Ushered into the underground studio and beneath the cosy comfort of Caldecott Hill, we faced a large sound stage that had hosted many a variety show in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It was cavernous enough to seat a few hundred people. We joined the performers scattered in the front rows waiting their turn to rehearse. (Image 1: Media Corp @ Caldecott.)
|Dick Lee, Tabitha Nauser, Reuby, Mathilda D'Silva, Wendi Koh|
When Wendi Koh performed she went into a spin and transformed the studio into a rock n roll, free for all, disco hall with her singing. We were wowed by all of them. Such talent and artistry. When Mathilda came on she looked extremely sexy with her outfit and special hairdo. You'd think Tina Turner was out there. Then Reuby performed as he eased our nerves with a ballad. (Images 2, 3, 4: Sound studio; Artistes; Resident Band with Silver Strings.)
"And you're going to sit up there?" I asked him laughing.
Then Fender amplifiers were placed, together with the toy Nick Stravens was supposed to tinker with on national television (image above).
The whole session lasted for some time as the camera crew, lighting specialists and sound men went into action testing their equipment. The Silver Strings managed the routine as Diana was introduced again and again during practice. Paul Anka's famous baby-sitter came alive once more. (Images 5,6: Silver Strings practice with Nick Stravens in the foreground; Audience.)
After the dry run we had our meals, heavy fried chicken with nasi-lemak, Chinese sweet and sour fish or a bee-hoon dinner, all served with vegetables. Then make-up time as we went into the tiny room filled with mirrors and facing professionals in black. I thought it was a Batman costume party. Honestly, this group was the quietest and nicest ever as they went about their duty struggling hard to make seniors look like juniors. They had succeeded with Audie, Rickie, John and Nick. (Images: 7, 8: Wendi Koh practice; Rick Astley.)
The live recording started on time and we did our segment around 8.30pm. At the end of the evening before our famous guest star came on he managed some photo shots with the Silver Strings Rick Astley was one of the most friendly and pleasant singing stars.
|Andy Lim, Audie Ng, Rickie Chng, Nick Stravens, John Cher (Silver Strings 2015 line-up)|
If you have a chance to see it live get a ticket because I understand Media Corp @ Caldecott Hill may close soon to relocate. Uncertain though.
Nice visit for an SG50 family getaway before another iconic building disappears. (Images 9, 10, 11, 12: Rickie Chng, Audie Ng; Make Up artistes; John Cher; Andy Lim.)
Sunday Night: 24th May, 2015: The Dukes, Julie Sudiro, Veronica Young. Also interviews with the Western Union Band, Chris Ho and Najib Ali and Rahimah Rahim.
And don't forget JOHNNY HATES JAZZ in the final show on this series.
Other episodes on Rolling Good Times include 60s, 70s and 80s stars: Johnny Hates Jazz, Frances Yip, Rahimah Rahim, Ginger Bread, Maizurah, Ramli Sarip, Mel and Joe Ferdinands, Jacintha and today's stable of current Singapore popsters.
Images: A personal collection and Google.