Welcome to February, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We take up the tributes first.

Suraiya - A personally autographed pictureSuraiya: The Last Singing Star of Indian Cinema – a tribute to her on her death anniversary on 31st January – By Parag Sankla“Almost eighty five years ago, God must have said “Today I am sending three great artists to this world. A natural actress, a beautiful lady and a melodious singer! Acting, beauty and singing. These are not three different persons, this is one girl! And here I present you Suraiya.”… Along with Kanan Devi and Noor Jehan, she was one of the most prominent female singing stars of the golden era of Hindi films….Her first two songs as a singer (“Aao aao hil mil kar khushiyan manayein” and “Rana ji ki jai jai se”) came for a film titled Taj Mahal (1941) composed by Madhavlal Damodar. This golden period of Suraiya’s career (1941 – 1946) is often ignored in many of the articles on her……I love the song “Suno more raja, nazariya milaaike” for composer Neenu Majmudar from “Main kya karoon” (1945).”…..From among other songs that have find mention in the article, we pick up Jab badal ghir ghir aayenge, kaho jee kit jaayenge – Daak Bangla. 1947 – Naresh Bhattacharya as a song that is we get to hear less.

Waheeda Rehman and Soumitra Chatterjee in Abhijan (1962)Waheeda Rehman: Quintessential Beauty with Intense Acting Prowess – By Antara Nanda Mondal – Impressed by her enigmatic screen persona and acting panache, Satyajit Ray picked her for the role of Gulabi in his celebrated Bengali film Abhijan (1962).

More about Waheeda Rehman :

Indurani, a star of the 1930s is a rich tribute on death anniversary of Ishrat Jehan Imamuddin aka Indurani on 18th February by film historian Arunkumar Deshmukh, enriched by photographs and posters by Harsh Raghuvanshi.

Ye Sama Ye Khushi Kuchh Bolo Ji Bolo Ji” – Azra – now known as “Farhana”, for the most part, acted in second heroine and character roles in around two dozen movies viz. ‘Junglee’, ‘Ganga Jamuna’, ‘Ganga Ki Lehrein’, ‘Ishara’, ‘Baharon Ke Sapne’, ‘Bandish’, ‘Wapas’, ‘Raja Saheb’, ‘Mahal’, ‘My Love’ and ‘Ilzam’ and finally bid adieu to Filmdom after she got married. In ‘Ganga Jamuna’, she was the second lead opposite Nasir Khan. Movies ‘Shaan-e-Khuda’ (1971) and ‘Pocketmar’ (1974) released after her marriage. ‘Shaan-e-Khuda’ was directed by her father Nanubhai Vakil.

Happy Brithday, Cuckoo! – Some readers of the blog Dances on the Footpath know about the incredible Cuckoo news and trivia post that have developed there. It started with so many comments to the 2011 Cuckoo birthday post (linked to below). And here are a couple of the Cuckoo birthday posts, both of which include a bunch of really good song clips. …. This blog contains a whole lot of Cuckoo…. 2011 Cuckoo Birthday Post ǁ   2014 Cuckoo Birthday Post

The Unlucky Genius Ghulam Mohammad’s best songs for Talat Mahmood – If you associate Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Madan Mohan and SD Burman for the best of Talat Mahmood, Ghulam Mohammad would rank at the equal footing with them.

The article is a tribute to the Unlucky Genius with his best songs for Talat Mahmood as a tribute to the singer, too, with velvet voice on his 92nd birth anniversary.

Here are some of the less heard songs:

Meri Yaad Mein Tum Na Aansoo Bahana: Remembering Talat Mahmood – Talat Mahmood was grand-uncle, naani’s (maternal grandmother’s) brother of Sahar Zaman. She reminisces her association with Talat Mahmood over the years in this article.

Talat Mahmood, the photogenic ghazal superstarManish Gaekwad notes that Talat Mahmood sang over 700 songs in his career, including a rare solo “Kadale Neelakadale” in the Malayalam film Dweepu for composer MS Baburaj. His last recording was “Mere Shareek-e-Safar”, a duet with Hemlata, for the film Vali-E-Azam (music by Chitragupta). Lyricist Ahmed Wasi writes, “Mere shareek-e-safar, ab tera Khuda hafiz” (My companion in this journey, I take your leave now). It turned out to be Mahmood’s swan song. He died on May 9, 1998, at the age of 74.

मण्टो का बम्बई” narrates the 21 minute docudrama directed by Dharmendra Nath Oza, which was first aired on TV on Sahara Samay on 3rd April, 2005. The documentary can be seen on Dharmendra Nath Oza’s YouTube Channel in six clips.

Nalini Jaywant – Down Memory Lane – is based on interview was conducted in 1960.

