Today I’m ecstatic as my blog turns four. I can’t believe it’s been four years and this is my 165th post. Quite an achievement for me.
Before I begin today’s post, let me extend my gratitude to my family, including my eight year old daughter and my sister, Anagha. All of them help me directly or indirectly for my posts. My fellow bloggers, Madhulika Liddle (from the blog, Dustedoff), AKji (from the blog, SoY), and Anu Warrier (from Conversations over Chai) are my inspirations. Their writing has always inspired me. Though I haven’t met them in person, I’m sure they are always there to guide me and help me. And a blog is nothing without the readers. Thanks a lot readers for reading, liking and commenting on the blog. I want to mention a few readers, who’s comments encourage me, inspire me to continue the blog. Most of them have been commenting regularly on my blog. Dr Ravindra Shrikhande, Pramod Godbole, N Venkatraman, Aditi, Dr Rajesh Deshpande, are a few names. And last but not the least, Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh, who is a constant source of encouragement. Whenever I have a doubt, he’s always there to clear it. His help has been very valuable to me.
The impediment in today’s celebrations is the gloomy and frightening covid scenario in the world. The pandemic still continues and more and more lives are at stake. Every single day there’s news of an acquaintance getting affected. To add to the ghastly scenario, many patients are experiencing post covid complications with a possibility of long term consequences and disability. Right from arthritis to myocarditis and from a benign post covid rash to lung fibrosis. The addition of mucormycosis makes it more frightening! As doctors, we are continuing our services and now our morale is also getting affected. We also have families to look after and this scary pandemic is really draining our confidence and trying our patience.
And now, let me try to keep the pandemic aside and focus on today’s post. I was searching for a topic for the 4th anniversary post. But I wasn’t able to concentrate on this and finalize a topic. Then a couple of months back, Dustedoff, posted an interesting list of songs on her blog. It was about composers singing for themselves.
In reply to my comment on the post, she suggested a version of the post to me. That was a good idea. In the same post, she did mention about ‘one composer singing for another composer’. And then and there I found the topic for my 4th anniversary post. So I want to thank her. She has always been very helpful towards me and this is yet another time.
So here’s today’s post on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of my blog.
‘one composer singing for another composer’
As I started collecting information on the topic, I realised there were a few things that needed to be clarified.
§ Firstly, I divided the composers into two broad categories, though a few would fall in both the categories. And there would be a few who wouldn’t strictly fall in any of these.
- The composers who sang for other composers after they started composing independently for Hindi films.
- The composers who sang for their mentors, as they assisted the latter and started composing independently for Hindi films later in the career.
§ Secondly, I decided Not to consider singers who composed for a few films. They were primarily playback singers, who for reasons of their own, composed for Hindi films. So I kept aside Manna Dey, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, S D Batish and Amirbai Karnataki.
§ Thirdly, I was confused about Hemant Kumar, who was a popular composer as well as playback singer of Hindi films. When I went through the early years of his career, I came to know that he started as a singer in Bengali as well as in Hindi, both for film and non-film songs. He started composing later. But on both the fronts he was equally popular. So I decided not to include him either on today’s list. But when any other composer has sang for him, I have included the songs.
I was wondering why the composers were called for the playback by the other composers? At any rate, very competent playback singers were available. The composers wouldn’t have thought of establishing themselves as playback singers, still they accepted the proposal. Obviously such proposals must have been rare. For composers like Chitalkar, a certain genre was said to be his forte and his open-throated, cheerful lively voice used to offer full justice. But when it came to Usha Khanna, who sang a number of duets where her contribution was very small as compared to the other singer, I really wondered! Was it just for the sake of friendship with her colleagues?
In contrast, we can understand why an assistant sang for his mentor. Did the mentor want to promote or encourage his assistant? Is it possible that the assistant sang for the mentor because of an emergency situation like unavailability of the originally proposed singer? And later the song is retained either by chance or because the composer really liked the rendition!
Anyways, before it gets too complicated, let’s visit the list of composers. Here I’m with the list of ten composers, who sang for other composers. The list is in no particular order.
1. C Ramchandra –
It was very interesting when I found that Chitalkar can be included in both the categories I mentioned. He started composing independently in 1941, but still he was an assistant to Mir Sahib in 1944 for the film, Lal Haweli. Nevertheless, with a successful career as a composer in the 50s, he sang for other composers as well. The songs are of course far and few between than he sang for himself, but there was a category of songs which his voice suited the most. Chitalkar sang for a number of composers.
