Ramkumar Chattopadhyay was ‘last emperor’ of traditional Bengali musicMarch 18th, 2009 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) The death of legendary singer Ramkumar Chattopadhyay, who was regarded as the repository of Bangla Puratoni Gaan (old Bengali songs), marked the end of the era of vernacular traditional music, feels the music industry here.
Chattopadhyay, 89, died here Wednesday at the Belle Vue Clinic.
“Chattopadhay was the ‘last emperor’ of Bangla Puratoni Gaan. The era of Bengali traditional music ended with him today (Wednesday),” city-based singer Haimanti Shukla told IANS.
Noted singer Arati Mukherjee too feels the same.
“His mere presence was like a roof over the Bengali music industry. Personally, he was a father-figure…learnt so much from him…I feel orphaned now,” Mukherjee said.
Singer Sreekanta Acharya said Chattopadhayay was the personification of Bengali traditional music.
“It was Chattopadhyay who popularised the genre of Bengali Baithaki songs (songs sung at elite evening gatherings). Besides, there were his signature parodies…I have never seen anyone sing impromptu spin-offs on traditional songs like he did.
“He was in true sense Bengali traditional music personified… Bangla Puratoni Gaan and Ramkumar Chattopadhyay have become synonymous,” Acharya said.
Chattopadhyay was an exponent of various genres of Bengali traditional music, especially Baithaki songs, parodies, Shyama Sangeet - songs dedicated to Hindu goddess Kali - and ‘tappa’ songs composed by musician Nidhu Babu.
He also composed music for two Bengali films - “Streer Patra” (Wife’s Letter) in 1973 and “Parikrama” in 1996.
His songs and parodies reflected the ‘Babu’ culture of West Bengal.
Chattopadhyay was hugely popular among the Bengali-speaking masses for his skilful amalgamation of classical style of singing with humour and poetry.
Some of his popular songs were ‘Bidhi Dilo Jodi’, ‘Ekoda Ek Bagher Golai’, ‘Oi Dekha Jai’, ‘Kader Kuler Bou Go Tumi’ and ‘Maney Maney’.
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Tags: acharya, amalgamation, arati, bagher, bengali music, classical style, culture of west bengal, evening gatherings, father figure, hindu goddess, kuler, last emperor, legendary singer, old bengali songs, parikrama, personification, ramkumar, spin offs, traditional music, traditional songs