I started the series, on Lata Mangeshkar’s 90th birthday last month. The list of composers became very long and I couldn’t come up with the second part last week. I needed time to collect the information and to decide about the names to include.
Today, I’m presenting the second part of the series, having fifteen composers again. As usual the names are in no particular order.
1. R C Boral –
He has been many a times, credited with the honour ‘Father of Indian Film Music’. He surely deserves the title. He had a formal training in Indian classical music and had a deep
interest in Rabindra Sangeet. He also experimented a lot with different musical instruments and in all had great inputs, novel in those times. He started with ‘Mohabbat Ke Aansoo’ in 1932, when his first singer was none other than K L Saigal (It was Saigal’s first film too). In 1934, he introduced background score in Chandidas. In 1935, he was the first to introduce, playback singing with the film Dhoop Chhaon.
He was a genius composer, and had great songs with Saigal, Pankaj Mullik and Kanan Devi. After the wave of new composers in late 40s, he was somewhat left aside. Still he composed for 32 Hindi films, in addition to Bengali films.
Coming to his association with Lata Mangeshkar. He could offer her songs in only a couple of Hindi films, a social and a religoius film. ‘Dard E Dil (1953)’ & ‘Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1954)’ respectively. The former had a couple of solos, while the latter had four solos and a duet by Lata Mangeshkar. The songs are not so well known, though I hope the posted songs would ring the bell for a few readers.
Na To Din Hi Din Woh Rahe Mere – Dard E Dil (1953) / R C Boral – D N Madhok
A melancholy song, full of distress. Minimal instrumentation and full focus on the tune. The lady has lost her hopes and wants to take one day at a time. In fact, she has lost the will to live. Boral could give Lata Mangeshkar a chance only in a couple of films, but the majority of the songs are good, though not much popular.
Kajrare Naina Chhup Chhup – Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1954) / R C Boral – Bharat Vyas
A couple of sad songs from the movie are perhaps more popular than this one. But this is a wonderful song. A song by Kothewali, with excellent use of Sarangi and Ghungroo along with Violin and Tabla.
2. Saraswati Devi –
One of the prominent composers of the vintage era, she shares with Jaddan Bai, the honour of one of the earlier female composers of Hindi cinema. Her heydays with Bombay talkies saw a number of popular songs. In the absence of playback singers, actors and actresses had to sing the songs. Of course the composer had to face a lot of restrictions. Saraswati Devi managed that easily composing, easy and catchy tunes. Though she must have faced a lot of protest from Parsi community, she continued working in Hindi films. It is also said that, she sang for her sister, Chandraprabha for the film ‘Jeevan Naiyya’, unknowingly giving playback.
Her real name was ‘Khorshid Minocher Homji’. She is most remembered for her songs from Achhut Kanya, Kangan, Bandhan, Vachan, Bhabhi, all under Bombay Talkies. Himanshu Rai supported her a lot and offered free hand in composing songs. Her songs for other banners had no magical touch. Unfortunately she slowly faded away from music lover’s memories.
Lata Mangeshkar could sing only a couple of songs for her in Usha Haran (1949), a solo and a duet. That’s all!
So the song to present here is,
Leheron Pe Kabhi Naachu – Usha Haran (1949) / Saraswati Devi – Ram Moorty Chaturvedi
Majority of the composers from the vintage era couldn’t sustain their success in the changing scenario of late 40s. A team of fresh composers made their way and the older generation slowly faded away.
The song is not popular and rarely heard. It starts with a long prelude of about a minute, with sweet sounds of Jaltarang. An unknown male voice sings in the end.
3. Khemchand Prakash –
I should have included him in the first part of the series. But, somehow I missed him. A general music lover associate him with the film Mahal (1949). Born to a dancer and dhrupad singer father, he was fortunate to have initial training with his father. After initial struggle in Kolkata, he moved to Mumbai and in 1939, he debuted with, Ghazi Salauddin. His notable films include Fariyaad, Tansen, Bhatruhari, Sindoor, etc. Singers Saigal, Amirbai Karnataki, Shamshad Begum, Khursheed, Rajkumari had some of their best songs with him.
He composed for Lata Mangeshkar in Ziddi (1948). Her solos were a rage, and Lata’s tender voice suited the songs. The next year saw the release of Madhubala starrer, Mahal, where their combination reached a peak. Unfortunately his untimely death ended his association with Lata Mangeshkar.
