Wednesday, November 6, 2019

CD RELEASE EVENT in MALAYSIA: ADNAN OTHMAN - BERSHUKOR - a retrospective of hits by a Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh Legend

At long last, the Adnan Othman compilation that was released in 2014 on vinyl has been released on CD by Sublime Frequencies in a beautiful digipak with incredible audio quality, ripped from original 45s and gently cleaned up by Mark Gergis's (Sublime Frequencies) audio expertise. 

I put this compilation together with Adnan when I visited him in Malaysia 5 years ago, and while it was initially only released on LP, the CD version has finally arrived.    The CD includes a booklet packed with original photos from Adnan's personal photo albums, and a biography about his life from his childhood until present - his "musical journey".

If you're in Malaysia, Adnan Othman will appear at SPUTNIK REKORDZ for a special release party on November 9, 2019, joined by MODERN FLASHBACK Scooter Club. Get a copy of the CD while supplies last - and ask Adnan to sign it for you!  CLICK HERE to see a video of Nazareth and Adnan opening the CD for the first time.

Photo : Modern Flashback Scooter Club - Adnan Othman at the center!
Adnan with Nazareth of Sputnik Rekordz

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

R.I.P. Dato' A Rahman Hassan

It's very hard to post two posts in a row like this, and I've been avoiding this blog for months knowing that the latest news was so sad... but another Pop Yeh Yeh legend also left us this year...

Dato' A Rahman Hassan passed away on June 13 2019. 

Here's a photo of Dato' with his band, Orkes Nirwana, and his first wife, Datin Azizah Muhamad (also a singer in the band)

A Rahman Hassan, Azizah Mohamad & Orkes Nirwana

Photo by Juhanis Yaacob. 

Read my previous posts about Dato' A Rahman Hassan here, and here.

I will soon be posting some interview footage of Dato' A Rahman Hassan and some clips of Orkes Nirwana in the rehearsal studio - clips from the movie I'm working on.   

Here's an article from the Straits Times

R.I.P. Kassim Selamat, lead singer of the Swallows

Legendary Boyanese / Baweanese singer Kassim Selamat of the Singapore Pop Yeh Yeh group, The Swallows, passed away on May 26, 2019.

Here's an article in English from :

Here's a photo i took with Kassim Selamat in 2010 when Cikgu Yusnor Ef introduced me to him.

And here's an article in Malay from - Singapore's biggest Malay language newspaper. They write about his incredible career, and also mentioned how I traveled to meet him and played his music on my radio show here in the US.   The photo in the article below, on the left,  was taken by his daughter when I last visited him.

Here's a song I always loved by The Swallows.  When we met in 2010, we ended up driving Kassim Selamat home and he sang along to his greatest hits CD in the car the whole way.  This was one of the ones i remember him singing along to in the backseat with the cool breeze blowing through the window.

Oh Fatimah - The Rythmn Boys perform two sold out concerts at the Esplanade

Last March, the legendary Rythmn Boys, who backed artists such as S. Mariam, A. Ramlie, Jeffrydin, Adnan Othman, G. Yusoff, Novel, Sha'ari Omar, S. Ahmad, M Amin, Ramlah Aziz, Aziz Jonid,  and many others, played two sold out concerts at the Esplanade in Singapore. 

Adnan Othman performed with them for the first time in 30 years. S. Mariam, who was one of the group's main singers for many years, also performed that evening.  M. Amin, and A Ramlan, singers who still perform regularly with the group, were also there.  What a reunion! 

You can watch video of the concert HERE

Here's an article about the concert (in Malay). 

2016 Richmond Times Dispatch article about researching Pop Yeh Yeh, etc.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


The emergence of Pop Yeh Yeh music with its own distinctive audience and lucrative earnings in the mid-1960s had triggered many enthusiastic local singers and bands from all parts of the above territories to try their luck to cut at least an album as a proof of their involvement in the Malay-language entertainment industry.

The map of Malaysia today with the Republic of Singapore and the Kingdom of Brunei Darussalam as its neighbours. It is interesting to note that Pop Yeh Yeh performers, both singers and musicians alike, hailed from these Malay-speaking territories

In 1960s, Singapore was still the hub of recording companies. Hungry for new talents, the companies began to assign their respective talent scouts to every part of the republic itself as well as those in Malaysia and Brunei to search for potential artists and bands to record under their labels. Nevertheless, there were also a few, small recording companies in Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other cities which took the same measures. At least, those who could not secure recording contracts in Singaporean recording companies could still do so through these companies, which were coincidently located not very far from their hometowns. 

