Sudhir Phadke, also called Babuji, was a playback singer and music composer primarily known for his work in Marathi films and Marathi sugam sangeet (light classical music) although he composed music for several Hindi films as well.
Sudhir Phadke was born Shriram Phadke in Kolhapur. His interest in music started at an early age and he received training in classical music from Vamanrao Padhye. In 1941, he started his career in music with HMV, and in 1946, he joined the Prabhat Film Company as music director. In a career spanning six decades, Babuji composed for more than a 100 Marathi films and many Hindi films. This zenith of his musical career, however, came outside of films in the form of the radio program Geet Ramayan, which consisted of poet G.D. Madgulkar’s poetry, set to tune and sung by Babuji. He also did stage shows of Geet Ramayan across Maharashtra and the rest of the country. The songs of Geet Ramayan remain popular to this day.
Babuji won many awards throughout his career including the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the Marathi film “Ha Mazha Marg Akela” and the Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1991.
Babuji was married to playback singer Lalita Deulkar and passed away in 2002. His legacy carries on through his son Shridhar Phadke, who is also a musician.