Today let’s celebrate Lata Mangeshkar’s 90th Birthday! I was struggling with the topic. Her musical life has so many aspects,I didn’t know what to do. I had thought of her associations with popular composers. It certainly was a good idea but I wanted to do something different and suddenly there it was, her association with the lesser known composers, either who could associate with her only for a few films or the composers who had a long career, but were limited to low budget films. Though the composers were talented, they were not considered A grade and in general were lesser remembered. There were a few who had only a film with her. I started collecting information on the topic and gathered a long list of composers, which would suit my theme. I decided to divide the post in parts. It would be a good idea to have this info together in a series of posts, I thought.
And here I’m with the first part of the series. I first thought of arranging the composers by some criteria, but I left the thought in due course. The better known names (according to me of course) among the lesser known composers will feature in this part. All of them surely deserve a dedicated post, which I’ll do in forthcoming months.
I have tried to showcase in short about the composer’s career and his movies and then his association with Lata Mangeshkar. Finally the songs of my choice.The ones I liked the most from their association. By no means I claim it to be their best! So here we go ………..
1. Datta Davjekar –
He certainly deserves the first place on my list. Popularly and affectionately known as DD, he holds a special place in Hindi film song lover’s hearts. He was the one who introduced Lata Mangeshkar to Hindi Film playback. It was in 1947, when he gave her a break as a playback singer in the film , ‘Aap Ki Sewa Mein’. She was offered three solos. Later he did only two films in Hindi, Prisoner of Golconda & Adalat.
These films had no songs by Lata Mangeshkar. His Marathi film career was a longer and successful one. Afterwards, he assisted C Ramchandra in 1950s. He was also a chief assistant to Chitragupt for a number of years.
The song to mention here is of course,
Paa Lagu Kar Jori Re – Aap Ki Sewa Mein (1947) / Datta Davjekar – Mahipal
The song is said to be her first song as a playback singer in Hindi films. So the song holds a historical significance.
It was a dance performance, picturised on the dancer, Rohini Bhate. The video of the song is of course not available, the audio song is also of average quality.
2. Bulo C Rani –
I wasn’t sure if his name should be there on the list or not! But for a general music lover, the name is lesser known.
He was a talented composer, but did not get much opportunities, even after delivering successful and melodious songs in late 40s and early 50s. His first association was with Ranjit Movietone in 1939. His first film as a composer is said to be Carvan (1944). Before he started composing independently, he worked as an assistant to Khemchand Prakash & Gyan Datt. It is said that, while he was an assistant, he actually composed a couple of songs by himself, but wasn’t credited for that. The main composers got the credit. The most memorable and my absolute favourites by Bulo C Rani belong to late 40s, when Lata Mangeshkar was yet to begin. So very less of their association is actually known. His last Hindi film as a composer was Sunehre Kadam in 1966. The film has two absolutely great solos by Lata Mangeshkar. Though he continued composing for Sindhi films in later years, he could not achieve fame and honour, he deserved. He supposedly committed suicide on 24th May 1998, just a few weeks after his 73rd birthday. It’s such a pity!
Let me add my favourites now,
Woh Hum Se Chup Hai – Rasiya (1954, ? unreleased) / Bulo C Rani – D N Madhok
If you haven’t heard it, you should at once! It’s full of energy. It sounds like a Mujra song. Or a background song, that talks about the relations of the lead characters.
It’s one of my absolute favourites by Lata Mangeshkar. The song is not available at present on YouTube.
Mangane Se Jo Maut Mil Jati – Sunehre Qadam (1966) / Bulo C Rani – Mahendra Pran
It was his last Hindi film and Lata Mangeshkar had two wonderful solos, that could be counted among her best. The movie however, didn’t arrive with sunehre qadam and could do nothing to add to composer’s fame. The song creates a pathos, no one can escape.
3. S Mohinder –
Mohinder Singh Sarna, aka S Mohinder was born in 1925 in Punjab (British India). He learnt music in his childhood and aspired to be a singer. He sang for Lahore AIR in the mid 40s. His singing impressed Suraiya, who offered to help him, if he happens to visit Bombay (now Mumbai). Later when he actually reached Bombay, she did help him and sang for him in Neeli (1950) under Ranjit Movietone. The songs were popular, though the film wasn’t successful. His first film was however Sehra in 1948. After Neeli, Paapi (1953), Naata (1955) and Shirin Farhad (1956) captured listeners attention. But somehow later his career moved around low budget films and costume dramas. He moved to the US in the 1980s and visits India frequently.
