United in his songs

.Show-stopper: A news story of Sudirman’s Chow Kit Road concert and (right) the review by Goh.Show-stopper: A news story of Sudirman’s Chow Kit Road concert and (right) the review by Goh.

ONE man brought the country together simply through his songs.

And this is greatly manifested on the night of April 14,1986.

At 9.10pm on what would have otherwise been an ordinary Monday night, some 100,000 people stood elbow-to-elbow at the Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur, craning their necks for a better look at the Malaysian music legend before them – Sudirman.

In an article titled “Sudir sings Chow Kit to a standstill”, reviewer Gerry Goh recalled the dramatic entrance which saw the performer hoisted into the night sky via a skylift, his booming voice singing none other than Chow Kit Road.

The huge turnout at the free mega concert, which took only a week and a half to organise, no doubt made it a memorable moment in Malaysian music history.

But more than that, the Chow Kit Road concert was significant because it brought Malaysians from different backgrounds together.

Goh noted that besides Malay and English tunes, Sudirman sang Tamil and Cantonese hits, appealing to fans from all races and beliefs.

In fact, while singing Tamil number Kattavandi, he invited an Indian couple from the audience to dance with him on stage.

Known also as the “singing lawyer”, Sudirman had also performed at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London in 1989.

Sudirman, who died in 1992 at the age of 37, knew full well the enormous power music wielded in uniting people.

And he wielded it with every note.

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