Riem de Wolff has passed away this morning at 9 am, according to an SMS received at 11.45am. Riem was the younger brother of Ruud de Wolff (1941-2000), both known better as the dynamic, guitar singing duet, THE BLUE DIAMONDS.
Singapore fans, friends and my blog readers who are familiar with the Blue Diamonds send condolences to Riem's family.
May you Rest In Peace Riem.
A Tribute From Michael Bangar:
This is my tribute to a great musical talent the late Mr Riem de Wolff, together with his late brother Ruud, who was originally from this part of Asia. They were the 60's duo The Blue Diamonds.
Thank you and your brother for the wonderful music you guys shared with us all those years. Many many hits that included: Little Ship, Oh Carol, Cathy's Clown and the now standard, your version of Ramona which is probably the best.
How you guys turn on your vocal harmonies on us school kids (budding musicians) during the kampong days. Your songs brought the sunshine into our lives. So much fond memories that are still with us today.
As a student, I first saw The Blue Diamonds perform at the Singapore Badminton Hall (if my memory serves me right). Then over the years, on TV every now and then. I also got to watch them when they guested on, Rolling Good Times held at Singapore's Indoor Stadium.
Besides them, the other guests included Johnny Lion and The Jumping Jewels, Anneke Gronloh, The Quests, Sakura Teng and the late Kartina Dahari with many other artistes. It was one of the best local variety shows in a long time.
Not long after Ruud's passing, I got the chance to see Riem perform solo with only his guitar at the now defunct Sparks Night Club/Disco at Ngee Ann City. For a couple of hours, he put on a great show and breezed through a lot of classic standards and oldies, effortlessly.
What an entertainer, with only a guitar accompanying his great vocals. And when he got into The Blue Diamonds hit list, Vernon sang Ruud's harmony parts. What a memorable evening it was for me and my band partner at that time, the late guitarist Mr Donald Thaver.
Blue Diamonds: Sunny n Guantanamera. Video: Nostalgia Tube
Once again, thank you Ruud and Riem de Wolff - The Blue Diamonds, for all the wonderful music and memories. And wherever you guys are now I hope you continue your tradition of all those great music with those unique harmonies.
Just to add brother Andy: We last met Riem at least about 10 years ago, one night at Adam Road Food Centre. The 4 of us were having supper after a gig. He and a few friends came to check out the Centre's favourite Tulang (Bone Soup).
He knew Ivor Lesslar (lead guitarist for a number of bands), and came up to say hello and chatted. Ramon Francis, Jeffrey Pinto and I met him for the first time. He was a very warm and friendly person as far as I can recall.
RIP Mr Riem de Wolff.
Condolences below from:
Louis Soliano (Award Winner Percussionist):
Years ago my dad, with Jose Daroya's band played for the Blue Diamonds at the Cathay Restaurant. RIP Riem.
John Cher (Drummer Silver Strings):
Sad news. RIP Riem.
Richard Khan (Drummer October Cherries):
Ramona no more. I knew he was in a critical condition. No way out. 😢
Ronnie See (Burns Leader, Rhythm, Singer):
Sadly losing one of the great musicians. Condolences to his family.
Horace Wee (Guitarist, Saxophonist):
RIP Riem, the Lord will welcome you.
Michael Bangar (Rhythm Silver Strings):
Oh dear. May the Lord Bless His Soul. RIP Riem.
Victor Lam (Burns Drummer):
RIP Riem: Sad new for us Blue Diamond fans.
Jimmy PresLee (Elvis Tribute Artiste):
Heard from Larry Lai last week... sad.
Irene Yap (Singer Recording Artiste);
So sorry to learn that. Beautiful harmony.
Oliver (Drummer Silver Strings):
Jan Cheong (fan):
Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord.
Lim Kuan Min (School principal, blog fan):
Dr A. Khoo (Lecturer, fan);
Tan Soo Khoon:
Sad news. (Check Comment page.)
Charlie Yap (Bass Locomotion):
Yes. He's the last Diamond. Sad... That's life. One by one...😐
Fabian Foo (video cam enthusiast, fan);
Oh dear, another one popular singer has passed on. RIP.
Christopher Toh (Music Journalist TODAY newspaper):
Sad news indeed! Yeah, I think I met him some years ago. Vernon C. introduced me before they went on Brian Richmond's show...
Ioleen Chia (Drummer Tepees):
I didn't know him personally but I was a fan of the Blue Diamonds. RIP.
Rickie Chng (Lead Silver Strings):
May his family members overcome this feeling of sadness.
This list will go on. Do write in...
Many Facebook comments below. Click Comments.
With blogger Andy Young, the late Riem de Wolff, Larry Lai, the late Jap Chong, Vernon Cornelius.
Click to read other Blue Diamonds stories:
Images: Google, A Personal Collection.
Videos from YouTube