Sun, 14 Jan 2001

Trip down memory lane on popular 'Tembang Kenangan'

Tembang Kenangan

9 p.m., Sunday


Host: Bob Tutupoly

JAKARTA (JP): Old hit tunes sung by popular singers of the past stick in our minds, dredging up memories of memorable times when we were young.

So if you enjoy listening to old songs sung by such onetime hitmakers as Koes Ploes, a popular Indonesian group of the 1970s, and Elvis Presley, then Tembang Kenangan (literally "nostalgic melodies") may be for you.

One of the attractions of the show is seeing singers of yesteryear and finding out how their golden voices, and looks, have fared over the years. The audience is invited to sing and dance along with the tunes, often moving audience members to tears.

Popular Indonesian singers who have appeared on the show include Dewi Yull, Harvey Malaiholo, Rafika Duri, Yuni Shara, Ruth Sahanaya, Koes Ploes and Bimbo Group.

Another attraction of the program is that the songs are a variety (slow and rock), which were popular from the 1960s through to the mid-1980s. The presenter of the program, Bob Tutupoly, will explain to the audience when the song was a hit, who sang it and what events, if any, occurred along with the song.

Bob plays an important role in sharing this information with the audience. Bob, a top singer in the 1970s best known for his song Widuri, communicates well with the singers and the studio audience as well as TV viewers to make the program entertaining and attractive.

Born in Surabaya, East Java, on Nov. 13, 1939, Bob invariably sings a song by one of his singing idols -- Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra -- when kicking off the program. And he still has his golden voice and attractive stage style of the 1970s.

Bob, with his experience of performing in Hong Kong and Bangkok, is shrewd in gauging what is needed for. He knows when to turn the atmosphere romantic and merry, and how to keep things relaxed.

Viewers of Tembang Kenangan can sing along with the singer on the stage as the lyrics are presented on the screen. It's even more festive when members of the studio audience get up to dance, and the years seem to slip away.

The studio is in a cafe setting, with round tables adorned with drinks, snacks and flowers in vases. There is only a short distance between the stage and the audience, further fostering the familial, relaxed feeling of the show.

When Tembang Kenangan was aired from 1995 to April 2000, the audience did not sing and dance. Unlike Bob, the then presenters, Nunu and Eva Marlia, didn't stand on stage, let alone sing a song. Although the show has survived through the years, it was not as interesting as it used to be.

Tembang Kenangan competes well in the ratings with other music programs like Layar BNI (BNI Screen) on SCTV, which is aired at the same time on Sunday but with a younger target audience. (Sri Ramadani)