Let’s start with his song when he assisted Mir Sahib.
For Mir Sahib –
Tum Bhool Ke Phande Mein – Lal Haweli (1944) Chitalkar / Mir Sahib – Shams Lucknowi
A light hearted song. Chitalkar was really an expert in such types of songs. The song is addressed to the other men and warns against falling in love with a lady. There’s a different charm in his voice that attracts even if the song sounds flirtatious.
For Chic Chocolate
Now, let’s reverse the scenario. Chic Chocolate was his assistant. And when he composed for a Dev Anand film, Chitalkar sang for him too. He sang three duets, two with Lata Mangeshkar and one with Geeta Dutt. He sang for Dev Anand as well as other supporting characters.
Chalti Hui Gaadi Jo – Naadan (1951) Lata Mangeshkar & Chitalkar / Chic Chocolate – P L Santoshi
A song that is fun and motivational and optimistic. Chitalkar sings for Dev Anand and a sage, both, in the song.
Dilon Ke Melon Ka Naam – Naadan (1951) Chitalkar, Geeta Dutt & Chorus / Chic Chocolate – P L Santoshi
In the absence of video, we can’t be sure about the picturisation. It could be a group song, picturised on various junior artists. But it’s a good song.
For the film, Baraati, Roshan called Chitalkar for Agha’s playback. He sang a solo and a duet. He was the sole male voice of the movie.
Teri Nazaron Ne Humko Chheda Hai – Baraati (1954) Chitalkar & Asha Bhosle / Roshan – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
Picturised on Agha and Peace Kanwal, it’s a good romantic song. The playful and naughtily romantic mood is aptly captured by Chitalkar.
Dhak Dhak Kare Dil – Baraati (1954) Chitalkar / Roshan – D N Madhok
Mukhda has rhyming words, jhat-pat and is sung at a fast speed. Though it’s a song of separation, it also has a touch of humour. And Chitalkar offers it full justice. There is a feeling of pain in his voice, yet it manages to convey the intended humour.
For Anil Biswas –
I have included a couple of songs sung by Chitalkar for Anil Biswas. Though these songs were also on my Anil Biswas list, I repeated the songs. In my opinion, both the songs are really good.
Koi Shyam Rang – Veena (1944) Chitalkar / Anil Biswas – Narendra Sharma
What a cute song! The man praises his lady, whom he finds superior to any other lady he comes across. I know, the film, Veena, is more popular for songs by Mukesh and Amirbai Karnataki. But this one’s good too.
Bhool Jana Chahti Hoon – Jwarbhata (1944) Chitalkar & Parul Ghosh / Anil Biswas – Narendra Sharma
I’m aware, the solo version of this song by Parul Ghosh is perhaps more popular than the duet. But till I hadn’t heard the duet, I was in love with the solo. Now I’m in love with both the versions.
For Usha Khanna –
O Meri Jaan Bachna – Faisla (1965) Chitalkar & Mahendra Kapoor / Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali
Not a great song, not even an average song! I agree. But fits today’s list.
For Vasant-Ramchandra –
Aayi Aayi Re Gadi – Mahatma (1953) Chitalkar / Vasant Ramchandra – Ehsan Rizvi
Vasant Pawar and Ramchandra Wadhawkar both were composers from Marathi films. They formed a duo and composed for a few Hindi films. I’m not sure if the video linked below has the original voice or not!
For S D Burman –
When S D Burman started composing for Hindi films, he wasn’t acquainted with the conduction of the orchestra. C Ramchandra had already composed for Hindi films, and he wasn’t a junior. But he helped Burman Da in the recording of his first film, Shikari. C Ramchandra never made an issue of it. Later Burman Da also offered him a song in his next film, Eight Days.
Ek Nayi Kali Sasural – Eight Days (1946) Chitalkar & Meena Kapoor / S D Burman – G S Nepali
If I remember correctly, this was Meena Kapoor’s first released Hindi film song. She had sung for another film, but the songs and the film got delayed and Eight Days was the first to release. It’s a very cute song, perhaps picturised as a wedding song.
Teriya Teriya – Chalis Baba Ek Chor (1954) Lata Mangeshkar & Chitalkar / S D Burman – P L Santoshi
Though he has very little to sing, it’s certainly an enjoyable song. And just experience the sweetness of the tune and of Lata’s voice. It was Kamini Kaushal’s home production, who obviously acted in it too.
