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An introduction to the music scene which flourished
in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore in 1964-1969

click the tracks for hyperlinks to the music files | < shift-scroll to move the page horizontally >

In the Sixties, Mainland China was busy with the Cultural Revolution, which branded Rock & Roll as a sign of Western decadence. Nevertheless, the "Beat Wave" hit big in two Chinese territories that remained open to British influence, Hong Kong and Singapore.  

Hong Kong
The Beatles concert in Hong Kong in 1964 marked the birth of the golden age of the Hong Kong pop scene. From 1964 to 1969, a great number of bands appeared. They sung in English, as Cantonese and Mandarin songs were considered to be old fashion. These bands normally did cover versions of songs from the UK or the US. This scene reflects the multicultural diversity of the city. Musicians of different nationalities were active in the Hong Kong band scene: Chinese, British, Swedish, Macanese, Portuguese, Pilipinos, Singaporeans and Indians, among others. The most popular venues for stage shows and gatherings for youngsters in Hong Kong and Kowloon were called "Tea Dances".  These weekend afternoon dance parties took place in night clubs and Chinese restaurants, providing Hong Kong bands with an opportunity to play live. Major bands were signed by Diamond, a subsidiary label of Polydor: Teddy Robin & The Playboys, The Mystics, Joe Jr. & The Side Effects, Menace, Lotus, Anders Nelson & The Inspiration, The Fabulous Echoes, D'Topnotes, Mod East, Magic Carpets, Danny Diaz & The Checkmates, to name a few.  EMI on the other hand concentrated on the Mandarin song market, recording artists from the Shaw Brothers (the largest Hong Kong Movie company), such as Connie Chan (Chan Po-chu), Josephine Siao (Siao Fong-fong) and Nancy Sit, who recorded Chinese versions of international hits. Bands who joined EMI were relatively less active and less successful in the market: Thunderbirds (whose lead singer Robert Lee, was the brother of Kung Fu star Bruce Lee),  Thunders (from Macau, the only band that successfully crossed over to Hong Kong in the 60s), The Reynettes (who were a Filipino brother and sisters group),  The Quest, from Singapore, who  were stationed in Hong Kong in 1968. Most of the bands  disbanded in 1969. In the 1970s. Teddy Robin, Joe Jr and Sam Hui (of Lotus) all became solo singers. Yet the glory days were over. In the mid 1970s, Sam Hui single-handedly invented a new Canto-pop market. It proved to be very successful in the coming years, thus putting a final stop to the so called "Golden Band Era of Hong Kong".
> read more: Hong Kong 60s Re-capture

Singapore
Here, groups were formed, signed, with records being released weekly. Furthermore, in multicultural Singapore bands were playing music but singing them in English (which was the major language), Malay and Chinese. Therefore fans had three streams to choose from. Cliff Richard and The Shadows played a concert in Singapore in late 1961 and that marked the beginning of the Beat group era with bands which were strictly instrumental. Most times, singers were an adjunct to the band. The arrival of the Beatles in 1963 changed the emphasis from the instrumental band scene to self-contained units with singers and instrumentalists, although strictly instrumental bands flourished for a long time yet in Singapore – as there was a need for instrumental music in many situations. Singapore's musical scene was a mix of different influences sung in English, Malay and Chinese. They ranged from popular bands like Quests who came from the early Sixties era, Naomi and The Boys who had a successful four year run, Antartics who personified the second wave of R&B tinged groups, then Malay groups like D'4 Ever, Les Kafila's, Mike Ibrahim and The Nite Walkers, Swallows, Ismail Haron and The Guys and two guests from Thailand - Dynamics and Fox. The music ranges from Pop R & B, early Heavy to the plain weird. It is a mix of Western influences and Asian ethnic diversity produce something unique that can only be called Singaporean pop.
> read more: '60s Singaporean Bands

 

 

 
  Teddy Robin & The Playboys
Breakthrough
 

1: A Little Bit of Me, A Little Bit Of You
2:There Is A Kind Of Hush
3:A Summer Song
4: I Am Not Your Stepping Stone
5: Green Green Grass Of Home
6: I can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree

7: I Got to go Back
8: Poor Side Of Town
9: Time Won't Let Me
10:All My Sorrows
11: I'm A Believer
12: On A Carousel

"Breakthrough", mono LP-1032, Diamond, Honk Kong, 196_




 


 

 

 

 

