Thursday, 14 June 2012

Short Biography

Born – 10th May, 1905
Pankaj Mullick singing live on radio
Died – 19th February, 1978

Training – 

  • Sri Durgadas Bandopadhyay for classical & light classical music
  • Sri Dinendranath Tagore (Rabindranath Tagore’s grand nephew) for Rabindrasangeet



·     He joined All India Radio (AIR), Kolkata [initially known as the Indian Broadcasting Corporation] in 1927, within a month of its inception.
·         He was an integral part of  AIR for nearly 50 years
·         At AIR he set music to the immortal ‘Mahishasuramardini’, a programme that has become a part of Bengali culture and synonymous with Durga Puja. It is heard every ‘Mahalaya’ morning even till today. It has had an uninterrupted run since its beginning in 1931.
·         He conceptualized and started the immensely popular live-music class titled – ‘Sangeet Shikshar Ashar’ which he did for a record 47 years on the trot.
·         He was part of innumerable Feature Programmes as music director & artiste during his lengthy tenure at AIR


·         He became a part of Indian cinema  right from the silent era, since 1931
·         He was a part of the star studded New Theatres Studio team for nearly 25 years
·      Luminaries like K L Saigal, S D Burman, Hemanta Mukherjee, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle sang under his music direction as did several other prominent artistes from Bengal and the rest of the country
·         He was the first music director who introduced Rabindrasangeet successfully in films
·         He introduced interlude and interlinking music for the first time in Indian film-songs
·         At a time when movie-making was not as prolific as it is now, he sang in, composed music for and occasionally acted in close to 100 movies
·         He was a part of Indian cinema from 1931 to 1969, a period of about 38 years
·         The movies he was associated with were in Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tamil
·         He along with director Sri Nitin Bose was instrumental in the introduction of playback singing in Indian cinema


·         He recorded his first song when he was only 18 years old
·         He was the first person to popularise Rabindrasangeet by unleashing the magic of Tagore’s songs amongst the masses
·         His music career spanned an awe-inspiring 50 years  
·         He officially composed over 5,000 songs in those 50 years
·         Singers like K L Saigal, S D Burman, Hemant Kumar, Kanan Devi, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle amongst others sung his compositions
·         His co-stars in films included K L Saigal, P C Barua  and Kanan Devi amongst others
·         He was appointed as the Honorary Advisor to the Folk Entertainment Section of the Government of West Bengal, from 1953 to 1968, by the Chief Minister of West Bengal
·         He was regarded as one of the founding fathers of Bangla Adhunik Gaan, a sub-genre of Bengali songs
·         He had several popular non-film songs in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali to his credit
·         He was the first to introduce elements of Western Music to Indian cinematic & non-cinematic songs


·         He won the National Award  for Best Music Direction in movies on quite a few occasions
·         He received the BFJA award  for his work as music director
·         He received Life Time Achievement Awards from AIR and HMV (now Saregama)


·         Title of “Surosagar” in 1931
·         Title of “Sangeet Ratnakar” in 1962
·         Padmashree in 1970
·         DADASAHEB PHALKE PURASKAR in 1972 – the highest award presented by the Government of India in the field of Indian Cinema. He was the first music-director to be honoured so.
·         Title of Rabindra Tattacharya in 1977


·         Rabindranath himself allowed him to set tune to a few of his poems, the most popular instance of which is “Diner sheshey ghumer deshey…”
·         He was invited to sing the inaugural song during the launch of television (Doordarshan) in the country
·         At the behest of Sri Sarat Bose, Netaji’s elder brother, he sang “Kadam kadam barhaye jaa…”, set to his version of the tune, with Prime Minister  J L Nehru being present during the recording. Other members of Netaji’s family too lent their voices to this record
·         On Prime Minister Nehru’s request he sang and recorded the Indian National Anthem – “Jana gana mana…” in a style that was deemed to set the parameters to be followed during the singing of the anthem by all Indians. The recording was also played nation-wide at almost every public place to familiarise every Indian citizen with the anthem of their newly formed independent country
·         In the days when ‘globalisation’ was quite unheard of, he enjoyed great fame and popularity both nationally and internationally


·         The Government of West Bengal renamed Ritchie Road as Pankaj Mullick Sarani in his honour
·         The Department of Information and Culture of the Government of West Bengal celebrated his birth centenary in 2005 with great pomp and splendour
·         The Government of India, paid tribute to his memory by issuing a commemorative postage stamp in 2006
·         The Kolkata Municipal Corporation declared his residence at Sebak Baidya Street a Heritage Site in 2007
·         The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supported the erection of a statue in his honour at Maddox Square Park on Pankaj Mullick Sarani in 2010 


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