SUPHAN BURI — An annual fair to pay tribute to country music legend Phumpuang Duangjan will continue through Sunday.
On Thursday night, the 27th anniversary of the singer’s death, fans thronged Wat Thap Kradan to offer incense sticks and red roses to photos and 10 statues in the singer’s likeness.
Celebrations will continue until Sunday night, with country luk thung singers lined up to perform songs in tribute.
Local legend has it that visiting Phumphuang’s shrines in the middle of the night brings extra luck, so temple attendants partied through the night, snacking, watching luk thung concerts, and shaking Chi-Chi sticks for lucky lotto numbers.
Phumpuang’s only son, Pakkawat Pisitwuthiratch, took to the stage with his father, Kraisorn Saenganun, to sing his late mother’s songs.
Pumpuang Duangjan, born Ramphueng Chit-han in 1967, hailed from a family of poor farmers when she was discovered by a traveling band at 15 at Wat Thap Kradan. She was known for mixing luk thung country music with electronic innovation – a sound ubiquitous today. She released about 60 albums and starred in dozens of films and soap operas.
Though illiterate – having attended only two years of school – Pumpuang memorized the lyrics to more than 600 songs.
Over the years, a series of managers, lovers and husbands leached the earnings of her stardom, leaving her destitute.
She contracted lupus and was unable to afford medical treatment. She died at 30 on June 13, 1992, from complications of the disease.
The trailer to “The Moon,” a 2011 biopic of Phumpuang Duangjan starring luk thung singer Paowalee Pornpimol.