Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yusnor: 250 Songs Prolific Talent Heartfelt Lyricism

Young Yusnor
In 1963, Mohammed Nor (Yusnor) and I used to take a chartered bum-boat every week day from Changi jetty to Pulau Tekong and back . He taught in a Malay primary school and I in a Chinese one.  L2 was so important those years and many teachers were picked to teach English, Malay or Tamil as a 2nd Language in most government schools all over Singapore including the off-shore islands.

In the boat Yusnor would relate to me how he became P. Ramlee's student and learnt the art of movie making from the legend himself.  The stories he told made our 40-minute boat-ride seemed shorter and the sea could sometimes  be rough during stormy weather.  Yusnor was also writing songs for our local pop bands, all 250 and more. That's a lot of songs!

A Changi Bumboat.
After some years as a teacher he was transferred to the Curriculum Development Institute of  Singapore (CDIS) to write text-books, lyrics and produce school documentaries during his ETV (Educational Television) years.   I went abroad but we kept in touch... 

On New Year's night 2014 we shall be watching a sell-out concert in honour of  this quiet and humble gentleman: 

*Di malam itu engkaulah bintang
Ramai yang datang bertepuk riang

(That night you are the star
Many who come will applaud with joy)

He is a true bintang (star) and hero indeed, a hero who uses his pen, which is definitely "mightier than the sword."  

"Since the ’60s, one Malay music songwriter has stood out in Southeast Asia for his prolific talent and heartfelt lyricism, having lent his magic touch to hundreds of songs by artists such as P Ramlee, Saloma, Ahmad Jais and Anita Sarawak. Till this day, the songs of Singapore Malay music pioneer and Cultural Medallion recipient, Yusnor Ef, continue to be performed and enjoyed by many.

                                You Tube: Saloma: Aku, Dia dan Lagu. Yusnor Ef.
 Enjoy an evening of songs specially selected by Yusnor Ef, including Gelisah (Restless), Taj Mahal and Joget Malam Berinai (Wedding Night Dance) to be sung by ’60s and ’70s songbird Sanisah Huri, in a rare appearance, joined by other well-loved veteran artists Maria Bachok, J Mizan, A Razak, Zamzam and Rahimah Rahim.

Popular young artists Imran Ajmain, Sezairi, Maya Rahman and Zaibaktian will also grace the concert together with a special guest appearance by Malaysian singer, A Rozaini, who will be singing songs by A Ramlie such as Kasih Sayang Suami Isteri (Love Between Husband & Wife) and Hancurnya Istana Cinta (Broken Love Palace).

Accompanied by Orkestra Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru and guest musicians from Orkestra Melayu Singapura, this special evening features music arranged and conducted by renowned Malaysian composer, Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Zain, affectionately known as Pak Ngah.

For one night only, immerse yourself in beautiful songs that owe much of their appeal to Yusnor Ef's evocative lyrics."

Date: lst January, 2014, Wednesday.
Time: 8pm
(2hrs without intermission. Performed in Malay).    
Venue     Esplanade Concert Hall.
Images from: Google.
Read more about Yusnor by clicking his name under Labels below:


Jamie Goddard said...

Its always brilliant to read about the history of the 1960s, the parts that not everybody knows about. I research alot for my 1960s show Visit TheZoots. love this piece. Jamie Goddard, The Zoots

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Jamie for your comment. Appreciate your interest in Singapore's malay music from the 60s. Do keep in touch.