It was a wonderful journey going through the early years of Lata Mangeshkar’s career so far. 1947 to 1950 was a delightful experience. I was a bit nervous as I approached the 50s for the first time. For the year 1951, there were around 225 songs for 49 films to consider in total. It included around 155+ solos and 60+ duets, the ratio of solos to duets being 2.5:1.
The number was still manageable or so I thought when I looked at it cursorily.
I had already decided to go composer wise for the ease of division. I shortlisted the films according to its composer. This was relatively easy. Still I had to be really picky. But I think I did justice when it came to the balance between choosing popular and non-popular but iconic songs.
The real problem started when I had to choose just one song from a movie. I had decided to stick to only one song per film (I have obeyed the rule except for one movie). For most of the movies of Shankar Jaikishan, C Ramchandra, Roshan etc., majority of the songs were popular and good. At the same time, I had to keep in mind the solos and duets. Though I selected solos whenever possible, a fair share of the duets was necessary as well. So it was a difficult task.
Talking about her duets, the year 1951 holds an important historical importance. Her first duet with her sister, Asha Bhosle, for a Hindi film was for the movie, Daman. K Datta composed the song. She sang with Shamshad Begum, Suraiya, Pramodini Desai, with one song each with Amirbai Karnataki, Sandhya Mukherjee and Chand Bala. While Rafi (16) and Chitalkar (16) had equal share among the male co-singers, with Mukesh (7), Talat Mahmood (5), Lata Mangeshkar also sang one song each with Kishore Kumar, G M Durrani, Sonik etc. She also sang her first duet with Manna Dey for the movie, Awara. A rarely heard singer, Raja Gul or Gul Raja also sang with her. I guess, both the names are actually of the same person.
In addition, she also sang a couple of trios.
Lata Mangeshkar was by now a prominent name in Hindi films. Every music director was aspiring to compose songs for her. In addition to the stalwarts of the 40s, a new generation of composers was on the horizon and a few of them had their first film with Lata Mangeshkar in 1951. She was slowly capturing the attention of the entire nation and was changing the definitions of female playback singing. The nasal, thick voices were rapidly losing their place and the thin yet powerful voice of Lata Mangeshkar started ruling the industry. Her style of singing now became a fresh trend and a number of aspiring voices followed her style.
As far as the composers are concerned,
- Lata’s association with C Ramchandra had just begun and she almost replaced any other female singer from his team
- Shankar Jaikishan were absent from the year 1950, but they had good releases in 1951 and a musical team of Lata Mangeshkar, with Shankar Jaikishan and Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri was formed
- Anil Biswas continued his journey with Lata Mangeshkar and delivered excellent songs in 1951 as well. Two of my all time favourites, Aaram and Tarana were released in 1951
- Roshan offered her songs for the first time for the films, Malhar and Humlog
- Madan Mohan started his career in 1950 with the film, Aankhen. But Lata Mangeshkar wasn’t a part of it. But when he approached her again for his next ventures, she was more than happy to join him. Her relationship with him was like a sibling. He was Madan bhaiya for her. The journey continued for 25 years thereafter
- Naushad used to accept very few assignments a year. He had just a couple of releases in 1951
- Lata Mangeshkar was a part of S D Burman’s team for just a year. He had already started dividing his songs between her and Geeta Dutt. Still Geeta Dutt was still a significant part of his songs
- In comparison, her songs with Husnalal Bhagatram declined significantly in the year 1951. Still the film, Afsana was full of Lata Mangeshkar, while the other two films had less of her songs
- After her initial couple of songs in Khel, Sajjad decided to offer all of his songs to Lata Mangeshkar. Accordingly Saiyan had all of the songs sung by her.
Let’s start the song list….
1. C Ramchandra –
Lata’s partnership with Chitalkar was on its way to the top. She was now the main and the only female playback singer of her musical team. There was just one female duet by Lata Mangeshkar with Amirbai Karnataki for the film Sagai. For the film, Shabistan he composed four songs, of which Lata Mangeshkar sang a couple of songs, while a couple of songs had Geeta Dutt as the female voice. For Ustad Pedro, Shamshad Begum sang a couple of solos. But she was losing her position very fast. In all, C Ramchandra offered Lata Mangeshkar songs in six films, Albela, Ustad Pedro, Khazana, Shabistan, Sagai, and Saudagar. Except Saudagar, all the other films had popular songs. For Saudagar, he composed six songs of which five songs were Lata’s solos. The other four songs of Saudagar were composed by Hanuman Prasad. I had to struggle while choosing just one song per film.
