If Ravi Shankar was still with us, he would have been celebrating his 98th birth…

Written by on April 8, 2018

If Ravi Shankar was still with us, he would have been celebrating his 98th birthday today. Ravi’s life story is amazing but we will only write about when he became popular in western / Rock and Roll music.

Shankar befriended Richard Bock, founder of World Pacific Records, on his first American tour and recorded most of his albums in the 1950s and 1960s for Bock’s label. The Byrds recorded at the same studio and heard Shankar’s music, which led them to incorporate some of its elements in theirs, introducing the genre to their friend George Harrison of The Beatles.

In 1967, Shankar performed a well-received set at the Monterey Pop Festival. While complimentary of the talents of several of the rock artists at the festival, he said he was “horrified” to see Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar on stage: “That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God.” Shankar’s live album from Monterey peaked at number 43 on Billboard’s pop LPs chart in the US, which remains the highest placing he achieved on that chart.

He performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969, and found he disliked the venue. In the late 1960s Shankar distanced himself from the hippie movement and drug culture. He explained during an interview: “It makes me feel rather hurt when I see the association of drugs with our music. The music to us is religion. The quickest way to reach godliness is through music. I don’t like the association of one bad thing with the music.”

Ravi past away on Dec. 11, 2012 after complications from a heart valve operation.

Do you remember the first time you heard about Ravi?

Happy Birthday Ravi. RIP

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