Balsara & His Singing Sitars

BalsaraFrom: India

Balsara was born in 1922 and learnt music from his mother Nazamaye. His first solo performance was given at the age of six where he performed with the pedal harmonium. He performed at the C J Hall in Mumbai. Just ten years later, Balsara was assisting the famous Music Director Ustad Mustaque Hussain in a Bombay film production ‘Baadal’ and made a name for himself as a permanent assistant music director at the Filmistan studio, working under directors such as Madan Mohan, Khemchand Prakash and Ghulam Haider.

In 1947, Balsara became the orchestra director for HMV. Three years later, he switched to the R K Film banner where he worked with the likes of Shankar Jaikshan and Naushad. As the founder of Bombay Cine Musicians’ Association and Bombay Cine Music Directors’ Association, Balsara earned a lot of respect from his associates and young musicians.

In 1954, Balsara moved to Kolkata after the audience appreciation he received at a performance he gave in Hindustan Park the previous year. Balsara would continue working in film and plays for many years. In 1962, he debuted his band, The Indian Symphony Orchestra. Balsara was greatly influenced by western music, and learnt to play the piano from German musician, Hildafield. Balsara’s knowledge of piano made him use it to play Indian classical music with ease.

Only ever releasing three singles, Balsara is best remembered for his cover of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” on the double A-side single he released in 1967. These three singles were all released under the name Balsara & His Singing Sitara

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 single “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Strawberry Fields Forever

  • Strawberry Fields