Anyways, let me put my favourites
Balma Bada Nadan – Albela (1951) / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
The film had 12 songs and Lata Mangeshkar was a part of 10 songs with 3 solos, one duet with Rafi and as much as six duets with Chitalkar. It was difficult choosing a song, but I finally decided to go for the soulful solo. Such melodious sad songs by Lata Mangeshkar were typical of Chitalkar.
Ae Chand Pyar Mera – Khazana (1951) / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
Lata Mangeshkar sang all the nine songs for Khazana, with 6 solos and 3 duets. The song, Babdi Bubdi Babdi Bam is a melodious song with अनोखे बोल, and still well known. I’ve again chosen a soulful solo by Lata Mangeshkar. It has such a deep pathos, and what beautiful expressions! Lata’s songs for Chitalkar are indeed treasures of melody and happiness.
Mohabbat Mein Aise Zamane Bhi Aaye – Sagai (1951) with Talat Mahmood / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
The film had 9 songs and Lata Mangeshkar was a part of 8 songs. Shamshad Begum sang a trio for the movie, while Amirbai Karnataki sang a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. I love all the duets of this movie, but when I faced the task of choosing one, I instantly chose my most favourite. Talat complements Lata Mangeshkar so well in this one. The song has a beautiful tune and melody.
Dil Ka Ye Engine Seetiyan Maare – Ustad Pedro (1951) with Chitalkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
A song which would have otherwise been sung by Shamshad Begum. But still Lata sang it for Chitalkar. I wonder why! Not an outrightly vulgar song, but still. Lata had four duets with Chitalkar for this movie. Quite an enjoyable fun song it is! It has a touch of goan music I guess.
Hum Pyar Karna Sakta – Shabistan (1951) with Chitalkar / C Ramchandra – Qamar Jalalabadi
The film had only a couple of duets by Lata Mangeshkar. One each with Chitalkar and Shamshad Begum. This one’s picturised on Cuckoo. A light hearted, fun song, with a typical Chitalkar flavour.
2. Anil Biswas –
Anil Biswas composed for Lata Mangeshkar in four films, Aaram, Tarana, Do Sitare, Badi Bahu. She was the main voice for all the movies.
Mil Mil Ke Bichhad Gaye – Aaram (1951) / Anil Biswas – Rajendra Krishan
Excellent use of saxophone for counter melody. And of course good tune and heart touching rendition.
The film also has piano backed Man Mein Kisiki Preet Basale and my most favourite dance number, Balmwa Naadaan. I mentioned all her solos, I was unable to choose between these songs.
Badali Teri Nazar To – Badi Bahu (1951) / Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan
Again an excellent tune and a perfect rendition. The film also has a couple of solos by Rajkumari and a couple of duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh.
Seene Mein Sulagte Hain Armaan – Tarana (1951) with Talat Mahmood / Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan
The most popular song of the movie that has stood the test of time. A song full of unparalleled pathos. Madhubala looks beautiful even when she cries.
3. Shankar Jaikishan –
After a gap of a year, Shankar Jaikishan came with a bang. The duo offered songs to Lata Mangeshkar in four films, Awara, Kali Ghata, Nagina, and Badal. Though all the movies have a good number of excellent solos by Lata Mangeshkar, I found myself choosing duets.
Ae Dil Na Mujhse Chhupa – Badal (1951) with Mukesh / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
This one’s my favourite from Badal. I haven’t got much to say except that Madhubala looked absolutely gorgeous. And the song is really very good.
Kali Ghata Ghir Aayi Re – Kali Ghata (1951) with Rafi / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Again it’s my most favourite from the movie. The melody and singer’s rendition uplift the song to another level. Bina Rai does look good, and I wasn’t aware she was opposite Kishore Sahu.
Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni & Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi – Awara (1951) with Manna Dey & Chorus / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
I think it was Manna Dey’s first duet with Lata Mangeshkar. The songs appear back to back in the movie and hence I thought of adding both together. Fortunately I got a complete uninterrupted video on Tom Daniel’s channel. The song is a part of a dream sequence and it’s perhaps the most popular dream sequence of Hindi cinema. The sequence very effectively portrays the mental storm the hero’s going through. Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi is my absolute favourite and I couldn’t have missed adding it to today’s list.
4. S D Burman –
Lata Mangeshkar’s first song with S D Burman was in 1950. After that she became an inseparable part of his songs for a few years. In 1951, four of their films were released, Ek Nazar, Naujawan, Buzdil, and Sazaa. But perhaps Burman Da wasn’t still sure about his ultimate choice, he continued dividing the songs between Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt.
Let me add my choices,
Tum Na Jane Kis Jahan Mein – Sazaa (1951) / S D Burman – Sahir
It was the only song that Sahir penned for the movie and ultimately became the most popular and memorable song of the movie. I think Nimmi really liked such weepy roles and surely her tormented face has got etched in my mind along with this song.
