Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
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|Bade Ghulam Ali Khan|
|Also known as||Sabrang|
|Born||April 2, 1902
Kasur, Punjab, British India
|Died||April 23, 1968
|Genres||Hindustani classical music|
|Labels||HMV, Times Music|
Early life and background
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born in Kasur, a small town near Lahore the Punjab province in British India; after partition, Kasur became a part of Pakistan. His father Ali Baksh Khan was a singer in a West Punjabi family of musical heritage.
At the age of five, Bade Ghulam started learning vocal music from his paternal uncle Kale Khan, and later from his father.
Though he started his career by singing a few compositions of his late father and uncle. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan amalgamated the best of four traditions his own Patiala-Kasur style, the Behram Khani elements of Dhrupad, the gyrations of Jaipur, and the behlavas (embellishments) of Gwalior. His raga expositions were brief contrary to convention and while he agreed that the beauty of classical music lay in leisurely improvisation, he believed that the audience would not appreciate long alaps and he had to sing for the masses and change the music to what the audience wanted.
After the partition of India in 1947, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan went to his home in Pakistan, but returned to India later to reside permanently. In 1957, with the help of Bombay chief minister Morarji Desai, he acquired Indian citizenship and moved to a bungalow at Malabar Hill Mumbai. He lived at various times in Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, and Hyderabad.
For a long time, he stayed away from singing in films despite requests and persuasions from well known producers and music directors.However he was coaxed and convinced by K Asif to sing two songs based on ragas Sohni and Rageshree for the 1960 film Mughal-e-Azam with the music directed by Naushad. He demanded an extremely high price, reportedly to the tune of Rupee Rs 25,000 per song, when the rate for popular and star playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi was below Rs. 500 per song.
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan in 1962.
He died at Basheerbagh Palace in Hyderabad on 23 April 1968, after a prolonged illness which left him partially paralyzed in his last years. He continued to sing and perform in public with the support of his son Munawar Ali Khan until his death.
Today the Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Yaadgar Sabha founded by his disciple Malti Gilani keeps his music and memory alive
The main street at Basheerbagh is named Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Marg in his honour.
- Mehfil – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Times Music
- Golden Milestones – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
- Classical Vocal – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
- Sab Rang
- "A different experience". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 12 November 2007.
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