After covering the initial three years of her career, let’s have a look at her songs from the year 1950.
I was a little taken aback after looking at the total number of songs in 1950, it’s around 20 songs lesser (140+) than the previous year (160+). The solos outnumbered the duets with the ratio of around 2:1.
But the real surprise was the composers she sang for in the year 1950. Out of 37 films she sang for, 14 films were by Husnalal Bhagatram (9) and C Ramchandra (5). 6 films were by Anil Biswas (3) and Ghulam Mohammad (3). So only these four composers formed more than 50% of her films.
- Naushad had a good association with Lata Mangeshkar in 1949, which was actually the first year of their association. But in 1950, she had just 3 songs for the film, Babul. To join Naushad, we have Hafeez Khan who had only one film with her in the year 1950.
- Anil Biswas and Ghulam Mohammad had 3 films each with Lata Mangeshkar
She sang for Husnalal Bhagatram in 9 films, a couple of films more than in the previous year. It’s her highest with any of the composers in the year 1950. Interestingly she was said to be personally very close to Husnalal, from the Husnalal Bhagatram duo.
- She also had a close association with C Ramchandra, who offered her songs in 5 films in 1950.
- Lata Mangeshkar allegedly had differences with the composer, Shyam Sunder on his rude behaviour in drunken state during the song recordings of the film, Lahore. It must be true as she had just a couple of songs with him, one solo each for the films, Nirdosh and Bhai Behen. For both the films, Shyam Sunder chose Shamshad Begum as the leading female voice.
- Hansraj Behl had a couple of films with her, Raj Rani and Khiladi. She had just three songs in all. In addition, he also composed a couple of her duets with Rafi for the film, Beqasoor. The other songs of Beqasoor were composed by Anil Biswas. When I wrote about Hansraj Behl’s career, I noticed that he offered her a lesser number of songs in the first half of the 50s decade.
- Vinod had a couple of films too, Anmol Ratan and Wafa. For the latter film he composed just a couple of songs. The other songs of Wafa were composed by Bulo C Rani, who composed for Lata Mangeshkar for the first time.
- S D Burman, Sajjad Hussain, Shyambabu Pathak, Snehal Bhatkar and Krishna Dayal were also the composers who offered her songs for the first time.
- According to Snehasis Chatterjee’s book, Lata Geetkosh, S Mohinder was the composer of the song, Hum Dil Ki Kahani Kya Kehte. When I cross checked in HFGK (with the help of Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh), it was really so. That makes it his first song with Lata Mangeshkar. He had composed three songs for the movie, the chief composer for the movie was Pandit Govind Ram. Aziz Hindi also composed one song for it.
- Pandit Govind Ram couldn’t offer her many songs, though he had three films with her in the year 1950. In addition to Shadi Ki Raat, the other films were, Raj Mukut and Chor.
And, no film by Shankar Jaikishan was released in the year 1950.
In the initial years, Lata Mangeshkar’s style of singing had influence from Noorjahan. She was her role model and to some extent it was obvious. It is also said that the majority of the composers wanted her to sing in Noorjahan style, for it was the preferred style of that era. Some of the composers might have looked upon her as a mere replacement of Noorjahan and made her sing that way.
Anyway, she was slowly moving away from the shadows of Noorjahan and started developing her own style and identity. Very soon she would replace all the leading female playback singers of Hindi cinema and would rule the Hindi cinema single handed. Lata Mangeshkar herself mentioned that she considered herself a struggling singer till 1949 and had stability in the 50s. So this year also was a sort of struggle, though she was slowly gaining entry into the music rooms of all the composers.
And before I start with the list, let me add some information about her duets. She sang her first duet with Talat Mahmood this year. She had sung 4 duets with him, a couple of duets each for the films, Anmol Ratan and Meherbani. Most probably her first duet was for the film, Anmol Ratan. She also sang for the first time with Umadevi, Nirmala Devi and Binapani Mukherjee.
This time I would present my favourite songs in no particular order.
1. Jab Dil Ko Satawe Gham – Sargam (1950) with Saraswati Rane & Chorus / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi
What a perfectly soothing melody it is! Just blissful! Rehana and Paro sing it along with their siblings, all of whom are engaged in some way with the song. The film had a complicated plot, but had a number of splendid songs, spread throughout the film. All the songs were excellent and popular. In addition to this one, Lata had a few duets with Chitalkar. And what should I say about Chitalkar! At one end, there were classical based songs and at the other end, rock n roll songs were also there. All perfectly crafted melodies.