The song selection was quite easy.
Chanda Re Ja Re – Ziddi (1948) / Khemchand Prakash – Prem Dhawan
Khemchand Prakash was one of the composers, who spotted the potential in Lata’s thin yet powerful voice. Lata Mangeshkar gave her best. Her voice is gentle and delicate, but not weak. It’s sweet, but not banal. Her pronunciations are apt, with correct expressions. And all of this, perfectly in tune. Enjoy the song.
Aayega Aanewala – Mahal (1949) / Khemchand Prakash – J Nakshab
After Ziddi,I think he was due a masterpiece! The song helped Lata Mangeshkar reach every household. It’s orchestration and structure was a bit different from the established styles of that period. Not only the song, but the making of it also became popular. To get the exact effect of a voice coming from far away, slowly getting closer, Lata Mangeshkar was asked to start from a distance away from the microphone, slowly moving closer while singing. The song still maintains its charm, even after sixty years. That’s really a miracle! Lata’s other solos from the movie also became popular, making the movie a superhit.
4. Dilip Dholakiya –
Also credited as D Dilip, he was better known as an assistant to Chitragupt. He worked for two decades (1951-1972) with him, and he also assisted S N Tripathi. From 1972 to 1988, he was with Laxmikant Pyarelel as their arranger. He was selected by AIR, Mumbai as a singer and before he joined as an assistant. He sang non film songs until then. Later in the late 1940s, he sang for Hindi films as well. He also acted in a film, and was said to be a lyricist too. He was born in Junagadh, and his father used to play flute. Dilip was also interested in music. While assisting Chitragupt, he started his own career in 1960 with a mythological film, Bhakta Mahima. He went on to compose for seven more Hindi films. His tunes are as sweet as his mentor’s tunes. Take an example of ‘Private secretary’ where his songs are no less than any other popular composer of that period. He is also an example of unfortunate composers, who couldn’t make a big name despite being talented. He was a multi talented personality, and may be he couldn’t concentrate on one skill.
Lata Mangeshkar was a part of majority of his films. But apart from the songs from ‘Private Secretary’, other songs are not so impressive in my opinion.
So to add song,
Ja Ja Re Chanda Ja Re – Private Secretary (1962) / Dilip Dholakiya – Prem Dhawan
The song has already featured on one of my earlier lists. As I said before, the tune can be compared with any other popular composer of that period. It sounds more like a Madan Mohan song. Lata’s voice full of expressions conveys the pain of the character. Though it’s full of self pity, it’s sweetness is incomparable. Dilip Dholakiya composed all the songs of the movie, wonderfully well. But could not match the same standard in his later movies.
5. Sardar Malik –
He was born in 1925, and had a formal training in music by Ustad alauddin Khan. He was also a trained dancer, under none other than, Uday shankar. He was also a singer. Such a multifaceted
personality should have achieved a higher place in Hindi film music. Unfortunately Sardar Malik remained underrated and his career too revolved around B grade movies. Once you get
typecast for such movies, nothing helps, though talented. His first film was Renuka in 1947. The early years couldn’t bring fame to him. His first hits were from Laila Majnu in 1953, where he composed three songs, with Ghulam Mohd composing the rest. His other notable movies include, Thokar (1953), Chor Bazaar (1954), Ab e Hayaat (1955) and of course, Saranga (1960).
He went on to compose for a number of movies in the 1960s and 70s, though he was never counted among the top composers of the Golden Era.
His association with Lata Mangeshkar was for a few films. May be his association with B grade movies, did not allow him to work extensively with Lata Mangeshkar.
The choice of songs would be,
Daiya Re Daiya Ek Kanhaiya – Saranga (1960) / Sardar Malik – Bharat Vyas
Saranga should be taken as his most popular album and he did his best for the film. All the songs from the movie are popular till date. The solos by Lata Mangeshkar are perhaps a little less popular. But I’m very fond of the song, and it creates a playful happy aura. The chorus add a tribal flavour, so does the orchestration and picturisation. A thoroughly enjoyable song.
Hui Ye Humse Nadani – Chor Bazaar (1954) / Sardar Malik – Shakeel Badayuni
A masterpiece! Great lyrics, great tune and great rendition. All the composers had their best with Lata Mangeshkar, and this one’s Sardar Malik’s best with her. It’s comparable to Lata’s soulful songs with Madan Mohan.