Thandi Hawayen Lehrake Aaye – Naujawan (1951) / S D Burman – Sahir
Though I’m not very fond of the other songs from the movie, I’m totally in love with this lilting melody. Surely one of the best songs of the duo, Lata Mangeshkar and Burman Da.
Rote Rote Guzar Gayi Raat – Buzdil (1951) / S D Burman – Shailendra & Kaifi Azmi
Oh! And I hadn’t known this song is also picturised on Nimmi. Yet another weepy song of her’s! But I just love it. Doesn’t matter if Nimmi is a part. It’s one of the few songs which are credited to two lyricists at a time.
5. Roshan –
Roshan was composing for Hindi films from the late 40s, and it was his first association with Lata Mangeshkar. He had a couple of films with her. She was the main female singer for both the films. It was again a challenge to choose just one song from each, but I did it finally. Let’s see which songs I’ve chosen,
Ek Baar Agar Tu Kehde – Malhar (1951) with Mukesh / Roshan – Indeevar
This is what I call a honey dipped melody. What a beautiful song! The song is backed up with a Tonga rhythm, though the couple doesn’t ride a tonga after the mukhda ends. The lyrics, the singer’s performances, the tune all are good.
Chhun Chhun Chhun Baaje Paayal – Hum Log (1951) / Roshan – Uddhav Kumar
Yet another example of a sweet melody. It’s hard to believe that Roshan had to wait for many years to taste success. His songs always used to be melodious.
6. Madan Mohan –
Ada was Lata’s first film with Madan Mohan and in the first film itself the association shone like a jewel. The year also saw him composing for Lata Mangeshkar for yet another film, Madhosh. The latter is however more familiar for Talat’s soulful solo than for anything else. I’ll now present my favourites,
Sanwari Surat Man Bhayi Re Piya – Ada (1951) / Madan Mohan – Prem Dhawan
Madan Mohan and Roshan had a few things in common, composing extremely sweet melodies was one of the prominent things. What a soothing song, just blissful.
Humein Ho Gaya Tumse Pyar – Madhosh (1951) / Madan Mohan – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
Lata Mangeshkar sang for Meena Kumari and Usha Kiran both. I’m not fond of Lata’s songs from the movie, though I must also confess, I’m not much familiar with all the songs of this movie. This one’s a good song and I like it too. Usha Kiran in a vampish role is a surprise!
7. Husnalal Bhagatram –
After offering Lata Mangeshkar more than 6 films for two consecutive years, suddenly the year 1951 had just three films, Afsana, Shagan and Stage. The film Afsana had Lata Mangeshkar written all over it. Right from the delightful, Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon to the other five solos, Lata Mangeshkar sparkled in each and every song. Let me mention,
Woh Paas Bhi Rehkar Paas Nahin – Afsana (1951) / Husnalal Bhagatram – Asad Bhopali
Picturised on Veena, the song is one of the frequently remembered songs of the movie. The lyrics are good and though the tune is not extraordinary, Lata’s perfect expressions.
Dil Leke Dil Diya Hai – Stage (1951) with Rafi / Husnalal Bhagatram – Sarshar Sailani
As I said in the last post of yearly review of Lata Mangeshkar songs, the duets sung by Lata and Rafi under the baton of Husnalal Bhagatram are my favourites. Let me add one more.
8. Naushad –
Naushad being really choosy, had just a couple of films in 1951. Shamshad Begum was still maintaining her position in Naushad’s films but was however slowly drifting away from her leading position. In both the films however, she sang for the main lead.
Lo Ho Gayi Pyar Ki Jeet – Jadoo (1951) / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
For the film Jadoo, Naushad used somewhat westernised tunes. And both Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum both sang for Nalini Jaywant. While he chose Shamshad Begum for the tap dance, Jab Nain Mile Naino Se, he aptly chose Lata Mangeshkar for the other sad and romantic songs. The opening music is so wonderful.
Bachpan Ke Din Bhula Na Dena – Deedar (1951) with Shamshad Begum / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
The first part of the song is Lata’s duet with Shamshad Begum. Parikshit Sahani and Baby Tabbasum sing it riding a horse. Lata Mangeshkar was also the voice of Nargis and Nimmi both, while Shamshad Begum sang one solo and one duet for Nargis alone. It’s a good song.
9. Sajjad –
Sajjad alao had a couple of films with Lata Mangeshkar in 1951. While Lata Mangeshkar was a part of both the films, Sajjad left the film, Hulchul incomplete after composing a couple of songs by Lata Mangeshkar and a solo by Rajkumari.
