Saturday, 5 May 2018

Transgender Elephant Blues

Meet three former British merchant seamen from Hull: Eric Suggs, Bert Fluckley and Ronald Bones

After sex reassignment surgery, the talented friends underwent a change of national orientation and became South Koran. They formed a signing trio, called themselves the Broken Blossoms and hit the road. The Blossoms toured throughout Thailand for the next eleven and a half months and proved immensely popular with audiences both young and old. Their biggest (self-penned) hit was the upbeat Elephant Blues Boogie. Tragically, the Blossoms’ promising career was cut short when their tour bus collided with a rogue buffalo outside the cement factory in Roi-Et.

Eric’s last words were, “Ladies, I think I’ve snagged my nylons…”

You can still see the bronze plaque, green with age, honouring the Blossoms in the garden of the Por Jai temple. The garden itself is now sadly neglected.  

Here’s a link to the only surviving footage of the three singers. It’s from 1954 at the old Tai Tai Recording Studios, which was on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. The Blossoms are rehearsing a cover of Mr. Sandman.


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