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Today in My History

2000: ** No entry **
2001:  Farewell, Sweet Polly
2002:  Only God Can Make a Tree
2003:  War--Good for Me?
2004:  Old Friends
2005:
To Be, or Not to Be?
2006:  The Last Day
2007: This Day in My Life 
2008:  The Big News
2009:  Frazzled
2010:  Where's the Band?
2011:  May the Force be With You
2012: Luck of the Draw

2013: 5,000 Questions, Part 2
2014: 
The Mints
2015: Adrenalin Keeps You Going
2016:
Me and Meredity
2017:
Days of Our Lives
2018: A Day with Grandma
2019: No Perks of Aging

2020: Sunday Stealing
2021: Tomb of the Unknown


Books Read in 2022
 Updated 3/13
"The Friendship Quilts"


My family

Bev's 65 x 365

Books Read in 2022
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010


Cast (updated 7/16)

Email
(you know how to fix it)
 


Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?
Sold!

Scavenger Hunt


mail to Walt / mail to Bev

KORLA

22 March 2022

There's not a lot to watch late night on TV and I was going to go to sleep when I just happened to turn on the PBS station, which was 15 minutes into the hour-long documentary, Korla, which was the story of Korla Pandit.

How many people who read this journal are old enough to remember Korla Pandit?

Korla Pandit had a daily one-hour TV show (broadcast from San Francisco) where he played the organ and the piano and looked at the audience with those big eyes.  Obviously something designed for women...and my mother watched him frequently.

I didn't really know anything about him but his official biography said that he was born in India, and that his father was an Indian government official and his mother a French opera singer.

In reality his name was John Redd.  He was born in Missouri.  His father was pastor of the second largest Baptist church in town.  He was a musical prodigy from the age of three; he could hear a song once and have it memorized, and family members taught him to play piano from an early age.  His  two sisters sang, and his brother was a jazz pianist.  Older brother was also a musician.

He moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles where he used the name "Juan Rolando" to gain a job playing the organ on the Los Angeles radio station KMPC. Passing as a Mexican allowed him to join the Musicians Union (which was not open to African-Americans) and opened up additional opportunities for studio and club work. 

He met Beryl, his sister's roommate, Disney artist Beryl DeBeeson, and they married in Mexico, because she was white and interracial marriages were illegal in California.  Beryl created his Indian persona, since few people knew anything about India.  He developed the elaborate history of his Indian background, donned a jeweled turban and never took it off again. 

He made 900 shows and apparently never spoke in any of them.  In the video it said he would have become more popular than he did except Liberace came on the scene with more charisma than Korla Pandit had and he began to fade out of the spotlight, though he continued to perform for many years in smaller venues.

He died in a hospital in Petaluma in 1998.

The truth about his life was not revealed until after his death.
                                                                                                      

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Korla's family

 

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