Sunderabai lived for over seventy years. She adapted herself with all the new modern and emerging media including radio and cinema. She acted in couple of films – Marathi ‘Sangam’ (1941), Hindi / Marathi ‘Admi / Manoos’ (C.1937) and her role of hero’s innocent and pious mother was very well received. She planned to launch a new record company titled – ‘The Navbharat Record mfg. Company’ with the help of Mr. Dattopant Phatak, Pune who was also associated with Odeon record mfg. company. She thought of making several new records through her own company. However the company was never formed and her dreams were shattered. She lost all her money, property, cars and had to live in a small room with her paralysed daughter. She received the job with All India Radio, Bombay. She persuaded several musicians including Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan for cutting records with the Odeon Company and also to give cpncerts for radio. Mr. Z. A. Bukhari, station director of Bombay radio was very helpful to artists and he encouraged them during his tenure. Sunderabai organized several radio programs of Bal Gandharva who was like her brother. She died in 1952 while in service with radio. Today, she could be seen singing a religious song if you play VCD/DVD of ‘Manoos/Admi’ – Mana papi bhoola, kauna ise samajhaye Sukhaka saathee, dukha sankatmen, kabhi kaam naa aave Jisko tune jagmen jalaya, vohi tujhko jalaye…………………..1 Shahad shakkarse milke ne hoga meetha kadava phal Tan dhoyega, manko kaise dhoye gangajal……………………2 ———————————————————————————————————— 6 Gramophone Celebrities – 22 Sangeet Kalanidhi – Master Krishnarao (1898-1974) Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar (1898-1974) alias ‘Master Krishna’ was ten years younger to Bal Gandharva. Both of them were the disciples of Bhaskarboa Bakhale. He learnt music from 1911-1915 and joined Gandharva Natak Mandali formed by his gurubandhu Narayanrao Rajhans alias Bal Gandharva. He acted both in male and female roles in musical plays such as Sanshay Kallol, Swayamvar, Draupadi, Asha-Nirasha, Nandkumar, Amrutsiddhi and Kanhopatra. He also set tunes to songs from these plays and in this respect Bal Gandharva always honoured him as his guru. In about 1933/34, both of them joined Prabhat Film Company – Bal Gandharva in acting department and Master Krishnarao in music department. Meanwhile, Shankarcharya Dr. Kurtakoti had conferred title ‘Sangeet Kalanidhi’ to Master Krishnarao. His songs from Prabhat Company’s hit films viz. Dharmatma, Gopalkrishna, Manoos / Admi, Amarjyoti and Shejari / Padosi became so much popular that he had to sing them in his private music concerts. Later on he moved to Bombay in Rajkamal Film Company formed by V. Shantaram. He acted and provided music to Rajkamal Films Bhakticha Mala / Mali in Hindi. He then again turned to Marathi drama around 1943-45, not as an actor but as a music director. His first drama ‘Sangeet Kulvadhu’ was hit due to its music. Songs such as ‘Bola amrut bola’, ‘Manaramana madhusudana’ are popular even today. He set number of tunes to ‘Vande Mataram’ song and used to sing in his concerts. In 1935, he was refused to sing this song on radio. So, he stopped singing on radio till he could sing it again after independence in 1947. During 1948-50, he worked very hard to get it accepted as ‘The Anthem’ in the parliament. He made special records required as per the norms and guidelines of ‘The Anthem’. However, ‘Vande Mataram’ was not selected for non-musical (political) reasons. In the later years of his life, he turned to religious music. Some of his Marathi songs ‘krishna majhi mata’, ‘bhav tethe dev’, ‘tujhiye nidhali’ were very popular and played on radio for several years. He passed away in 1974. Child prodigy ‘Master Krishna’ to ‘Sangeet Kalanidhi’ was a very long journey and he cut over 110 songs on 55 gramophone records. These records were made in both acoustic (pre 1925) and electrical era. In 1922, guru Bhaskarboa Bakhale was much pleased with his recorded songs ‘Mundari mori kaheko’ (Adana) and ‘Kahe aab tuma aaye’ (Sohoni). He made records in classical music, light music, stage songs, devotional songs, film songs and patriotic songs. Most of these records were made on HMV, Columbia, Odeon, The Twin and Young India labels. In 1937, Broadcast record mfg. Company, Bombay cut four records that play for five minutes per side. These are in raga bhimpalas, pahadi, bageshree, bhairvi and two songs from Marathi drama ‘savitri’. In 1998, his birth centenary was celebrated in Maharashtra. 7 Gramophone Company reissued some of his most popular records on audio tapes and later on compact discs. Although Bakhaleboa did not record single song, both Bal Gandharva and Master Krishnarao have cut hundreds of records representing his gayaki and music. ———————————————————————————————————— Gramophone Celebrities – 23 Principal Bapurao Ketkar (1898-1954) Bhaskarboa Bakhale had several disciples including females Rahimubai Vazeer and his own daughter Pramila Bakhale. Both of them made couple of records that have now gone into oblivion. Next to Bal Gandharva and Master Krishnarao, Bapurao Ketkar was the only disciple of Bakhaleboa who made ten records with the gramophone company. Ketkar family belonged to Ketki, a tiny village near Chiplun in Konkan. Lakshmanboa Ketkar was a court singer in Ramdurg state in Karnataka. His son bapurao made considerable progress in dhrupad-dhamar style of singing while studying for matriculation. After sudden death of his father, Ketkar family had to move to Pune. Bapurao was then 20 years old. He began to continue his music lessons with Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan who was in Pune and had established Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya, an institution for imparting music education in a traditional guru-shishya parampara. He met Bhaskarboa Bakhale through Master Krishna and then joined his tution with the permission of Kareem Khan. Bapurao then not only learnt music form his guru but also nurtured the Bharat Gayan Samaj established by Bhaskarboa. He was the Principal of this Samaj / and the music vidyalaya (school). He staged several shows of ‘Sangeet Sanshay Kallol’, ‘Varvanchana’, ‘Panchangi Jugar’ plays for raising building funds of Bharat Gayan Samaj. He used to play roles and sing songs in these plays. He also acted in plays of Gandharva Natak Company whenever Bal Gandharva had problems in getting replacement actors. With the suggestion of Master Krishnarao, he went to Karachi for establishing unit of Bharat Gayan Samaj. He met Sheth Lakshmidas Ishwardas who was a great admirer and patron of both Bhaskarboa and Master Krishnarao. Lakshmidas organized several concerts of bapurao and music lovers of Karachi were much pleased. However, there was no move in establishing the institution in Karachi. Hence, Bapurao returned to Pune in 1932 and resumed his work at Bharat Gayan Samaj. In 1932, he also composed music for Saraswati Cinetones Marathi talkie film ‘Shyamsundar’. It was also dubbed in Hindi and Bengali and was shown for over 27 weeks in Bombay. Thus, this was the first Indian film that celebrated silver jubilee of film screening. In this film, Shahu Modak acted as a child Shree Krishna and Bapurao Ketkar played the role of Narad. Later on in 1935, Baburao Painter and Dadasaheb Phalke invited him to compose music for Hindi film ‘Sati Sulochana’. The film reels are no more available.




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