6. V Balsara –
He was an ace instrumentalist, with a command on a number of instruments. He played, piano, accordion, melodica, harmonium, and a preliminary synthesizer called, Univox.
He has composed non film songs as well, in fact he was better known for those non film songs. After assisting Master Ghulam Haider and Khemchand Praksh, he composed for Circus Girl in 1943.
In all he composed for 12 Hindi films and many Bengali films in his career. He joined HMV in 1947 as orchestra arranger and director. He was also associated with Naushad and R K films, as music arranger.
And coming to today’s topic, Lata Mangeshkar Sang for him in just a couple of films. She sang just a couple of solos in both the films.
Kab Beet Gayi Jeevan Ki Subah – Madmast (1953) / V Balsara – Madhuraj
A song with deep pathos. He creates it with minimum orchestration, focusing on the expressions. Lata’s tender voice exudes sorrow.
More Naina Sawan Bhado – Vidyapati (1964) / V Balsara – Pralhad sharma
The song creates a similar gloomy mood, as the earlier song. Just at times the high pitched voice sounds a little too loud.
7. Sardul Kwatra –
He was born in 1928 in Lahore. As a child, his zeal for music lead to training in Indian classical music. He moved to Bombay (now Mumbai), after partition. He worked as an assistant to Hansraj Behl for some time. He composed for Punjabi and Hindi films. He introduced the actress, Shyama with a Punjabi film, Posti in 1950, who later became a popular actress in Hindi films. He also introduced Asha Bhosle to Punjabi films. He composed for a number of movies, though barring a few, he couldn’t create memorable songs.
Lata Mangeshkar was associated with him in just a couple of films. I think, in all she sang just a handful of songs for Kwatra.
The choice of song was quite easy,
Tabiyat Thik Thi Aur Dil Bhi – Mirza Sahiban (1957) / Sardul Kwatra – Verma Malik
A song about feelings after a heartbreak. She was much happier before falling in love, the love gave her nothing but sorrows and sleepless nights. It’s beautifully written and composed. Of course when the singer is Lata Mangeshkar, the expected results are guaranteed. Listen to the wonderful song.
8. Chic Chocolate –
Born as Antonio Xavier Vaz in Goa, he was a popular music arranger and Trumpet player in Hindi films. He was a favourite of C Ramchandra & O P Nayyar. He assisted the former for a few films in the early 1950s. He also made screen appearances in a few songs, Rut Jawan Raat Meherban from Aakhri Khat (1966) to name one.
He composed for three Hindi films, Nadan (1951), Rangeeli (1952), and Kar Bhala (1956). For the last film, Nasar bazmi also composed a few songs.
He was fortunate enough to have Lata Mangeshkar in all the three films. Nadan had three solos and three duets each by Lata Mangeshkar. Rangilee had her three solos. Their last film had a solo and a duet, by Lata Mangeshkar. But his compositions had a strong influence of C Ramchandra. The latter was his mentor, but he remained under the influence for all his movies.
He could create an identity for himself, the resemblance of the tunes to C Ramchandra’s music was too apparent ! The selected song below will prove this,
Sari Duniya Ko Peeche Chhodkar – Nadan (1951) / Chic Chocolate – P L Santoshi
A playful song in typical C Ramchandra style. It’s quite enjoyable!
9. Avinash Vyas –
The Padmashree Awardee, Avinash vyas was from Gujrat. He was born in Ahmedabad in 1912. He was disciple of Ustad Aladdin Khan. He also worked in HMV before joining films. He was immensely popular in Gujarati films, and had received a number of awards. As for Hindi films, he could not stamp a similar mark, though some of his songs were popular. He mainly remained confined to Mythological movies, where Geeta Dutt was his favourite singer. He has worked with nearly all the lead singers for his songs. Though, he also composed for a few socials, the films were low budget and were not successful.
His first venture was ‘Mahasati anasuya’ in 1943, where A R Qureshi was a joint composer. His major hit was, a bilingual film, ‘Gunsundari’ in 1948.
Lata Mangeshkar was associated with him, for a few films, surprisingly majority of the films were mythological. If we take a look at their association, the prominent films include, Ekadashi (1955), Jagadguru Shankaracharya (1955), Ram Laxman (1957), Sant Raghu (1957), Kailaspati (1962) etc.
