GEORGE TOWN: Just like Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, the name “Rocky” is synonymous with a local singer of the famous “Marilah Mengundi” jingle.
Rocky Din, whose real name is Mohd Hashim Mohd Sharif, said the name has stuck with him – the same way Stallone is best known as Rocky today, after five movies bearing that title.
“Even my mother-in-law calls me Rocky. I have got used to it now,” the 68-year-old said when met by reporters today.
Rocky was given the “Tokoh Seni” award by the Penang Malays’ Association (Pemenang) president Mohd Yusof Latiff on the occasion of Maal Hijrah (first day of the Islamic calendar) today.
“It is a big honour for me to receive an award related to Maal Hijrah, let alone any award.
“I never expected this in my 50 years as a singer. It is good to know that some people remember me,” he told reporters at the Pemenang headquarters here today.
Old song in 1977
Explaining how his “Rocky” name came about, he said it started when he joined an Elvis Presley impersonation contest at the Cathay Cinema (now Mydin) on Penang Road.
An announcer there accidentally announced his name as Rocky Din when he won the third prize. Rocky said the announcer likely confused him with the first prize winner, Rocky Chong.
The name stuck when he joined a talent competition at RTM in 1967, where he was also introduced as Rocky.
Rocky’s fame then spread when he participated in the same singing competition, Bintang RTM, with singing sensation Sudirman Arshad between 1975 and 1977.
Hailing from Teluk Ayer Tawar, Butterworth, Rocky was given the honour of singing the “Marilah Mengundi” song in 1977 after a talent scout spotted him at the Bintang RTM contest then.
Rocky has since sung many patriotic songs for RTM.
In 2013, the “Marilah Mengundi” song was “remixed” into a more hip version to appeal to the younger generation.
Rocky has produced a few albums under his name and also for famed singers of yesteryear such as Mariam Ahmad, Sharifah Aini, Hang Mokhtar and Nurli Ismail.
Rocky, a father of five, is currently a full-time singer at the Pen Mutiara Restaurant.
He was previously a long-time employee of Lembaga Letrik Negara (LLN) and later Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), serving in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
New remixed song by One Emcees in 2013