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.

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. 

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Academy Award Oscar Winner Rita Moreno N Dress Meet Singaporean

Ms Rita Moreno:

Sarong Kebaya Outfit
Hollywood legend and movie star, Rita Moreno who was one of the highlights of the show at Oscar Night 2018 was in Singapore in May, 1962 for the premiere screening of her movie, Summer And Smoke. She was mobbed by the huge crowd waiting for her in the lobby of the Cathay Cinema for the all-Malaysia screening. 

That evening she wasn't wearing her famous dress but a beautiful, figure-fitting multi-coloured sarong kebaya combination. She had fallen in love with the Asian dresses she had seen and bought them during her five-day visit to Singapore; they would include the cheongsam and sari too. According to her, oriental clothes were more feminine compared to American clothing. She had been purchasing many pieces.

Advertisement from the Straits Times 1962 promoting a Rita Moreno show in Singapore. Note the bands featured with the singers Rosalind Ong and Ruby Wah, the notable Sid Gomez and Jose Daroya bands.

Ms Moreno had probably been on a Singapore shopping spree after her big win at the Academy Awards nearly 60 years ago. When asked about her movie, she exclaimed that she enjoyed every moment making it. 

Now what's more interesting is, a Singaporean had seen this petite actress and made contact with her.

Mr Stephen Han:

Mr Stephen Han, a Facebook friend, who was present at the premiere commented that he met Rita Moreno that evening. Here's his story:

"Rita Moreno won the best-supporting-actress academy award for her performance in the West Side Story along with George Chakiris as the supporting actor.

She visited Singapore after the Oscar Award. As she passed by me at the Cathay Cinema, I said, "Congratulation!" to her and she was so elated and happy that she came and shook my hand and said thank you.

Glad she was able to wear the same dress to the 2018 Academy function."

So there, a night he can never forget, meeting up with one of the prettiest Hollywood stars and dancers in the world. Thank you, Mr Han, for your contribution to this blog. I'm sure Rita Moreno remembers you. Let's hope she reads this blog and write back to you on the Facebook connection below:

Rita Moreno sings about America: YouTube Video from MOVIECLIPS 

Images: Google and Stephen Han's Facebook page.
YouTube Video:

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Siva Choy R.I.P. Tribute From Horace Wee 2

This SMS came in later today.

I lost another friend from the 60's today.

Siva Choy, the well-known journalist and musician from Singapore, has passed away from a massive stroke at 2.30 pm today in Perth Australia. His wife Ilsa Sharp, also a renowned journalist mourns the loss. And so do many friends here and in Perth.

Some may recall his series, WHY YOU SO LIKE THAT. He took the name of my previous band CROSSROADS after it disbanded. We had a laugh about that. RIP my friend. Keep rocking on your heaven bound journey.

From: Horace Wee

4 March 2018.

Condolences to his wife Ilsa Sharp and Family, from Andy.

Connect to Siva's previous post:

Tribute from Jerry Fernandez:
Steamroller Blues: Siva Choy and Crossroads. Video from bluesmatic.

Dear Friends. 
The Funeral Service For Our Awesome Friend Siva Choy Will Be Held On 
Friday, 9 March 2018 
At Peaceful Funeral Services, 
1787 Albany Highway, 10AM. 
Please Pass This Info On. Thank You.
Alphonso Soosay
Facebook Post

6 March 2018

Images: Google.

Video: YouTube 8.8.2010.