My choices for today’s post would sound obvious, but let me present,
Aaj Mere Naseeb Ne – Hulchul (1951) / Sajjad – Khumar Barabankavi
It is said that this was Lata’s first song with Sajjad, but the movie, Khel was released in 1950 and hence regarded as her first film with him. Sajjad at once realised the potential in her voice and was now ready with his difficult compositions. If you carefully listen to the song, you wil notice the nuances so well rendered by Lata Mangeshkar.
Khayalon Mein Tum Ho – Saiyan (1951) with Chorus / Sajjad – Rajendra Krishan
It’s a difficult song and portrays an apt use of chorus. The film had six solos by Lata Mangeshkar and five were retained in the movie. The song very effectively portrays the dilemma Madhubala faces. Though not with the context, note the white and black coloured attires of Madhubala and see how skillfully the arrangement is used to highlight the difference between the characters of Sajjan and Ajit.
10. Other composers –
In addition to the prominent composers, Lata Mangeshkar sang for a number of other talented composers. My list would be incomplete without these songs. Some of the songs are iconic in their own sense, the others are Lata’s first association with composers. So a bunch of assorted songs, covering her association with other composers.
Baandh Preeti Phool Dor – Malti Madhav (1951) / Sudhir Phadke – Pandit Narendra Sharma
Lata’s association with Sudhir Phadke started in 1949 itself with the film Sant Janabai. His prominent films with Lata Mangeshkar in 1951 include, Malati Madhav and Murliwala. The song from Malati Madhav has been my favourite ever since I heard it. A very beautiful song with rich lyrics and an enchanting tune. The song was also Lata’s favourite.
Meri Barbadiyon Pe Muskurane – Sabz Bagh (1951) / Vinod – Aziz Kashmiri
Vinod had a very good start with the film, Ek Thi Ladki. But later he never became popular. The year 1951 wasn’t great for him, but this gem from an obscure film has stood up the test of times.
Sapna Ban Sajan aaye – Shokhiyan (1951) / Jamal Sen – Kidar Sharma
Kidar Sharma had a flair for identifying talent. He spotted Jamal Sen and offered him his next film, Shokhiyan. It was Jamal Sen’s first film and he got to compose for Suraiya and Lata Mangeshkar both. This Yaman raag based song is an absolute delight to listen to. What a song! I’m in love with it the moment I heard it.
Ye Ruki Ruki Hawayen – Daman (1951) with Asha Bhosle / K Datta – Rajendra Krishan
K Datta lost his golden touch when his muse, Noorjahan left India. Still when he met Lata Mangeshkar, he was amazed. He composed beautiful melodies for her in the film, Daman. The major highlight of Daman, as of today, is its historical importance for having the very first duet between Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The song seamlessly merges happy and sad moods. The film also had other duets and solos by Lata Mangeshkar.
Preet Jatake Meet Banake – Hulchul (1951) with Rafi / Mohammad Shafi – Khumar Barabankavi
As I mentioned earlier, I made an exception for the film Hulchul and included a couple of songs from it. After Sajjad left the movie, the remaining songs were composed by Mohammad Shafi. He composed all the duets between Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi. This happy song is one of my favourites from the movie. Among the other sad songs, it stands out for me.
Ab Kahan Jaye Ki Apna – Pyar Ki Baatein (1951) / Sharmaji (Khayyam) – Khanwar Jaman
Khayyam began his career in 1948 as Sharmaji Vermaji, when he chose to form a duo with Rehman Verma. He composed a few songs for Pyar Ki Baatein where other songs were composed by Bulo C Rani. The film had a couple of solos by Lata Mangeshkar and both were composed by Khayyam, under the pseudonym Sharmaji. Those were his first songs with Lata Mangeshkar. I’ve added a soulful solo.
Ek Pal Ruk Jana Sarkar – Dholak (1951) with Rafi / Shyam Sunder – Aziz Kashmiri
Lata Mangeshkar had a rift with Shyam Sunder in 1949 itself. She stopped singing for him. But she had a couple of duets with Rafi for Dholak. It’s a रूठना मनाना type of song and sung wonderfully by the singers. Shyam Sunder chose Sulochana Kadam for the other songs of the movie.
In addition to these songs, I had to leave some of my favourites out of the list. But I would like to mention a few,
Yaad Tumhari Kyun Aaye Balma from Nakhre by Hansraj Behl.
Tootate Hi Dil Mohabbat Ke Maze from Lachak by Motiram.
Mujhe Preet Nagariya Jana Hai from Ek Nazar by S D Burman.
Nainan Mein Barsaat from Nand Kishor by Snehal Bhatkar.
Please share your thoughts and add your favourites befitting the timeline, in your comments.
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