Dara Puspita hailed from the city of Surabaya in East Java and first formed in 1964 with the line-up of sisters Titiek Adji Rachman Titiek A. R.) on guitar and Lies Soetisnowati Adji Rachman (Lies A. R.) on bass, along with Susy Nander on drums and Ani Kusuma on rhythm guitar. In April 1965 Lies left the band for a month to finish school and was replaced on bass by Titiek Hamzah. When Lies returned she took the place of Ani on rhythm guitar and Titiek Hamzah stayed on as bass player. It was with this line-up that the band set out to conquer the world.
In 1965 the band relocated to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and soon gained a reputation as a sensational live act
The band’s stage act and the songs they played were clearly influenced by contemporary British bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, whose music at the time was banned in Indonesia.
In late 1965 the political situation in Indonesia swung 360 degrees and rock and roll could be played again with impunity, so when Dara Pupita’s first album, Jang Pertama (The First), was released in 1966 they had little to fear.
Dara Puspita followed up their first album with the self-titled Dara Puspita later in the year and in 1967 put out two albums, Green Green Grass and A Go Go. The title track from the latter album, and the song Believe Me, are good examples of the band’s beat credentials.
In 1968 they took the almost unprecedented move for an Indonesian band of trying their luck in Europe and spent the next few years touring in England, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Hungary. They even played in Turkey and Iran. While in England they recorded two singles for CBS and recorded another for Philips in Holland.
In late 1971 the band returned to Indonesia and played a number of concerts, but enthusiasm was starting to wane and in April 1972 they played their last show.
Susy was keen to keep going and together with Titiek Hamzah recorded a number of albums using the Dara Puspita name, but it was really the end.
Today only Titiek Hamzah continues in the Indonesian music industry, where she has had great success as a song-writer.