The quaint building stands tall at 6/1, Akrur Dutta Lane, Kolkata – 700012, with the young shepherd boy playing the flute as its emblem. Time stands still here as the history of India’s musical journey comes alive.It was in the early 1932 that Chandi Charan Saha first brought his recording equipment from Germany. He was trained as a Sound Engineer at Georg Neumann GMBH and had returned to India with what was India’s first Wax-Cylinder Recording Device.Hindusthan Record took its baby steps into the Indian music scene and a studio was set up in Kolkata.The studio was inaugurated by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore who recorded the first song “Tobu Mone Rekho” on April 5,1932.Over the next few days and again in 1936 and 1939 respectively, Tagore recorded several more songs. The unique collection in compact discs and cassettes continue to reign as the company’s bestsellers till date.Other great names of the period Atul Prasad Sen, Pankaj Kumar Mullick and Anupam Ghatak also recorded a number of timeless hits at Hindusthan Record.
Over the decades, Hindusthan Records launched the careers of a large number of artistes who went on to become famous, both in India and the world over. K.L.Saigal, S.D.Burman, Pankaj Mullick, Ustad Faiyaz Khan are just to name a few who began their musical careers at Hindusthan.In the 1930s and 40s, Hindusthan’s releases ruled the charts. From the legendary hits of K.L. Saigal to the music of the Indian movies, Hindusthan left memorable musical footprints.From the ‘40s onwards, the Company focused its attention towards the development of a repertoire of Eastern and Northern Indian music, mainly in the Hindi speaking belt. Numerous recordings were conducted in Bhojpuri, U.P. and Chhattisgarhi Folk, Qawwali, Bhajans and Arti.The ‘90s saw the Company make an entry into HINDUSTANI Classical Music and within a couple of years there was a fine catalogue on show with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Buddhaditya Mukherjee, etc.
The culmination of its efforts is the release of a PANDIT BHIMSEN JOSHI album, which is the first of three to be released later in time.But the center of activity remained revolved around Bengali music where the Company recorded artistes such as Debabrata Biswas, Subinoy Roy, Rajeshwari Datta, Shantideb Ghosh, Ramkumar Chatterjee, Amar Pal, Purna Das Baul, Asoketaru Banerjee, and many others. The consistent sale of this repertoire continue to remain the strength of the Company.HINDUSTHAN remains the pioneer in transfer from Optical Film on to disc. The Company also has the distinction of bringing a “NEUMANN” Disc Cutting Machine from Germany in 1932. The machine has since been donated to the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata.The latest achievement of the Company has been the release of the recordings from the archives of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry. Valuable Recordings have been released including The Mother’s Readings from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and songs by the Ashramites in Sanskrit.The year 2004 marked the Birth Centenary of the Company’s most illustrious Artiste, K.L.Saigal. The Company had made substantial marketing efforts to perpetuate this great Artiste’s talent.The year 2006 marked the Birth Centenary of yet another great “son” of HIindusthan – Sachin Deb Burman. The Company honoured him by releasing a set of 4 CDs on his birthday on 1st.October, 2007.HINDUSTHAN has been renovated with a brand-new state-of-the-art Audio-visual Studio, with equipment from Georg Neumann and Sennheiser. The Protools Software and the Apple Mac-Pro make up the Recording backbone. A list of Equipment installed is annexed.The Floor area, which is one of the most spacious available in the city, including Green Rooms and Recording Floors, is also annexed.When INRECO was set up in 1977, it was the 3rd of its kind in India and the first 100%, Indian-owned Record Manufacturing Unit.The Indian Record Mfg. Co. Ltd., started with a wide range of artistes from Punjabi to Bhojpuri to Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam. Among the artistes recorded were Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Pt.Mallikarjun Mansur, Pt. Kumar Gandarva, Ustad Amir Khan and Manna Dey.During 1978-80 the, major Tamil and Malayalam Films were released under the ‘INRECO’ Banners. These included Super Hit Tamil Films, Priya, Oru Thalai Raagam, Jhonny, Sikappu Rojakkal, Puthiya Vaarppughal, Kali, Aarilirunthu 60 Varai, Irayil Payanangalil, Ullaasa Paravaigal and Super Hit Malayalam Films like, Sarppam,Thakara, Tharitta Kinakkal, Etha Oru Theeram, Pratheeksha, Lisa, Karimbana..etc.From 1985, INRECO came established its own identity, especially in Carnatic Music and a series of releases of artistes like Sudha Ragunathan, P. Unnikrishnan, Bombay S. Jayashri, Sowmya, Nithyasree Mahadevan, T.N. Krishnan, Kadri Gopalnath, Kunnkadi-Vaidyanathan.In North India, too, the Company took up Hindustani Classical Recording and has been releasing recordings of such artistes as Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal, Ramkumar Chatterjee, the names – INRECO and HINDUSTHAN – today convey to the discerning listener a treasure-trove of the musical heritage of India.In 1994, the Company achieved a major milestone in its journey. It entered into an Agreement with the ALL INDIA RADIO for exploitation of its ARCHIVES.Unlike previous such arrangements with other Music companies, this is the only Company in the fact that the material brought out was regional in content.A series of Carnatic Classical Recordings were released comprising Artistes of stalwarts such as G.N.Balasubramaniam, M.L.Vasanthakumari, Mysore.T. Chowdiah, Dr.Sirkazhi S. Govindarajan from the South and Recordings of Radio Plays of the famous Stage Personalities Sambhu Mitra and Tripti Mitra. These Plays – Rakta Karabi, Chaar Adhyay and Tahar Namti Ranjana – remain in the public memory thanks to the CDs released under this arrangement.With the advent of the new millennium the Company has added a major feather in its cap. A series of Recordings has been released of the oft-heard and immensely popular Bhajans sung at the RAMAKRISHNA MUTT, Chennai by the monks of the RAMAKRISHNA MISSION. These evergreen melodies were long sought after by the Mission’s vast followers and now that much-felt need stands fulfilled.INRECO continues its search in bringing to the music-loving people of India and all lovers of Music around the World the diversity and richness of “INDIAN MUSIC”.
It has recently launched a website – www.inrhind.in ,to highlight the glorious traditions of India’s Regional Music. Once completed, the site will reflect the diversity and talent of the music of every state of the Indian Republic.