Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ram Prasad Mishra

Very little is known about this great maestro from Gaya.

Shri Gajendra Narain Singh in his book "Surile Logon Ki Sugandh" has written that when it came to Purbiya Thumri and Tappa, then after Ustad Moujuddin Khan, there has been none like Ram Prasad Mishra or Ramujee. This is not to say that he was not good at Khayal singing. I have a 28 minute piece in Chayanat from his that is exquisite. In fact, I do not have any tappa pieces from this great maestro.

He was from Dewaria in Uttar Pradesh and learnt his music in Benares, but he later shifted to Gaya where he spent the rest of his life. After 1960, he had to give up public singing because of Asthma but he continued to teach. His son Goverdhan Mishra is still one of the finest tappa singers in the country.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan used to call him the "Gateway to the East". Almost all contemporary Bais considered him their guru and Kesarbai Kerkar wanted to keep him in Bombay and had offered him an impressive payment for that, but Panditji had refused, wanting to stay in Gaya.

Shri Gajendra Narain Singh in his above-mentioned book has written that he had heard a tape, which is now untraceable, where Akhtaribai sang with Ramujee, and Godai Maharaj and Munne Khan were on Tabla in accompaniment. Shri Singh says that even Akhtaribai could not keep up with Ramujee in that tape.

I have some pieces of this great maestro. As a sample here is one for download: … fe0b5a8db2

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