Norman Smith's Philipino combo. | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Norman Smith's Philipino combo.

Primary tabs

Norman Smith's Philipino combo.

Looking at Bill Griffith's recent  mention of a Philipino dance band reminded me that I have another photograph that I didn't upload into the 367 Association Gallery.  This was because I don't know who took these two photographs but also because I was puzzled about the photograph's title, 'Norman Smith's Philipino Combo.'  Norman Smith served on the 367 Signals Unit at Little Sai Wan between 1958 and 1959 and he has a sub gallery within the 367 Association gallery.  As you will see on the photograph below of him entertaining some of his pals, he was a talented pianist and this photograph was definitley taken somewhere down town as the piano was a grand piano and there was no such thiing on the camp.  I am fairly sure that he spent some of his off duty time playing in one or more bands down town.  It is interesting to see that the band for which the young lady was singing was called 'Eddie and his Combo'.  Was this band known to any of you?  The pianist on the left hand photograph is not Norman.  Any suggestions. Best wishes Andrew.

Norman at the piano
Norman at the piano, by Norman Smith


Not sure but may refer to Eddie Guzman as noted here Eddie was normally associated with an orchestra.

Good morning Moddsey.

That sounds like a promising link. I never visited the Ritz nightclub(?) at North Point(?), but I do know that some of my colleagues went there and also used the swimming pool. I guess that it is possible that Norman was one of them and could have ‘guested’ a spot with the band/orchestra, with the photograph’s title being a humorous reference to his performance. In later life he wrote an unpublished novel in which a young airman played piano in a nightclub - as I am fairly certain Norman did. Many first novels have been based on the writer’s own experiences.

Maybe somebody can positively identify the young lady singing on his photograph.

best wishes, Andrew


1959 Cafe de Paris Advertisement
1959 Cafe de Paris Advertisement, by Moddsey

Thanks Moddsey,

The Cafe de Paris on Queen’s Road Central where Eddie and his combo performed looks like a good match. Could the young singer be the Grace Archer named on the bill?  Andrew

Barbara Fonseca has mentioned Grace Archer in one of her posts back in 22nd April 2012:

Worth contacting her to confirm if she knows who Grace is or who the young lady might be.

It seems to me that the font of all wisdom regarding the music scene in HK in the 1950s onwards is Ray Cordeiro. I am sure that he could add an enormous amount of knowledge to this site. Does anyone here know him?