SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY's POP MUSIC INFLUENCE IS MY PERSONAL MUSIC AND MEMORY TRAIL. PICTURES TELL STORIES BUT I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOU TUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS OR IMAGES. THEY HAVE BEEN UPLOADED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES SO INFORM ME IF COPYRIGHTED AND THEY WILL BE DELETED. ANDY LIM (NOVEMBER, 2008).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gong Xi, Gong Xi (恭喜恭喜) Composer Chen Gexin (陳歌辛) Happy Chinese New Doggie Year

农历新年快乐

Up to 4,400 readers
in 3 days. A record   

My Lunar New Year Posting 2018 

The Song:

Like the fun Christmas song, Jingle Bells and other festive oldies played during the season, Chinese New Year (CNY) welcoming Spring songs have fallen into the same collection of a totally commercialised cacophony of chorus vocals, digital keyboard music, clashing cymbals and gong sounds.  

As we usher in the Lunar New Year, the once warm and spirited melodies have now become part of the brash lion dances, red-coloured buntings, lanterns and pussy-willows we find everywhere. And the melodies are played non-stop for three or more weeks.

Like the common ang-pow*, collected during festive time, the song Gong Xi, Gong Xi like other CNY melodies, is just as common and sung extensively during the period with other ones. Sweet melodies have become a ruckus. And sometimes we cover our ears.

姚莉,姚敏 恭喜恭喜 Yao Li, Yao Min 'Congratulations Congratulations' by cdman88.


The Composer:

But here's the punch-line. Gong Xi, Gong Xi isn't a CNY song at all and if you know its origin perhaps you will appreciate this composition with more respect.

In Chinese, Gong Xi doesn't mean Happy New Year but Congratulations or a wish for your happiness and prosperity. It was composed after the second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 to celebrate and honour the freedom China achieved after their victory over Japan.

Famed and accomplished Chen Gexin who introduced Rose, Rose I Love

YouShanghai Nights and The Blossom of Youth to the world, penned Gong Xi, Gong Xi and composed the music in Shanghai in 1945 with much patriotism and fervour. 

During the war and Japanese Occupation, he had been jailed and tortured for writing such songs. Because of his imprisonment, this particular melody was written in a minor key which, according to many musicians, gives the tune a melancholic edge, a tinge of desolation. 

Composer Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)
The Singers:

But famous Shanghai diva Yao Li, one of the seven respected divas in pre-war China, recorded it with her brother Yao Min and gave it the sparkle. This version doesn't carry the joy and merriment like later versions do but rather a quiet celebration of achievement and freedom (YouTube video). The words echo the sentiments:

After much difficulty

Experiencing so much discipline
How many hearts are looking forward
To the news of Spring
Congratulations (X6).

I had learnt it from my mother but in tune only with its easy refrain. She was a gentle lady who also taught me other Chinese goldies, especially the ones composed from the 1940's and earlier.


Appreciate the song when you hear it now. And don't take CNY for granted.


A Happy Lunar New Year to all.

Connect:


http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/2012/08/searching-for-my-favourite-chinese.html
Yao Li (姚莉)

The Language

Chinese script

Songs:

Gong Xi Gong Xi. (恭喜恭喜)
Rose, Rose I Love You (玫瑰玫瑰我愛你), 
Shanghai Nights (夜上海) 
The Blossom of Youth (花樣年華)

Composer:

Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)

Singers:

Yao Li (姚莉)
Yao Min (姚敏)

*ang-pow (red-packets with cash).
'Rose, Rose I Love You' composed
by Chen Gexin. (陳歌辛)
This article is an original post and information is derived from my own background and from the Internet.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Funny Valentine: Alice Fredenham New Love?


Alice Fredenham, Matt Dusk, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Striesand, Chet Baker.