Till the year 1949, Lata Mangeshkar was one of the singers of C Ramchandra’s musical team. Shamshad Begum still held her place. But in 1950, Lata Mangeshkar was the ultimate choice for C Ramchandra. Other female playback singers slowly vanished. It was perhaps the beginning of their personal association. For years to come, Lata Mangeshkar maintained her position. No other female playback singer, except Asha Bhosle could enter C Ramchandra’s musical team.
2. Aisi Mohabbat Se Hum Baaz Aaye – Nirala (1950) / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi
The film is known for the soulful, Mehfil Mein Jal Uthi Shama, again sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Lata Mangeshkar sang five solos for Madhubala, while Shamshad Begum was reduced to a single solo for Madhubala. Shamshad’s other song for the movie was a duet for a dance performance. In addition to the couple of soulful songs, my other favourite from the movie is the light hearted fun song, Tooti Footi Gadi Anadi Chalaiya by Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus.
Despite the melodious songs and very charming on screen pair of gorgeous Madhubala and handsome Dev Anand, the film didn’t survive at the box office. Nevertheless, the songs are still very popular and are the only reason for remembering the film.
3. Theher O Janewale – Birha Ki Raat (1950) / Husnalal Bhagatram – Sarshar Sailani
Husnalal Bhagatram did offer Lata Mangeshkar a number of beautiful and memorable songs. She must have sung songs of all genres for the duo. But I primarily remember Husnalal Bhagatram for the duets the duo offered to Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi and the extremely soulful and melodious, pathos laden solos of Lata Mangeshkar. Nearly all their films of the early 50s had songs belonging to both these categories. While selecting a song from this movie, I was torn between Chhota Sa Fasana Hai and Theher O Janewale. Ultimately I selected the soulful song. I’m an extreme fan of this song. The pathos is unparalleled, what expressions, and what a beautiful tune. Lata’s rendition is so touchy, it moves me every time I hear it. And I must have listened to it for at least 200 times so far.
4. Gore Gore O Banke Chhore – Samadhi (1950) with Amirbai Karnataki / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
I’m a huge fan of this song which brings two of my favourites together. I’m equally in love with Amirbai Karnataki’s voice. What a cheerful, peppy song! Though it’s an inspired song, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it. Those who are acquainted with Amirbai Karnataki’s soulful songs, might be surprised to hear her sing this western styled composition. But she’s equally delightful in this one. The song is presented as a stage performance by Nalini Jaywant and Kuldeep Kaur as a part of an entertainment programme for the soldiers of Indian National Army. Though I’m not much in love with the other songs of Lata Mangeshkar from the movie, Abhi Shaam Aayegi Niklenge Taare is definitely worth mentioning.
5. Aankhiyan Milake Zara Baat Karo Jee – Pardes (1950) with Rafi / Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni
While Lata Mangeshkar sang for Naushad in just one movie in 1950, she had three films with Ghulam Mohammad. I guess Pardes would be the best known among them. A really handsome looking Rehman and the most beautiful Madhubala lip sync to the voices of Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar respectively. An ace percussionist, Ghulam Mohammad adorned his songs with Dholak and matka very beautifully. I present this song as a perfect example. What a pleasant and charmingly infectious rhythm the song has! I couldn’t stop myself from adding the song to the list.
The other two films, Hansate Aansoo and Maang also had songs by Lata Mangeshkar.
6. Dil Hi To Hai Tadap Gaya – Aadhi Raat (1950) / Husnalal Bhagatram – Asad Bhopali
What should I say about this song! If you have not heard it before, please do it at once. Just tabla and a violin to support and words dipped in pathos. And hats off to Asad Bhopali for penning such wonderful lyrics so early in his career. Though he didn’t get his due, his songs were always meaningful and good. Woven in a bit of a difficult tune, the song captures your mind immediately. Of course, when a song gets Lata Mangeshkar’s alchemy touch, it turns into pure 24 carat gold. And what could be another best example to prove it?
7. Kahan Tak Hum Uthaye Gham – Aarzoo (1950) / Anil Biswas – Majrooh
Lata Mangeshkar was a chosen female playback singer for Anil Biswas by this year. All the songs to be picturised on Kamini Kaushal were sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The film is full of melodious songs including Talat’s popular song, Aye Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah Le Chal. The film however had none of the duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood. I know this time I’ve a number of soulful, sad songs on my list. But I couldn’t help that.
