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Biography: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

V.N. O'key/Kamat's Potpourri
Chembai Vaidyanatha (1894-1974)
Chembai Vaidyanatha (1894-1974)
Portrait in India ink by V.N. O'key

Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar born in a family with music tradition dominated the field of Karnatak music with his tuneful singing voice. His singing of "Kalpana swaras" was remarkable for its dexterity. Austere and deeply religious, Chembai was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan. When his musical voice suffered a setback he prayed to god for its revival. When his voice was restored he treated it as a divine commandment to sing and so he contributed all his earnings from his musical concerts to the Guruvayoor temple in the noble belief that music without devotion was like a temple without god. To him music remained till death a divine experience.

Source: Adhunika Bharat Ke Nirmata, V.N. O'Key Felicitation Committee, Bombay, 1989


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