Sandra Sanger

May 14, 2012

Sandra Sanger hailed from Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia. Her original “Ayo Mama” was another very successful cross-cultural hit song. She is not to be confused with her sister, Norma, who was also a very successful recording artist. Together with Marini, Sandra toured with The Steps throughout the Far East including Tokyo and Hong Kong in the late 60’s thru 70s. Sandra passed away in 1989 at only 43 years old.

Jalan-jalan kota Semarang
Teruslah naik kota Ungaran
Sungguh pintar laki sekarang
Ngaku sekolah tapi pacaran

Ayo, mama jangan mama marah beta
Dia cuma dia cuma cium beta
Ayo, mama jangan mama marah beta
‘Lah orang muda punya biasa

Ambil jala, tongkat pendiri
Oh ular naga mencari makan
Dapat cium pipi yang kiri
Oh minta tambah pipi yang kanan

Kalau ada sumur di ladang
Bolehlah kita menumpang mandi
Kalau ada umurku panjang
Bolehlah kita berjumpa lagi

Ye Feng (Julie) 葉楓

May 11, 2012

Julie Ye was born Wang Jiu-ling 王玖玲 in Hankou, China. She came from a crop of very talented and glamorous female actresses who dominated HK Cinema from late 50s thru 60s. She earned the nickname “Sister Long Legs” after her 1960 movie with the same title 長腿姐姐. Her stunning physique and sultry reputation (something sometimes known as “innate sex appeal”) would cause to distract but she captivated a generation of fans with the many memorable musical movie scenes as she sang with an alluring silky and magnetic voice. Some of her more popular songs are 晚霞 (Sunset), 歌迷小姐 (Miss Songbird), 我有个好家庭 (I have a happy family) and 唱不完的他 (Endless love). Pathe (EMI-HK) released a CD of her popular songs (The Series 34 – 神秘女郎) in 2007.



Tony Brent

May 4, 2012

Tony Brent was born Reginald Bretagne in Bombay (Mumbai) of Anglo-Indian descent. He met Noreen Crawford, married and moved to England in 1947. Tony was spotted by a talent scout after he entered a talent contest at the Kingston Regal Theatre. He was introduced to Bert Ambrose and Cyril Stapleton’s BBC Showband. He joined the showband in 1951 and took the stage name Tony Brent. He recorded with Columbia Records and scored seven Top 20 chart hits in the UK in a span of six years. In 1961, he relocated to Sydney. In Australia, he appeared as a regular guest on the popular TV show “Magic of Music”. Tony also opened several restaurants including the popular “Shalimar” which incorporated a cabaret where he would continue to entertain by singing with the various appearing acts. Tony Brent died in 1993 (his ashes were scattered in the Ganges).

I joined the navy to see the world
But nowhere could I find
A girl as sweet as Cindy
The girl I left behind
I’ve sailed the wide world over
Can’t get her out of my mind

Cindy, oh Cindy (C-Cindy, C-Cindy)
Cindy don’t let me down (C-Cindy, C-Cindy)
Write me a letter, soon (C-Cindy, C-Cindy)
And I’ll be homeward bound (C-Cindy, C-Cindy)

I see her face in every wave
Her lips kiss every breeze
Her loving arms reach out for me
Through calm and stormy sea
At night I face the lonely deck
Caressed by memories

I know my Cindy’s waiting
As I walk the deck alone
Her loving arms reach out for me
Soon I’ll be heading home
Then my sailing days will be over
And no more will I roam

Wanda & Joyce

March 1, 2012

Wanda (Elvira Carolina) was born in Bandung, Indonesia. Her father, George de Fretes, was a popular local musician (He was inducted into the European Steel Guitar Hall of Fame posthumously in 2010). After the divorce, her mother Joyce Aubrey expatriated to the Netherlands with Wanda. In 1962 at age 16, Wanda recorded with Johnny & His Cellar Rockers on her first SP with Let’s twist again and We shall twist. In the same year, she teamed up with her mother as a duo (Wanda & Joyce) to record several Indo-rock songs which were very successful hits in the Netherlands, Germany and the Far East. They were accompanied by The Rhythm Brothers consisting of studio musicians and supplemented by her own father George de Fretes and the famous Surinamese guitarist, Lex Vervuurt.

The Rhythm Brothers (not to be confused with a band with the same name from the Alblasserwaard):
Frans Kroes (Guitar)
Dick Kroes (Guitar)
Wim Dohmen (Bass guitar)
Radja Delamonte (Drums)

Sodsai Chaengkij สดใส แจ้งกิจ

February 20, 2012

The Land of Smiles was a vibrant music scene being a popular hub for GI’s on leave from Vietnam in the 60’s. Sodsai Chaengkij สดใส แจ้งกิจ came from Bangkok which was the hotspot for local and visiting acts and headliners. She performed regularly at the famous Lolita Night Club on Rajdamnoen Avenue. She retired to the States in the early 2000s after a very successful recording career.

Diah Iskandar

February 18, 2012

Diah’s real name is Diah Komalawati Alexander. She was born in Jakarta. She grew up under the musical guidance of her father “Iskandar”, a very popular jazz musician and composer. In 1962 and barely in ninth grade, she was encouraged to sing at a birthday party. The crowd loved her and promptly dubbed her as the “Connie Francis of Indonesia”. A music career was born. She recorded her first album in 1963, and quickly rose on a path to stardom. She abruptly “disappeared” after marrying at age 25 in 1972. In later years (1980), she reemerged as the TV host and producer of Orkes Chandra Kirana, partly as a tribute to her late father who was untiring in his efforts to encourage appreciation of the classic, jazz and orchestral music among Indonesian youth. The show became one of the national public’s music program favorites with 12 years running.

