Manna Dey – Chale Jaa Rahein Hai…. : 1947 – 1950
Manna Dey, a.k.a. Prabodh Chandra Dey, (1 May, 1919 – 24 October, 2013) had established himself as the playback singer with his own distinct style in the very initial years of his career in the ‘40s. The second half of ‘40s – from 1947 to 1950 – further consolidated that image. This was also the period when other male and female playback singers who were to play dominant roles in the subsequent decades of 50’ and ‘60s were also simultaneously visible in the sky of HFM. ‘40s laid the foundation that established that range of Manna Dey’s vocal prowess would become a standard that these and the those who were to follow would always aspire to reach.
However, for the records, it needs to be recorded that it was his that versatility that led the music directors to offer him songs that were difficult. The fact that he made these difficult compositions sound simple enough probably never created ‘THE’ hero’s voice.
We have listened to Manna Dey’s songs for the year 1943 to 1946 in our May 2018 episode. We would take up Manna Dey’s songs from 1947 to 1950 in this episode today.
For the purpose historical records, the present four years of 1947 to 1950 have given us Manna Dey’s maiden duets with Meena Kapoor (Chaltey Chaltey, 1947), Shamshad Begum (School Girl, 1949), Lata Mangeshkar (Narsinh Avtar, 1949), and Geeta Dutt (Ram Vivah, 1949). Even as he used to assist S D Burman from the initial days of the music director, Manna Dey recorded his first song under S D Burman’s baton in Mashaal (1950).
Suno Suno He Nar Nari – Age Badho (1947) – Sudhir Phadake – Amar Varma
This is a song wherein Manna Dey provides the backstage voice for the song narrative of the play being enacted on the stage.
There is another song, a duet – Sawan Ki Ghatao Dheere Dheere Aana– which had become very popular then and is till well-remembered. The records clearly mention Manna Dey as the male singer, but the listeners seem to be equally convinced that it is Rafi.
Apne Hi Rang Mein Rang Daro – Geet Gobind (1947) with Rajkumari – Gyan Dutt – Pandit Indra
Gyan Dutt has used Manna Dey’s voice as the lead male voice for the film. The songs of the film had become quite popular too. This very unique opportunity seems to have dysfunctionally cast Maana Dey as the singer for classical based songs.
Ham Tere Hai Hamko Na Thukarana O Bharat Ke Bhagwan Chale Aana– Ham Bhi Insaan Hai (1948) – H P Das, Manna Dey – G S Nepali
In the very initial years of Dev Anand, Manna Dey seems to be have been used as his playback voice.
Wo Ghar Ghar Ke Diye Bujhakar Bane Hue Dhanwan – Ham Bhi Insaan Hai (1948)– H P Das, Manna Dey – G S Nepali
In Part 1, Manna Dey sings in the lead, with an unknown female artist and chorus in the company.
In Part 2, Manna Dey play perfect foil to the silhouette pensive mood of the song.
Jai Shiv Shankar Gauri Shankar – Jai Hanumaan (1948) – Bulo C Rani Pandit Indra
No wonder Manna Dey gets type cast for such songs.
Humne Tumhare Ishq Mein Marke Dikha Diya – Gajre (1948) – Anil Biswas – G S Nepali
With this romantic song, Anil Biswas certainly adds to variety of songs that Manna Dey could sing so comfortably. This is the only male song in the films, so we may presume that it will have been filmed on Motilal, the main lead actor.
Chal Tu Preet Nagariya Rahi – Veena (1948) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan
The song is a pensively romantic mood song, which may have been filmed as a background song.
Duniya To Ye Kaheti Hai Insan Kahan Hai – Lahore (1949) – Shyam Sundar Rajiner Krishna
Manna Dey gets one more background song. However, the song is quite difficult one .
Lapat Ke Pat Pahaney Bikral – Narsinh Avtar (1949) – with Lata Mangeshkar and chorus – Vasant Desai –
The song is a dance song but set to a difficult composition. The song is a maiden Manna Dey – Lata Mangeshkar duet, which is set to give us 102 more.
Dhanya Dhanya Hai Awadhpuri – Ram Vivah (1949) – with Geeta Roy (Dutt) – Shankar Rao Vyas – Moti M A
This song goes down the records as the maiden Manna Dey and Geeta Roy (Dutt) duet. They have 26 more duets to their account.
