Twenty years ago on this day Sundar Popo dubbed “The Father of Chutney” died from heart and kidney failure at his home in Monkey Town, Barrackpore.
This Local Legend grew up in a musical family – his mother was a singer and his father was an accomplished tassa drummer.
At 15 years old he began singing bhajans at mandirs and weddings in his hometown for 15 to 30 cents a show, according to his wife.
Popo worked as a watchman at a Barrackpore factory where he trained under Ustad James Ramsawak.
In 1969, at a wedding in Princes Town, he met Moean Mohammed, a radio host at that time and promoter who was mesmerized by Popo’s talent. Mohammed was amazed by Popo’s rendition of his song Nani and Nana, which became a monster hit which until this day is loved by many. Sundar Popo went on to write and recorded 165 songs which inspired more than 15 albums .
Sundar Popo’s top hits included “Nani and Nana “ "Scorpion", "Oh My Lover", "Don't Fall in Love", A mother’s love and "Saas More Lage". Couple of his songs were made more popular having been covered by , Kanchan out of Mumbai who had a major success with a version of his "Pholourie Bina Chutney", placing him in line with an international audience, and leading to tours of India, Europe, the United States, Canada, Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, and other parts of the Caribbean.
An auditorium at the south campus of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando was named after the singing legend.
Indeed this Local Singing Legend has left an indelible impression in the Chutney Industry paving the way for many others like him to follow suit . Today we pay tribute to this great musical icon and his contribution to the music world.