Let me share my favourites now,
Guzra Hua Zamana – Shirin Farhad (1956) / S Mohinder – Tanveer Naqvi
Shirin has finally surrendered to the circumstances and ready to get away from Farhad. She begs Farhad not to accuse her of infidelity. She has been forced into marriage with another man and unwillingly she has accepted it. The pain, she’s suffering from, is well portrayed by Lata Mangeshkar. It’s surely one of her bests too!
The song is the best known song by Mohinder. The song has bestowed the composer, the film immortal. It’s a perfect example of an excellent song, performing well on all fronts, including singing, lyrics and of course the tune.
Balmawa Bolo Na Bolo Na – Picnic (1966) / S Mohinder – Majrooh
It’s a stage performance, Kalpana dances while, charmingly beautiful Shubha Khote sings the song. S Mohinder did compose such classical based songs, as well. It’s effortlessly sung by Lata Mangeshkar, one of her lesser knowns. The sweetness in her voice and the tune always enchants me.
4. Mohammad Shafi –
Who will forget the ‘Bajuband Khul Khul Jaye’ from Bajuband? The Lata’s version is popular among the Hindi film song lovers. It was composed by Shafi, who was at home with such kind of difficult classical based songs as well. He was chief assistant and arranger to Naushad for more than a decade. He was an ace sitar player too. It is said that he contributed for Sitar in Mughal E Azam and many other Naushad films. He had to earn his living early, as his father passed away when he was very young. He started playing sitar for the composers at the New Theatres, and assisted them. His debut film as a composer was Haqdar in 1946. He composed for about 20 films (including two Marathi films), but none could be said hit. He completed the songs of Hulchul (1951) when Sajjad left the movie. He composed the three duets of Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi, along with Lata’s solo (Ek Jhoothi Si Tasalli). He introduced Suman Kalyanpur with the film Mangu in 1954. Though he left the movie and was taken over by O P Nayyar, Suman’s lullaby was included in the movie. His other films were not much talked about. But Lata Mangeshkar was his prominent singer throughout his career. Sha sang quite a lot of songs for him in the 1950s. He had a bad financial condition in last days!
I have chosen a couple of songs,
Ek Jhoothi Si Tassali Woh – Hulchul (1951) / Mohammad Shafi – Khumar Barabankavi
Hulchul was K Asif’s venture, and Sajjad was the composer. But he broke off in between after a rift with Asif. Shafi replaced him, and composed the remaining songs. He composed in his own style but kept the flavour intact. So the posted song also sounds like Sajjad’s. But even after proving himself in the film, any major banner didn’t come his way. Destiny!
I couldn’t get the video of the song and the posted audio file is also of poor quality.
Baharon Ke Dole Mein – Annadata (1952) / Mohammad Shafi – Hasrat Jaipuri
What a delightful song. It creates waves of happiness and joy. The innocence of a young girl, her wish to meet someone special are so beautifully expressed. The orchestration is so wonderful, no wonder he was a successful music arranger. Lata Mangeshkar sings it so beautifully, it’s a pity that a number of her songs were not popular.
5. Hansraj Behl –
This composer certainly deserves a separate post, and is on my radar for quite a long time. At the earliest opportunity, I’ll do so.
The Ambala born composer was a musical genius, if you listen to his tunes carefully. The songs were popular or not, or they belong to B grade films or not, are not worth consideration.
He was inclined to music as a child, and no wonder he already had composed non film songs for HMV, before joining films in Bombay (now Mumbai). His first film was Pujari in 1946.
He was the one to introduce ‘Asha Bhosle’ to Hindi film songs with the film, Chunariya in 1948. I think, Lata perhaps sang for him in the same film. Later, he created beautiful and melodious songs with her. The songs of sorrow are the prominent ones, among my favourites from their association. The popular songs from Milan (Hay Jiya Roye), Changez Khan (Jab Raat Nahin Katati), etc are examples!
Sadly he always remained underrated and still delivered wonderful songs over the years. His association with Lata And Rafi could also be discussed in separate posts.