For Hemant Kumar –
He sang for Hemant Kumar for a couple of movies, Samrat (1954) and Lagan (1955).
The first one from Samrat was a duet with Rafi.
‘Haath Seene Pe Jo Rakh De’
The second one from Lagan was a solo,
‘Sunaau Ek Majnu Ka Haal’.
Both the songs are not available on the internet at present.
For Laxmikant Pyarelal –
When L P had yet to find their feet, they were signed for a few films. The film Chhaila Babu was one of their early films. It got delayed and was ultimately released in 1967. By that time, L P had a few superhit films to their credit. They even had the Filmfare best music director trophy for Dosti. Chhaila Babu couldn’t create the magic. C Ramchandra was experiencing a downfall in those days. And the song is not impressive in my opinion.
Dekhoji Behke Na Chaal – Chhaila Babu (1967) Chitalkar & Asha Bhosle / Laxmikant Pyarelal – Taj Bhopali
For N Datta –
This song was mentioned by Dr Rajesh Deshpande in his comments almost a year back, on the post, Marathi songs by C Ramchandra.
Ek Don Teen – Ek Don Teen / Chitalkar & Mahendra Kapoor
It was N Datta’s first Marathi film. It’s a good song. I could recognise Raja Gosavi, but the other actor is not known to me.
2. Usha Khanna –
One of the female composers, who successfully composed for Hindi films in the male dominated industry. While she sang a number of songs for herself, she also sang for other composers.
The notable composers include Iqbal Qureshi, Kalyanji Anandji, Shankar Jaikishan, Dilip Roy, Ravi, O P Nayyar, Prem Dhawan, Roshan, Sonik Omi, Madan Mohan, Robin Banerji, Suresh Kumar, etc. A mixed bunch of first and second or even third rung composers. There are a few solos and a number of duets. It’s very interesting to note that, for the majority of the duets, Usha Khanna’s contribution is small.
Let’s have a look at some of the songs.
Na Koi Raha Hai Na Koi Rahega – Johar Mehmood in Goa (1965) Mukesh & Usha Khanna / Kalyanji Anandji – Qamar Jalalabadi
I wasn’t aware of the song, though my father told, the movie and the song were extremely popular during the release. It’s really a good song, which ignites patriotism.
Phir Aane Laga Yaad Wohi – Yeh Dil Kisko Doon (1963) Rafi & Usha Khanna / Iqbal Qureshi – Qamar Jalalabadi
Usha Khanna barely sings half a line. But I am a huge fan of the song. It surely needs to be mentioned, though her presence is hardly remembered.
Chehra Kya Gulab Hai – Dilli Ka Dada (1962) Rafi & Usha Khanna / N Datta – Jan Nisar Akhtar
A playful song of teasing. It has a catchy rhythm and the singers make it a wonderful song. Usha Khanna’s voice closely resembles that of Asha’s voice.
Kya Dhadak Dhadak Dil Dhadke – Aji Bas Shukriya (1958) Asha Bhosle & Usha Khanna / Roshan – Usha Khanna
It’s a female dance duet picturised by a sea shore. Instead of having a romantic duet for the main lead, Geeta Bali and Suresh, a performance is shown that expresses their love. The dance is picturised on Cuckoo and (?) Young Jeevankala. The song was written by Usha Khanna and she is credited as well in the opening credits. An enjoyable song. Usha Khanna had not debuted then as a composer, nor did I know about her being assistant to any of the composers.
Mere Dil Zindagi Safar Hai – The Killers (1969) Asha Bhosle & Usha Khanna / O P Nayyar – Aziz Kashmiri
A song picturised in a circus, on Helen, Madhumati and Dara Singh and the circus crew. The song has a waltz-like rhythm. It’s a good song, if not particularly great. The video quality is not up to the mark.
3. Dilip Dholakia –
He was an assistant to Chitragupt for a long period. He also assisted Chitragupt’s mentor, S N Tripathi. Though he started his Hindi film career as a playback singer in the 40s, he later concentrated on music direction, let that be as an assistant or arranger, or an independent composer. He was Chitragupt’s assistant for nearly a couple of decades, starting from 1951. So I’ve taken into account his contribution as a playback singer in the 50s and 60s.
