Joshi, who is riding the crest of popularity and has
ridden it for the last several years, is a musical marvel.
His singing invariably provides listeners with a divine
musical experience. Many admit that today there is no
other vocalist comparable to him in the entire nation.
Bhimsen, who is now in his 60s, has attained proficiency
and fame that astound the musical world. His voice,
like that legendary philosopher's stone, turns every
note into a golden one. Billions of notes that have
received the golden touch of his voice have been freely
showered by him on the teeming millions of his fans.
His unswerving faith in an intense devo tion to his
guru has been his key to success.
Bhimsen was born into a Brahmin family of Gadag in Karnataka.
His childhood was spent there. Even as a child he was
passionate about music, to the chagrin of his father
who desired that Bhimsen should get a sound education
and qualify as a doctor or an engineer. But Bhimsen,
neglecting his studies, pursued music instead. At last
he could not control any more his yearning to learn
music, and one day he ran away from home. He had heard
that Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur in the North were the
best places to learn classical music. Therefore his
first destination was Gwalior.
A few years of his youth were thus spent in the company
of well known musicians at Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur,
serving them and learning as much as he could from them.
His father, coming to know of Bhimsen's fervent desire
for knowledge in music, abandoned his policy of opposition,
fetched his son back and made arrangements for him to
learn under the guidance of Sawai Gandharva of Kundol.
This opportunity opened the vaults of rich and rare
musical treasures to Bhimsen. Bhimsen's natural tuneful
voice received further polish from his guru. Like a
diamond which sparkles all the brighter after it is
expertly cut, Bhimsen's voice began to shine with a
new lustre and brilliance which has dazzled and cast
a spell on the entire
Bhimsen is a versatile singer; he is an expert in khayal
singing but he is also adept in the presentation of
thumris, songs from plays, or devotional compositions.
His lilting thumris (Jadu bhareli, Piya ke milan ki
aas or Babul mora) and his innumerable popular Abhangs
composed by the saints of Maharashtra are instances