Wednesday, February 18, 2009


When I asked some of my Indonesian colleagues (below age of 50) in Medan about the Blue Diamonds, they did not know who they were. When I showed them the Blue Diamonds singing ‘Ramona’ on the You Tube, they were surprised that the Blue Diamonds were Indonesian brothers. Oh Yes. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Ruud de Wolff (born May 12 1941) and Riem de Wolff (born April 15, 1953) and their parents migrated to Holland in 1949. Over there their singing talents were discovered by Phillips, the Dutch recording company.

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:

Click on and listen to Anneka Gronloh singing ‘Boeroeng Kaka’ (Burung Kaka Tua).


Prithi Pal said...

Thanks for the information on Fabulous Blue Diamonds. It brought back memories of the good old carefree days.

Tan Jing Ming said...

The fabulous Blue Diamonds were really fabulous. I don't have any of the Blue Diamonds' songs in my collection. Hope to get some later. Really enjoyed their rendition of LITTLE SHIP, ROMONA and also the guitar solo of AYUH,AYUH.

During my secondary days, I always popped over to my old buddy Kong Peng's place at BAKAWALI TAILOR to enjoy songs of The Blue Diamonds. Kong Peng had a good collection of Singles, EPs and LPs in his private little cubicle which also doubled up as his bedroom behind his dad's shop. This was his private studio broadcasting pop songs of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, The Blue Diamonds, Ricky Nelson, etc over the heads of the Hakka tailors in the shop every afternoon after school.

We were and still are great fans of the Blue Diamonds.

vsint said...