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.
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.
where they mention a Universal Records series called "Treasures From The Past" (never saw it). "These releases constitute records, which were originally released by Philips between the years 1964 and 1968, which constitute the golden years of Singapore pop." Included on volume 1 are Checkmates, Jets, Sonny Bala and The Moonglows, Bryan Neale, Bobby Lambert and The Dukes, Reyes Sisters, Henry Suriya, Shirley Nair, Mike and Herb, Silver Strings, Evey Lyn, Siglap Five, Valentine and The Phantoms, Cells Unlimited, The Crescendos and Naomi and The Boys second EP.
Garage/Beat/R&B bands like The Straydogs, The Pests, Infested, Fried Ice, The Jets and High Ground receive also more attention.
Recommended there also is Read Joseph's book "Legends of GOLDEN VENUS-Bands that rocked Singapore from the '60s to '90s" with 10 interviews, 128 pages with many photos on Timesone books.
where you can find some info about the release "More Singapore ’60s: Treasures From The Vault." :
Unlike its five-disc predecessor, this is a double-disc affair, featuring more music from artistes like The Silver Strings, The Checkmates and The Crescendos, as well as tracks from the Girvin Sisters, Ernie Djohan And Her Buana Suara, Ray Johnson And The Diamond Four, and Aida Mustafa (image).
The Cyclones, The Strollers, The Merry Lads, The Crescendos, Golden Cups, Teddy Robin and The Playboys, The Lotus, Quests, OK Boys, Karnabeats, Kafila’s, Mystics, Mysterians, Zoundcrackers, Strollers, Les Coasters, Naomi and The Boys, Trailers, The Singers, Tempters, Pebbles, Crescendos, Chopsticks, Les Coasters, Golden Cups, Stray Dogs, Blue Star Sisters, Silvertones, Green Green grass, Han River Angels, Spiders, The Saint, Sakura, The Brother’s Hawk, Mod East, Lions, D’Pioneers, The Bees, Maurice Patton & The Melodians, The Menace, The Stompers, River Angels, The Phantoms, Commanders, Spiders, The Equals, The Fabulous Echoes, The Spiders, The Dynamites, Son Ensemble, The Corsairs, Elly Kassim, The Melodians, The Atoms, Elec Dynamica, Ernie Djohan, The Menace, Starlights, The Rocking Skippers, Happy Melodians, Wes Cossacks, Saints, Fabulous Echoes, Vigilantes, Saints, Fabulous Falcons, The Lotus, The Mystics, The Magic Carpet, The Surfers, Danny Diaz and the Checkmates, Titiek Sandhora, The Beavers, Jacks, Trailers, Tempters, The Carnabeats, October Cherries, The Tones, Ernie Dan Oslan, Koes, White Crane, Idaly Sisters with The Experiment, Inspirations, Black Jacks, Joe Junior, Kong Ling and the Fabulous Echoes, New Topnoties, Reynettes, Rita Chao, Straydogs, Bryan Neale with The checkmates, Tony and Terry with Spencer, Blue Diamonds, Blue Star Sisters, Chopsticks, Dukes, Wes Cossacks, Charlie and The White Cloud Orchestra, White Crane, Rocking Skippers, W.S. Band, The Impossibles, The Changs and some more Hong Kong bands.
More 60's/70s band/singer's pages :
in 6 parts which were described like :
"* Boy Bands to Call Our Own : The music in the 60s and how it was part of a generation influenced by icons from the UK like Cliff Richard and The Beatles as well as growing up in Singapore in the 60s;
* Music unifies communities : Not only did English language bands like The Quests and The Trailers have a huge following in the 60s, Malay and Mandarin language bands like Siglap 5 and The Stylers also developed a parallel following. We see how music became a common language despite ethnic tensions of the period;
* Soloists of the 70s : How the 70s saw the start of the end for bands and the rise of soloists like Rahimah Rahim, Veronica Young, Huang Qingyan, and Fatimah Amin.
* Rising from the ashes : How the 80s was a difficult time for many bands and musicians as they faced numerous obstacles like competition from the karaoke craze and Filipino bands, and how local bands like Heritage and the Xinyao movement in Chinese music managed to survive;
* In search of the Singapore Identity - Musicians in the mid to late 80s such as Dick Lee and Mark Chan who began on a quest for the Singapore Identity through music;
* Underground and happening - How the 90s and beyond saw the rise of musicians like Stephanie Sun and Kit Chan who made it big in the regional circuit against the background of a thriving experimental scene."