It’s time now for the fourth part of the series, based on Lata’s association with lesser known composers. So far I’ve covered forty two composers. In today’s post, I’m dealing with twelve more. I just wish to repeat the same thing once again, the series is designed keeping in mind, the general music lovers, who usually tend to forget the lesser known composers or those who were once successful, but now rarely remembered. So you may come across some familiar names as well.
Let’s go to the list at once. The names are in no particular order.
1. Sonik Omi –
Manohar Lal Sonik (from the duo, Sonik-Omi) was a singer and composer in Hindi films. He lost his eyesight when he was very young (2 – 3 years of age). But the child was passionate about music. He did his visharad in music and started assisting Pandit Amarnath in Lahore. He ultimately landed in Mumbai in 1950 or so, and sang for a few Hindi films. In the early 1950s, he was signed for two films. Ishwar Bhakti (1951) had a joint composer named Giridhar. Mamata (1952) had Hansraj Behl as a co-composer, who composed only one song for the movie. But the films performed poorly at the box office and Manohar had to wait for success. Both the films had no songs by Lata Mangeshkar.
Later he worked as a harmonium player and more popularly as an arranger to Madan Mohan, Roshan and Usha Khanna. For Dil Deke Dekho he composed background score.
Manohar Lal Sonik later teamed up with his nephew, Om Prakash Sonik. In 1963, they jointly worked as arranger for the film, Dil Hi To Hai, under Roshan. They worked as ‘Sonik Omi’. In 1966, the duo composed their first joint venture, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya, under Rawal’s production house. The songs became very popular and they went on to compose for a number of films, the notables include, Aabroo (1968), Mahua (1969), Sawan Bhadon (1970), Raftaar (1973), Umar Qaid (1975) etc.
They composed memorable songs throughout the career and would always be remembered for the sweet melodies. Lata Mangeshkar sang a few songs for them. In general, Asha Bhosle and Rafi appear to be the favourites with Sonik Omi.
I have selected,
Aaja Re Pyar Pukare – Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966) / Sonik Omi – G L Rawal
In the first film itself, the duo delivered ten hit songs. Lata Mangeshkar sang only one song for the movie. It’s quite popular, though I must confess, I’m not very fond of it.
Kanha Re Kanha Re – Truck Driver (1970) / Sonik Omi – Indeevar
Just listen to this mind soothing Bhajan, from an obscure film. Even for such a film, the duo composed A grade song.
2. Manohar Arora –
The information about Manohar Arora is provided to me by Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh. He has been very helpful to me always. Thank you so much Arunkumar ji.
The composer Manohar Arora was a Punjabi music director who came from Sialkot to try his luck in Bombay. His first film was ‘Raees’ which was released in 1948. He composed for, Josh (1950), Rangeele Musafir (1950), Bhule Bhatke (1952), Jingo (1952), Usha Kiran (1952).
His best remembered film was Chingari (1955). The film had some memorable songs by Lata Mangeshkar, with a song by Nalini Jaywant herself. His other films would not be known to us by name. Still I remember a song from Dr Z by Geeta Dutt. His other films include, Passing Show (1956), Mister Q (1958), Dr. Z (1959), Choron Ki Baarat (1960) and last film was Do Dushman (1967).
His name is always mentioned as Manohar, and it creates a lot of confusion between him and Manohar Sonik.
Lata Mangeshkar sang under his baton in Chingari with four solos and one duet with Talat.
The songs to add here,
Badi Muskhil Hai – Chingari (1955) / Manohar – Sahir
If I don’t mention the name of the composer, you would credit the song to a well known composer. It’s one of my favourite solos by Lata Mangeshkar, forget the film! Such a cute song, Lata’s expressions are wonderful!
Dhak Dhak Dhadke Jiyara – Chingari (1955) / Manohar – Shailendra
Another song from the same film, equally melodious and again, Lata Mangeshkar gives a memorable performance. The song has a typical Punjabi rhythm, somewhat similar to the Matka rhythm of the late 1940s.