Another Valentine's Day Posting 2018: 

The Song:

Strange that this popular jazz standard is relatively unknown in our part of the world. Ask anyone to sing Fly Me To The Moon and the person will immediately hum or sing the tune. Similarly, with other familiar ones like Summertime, The Lady Is A Tramp or even Misty. Known factors.

But ask about My Funny Valentine and the response, "Yes, I've heard of it but I don't know the tune." Even our local 60's music pop stars today never batted an eyelid when I mentioned the title. The only people familiar are the jazz musicians around. 

The 600 Plus Covers:

The song, written by composer Richard Rogers and lyricist Lorenz Hart, has been sung by more than 600 artistes and recorded on 1,300 plus albums. It was one of the show tunes for Babes In Arms, a musical that appeared in 1937. I wasn't even born then and those babes in arms who know the song are probably gone by now.

Sarah Vaughn, Linda Ronstadt, Kim Novak are favourites that can carry the song well.

Since hundreds of artistes have put the song on vinyl, lovers of this tune have a wide choice. I love two covers, one is an earlier recording by Sarah Vaughn and the other by Linda Rondstadt in 1986. But Frank Sinatra's classic, Pal Joey recorded lovely Kim Novak (she resembles Charlize Theron) singing it. 

Others who covered it, sometimes for a performance only, included Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Chaka Khan, Sting, Boy George, TC Carson, Angela McClusky, Lubelle Rose, Michelle Pfeiffer, Anita Baker, Nancy Wilson, Carly Simon, Bjork, Etta James, Melinda DoLittle, Ann Hampton Callaway, Nat King Cole, Michael Buble and many more.
The Latest Version:
Lately, in 2013, an unknown, bashful, tearful singer called Alice Fredenham (You could sing the phonebook, says Simon Cowell) gave a beautiful rendition. With 43 million viewers on YouTube, she became an overnight sensation but not without controversy because a media has mentioned she appeared in another show different - like she has had a make-under. Ah, my funny Valentine. 😉


 Britain's Got Talent Recording: My Funny Valentine by Alice Fredenham.
 https://www.youtube.com/user/BritainsGotTalent09

For me, I am taking the above video as it is because at last, a song so delectably charming is rendered so truthfully, by a lady so breathtakingly beautiful. 

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine 
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Unphotographable
Yet you're my favourite work of art...

A Happy Valentine's Day to all lovers. 💖



Article: Andy Lim Copyrights Reserved.
Images of vinyl covers from Google.
Information from the Internet.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Andy 60's Music: 50,000+ Monthly Views

Thank you very much... 
to all readers


This blog has surpassed the 50,000+ monthly readers currently. It has been holding steady for 30,000+ viewers monthly. Understandably the statistics will drop again but hopefully, it will go higher to 60,000 monthly viewers without any help from anyone except my regular readers, friendly writers, blogspot.com and everyone else from all over the world. Again thank you.

Blog viewers on 18 February 2018

Connect below to read some of the postings:
Start your journey here. Click any one below to connect: 





Or you could just browse through the blog. You might take a week or two
if you start from today. Click below   😊

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Wedding: A John Cher Exclusive 💖

Mr and Mrs John Cher walking down the aisle during their wedding in 1977.

*************
This  post   has
1,300+ viewers
since published.
*************

This posting is a Valentine's Day Special 💖💝💘

There are more than 300 'likes' on Mr *John Cher's Facebook page when he posted his wedding pictures with beautiful Betsy.  The couple looks so refreshingly charming and I asked if he could write his experience for this blog.  As usual, he obliged.

Thanks again John and Betsy. And a Happy 41st Wedding Anniversary to both.


The Wedding (La Novia) by Julie Rogers. Video from Chen Daniel.

In  1969  I went to McGRAW-HILL F.E.P. for the first time for a job interview.  This 19-year-old simpleton from U.S.A. (Upper Serangoon Area) was completely blown away by the size of this factory/office.  

