Today, I will present the duets sung by Usha Mangeshkar with various singers. If we take a look at her songs, in the 70s & 80s, she has sung many trios & even quadruples with Rafi, Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar or more so with Asha Bhosle. In those songs, anyone hardly gets a separate line to sing. So I was inclined not to include those songs in my list.
The maximum number of her duets are with her sisters, Lata Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle. In one of my earlier posts, I’ve covered some of their duets. Majority of those songs are dance numbers, some of them featuring the main lead, but a large number featuring dancers and extras. So even if some of the songs are immensely popular, that did not help her build her career. Instead, she received more of the same and main lead solos were restricted to B grade films or stunt-mythological films. In the duets also, she used to have only a line or two of her own. In her trios with her sisters as well, her separate lines would be few and far between. This went on for a number of years.
I must mention some of my favourites with her sisters, that are not on the list.
Kahe Tarsaye Jiyara – Chitralekha (1964) with Asha Bhosle / Roshan
Hamar Kaha Mano Rajaji – Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1966) with Asha Bhosle / Madan Mohan
Aagre Ka Lala Angreji Dulhan – Dus Lakh (1966) with Asha Bhosle / Ravi
Hamre Aangan Bagiya – Teen Bahuraniya (1968) with Lata Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle / Kalyanji Anandji
Dagabaaz Ho Banke piya – Burma Road (1962) with Lata Mangeshkar / Chitragupt
Khile Hai Sakhi Aaj – Grihasthi (1963) with Lata Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle / Ravi
Tohar Naam Laike – Aaya Toofan (1964) with Lata Mangeshkar / Laxmikant Pyarelal
Hum To Kharab Huye – Samson (1964) with Lata Mangeshkar / Chitragupt
Mangi Hai Duayen Humne – Shikari (1963) with Asha Bhosle / G S Kohli
We have to try hard to recollect her duets with leading male singers. This appears in contrast to the duets by her sisters, Lata & Asha Bhosle, who had a number of memorable songs with the leading male playback singers of the Golden Era. Occasionally she got an opportunity to sing duets for the main lead, but for low budget films. For big banners, her contribution was always a duet or two. So I looked for her duets, and the ones I liked are included in the song list. Some of the songs are really good, but perhaps were never promoted properly. In the70s & 80s, she sang a number of trios & quadruples, again her separate lines were usually less.
The situation did change to better after 1974, when Jai Santoshi Maa was a surprise hit & the Aarti song went viral. But it was too late, the Golden era & the composers
of the Golden era were not active. The songs had less melody, more of rhythm. The songs turned noisy, the lyrics became an insignificant part. So we all missed her playback for the leading ladies of the Golden era.
Some of the songs with other singers-
Chhatri Na Khol – Do Jhoot (1975) with Kishore Kumar / Shankar Jaikishan
Chanda Mama Se Pyara – Kartavya (1979) with Rafi / Laxmikant Pyarelal
Khatta Meetha Yeh Jeena – Khatta Meetha (1977) with Kishore Kumar / Rajesh Roshan
Yeh Umar Hai – Professor (1962) with Asha Bhosle and Manna Dey / Shankar Jaikishan
Janu Meri Jaan – Shaan (1980) with Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle / R D Burman
Without further ado, let’s go to the song list. It has her duets, Hindi & Marathi, in no particular order, with a bonus song.
1. Aplam Chaplam Chaplai Re – Azad (1955) with Lata Mangeshkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna
I take it as her most famous Hindi film duet. Sung by two sisters, it is on screen performed by two sisters, Sai & Subbulaxmi. The song should have opened new doors for her in Hindi films, but instead, I feel she received more offers for such dance numbers. Their voices are so similar, at least in this one, that I have never been able to differentiate them with certainty. One of the most popular dance songs from Hindi cinema.