3. Sajjad –
I was a little hesitant to include him on the list. But as I said in earlier posts as well, his name may not ring a bell for general music lovers and even among 40+ age. At the most, they would be able to name a film, he composed for. So finally he is here. Sajjad Hussain was ace Mandolin player, who has even played it in Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav in Pune. As a composer, he was a genius, but was a little (or a lot?) whimsical! He always composed on his own terms, and never allowed anyone dictate terms to him. Not even a legendary film director or a leading hero. He used to say, he knows how to compose film songs, no one should suggest anything, or try to teach him about it. He surely was genius. But it is said that he was too ‘मुँह फट’, he never cared for anyone. No one was ready to work with such a boastfully outspoken person. So slowly he faded away, despite being highly talented composer.
Lata Mangeshkar sang around fourteen songs under his baton and all the songs are excellent. If possible I would have added all the songs. But as I’ve to select only a few for the list, let me choose,
Kali Kali Raat Re – Saiyan (1951) / Sajjad – D N Madhok
This may not be very popular, but for me, it’s surely their best. The pathos, the song presents, is really heart touching. The orchestration is superb and what can I say about Lata’s expressions? Perfect! And it’s difficult even to hum, the thing that may have prevented him getting popularity. One can get connected to a song easily, if one hums it easily. This probobly was one of the reasons, why he couldn’t become popular among the masses.
Bhool Ja Ae Dil – Khel (1950) / Sajjad – Shams Azimabadi
A different kind of sad song, in the sense, it has a fast tempo and a catchy rhythm too. Still it is perfectly a sad song, the tune never overpowers the emotions. I would call it, one of the most popular songs by Lata – Sajjad duo. Most of the songs, Lata sang for him are in a gloomy mood, hardly a couple of songs with a happy mood. And the sad songs are so powerful that one can get depressed, if one gets involved in the song emotionally. I’ve experienced this many times, with the song, Woh To Chale Gaye Ae Dil, from Sangdil.
Ae Dilruba Nazare Mila – Rustam Sohraab (1962) / Sajjad – Jan Nissar Akhtar
One of his last popular films, Rustam Sohraab had great songs by Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar and Talat, along with a different qawwali, Phir Tumhari Yaad Aayi.
The opening aalaps by Lata Mangeshkar are so difficult, and must have needed a lot of concentration. If you listen to it, with eyes closed, you instantly go to a trance state. The touch of Arabian music is fantastic, and it’s one of Lata’s favourite tracks too.
4. Aziz Hindi –
I could not find any information about the composer. He has composed for more than half a dozen Hindi films. Barring a few, none would ring a bell for most of us. And as far as today’s topic is concerned, Lata Mangeshkar sang just a couple of songs for the film, Danka (1954). It’s one of the earlier films by lyricist, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, who received success with the songs.
So the songs are,
Yeh Sitare Yeh Chand – Danka (1954) / Aziz Hindi – Jaan Nisar Akhtar
The night is in its full glory, a romantic moonlit night! But alas! She is far from enjoying it. Her love is not with her. Even though it’s a song of separated lovers, depicting sorrow, the music has a mixture of both the moods. As the video is not available, can’t say why it is so!
Na Jane Kya Jadoo Hai – Danka (1954) / Aziz Hindi – Nazim Panipati
A peppy, catchy song, the lady singing herself the magical aura of her beloved. Not a great song, but definitely enjoyable. Again Lata’s wonderful expressions steal the show.
5. Lala Asar Sattar –
It was a trio of music directors, who worked together for just a couple of films. One of the members, Asar, left the alliance, but Lala and Sattar continued working as a team for a few more films.
Let’s see who they were! Lala Gangawane was an ace Dholak and Tabla player, who worked for all top composers as a musician, mainly with C Ramchandra, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad, Madan Mohan and S D Burman. Asar was working as an assistant to nisar Bazmi, A R Qureshi. Sattar Khan was also a renowned Dholak & Tabla player, and was a favourite with O P Nayyar. Many arrangers and assistants used to insist for his name for the final recording. No wonder their songs had a wonderful use of Dholak and Tabla.
