Pan Ron

While Pan Ron was the second lady of Khmer music during the the 60s and 70s, little is known about her life.  What we know of her comes from her music, a delightful mix of the playful and the soulful.  During her life she created a great treasure - hundreds of songs, many of which she both wrote and performed.  Tragically, her career and life was cut short; she is not known to have survived the Khmer Rouge years.
     
During the late 60s and early 70s, Pan Ron was the second most famous and popular female singer in Cambodia.  She had some success in the early 60s, but her career really took off when she began recording with Sinn Sisamouth in 1966.  After that, she had many hits, sometimes singing alone, but often paired with Sisamouth, Meas Samon, Ros Serysothea, or some of the other stars of the era.  

 

          
  Pan Ron was instrumental in the creation and popularization of the thriving Cambodian rock and roll scene of the 60s and 70s.  Khmer musicians of the era were influenced by western rhythm & blues, rock n' roll and music from Latin America.  Musicians like Sinn Sisamouth studied these musical styles while travelling abroad, and many Cambodians were also hearing these songs on US Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War.

 

     
Artists like Pan Ron took these genres of music and combined them with classic Khmer music to produce a new sound - Cambodian rock 'n roll.  With her singing, she infused these songs with her electric spirit, both crazy and cool, soulful and fun.  Perhaps more than any other female singer of the time, Pan Ron embodied the spirit of this new Cambodian rock music.  The reason is simple - She rocks!  

 

     
  The Cambodian rock 'n roll scene ended on April 17, 1975, the day the communists took over Phnom Penh.  Along with nearly all the singers of the 60s and 70s, Pan Ron did not survive their genocidal rule.  But the Khmer Rouge failed to silence Pan Ron - her powerful voice lives on, a priceless treasure to Cambodia and the world that will last forever.