Category Archives: Singapore

The Blue Crystals

From an LP of A Go Go instrumentals on the Fuji label. I don’t know any more about them. Singapore?

“Lovely Life” is a standout from their first record on Fuji, Vol. 1 (Fuji LP 902).

Thanks to nanyangpop for the scans of the LP cover to Vol. 1 and to Marie from Catch That Train and Testify for the scan of the Vol. 2 cover.


Reverse cover of their first Fuji LP

This is the cover to their second LP, Vol. 2 (Fuji LP 903).

Lucky Sister

A Shadows cover? I scoured my Shadows collection, but couldn’t pin it. The other tracks are another Shadows/Ventures sounding tune and instro versions of Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’.

Presumably the record was made as a promo for the Ho Hua Company, sole distributor of Sony products in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, whose ad appears on the back cover.

(Singapore or Malaysia)

M. Yubi and Dizzy Inspiration

I haven’t got much to say about M. Yubi & Dizzy Inspiration because I don’t know much. By the look of the chaps on the cover I would say that this was recorded in the late 1960s.

The song “Dendang Seloka” invites all young men and women to dance and be happy and not worry about things too much, otherwise they will just bring themselves pain. The other songs on the EP are ballads.

“Dendang Seloka” is credited on the label for composition and lyrics to Dizzy Inspiration. I have no doubt that they wrote the words, but the music has more than a passing similarity to the Standell’s “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”. Female Malaysian singer Kamsiah M. Ali also recorded a song titled “Dendang Seloka”, but it is totally different lyrically and musically.

Sapta Dahlia

The EP these songs are taken from feature singer S. Jamelah backed by Sapta Dahlia on side one, but I prefer side two, which is the band by itself playing two very cool organ-driven rockers.

“Pesanan Ku” (My Message) is the band’s message to young men and woman to make the right choices in their lives and to not leave it until it’s too late.

“Si Tanggang” tells the legendary story of Tanggang, the son of a poor family who gets a job on a trading ship and eventually becomes a wealthy trader himself and marries a sultan’s daughter. One day, with his wife aboard, his ship comes alongside his old village and his mother comes out to trade with the ship. She recognises her son, but he is ashamed of her poverty and refuses to acknowledge her. She then calls on God to make her son recognise her and a great storm breaks loose and Tanggang, his wife and their ship are all turned to stone. This legend, or variants of it, are popular in many coastal areas of Malaysia and Indonesia and are used to explain the existence of many offshore rock formations.

Sapta Dahlia could be translated as The Dahlia Seven. The liner notes say the band was formed on 29 April 1967 with Wahab Hamid on lead guitar, Ali Soud on organ, Wahid Hamid on drums and Rahman Hamid on bass. The band leader was Rahim Ghani, but it is unclear what role he actually played in the band.

The Phantoms

This record from Hong Kong was recorded on 26 September 1969. In the liner notes it says that news of the Phantoms’ plan to record a few originals had everybody excited. This is a bit misleading as at least one of these songs was not written by any member of the Phantoms.The song “Oh La La” is credited as Copyright Controlled, but there are scores of songs with this title and I have been unable to determine if this is a Phantoms’ original.

The better song in my opinion is “Love Love Love”, which we are told in no uncertain terms was created by Paul Leung; it says so on the label and on both sides of the cover. Paul Leung, however, was not a member of the Phantoms, but rather a record producer and owner of the Amo label, on which this record was released. So it seems that Leung got the Phantoms to cut a record and provided them with the song. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I quite like “Love Love Love”, which sounds much like the Nightcrawlers’ “Little Black Egg” with different lyrics. Oddly, although “Love Love Love” is listed as the A side on the cover, it appears as the B side on the record.

But who were the Phantoms? The only clue in the liner notes is that it mentions them having only been in Hong Kong for a certain time, so they weren’t a local group. My guess is they were from Singapore as there were many bands from there which tried their luck in Hong Kong in the second half of the 1960s. There was a band from Singapore called the Phantoms who supported the singer Valentine to produce a hit with the ballad Roselyn earlier in the sixties. Looking at the cover of the Valentine record, I think this could be the same band, but I could be totally wrong.

The two photos below come from Joseph C. Pereira, who points out the band was known as the Flying Phantoms!

Joseph writes:

Band started in 1963. Appeared on Istana Pesta (a local television program) in that year.

1964 – Winston Koh came in second to Kenneth Gomes in a Cliff Richard singing competition to promote the movie Finders Keepers. The heats were held at Capitol Cinema and the finals at Lido Cinema. Winston’s winning song in the finals was “It’s All Over”.

Inactive between 1964 and 1966. William Chan (rhythm), Sam Toh (bass), Patrick Khong (bass), Victor Lam (drums). Victor and Patrick left at the end of 1964 to join Mysterians.

September 1966 – Group revived by Dennis Chan, a 16 year old guitarist. Elder brother William Chan (rhythm guitar) was an original Flying Phantom as was Sam Toh (bass player). Rest of line up was Hudson Ng (drums) and Winston Koh (vocals). Sam Toh did not stay in the band long and joined a short lived line up of D’Aquarians. He then joined Bee Jays for two months and after that in April 1967 he joined The Quests.

12-4-1967 – Appeared on Muzik Muda Mudi (another local TV program).

May 1967 – Appeared on another TV program.

Style of the band was towards Shadows and Ventures for instrumentals and Cliff Richard for vocal numbers.

Appeared on a TV program performing “House Of The Rising Sun” with Winston decked out in a prisoner styled outfit.

1969 – They were contracted to play for a year in Hongkong at the World of Suzie Wong Night Club. They appeared on Hongkong TV, did two stage shows and were guests at the Teddy Robins Tavern tea dance on Sundays.


Appearing on Singapore TV

The Tidbits

Three schoolgirls, Serene Wee (13), her sister, Merlina Wee (12), and their cousin, Bernedette De Souza (12), won the Radio and Television Singapura Talentime contest for 1967/68 and as part of their prize got to record two EPs with RCA.

On the first EP they recorded the song that won them the prize, “I Believe”, and also “Lace Covered Window”, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”, and “Never My Love”, the latter song made famous by The Association, but recorded by many other artists. The Tidbits were backed on this EP by popular Singapore band The Trailers.

On their second EP, also in 1968, The Tidbits were backed by The X’periment and then went back to being schoolgirls.

 

 

Kelsom Hashim and Plastic Deers

Kelsom Hashim and the Plastic Deers are another mystery group, at least for me.

Three of the songs on this EP are fairly tame, but there is one gem, “Pemuda Pemudi Sekarang” (“Young Men and Young Women Today”), which sounds like a cross between the Guess Who’s “No Time” and the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar”. This is fairly reasonable as both songs were released in 1969 and this record might date from that year as well, but I think 1970 or 1971 might be more likely. The fantastically named Plastic Deers do a fine job as does Kelsom.

Looking at the cover and listening to the song, one might think it was a celebration of the young generation, but it is actually very critical, claiming that the young men with their long hair are rather unpleasant and that parents can only shake their heads etc, but I think the whole thing is sung a bit tongue in cheek. The cover and label give no clue as to the origin of this group, but I will take a punt with Singapore as I have only ever seen two other Libra releases and one of those was definitely a Singapore band.

Note from Chas Kit:

When Steve this article on Kelsom Hashim a couple days ago, the mp3 I had made of “Pemuda Pemudi Sekarang” was of only one channel of the song. It sounds like a finished track, but without the booming bass and fuzz guitar of the stereo version. It’s a different monster altogether with both channels going.