Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong


July 25, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong

Kamsiah and Din in PNP

Dr Kamsiah and I promised you that Sir Cliff Richard will be our entertainer for this weekend. Let us start off with his rendition of Little Things Mean a Lot.

The sentiments reflected in this tune are out of date. 21st century women have no time for gentlemanly conduct like giving your hand when “she crosses the street”or “your shoulder to cry on”.  Rosmah Mansor, for example, goes for power, diamonds and money. Others like members of the Housewives Club accept being second, third or fourth wives as long as their men are loaded with money.

Ask Tiger Woods and he will tell you that his former wife was after his money. These men (ah, Tiger is a very good-looking guy with uncontrollable urges that got into an expensive divorce) have looks that could sink a thousand ships. Well, that is my view (Din Merican).

There are exceptions are as in all things. And here Dr Kamsiah agrees. But in general, it is true that, as Dame Shirley Bassey says, “Diamond are Forever”. Rosmah has no difficulty in endorsing that statement.

Sir Cliff Richard OBE (born Harry Rodger Webb, 14 October 1940) is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. He has been a resident for most of his life in the United Kingdom, but in 2010 confirmed that he is now also a citizen of Barbados. In addition to his property in England, he divides his time between living in Barbados and at a vineyard property in Portugal. Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. He has total sales of over 21 million singles in the UK and is the third-top-selling singles artist in UK Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

With his backing group the Shadows, Richard, originally positioned as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard and Elvis Presley, dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His 1958 hit single “Move It” is often described as Britain’s first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.” Increased focus on his Christian faith and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into contemporary Christian music.

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world, amassing many gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and two Ivor Novello Awards. He has had more than 130 singles, albums and EPs make the UK Top 20, more than any other artist] and holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles (or 18, depending on the counting methodology) and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in 5 consecutive decades: the 1950s through to the 1990s. In 2008, he celebrated his 50th anniversary in music by releasing a greatest hits album, featuring the new track “Thank You for a Lifetime“, which reached number 3 in the UK singles chart. In November 2013, Richard released his latest album, The Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook, which became the 100th album of his career. –wikipedia.

Please enjoy your weekend and leave politics in Malaysia behind. We believe that time is a great equaliser. Najib’s fate is coming. It will be one of a disgrace. He will be remembered in our history as the Prime Minister who blew all opportunities he had to build a united and prosperous Malaysia. –Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Sir Cliff Richard

Bonus: P Ramlee and Saloma

Your Weekend Entertainment– Matt Monro


July 18, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong

Kamsiah and Din in Phnom Penh2Dr. Kamsiah who is now in Phnom Penh and I are pleased to present Matt Monro as our guest singer for this weekend. This former London Bus driver  was blessed with a golden voice. Here is a short write up about him which we obtained from  Wikipedia.

Matt was born Terence Edward Parsons in Shoreditch, London[1] and attended Duncombe School in Islington, and Elliott School in Putney] Affectionately nicknamed “the singing bus driver” (because one of his many occupations prior to achieving fame was driving the Number 27 bus from Highgate to Teddington),he got his first break in 1956 when he became a featured vocalist with the BBC Show Band. An important influence on his early career was the pianist Winifred Atwell, who became his mentor, provided him with his stage name, and helped him sign with Decca Records.

A Warm Personality with a Fabulous Voice

In 1957 Monro released Blue and Sentimental, a collection of standards. Despite the album’s critical acclaim, Monro languished among the young male singers trying to break through at the end of the 1950s, many of them emulating Frankie Vaughan by recording cover versions of American hits. (Monro even recorded a version of Vaughan’s “Garden of Eden” during this period.) A short recording contract with Fontana Records followed.

Matt MonroBy the end of the 1950s, Monro’s mid-decade fame had evaporated, and he returned to relative obscurity. He and his wife Mickie lived from her wages as a song plugger and his royalties from a TV advertising jingle for Camay soap. In 1959 he recorded a country pastiche song, “Bound for Texas”, for The Chaplin Revue, a feature-length compilation of Charlie Chaplin shorts. It would be the first of many Monro soundtrack themes..