Among the few Malaysian-based recording companies in the 1960s – PMT Organisation, Malaysian Musical Industries, Maju Records, Musa Haji Ismail, Peck Records, Gedung Music Nusantara, Electric & Acoustic Products and Tatex.
Singapore itself was full of singers and bands who were ready to be recruited by the existing recording companies. Hence, it is not surprising to find that most Pop Yeh Yeh performers came from the republic.

This was followed by its neghbouring Malaysian state of Johor, located just across the island. A unique feature of the list from Johor is that the artists and their accompanying bands were identified according to the districts they came from.

The map of Johor state with its districts and localities. In 1960s, almost each of the districts in Johor has Pop Yeh Yeh performers.

Pop Yeh Yeh bands from various districts of Johor. From left: The Castlers (Kota Tinggi), The Bees (Batu Pahat), Les Flingers (Muar), Orkes Nirwana (Johor Bahru), The Fabulous Orchids (Pontian) and Les Quentet (Segamat)

Through strong and reliable contacts as well as exposures from their stage performances spotted by the talent scouts, some of individual singers from various states in Malaysia and Brunei managed to get themselves recruited by Singaporean recording companies. For instance, Adnan Othman and Sha’ari Omar from Terengganu were admitted into Olympic Records to record with The Rythmn Boys, who had already have recording contracts with the label itself. The same label also admitted S. Mariam from Johor Bahru for the same purpose. 

 Two singers from Terengganu (Adnan Othman and Sha’ari Omar), S. Mariam from Johor, S. Ahmad from Kedah and Novell from Indonesia who recorded with Singaporean band The Rythmn Boys on the republic-based Olympic Records.

In a separate development, the singers’ accompanying bands were also invited. Among them include the Johor-based Les Coasters and their vocalists M. Fadzil and Orchid Abdullah, where all of them were invited to record their songs by EMI Singapore.

The Johor-based Les Coasters with their singers Orchid Abdullah, M. Fadzil and A. Ismail had their recordings with EMI Singapore.

On another note, those who could not record in Singapore had nothing to lose. The Tornadoes from Taiping, Perak and Orkes Mutiara Timor from Penang were among the Malaysian bands who share the same success with their counterparts in Singapore by recording with a Penang-based recording label called Mutiara Records. The results were remarkable when the songs sung by their respective singers, AB Jaffar, Suria Mohd. Noor, L. Ramli and S. Sham entered into the Radio Malaysia charts during the said decade. 

 Among the Pop Yeh Yeh artists and bands from northern peninsular states of Malaysia who recorded with Mutiara Records in Penang.

Another similar example is the Malacca-born Abdullah Chik who recorded an EP with The Hunters from Kuala Lumpur on PMT Records based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Abdullah Chik from Malacca and The Hunters from Kuala Lumpur in a 1967 EP on Penerbitan PMT based in Petaling Jaya.
For easy reference, I enclosed a detailed list of some of the the Pop Yeh Yeh artists and musicians according to their countries or state of origin, which I compiled with reference to the information appeared on their record sleeves as well as a series of interviews by individual writers and newspaper reporters. This list may not be accurate or complete. However, I humbly welcome any correction from readers as this is just a small effort from me in documenting our favourite stars of the past.




S. Ahmad


Hussein Ismail, S. Sham, L. Ramli, Suria Mohd. Noor, Zaleha Hamid, Ahmad Daud, Orkes Teruna Ria, Orkes Mutiara Timor, Orkes Sinar Baru; Les Pengembara; Irama Ria


Kamsiah M. Ali, AB Jaffar, Alina Rahman, The Tornadoes


Suhaimi Hamid, The Nawandos, Taufek Haji Ali, Ahmad Jais

Kuala Lumpur

Jaafar Ahmad, Bakar Hamid, Hashim Ramlan, Raja Ahmad, M. Anip, Norazizah Basri, Dendang Irama, Rahim Jamil, The Blue Rythmn, S. Azim Tjan, Helen Velu, The Hunters, The Hawks, The Greens, The Kilat, The Starlites, Orkes Sinar Baru.


Wan Razak


Adnan Othman, Sha’ari Omar

Negeri Sembilan

J. Sham, Roziah Latif, The Wanderers, The Jayhawkers


Abdullah Chik, Fatimah M Amin


Hassansani, H.M. Ahmad, The Skeletons


(a)   Johor Bahru
A Rahman Hassan/Azizah Muhammad & Orkes Nirwana, The Acrobats, Elias Tariman, S. Jibeng, Sri Arjuna, The Vultures, The Family’s, A Rahman Onn & The Strangers, Dian Irama Johore, Abbe Abdullah/S Agil  & The Beats, JB Ariffin & Desa Bersaudara, M. Fadzil/A Ismail/Orchid Abdullah & Les Coasters, M. Said/Maimunah I & Les Remaja, Eluna Idrus & The Barons, Ainie Hamid, P. Rosnah, Salamah Basiron, Ida, Anida, A. Kadir Jailani & The Braille Boys, Rudyn Al-Haj, S. Mariam

