Early Life of Balappa Hukkeri
Balappa Hukkeri was born in the year 1911 in Murgod, a small village in Gokak taluk of Belgaum district. He was born to a family where theatre was greatly patronized and thus he stepped into the theatre world at a very early age. As an actor and singer he started taking part in local drama companies. During the same phase he was also receiving training in forms of Hindustani music under Shivalingiah Gavai. But later his interest turned towards lighter form of the music such as theatre songs, Marathi abhangs, Vachanas and folk songs.
Career of Balappa Hukkeri
Balappa Hukkeri delved into the wave of Indian freedom movement and adopted a unique way of participating in the movement. He toured from village to village singing patriotic songs. Unfortunately he was arrested and imprisoned for six months for his deeds. During India's war with China, he donated all the gold and silver of his family to the National Security Fund. For a few days Balappa Hukkeri had also worked with the Department of Agriculture as a field worker where his job responsibility included 'travelling from village to village, singing songs on farming methods and family planning'.
Balappa was immensely appealed with the writing of Navodaya writers in Kannada such as D.R. Bendre, Betageri Krishna Sharma and Anandaka at that time. Based on the poems of these eminent writers, Balappa started singing Bhavageete. He made his singing style unique by interweaving both the elements of classical and folk traditions into it. His efforts in the field of music were endless as he travelled to remote villages of Karnataka and Maharashtra to collect new and diverse forms of folk songs. The exceptional talent of this astonishing persona had been evident through his mesmerizing renditions. He never used to jot down the folk songs that he collected but still memorized all of them by rote learning. He executed his songs only with a Tabla and Harmonium as accompaniment.
Achievements of Balappa Hukkeri
As recognition to the expertise he was conferred with Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Karnataka Sangeeta Nataka Academy Award and Tulsi Samman.
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