Born John Roland Redd on September 16, 1921, he was musician, composer, pianist, organist and television pioneer.
Redd was the son a black Baptist preacher and a mother of African, English, and French ancestry.
In the 1940s, Redd moved to Los Angeles and adopted a persona named “Juan Rolando,” a Mexican performer. This allowed him to join the Musicians Union and obtain a job playing the organ on the radio station, KMPC.
When Redd met his future wife, a white woman named Beryl June DeBeeson they both decided that Redd would now live and work as Korla Pandit, an Indian performer of French and Indian ancestry.
Redd lived as Korla Pandit until his death on October 2, 1998.