For S N Tripathi –
He sang for a single film, where he was offered a solo and a couple of duets. As the latter is more popular and more known to music lovers, I’m starting with it.
Door Gagan Par Chamke Sitare – Ram Hanuman Yuddha (1957) Geeta Dutt & Dilip Dholakia / S N Tripathi – Ramesh Chandra Pandey
It’s a good romantic song picturised on Nirupa Roy and I couldn’t recognize the male actor. What a beautiful melody, alas S N Tripathi couldn’t get recognition as a first rung composer. And I won’t call Dholakia’s voice particularly good. But the song is among my favourites. Please follow the link to watch it on YouTube.
Bhaj Ram Ram Siyaram – Ram Hanuman Yuddha (1957) Dilip Dholakia / S N Tripathi – Ramesh Chandra Pandey
Dholakia sings for Hanuman and completes the entire story of Ram in the song. A good devotional song, and very melodious. Tripathi directed as well as composed for the film.
For Chitragupt –
He sang three solos for three films, one solo per film. The films were Sakshi Gopal (1957), Naya Rasta (1953) and Mahasati Savitri (1955). I’m adding one of the songs, though all the songs are available.
Runjhun Baaje Paijaniya – Sakshi Gopal (1957) Dilip Dholakia / Chitragupt – Bharat Vyas
Though I was aware of a few songs from Sakshi Gopal, I didn’t know about this one. The song is soulfully sung without any rhythm instrument and has very beautiful flute pieces.
4. S N Tripathi –
He is certainly one of the underrated composers of the golden era of Hindi films. He started as an assistant to Saraswati Devi. During that period, he sang for a couple of films under her baton. Let’s listen to the songs,
Ari Daiya Lachak Lachak – Jeevan Naiyya (1936) S N Tripathi / Saraswati Devi – Jamuna Swaroop Kashyap Naatwan
I was very much surprised to watch an excellent quality video of the song. A semi classical stage performance which was picturised on young S N Tripathi. A party is going on and a live song performance is on too. Very good rendition by Tripathi.
Nahi Dekh Behtar Satana Kisika – Bhabhi (1938) S N Tripathi / Saraswati Devi – Jamuna Swaroop Kashyap Naatwan
I can’t say anything much about the song. It’s being played on a radio in a club or something.
5. S D Burman –
Most of the songs he sang for Hindi films were background songs. By that I mean, the songs run in the background and no one lip syncs to it.
He sang some memorable songs for himself. He didn’t sing for too many composers. I could find only a couple of composers. If I have missed a song, please add it in the comments section.
For R D Burman
Doli Mein Bithaike Kahar – Amar Prem (1972) S D Burman / R D Burman – Anand Bakshi
It’s a credit’s song, sung very soulfully by Burman Da. One of his popular playbacks.
For Madhulal Damodar Master –
Prem Ki Pyari Nishani – Tajmahal (1941) S D Burman / Madhulal Damodar Master – Pandit Anuj
Burman da was formally trained in classical music, though his inclination to folk music was apparent. The strong classical base to his singing is well evident in this song. Those who criticize his voice, should listen to it. It’s a perfect answer to all their criticism. With minimal instrumental help, he has rendered the song beautifully.
6. Sapan Chakraborty –
More popularly known for assisting Pancham da, he also Composed for four films during 1972 to 1975.
The films were,
Naya Nasha (1973)
36 Ghante (1974)
Jab Andhera Hota Hai (1974)
And sang for Pancham da during 1977 to 1981.
So he fits into the ‘assistant singing for the mentor’ category. Because though he didn’t compose for a film after 1975, he continued assisting Pancham da till the end.
Some of the songs were solo, while others duets or trios. Recently, while I was looking for beggar’s songs on the train, I came across a befitting song, a solo from Kitaab. So I won’t repeat it here. Still, let me add a couple of songs.
Golmaal Hai Bhai Sab – Golmaal (1979) R D Burman & Sapan Chakraborty / R D Burman – Gulzar
This song is still extremely popular and will continue to be. A very apt opening song for the excellent film.
Aao Re Aao Khelo Holi – Balika Badhu (1976) Sapan Chakraborty & Chorus / R D Burman – Anand Bakshi
An excellent Holi song with a touch of folk music. I haven’t heard it much, but it certainly is good and enjoyable.
