SINGAPORE – Retirees Raymond Ho, 78, and John Chee, 80, made Singapore music historical past as youngsters within the early Nineteen Sixties.
They had been among the many founders of pop and rock ‘n’ roll band The Crescendos, which grew to become the primary Singaporean English-language act to signal to a global file label, Philips Data, in 1962.
Their songs made it to the worldwide music charts. Their renditions of pop hits Mr Tornado and Frankie had been on the Philips World Prime 10 listing, whereas their 1964 authentic tune The Boy Subsequent Door peaked at No. 2 on the identical chart.
Singer Chee says in a phone interview: “The sensation was out of this world as a result of we had been chosen to guide the Singapore pop music scene on to a global label. It is one thing that any teenager would need for.”
Guitarist Ho provides: “We had been over the moon.”
The pair, along with guitarist Leslie Chia, had been schoolmates from St Patrick’s College. They fashioned the band in 1961 to participate in a expertise contest.
The next 12 months, they added singer Susan Lim to the line-up. Says Chee: “Her voice was very highly effective and her diction was excellent.”
Their debut 1963 single, which comprised the songs Mr Tornado and Frankie, was an prompt hit and topped the charts in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
On stage, they performed opening units when worldwide acts similar to Cliff Richard & The Shadows and Herman’s Hermits carried out in Singapore.
The Crescendos took a hiatus on the peak of their recognition in 1966 in order that the members may give attention to their careers and training.
Chee says: “Susan needed to go to school and we, the blokes, must go and search for jobs to assist our household. We determined to cease for some time till she completed college.”
Sadly, Lim was swept away by robust waves at a seaside in Terengganu, Malaysia, on the age of twenty-two in 1970. Her physique was by no means discovered. Chee says: “Out of respect to Susan’s reminiscence, we determined that The Crescendos would by no means seem once more.”
The pair would go on to carve out their very own careers – Ho in aviation and Chee within the offshore business – however they might often reunite to sing beneath their very own names.
On March 3, Ho and Chee will get collectively once more to carry out at Blast From The Previous, a live performance that’s a part of the Esplanade’s PopLore, a collection celebrating Singapore music. For his or her gig on the Esplanade Live performance Corridor, the duo shall be backed by The Meltones, a veteran native band that embody Ho’s youthful brother, Ronald.