Bollywood movie ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ a classic by Manmohan Desai, stormed the nation in the year 1977. But what many don’t know is the famous song of the movie “My name is Anthony Gonsalves….” was the real character Anthony Prabhu Gonsalves, who was an Indian musical composer and a violinist of the movie ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. He passed away on Wednesday evening at the Goa Medical College. The 84 year old Anthony (1927- 2012) was suffering from pneumonia.
The legendary Goan musician started as a violinist in a group of composer Naushad (Dillagi) in 1943. He taught R.D. Burman and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma-(member of the Laxmikant Pyarelal team) and has worked with most of the legendary composers of the 1950s and 1960s.
Pyarelal, who was one of the composers of the song “My Name is Anthony Gonsalves….”, had dedicated the legendary song as a tribute to his violin teacher from the movie ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. Anthony also worked with B.R. Chopra (Naya Daur, Waqt), Chetan Anand (Haqeeqat), Pankaj Mullick, S D Burman, Khayyam, Khemchand Prakash, Madan Mohan and many more. He was also associated with ‘Pyaasa’, directed by Guru Dutt.
During the mid-1950s, he attempted to merge the symphonies of his Goan heritage with the Hindustani melodies and rhythms in films of the day.
Anthony Gonsalves was awarded ‘lifetime achievement’ in Mumbai in Sept 2010 followed by ‘Karnaveer Puraskar’ in Goa in November 2010. To commemorate his achievement, a 58-minute film on Gonsalves was screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) last year.
Big B has mourned the death of the real-life Goan orchestra maestro. “Anthony ….talented musician with LP and on his name my character name for Anthony was put..prayers,” the 69-year-old Amitabh Bachchan posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Gonsalves is survived by his wife Melita, son Kiran and daughter Laxmi. His final rites will be conducted after Kiran’s return from UK.