(b)   Kota Tinggi
The Castlers, Les Semaja, Rosiah Chik

(c)   Muar
A Zanny & Les Flingers + 50-50, A. Halim & De Fictions, Zainal Omara & The Dreamers, A Dayang, A Nandong, The Families, Anis Es & Orkes PIB, The Hellangels; Zainorin Mohd Dom;

(d)   Batu Pahat
Husaini B/Abu Bakar Salim & The Bees + The Bees 5

(e)   Pontian
S. Sahlee + A. Rahman Mohamad & The Fabulous Orchids

(f)    Segamat
M. Osman, Abas M Amin & Les Quintet

Republic of Singapore

El Dorado; The Siglap Five – Jeffridin; The Cliffters – June Abdullah, M. Wari, Jasni;  The Antartics – Eddie Ahmad, M. Bakri, The Guys/The Vigilantes – Ismail Haron; Impian Bateks; The Swallows – Kassim Selamat, Kartinah Dahari, Rafeah Buang; The Wandy Five; Dendang Perindu; The Mountaineers; The Zaraks – A. Nadar; The Young Lovers – M. Ishak; The Sukitaras; The Mods – Afida Es, Enna Es, MY Eunos; The Hooks – A. Romzi, Sanisah Huri; The Terwellos; Les Kafilas – Hasnah Haron, J. Rukimin; Ahmad Z; The Blue Beats – Norma Zainal, Hasnah Rahman, A. Wahid, Zainab Selamat, Fatimah Wari, Abdullah Din; The Fabian Boys – Masnawi, Halipah, Norfizah; Les Jolly Jet – Zaino Mum; Les Jaya Murni – Jah Murniwati, Les Diggerz – M.A. Maya; The Sangam Boys – Halim Yatim, S. Roha, R. Selamat; Hussain Marican, Kamariah Ahmad; Orkes Zindegi – Tayib Ridon, Sharifah Noor, M. Rashid Noor; The Hornets – Adi Achik, Amir Hamzah; The Twilites – Zam Zam, Siti Zaiton; The Firebyrds; The Blue Stars – S. Salim, Hasrat Taha, J. Asiah; Les Sea King – S. Suri; The Wisma – J. Kamisah, Salim I, Ungku Fadhilah, Jaafar Ahmad; The Siglap Boys – Raman Mohd, J. Minhat; John Lee Orchestra + John Lee Quintet + Orkes Puspawarna; The Sandblues + The Sands + The Sandpipers; The Pretenders – R. Ismail, S. Salihin; The Clans; The Rythmn Boys – A. Ramlie, M. Amin, Ramlah Aziz; Orkes Malinja; The Times – Maria Bachok, Jamal Awang, Sulaiman Idros; The Teruna – Asmah Attan, M. Rahmat; The Duta; The Pioneers; The Click IV – Jaffar O; A Hozaine; Don Aimin; Les Fentones – A. Karim Jais, Manaf Ahmad, Fatimah HS, A. Azman; The Keens – Mohidi; The Velvetones; Les Fairuz – Ahmad Z.;

Kingdom of Brunei
Kugiran Irama Perindu Brunei, Awangku Tajudin, Awangku Emran, MY Muhammad, Hussein Haji Tuah, AB Shari & Seroja, Dayangku Aminah, Noorsiah A. Hamid, The Heavy Machine, The Brothers 5.

- written by Ghaz - Nov 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

This March, The Rythmn Boys will perform in concert with some of the original singers they backed in the 60s

This coming March 15 2019, long standing Pop Yeh Yeh band "The Rythmn Boys" will perform in concert in Singapore with some of the legendary vocalists that they backed in the 60s. The lineup includes The Rythmn Boys, who have been going strong since 1961, and singers Adnan Othman, S.Mariam, M.Amin and A.Ramlan (A Ramlie's brother). - This concert is part of a series called A Date With Friends presented by the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay - Singapore. Details from the event page are below.

" The Rythmn Boys are coming to A Date With Friends! Formed in 1961 at Jalan Ismail in Singapore, The Rythmn Boys were best known for the psychedelic rock back in the ’60s. Join them as they reunite with friends like Adnan Othman, M. Amin, S. Mariam and A. Ramlan in this one-night-only concert. Be entertained by hit songs like Oh Fatimah and Menanti, as well as songs featured on the ’60s radio show The Week’s Popular Singers (PPMI), organised by Radio Singapura. Put on your dancing shoes and join The Rythmn Boys for a night of pop yeh yeh! "