Vidhya Nagarajan | Google Doodle Honoring K.L. Saigal On His 114th Birthday Anniversary

April 11, 2018    Vidhya Nagarajan

We are so excited to share this amazing new art by VIDHYA NAGARAJAN today! Google honours K.L. Saigal on his 114th birth anniversary with a Google doodle Vidhya had the privilege to create. “Today’s Google doodle celebrates this golden-voiced son of India and shows Saigal singing with the background of Kolkata, where the Hindi film industry or Bollywood was based initially. And to quote Vidhya, “it’s always great to do something that your family “gets.” So today we celebrate the honor of Bollywood’s first superstar, K.L. Saigal! HUGE congrats goes out to Vidhya and the amazing Google team for putting this amazing art together, we’re sharing some earlier concept sketches as well so you can see the process of how Vidhya got to the final art — we are incredibly proud!

Here’s a little blurb from the Google doodle site fort those who are interested in learning more about Saigal.

“K.L. Saigal left an indelible mark on the early days of Indian cinema, establishing himself as one of the first true Bollywood superstars with 36 films spanning three languages over fifteen years. Singing 185 songs over his career, Saigal’s distinct vocal style helped establish his legacy as an inspirational figure for many stars that came after him.

Due to his modest background, as a child Saigal earned his music education informally, singing along with people at a local shrine or at religious ceremonies with his mother. He dropped out of school and held odd jobs as a timekeeper, salesman, and manager, pursuing singing on the side.

His big break came in 1932 when he was cast in three movies by the film studio New Theatres. The very next year, the songs he sang in the film Puran Bhagat (1933) grew wildly popular in India, breaking him to the mainstream. New Theatres churned out Saigal-led hits through 1940, when he moved to Mumbai to work with Ranjit Movietone. After successful movies like Bhukt Surdas (1942) and Tansen (1943), Saigal returned to New Theatres for his final films. His final film Parwana (1947) was released posthumously.

Created by guest artist Vidhya Nagarajan, today’s Doodle celebrates Saigal’s illustrious career with a portrait of the singer doing what he does best.

Happy 114th Birthday, K.L. Saigal!”

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