The landscaped garden in the centre of the complex complete with cascades, fish ponds and the works looked exactly like a 5-star hotel. I got the job!  What I didn't know then was that within the parameters of this beautiful gigantic workplace with hundreds of employees, was my future wife!
A YOUNG COUPLE IN LOVE

She was introduced to me by a mutual colleague.  On our first date, my colleague with his girlfriend and us went for a movie at The Capitol.  After that was supper at Albert Street.  Together with taxi fares,  I went without lunch the following week!  Be that as it may, after this initial outing, the dates became weekly, graduating to any day also can...

After 4 or 5 years, it was time for wedding plans. I was honestly quite horrified by the thought of meeting her mother whose facial features never fail to remind me of bulldogs!  That was not the only issue.  My friends, who were all older as well as married guys, kept telling me that I was still young and should wait a few more years.

The 3 RINGS.

I am sure with the best of intentions,  in various ways they kept telling me about the 3 rings!  These are nothing to do with the Lord of the Rings.  They are  1)  The Engagement RING,   2) The Wedding RING and 3rd) The SufferRING!   Well, love knows no boundaries and on 5th February 1977, Betsy and I were married at The Church of the Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary. 

On our wedding morning, would you believe the make-up girl was no way to be found at the appointed time?  All hell broke loose and I was right in the firing line as she was proposed by me!   In an instant, I understood what my friends meant by The 3rd Ring !!!  And we were not even officially married yet!
God in His infinite wisdom wanted man and woman to be married and multiply.  By His grace, everything went on smoothly for the rest of the day and night.  The wedding dinner was pretty good (that's what everyone told me and I took it at face value).  My only regret was that there was no band to provide music.  Should have known The Silver Strings then!

We went to The Philippines for our honeymoon.  When we arrived at the Silahis Hotel (In later years THE PLAYBOY CLUB was at this hotel) we were really hungry and so-called room service for a dozen sandwiches.  


Baby Face by Bobby Darin. Video from:

I think it took about an hour and then finally the doorbell rang.  When I opened the door I nearly fainted.  There were 3 waiters with 2 carts with 12 beautiful trays of sandwiches !!  It cost about S$150.  That was 41 years ago!  And $150 could have been dinner for about 10 people.  OMG!!!

Thanks Andy for asking me to share my wedding story.

BTW  those who are planning to get married, please don't be unduly concerned, for the benefits and fun far exceed the third "Ring".

Cheers everyone!
Through the years with Mr and Mrs John Cher from the U.S.A. (Upper Serangoon Area).😉

*John is happily retired and plays the drums with The Silver Strings. He has a very popular Facebook account that draws hundreds of readers. You can also check him out under Labels below and read his many articles on this blog.

Images and Article: A John Cher Collection (Copyrights Reserved).
Sihali's Hotel from http://www.kimberry.com/archives/1980s/philippines_1984/hotel.html

Silahis Hotel in Manila Philippines, where the couple stayed for their honeymoon.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Valentine Day: Love Songs, Wishes, Messages

Your short-cut:

The Valentine connection through the years. Check it out. Just scroll down and read about one dozen stories, articles and love songs about 14th February since 2010.

CONNECT HERE:

http://singapore60smusic.blogspot.sg/search/label/Valentine%20Songs

A HAPPY VALENTINE TO ALL LOVERS.

Image: Google.


Saturday, February 03, 2018

齊豫 Qi Yu: 橄欖樹 Ganlan Shu Interpretation

A Lunar New Year ang-pow to all. A lovely Chinese pop-classic that tells much.

It's a yearly affair where more than 200 million Chinese travel home to their various provinces in mainland China by plane, sea, train, road or on foot, to make sure they are present for the Chinese Lunar New Year family dinner. 

It is a huge exodus. Some news media call it the largest human migration ever that happens yearly in a country of 1.412 billion people. 