8. Shikwa Tera Main Gaaun – Anmol Ratan (1950) with Talat Mahmood / Vinod – D N Madhok
Talking about Lata Mangeshkar’s first duet with Talat Mahmood, I think it could be this song. Anmol Ratan was perhaps the first film featuring their first duet. The film is known for a couple of duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood. The film has a few of Lata’s solos and ‘Taare Wohi Hai Chand Wohi Hai’ is my absolute favourite.
The film had Meena Shorey and Karan Dewan and Vinod once again proved himself by composing excellent songs. Though he was never considered a first rung composer, he surely had the potential.
9. Hue Unse Naina Char – Beqasoor (1950) / Anil Biswas – Ehsaan Rizvi
Lata Mangeshkar had four excellent solos composed by Anil Biswas and a couple of duets with Rafi composed by Hansraj Behl for the movie. Though the movie wasn’t great (I’ve an incomplete movie review of this film, which I must complete someday and publish), the songs are superb. Madhubala’s first encounter with Ajit in the movie is stormy, but his helpful nature ultimately does the trick and she falls in love with him. Lata’s tender voice very aptly expresses the feelings. What a beautiful song!
10. Maine Kahan Babuji – Chhoti Bhabhi (1950) with Rafi / Husnalal Bhagatram – Qamar Jalalabadi
Even though I didn’t select my favourite Lata – Rafi duet from Birha Ki Raat, when I got the opportunity, I didn’t miss it. A very playful and lively interaction between a lady and her beloved. Though the video featuring Nargis and Karan Dewan was available, I selected the audio track for better audio quality. What a cute conversion the song depicted! I’m fond of this song and it’s also my father’s favourite song. So I wasn’t going to miss it anyway.
11. Jaate Ho To Jaao – Khel (1950) / Sajjad – Saghar Nizami
It was their first film together and it had a couple of solos by Lata Mangeshkar. Bhool Ja Ae Dil was a part of one of earlier posts and the second song is equally magical, though a little less popular. Sajjad was a Maestro composer and could have reached heights of popularity given he hadn’t been so rudely outspoken. Anyway, after this film they had a number of songs together and each and every song is a gem. Listen to Lata’s perfect rendition and the nuances of the difficult tune.
12. Zamane Ka Dastoor Hai Yeh Purana – Lajawab (1950) with Mukesh / Anil Biswas – Shailendra
All the three films of Anil Biswas in the year 1950 had a few of Lata Mangeshkar’s best solos and duets. This soulful duet had been very popular and its meaningful lyrics by Shailendra were acclaimed too.
13. Aankhon Se Door Door – Mashal (1950) / S D Burman – Kavi Pradeep
As I mentioned in the beginning, Mashal was Lata Mangeshkar’s first film with S D Burman and she sang a couple of solos. One of the songs was picturised on Sumitra Devi while the other on Ruma Guha Thakurta. The songs have unparalleled sweetness and Lata Mangeshkar moulded herself very easily into Burman Da’s style and a long association ensued. After this film, Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt became the main female playback singers of Burman Da’s musical team. He tried to balance the songs between the two when he chose both of them for a single film.
14. Mahi O Mahi O Dupatta Mera – Meena Bazaar (1950) with Rafi / Husnalal Bhagatram – Qamar Jalalabadi
I grabbed another opportunity to add my favourite Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi duet by Husnalal Bhagatram. How very sweet and innocent these duets sound! Your mind just melts in the melody. Listen to Lata’s expressions combining shyness and faux anger. Just perfect! And very efficient support by Rafi. Someday I should publish a list of the duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi under the baton of Husnalal Bhagatram. I should plan it soon.
15. Kaga Re Ja Re Ja Re – Wafa (1950) / Vinod – Aziz Kashmiri
The film had two composers, Vinod and Bulo C Rani.
I won’t be able to say anything about this song. You have to experience the pain in Lata’s voice, the apt lyrics and the orchestration used in the song. Listen with eyes closed and drown in the ocean of pathos.
Before I end the list, I want to add a few other notable songs that I couldn’t add to the list, but nevertheless need a mention.
Na Jane Aaj Kyun from Maang
Aao Baitho Baat Suno again from Maang
Husna Ka Guroor Buri Baat Hai Huzoor from Surajmukhi
Kisi Ke Dil Mein Rehna Tha from Babul
Naummeed Hoke Bhi Duniya Mein from Sangeeta
Ulfat Ka Jadoo from Sangram
Hum Dil Ki Kahani Kya Kehte from Shaadi Ki Raat
I think from next post onwards, when I would enter the 50s, I would have difficult times shortlisting songs. Let’s see.
Please add your favourite by Lata Mangeshkar from the 1950 if I’ve missed it.
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