Let us just relax and come back refreshed to witness and read about the political nonsense from Najib and his bunch of goons, all of whom should be put in a special prison for the things they have done to our country. When will UMNO Malays realise they have been bribed into silence.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican in Phnom Penh.

Bonus for My Friends and  Readers in Wonderful Thailand

Another Version –Sabai Sabai (Rock)

Your Weekend Entertainment– Frank Sinatra


July 11, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong

FCC in Phnom PenhIt is the occasion again to relax  with some swing music this weekend while watching the Wimbledon Women’s Tennis  Finals featuring Sarena Williams who will be making history. When it comes swing and ballads, however, there is no greater voice than that of Francis Albert Sinatra, affectionately known as Ole’ Blue Eyes. Dr. Kamsiah and I are pleased to bring Sinatra back for your listening pleasure this weekend. Let us leave our cares behind us after a very hectic political week in Kuala Lumpur. After all, Hari Raya Puasa is just days away.  All the best.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Bonus

Aid Ooi Eow Jin, Malaysia’s Composer and Musician–Give generously


July 10, 2015

Benefit concert to aid Ooi Eow Jin, Malaysia’s Composer and Musician–Give generously

http://ssquah.blogspot.com/2015/07/charity-concert-in-aid-of-ooi-eow-jin.html

Last month, Jimmy Yeoh, one of my facebook friends, wrote a long passage about a fellow Old Free, Ooi Eow Jin.

People my age may recognise this name instantly. Ooi Eow Jin is a local musician and composer. In his younger days, he was a band leader who led the Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) Orchestra for many years.

I’ve just found out that Eow Jin has finally retired from the local music scene. He is now 85 years old, at an age when most people would have taken life easy, but he had to keep working hard for a reason which I would like to share on my blog.

During his long career, Eow Jin had supported his two sons through their education until both graduated from University. Unfortunately, his second son died after a prolonged battle against leukemia despite his efforts to give his son the best treatment available. Eow Jin, himself showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, continued his career as a resident pianist at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur until 30 June when he made his final bow.

I am told that his eldest son is now suffering from a brain tumour. Again, it was with the effort of Eow Jin that the son is still hanging on to life. Eow Jin now lives with his wife and son in a home shared with other unfortunate people.

Jimmy met with Eow Jin and another fellow Old Free, Richard Hoon, and they (Jimmy and Richard) agreed to do their best to help Eow Jin and his family to have a more comfortable life from now on. To achieve this, they proposed to organize at least three charity shows to raise money for Eow Jin. One of the shows is now coming to fruition. I received this appeal letter today with details of the first show which will be in Petaling Jaya:

I wish to call upon my friends, both Old Frees and non-Old Frees, to support this worthy programme to help this outstanding man in his difficult times. Even if you can’t make it to the show, please consider donating some funds. Whatever you give, I’m sure you will receive back the blessings many times over. Thank you. The programme appears below:

Happy Birthday, America: It is the Fourth of July


July 4, 2015

4th of July

It is The Fourth of July for Americans at home and abroad. As a friend of your country and a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington D.C., I ( and my wife Dr. Kamsiah) extend to you our warmest wishes  and congratulations on your country’s birthday.

Once again, thank you for the generosity and consideration you gave me when I was a graduate student Kamsiah and Din4(1968-1970).  During my time at DC some 40+ years  ago–I visited your beautiful city again with my wife in June, 2013 as a guest of former US Ambassodor to Malaysia John R. Mallot–I witnessed you moan the loss of Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy and agonise over the loss of American lives in Vietnam.

I admired the manner in which you sought to end that bloody and costly war which destabilised South East Asia and brought untold tragedy and genocide to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodia where I now live and work at the Techo Sen (Hun Sen) School of Government and International Relations, The University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

The idea of America is best summed up in these words in Latin e pluribus unum–out of many, one.  These words led me to read Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter’s  delightful and educational book, The Idea that is AMERICA: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World.  Maybe by sheer coincidence, I just finished reading it today. Anne-Marie’s book comes to you with my recommendation.

