[Listening to Hindi Film Music, of the period 1950s till almost mid-1975, was one hobby that I did pursue quite avidly even during my First Innings of [so- called, busy (!)] life. It was during 2009-2010 that I could begin to spare time to download a huge number of songs from the internet – both in MP3 and in video formats. I certainly could reach a far greater number of songs, both, popular as well as hidden gems, from internet than I had ever reached through the sources of ‘old world technologies’ of radio, records, audio cassettes or CDs.
But, even till this phase, this was just a hobby, which was my great pastime and stress buster. It was only with the advent of my second innings in 2011 that I got to visit the blogs/ sites that specialized in collecting and presenting the songs-lists in creatively structured manner. That is when my journey to follow my hobby of listening to Hindi Film Music started to transform into seriously following (primarily) the Hindi Film Music of the Golden Era of 1950 till 1970s.
By the end of 2012, I was regular visitor / subscriber to at least half a dozen blogs / sites that have had their own individual style and preferences in the selection and presentation of the songs-lists. I had also grown from a pure passive follower to a moderately active participant, below the “Comments” line on those blogs/sites
So, hosting a collation of posts/ article, in the format of a Carnival, is my next step in the blogosphere journey of Hindi Film Music of the Golden Era.
All the blogs /sites that I visit regularly, have always a very rich fare of tastefully selected songs-lists in each of the post /article. Each of the blog/site has a core group of active participants in the lively discussions on what is presented in the article. So, I would be very brief here while presenting the post/article. I would earnestly request the visitor to this carnival to choose a very definite time slot, wherein his /her passions for the Hindi Film Music of Golden Era are invariably at very high tide, while paying a very very detailed visit to the posts/ articles /comments presented here. The time spent in each of this visit shall be far more worth its while. And that’s a promise.]
Since my introduction to the catchment blogs /sites commenced with Songs of Yore (SoY), I would open the Carnival with the first post of 2013 at SoY – An evening with Mubarak Begum . SoY has indeed brought back Mubarak Begum with this article – for the GenX, by reviving the memorable songs and, for the GenNext, an introduction to a forgotten chapter of the Golden Period of Hindi Cinema. SoY has done similar immense service to the cause of Hindi Film Music (HFM), by articles on other (almost) forgotten singers:
- Kamal Barot – http://www.songsofyore.com/category/singers/kamal-barot/
- Jagjit Kaur – http://www.songsofyore.com/category/singers/jagjit-kaur/
- Suman Kalyanpur – http://www.songsofyore.com/category/singers/suman-kalyanpur/
- Subir Sen – http://www.songsofyore.com/category/singers/subir-sen/
- Asit Baran – http://www.songsofyore.com/category/singers/asit-baran/
among playback singers who did not get the due they seemed to deserve.
SoY also has presented Multiple Version Songs (2): Both versions by male playback singers – Happy and A Sad Song, penned by yours truly, for the fare this month. This is second article in the series of hybrid versions songs, as an important genre of HFM.
Interestingly, the articles form other Blogs also open up quite interesting dimensions of the Golden Era of HFM.
Dusted Off opened the year with a birthday greetings to Shakila, with a guest post – Happy birthday, Shakila! – by none other than her niece Tasneen Khan, (daughter of Shakila’s sister Noor and the legendary Johnny Walker) on Shakila’s 78th birthday. The icing on the cake was a follow-through article – Ten of my favourite Shakila songs., wherein Hoon abhi main jawaan literally reflects the Eternally Youthful Longevity of the songs of the Golden Era.
Dusted Off normally presents vivid, lyrically described, reviews of films – Hindi as well as English. This month the reviews include – we shall include only Hindi Films, and that too if the review has a specific mention of a song from that film – Kohraa (1964). Not surprisingly at all, four songs – of the two as the first choice – Yeh nayan dare-dare is the chosen one; a close second being the hauntingly beautiful Jhoom-jhoom dhalti raat, of which the slow, slurring version is more stirring than the slightly faster version., and the other two songs being , O beqaraar dil ho chuka hai and Raah bani khud manzil., are the highlights of the review.
Harveypam’s Blog celebrated another birthday- Nanda’s – quite differently, by presenting songs in Nanda’s Eight Voices. This article is preceded by fondly presenting “ten favorite songs of Nalaini Jaywant” in In Remembrance, Nalini Jaywant [N.B. The songs can be enjoyed at this playlist as well.] As we dip into the comments to this article, we get onto Subodh Agrawal’s value-addition, by way of “this video on YouTube containing stills( of Nalaini Jayawant) taken by James Burke, Life magazine’s photographer in the early fifties as part of the ‘movie queens’ series.”, and that of Madhubala in bonus – And, if this was not enough, Haveypam richly supplements these with “pics dating from the 1850s”.
We now move on to the typical, theme-based, songs-list on Converstaion Over Chai – My Favourites: Village Songs, which goes on to mention another post on the same theme – Pacifist’s Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (A village story) on Harveypam’s Blog. [The playlist is here] Each of the post succeeds “in depicting village life in its various moods with “fields, fairs, harvest, celebrations, village children, the gaon ka rasiya, and the village belle, hay stacks, sickle, and what have you”.
A site dedicated to the memory of “Shankar- Jaikishan” presents those few songs Geeta Dutt has rendered under their baton, which have held onto their place among more prodigal songs of Geeta Dutt with other music directors or with SJ’s more prodigal ones with the other playback singers @ GEETA DUTT SINGS FOR SHANKAR JAIKISHAN.
Two other sites – Dances on the Footpath and atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics need a very special mention, in that they are neither pure songs-list nor a songs-list and film review sites, similar to the ones we have discussed earlier in this carnival.
Dances on the Footpath has two, quite interesting, posts this month-
- My Favorite Broken-Heart Song of All (from a favorite film from 1948) – a song that does not have “dil todana” as the lyrics, and
- Sights and sounds of a glamorous Lalita Pawar from the 1930s – presenting Lalita Pawar in her prime youth.
atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics, as the very title of the site suggests, basically presents full lyrics of the song that is brings up on that day. Of course, it does have an accompanying video clip and good deal of other supportive information as well, a highly quantitative work, with absolutely no compromise on the quality. January 2013 category archive already has 113 songs, and is still counting.
We would end each edition of the carnival with a first-time visited blog/site, too.
This month I visited, first time, Bollystalgia’ to find Bizarre stage shows in Bollywood to watch the “’performance item'(s) … where the hero or heroine happens to be a singer/dancer extraordinaire and does an elaborate stage show incorporating a host of sideys, props and dramatic set designs.”
[I take this opportunity to thank, on my personal behalf and on behalf all fans of Hindi Film Music, all those self-less individuals who have uploaded priceless video clips and songs on to various internet platforms to provide a sea of primary database to the blogs/ sites discussed herein. It is their most invaluable contribution that is more than helping the Golden Era of Hindi Film Music, not only to rekindle the memories of our generation, but also to help leave a rich treasure to the generations of the future.]