The trio composed songs for ‘Sangram’ and ‘Jahan Sati Wahan Bhagwan’ in 1965. The songs were popular, but as a rule, the B grade movie composers don’t get chance for big banners. They were fortunate to have Lata Mangeshkar for both the films.
Asar left the trio, but the duo (Lala – Sattar) continued working till early 1970s. Their work was restricted to stunt-action films and costume dramas. Lata mangeshkar didn’t sing much for the duo. In fact, just a duet with Kamal Barot in Arbian Nights (1967). So for the series theme, only the solos from Sangram and Jahan Sati Wahan Bhagwan qualify.
To add the songs,
Aaja Mere Meet Re – Jahan Sati Wahan Bhagwan (1965) / Lala Asar Sattar – Madhukar Rajasthani / B D Mishra
A Song has a haunting quality. Evidently a ‘B grade’ movie. If the trio would have got opportunity to compose for big banners, their talent would have reached wider audiences.
Ho Masti Mein Dole Jiya Ho – Sangram (1965) / Lala Asar Sattar – Aish Kanwal
I think, it’s a relatively well known song. It gets overshadowed by Rafi’s extremely popular, ‘Main To Tere Haseen Khayalon Mein’.
6. Bipin Babul –
It was a duo, Bipin Dutta and Babul. Both had worked as assistants to Madan Mohan. They composed jointly for a few films. They had composed independently as well.
The films composed by Babul are relatively well known, and the popular films include, Chalis Din (1959), Reshmi Roomal (1961), Naqli Nawab (1962). All the films had a couple of very good songs and at least for those songs, Babul should be remembered. But none of the films had any song by Lata Mangeshkar.
Bipin Dutta compose for Baghi Shehzada (1964), Kya Yeh Bombay Hai (1959), Alam Ara Ki Beti (1960), Diamond King (1961) etc. None would ring a bell for anyone. As evident, all are B grade movies and had no songs by Lata Mangeshkar.
As a duo, they compose for twelve films. Majority were action/stunt films or costume dramas. Shahi Mehman, Sultana Daku, Jungle Princess, Jungle King, etc. Their well known films include Badal Aur Bijali and Chaubis Ghante, both the films had a couple of melodious songs. Humein Haal E Dil Tum Se Kehna Hai, is a popular track from Chaubis Ghante. Dawat (1974) was their last film, and had a few songs composed by the duo. Talat, Mukesh, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, Mubaraq Begum sang majority of their popular songs. The songs are good, though very few could be said memorable or great.
For today’s topic I could find only one song.
Hai Kismat Ka Khel – Sultana Daku (1956) / Bipin Babul – Tanveer Naqvi
A soulful song, with meaningful lyrics, and good rendition by Lata Mangeshkar.
7. Dhaniram –
Dhaniram is a forgotten composer who was active from 1948 to late 1960s in Hindi films. He had a passion for music since childhood, he took tutelage of Buteh Khan and his brother, Onkarnath. He was very fond of folk music of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. But he also had knowledge of western music. I found mentioned that, O P Nayyar and Vinod, both had been his disciples. He also introduced Sabita Bannerji in the film, ‘Aankh Ka Nasha’.
He was a singer on AIR in Delhi. In Lahore he worked for HMV, and also composed for the film, Papiha Re (1948). It was his first film as a composer. After partition, he left a couple of films incomplete in Lahore and went to Delhi. In the early 1950s, when he arrived in Bombay (now Mumbai), he composed for Ladki (1953) with R Sudarshan. Dhuaan (1953), Daak Babu (1954), Gul Bahar (1954), Shahi Chor (1955), Sholey (1953), Aankh Ka Nasha (1956), Shahi Bazaar (1957), Taqdeer (1958), Baje Ghunagroo (1962), Meri Behen (1962), Awara Ladki (1967, ? unreleased) etc.
I think songs from Ladki, Daak Babu, Sholey, Taqdeer would be known to a handful listeners of old Hindi film songs. Mainly the Talat songs from Daak Babu and songs from Ladki.