Remembering Nadira: The Diva Who Didn’t Want to be Rescued – Ranjib Mazumder – Remembers Nadira on her death anniversary – Two Jewish women stood out in the race among many prolific names starting from the early days of cinema. In the silent era, Ruby Myers was the most successful star known in film history as Sulochana, and in the post-independent Hindi cinema, Florence Ezekiel, better known as Nadira shone the brightest…..She was the anomaly in a society where women didn’t dare. The viewing public limited her career in a swift stroke of judgment in Shree 420, and in real life, men couldn’t gather the courage to handle an informed mind…..She craved companionship without having to be rescued, but we didn’t have enough imagination to understand that.

The Real and Reel Life of Pran, Bollywood’s Villain Extraordinaire – Ranjib Mazumder looks at some of the interesting aspects of the real and reel life of the villain extraordinaire who would have been 96….Here is one example …. “Pran was very close to Dilp Kumar and Raj Kapoor owing to their long association in the film industry……. When Dilip was getting married, Pran was shooting in Kashmir. Despite heavy rain, he managed to reach Bombay to attend his friend’s wedding. The entire gang including Raj Kapoor got drunk, banged on Dilip’s nuptial-night bedroom door relentlessly till he opened up to say hello to them.”

We now move over to the blog spots on other subjects.

Multiple Versions Songs (24): Songs having versions across different films – similar initial lyrics in mukhada – is a presentation of interesting variety of songs which have multiple versions across different films. In some cases these may be a traditional bandish, where you may find some versions outside films.

One can come across widely differing versions on the circumstances that led to the actual performance of Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logo. Subhash K Jha presents one more – India’s most patriotic song: How Lata Mangeshkar almost turned down ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ .

Shankar-Jaikishan’s dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar – SoY now picks up one music director around him one set of posts remain anchored during the year. 2014 was the year of Anil Biswas, 2015 was that of Naushad with C Ramachndra in tandem with. S D Burman was organically covered concurrently. Now, 2016 has been dedicated to Shanker Jaikishan, with a limit of the year 1959 for the selection of the songs.

My Favourites: ‘Me Tarzan, You Jane’ Songs creates a list with ‘I am…, you are…’ motif.

Here are a few songs that typically represent the theme while not being heard often enough.

Ten of my favourite romantic duets – of pure, outright romance…Nothing to adulterate the headiness of being in love, of being confident, too, that one’s love is returned.

Ten of my favourite ‘Jaa’ songs – begin with ‘jaa’ (and being strict about this; no variations, like jaaiye or jaao). What or who is being sent away differs, but the crux of the matter remains: go. Go away. This post sprang out of an earlier post on ‘Aaja’ songs….Some interesting coincidences…Jaa tose nahin boloon Kanhaiyya (Parivaar, 1956) has, interestingly, another song in another film begins with exactly the same words: in Samrat Chandragupta, a song picturized on Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhushan begins Jaa tose nahin boloon…..Jaa Jaa re chanda jaa re from Private Secretary (1964), is created by music director, Dilip Dholakia He has another jaa song from the same film, fabulously rendered by Manna Dey – Ja Re Beiman Tujhe Dekh Liya Jaa.. Another song, nearly decade earlier, which is similar to that of the Lata song from Private Secretary is Ja jaa re chanda teri chandani jalaye from Albeli (1955) – music director – Ravi.

Sadanand Kamath also recites similar interesting coincidence in Kaliyon mein Raam mera kiranon mein Raam hai –-It was a surprise to know just a few days back that Amirbai Karnataki, the Kannada Kokila as she was known in Karnataka, had faced a situation when she was required to lip sync in Sudha Malhotra’s voice for the song ‘Kahaan nahi Ram hai’ from the film PAWAN PUTRA HANUMAN (1957). The song is written by Saraswati Kumar Deepak and is set to music by Chitragupta. Apart from Amirbai Karnataki, the other actor in the role of Hanuman is S N Tripathi. Incidentally, Chitragupta assisted S N Tripathi before he got independent assignment as music director in 1946. Here is the song that provides the title to the post: Kaliyon mein Raam mera kiranon mein Raam hai – Pawan Putra Hanuman – Geeta Dutt .

‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil was Patchwork’: In Conversation With Vijay Anandnever-before-published interview of Vijay Anand – in conversation with Peeyush Sharma we have some interesting aspects of S D Burman’s music. “No one could dictate Burman Dada about which song must be sung by which singer. He had his own style of testing and selecting the voice. Once he would conceptualize a song and decide on the singer for the particular song, no one could influence that decision. He would go to the final limit of even scrapping the song altogether. He would then create a new song but he would not change his decision on the singer. He had the courage of his conviction. He knew which song would best suit a singer. And that decision would be the best decision and the song of course, would be a hit….There was no singer of his calibre in the entire film industry. The kind of highly complex ‘murkiyan’ (tonal embellishments) or ‘gayaki’ (rendering style) he would come up with was simply out of this world. But when he would sing the same tune for Lata or Rafi or Kishore or Asha, he would make it simpler than before.

More to read :

We end our present episode with some (interesting) posts on Mohammad Rafi

I look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..