Let me think about the songs to add,
Haye Chanda Gaye Pardes – Chakori (1949) / Hansraj Behl – Mulkraj Bhakri
Such an innocent song. The young, tender voice of Lata Mangeshkar so very well expresses the pain of being separated from the beloved. The tune itself is so catchy, the slow rhythm with subtle orchestration gives full scope to the expressions and the voice. It must be a song from their earlier association, later the duo continued to bless us with heart touching melodies.
De De Mora Kangana Tu – Rajdhani (1955) / Hansraj Behl – Asad Bhopali
In complete contrast to the earlier song, this song’s full of energy and joy. The foot tapping rhythm instantly brings a smile on your face. The sweetness of the flute in the interludes and verses is very pleasant.
6. Iqbal Qureshi –
The Aurangabad born composer had a zeal for music since childhood. He moved to Hyderabad for job, where he got acquainted with Makhdoom Mohiuddin. He set to tune some of his ghazals. When he came to Bombay (now Mumbai), his ghazals impressed producer, Lekhraj Bhakri and resulted in getting a break as a composer. The film was Panchayat (1958).
His notable films include, Bindiya (1960) for AVM, Filmalay’s Love In Simla (1960), Umar Qaid (1961), Banarasi Thug (1962), Yeh Dil Kisko Doon (1963), Cha Cha Cha (1964). Though he continued working until the 1990s, he was unable to reproduce the same magic. Just a good song here and there.
Lata Mangeshkar was a part of his first venture, but later he could offer her songs only in a couple of films. So her songs for Iqbal Qureshi are just a handful.
Let me add my favourite tracks,
Itna Na Sata Ke Koi – Bindiya (1960) / Iqbal Qureshi – Rajendra Krishan
The fast paced, energetic number doesn’t allow you to think even for a while. It flows like a melodious spring of water. The movie was by AVM productions, but didn’t offer Iqbal Qureshi much opportunities to compose for big banners.
Yaad Suhani Teri – Banarasi Thug (1963) / Iqbal Qureshi – Prem Dhawan
Iqbal Qureshi composed a number of songs for the movie. All the songs were melodious. The presented song is one of the few sad songs having a fast rhythm. Shehnai in the interludes highlights the sorrow. The lines sung by chorus appear to have a folk base, but their origins can’t be guessed in the song. It sounds like a tune sung by tribals in the jungle.
7. Nashad –
The radio announcers have always confused him with Naushad, and some of them still continue to call him Naushad.
It is said that he might have opted for the name because of the resemblance and the resulting confusion. He composed under a number of pseudonyms, before settling finally for the name, Nashad. He debuted in 1947 with the film, Dildar as Shaukat Dehlavi, perhaps as he belonged to Delhi. For a few years, he composed under various names, but could not make an impact. Finally, the 1953 release, Naghma, composed under the name Nashad, brought him fame. Talat & Shamshad Begum songs went popular. After offering songs to a new comer, Suman Hemady (Kalyanpur) in Darwaza in 1954, he brought out his masterpieces with Baradari in 1955. The songs became his best and popular ones, and made him immortal in Hindi Cinema.
After delivering a few popular songs here and there in Jawab, Bada Bhai, Zara Bachake, Zindagi Ya Toofan, Pyar Ki Dastaan and Ruplekha, he finally settled in Pakistan around 1965. He composed for a few films in Pakistan as well. Lata sang for him only in a couple of films (Aaiye and Baradari), as most of his songs were sung by Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt in early years and Asha Bhosle later. He introduced Mubarak Begum in the film Aaiye in 1949, where he announced himself as Shaukat Haidari.
And, to choose from their association,
Ab Ke Baras Bada Zulm – Baradari (1955) / Nashad – Khumar Barabankavi
A young girl, just coming of age talks about her emotions at the tender age. She complains about losing her childhood, and the colorful dreams she experiences. Lata Mangeshkar as usual sings with perfect expressions.
A catchy and foot tapping rhythm in the song makes it an audio feast. Nashad uses flute, sitar and of course dholak and tabla to enhance the Punjabi style, Matka rhythm.
8. Pandit Gobindram –
He was a popular composer from the 1940s and his songs had his unique touch with a subtle Punjabi tadka. He saw heydays in Early and mid 1940s, where he was inclined to offer songs to Shamshad Begum. He also was associated with Zohrabai Ambalewali and Zeenat Begum. I think, his first film with Lata Mangeshkar was Bholi in 1949. Lata Mangeshkar sang for Govindram in Bholi in 1949, and that was perhaps her first film with him. In all she sang around 20 songs for Govindram from 1949-1955, of which around fifteen are solos. Govindram was one of the major composers for Shamshad Begum’s career, though after Lata’s entry, he was inclined to her. Still some of his films in the 1950s, have Shamshad as a lead singer.
