Today my blog completes one year. It is something like my kid’s first birthday, and I could publish around 30+ posts (This is 36th) till now, it feels unbelievable. It’s like a dream come true !!!! OMG my own blog!!! But I hope I have maintained a standard! I never thought I would be able to continue this for a year. As I’m not a full time writer or blogger, at times I find it difficult to write continuously for a theme. I’m a doctor by profession, and many a times two-three days pass by without a single peep. I always have to find time in between the patients. But so far I’ve managed to do that. I don’t wish to make it look like I’m an exceptionally busy doctor!
Before I proceed to today’s post, let me offer a vote of thanks to a few people, without whom I wouldn’t have been in this field.
Firstly, I want to thank Madhulika Liddle (from Dusted off), who firstly boosted my confidence for starting a blog. She always encouraged, helped me improve my blog. She is my inspiration in the world of blogging and acted as my mentor. A big thanks to you Madhuji! You’ve Always helped me, directly or indirectly and guided me. Your style of writing, even your way of replying to the comments, is impressive. I tend to copy it unintentionally. Of course, I haven’t reached that high level yet!
AKji (from SoY) and Anuji (from Conversations over chai), are also my teachers. Thanks a lot. I request you to always be there to guide me. Here I must add that, I haven’t met personally to any of them so far. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say, whatever they have taught me, is by ‘Distant Education’. I’m like ‘Ekalavya’ , trying to learn things by observation. But it had helped me a lot!
Akji, your writing style is great and I always enjoy reading your posts. You make it look easy but a lot of efforts must have gone into gathering information for a post, to make it as perfect and accurate as possible. Hats off to you. I try to follow your example, when a lot of information needs to be gathered.
Anuji, I have read nearly all of your song posts and Hindi film reviews. Your method of putting things in a funny way, your sarcastic comments in film reviews, are all enjoyable. I try to incorporate that sort of writing in my write ups, but never succeed.
My elder sister, Anagha, helps me improve my write ups. She makes the sentences sound a little more sophisticated. Of late she has praised my write ups and said, now I need very little corrections, and my English vocabulary has also improved a bit! I take this opportunity to thank her too!
Lastly my wife and my parents who tolerate my being busy in my blog. Thanks would be too small a word to say to you all. My family is my strength and my biggest support.
My blog wouldn’t have run without the readers, so a big thanks to all the readers, who read and comment on the blog. Thank you! You are my biggest support. Slowly, the blog is taking up and the views and visitors are on the rise over the year.
Right now I’m overwhelmed with mixed emotions, so let’s go to today’s post before I get too mushy.
My today’s post talks about some rare combinations of singers and composers. I have tried to list songs of such rare combos. But I won’t say the songs are rarely heard. Majority of the songs all well known and some of them are immensely popular even today!
I decided to follow a few criteria.
* Both of them should be contemporary
* The number of songs for the pair should not exceed five
* The singer has sung only for a single film with that particular composer
The careers of nearly all the stalwarts in Hindi films ran parallel to each other, nearly all of them were contemporaries . Each of them was a distinguished figure, still a few them have sung just a handful of songs for a particular composer. I haven’t considered, lesser known composers, whose careers didn’t run long in Hindi film music.
So let’s start this melodious journey………….
1. Shamshad Begum –
Her success story began with the songs of ‘Khajanchi’ in 1941, with composer, Master Ghulam Haider. Later she was among the top most female playback singers of that era. She sang for nearly all the composers. Composer like Madan Mohan, (who later worked nearly 90% of the times with Lata) started his career with her. Vasant Desai also gave her a fair chance in films like Dahej, Sheesh Mahal, Hyderabad Ki Naznin. She was a favourite with Naushad, C Ramchandra and O P Nayyar. The songs, they created together, were all masterpieces and her contribution to their success is undoubted. S D Burman, also presented her songs in Bahar (1951) and made a mark for the debutant actress Vaijayanti Mala. Though with time, her style of singing sounded a little outdated and only a few composers opted for her, for songs picturised on supporting characters.
I’m presenting today her rare association with Shankar Jaikishan. She has sung only two songs for the duo, the first was a duet with rafi (Dear O Dear), in Nagina (1951) and the other one was a solo in Awara (1951). I think the latter is more popular and known to many of us! So here it is,
‘Ek Do Teen, Aaja Mausam Hai Rangeen’ by Cuckoo, a club dance.
