Friday, June 30, 2017

KEEPING THEIR LOVE OF MUSIC ALIVE THROUGH THE YEARS


Music played a huge role during our teenage years in the 1960s and 70s. We sang along to hit songs by Cliff Richard, Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Johnny Tillotson, Bryan Hyland, and let's not forget their female counterparts like Brenda Lee, Connie Francis, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and Helen Shapiro.

We did the jive, rock and roll, twist, ago-go and rumba to bands like Bill Haley and the Comets, The Shadows, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Cascades, The Monkees, the Beatles and so many more.



(Above) Who can ever forget 'Shanty' by The Quests? I was still in high school when it shot to the top of the hits charts and stayed there for months.

The 1960s music scene also saw the rise of local bands in Malaysia and Singapore doing cover versions of top hits. They had quite a following among university students, and regularly played at tea dances and concerts. Some of them like the Teenage Hunters, the Falcons, and the Quests (above) were good enough to sign contracts to play overseas in Germany, Hongkong and Vietnam. 



The recording studios were quick to sign up these bands and singers. Virtually every one of them released 45rpm records of their songs. There were Naomi and the Boys, Keith Locke (later replaced by Vernon Cornelius) and the Quests, the Ventures, the Stylers, the Blue Diamonds, Matthew and the Mandarins and others. There was also a proliferation of Malay and Chinese singers and their back-up bands like Jefrydin and Pop Yeh Yeh, and Rita Chao dubbed Queen of A Go-Go, the dance craze at the time.





(Above) Matthew and the Mandarins made famous their original country hit 'Singapore Cowboy'.

While some of the 60s era singers and musicians have passed on, those that have remained never gave up their passion for playing music. They continue to perform at fund-raising events, reunions, and corporate functions. Others like Jimmy Lee have been keeping the memory of Elvis Presley alive via the Elvis Presley Friendship Club of Singapore. Credit also goes to the Singapore government for promoting 1960s music with free concerts in October in conjunction with International Day of Older Persons.


Then there are those, both musicians and fans alike, who gather at each other's homes to jam and sing all those favorites of yesteryears. These get-togethers are always fun, and as research studies show, music is therapeutic and helps to reduce the risk of dementia.


D-Asiatics (above) playing a cover version of 'Midnight in Malaysia' made popular by Boy and His Rollin' Kids.


(Above) Mike Ho & Company: Chow on drums, Paul on rhythm, Jimmy Rampas on bass guitar playing The Shadows classic instrumental 'Apache'.



(Above) Alfred Ho was the winner of Malaysia's first national talentime contest in 1971. He continues to play music today. Do support him. You can catch him busking on most Thursday evenings 5pm to 7pm at Avenue K-KLCC lrt station.

Truly music keeps us feeling young, energetic and socially connected. If we can't play an instrument, we can sing, or dance to music. Music feeds the soul and nourishes it. We need music in our lives. Period.

Related posts:

http://www.seniorsaloud.com/2014/04/flashback-to-swinging-60s.html

http://www.seniorsaloud.com/2014/03/finding-joy-solace-and-therapy-in-music.html

No comments: