Archive for » January, 2012 «

I Lost My Heart to You

Amchem Noxib, released in 1963, was only the second Konkani film ever made. It was produced by the formidable trumpet player Frank Fernand, who features prominently in Taj Mahal Foxtrot, and he composed much of the music too. The soundtrack is like his musical autobiography, containing church music, village fiesta music, Goan folk and swing.
This doo wop tune is sung by Molly. The actors are C Alvarez and Rita Lobo.

Ken Mac’s Journey to a Star

When the long-time Bombay band leader Ken Mac made this recording in 1942, his singer was Poona-born Beryl Templeman. She spent her early life in England, before returning to India during the Second World War for what she imagined would be a short vacation. She stayed for seven years, touring India, Batavia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Back in England, she sang with Roy Fox’s band after the war. The male vocalist is Bob Parke.
A Journey to a Star by naresh.fernandes

Category: Audio, Bombay, Jazz  Tags: ,

Jazz Meri Jaan

Radhika Bordia’s lovely piece about Taj Mahal Foxtrot.

More about Mena

Georgette Quiribet

Last month, I wrote a note on this site about Mena Silas, the now-forgotten Baghdadi Jewish composer who wrote Taj Mahal, the foxtrot after which my book is named. A couple of days ago, a woman named Patricia Kaden who lives in Cremona, Italy, was sorting through the papers of her mother, Georgia, and came upon a small note indicating that Mena Silas had written a tune for her titled Waltz for Georgette. Patricia did an internet search for Silas and found me.

We’ll probably never know what Waltz for Georgette sounds like (Patricia couldn’t find the score), but the woman in whose honour the tune was written lived a most interesting life in India. Her father – Patricia Kaden’s grandfather –  was named Gaston Quiribet. Though he was French, he had worked for the famous Shepperton Studios in England and made animated films on the side, which he referred to as “Q-riosities”. He was also an expert in trick photography. In the 1930s, he arrived in Bombay after being hired by Kodak-Eastman to make films about India and Burma. He set out for the subcontinent with his family.

Years later, Georgette told her story to someone making notes about senior citizens and she remembered being surrounded by an army of servants, who sometimes put Eno’s fruit salts into the soup instead of ordinary salt, resulting in rather bubbly mealtimes. Among the incidents that stood out was a trip to Mysore, where her father was working on the film Sabu.

Category: Bombay  Tags: ,
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