There are many reasons why they leave their hometown. Many of them leave to work in the city while some go away as students to study in another province or country. Then there are those who travel far and wide for their own personal reason. Some love to travel and explore the world while others have businesses abroad. But most of them come home for their new year family gathering.

Similarly in Malaysia and Singapore. There's a mini-exodus here when Malaysians working on our island return to their homeland and vice-versa. Buses, taxis, cars, motorcycles, trucks fill the Johore Causeway days before Chinese New Year, resulting in huge jams and heave traffic.
The theme of being away and to "wander so far", reminds me of this Chinese song by well-known Qi Yu who is a Taiwanese singer, best known for her lovely and melodious rendition of Olive Tree written by her composer/songwriter mentor in 1979. Qi Yu covers English songs too; she is just as popular in Singapore and was here in 2014 for a performance.

I heard this song when I was eating in a Chinese restaurant alone in Winnipeg Canada in the 80's. The music came from the owner's kitchen. The old gentleman came out and explained to me in perfect English what it meant. It's another form of migration, to another country but, never going back home. Which was what he and his family did.

Somehow the haunting melody connected, especially when I was sitting by myself in that empty restaurant (it was cold Winter and no student could afford meals in these places). I was giving myself a treat when the song came on and the thought of being a refugee never came to mind. It was the first time I heard it and I was thousands of miles away from home...

齊豫 Qi Yu (橄欖樹 Ganlan Shu) Video provided by Rock Records. Thank you.

Mandarin Lyrics:

橄欖樹 Ganlan Shu
李泰祥 Li Taixiang: Music
(三毛) San Mao:Lyrics

不要問我從哪裡來  我的故鄉在遠方 為什麼流浪 流浪遠方 流浪 為了天空飛翔的小鳥  為了山間輕流的小溪 為了寬闊的草原 流浪遠方 流浪 還有還有 為了夢中的橄欖樹橄欖樹 不要問我從哪裡來 我的故鄉在遠方 為什麼流浪 為什麼流浪 遠方 不要問我從哪裡來  我的故鄉在遠方 為什麼流浪 流浪遠方  流浪為了我 夢中的橄欖樹
The olive tree: Screenshot from zzenzero: YouTube 17.08.2017.
English Lyrics

Olive Tree

Don't ask where I have come 
My home is far far away
Why do you wander so far 
Wander so far, wander so far?

For the birds in the sky 
For the clear mountain streams
For the grasslands green and wide
I wander, wander so far

Then is there more?
Yes for the olive tree in my dream
Far far away
For the olive tree of my dream
Far far away.

Enjoy your 2018 doggie Lunar New Year everyone.
NB: 
According to zzenzero (youtube 2013), the song is from a 1979 movie, Your Smiling Face and written by a lady San Mao. It was interpreted as a song about refugees and a person's wandering ways.

The singer herself explained that Olive Tree represented an ideal but that if this ideal was unattainable then one needed to let it go, or the person became the Olive Tree and vice versa. Never pursue or look for it.

Images: Google. 
YouTube: Acknowledged.
Connection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yhVNF6xw0Y

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cheap Flights For All: Fascinating Aida: 'Diddly Aiden...'

Diddly Aiden Daidin Daidin Dai. Video by totahdudi. Thank you. Also, thanks to Fernanda Gonzalez without which this conversation couldn't have been.

Here's a remarkable trio I would like my readers to meet. Jimmy Chng from The Decibels introduced me to this vocal group. They call themselves Fascinating Aida.

The three ladies joined forces in March 1983 after the years of disco lights and John Travolta. Always around and to my delight, British comedy - stand-ups, groups or otherwise - have always tickled my funny bones. 

They come by the dozens, especially in the 60's and I find them as hilarious as the time when Harry Secombe, Peter Sellars, Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson were still around. The last two are still dishing it out, I think.
Fascinating Aida Musical Group (from left) Adele Anderson, Issy van Randwyck and Dillie Keane.

