( ) (1911–1992) was a singer of
in Kannada language
and a freedom fighter
in his early years.
He is mainly credited for popularizing Sugama Sangeetha
in North Karnataka
, just like P. Kalinga Rao
who popularized the art form in South Karnataka. Several
prestigious awards have been conferred to him including Sangeet Natak Academy award
Nataka academy award
was born in Murgod, a small village in Gokak taluk of Belagavi
He was named after his musician uncle. Balappa
was drawn to theater at an early age due to family influence and
started participating in local drama companies as an actor-singer.
Even though he started training in Hindustani music
, his interests were inclined towards lighter form of the
music such as theater songs, Marathi
and folk songs.
In his thirties, Balappa participated in Indian freedom movement
. He was
going from village to village singing patriotic songs for which he
was arrested and jailed for six months. He gave away family's gold
and silver to the National security fund during India's war with China
. He also worked as a
field worker in the Department of Agriculture, travelling from
village to village, singing songs on farming methods and family
planning. During this time Balappa was drawn towards the writing of
writers in Kannada such as D.R. Bendre
, Betageri Krishna Sharma
and started singing Bhavageetes
based on their poems.
Balappa's singing style was unique mainly because of the way he
wove both the elements of classical and folk traditions into it.
He used to
travel to remote villages in Karnataka and Maharashtra in order to collect folk songs.
wrote down folk songs and knew hundreds of them by rote. During his
singing career Balappa never used anything but a Tabla
Soundatti Taluka Muragod village
Awards and honors
- Balappa Hukkeri by Veeranna Dande.