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.