But this group is slightly different. They belong to a genre called Satirical Cabaret and consists of only ladiesThe original group included Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman with changes here and there.

You don't need the lyrics because their articulation is perfect, the best English teachers. Enjoy. 😁 In case you do need the lyrics just key in the title song and you'll get a million sites to choose from.

Fascinating Aida should apply to teach the English Language in Singapore and put more fun into the local syllabus. They would make fascinating tutors. (Unless one is able to switch, speaking Singlish doesn't really help, especially when you need to speak publicly in the media or abroad.) 

Click comment below. Lots of flavours recommended.


Founded in March 1983 Dillie Keane, along with Marilyn Cutts and Lizzie Richardson.

Video and Google Images.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Singapore's Easybeats: Joe Woon Founding Member

Joe Woon is Joe to his close friends but he's also known as Harry.
"After LKY," he says but won't say why.

I met him during an OLPS (Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Siglap Hillperformance where he played with John Cher (social butterfly) and other music friends for their usual gigs. When I asked him if he could write about his 60's band, The Easybeats he kindly obliged. 
Thank you my friend.
The Easybeats, a local Singapore group was formed in the mid-sixties (1966-1967). Joe Woon played a major role being the founding member.  Bryan Neale was the lead singer. He was a Britisher and was based at Selarang Camp, part of the British Armed Forces that were present in Singapore then.
It was a chance meeting when Neale was socialising at Toby's Bar in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore. The other members found they practised well together and decided that Neale took over the microphone singing RnB.
The rest of the group comprised the Alexander Brothers Neil and Danny, with Frisco on drums and Joe Woon on bass. When Frisco left, another percussionist, Philip took over. Apparently, when Neil Alexander was on stage, many members in the audience were focused on his guitar solos. He was a superb guitarist.

The overwhelming pop guitar group, fronted by Neale, found themselves performing all over Singapore as well as in East and West Malaysia. For the guys, the fame and celebrity status did not come to nought when they were voted as one of the Top Ten Bands in Singapore then.
The one event that wasn't easily forgotten was the grand show at Stadium Negara called the, Knock Out Show where The Easybeats, being of the top groups, played alongside The Quests, Shirley Nair and The Silver Strings, Sunny Bala and The Moonglows, The Mysterians and The Checkmates.

As the months passed the band gained its momentum with a recording contract. They were asked to record some songs in April 1966, with Philips Singapore (this company was one of the dominant players during the period).
If you had noticed the selection, the signature song was House of The Rising Sun, a hit made known by Eric Burdon and The Animals. The rest included, Bless You, That's Alright Jenney and I'll Never Let You Go. It was an Extended Play.

According to Joe, Bryan Neale had also recorded another four-song vinyl, with The Checkmates as a backing group. Neale was never their singer but the group got together for jam sessions time and again. Above image shows the songs they recorded, Mojo, She, Enchanted Girl and Man Hunter on Philips.

In the late 60's and early 70's singer, Bryan Neale was posted back to the United Kingdom to serve. From then onwards they had lost contact and when the Alexander Brothers passed on in the late 70's Joe Woon and his mates stopped playing and decided to take a break.

Over the years some have moved on to other avenues and Joe formed The new Easybeats in 2016, encouraged by Jerry Fernandez, to revive the band. With his sparkling new group members, they have returned to the scene.
The group today consists of Steven Tan on lead, Michael Lim on rhythm, Tony Ng on the keyboard, Jack on drums and Joe Woon on bass guitar. Mr Woon had also included in the group two lady singers, Cath Wee and Jesicca Koo.

They have since performed in clubs, charity shows, Community Club events and other shows and festive celebrations. And as the new circle gathers momentum and wheels along the Singapore music highway, let's wish them all success for the future.
Mr Joseph Woon, founding member,
provided the information for this article.



With Joe @ Soo Khoon's
home studio jam session 2017.

Images, Article: Copyrighted except those from Google.