Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/12/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Colorful musician introduced many westerners to sitar; hobnobbed with Beatles, father of Norah Jones

Hippie musical icon, world-renowned sitar player, Beatles confidante and father of singer Norah Jones, Indian musical icon Ravi Shankar has passed away at the age of 92. He introduced many in the west to the pleasures of the sitar and had a career that stretched over eight decades. The Indian prime minister's office has confirmed his passing and proclaimed him a "national treasure."

Ravi Shankar's close relationship with George Harrison, the Beatles lead guitarist, shot Shankar to global stardom in the Sixties.

Ravi Shankar's close relationship with George Harrison, the Beatles lead guitarist, shot Shankar to global stardom in the Sixties.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

12/12/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Music

Keywords: Ravi Shankar, sitar, India, George Harrison, east and west

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Beatle George Harrison labeled Shankar as "the godfather of world music." Shankar was directly responsible for exposing millions of classical, jazz and rock lovers to the centuries-old traditions of Indian music.

Shankar also pioneered the concept of the rock benefit with the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. To later generations, he was known as the estranged father of popular American singer Norah Jones.

Shankar began collaborating with and teaching some of the greats of Western music s early as the Fifties. Among his many students was violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Shankar faced a constant cultural divide when trying to bridge the gap between the West and the Eastern styles of music.

Time magazine said "U.S. audiences were receptive but occasionally puzzled," describing an early Shankar tour in 1957.

Shankar's close relationship with George Harrison, the Beatles lead guitarist, shot Shankar to global stardom in the Sixties.

The sitar, a long necked, string instrument that uses a bulbous gourd for its resonating chamber and resembles a giant lute intrigued Harrison, who played the instrument, with a Western tuning, on the song "Norwegian Wood." He later sought out Shankar, already a musical icon in India, to teach him to play it properly.

Weeks of intense training between Harrison and Shankar followed. Harrison, finally confident with the instrument recorded the Indian-inspired song "Within You Without You" on the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Shankar began to play with the top rock musicians of the era, playing a four-hour set at the Monterey Pop Festival and the opening day of Woodstock.

Shankar, a serious, disciplined traditionalist who had played Carnegie Hall, was vehemently opposed to drug use and rebelliousness of the hippie culture.

"I was shocked to see people dressing so flamboyantly. They were all stoned. To me, it was a new world," Shankar told Rolling Stone magazine of the Monterey festival.

Shankar was horrified when Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire. "That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God," he said.

Shankar's personal life was marked my divorces and long-term love affairs. In 1979, he fathered Norah Jones with New York concert promoter Sue Jones, and in 1981, Sukanya Rajan, who played the tanpura at his concerts, gave birth to his daughter Anoushka.

He grew estranged from Sue Jones in the 80s and didn't see Norah for a decade, though they later re-established contact.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Music

Pope Francis: The rap star? Amazing new pop album featuring the pontiff is released in Italy Watch

Image of It is not know if Pope Francis enjoys the finished product of


As Pope Francis is a talented orator, holding audiences spellbound, it was only a matter of time before someone put his words behind a catchy beat to send out to the faithful worldwide. Released at the end of September, the album has been listened to at least a ... continue reading

Three Dog Night founder Cory Wells dies at 74 Watch

Image of Cory Wells' story was one of musical talent overcoming almost insurmountable odds.


Cory Wells, one of the original founders of the Seventies super group Three Dog Night, has passed away at the age of 74. Wells had been performing with the band as recently as last month, when he complained of severe back pain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

8-year-old jazz singer captivates the world with her soulful 'Amy Winehouse' voice Watch

Image of


Angelina Jordan is well-known in her home country, Norway, after participating and winning a national TV contest. But now, the 8-year-old jazz singer has captivated audiences from all over the the world after a recently uploaded video of her performance. The young girl ... continue reading

Chris Brown tired of the Devil in his life: Singer claims he heard God speak for the first time Watch

Image of Chris Brown performing onstage


Chris Brown recently posted on his Instagram account that he was tired of the "devil ruining" his life. The international singer and actor shows indications of leaning towards a better chapter in his life. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Singer Chris ... continue reading

Rio de Janeiro's music scene enters new depths with a surprising sound Watch

Image of


Something big is brewing in Rio de Janeiro. The monthly hip-hop block party called Black Santa was recently staged near the peak of the Prazeres favela, on a hillside above central Rio. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Twenty-two-year-old Renato Cantanhede, ... continue reading

Two top named musicians set to perform for Pope Francis during his September visit to the United States Watch

Image of Juanes has more than 10 million followers on Twitter.


Colombian star Juanes and the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will be performing during the international Catholic prayer event, the 8th World Meeting of Families, in Philadelphia. The two will be performing for the Pope in September during the U.S leg of his ... continue reading

Famous country singer dead after gunfight with bounty hunter Watch

Image of


Sixty-five-year-old country singer Randy Howard was shot on June 9, 2015 by a bounty hunter at Howard's home. It was reported that Howard was being detained by the bounty hunter, wanted on a DUI charge. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Country singer Randy ... continue reading

'She was absolutely beautiful in every way': Fans pray for country singer after death of his newborn daughter Watch

Image of


Messages of encouragement and prayers pour through the Facebook page of country singer Randy Rogers, of the Randy Rogers' Band, after news of the death of his and his wife's newborn infant six days after she was born come forward. Days before, Rogers made an ... continue reading

U2 prays with Pastor Rick Warren before playing concert hours after death of their beloved tour manager Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heartbroken and in grief band members of U2 asked Pastor Rick Warren to pray with them before going onstage hours after the death of their tour manager. Dennis Sheehan, U2's longtime tour manager, was found dead in his hotel room, last week in Los Angeles. Sheehan ... continue reading

ValLimar Jansen's latest album 'a soulful experience'

Image of

By Kelcee Marcum, Oregon Catholic Press

A unique mixture of genres, ValLimar Jansen's latest album, "Spirit & Soul," contains elements from gospel and praise and worship while escaping the confines of either genre. PORTLAND, Ore. (OCP) - "This is not a gospel record or even a praise and worship record, ... continue reading

All Music News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More