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Sudhir Phadke ( , 25 July 1919 - 29 July 2002) was an accomplished Marathi singer-composer from Indiamarker. He was regarded as an icon of the Marathi film industry and Marathi Sugam Sangeet (light music) for five decades. Apart from Marathi, Phadke sang and composed songs in several Hindi films as well.

Phadke was affectionately known as Babuji (an honorary title given to respected gentlemen in India).

Brief biography

Sudhir Phadke was born in Kolhapur on 25 July 1919. His birth name was Ram Phadke, but he later changed his name to 'Sudhir' when he composed a song for HMV because he thought 'Sudhir Phadke' sounded more 'weighty'. Phadke acquired his primary tutelage in vocal classical music from the late Vamanrao Padhye in Kolhapurmarker. After beginning his career with HMV in 1941, he joined the Prabhat Film Company as music director in 1946. During his long career, he composed for many Marathi and Hindi films. He was also an immaculate playback singer. Phadke married his fellow singer Lalita Deulkar. Their son Shridhar Phadke (born 1951) is also a composer and singer.

Geet Ramayana, based on poet G D Madgulkar's verses, is one of Phadke's most popular works. The programme ran on All India Radio for a year, 1954-55. Stage performances of the program continue to draw huge crowds even today. Phadke set to music all 56 songs, and they were sung by different singers for radio (Manik Verma, Lata Mangeshkar, Phadke himself, Vasantrao Deshpande etc). All 56 songs were also recorded in Phadke's own voice.

In last days of his life, Phadke was involved in producing a Hindi film on the life of the Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The movie Veer Savarkar was funded by public donations. Sudhir Phadke last sang and composed music for this movie.

Phadke was connected with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for over 60 years. He was the main inspiration and founder member of India Heritage Foundation in the United States.


Sudhir Phadke has 111 films to his credit as a music director, 21 of which are in Hindi. He extensively worked with famous Indian singers such as Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar.

As a composer

(Partial filmography)

Popular songs

Geet Ramayan

As a singer

As a composer

  • Maratha Sphurti Geet the regimental song of Maratha Light Infantry, was composed and arranged for the military band by Sudhir Phadke. The lyrics were written by G. D. Madgulkar.

Others major creations of Phadke include, ashi pakhare yeti,daav mandun mandun modu nako,wikat ghetla shyam, tujhe geet ganyasathi sur labhu de, akashi jhep ghe re pakhara, toch chandrama nabhaat.


Receiving 'Sahyadri Swara Ratna Puraskar' from Pt.
Jasraj (2002)
Phadke won numerous awards, including:

Passing away

He died in Mumbaimarker on 29 July 2002 at 10.30 AM after suffering a brain hemorrhage. His body was kept at Veer Savarkar Memorial at Dadarmarker in central Mumbai, where many admirers came to pay their last tributes.

A Flyover which goes over the railway line and Dahisarmarker river in the Mumbai suburb between Borivalimarker and Dahisarmarker connecting east and west was named after him.


  1. Down Melody Lane..::..Composers - Shyam Sundar, Snehal Bhatkar, Sudhir Phadke, Timir Baran & V. Balsara
  2. Sudhir Phadke

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