His tunes used to be sweet and simple. One more talented composer, who unfortunately got typecast for mythological and low budget films!
In the 1960s, he shifted his focus to Gujarti films, and achieved fame and recognition as a composer. He worked there as a composer, singer and lyricist too.
Main Hoon Albeli Naar – Ram Laxman (1957) / Avinash Vyas – Bharat Vyas
The song reminded me of ‘Shyamal Shyamal Baran’.
“मेरे बालों में सिमटी सावन की घटा
मेरे गालों पे छिटकी पूनम की छटा”
Bharat Vyas used the lines again in Navrang, this time creating a marvelous song of woman’s praise.
Ja Re Badal Ja – Kailaspati (1962) / Avinash Vyas – Madan Bharati
This could be called one of his best known songs. He manages to create such a catchy tune for the mythological film. I’m much in love with the song, ever since I heard it. I liked the echo effect and the tune in general. The high pitched voice at places is a bit too much for me. But I guess, it is necessary for depicting the deep anguish.
10. Jagmohan Sursagar –
Born as Jaganmoy Mitra in 1918, he had music surrounding him since his childhood. He excelled in Thumri, Dhrupad, Khyal, Tappa singing styles. He sang a number of non film songs in his career and is best known for those songs. ‘Mujhe Na Sapnon Mein Behlao’,’Ek Baar Muskura Do’, ‘Meri Aankhen Bani Deewani’ etc, are some of his popular non film songs.
He was awarded with the title ‘Sursagar’ in 1945, which remained with him forever, more like a surname than a title. In 1940-50s, he also sang for Hindi films, about 30+ songs. ‘O Varsha Ke Pehle Baadal’ from Meghdoot (1945) should rank among his well known Hindi film songs.
As for today’s topic, he composed songs for only one Hindi film and Lata Mangeshkar sang three solos for the film.
The song to mention here is of course,
Pyar Ki Yeh Talkhiyan – Sardar (1955) / Jagmohan Sursagar – Kaif Irfani
It’s one of my most favourite Lata solos. What a great composition! Just listen to the helplessness, Lata conveys, while singing, “To Main Kya Karoon?”. Just divine. Jagmohan should have composed for a few more films, we would have enjoyed his songs with Lata.
11. Ramlal –
Let’s remember a composer from the V Shantaram camp. Ramlal is remembered for his songs in ‘Sehra’ and ‘Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne’. Basically, a Shehnai and Flute player, he started as a musician with Ram Ganguli in Aag (1948). It said that he got a couple of opportunities in the early 1950s, but couldn’t cut ice. I found a mention of Ramlal Heerapanna, for the movie, Husnabano (1956). If that was a pair, or Ramlal himself alone, I have no idea.
After the release of Sehra (1963) by V Shantaram, people realized his potential as a composer. V Shantaram offered him Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1966) as well, and he again proved himself. But later, he vanished completely. No details of his career, after that are known.
Lata Mangeshkar was the lead singer in Sehra and sang immortal songs. I’m adding a couple of songs, I think the choice is quite obvious!
Pankh Hote To Ud Aati Re – Sehra (1963) / Ramlal – Hasrat Jaipuri
Just the couple of films are enough to make his name immortal. One of the best songs by Lata. It’s indeed a mystery, why Ramlal vanished after his two films with V Shantaram. It’s impossible that he didn’t receive any offers.
Taqdeer Ka Fasana – Sehra (1963) / Ramlal – Hasrat Jaipuri
And, Lata in a completely different mood than the earlier song. Full of sorrow. The question still remains, where did he go after the two superhit scores?
12. Pandit Amarnath Chawla –
He was from Punjab, and had formal training in Indian classical music from Ustad Amir Khan. He was a singer on AIR, Delhi. He was also a poet and a writer. He should not be confused with, ‘Pandit Amaranth’, the elder brother of the composer duo, Husnlal Bhagatram.
He composed for only single film, Garam coat (1955), where Lata Mangeshkar sang for him.
Lata Mangehskar sang five solos fro the movie and all the songs are worth mentioning. But I will choose just a couple of them.
Jogiya Se Preet Kiye – Garam Coat (1955) / Pandit Amaranth Chawla – Meera Bai
Just one film, but what great compositions! The song made the film immortal, as its just because of the song that we remember the film. Meera Bai Bhajan rendered beautifully by Lata Mangeshkar.