Adlai StevensonStatesman and Presidential Candidate

In the opening of her concluding chapter (pg.215), Anne-Marie quotes my favorite American Statesman, Presidential Candidate and Diplomat, Adlai Stevenson as follows:

When an American says that he loves his country,  he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistenng in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self respect.–Adlai Stevenson

In the opening paragraph of that chapter, Stars to Steer By,  she says in almost Stevensonian fashion, and I quote her: “American patriotism is grounded not only in our love for the values our country stands for–of the idea that is  America, no matter how far short we may fail in practice. It is the idea that knits us together in our vast diversity. It is the idea that our soldiers fought for. It is the idea that all patriotic citizens stand for, even against our own government. And it is an idea that ultimately belongs to all the world’s peoples.”

James Balwin and Msrtin Luther KingJames Baldwin with Dr. King

Grandiose indeed. But inspirational. And yes, the idea is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United of America. Anne-Marie also quotes my favorite African-American novelist who said: “I love America more than any other country in this world; and, exactly for  this reason. I insist on the right to criticise her perpetually.”(pg.14)

On the occasion of the 239th Anniversary of your freedom from the tyranny of King George III, I have a simple message to the Obama White House, the members of the US Congress and captains of American Industry. Diplomacy is about making friends. Foreign policy is about the pursuit of peace and cooperation and building partnerships founded on mutual respect and trust.

It is time to put an end to the era of regime change initiated by George W. Bush and his neo-conservatives. Make friends, not enemies. The world does not need hegemons, and prophets of war. We need enlightened leaders, not egotists and dictators.

To celebrate the Fourth of July, Dr. Kamsiah and I have to chosen John Denver to entertain us. Mr. Denver,  may God Bless you and thank you for your musical legacy.–Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican.

Your Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong–Glen Travis Campbell


June 27, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment by The Mekong

FCC in Phnom Penh

It is that time of the week when we all can hopefully relax after 7 days of political shadow play in Malaysia, the Land of Endless Impossibilities. As Dr Kamsiah and I promised, we bring on Glen Campbell as our guest entertainer.  We  except those who are averse to country music,can agree that Glen, who was a single handicapper in golf, joins the pantheon of the great exponents of this kind of wholesome American music like Hank Williams, Eddie Arnold, Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, John Denver, and others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_country_music_performers

Glen Travis Campbell (born April 22, 1936) is an American country music singer, guitarist, television host, and occasional actor. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television.

During his 50 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums. He has sold 45 million records and accumulated 12 RIAA Gold albums, 4 Platinum albums and 1 Double-Platinum album. He has placed a total of 80 different songs on either the Billboard Country Chart, Billboard Hot 100, and/or the Adult Contemporary Chart, of which 29 made the Top 10 and of which nine reached number one on at least one of those charts. Campbell’s hits include his recordings of John Hartford‘s “Gentle on My Mind“, Jimmy Webb‘s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix“, “Wichita Lineman“, and “Galveston“, Larry Weiss‘s “Rhinestone Cowboy“, and Allen Toussaint‘s “Southern Nights“.

Glen Campbell in 1975Shelter from the Storm

Campbell made history in 1967 by winning four Grammys total, in the country and pop categories.[2] For “Gentle on My Mind” he received two awards in country and western, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” did the same in pop. Three of his early hits later won Grammy Hall of Fame Awards (2000, 2004, 2008), while Campbell himself won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He owns trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and took the CMA’s top award as 1968 Entertainer of the Year. In 1969 actor John Wayne picked Campbell to play alongside him in the film True Grit, which gave Campbell a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. Campbell sang the title song which was nominated for an Academy Award

Without further ado, here is Mr. Glen Travis Campbell in tribute for his great music and unique singing style.. –Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Let us hope this works–The Sioux  Falls Concert featuring Glen Campbell

https://youtu.be/_zqyQN6NnuY

Guest Artiste: Issac Hayes