The Man Beatle George Harrison Called ‘The Godfather of World Music’ Has Died

Dec 11, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The person Beatle George Harrison once called "The godfather of world music" has died.

According to the Associated Press, "Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, has died. He was 92."

The story continues, "Labeled ‘the godfather of world music’ by George Harrison, Shankar helped millions of classical, jazz and rock lovers discover the centuries-old traditions of Indian music. He also pioneered the concept of the rock benefit with the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh.

"To later generations, Shankar was known as the estranged father of popular American singer Norah Jones."

The article adds, "Harrison had grown fascinated with the sitar, a long necked, string instrument that uses a bulbous gourd for its resonating chamber and resembles a giant lute. He played the instrument, with a Western tuning, on the song ‘Norwegian Wood,’ but soon sought out Shankar, already a musical icon in India, to teach him to play it properly."

The AP story also says: "Gaining confidence with the complex instrument, Harrison recorded the Indian-inspired song ‘Within You Without You’ on the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ helping spark the raga-rock phase of 60s music and drawing increasing attention to Shankar and his work.

"Shankar’s popularity exploded, and he soon found himself playing on bills with some of the top rock musicians of the era. He played a four-hour set at the Monterey Pop Festival and the opening day of Woodstock."

1ravi-shankar-sitar.jpg                                                                      Ravi Shankar

3 Comments

  1. you have the photograph of a different Ravi Shankar…use this one http://www.last.fm/music/Ravi+Shankar

  2. Thank you for your note, Pravin. The photo has been changed.

    Chuck Ross
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