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Pattaya Daily News

09 August 2008 :: 12:08:51 pm 4153

Yodrak Salukjai King Of Thai Luk Tung Song Dies Of Liver Cancer

BANGKOK, Aug 9 - The normally smiling eyes of Thai ‘luk tung‘ fanciers are filled with tears as the king of Thai folk song, ‘Yodrak Salukjai‘, died peacefully early Saturday losing a year-long battle with liver cancer. For Yodrak Salukjai or Nipon Praiwan, life was like a drama. Born into a poor family in the central province of Pichit in 1956, when he was young, he wanted to become medical doctor. But that dream never came true, as he was forced by circumstance to leave school to earn a living by singing Thai folksongs or luk tung.
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Mr. Yodrak’s life changed when a disk jockey happened to visit the restaurant where the singer sang his country songs every night.

The DJ suddenly saw the magical glow of a ‘luk tung’ singer in Yodrak’s body and the soul that poured out in his singing. Thus discovered, Mr. Yodrak has been a singer ever since.

Mr. Yodrak’s singing ability was combined with songs by renowned composer Chonlathee Thanthong, leader the singer to warm welcomes from listeners across the country. In the late 1970s, ‘Yodrak fever’ swept radio stations throughout Thailand.

During his 30 years in the luk tung industry, Mr. Yodrak launched over 500 albums, with more than 4,000 songs.

His best-known songs included ‘Chakayan khon jon’ about a poor person’s bicycle, ‘Samsib yong Jaew’ about a man admiring a 30-year-old woman who is still beautiful, and ‘Kamnan kamnai’ in which the singer is a headman promising a young woman special privilege is she agrees to marry him. The heartthrob performer also took the lead role in over 20 films and soap operas.

Mr. Yodrak is known as Thailand’s king of luk tung songs, attested by several national best singers awards. However, his life was full of ups and downs.

With luk tung songs in decline, the folksinger tried to make a living by opening a restaurant and a music company, to fulfill his desire to preserve luk tung songs for the next generation.

Less successful in business than in song, his savings from 30 years of hard work has ‘gone with the wind’. Liver cancer was discovered even as debts mounted. Sorrow and pain, however, never encouraged the singer snuff out the breath of life, for the sake of his beloved family. Mr. Yodrak said he was unafraid of death, but wished he would not suffer “too much” from his illness.

Even though Yodrak departed this world early Saturday morning, he leaves the luk tung world a heritage of precious memories and his songs will resonate in the heart of Thai luk tung lovers into the timeless misty future. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Entertainment News

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