Johnny Purty Dead at Age 57

Church Organ Falls Silent

Read about the surprising death of a beloved organist in Calcutta, India. Read this article for details about Johnny’s recent fatal heart attack. For those who don’t know this organ: “The pipe organ at St John’s Church on Council House Street was installed in the early nineteenth century and remains the grandest in Calcutta.” At the bottom of this post is a link from Johnny’s Youtube Channel. Try to listen through the tuning problems and imagine how much of a challenge Johnny faced in Calcutta, now spelled in some places as Kolcata in the same fashion as Bombay is written now as Mumbai. If anyone has the specification and history of the organ, please post a comment below!

Johnny had been an unmissable presence during Sunday prayers at the church for years, his back to the congregation but his music always upfront in its purpose. On Fridays and Saturdays, he would play almost all day. Over the years, he became as famous as the grand instrument he played.

Noel Ronnie Purty, Johnny’s brother, told Metro on Thursday that his sibling inherited his love of the organ from their father, who had also played the instrument in a church. An alumnus of Assembly of God Church School and St Xavier’s College, Johnny was wedded to music and so remained a bachelor in life. “He had a cardiac arrest around 3.45pm. A doctor was called and he pronounced Johnny dead,” Noel said.

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