Coming to today’s topic,
I was able to find eleven songs, Lata Mangeshkar sang for Dhaniram. The details are as follows…
Ladki (1953) – 4 solos and a duet (with Geeta Dutt)
Dhuaan (1953) – 4 solos and a duet (with Krishna Goel)
Shahi Bazar (1957) – a solo
The song from Shahi Bazar is not available, so I will select a couple of songs from the remaining eight. Out of the four solos from Ladki, three are credited to C Ramchandra, and one song from Dhuaan is credited to Vasant Desai, leaving only four songs in the race. 😦
Main Hoon Bharat Ki Naar – Ladki (1953) / Dhaniram & R Sudarshan – Rajendra Krishan
The film opens with this song, Vaijayanti Mala riding a horse, singing praise of Indian lady. A good song felicitating the womanhood.
Here’s the link for video jukebox of the movie, Ladki. We can find the songs credited to the composers independently.
The credits rolling in the opening of the film, however do not mention C Ramchandra as a composer.
Na Chamko Chanda Aaj Ki Raat – Dhuaan (1953) / Dhaniram – Rajendra Krishan
A nice song that I heard for the first time during the research for the post.
8. Jaikumar Parte –
Many of us are unaware of the arranger genius. He was from Kolhapur and his father, a doctor also had a deep interest in music. He learnt playing harmonium in childhood. He joined Prithvi Theaters in Mumbai as a musician. He learnt western music and notations from V Balsara. He also worked as an assistant to Dattaram, Kalyanji Anandji. He was an arranger and assistant as well for Kalyanji Anandji, when Laxmikant Pyarelal left them. He composed Background score for Himalay Ki Goad Mein. He later worked as an arranger for Kalyanji Anandji in Jab Jab Phool Khile, Upkar, Johny Mera Naam, Black Mail, Safar. His contribution is mostly for Kalyanji Anandji.
He also worked as an arranger for Usha Khanna (Laal Bangla), Sardar Malik, Avinash Vyas, Iqbal Qureshi, Hridaynath Mangeshkar etc. He was known to arrange skillfully so that original composer’s style is maintained.
His son Tushar Parte is a guitarist and also works as an arranger, continuing the legacy.
He composed for four Hindi films, Bhagwan Parashuram (1970), Putlibai (1972) and Jaan Hazir Hai (1975), Gawah (1979).
Lata Mangeshkar Sang only one song for him. Let me include it here,
Jab Se Gaya Ladkan Mora – Bhagwan Parashuram (1970) / Jaikumar Parte – Madan Bharati
A dance number picturised on very young Jayashree T. A melodious song that sounds somewhat like a Marathi film song.
9. Sanmukh Babu –
Sanmukh Babu Upadhyay was born in Surat, Gujrat in 1920 and along with his elder brother, he used to compose for Gujrati plays. He was disciple of Pandit Omkarnath Thakur. He also was an expert violin and Jaltarang player. He came to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1942 and worked at AIR Mumbai (then Bombay) for a few years before joining Avinash Vyas as an assistant. He started with the movie, ‘Lalkar’ in 1956. He went on to compose for ‘Amar Singh Rathodm(1957)’, ‘Naag Padmini (1957)’, ‘Sati Pariksha (1957)’, ‘Raaj Pratigya(1958)’, ‘Amar Prem (1960)’ and ‘Hameer Hath (1964)’. The latter as his last Hindi film as a composer. We can see that his main work was for historical, religious films and B grade films. Hameer Hath is popular for the solos sung by, Mubabak Begum and Suman Kalyanpur. For most of the films, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt and Manna Dey were his choice of singers.
He didn’t get offers from big banners, though his songs used to be melodious. He later worked for Gujrati dramas and also performed on violin all over India.
Lata Mangeshkar sang for him just for one film, Raaj Pratigya.