2. Talat Mahmood –
His career’s one of the first well known song was with Anil Biswas in Aarzoo (1950). The song was hugely popular, though he was already in limelight for his non film ghazals. Later he worked with all the composers. If we take a look at the songs of early 50s, every composer wanted Talat for playback singing. He was the voice of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand too in early 50s. Many films had male solos in his voice for the main lead, with the other singers being the voices of supporting characters in the film. His soft, tender voice, full of emotions was highly suitable for the songs with pathos, much more in number those days I must say. He was undoubtedly the first choice for all the composers. S D Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, Roshan, Husnlal Bhagatram all preferred his voice for their songs. No wonder the songs were wonderful and memorable. He sang songs for Vasant Desai in films like, Mousi, School Master, Hyderabad ki Naznin etc.
But now, let’s talk about the composers who didn’t give him much opportunity, for reasons of their own!
Firstly, Naushad. Talat was his choice for Dilip Kumar in Babul (1950). All the songs were hugely popular, and still are! But something went wrong. It is said that Naushad didn’t like Talat’s behavior in the recording room, which he took as an insult to Goddess Saraswati. So though he had very high regard for Talat’s voice, he never worked with him for 18 years. There was a duet in the movie Aadmi (1968), which was recorded with Talat & Rafi. But the producers were not favourable to Talat’s voice which was later replaced by Mahendra Kapoor’s.
I’ll also mention about O P Nayyar, who gave him an opportunity sparingly. His first song was for the movie, Baaz (1953), which was a solo. Later he sang a duet in Mangu (1954), and two songs in Sone Ki Chidiya (1958). That’s all!
We were not fortunate enough, to have songs by the combo later.
Here is the song,
‘Pyar Par Bas To Nahi Hai’
And a romantic duet from Babul.
‘Milte Hi Aankhen Dil Hua’
3. Geeta Dutt –
A sweet voice, full of expressions and emotions. She sang songs of all genres, and left us with her memories. She was a favourite with O P Nayyar, S D Burman, and Hemant Kumar. But she has sung for all the composers. Her songs for Chitragupt are also much more in number than anticipated. Her lesser known associations were with Naushad, Madanmohan, Shankar Jaikishan, and perhaps Vasant Desai, Anil Biswas, Ravi and Kalyanji Anandji.
But only Naushad fits in my criteria. Only two songs, a duet (Tu Mera Chand) from Dillagi, which is picturised on Shyama and a solo from Son of India (1962).
I’m sharing the latter.
Mujhe Huzoor Tumse Pyar Hua.
4. Manna Dey –
Another talent from Bengal. Though he had a strong classical music base, it actually proved an obstacle in his career. It was as if he can’t sing anything other than classical based songs. He sang all types of songs, including western style songs, qawwalis, bhajans, romantic songs, lullabies etc. He worked with all the composers, though he was said to be a favourite to SJ and S D Burman, Salil Choudhary. Even with Naushad he had many songs, though off hand we can only remember Mother India songs easily. Then who was the composer, he worked least with? Yes, O P Nayyar, only four songs, none solo. One trio and three duets.
O P had an opinion that Manna Dey was unsuitable for a romantic song, though he tried him once ! And I’m sharing the same.
‘Bahon Ko Zara Lehera De’ from Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala.
5. Hemant Kumar –
One more talent from Bengal. (oh, we had so many of them) He might be better known as a playback singer, but of course music direction was his another forte. He also assisted Burman da for a short period. He sang for many composers, but his close association was with Burman da, and Ravi. Here I mention his short journeys with some composers.
Shankar Jaikishan – only four songs (all masterpieces)
Naushad – three songs
O P Nayyar – only one duet
Roshan – only one duet.
Chitragupt – I could get only two songs, one from Daaka, other from Teesari Gali (a cute romantic duet).
My pick from the above songs is
Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein from Mamta
And Aa Neele Gagan Tale from Badshah.
6. Suraiya –
A singing actress. Was on the top, when playback singing wasn’t a routine. But maintained her place even later. She mainly worked with Anil Biswas, Shyamsunder, Husnlal Bhagatram, Naushad, Ghulam Mohd., Sajjad. Her songs with these composers are real gems, with some outstanding songs that boosted her career.
She worked with four composers only for a single film each. They are
Roshan (Mashuqa) , O P Nayyar (Mr Lambu), Madanmohan (Khubsoorat) and N Datta (Miss 58).
Although none of the films had memorable songs, the ones from Khubsoorat do sound interesting and different.
Still, I have selected a song from Mashuqa.
‘Mere Man Mein Uthe Umang’
And a sad song from Mr Lambu, which sounds more like Naushad or Ghulam Mohd. I have never liked OP’s sad songs, as I think he wasn’t at his best for such songs. Here’s the Song, ‘Soyi Hai Kahan Jakar’
7. Kishore Kumar –
This Bengali actor-singer started his career with Ziddi (1948) with Khemchand Prakash. In 50s he was facing dilemma between singing and acting. Actually he was doing both the things. He accepted the proposals that came his way, for both the options. This conflict might have affected his singing career in early days.
