Saturday, August 9, 2008

In memoriam: Yodrak Sakuljak, the King of Luk Thung

Singer Yodrak Sakuljak, the King of Luk Thung, died early today, according to a report by MCOT's Thai New Agency. He had been suffering from liver cancer for the past year.

Yodrak (ยอดรัก สลักใจ) was born Nipon Praiwan, in 1956 in Phichit Province. He wanted to be a doctor, but his family was poor, so he left school at an early age and started singing luk thung, Thailand's melodious heartbreak-infused country-folk music.

Here is more from TNA's obituary:

Mr. Yodrak's life changed when a disc 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.

Yodrak was featured on many television shows and in films. Among his recent film appearances are 2002's all-star luk thung cavalcade Mon Pleng Luk Thung FM and last year's Phrakanorn comedy In Country and Melody.

(Photo from In Country and Melody via SiamZone)


  1. His last name should be spelled either Salukjai or Salakjai (the latter is more common on the web, but the former is how it's spelled in the MCOT announcement).

    I guess it's to be expected. On the news the night before last they said he (or perhaps his family) had signed a DNR (do not resuscitate) form.

    Apparently he refused chemotherapy/radiation therapy from the first prognosis, opting for some other treatment which turned out to be ineffective because of the extent of the cancer.

    Sad day for Thai country music. We're sure to see skyrocketing (whoops--used that word) album sales. Little solace, though.

  2. The Sunday Xpress/Sunday Nation had a story about Yodrak, and noted that his case has gotten people talking about right to die -- a touchy subject anywhere in the world.

    The tabloid cover had a cool picture of Yodrak in a policeman's uniform -- he also worked as a cop -- firing a slingshot.


Please, no questions or comments about where to download movies or subtitle files.

Please read the FAQ about Thai films on DVD before asking about where to find a Thai movie on DVD with English subtitles.

Make your comments pertinent to the post you are commenting on. For off-topic comments, general observations or news tips, consider sending an e-mail to me at wisekwai [ a t ] g m a i l [d o t ] c o m.

All comments are moderated. Spam comments will be deleted.