Now, to add my favourite,
Kari kari Andhiyari Raat Mein – Jalpari (1952) / Pandit Govindram – Bharat Vyas
A song metaphorically speaking of the beloved being far away from a young lady, played by Nalini Jaywant. It’s a pleasant song, though it has a false touch of pain. The movie sounds like a fantasy film, with Nalini Jaywant in lead role.
9. A R Qureshi –
Actually he was a world class Tabla maestro, but he continued composing for films for about two decades. So I decided to add his name on the list. I have already talked about him in my earlier post.
I could only find Lata’s songs with him, only in Bewafa. His majority of films have Asha Bhosle as lead singer.
To add a song,
Dil Matwala Lakh Sambhala – Bewafa (1952) / A R Qureshi – Sarshar Sailani
I must confess, I was aware of the female version being tuned in a completely different style than the more popular male version. And I like it too. Talat’s song has a slow pace and more use of piano. But I was totally surprised with the fast paced Lata song. And it was a pleasant surprise of course!
10. Lachhiram –
He is primarily remembered for the songs of Razia Sultan and Main Suhagan Hoon. But actually he has around twenty films to his credit. He was born in Himachal Pradesh, where his father was an employee of the Royal Court. He was trained by the court musicians and was a good singer. He worked as a singer for HMV in Delhi for a period. His talent made the way to Shorey films and he started his career in 1945 for the film, Champa. For initial few films, he was not the solo composer. But none of the earlier films appear to have left any musical memories.
Even though he was active in the 1950s and early 1960s, he did not offer many songs to Lata Mangeshkar. In fact, Lata sang only one song for him, in his entire career. And it was in his last film, Main Suhagan Hoon. He passed away in 1966.
The song to present is of course,
Ae Dil Machal Machal Ke Yoon – Main Suhagan Hoon (1964) / Lachhiram Tomar – Butaram Sharma
It’s their only song together. It’s certainly not one of my favourites from the movie. But it deserves a place here.
11. Aadi Narayan Rao –
For general song lovers, the name reminds, Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya, from Suvarna Sundari (1958). His notable Hindi films include, Suvarna Sundari and Phoolon Ki Sej. Both the films had songs by Lata Mangeshkar.
The songs to add,
Mujhe Na Bula – Suvarna Sundari (1958) / Adi Narayan Rao – Bharat Vyas
It’s one of his best known Hindi movies, it was a remake of the original fantasy Telugu movie by the same name. It’s a dance performance by Anjali Devi in a Kings Court.
Aayega Koi Humraz – Phoolon Ki Sej (1964) / Adi Narayan Rao – Hasrat Jaipuri
I wasn’t aware of the song, but it created such an enthusiastic and happy aura, that I chose it for the list. A lady waiting eagerly for the love of her life.
12. K Datta –
He was fond of music since childhood and debuted in 1939 with the film, Mera Haq. After composing for a few films in the early 1940s, he composed for Noorjahan in Nadaan in 1943. In Badi Maa (1945), he created his masterpiece, Diya Jalakar Aap Bujhaya, which is still remembered for the tune and its rendition by Noor Jahan. He also composed songs for the ‘actress-singer’ Lata Mangeshkar for the same movie, but were overshadowed by other songs. Then came the partition of India and Noor Jahan left for Pakistan. Though he was an ace composer and had great hits with Noor Jahan, he could not leave an impact in later years. It was as if his heydays came to an end with Noor Jahan’s exit.
Later, he offered a number of songs to Lata Mangeshkar in films like, Daman (1951) where he had Mageshkar’s sister’s first duet, ‘Yeh Ruki Ruki Hawain’, Meri Kahani, Gumasta, Rishta etc. But though a few songs were good, he could not recreate the magic. Afterwards, he left the industry and engaged himself in palmistry and horoscopes. He was interested in both for many years and took it as his career.
And, I choose,
Sajan Se Pehli Baar – Rishta (1954) / K datta – Pandit Phani
A shy girl, not been able to express her love but such a cheerful, energetic way to do so. Her mind always reminds her about expressing herself, but she could never pull herself together up to face him. Her partner’s eyes reveal his love and she adores that language of ‘Eyes’, but again she is reticent to do so.