Nanha Mora Dole – Garam Coat (1955) / Pandit Amaranth Chawla – Majrooh
Nice use of Sarangi, otherwise confined to Mujra songs. A soothing melody, completely calms us down. I heard it for the first time, I think it’s based on a traditional tune. Because the tune sounds similar to another song, which I can’t remember.
13. Pandit Shivram –
Born at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Pandit Shivram learnt music from his father, Master Tulsidas. He also worked as a singer and musician in the court of Maharaja of Jodhpur. He assisted Master Ghulam Haider and Pandit amarnath, and worked for HMV before joining films. It was V Shantaram, who spotted his talent and offered him two films in a row. ‘Surang’ and ‘Teen Batti Char Rasta’ both released in 1953 and the popularity of the songs made him a popular composer. After this, he composed for ‘Oonchi Haweli’ and the songs were popular too.
His first mythological movie, Sati Ansuya (1956) made him a favourite with the producers of the genre. Barring a couple of films, his career revolved around mythological & religious films.
He also composed for Rajsthani films and Bhojpuri, Haryanvi and Marwari films too. His career is interesting enough to have a separate post dedicated to his songs.
And, as for today’s post, it can be easily guessed that, Lata Mangeshkar was a part of his films with V Shantaram. She was not a part of his later mythological films, just a song or two, if at all!
Guzri Thi Raat Aadhi – Surang (1953) / Pandit Shivram – Shevan Rizvi
Another composer, who scored great songs for V Shantaram for a couple of movies, and then didn’t compose much for social movies. A song with intoxicating Matka rhythm.
Apni Ada Par Main Hoon Fida – Teen Batti Char Rasta (1953) / Pandit Shivram – P L Santoshi
The song has already featured in one of my earlier lists. An excellent singer, but without good looks or fair colour. She as if talks about her own story in the song. The song sounds happy and playful, the audience enjoying it on radio.
14. Usha Khanna –
She is one of the few female music directors, who firmly established herself, in the male dominated Hindi film industry.
Born to a lyricist and singer father, Manohar Khanna, Usha Khanna still had to struggle for her existence in Hindi cinema.
After a very successful start with ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ in 1959, her next venture was again with S Mukherji. Hum Hindustani (1961) will be remembered for the Mukesh number, ‘Chhodo Kal Ki Baaten’. The film also started her association with Lata Mangeshkar. Though Asha Bhosle, Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur can be said to be her favourites, she promoted a number of newcomers through her films.
Lata Mangeshkar sang many songs for her, some memorable, a few forgotten.
She could not recreate her magical after a good initial start. Her career spanning over more than three decades is certainly worth praising. She will be awarded Maharashtra state Lata Mangeshkar Award this year, a fact that highlights her career.
Let’s listen to the songs now,
Majhi Meri Qismat Ke – Hum Hindustani (1961) / Usha Khanna – Rajendra Krishan
Beautiful Asha Parekh, singing a beautiful song on a beautiful evening. It’s so relaxing and soothing! No noisy orchestration, no loud voices. Just peaceful atmosphere, and Asha Parekh dedicating herself completely to her beloved. What a romantic feeling!
Ek Sunehari Sham Thi – Aao Pyar Kare (1964) / Usha Khanna – Rajendra Krishan
I’ve definitely seen the song in colour, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. Without the video, the song sounds romantic, but it’s actually not. I like the tune a lot, so even if the orchestration is a routine one, the song appeals to me.
15. C Arjun –
He was a Sindhi, born in 1933. After partition his family settled in Baroda. He inherited his musical talent from his father who was a singer. He assisted music director Bulo C Rani, before he started composing independently. He started his career with composing for a Sindhi film Abana. His first Hindi film was a 1960 movie, Road No 303. He went on to compose for B or C grade films. Though he created some memorable songs, it did not change his fortune. His association with the lyricist Jaan Nisar Akhtar should rank among one of the best pairs of Hindi films. He also composed a number of non film songs. He died of a heart attack he suffered at a recording studio.
Lata Mangeshkar perhaps recorded only a duet for him.
Bhayi Re Bhayi – Punarmilan (1964) / C Arjun – Indeevar
His only song with Lata Mangeshkar is a duet, a stage performance, with Jagdeep and Amita. It’s not a bad song at all.
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