CHRIS PERRY- THE MUSIC MAGICIAN
By Isidore Dantas
Chris Perry-the legend who gave a new dimension to Konkani music left for his heavenly abode on 25th January 2002,. Although death silenced his life, his enchanting music still reverberates in the ears of his connoisseurs. His electrifying music mesmerizes and carries us to a different world. His attempts at promoting music to appreciable and saleable levels have borne fruit.
He was born at Borda, Margao on 25th November 1928. He was the second son to Agostinho and Espiciosa Pereira among nine siblings. He married Lily D’Costa from Cuncolim and has four sons Miles, Giles, Glenn and Errol. His real name is Christovam Pereira but he cut it short to Chris Perry to become the legend of Konkani music.
Like many Goans, music was in his blood and music meant everything to him. His illustrious brother Joe Perry has already carved a niche by playing alto sax in Hindi films. He is remembered for the signature tune to All India Radio, which he has intelligently composed on drumbeats.
Chris entered the tiatr scene in the name of Bab Pinto and went on to stage his own tiatrs- Noxibantlo Nhovro, Padricho Lob, Vid Mog Kornaranchem. He learnt to read and write music all by himself. He was at ease with blowing instruments as saxophone, trumpet and flute as well as finger instruments like keyboard, piano and guitar. But trumpet was his forte. He earned famed as the King of Cha cha cha. His delivery of the music composition Cherry Pink and the Apple Blossom White breathlessly on trumpet earned him the sobriquet as Man with the Golden Trumpet.
His previous music can be heard on Columbia and HMV records in which main tiatrist C Alvares, Ophelia, Mohana, M Boyer… have lent their voices. Further, he left for Kolkatta, Delhi, and Madras to participate in playing music in posh hotels.
He then ventured into Hindi films and served the film industry for twenty-five years as assistant to Hindi film music directors. His magic touch can be seen in many Hindi films more particularly in Kabhi Kabhi, Trishul…
He revolutionized the Konkani music scene by introducing jazz music. He found the hidden talent of Lorna and exploited the same to bring out the very best combination for which the Konkani fraternity is indebted to him. Abghat kelo, Red Rose, Tum ani Hanv, Calangute, Nachomia Kumpasar, Bebdo, Ugddas, Sorg tujea dolleanim, Lisboa, Amerikak Pavxi, Noxibak roddttam… in the sweet and forceful voice of Lorna are still remembered by the hoi polloi as well as the glitterati. Tony Carr’s rendering of Cu Cu Ru Ru, Maddancho Soro, Kalliz Boong Bang zata have also become popular. He introduced Konkani music to top singers like Mohamed Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Usha Uthup. Mohmad Rafi’s rhapsody Bom Jezuchea re Konventant, Maria has won the hearts of connoisseurs of music. Usha Uthup in her inimitable voice has sung Meu Amor, Tum ani Hanv. The famous tiatrist H. Britton has also sung his compositions, which are Marialina, Kazarachem Utor, Bandra Festak, Bus Conductor, Dukhrachi Chevrisam…
His music standard is compared to that of famous musicians like Miles Davis, Charles Parker and Chic Correia. He used to write music from his heart,compose and arrange the same in which the Goan fragrance can be felt.
He has the distinction of producing Konkani’s fist coloured movie Bhuianrantlo Monis in 1978 in which the famous singer Asha Bhonsle has rendered some songs. Unfortunately, the film did not have good run as it was made in Hindi film style and had a low budget.
His musical shows Nhovro Mhozo Denvchar, Tum ani Hanv, Lob Padricho have become successful.
He has bagged the Best Composer award in 1974.
In 1975 he left Mumbai along with his brother to play in posh hotels and display his talent since the audience abroad prefers live music to recorded music. He established a music school to train students in piano, keyboard, drums as well as blowing instruments. He prepared students for London’s Trinity College.
Carnival in Goa, From Dubai with Love, Mhoji mai, Poilo Kiss are his famous cassettes.
He was a self-taught musician and would not tolerate anyone who sang out of tune.
I had the privilege of staging his musical play Nhovro Mhozo Denvchar in Pune which fond memories I still linger.
The government should bestow befitting honour to this personality who has brought Konkani music to the international map.
By Isidore Dantas
Live Konkani Music
St. Mary's School - Mt. Abu - Rajasthan - India
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