The legend continues, a two-hour concert heralding the unforgettable songs by Bimbo will hurl aficionados to the days when sweet melodious lyrics were king. Trio Bimbo, Iin Parlina plus a myriad of professionals are ready to entertain in “Indonesia Menyanyi Bimbo” – Indonesia Sings Bimbo with Purwacaraka Orchestra.
Bimbo is a music story of Raden Muhammad Samsudin Hardjakusumah. The avid musician cum painter known simply as Sam was born in Kuningan, West Java on May 6 1942. By the end of the 1950s, while in senior high school Sam initiated The Alulas boy band. The group disbanded in 1962 and Sam with former band boys Jessy Wenas, Memet Slamet, younger brother Acil Darmawan Hardjakusumah and Guntur Soekarnoputra formed Aneka Nada. At the same time, he reared Aneka Nada Junior manned by, among others, little brother Jaka Purnama Hardjakusumah and his schoolmate Iwan Abdulrachman. Aneka Nada broke up in 1965 and Sam focused on a new project, Yanti Bersaudara trio with his three sisters Yani, Tina and Iin. Immediately, the three sisters’ humorous hits like “Abunawas” and “Sinbad” started to colour the pop song scenes.
Vacuum from musical activity Sam, Acil and Jaka received three custom made guitars, a gift from the three sisters who were on the peak of their popularity. With the string-instruments specially made by maestro guitar maker Oen Peng Hok, Sam with Acil and Jaka started to practise popular Latin songs. 1967 the three boys dubbed as Trio Bimbo by TVRI producer Hamid Gruno, appeared for the first time on television. 1973, Iin Parlina joined the ranks, changing the group’s name to Bimbo. Heavily influenced by the Latin beat and melodious Sundanese twist their music swings from ballads, poetic pieces to songs with themes on social criticism. The colourful songs earned the group a unique tagging "Mozart's music and infiltrates to the heart like Cianjuran" from writer biographer Ramadhan K.H.
All through more than 40 years of their existence, Bimbo stays as the darling of sweet sounds aficionados. Bimbo whispers a sweet sound about love, jests and teases via humorous songs on moustaches, hands, eyes up to mother in law. Their lyrics delved into social critics, current events, satire, and spirituality; Bimbo also talks about the Lord Almighty via “Sajadah Panjang” a religious piece with lyrics from a poem by Taufik Ismail. The diverse musical miscellany fortifies Bimbo’s pole position in the dynamics of Indonesian pop culture, just like The Beatles for UK.
June 2015 a number of musicians and alumni of ITB Bandung Institute of Technology – Iin Parlina , Candil , Purwacaraka , Gita "The Voice", Imel, Ferina, Denis Suhendra, Krakatau, and Erwin Badudu – rearranged 25 Bimbo’s evergreens. Produced in the form of two CD albums, “ITB Menyanyi Bimbo” – ITB Sings Bimbo involved 250 artists. “It signals Bimbo’s return to the recording studio,” said Sam. "We will soon launch our new musical piece and latest songs, both religious and pop album.”
December 17 2015, “Indonesia Menyanyi Bimbo” – Indonesia Sings Bimbo – another production to honour Bimbo’s part in the Indonesian music scene will be on stage at Teater Jakarta, Taman Ismail Marzuki. “It is an extension of ITB Menyanyi Bimbo by including more professional artists like Vina Panduwinata and Sandy Sandoro,” said Purwacaraka the music director who happens to be, like Sam and Iin Parlina, an ITB alumni.
For a more in-depth news about the upcoming sweet sound affair, check on Indonesia Tatler December 2015 edition, Small Talks with Purwacaraka “A Tribute to Bimbo”.