Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan an Indian vocalist, one of the greatest representatives of the Hindustani musical tradition in the early and middle 20th century. He belonged to the Patiala Gharana
of Hindustani classical music. Bade Gulam Ali`s study of music was extensive. He had knowledge and definite ideas about any aspect of music. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan can be described as an artiste who has had the maximum impact on the 20th Century Hindustani Classical Music scenario. Today, the Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Yaadgar Sabha, founded by his disciple Malti Gilani, keeps his music and memory alive. It aims to promote Hindustani classical music and organises many concerts to this end. Its primary aim, however, is to provide medical aid to ailing musicians. The Sabha organises a Sabrang Utsav every year in the memory of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
Early Life of Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan
Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan the great classical vocalist was born in 1902 in Lahore, Punjab into a family of Musicians. His father Ali Baksh Khan was a well-known vocalist and Sarangi
player, while his uncle Kale Khan was also an extremely renowned musician.
Personal Life of Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan
Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan was married to Ali Jiwai died in the year 1932. They had a son named Munawar Ali Khan (1930- 1989) who was also a classical singer. He accompanied his father to all his concerts until he died. For some reason Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan did not encourage Munawar to develop as a solo performer while he was alive and Munawar Ali Khan could never establish himself as an eminent solo singer even though he was very talented. He also had a grandson named Raza Ali Khan who is also a trained Hindustani classical singer.
Musical Life of Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan
Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan`s fine musical voice, intelligence and innate discipline contributed to his great success as a vocalist. Bade Gulam Ali Khan trained rigorously under Kale Khan his uncle for 10 years, practicing from dawn to midnight. He was unsurpassed as the master of `Thumri
` Tradition. The Ustad`s melodious voice had an effortless range and style, which gripped the listeners. He has recorded several Khayals and Thumris. Some of them are `Yad piya ki aaye`, `Katena birahaki raat`, `Tirachhi Nazariya ke baan`, `Premke fandeme aakar sajani`, `Aaye na baalam`, `Kya karun sajani`, `Naina more taras rahe hain` and `Prem ki maar katarand` these albums recorded many years ago, are still popular with listeners not only in India but also abroad.
By 1944 the genre of Hindustani music was ruled by giant personalities like Abdul Karim Khan, Alladiya Khan and Faiyaz Khan. Into this genre Gulam Ali was considered by many as the uncrowned king of Hindustani music. Some people go so far as to referring him as the Tansen
of the 20th century or as Nayak (great master of the music of the past and the future). He was undoubtedly one of the most proficient and influential musicians of his time, along with Ustad Amir Khan, a well-known Hindustani classical vocalist. He remains the inspiration of a whole generation of top-ranking singers and performers in both India and Pakistan, including Ghulam Ali (b. 1940), Pakistan`s leading ghazal singer.
He lived at various intervals in Lahore, Mumbai
. Upon the partition of India in 1947, Khan returned to his home in Pakistan, but returned to India some time afterwards to permanently reside there. He died in Hyderabad in 1968 after a prolonged illness which left him partially paralysed in his last years.
He acquired Indian citizenship in the year 1957. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was reluctant to sing for film but sang two songs for the 1960 film "Mughal-e-Azam
", in which his voice was represented as Tansen`s voice by music director Naushad. He charged Rs. 25,000/- per song when the going rate for popular playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar
and Mahammad Rafi was below Rs. 500/- per song.
Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan passed away leaving behind a priceless and glorious heritage of music.
Discography of Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan
* Mehfil - Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Times Music
* Golden Milestones - Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
* Classical Vocal - Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
* Sab Rang
Awards For Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan
Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
and the Padma Bhushan
Death of Usatd Ghulam Ali Khan
In 1968 Ghulam Ali Khan died at Basheerbagh Palace, Hyderabad
, after a prolonged illness which virtually left him paralysed in his later life.