It would be very foolish to assume that this was an uncommon record in this part of the world. No, this seven-inch extended play 45rpm record was very popular in the early 1960s and no doubt, buyers of this record - my father included - were greatly smitten by the Dutch singer, Louise Johanna (also known as Anneke) Gronloh. She not only sang well but looked fabulous. In fact, she was a teenage idol and had represented Holland at a Eurovision song contest.
I remember that in my pre-teen years, I was spinning this record endlessly on the old gramophone at our Seang Tek Road home. Was I also smitten with her? Or was I just carried away by the catchy songs? No matter, because the four songs on this record just stayed with me.
But when I was down in Kuala Lumpur recently, I happened to see a shop selling this compact disc. Memories of the endless hours playing the songs came back. Weak-kneed, I picked up a copy and continually played it in the car stereo on the drive back to Penang until my wife said "enough was enough."
Yah, okay, I do admit that two hours listening to the same 12 songs on this compact disc can stretch anyone's patience but now I know that I can always slip this disc into the home stereo and listen to it any time while my wife's away at work. After all these years, Anneke Gronloh's bubbly songs still bring back fun memories.
Note: Anneke Gronloh is Dutch but she was born on Celebes island in Indonesia during the Japanese Occupation of South-East Asia. After the War, her family emigrated to Eindhoven, Holland and it was there that she started her musical career. She normally sings in the Dutch language but for her tour of the Far East in 1962 in which she appeared on stage in Malacca and Singapore, she made special effort to re-discover her Indonesian roots and learn several songs in the Malay and Indonesian languages. The songs on this compact disc are testimony of the comfort she had singing in these two languages.