The Swallows (from Singapore)

January 3, 2012

Formed in 1960 in the Sembawang area, The Swallows recorded instrumental hits like “Senandung Malam” (Lover’s Star). In time, the band adapted and began backing popular singers such as Ahmad Jais, Sanisah Huri, Ahmad Daud and P. Ramlee. In 1965, they were recruited to provide the soundtracks for two movies: “Pusaka Pontianak” and “Sayang Si Buta”. In 1966, they signed on Kassim Slamat as main singer and recorded the popular songs “La-a-Obē” (which became a hit in West Germany) and “Angkok-Angkok Bilis”. It is notable that The Swallows were always only a part-time band with its members holding fulltime day jobs while moonlighting as passionate musicians. They were the first and most successful Kugiran Melayu Pop Yeh Yeh in the 60s.

The Swallows:  Affandi Haji A. Rahman (drums, Leader), Yusope Lamat (rhythm guitar), Yahaya Galib (lead guitar), Hamid Ba’ahs (bass guitar), Kassim Slamat (vocals)

Shin Joong Hyun 신중현

October 19, 2011

Shin Joong Hyun is a guitarist-singer-songwriter, affectionately named the Godfather of K-pop. He started by listening to the rockabilly sound played on AFKN (American Forces Korea Network) with a crude hand-made radio. He formed his band “Add 4” and recorded the endearing 빗속의 여인 (The Woman In The Rain) in 1964. From rockabilly and Merseybeat, he adapted and again led the charge into psychedelic rock as the culture emerged in the mid 1960s. During the regime of (South Korea) President Park Chung Hee, he was imprisoned and his songs were banned. It is estimated that he composed a staggering 50% of all Korean classic hit songs for artists like The Pearl Sisters 펄 시스터즈 and Lee Jeong Hwa 이정화. He was honored by Fender Musical Instruments Corp. by becoming the first Asian musician and the sixth in the world to be the recipient of the Fender Custom Shop Tribute Series guitar (joining five of other such rock legends as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Stevie Ray Vaughn).

The members of The Add 4: Shin Joong Hyun (lead guitar), Han Young Hyun (bass guitar), Seo Jung Gil (rhythm guitar) and Kwon Soon Keun (drums).

The Add 4

The Add 4 with the Pearl Sisters (Korea)

The Checkmates (from Singapore)

October 17, 2011

The Checkmates, featuring Benny Chan (lead guitar), Hann Hussein (rhythm guitar), Lawrence Lee (bass guitar) and Amir Samsudin (drums). They recorded only once as a band, an EP consisting of four original instrumental compositions – 45 R.P.M. (Lawrence Lee) and Galaxy (Benny Chan/Lawrence Lee) are featured here. Philips Records had earlier signed them as an answer to the Quests and EMI.

The alumni of The Checkmates were like the Who’s Who in the Singapore music scene. The initial lineup consisted of Reggie Verghese who was replaced on lead guitar by the original bassist, Benny Chan, when he left to join The Quests. When they decided to add a vocalist, Shirley Nair was brought in. After she left to join The Silver Strings, Robert Song (of The Flamingos) was recruited but he was replaced by Vernon Cornelius (of The Trailers) when the band started to lean toward R&B. Vernon would again leave to join The Quests after Keith Locke returned to UK. The Checkmates’ new singer was a British serviceman, Bryan Neale of The Easybeats. When Brian Neale left to return to UK in 1967, The Checkmates continued to play as the resident band at Golden Venus until 1968. The Checkmates also recorded with The Cyclones and Bryan Neale.

Ramon “RJ” Jacinto & The Riots

August 13, 2011

RJ & The Riots: Ramon Jacinto (lead guitar, singer), Jimmy Colayco (rhythm guitar), Alan Austria (bass guitar) and Bernie Evangelista (drums)

Ramon “RJ” Jacinto is a pioneer and legendary figure of the Pinoy pop scene of the 60’s. It started very early on (at around age 15) when his love and passion for music prompted him to set up his own recording studio with a first multi-track recorder in the Philippines. He formed his band “RJ & The Riots” with schoolmates and played the first gig at the Ateneo H.S. Christmas Party in 1960. By age 17, RJ had also established his own radio station DZRJ which introduced what’s then the “alternative” music to Filipino youth with acts like The Ventures and later The Beatles. In those early years, the band played a lot of “Ventures” as typified by their composition and signature instrumental hit “Weightless”. Martial law would force RJ into exile overseas for fourteen years. After the peaceful Philippine revolution, RJ returned to create the RJ Bistro for live performances to help revive the night life in Manila. RJ also started a very successful guitar factory and a chain of stores – RJ Guitars. Today, RJ with his New Riots is one of most enduring acts which continues to perform regularly at the RJ Bar (“Thank God It’s RJ!” and “RJ Sunday Jam”) and other dates. An updated version of “Weightless” and a live recording of “Sugat Ng Puso” with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (2005) are selected for presentation here.

Ramon “RJ” Jacinto

Sugat ng puso
Araw-araw na lang ang hirap ko
Luha ng buhay
Alaala ng kahapon lamang sa piling mo

Bakit tayo nag-alinlangan
Hindi natuloy ang kasintahan
Kay lupit ng pag-ibig
Kailangang manalig
Araw-araw na lang ang hirap
Dalawin mo ako

The scars you left me
Everyday I just try to hide them from you
The tears of night come
I remember the joys and laughter with you

(Repeat Chorus)

Sugat ng puso
Araw-araw na lang ang hirap ko
Luha ng buhay
laala ng kahapon lamang sa piling mo

(Repeat Chorus)

Sugat ng puso, luha ng buhay
Sugat ng puso, luha ng buhay
Dalawin mo ako
Irog, dalawin mo naman ako oh
Sugat ng puso, luha ng buhay