Lavani King Ram Kadam:
Ram Kadam was born poor and had a difficult childhood. He was fortunate to spend some time with Saint Gadage Baba. Kadam used to play the clarinet in a band at Miraj. The audience would exultantly honour him with a garland of notes on hearing his music. He stayed for a few years with the noted artist Abdul Karim Khan at Miraj and dedicatedly learnt classical singing under him.
Later, he worked as an office boy at Prabhat Studios. He learnt lavani under Patthe Bapurao. He also worked as Sudhir Phadke’s assistant for some time. His first film as an independent music director was Bhalji Pendharkar’s Meeth Bhakar. He worked with Prabhat for nine years. He felt immense gratitude towards Prabhat Studios for having given him the opportunity to establish his career. Later he also worked at All India Radio Pune.
In 1957, Kadam scored the music for Anant Mane’s film Sangtye Aika. The lavani, Bugadi mazhi sandli ga…was and still is an evergreen lavani. Kadam had a lion’s share in the runaway success of the film. He scored music for hundreds of films from 1951’s Gavgund till 1973’s Pinjara. All his songs have become extremely popular in Maharashtra and to-date have enthralled the audience.
He was knowledgeable of all kinds of musical instruments. Although Lavani was his specialty, he was also adept at composing music for all kinds of songs. He had an amazing ability to compose music the instant he got his hands on the lyrics. He was also known for sitting for hours in the studio and recording fifteen to sixteen songs back to back. During the recording of Pinjara, V Shantaram would sit and listen to all the tunes till he liked one. Kadam composed thirty-nine tunes for the song De re kanha until Shantarambapu chose the one that he liked.
Ram Kadam himself sang a few songs like Dhangarachi Mendhra, Bajirao Nana, and Dajibachya Wadyat gadbad zaali. He scored the music for some plays like Nartaki and Katha aklechya kandyachi. It is a record of sorts that around one hundred and fifteen singers sang under him. He also produced some films like Gad Jejuri Jejuri and Pavala.
Ram Kadam, Jagdish Khebudkar and Anant Mane produced the tamasha-oriented film Kela ishara jaata jaata, which began a wave of tamasha-based movies.Ram Kadam adeptly provided music for all genre of music from folk songs to sugam sangeet. He was straightforward person, very sentimental, sensitive, loving and detached from politics of all kinds. He passed away in Pune in October 1997. Madhu Potdar has penned Kadam’s biography, Chhinni Hatodyacha Ghaav. He says that Kadam was a true Marathi manoos and a great musician. By composing music for lavanis, he took lavani to new heights and gave it a brand new image with a wider acceptance and appreciation. Ram Kadam had an enriching career spanning sixty years as a veteran and prominent music composer. The audience aptly named him Lavani King. Labels: Ram Kadam