I am sure my old buddy, Tan Jing Ming, remembers that I did buy a LP record of the Blue Diamonds and we never felt tired of listening to their songs such as ‘Ramona’, ‘Little Ship”, ‘Stairway To Heaven’, ‘Down By The Riverside’, Cathy’s Clown’, ‘Till I Kissed You’, ‘All Of Me’, ‘Oh Carol’, and others in the album. Thanks to You Tube, we are now able to watch and listen to them over and over again. Listening to the Blue Diamonds every now and then brings back sweet memories of my childhood days in the early 60’s in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Malaysia.
Called the ‘Dutch Everly Brothers’, the Blue Diamonds covered many Everly Brothers songs, but they had a unique style of their own and their vocal harmony was among the best for male vocal duets. Besides their singing talents, these two brothers were also accomplished guitarists. They became really famous in 1960 with an up tempo version of a musical song 'Ramona,' a song originally written for the 1928 movie 'Ramona.' Hence, they established their name not only in Netherlands but all over the rest of the world. They were also highly popular in South-east Asia and the Far East because of their part Asian descent. In the 60’s, they toured all over Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and many other countries.
The fabulous Blue Diamonds had no more hits after 1971 but they performed until 2000. Their last performance was November, 2000. In December 2000, Ruud died at the age of 59. After his elder brother’s death, Riem wanted to stop performing. Later realizing what 40 years of Blue Diamonds meant for many people and fans, Riem changed his mind and became a solo artist. And together with his son Steffen he founded The New Diamonds.
During that time, I had also bought a EP record of Anneka Gnoloh, another Indonesian singer who and her family had resettled in Holland in 1949. Surely Jing Ming also remembers the song “Boeroeng Kaka” sung by her. Now we can listen to her as well on You Tube.
Click on and watch the Blue Diamonds singing ‘Ramona” on the You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElHHM9QGOMs.
Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEi4577ByjY and listen to Anneka Gronloh singing ‘Boeroeng Kaka’ (Burung Kaka Tua).