Duniya Ke Logo Lo Himmat Se Kaam – Mashaal (1950 – with chorus – S D Burman – Pradeepji
Manna Dey gets one more opportunity to manifest his tonal range, but for a ‘beggar’ song, composed by S D Burman to the Bengali folk ‘baul’ tune.
Upar Gagan Vishal Neeche Gahar Paatal – Mashaal (1950) – S D Burman – Pradeepji
Mashaal helped S D Burman much needed toe-space to anchor his career in the HFM. Even as he had used Arun Kumar Mukherjee as playback to the male lead, Ashok Kumar, it this song that earned the credit of being the game-changer. Manna Dey again is at his tonal variety best, even as the song is filmed more as a background song.
Here are the songs for which we have audio links, thanks to SP Chatterjee’s exhaustive blog compilation of Manna Dey’s songs-
- Naina Besabari More Darsan Bin Mane Na – Gaon (1947) – Khemchand Prakash – D N Madhok, wherein Manna Dey’s voice has clear vintage era diction.
- Prabhat Vandana Kare Jago He Hare – Sant Janabai (1949) – with chorus – Sudhir Phadake – Pt. Narendra Sharma
I have not been able to locates soft copies /links to the following songs:
- Aaj Bhar Aayi Bhar Aayi Hai – Chalte Chalte (1947) – with Meena Kapoor – Khemchand Prakash – Lalchand Basant Peshwari – This Manna Dey’s maiden duet with Meena Kapoor. Unfortunately, we do not have a soft link of this song on the net.
- Chhod De Likhna, Lekh Bidhata – Kaun Hamara (1947) – Bulo C Rani – Pandit Indra
- Jag Andha Jagwale Andhe – Aap Beeti (1948) – Haribhai – Hasrat Lakhanavi
- Bhool Ja, Ab Woh Zamanaa Bhool Ja and Phir Mere Armano Ki Ujadi Hui Hai – Asha – Hari Bhai – L Meghani
- Jao Ram Siya Ram – Ramban (1948) – Shankar Rao Vyas – Neelkanth Tiwari
- Phoolon Ka Sapna Dekhanewale – Girls School –(1948) – With Shamshad Begum – Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra – Vishwamitra Adil
- Narayan Ka Naam Nirala – Bhagwan Shri Krishna (1950) – Shankar Rao Vyas – Pt. Fani
- Naina Lage Ke Pi Ki Or – Ram Darshan (1950 – ? – Ramesh Gupta
The site exclusively dedicated to Manna Dey mentions one score on Manna Dey’s account in ‘Mahal’ (1949), but does not have any details relating to the lyrics etc.
To end the post with Mohammad Rafi’s song, which would necessarily be a duet with Manna Dey, we shall have to move away for the present scope of 1947-1950 period.
Le Lo Babu Pudiya Ye Jaadu Waali Pudiya – Madan Manjari (1961) – Sardar Malik – Hasrat Jaipuri
Even as this being an audio version, we do not have access to know as to who lip sings for the two singers, we can enjoy both the singers matching notes to notes to mood of the song.
We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month……..
Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.
9 thoughts on “Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: May, 2019”
‘Saawan ki ghataao dheere dheere ana’ from ‘Aage Badho’ – HFGK mentions Manna Dey as the male voice, but it is surely a mistake. You being a Rafi expert cannot miss his typical voice modulation. The Excel sheet prepared by Muveen of Rafi songs includes this song. Several sites mention it as his song.
‘Apne hi rang rang daarun Shyam tohe’ is a beautiful song. It is sad that this song is so unknown. Thanks a lot for adding it.
While listening to the song, there would hardly be any doubt that the male voice is Rafi. My gut feeling too supports this view.
However, one would also not accept that HFGK has erred, and that the error has remained unchallenged for so long.
We also can not overlook the other circumstantial evidence that it is Manna Dey who has been used as the male voice for the other song of the film.
That evidence also pints to the contrary view that he was chosen for a background voice and Rafi for a romantic duet.
I am an avid Manna Dey follower too. So, my inner most rcesses hope that this is Manna Dey who has matched Rafi to the ‘t’, and what really separated the two great versatile, gifted and thorough gentlemen artists was the lady luck.