♫ The 60’s Popular Music Scene in the Far East

The explosion of rock ‘n roll music had been wide-reaching. The Far East (an area culturally compassing Southeast and East Asia or the Orient 遠東), was not excepted. The free ports from Singapore to Hong Kong were active hubs for international travelers and merchant marines, who brought with them their favorite pop records and the top charters from home. The Vietnam conflict was also in progress. The American soldiers brought the rockabilly sound from the stateside while the British nationals in camp at RAF bases completed the initiation with the introduction of the “British Invasion” bands. The area was fertile ground.


The local music scene of Malaysia and Singapore exploded with a proliferation of guitar bands and singers. Some of the early successful English-language bands were: Susan Lim & The Crescendos, Naomi & The Boys, Heather & The Thunderbirds, Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings, The Quests, The Jets and The Trailers. In particular, The Quests (征服樂隊) deserves special recognition as being the most successful and prolific band. Not unlike the phenomenon of the mass hysteria of Beatlemania at its height, The Quests also defined a period of the biggest billing for a local act, rousing fans with the electricity of their performance and who mobbed them everywhere. It was Questmania! … a golden age of local bands.

The Chinese pop music scene was vibrant too. Wong Ching Yian (黃清元) with Maurice Patton & The Melodians (摩利士賓敦領導音­符樂隊) led the field. A western-influenced Malay Pop Yeh-Yeh (a term derived from The Beatles’ song: She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) was flourishing. Teddy Robin & The Playboys and numerous foreign bands based in Hong Kong (like The Fabulous Echoes) were all playing and enjoying good pop music.


3 Responses to ♫ The 60’s Popular Music Scene in the Far East

  1. Martin Tan says:

    After 50 years I stumbled into nostalgia by coming to this site.
    Thankyou for a job well done.
    Many senior citizens would love to be on this site.
    I am Tan Cheng Leng,a Xavierian.
    Frankie Cheah was my schoolmate,could have been a classmate back in the branch school in Pulau Tikus.
    I was in Std.One,Master Kam Kee Chye’s Class.
    He could have been in Miss Lee’s Class or the same.Miss Lee taught us music.She was straight face and strict.
    God bless us all.Bye

  2. franas says:

    I’m glad to help bring back some nostalgia for you. Frankie Cheah is one of the great ones. Thanks for writing and sharing. God bless and keep us all !

  3. […] those who miss the music scene from Singapore's Swinging Sixties can relive those memories here ♫ The 60’s Popular Music Scene in the Far East | QUESTING bandstand There are quite a number songs […]

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