Making Record with the Long Play Era

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Sudipta Chanda the Master Collector
Sudipta Chanda the Master Collector

PUT THE RECORD ON 

Nostalgia and heritage when join hands a tribute to the master is obvious. Preserving history is an art and the technique is not less than a scientific expedition to restore time. Why Kolkata is still the cultural capital of India despite of many dent tried in her fame by all walks of life in and out of Kolkata is a story to tell all. One man dreamer of keeping the record straight showed the way to the world.

Sudipta Chanda a well known cultural activist even known for his dazzling collection of vintage film posters has chosen to engage himself during this lockdown period a bit different way. Where many people are sharing videos of different activities like dancing, singing, cooking, story reading, poetry recitation on social networks, Chanda shares videos of rare songs from old vintage gramophone discs on Facebook live.

Be it Lata Mangeshkar’s debut bengali disc ( Tagore songs with Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, 1953 ), Bina Chowdhury’s tagore songs when Tagore songs used to consider as modern songs as Lyrics & Music by Rabindranath was printed on the disc in spite of Rabindrasangeet, Asha Bhosle’s debut bengali song for R.D.Burman which got released on 78 RPM disc, Sudhin Dasgupta’s compositions in memory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rendered by Sandhya Mukherjee, Kanan Devi’s songs from 1943 released film Mukti from the banner New Theatres,some not so popular bengali versions of some super hit hindi songs like Pran To Manena Go ( Bachna Ae Haseeno ), Jeona Jeona ( Kya Yehi Pyar Hai ), Dekhei Mone Holo Jake Cheyechhi ( Hoton Pe Jaan Chali Jayegi ) and so on.

There was a time when songs used to get released on gramophone discs, usually it had four speeds in gramophone record players( 16 RPM,33.1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM, here RPM stands for round per minute ). Chanda shares songs of a high range of variety from Western legends like Elvis to  Cliff Richard, John Denver to Chubby Checkers, Neil Diamond to Andy Williams, John Lenon to Louis Armstrong.

Interestingly songs from Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya films composition of R.D.Burman, Salil Chowdhury also were played. Noted singer Amit Kumar says, ” It’s really nostalgic to see those records are being played on social media. It reminds me of those bygone days.” Ace Tagore song exponent Srabani Sen shares her fond memory of those days of records. She says, ” I heard Shona Shona Hasi Mukhe by Amit Kumar when I was twelve years old. Heard the record after so many years.”  Legendary music composer Salil Chowdhury’s son noted background music composer Sanjoy Chowdhury says,” Ektu Chup Kore Shono in that album I played the drums and the album got recorded at our home studio at Akashdeep in Mumbai”, after listening to a song on FB live from the album. Sudhin Dasgupta’s son noted musician-composer Soumya Dasgupta also said he is really enjoying those gramophone days once again live on social media.

Sudipta Chanda says, ” It’s just to recall those days of gramophone discs. Many of today’s music buffs don’t even see gramophone records being played live. They are growing up with the digital age. They must know about their past. So, I am trying to showcase music from those days through live gramophone sessions on social media which gets an outstanding response. Near about 100 odd songs have been played till date.”