Do Akhiyan Do Ankhiyon Se Lad Gayi – Raaj Pratigya (1958) / Sanmukh Babu – Bharat Vyas
A very sweet tune, I must say. And what sweetness Lata’s voice exudes! In all a very catchy sweet song. A shy lady very shyly describing her encounter with her love. Again Lata’s expressions are superb.
10. Hafeez Khan –
Music composer Hafeez Khan and singer Hafiz Khan ‘Mastana’ or popularly known as Khan Mastana are not the same. To make it more confusing, both of them have composed for a few Hindi films. Thanks to Arunkumar Deshmukh, who cleared the confusion.
The music director, Hafeez Khan was an expert Sarangi player from Lahore. He started with the film, Zeenat (1945) with Meer Sahib and Rafiq Gaznavi. The film is still remembered for the it’s qawwali, ‘Aahe Na Bhari, Shikve Na Kiye’. After the success of Zeenat, he composed for a few films, Humjoli (1946), Meherbani (1950), Lakeeren (1954), Mera Salam (1957) and Sharif Daku (1960), which was his last film.
As for today’s topic, Lata Mangeshkar sang just for a film, Meherbani.
So the song to add is,
Duniya Ne Jo Kaha – Meherbani (1950) / Hafeez Khan – Mashahar
I take it as a hidden gem. I really liked the lyrics and Lata’s rendition. Though my mind kept on comparing it with ‘Yoon Hasraton Ke Daag’, I liked it too! We like some songs even if we hear them only once. For me, this song fits this statement.
11. Ninu Majumdar –
Born as Niranjan Majumdar in 1915 in Vadodara, Gujarat, he was a music director, a singer and a lyricist too. His father Nagendra Majumdar was a producer of silent films, and though he wasn’t a composer himself, he encouraged Ninu learn music since childhood.
Ninu’s deep interest in music led him studying music of different genres and kinds across various states. He was influenced by the folk music of Uttar Pradesh, and by Ravindra Sangeet, along with Indian classical music, mainly Thumri and Dadra.
He worked on AIR Mumbai for twenty years and also took efforts for making newly launched Vividh Bharati, a successful venture.
He composed for 19 Hindi films, opening with a movie called, Black Out in 1942, ending with Poonam Ka Chand in 1967. His majority of the films were released in the 1940s. Jail Yatra and Gopinath, should be counted among his successful and memorable films, though we may not be familiar with his other films. It’s a well known fact that, ‘Yashomati Maiya Se Bole’, is directly inspired by ‘Aayi Gori Radhika Brij Mein’ from the movie, Gopinath. ‘Gopinath’ was Raj Kapoor’s earlier films. The latter is a duet, sung by Majumdar himself with Meena Kapoor. He sang for a few Hindi films, he composed for. He also penned lyrics for some of his own films. In 1948, he even directed a film, Kuchh Naya.
Majumdar worked with all the popular playback singers of the golden era, though he was associated with Lata Mangeshkar in a single movie. And it was his last movie, Bhai Sahab (1954).
Her songs from the movie are not available on YouTube, so I couldn’t listen to the songs, nor could I post them.
12. Sapan Chakraborty –
More popularly known as R D Burman’s assistant, he was also a singer and a lyricist too. He was with Pancham da till the end. He wrote Bengali Durga Pooja songs for R D Burman. He sang a number of popular songs for Hindi films. Balika Vadhu, Golmaal, Ratnadeep, Satte Pe Satta, Angoor, Shaukin, Khubsoorat, Kitaab etc, majority composed by Pancham da himself.
He composed for four Hindi films, along with more than a dozen Bengali films. His Hindi films include, Naya Nasha (1973), Jab Andhera Hota Hai (1974), 36 Ghante (1974), Zameer (1975). I think he is best known for the Amitabh starrer, Zameer.
As far as today’s topic is concerned, Lata Mangeshkar sang for just one film, Naya Nasha with just one song.
Aao Kare Baatein – Naya Nasha (1973) / Sapan Chakraborty – Anand Bakshi
A song that resembles a R D Burman composition. Not a very great one, though pleasant to listen to.
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