2. Aaja Raat Beeti Jaye – Begunah (1957) with Kishore Kumar / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
This movie was never released, though the songs used to air on radio and were popular. It’s a peppy number, chorus adding a different charm by ‘Anokhe Bol’. After listening to the song, I felt, she should have got more opportunities to work with the stalwarts of Hindi cinema. Her fortune might have changed. Her voice just gets a little harsh at higher notes, otherwise, the sweetness and the expressions are perfect!
3. Aaj Ki Raat – Kavi Kalidas (1959) with Sabita Bannerji / S N Tripathi – Bharat Vyas
This song has already featured in one my earlier posts. It combines two different moods. The sad part is sung for Anita Guha, who plays the character of Pushpa. She is Kalidas’s childhood friend & loves him. She is heartbroken after he marries Vidyutama, played by Nirupa Roy. The latter is singing happily (with Usha Mangeshkar’s playback), dreaming for her future with Kalidas. Both the shades of emotions are highlighted very effectively by bothe the singers. It’s not much well known, but surely should have been!
4. Likh Padh Padh Likh – Kangan (1959) with Geeta Dutt / Chitragupt – Rajendra Krishna
A cute duet, Geeta Dutt sings for Nirupa Roy and Usha Mangeshkar for Daisy Irani. A mother is stressing the importance of studies to her child, who is mature enough to understand it. She is teaching him maths, checking his spellings and general knowledge. I wasn’t aware of the song, until I found it accidentally for this post. Though Usha Mangeshkar’s part is small, it’s a good song.
5. Maya Ka Aanchal – Kinare Kinare (1963) with Rafi / Jaidev – Nyay Sharma
A philosophical song, lesser known than other songs of the movie. Picturised on a pair of beggars, it tells us the ultimate truth of life. Another neglected gem! I think, her duets with Rafi were never popular, though the ones from 50-60s were good enough. Meena Kumari looks marvelous in this song, with her bangs on the forehead. Click here for the video.
6. O Meri Maina – Pyar Kiye Ja (1966) with Manna Dey / Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajendra Krishna
An eternal comedy film. Usha Mangeshkar sings for third female lead. But it’s my most favourite from the movie. Both the singers do their job perfectly. I particularly like the tune of the stanza. The line of the stanza is so lengthy, it’s difficult to sing in a single breath. But both of them do it effortlessly and make it sound very easy.
7. Tum Ko Piya Dil Diya – Shikari (1963) with Lata Mangeshkar / G S Kohli – Faruq Kaiser
I thought of it, as a must, for the list. It was the most celebrated song from the movie, at the time of release, and it still maintains the popularity. The singers complement each other so well that we can’t think of any other singer. Both the singers get equal parts in the song. The electric guitar pieces in the interludes, bestows an unmistakable Nayyar touch.
8. Pee Ke Hum Tum – Gumnaam (1965) with Asha Bhosle / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
It is perhaps a lesser known song from the movie. At least I had not heard it before. In the song, for a change, Nanda gets Usha Mangeshkar’s playback and Helen sings in Asha’s voice. Both the singers and the actresses seem to enjoy the situation. Still Nanda gives a constrained performance. The interludes sounds a bit out of theme to me, but surely it’s quite an enjoyable song.
9. Khuli Khuli Zulfon Ko – Banarasi Thug (1963) with Mukesh / Iqbal Qureshi – Aziz Qaisi
Iqbal Qureshi did offer a good bunch of songs in this movie, and Usha Mangeshkar sang a few of them, very nicely too! Look at this duet, so sweet and melodious. She expresses the shyness so cutely and aptly. Her talent and voice was not given enough scope and opportunity in Hindi films, that’s what I feel. Many of you would agree, I guess!
