PETALING JAYA: It is exactly 20 years ago since his death at the age of 37 but singer-extraordinaire Sudirman Arshad lives in the hearts and memories of those who knew him.
For award-winning lyricist, film producer and close friend Habsah Hassan, it is unbelievable that two decades have passed by so swiftly.
“He was a great friend who was lovable, charitable and so manja(affectionate). I miss him so much,” said the 59-year-old who had penned lyrics for close to 30 songs that Sudirman popularised including Kul It!, Merisik Khabar, Salam Terakhir, Punch Card and To Know Malaysia Is To Love Malaysia.
“He did not look at race, creed or colour. It is important for TV stations to showcase some of his concerts and introduce him to the younger generation,” said Habsah, who is having a closed-door gathering for Sudirman fans on Saturday at Restoran Puteri in Sungai Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Sudirman's manager Daniel Dhar-anee Kannan remembers him as someone with high standards.
“He was never satisfied with his achievements. One of his most memorable acts was performing for over 100,000 fans in Jalan Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur in 1986. It was deemed impossible back then but he pulled it off,” he said.
Coinciding with his 20th death anniversary is the musical Hoore! Hoore! by award-winning director Saw Teong Hin. It will feature 12 of Sudirman's popular songs like Basikal Tua, Milik Siapakah Gadis Ini and Balik Kampung,rearranged by composer Audi Mok. It will be released in August and stars Akim AF7, Kilafairy, Harun Salim Bachik and Aznil Nawawi.
Saw, who directed the film version of Puteri Gunung Ledang, said: “Sudirman's work encompassed songs from different genres. I was a big fan and distinctly remember when he emerged best singer on Bintang RTM in 1976. Hopefully through this movie, we will be reminded of his greatness and enlighten the younger generation on his music.”
Warner Music Malaysia has released a career-spanning 101 Sudirman six CD box-set this week while two of his core EMI-era recordings - his debut album Aku Penghiburmu (1978) and the hit album Kul It!(1986) - previously unavailable in CD format, were finally issued last year.
Radio station Suria FM will commemorate the anniversary today by playing the entertainer's most popular songs includingMerisik Khabar, Salam Terakhir, Nilai Cintamu and Terasing. There will be one song played every hour from the start of the breakfast show, Ceria Pagi Di Suria (5am), right up to its last segment, Suria Cinta (2am). - theStarOnline