Home            P. Ramlee: The Bright Star

For more information on P. Ramlee, please visit the P. Ramlee fan club at http://www.p-ramlee.com/

None currently known
If you know of any events concerning P. Ramlee or his works, please let us know:


P. Ramlee: The Bright Star, published in 2002 in collaboration with Ahmad Sarji, was Harding's last biography.

Reviews of P. Ramlee: The Bright Star
None currently known

If you know of any, please let us know:  contact@drjamesharding.co.uk

The book
This biography depicts one of the glories of a cultural heritage which deserves to be far better known in Europe, and, indeed, throughout the whole world.  A chance viewing of Nujum Pa'Belalang alerted Harding to P. Ramlee and led to this very fruitful collaboration with Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, who had previously co-compiled P. Ramlee's songs in three volumes and authored an encyclopedia on this great artist, which was a labour of love for them both.  A subtle and polished film actor,  P. Ramlee was once described to Harding as "...like your Noël Coward-actor, composer, singer, film-maker...".  Nature hands out talent as if on a whim and Ramlee was exceedingly fortunate with a voice that had a rich, soothing appeal, and a manner that was confident and assured.  This beautiful biography perfectly illustrates how with a quick intelligence, P. Ramlee watched and silently absorbed everything around him, learning the techniques that would help him become the icon of Malay entertainment.
The man
P. Ramlee, born in Malaysia in 1929, on the first day of the Eid festival, was not born into great wealth and the very occupation of his father is uncertain.  In 1947 he entered a singing competition organised by the Penang Chinese Association held at the City Light Hall, listing himself for the first time as P. Ramlee rather than his registered name of Ramlee bin Puteh.  The next year P. Ramlee caught the attention of B. S. Rajhans, a prominent figure in the fledgling Malay film business, who invited Ramlee to join the Malay Film Productions Ltd (MFP) in Singapore, an offer Ramlee was initially reluctant to accept.  Run by the legendary Shaw Brothers, MFP initially engaged Ramlee as musician, playback singer and actor at a salary of sixty dollars a week.  In time he became Asia's most popular artiste.  P. Ramlee died in 1973.