He was very much close to Burman da and he worked with other composers as well, like Madan Mohan and Salil Choudhary. Later he became favourite of all. But one composer had no good opinion about him. I won’t gossip about it. But Kishore did only one film with him. He was Sajjad and film was ‘Rukhsana’.
He also worked with Husnalal Bhagatram for only one film, Kafila. The song I’m sharing is also from the same. ‘Woh Meri Taraf Yoon’
8. Rajkumari –
Once a top class playback singer, she later had to sing in chorus to make both ends meet. She also started as a singer actress, but after few years, concentrated on only singing. Her heydays in late 30s and 40s offer us a wonderful bunch of songs. Her songs from Mahal (1949) and Baware Nain (1950) were also hugely popular.
Her association with S D Burman and O P Nayyar was the shortest one, just a song each. Today my choice is ‘Hamari Munder Bole Kaga’ from Babla (1953) by S D Burman.
The song is as sweet as any other Burman da songs. He later reused the tune in ‘Champakali Dekho’ for Ziddi (1964).
9. Mohammad Rafi –
Don’t be surprised by his name. If you think he is unlikely to be on this list, you are wrong. He worked with all the composers from, Husnalal Bhagatram, Naushad, Salil Choudhary, Madan Mohan to Ravi, and Chitragupt with Kalyanji Anandji and R D Burman as well. Still there was a composer who thought Rafi wasn’t suitable for his style of composing. He was none other than, Anil Biswas. Though Rafi worked with practically all the composers of the golden era, Anil da was the one who opted for him only once. The film was Heer (1956), starring Nutan and Pradeep Kumar. Here’s the song. “Leja Uski Duvayein”
10. Mukesh –
He started as an actor singer like many others, in Nirdosh (1941) with Nalini Jaywant. Fortunately he realized early, the uncertainty of his acting career and concentrated on playback singing. It wasn’t after 1945, that his singing career took a turn for good and he established himself there. In 50s and 60s, he worked with nearly all the major composers in the industry. He was the preferred voice for RK. He was a favourite with SJ, Anil Biswas, Roshan, Madanmohan, Kalyanji Anandji. He even had his share of songs with Ravi, Chitragupt and S N Tripathi. With S D Burman also, he had a good number of songs, and in my opinion nearly all of them are masterpieces. Same is the case with Naushad. It’s a mystery why he didn’t give him a chance, even after grand success of Mela (1948) and Andaz (1949). He took nearly twenty years to call him again for Saathi, that was released in 1969. But they couldn’t create the same magic.
Now let’s come to the composers, who have worked with him the least. The names are
C Ramchandra with only two solos, in two different films
And O P Nayyar with four songs (3 duets and a solo)
I’m sharing the most popular one. Mukesh sang the song just because RK was the hero, and Ramchandra couldn’t really avoid him. Still out of three solos, RK had in the film, only one was sung by Mukesh.
Here it is ‘Jap Jap Jap Re’ from Sharda.
And ‘Chal Akela Chal Akela’ from Sambandh.
11. Mahendra Kapoor –
He won a music competition and aspired to enter film industry as a playback singer. Naushad was the one who gave him a chance in Sohni Mahiwal in 1958. Later he gave him a fair chance. He was a favourite with C Ramchandra and Ravi. O P Nayyar also called him after his conflict with Rafi. He also had his share with Chitragupt, Kalyanji Anandji, Madanmohan, Vasant Desai, Shankar Jaikishan. He was not acclaimed or adored by all, though he had his own fan following.
Coming to today’s topic. At least three composers called him for playback singing only for a film or two.
The first one is Salil Choudhary, who offered him only one song in Mem Didi (Hu Tu Tu Tu – A duet with Lata Mangeshkar),
and S D Burman is the other, who gave him a chance only for a couple of songs (Both Duets)
The third composer is Roshan, who gave him a chance in two films (Warrant – 1961, Dadi Maa – 1966) for two songs.
Only the song from Dadi Maa is well known.
I’ll share the song, from Miya Biwi Razi (1960), a duet with Asha Bhosle, under composer S D Burman.
‘Mil Gaye Milane Wale’
Would you add a singer to the above list?
Disclaimer- The Images and songs are copyrights of their original owners. The song links are shared from Youtube for the music lovers to enjoy. Mehfil Mein Meri claims no credit to any of the images or songs.