36 years since the demise of Alam Lohar and his legacy is yet to lapse into obscurity. The celebrated singer continues to live on in the hearts of those he riveted with his contribution to Pakistani folk music with songs such as Jugni as his magnum opus. To relive the life and works of the folk icon, friends and family gathered on his death anniversary on July 3.
“Alam Lohar was a real ambassador of Pakistan because during his career, he visited many parts of the world and earned honour for the country,” said singer Anwer Rafi. “It was his unique ability that still draws people across different classes to listen to his music.”
Punjabi singer Naseebo Lal termed Lohar as the “king of folk music in Pakistan.” “His work serves as an inspiration for many local singers. I personally began singing after listening to his songs and still know them by heart,” she shared.
Remembering the late singer, his family member Haider said, “Although some members of our family, such as Arif Lohar, are associated with music, no one can reach the heights Alam Lohar did during the early days of radio and television.” He added that not only were Lohar’s songs, such as Bol Mitti De Baweya, Dil Wala Dukhra and Jugni, popular in Pakistan but were also raving successes in India and other countries.
With his traditional avatar and use of chimta, Lohar built his own identity in the music industry. Known for his rendition of Waris Shah’s Heer and memorisation of the kalaam in 36 different styles. He began his career at the age of 13 and passed away in a car accident in 1979 at the age of 51.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.
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