Retro music lovers have something to look forward to this season. Every month, a listening session of rare vintage recordings of celebrated music composers, organised by Bhartiya Kala Kendra promises to bring out hidden gems of classical, folk, light and theatre music from the bygone era.
This month, the session will feature songs composed by C Ramchandra, popular by the name of Chitalkar, who is remembered for his compositions like Yeh zindagi usi ki hai jo kisi ka ho gaya… from Anarkali (1953) and Dheere se aaja re akhiyan mein… from Albela (1951). As a playback singer, he was known for his peppy duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Shola jo bhadke… Albela (1951) and Kitna haseen hai mausam… from Azad (1955). His biggest contribution to the music came in the form of the highly popular patriotic song Aye mere watan ke logon… that Mangeshkar famously performed live for the then Prime Minister Jawharlal Nehru in 1963 at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi.
“Chitalkar was an exceptional composer and singer. This session will include some of the lesser-known songs composed by him which are not easily available in the market,” says Kamlesh Mota, deputy director of programme, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – Kala Kendra. Kala Kendra has collaborated with The Society for Indian Record Collectors and Sargam Group to bring these rare recording to the audience. “In our past events, there has been a remarkable turnout of youngsters. A lot of aspiring singers among the younger lot find it a great platform to listen to these recordings,” he says, adding, “The response for such sessions in the past has been wonderful and we have always exceeded the seating capacity of our hall.”
Held on the fourth Saturday of every month, next month will feature the recordings of Gujarati composer Avinash Vyas.
The session will take place on June 25, from 5-7 pm at Gita Mandir, 3rd floor, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan-Kala Kendra, Chowpatty. Entry is free.