7. Sudhir Phadke –
He sang for a few of his own films. As far as other composers are concerned, I could find only a couple of composers, C Ramchandra and B Laxman. While I was able to locate the song by C Ramchandra, the other one wasn’t found.
Tu Har Ek Museebat Ka – Aanchal (1960) Sudhir Phadke / C Ramchandra – Kavi Pradeep
An optimistic, inspirational song. It’s picturised on a blind beggar, who sings it while Nirupa Roy and Lalita Pawar weep silently, worrying for their future. Sudhir Phadke has sung it nicely, though it’s not a very popular song from the movie.
8. R D Burman –
In comparison to senior Burman, junior Burman’s contribution to playback singing is more. But he nearly always sang for himself, and I found only one song under S D Burma’s baton.
Let me add it, not a favourite of mine.
For S D Burman
Raina Soyi Soyi – Yeh Gulistan Hamara (1972) Lata Mangeshkar, S D Burman, R D Burman & Chorus / S D Burman – Anand Bakshi
I couldn’t bear the video after watching Sharmila’s atrocious outfit. And as I said already, not my favourite. Perhaps it’s only historical importance is that it’s the only song Burmans sang together.
9. Jagmohan Bakshi –
He is one of the composers, who don’t fall into any of the categories I mentioned. He wasn’t an assistant to Burman Da, when he sang for him. He didn’t compose for Hindi films, when he was a playback singer. And after becoming a composer, he never sang.
I was under the impression that Jagmohan Bakshi sang just one song for Hindi films. But I came across an article on Atul’s blog, written by ArunKumar Deshmukh, and I understood that he has sung a few more songs for hindi films.
Jagmohan got his first break as a playback singer in Taxi Driver, for a duet with Asha Bhosle, under the baton of S D Burman. Later he sang three more songs, a duet with Rafi in Hamlet (1954), a trio with Balbir and Sudha Malhotra in Zindagi (1956) and a trio with Usha Mangeshkar and Lata Mangeshkar for Piya Milan (1958). Ramesh Naidu composed for the films, Hamlet and Piya Milan, while Mohammad Shafi composed for Zindagi.
It’s interesting that he never sang a solo for Hindi films. And furthermore, after starting composing for Hindi films with Sapan Sengupta as Sapan Jagmohan, he didn’t sing a song. Their journey began with Begaana in 1963.
Let me add a couple of songs,
For S D Burman
Dekho Mane Nahi Roothi Haseena – Taxi Driver (1954) Jagmohan Bakshi & Asha Bhosle / S D Burman – Sahir
Picturised on Kalpana Kartik and Dev Anand, it’s one of the popular songs of the movie. I’m not very much fond of Bakshi’s voice, though it’s a bit unconventional.
For Ramesh Naidu
Ghir Ghir Aaye Badarwa – Hamlet (1954) Rafi & Jagmohan Bakshi / Ramesh Naidu – Hasrat Jaipuri
I hadn’t heard the song before, but it sounds really good. It has a touch of north Indian folk song.
10. Ravi –
Ravi was Hemant Kumar’s assistant and I could find him singing for his mentor for four Hindi films.
Bahu (1955), Lagan (1955), Arab Ka Saudagar (1956) and Yahudi Ki Ladki (1957).
Ravi started his independent career with Devendra Goel’s ‘Vachan’ in 1955. It’s possible that he sang the songs (at least some of the songs) while he was still with Hemant Kumar as an assistant. Out of the four songs, one was a solo and others were duets. I could locate only the song from Bahu.
Door Door Se Kya Gaata Hai – Bahu (1955) Ravi and Bela Mukherjee / Hemant Kumar – S H Bihari
Bela Mukherjee was Hemant Kumar’s wife and she has sung a few songs for Hindi films. It’s a fun song, with a linguistic mixture of Awadhi and Parsi Hindi. It’s very interesting that Ravi sang yodeling nicely in the song. It appears the song was picturised on a comic side plot of the movie.
I was unable to find the other songs on the internet. Khol Ke Aankhe Dekh Zara from Lagan, Idhar Bhi Ek Nazar from Arab Ka Saudagar and, Ae Khuda Tere Bandon Ke Dil from Yahudi Ki Ladki.
I haven’t gone much beyond the 70s, though the new generation of composers have also sung for other composers. Off hand, I could think of Anu Malik, Shankar Mahadevan, and Vishal Dadlani.
Please add a composer (s) to the list.
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Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs 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 shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.