cherries for this short article about the above vinyl.

This recording was done during the early years of the October Cherries. As it stands this particular vinyl sold reasonably well but the songwriting and recording, according to percussionist Richard Khan, got better with *Dreamseller (image below right).

Please Love Me and I'll Wait was produced in 1969 after the group came back from their first stint in Bangkok. They left EMI changed their names from The Surfers to October Cherries and manager Bal hired a studio and each one took charge of recording. 

Richard remembered coming up with the drumbeat for Please Love Me while he was walking with Jay Shotam, vocalist and bassist, singing the first verse on the way. This incident happened near the Orchard area, very close to the Istana around Penang Road.  They also made new suits with high collars for the occasion which they donned for the sleeve cover (image).

*Dreamseller Album
Beside Jay Shotam on bass guitar, Benny Siow and Peter Diaz with their respective lead and rhythm, Richard on drums, other musical objects were used as they were quite experimental during the recording sessions.

I'll Wait turned out to be a hit, especially in Malaysia.

NB: I paid $50 for this vinyl. Believe me!

Images: A Personal Collection.
Article: Richard Khan Copyrights Reserved.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

International Women's Day: Singapore Ladies Empower Yourselves With Songs

Dedicated To My Wife:

Many music enthusiasts think that Helen Reddy's, I Am Woman was the first feminist song that survived the pop charts. The actual fact is, way before her song became a big hit for women power, there were already other songs commemorating the movement for female rights.

Below is a compilation that should be more than sufficient for our Singapore ladies to sing their lungs out today. Just to add some spice. The 2018 United Nations theme for International Woman's Day is: Time Is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women's Lives.
I Am Woman Helen Reddy From YouTube Video by:

So dear ladies, check the lyrics and sing it to your boyfriends, brothers, male friends, male colleagues, husbands, etc. 15 songs are more than sufficient to choose from. 

I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Harper Valley PTA - Bobby Gentry
No More Tears, Enough Is Enough - Donna Summer Barbra Streisand

Do Right Woman, Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin
Sun Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
I Am Woman - Helen Reddy
Diana Ross And The Supremes from 1960's: Stop In The Name Of Love.

You Let Me Down - Billie Holiday
You Don't Own Me - Lesley Gore
Me And Bobby McGhee - Janis Joplin

Just Because I'm A Woman - Dolly Parton
Respect - Aretha Franklin
I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross

Words Of Love - Papas and Mamas
Don't Make Me Over - Dionne Warwick
Stop In The Name Of Love - The Supremes

Wishing all my women readers and viewers a Happy International Women's Day.
Dusty Springfield: Son Of A Preacher Man Video by:

Information: Here and There
Images: Google
YouTube Video

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Academy Award Oscar Original Song Recorded By Singaporean in 1968

Many of the 60's pop songs that we are familiar with today have won the Academy Award Oscars in the past. Below is a list of songs that hit the high notes from 1960 to 1969 and won the Oscar. 

You will be surprised at the number of songs you know. The original songs below, specifically written for a movie, were awarded for Best Original Song of that particular year and presented to the songwriter, not the singer:

Movie: Never On Sunday
Song:  Never On Sunday  

Movie: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Song:  Moon River

Movie: Days of Wine and Roses
Song:  Days of Wine and Roses

Movie: Papa's Delicate Condition
Song:  Call Me Irresponsible

Movie: Mary Poppins
Song:  Chim Chim Cheree

Movie: The Sandpiper
Song: The Shadow Of Your Smile
Local Malay singer Sugiman Jahuri with the Mathis' voice recorded it on vinyl.

Movie: Born Free
Song:  Born Free

Movie: Dr Dolittle
Song:  Talk To The Animals

Movie: The  Thomas Crown Affair
Song:   The Windmills Of Your Mind

Movie: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
Song:  Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

As popular as the movie the song, Born Free by John Barry (music) and Don Black (lyrics) from 1966, was so much in demand during requests programmes that local Malay singer Sugiman Jahuri recorded it on Columbia Records vinyl but only two years later in 1968 (image above).  

The man from Pulau Bukom (an offshore island) went on to be a star both on television and on the radio/Rediffusion. He was the Johnny Mathis of Singapore and recorded, It's Not For Me To Say on the same vinyl.

Check Sugiman's other vinyl recording:
Come Saturday Morning (The Sterile Cuckoo) The Sandpipers Video: ultra taro.

The other nominated songs which were just as popular but did not win an Oscar included these ones below. In fact, they could have won too. Most of them are so popular they hit the charts just as well:

The Green Leaves of Summer (The Alamo)
Charade (Charade)
More (Mondo Cane)

The Sweetheart Tree (The Great Race)
I Will Wait For You (The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg)
What's New Pussycat? (What's New Pussycat?)

Alfie (Alfie)
Georgy Girl (Georgy Girl)
The Look Of Love (Casino Royale)

Come Saturday Morning (The Sterile Cuckoo)
Jean (The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie)
Images: Google
Video: YouTube by ultra taro

This article has been copyrighted.