Adventures in Music with Korla Pandit
July 25, 2007 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Korla Pandit is considered by many to be the godfather of exotica music. His live show "Adventures in Music" on KTLA in Hollywood was the first all music television show ever broadcast and featured Korla wordlessly sitting behind his Hammond organ, playing and staring wistfully into the camera. His trademark turban and gemstone complimented his exotic image and even up until his death, he maintained that he was raised in New Delhi by his Indian father and French mother. Korla Pandit was actually born John Roland Redd in St. Louis, MO, to Ernest Redd, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, the largest black church in Columbia, MO, and Doshia O'Nina Redd, who was of Creole lineage. You can read all about the transformation of John Redd into Korla Pandit at the great Korla Pandit web site.
posted by Otis (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I was first exposed to Korla Pandit when footage of him was used in Spectres of the Spectrum. I also picked up MP3s of his Christmas album somewhere on line and it's quite fun. I didn't know the rest of the story though. Thanks!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:07 PM on July 25, 2007

Thanks for the post, Otis. When moving last year, my Korla LP (among many others) was in the sell pile... until the last minute when I knew I'd miss it too much.
posted by sleepy pete at 1:50 PM on July 25, 2007

Wow, never heard of him but what a glorious American myth! Thanks!
posted by freebird at 2:09 PM on July 25, 2007

Sweet! I remember seeing a clip of Korla and his mesmerizing gaze on Sharpeworld and wondering just who the hell he really was.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:41 PM on July 25, 2007

I'm really glad you posted this. Korla Pandit was only peripherally familiar to me, and even then only as an image and TV history footnote.

Thank you for correcting that shameful state of affairs.
posted by batmonkey at 2:50 PM on July 25, 2007


A friend of mine was given a VHS with a few of his shows on it, somewhat randomly. We spent many happy hours watching Korla Pandit gaze into the camera and play music. He's one of those fabulous, unique, wonderful things that can only be stumbled upon.

(He was apparently quite the heartthrob in his day, too.)
posted by kalimac at 3:00 PM on July 25, 2007

More evidence that everything good comes from the midwest, and then lies about that fact.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:19 PM on July 25, 2007

I hear he liked to smoke the herb.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:49 PM on July 25, 2007

Oh HELL YES Korla Pandit is sexy and awesome. Even in his later years, when he was in Ed Wood.

But what is it with these stars of Exotica and their "are they/aren't they" histories? Yma Sumac, too, who claims she's a Peruvian princess but who some people believe is an American girl who's real name is Amy Camus.
posted by Brittanie at 7:43 PM on July 25, 2007

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