I like the song a lot, it has featured on one of my earlier lists as well.
13. Shyam Sunder –
He was a talented and popular composer of early 50s. But his untimely death lead to his songs fading away easily from people’s memories. In fact, I should say, even if the songs are still remembered, the composer has been forgotten.
Nothing much is known about his early days. He was from Lahore and was the one to introduce the intoxicating Matka rhythm to the Hindi film songs. He was known for his brilliant tunes and wonderful orchestration. It would be my great pleasure to write a separate post, dedicated to him.
As for today’s topic, it was impossible to select even a couple of songs from the excellent solos, Lata sang for him. Bazaar, Lahore, Alif Laila (I must mention, Bahar Aayi Khili Kaliyan, sung exceptionally well and great use of percussion instruments.) has some of her excellent solos with Shyam Sunder.
In all, he composed for twenty Hindi films and Lata was a part of a few of them. His alcohol addiction was said to his main obstacle, and he succumbed to its complications.
the songs are,
Toote Hue Armaanon Ki Ek Duniya – Lahore (1949) / Shyam Sunder – Rajendra Krishan
Lata’s tender yet expressive voice is a feast. Her solos in Lahore, are very special and brilliant. She sang some songs with Noorjahan’s style and others in her own style. The presented song fits in the former category. The voice though very young and soft, sounds so mature and strong. It comes with a bang knocks you off.
Basalo Apni Nigahon Mein Pyar – Bazaar (1949) / Shyam Sunder – Qamar Jalalabadi
In contrast to the song from Lahore, all the songs from Bazaar were in her own style, with no influence of Noorjahan. It’s a stage performance by Nigar Sultana, and quite a delight to watch and listen to.
14. Vinod –
Born as Eric Roberts, the composer is popularly remembered for the songs of ‘Ek Thi Ladki’. He was interested in music since childhood and took formal training in Hindustani classical music. He used to sing in mushairas and music concerts. His first film as a composer was ‘Khamosh Nigahen’ in 1946. He composed for 25 Hindi films. His Punjabi style inspired music went popular with Ek Thi Ladki. He composed good songs for Anmol Ratan. Lata had a major share in both the films. Her solos from, Anmol Ratan (Taare Wohi Hai), Sabz Baag (Meri Barbadiyon Pe Muskurane) are good as well.
But later his compositions remained limited to B grade films. He passed away even before completing 40 years of age. I feel I should write a post on his career. And I’ll do it at the earliest.
Let’s go to the songs,
Kaga Re Ja Re Ja Re – Wafa (1950) / Vinod – Aziz Kashmiri
A slow, poignant composition, yet attractive. Excellent tune, great rendition, gives it all the charm.
Mohobbat Ne Kaise Diye Hum Ko Dhokhe – Oot Patang (1955) / Vinod – D N Madhok
Neither a well known song, nor a well known film. But a beautiful composition . It seems, Usha Kiran was in the movie. Just look at the composition, the lady sings with great sorrow, but the tempo of the interludes is fast paced, mixing the two moods flawlessly. Again, the song is balanced by the singer and the tune with good orchestration.
15. Jamal Sen –
The songs of Shokhiyan need no introduction, but the composer of the songs needs. He was Jamal Sen, who himself was a multi talented artist. Not only was he a composer and singer, but he had zeal for poetry and dance as well! He had music in his blood. He was an ace percussionist, he assisted Ghulam Haider for a number of years. He was introduced by Kedar Sharma, with the film, Shokhiyan in 1951. The songs were acclaimed a lot, but he couldn’t sustain the success with other films. Except Daaira in 1953, his films went uncelebrated. He fell prey to alcoholism and succumbed to its inevitable fate.
The song I have added is,
Sapna Ban Sajan Aaye – Shokhiyan (1951) / Jamal Sen – Kedar Sharma
My all time favourite song. Excellent lyrics, excellent tune and excellent performance by Lata Mangeshkar. The fantasy movie had nothing impressive, but the songs. It’s one of the songs that we need to experience! My god it’s out of this world.
The list of composers is getting on a bit, I think I need more posts for other composers. I need some time to get it all together. Of course, with a career spanning over several decades, Lata Mangeshkar got associated with a number of composers. I think the die hard fans of Lata Mangeshkar may not consider today’s post as a suitable start of the series. But I started the series, keeping in mind the general film song lovers.
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