He became known as a talented composer after writing a number of songs that still remain very popular today, such as "Menden gen gezme" and Ay guzel". But his most famous song is Shushanin daghlari ("The Mountains of Shusha"), dedicated to his native city. Despite Shushinski's relation to the khans of Karabakh, his stage name derives from an episode in his adolescence. In 1918, he and his mugham teacher Islam Abdullayev attended a wedding in the village of Novruzlu (presently in the Agdam Rayon of Azerbaijan), where guests were listened to a gramophone record of the Iranian singer Abul Hasan Khan performing the Kurd Shahnaz variety of mugham.
After the song, young Isfandiyar was emphatically asked to resing that song live. Despite the complicated nature of Kurd Shahnaz, his performance impressed the guests to the point of them comparing Isfandiyar to Abul Hasan Khan and saying: "Now, here's the real Khan." Shushinski made his first appearance in Baku in 1923, at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall. He spent the next two decades touring cities of the South Caucasus, gaining huge popularity for his incredible voice and being often mentioned in the local media, as well as in the poem Azerbaijan by Samad Vurgun. In 1944, a year after he became People's Artist of Azerbaijan, he visited Tehran (along with four other cities in Iran) and was invited to perform at a banquet organized by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Since Khan Shushinsky's period coincided with significantly increased influence of mass-media on the people's daily lives (1960-70s), including wider access to television, he also was the mugam singer who received more media coverage and publicity than his other famous predecessors.
His concerts also were very popular and sometimes the queues for getting a ticket for his concert would reach several hundred meters in length. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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