Tag Archives: early Indian recorded music

Good News: Michael Kinnear is Alive

On 10th April, I posted in this blog that Michael Kinnear, arguably the most prolific researcher on the history of recorded music in India, was probably no more.  It was based on information available from a few blogs such as this one. I am happy to know that he is very much alive. I just got an email from his wife that the news is not correct. My sincere apologies to Michael and his wife Janine.  I wish him a long life.  This is what she wrote.

I would like to inform you that the information regarding Michael Kinnear – no more – is totally false, and inaccurate reports circulated by Suresh Chankvankar are very disturbing and distressing to myself to have to read and then to try and rectify. Both Michael and I (I am his wife ) who is responding to your blog, would like to put the records straight that we are both well and very much alive living in Australia.

This is what I wrote:  “I just got to know from a few blogs that Micheal Kinnear, the author and researcher who dedicated a good part of his life researching on Indian gramophone records, and in fact published three books on the subject, is perhaps no more”

I have deleted the post as it may create confusion in future. Here I reproduce the rest of stuff that I wrote about him.

It is an irony that we, in India, do not even know about a person who has had immense contribution to the history of gramophone records in general and history of Indian gramophone records in particular. Though I have gone through only one of his books, The Gramophone Company’s First Indian Recordings, his other two books, The 78 rpm Record Labels of India andKhan Abdul Karim Khan – A Bio-Discography are supposed to be based on great research material, according to experts and reviewers. Only the first one was published in India by Popular Prakashan while he himself published the other two in Australia. It is said that he became disillusioned after the books failed commercially.  So much so that, those who knew him, say he completely dissociated from Indian music about five six years back.

For the record, none of the books, including the one published in India, are available for purchase now, though it is in the catalogue of most of the popular online book sellers such as Flipkart.

Kinnear deserves a Padma award from the government of India, for his contribution to an area, which is still fairly under-researched and lesser-known.

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