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Selected Honoree: His Royal Highness King Bhumibol of Thailand (1927-2016)

The Harvard Glee Club went on a Far Eastern Tour, with a number of Krokodiloes as members, in 1961. King Bhumibol had written a song for the Kroks, called “Blue Day.” (The recording can be found here.) Fred Ford arranged the King’s tune, and the first rehearsal was held in the back of an Air France plane, flying over Chinese airspace on the way to Bangkok. Its first performance was on August 1, 1961 at Culture Hall in Bangkok, a Command Performance for the King and Queen. As the Harvard Glee Club Foundation reported it, “The King is something of a composer himself, as well as having a strong penchant for jazz, and a small group of singers had made an arrangement of one of his songs, ‘Blue Day’, which was sung as the first encore.” El Forbes’s wife Kay reported that seated behind the royal box she saw “the ghost of a smile flicker” across the King’s face on hearing the performance and added that “apparently, His Majesty is not allowed to smile in public, so this was an achievement.” The Krokodiloes who sang for the King that night were Ray Cook ’64, Rick Pepin ’62, Hugh Putnam “63, Bruce Carr ‘60, David Ebel ’62, Fred Ford ’60, David Livingston ’61, Vic Tom ’61, Al Burns ’63, David Rockefeller, Jr. ‘63 and John Ryden ’61. 

King Bhumibol’s obituary can be found here.

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