The Menace

1. I Love you
2. 1, 2, 3, Red Light
3. Baby Come Back
4. Strawberry Sundae
5. Hello I love You

1.Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
2.It's Nice To Be With You
3.You D'on't Even Wink Your Eye
4. Medley: woman Woman / Young Girl / Lady Willpower
5. Birdie, Spider, Lion, Honeybe And Me

"The Menace", LP, Diamond, Honk Kong, 1968

 

 
  The Quest
The 33rd Revolution

1. Hava Nagila
2. Come On Down To My Boat
3. Guantanamera
4. Hur Pi Tzu Hsau Hsiang
5. Never Ever
6. Mr Rainbow

7. Georgie Girl
8. 26 Miles
9. What ’s Wrong With The Way I Live
10. This Nearly Was Mine
11. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
12. A World of Tomorrows

33rd Revolution" EMI 33ESX-60S, 2/11/67
Singapore, 1967

> Link to The Quest discography

> Read the story of The Quest
 
 

The Quest
Questing

01. Instrumentally Western
02. You're Telling
03. Look in My eyes
04. Lengang Kankong
05. She Is The One
06. Drivin Me Mad
07. Shadow Of Your Smile
08. Shanty
09. In A World Of Your Own
10. Honey House
11. Yang Di Man Satu
12. All My Sorrows
13. Please Try And Understand
14. My Favorite Thing

Questing
DSingapore, 1966, EMI 330SX-7775


  The Quest first LP includes their great instrumental hit Shanty (see the single next). 4 tracks are selected for downloads here: a song, Honey House (which beat reminds of the Fleshtones, and 3 instrumentals: Instrumentally Western, Shadow Of Your Smile, and the Rodgers -Hammerstein standard which is known better through the John Coltrane version, My Favorite Thing.
  tedy
 

Teddy Robin & The Playboys

01. Language of Love
02. Don't Go out into The Rain
03. San Fransisco
04. Norman's Fancy

05. She'd Rather Be With Me
06. (I Dreamed Of You) Last night

07. Come on Down To My Boat
08. We Can't Go On This Way
09. Friday on My Mind
10 Sands Of Time
11. Windy
12. The Boat That I Row

'365 Days", LP, Diamond records, Hong Kong, 1967

TR&P was the n01 band in Hong Kong during that period.

 
  The Mystics

01: Send Her Back
02: Going Out Of My Head
03: Sweet Soul Music
04: ICan't Help Myself
05 When A Man Loves A Woman
 

06: Soul Time

 

07: Don't Leave Me (Baby Baby)
08: What Makes You Run

09: Midnight Hour
10: Ain't Proud Too Beg
11: I Wan't To Talk With You

"Best Of"mono LP-1038, Diamond Records, Honk Kong, 1968

   
 
  click picture to enlarge
 

Rita Chao

  side 1
03: Proud Mary
 

side 2
02: Venus

 

05 Cu Cu Cu Choo

RITA, LP, EMI (Malaysia) S-33ESX-621

 
  The Zoundcrackers
 

01: Once Uppon A Time

 

02 No No No

Hong Kong, Diamond records 241, 7", 45rpm

 
  The Zoundcrackers
 

01: I Gotta Find Cupid
02: I Only Came To Say Goodbye

Hong Kong, 1966, Diamond 245 , 7", 45rpm

 

 

This is the 2nd single of this combo founded by Jo Jr (Jose Marie Rodrigues). After this release the band split and changed name to Joe Jr. & The Side Effects.

> more info here.

 
  click picture to enlarge
  The Menace
 

01: You Don't Even Week Your Eye
02: Graduation Day

Hong Kong, Diamond Records 266, 7', 45 rpm

  lotus
   
  The Lotus
 

side 1: Just A Little

  side 2: Spoonful Of Sugar

Hong Kong, 196_, Diamond 246, 45rpm

First of the 3 singles recorded by this band.

 

click picture to enlarge

 

Rita Chao with The Quest

side 1
01: Wooly Bully
02:Pretty Flamingo

side 2
01: Let true Love Begin

02: Love Is Me, Love is You

EP, Singapore 1960's

link to Rita's discography:
>the EPs / >the LPs

 
 

D'Top Notes

01: The Duck

 

02: Dum Di Da

Diamond records, Hong Kong

 
   
 

Nancy Sit
Nancy Sit hala hala a'gogo

 

 

01: Wooly Bully,
02: Hang On Sloopy

 


01: Love Potion No. 9
02: Shakin’ All Over

  EP, Squirrel records, Singapore
 
click on picture to enlarge
  Rita Chao with the Surfers
 

side 1
01: Yummy Yummy Yummy
02: Donna

Side 2
Master Jack
04: I Gotta Find Cupid

EP, Singapore , EMI ECHK 609


   
 

shanty

 





