Korla Pandit – The “Gotfather of Exotica” – Myserlou (1951)
Korla Pandit (September 16, 1921 – October 2, 1998), born John Roland Redd, was a musician, composer, pianist, organist and television pioneer. He was known as the Godfather of Exotica. In 1948 he created eerie background music for the revival of radio’s occult adventure series, Chandu the Magician, achieving atmospheric effects on the Novachord and the Hammond C-3 Electronic Organ.
In 1949, he was heard on Hollywood Holiday, broadcast from a Los Angeles restaurant.In 1948, while performing in Hollywood at a furrier’s fashion show in Tom Breneman’s Restaurant, Korla met television pioneer Klaus Landsberg who offered Korla his own 15-minute daily television show with the stipulation that he would also provide musical accompaniment for Time for Beany, Bob Clampett’s popular puppet show which featured Stan Freberg and Daws Butler as puppeteers and voices.
Korla Pandit’s Adventures In Music was first telecast on Los Angeles station KTLA in February 1949, and viewers soon became familiar with the musical opening, “The Magnetic Theme.” Landsberg insisted that Korla not speak but instead simply gaze dreamily into the camera as he played the Hammond organ and Steinway grand piano, often simultaneously. Following Klaus’s directorial and contractual stipulations, Pandit became an overnight star and one of early television’s pioneering musical artists.
In 1951, Pandit left KTLA in a deal with Louis D. Snader of Snader Telescriptions, resulting in short films which gave Pandit a national TV audience.
Extremely rare footage organ psychosis, reminds of Ed Wood quality b-movies.