Down Memory Lane featuring Colleen Read
Penang House of Music is proud to present living legend Colleen Read for a heartwarming afternoon of music at its Black Box. The veteran songbird will be crooning songs from yesteryears with the support of musicians pianist Lee Chong Heen, bassist Zaki Ani, and drummer Alex Henry Noden.
Colleen sang for the first time at the Penang Chinese Swimming Club at an annual dinner and dance organised by the ex-convent pupil’s association. The then 11-year-old Colleen was backed by Roy Hit and the Jolly Amigos. Her intense love for music saw her quitting school at 15 to pursue a musical career, and her first singing job was at the Green Parrot for two months. She then joined a 20-odd-member singing troupe that performed at the Great World amusement park for about a year and then had singing stints at the Springtide, Chusan nightclub, Ambassador Hotel, and also in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where she did recordings for radio and television.
Known for being Zainal Alam’s favourite singer, Colleen’s longest gig was at the Mandarin Hotel (Captain’s Bar and Mandarin Club) during the 1960s and 1970s.
About Penang House of Music
The Penang House of Music is a labour of love under the Penang Musical Heritage Project (PMHP), inaugurated by the Capricorn Connection in 2007. PHMP has been documenting the diversity of the local community’s cultural and musical traditions before George Town’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still, the renewed interest in the state’s musical heritage following the listing has boosted PHMP’s good work.
What started as a passion project has since culminated in two exhibitions at the Penang State Museum in 2010 and 2013, many talks, performances, and the publications of a book “Just For The Love Of It – Penang’s Popular Music 1930s – 1960s”.
In line with the Penang State Government’s aim and vision of establishing a heritage and creative arts city, PHMP believes that the establishment of the Penang House of Music presents a strong and credible musical history from which the older generations can enjoy a glimpse of the past, and where the young generation can draw inspiration.
With the above vision in mind, Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP), with the support of the Chief Minister of Penang, awarded a grant of RM3 million over three years for the establishment of The Penang House of Music, which was instrumental in seeing the project come to fruition on 21st November 2016.
The Resource Centre also acts as a focal point for musicians, scholars, academicians, students, and others interested in Penang’s history while creating a larger network of organisations to celebrate the state’s abundant heritage.
The Penang House of Music is truly a celebration and acknowledgment of the work and achievements of past musicians. We hope to be a creative “home” for past, present, and future musicians to congregate and share their journeys. We hope to instill awareness and pride in the talent and beauty of Malaysian music and musicians.