 

The Quest

1: Shanty
2: Gallopin

Singapore, 1964, EMI, 7", 45rpm


The Quest's debut single on EMI, Shanty, an instrumental written by bass player Henry Chua knocked off the Beatles "I Should Have Known Better" off the top of the 1964 Singapore charts.

  rita chao
   
 

Rita Chao with The Quest

Hanky Panky

  dara
   
  Dara Puspita A Go Go
  A Go Gogo
  Believe Me
 

Dara Puspita, A Go Go,
El Shinta Records, Jakarta, 1967

First posted at Garage Hangover

  dara2
   
  Dara Puspita Jang Pertama
  Mari-Mari
  Tanah Airku
 

Dara Puspita, Jang Pertama,
Mesra Records, Jakarta, 1966

Info at Garage Hangover

 
   
 

Naomi And The Boys

side 1:
01: To Know Him, To Love Him
02: Bad Loser

side 2:
01:I'll Never Be The Same
02: Don't Be Surprised

Singapore, Philips, EP, 45rpm

>available on the CD "Steam Kodok", a collection of 17 "Ultrarities From the 60's Singapore and South-East Asia Underground"



  naomi
   
 

Naomi And The Boys

side 1:
01: I Am A Loser
02: As Tears Go By

side 2:
01: I'd Like To Know
02: I Need You

Singapore, Philips, EP, 45rpm

 
  Ronni Ong
 

side 1:
01: Buttons and Bows

02: 10 000 Miles

side 2:
01: The Black Hill Of Dakota
02: Dear Heart Anfd Gentle People

Singapore, TNA TEP213 EP, 45rpm

 
click picture to enlarge
> back cover
  Idaly Sisiters
  side 1
01: Sweet Inspiration
  02: Will You Love Me Tomorow
  side 2
03: Oh What A Fool I've Been
 

04: Knock On Wood

   
  Indonesia
RCA Singapre SGE 009
 
   
 

The Sundowners
accompanied by The Tornadoes

Malaysia Wonderful

Singapore EMI, CHK 1008, 45rpm

 
 

October Cherries

Barabajagal
EP, Singapore, BAAL,1968

>available on the CD "Steam Kodok", a collection of 17 "Ultrarities From the 60's Singapore and South-East Asia Underground"

 
   
 

Kat_cov       

   
  Katherine and the Firebyrds

He's sure to remember me
7", 45rpm,
Singapore 196_

posted first by mod-ified music

 
 

click on pictures to enlarge

 

The Stylers

side 1:
Track 01
Track 03
track 04

side 2:
track 04

The Stylers, Singapore, STRLP 6003

 
 
  click on pictures to enlarge
  Travellers

side 1:
Track 02 (8.1MB/160kbps) 7:02

The Best Of (Vol 2) Singapore, Sina HBLP-1609

Instrumental. Should this music Style be called "Mandarin Exotica"?
 
 
  click picture to enlarge
 

Chan Po Chu (Connie Chan)

The lady Black Cat





Hong Kong 1968 EMI EPH3021

dicography (chinese):
http://www.vinylparadise.com/4pop_can/1/013CBC0A.htm

 
   
 

Chan Po Chu (Connie Chan)






Hong Kong 1968 EMI EPH3029

 
  click pictures to enlarge
 

Chan Po Chu (Connie Chan)




Hong Kong 1967 EMI PHK1029


 
 
   
 

Chan Po Chu (Connie Chan)


Hong Kong 1967 EMI PHK1022

gogo_1f
click pictures to enlarge
 

Charlie and His
Go-Go Boys

Twist and Shake A'Gogo

side 1
Return To Me My Love
Let's A Go-Go

side 2

Unforgettable
My Dear Chew Siang

  gogo_1b
  click pictures to enlarge  
       
 

Charlie and His
Go-Go Boys

A Gogo

side 1
Wooly Bully
Wonderful World

side 2
These Boots Are Made For Walking
Satisfaction

  Siao Fong Fong (Josephine Siao)
I Love A-Go-Go a 1967 movie Directed by Cheung Wai-kwong
 


instrumentals, 7", 45rpm,
SWAN records.
Recorded in Singapore circa 1966

   
 
  click picture to enlarge
  The Reynettes
  01: Kowloon Hong Kong




 

02: Rescue Me

Hong Kong, 196_, EMI ECHK 506