10. Apne Suron Mein – Dil Ki Rahen (1973) with Manna Dey / Madan Mohan – Naqsh Lyallpuri
An absolutely wonderful semi classical song. We have their peppy western duet at # 6, they are at home with this pure Indian tune. The opening pieces of violin and sitar are so touching, I got goosebumps! Usha Mangeshkar follows his voice note to note, creating a happy aura around you. Why this gem isn’t popular or much talked about? Not sure
11. Chali Chali Kaisi Hawa – Bluff Master (1963) with Shamshad Begum / Kalyanji Anandji – Rajendra Krishna
In this movie, Rafi, Mukesh and Hemant Kumar sing for Shammi Kapoor. But even then he receives Shamshad’s playback. It must be a record in itself, that so many singers sing for a single actor on screen. A routine chhed chhad song, Shammi actually supporting the gentleman. Usha Mangeshkar sings for Saira Banu, and supports the ladies.
12. Aa Mere Sathi – Romeo In Sikkim (1975) with Rafi / Vishwanath – Rahil Gorakhpuri
This might be a B grade movie, but the song is very good. It has no outstanding tune or lyrics, still it’s a very pleasant song. The energy in the singer’s voices is infectious and slowly it captures your mind. It’s unfortunate that she had no memorable songs with Rafi. At least none were known to me.
13. Ude Panchhi Toli Mein – Mehendi Lagi Mere Haath (1962) with Mahendra Kapoor / Kalyanji Anandji – Anand Bakshi
I didn’t like it much, when I first heard it. But later I liked the shehnai in the opening music and interludes. I think it has a Punjabi flavour to it too! The cute interaction between Nanda and Shashi Kapoor is equally well expressed by the singers. The film had other songs for Nanda by Lata and Suman Kalyanpur, but Usha Mangeshkar created impact with the only one duet, she got to sing.
14. Chuk Chuk Chak Chak – Rafoo Chakkar (1975) with Asha Bhosle / Kalyanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra
Usha Mangeshkar had two duets in the movie. I rejected the other stage song, as this one scored more for me. Two sisters offering playback to two friends on screen. But for a change, the duo is men in disguise. Both of them, Rishi Kapoor and Paintal, look reasonably cute in those attires. Such a fun to watch the song.
Now a few Marathi songs, film and non film,
15. प्रीतीचा नव वसंत फुलला – या मालक (१९६३) आशा भोसले आणि उषा मंगेशकर / स्नेहल भाटकर – एस् ए शुक्ल
The film had Shubha Khote and Ratna Bhushan with Mehmood. The song is very good example of playful female duets from Marathi films. Both the singers get equal opportunity.
16. गोड गोजिरी लाज लाजरी – धर्मकन्या (१९६९) उषा मंगेशकर आणि कृष्णा कल्ले / पंडित हृदयनाथ मंगेशकर – पी सावळाराम
Another famous Marathi song. A pre marriage song, the younger brothers teasing their sister about the marriage. We get emotional too, as they describe the bidai of their beloved sister.
17. माळ्याच्या मळ्यामदी कोण गं उभी – सोंगाड्या (१९७१) उषा मंगेशकर आणि जयवंत कुलकर्णी / राम लक्ष्मण – दादा कोंडके
Usha Mangeshkar was a favourite with Dada Kondke. He always insisted for her voice and she sang all types of songs for him. That included some of the so called double meaning songs as well. There are devoted fans of Dada Kondake in Maharashtra, one of my friends is a perfect example.
18. सागरा प्राण तळमळला – (Non film) लता मंगेशकर, उषा मंगेशकर, मीना खडीकर, हृदयनाथ मंगेशकर / पंडित हृदयनाथ मंगेशकर – स्वातंत्र्यवीर सावरकर
You can’t get a song better than this, to end the list. Written by great freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the song’s a pride of Maharashtrian culture. Sung by Mangeshkars, it’s a immensely popular song.
The song was written by Savarkar, where he requests the sea to take him back to his motherland. Written with words rich in Sanskrit, it’s a greatly inspiring patriotic song.
While I was compiling the list, I felt, it’s such a great thing to hear the songs composed or sung by the Mangeshkars? An amazing experience! Can’t describe in words! Aren’t we really blessed ?
Would you add a song?
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are from YouTube and have been used here only for the music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.