Korla

With his sparking jeweled turban, organist Korla Pandit (1921-1998) was an alluring enigma, television pioneer, and the godfather of exotica music. Though he never spoke a word on any of the 900 episodes of his groundbreaking 1950s TV program, Korla nevertheless captured the hearts of countless Los Angeles housewives with his soulful, hypnotic gaze and theatrical performances, which expertly showcased both popular tunes and East Indian compositions on the newly developed Hammond B3 organ. In the ‘90s he resurfaced as a cult figure with tiki/lounge music aficionados and was immortalized in the 1994 film Ed Wood, Korla lived up to his reputation as a “man of mystery” by taking an amazing secret with him to his grave—a secret which the film Korla finally reveals. Among Korla’s musical admirers are Carlos Santana, Booker T. Jones and Steven Halpern, all of whom are interviewed in the film.

Genres: Music, Documentary