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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: June, 2019

Dattaram – Haal-e-Dil Hamara Jaane Na.. Ye Bewafa Zamana

Picture – courtesy: Mustafa Kamaal Sikander

Dattaram (a.k.a. Dattaram Wadkar) had very early initiation into the music His first music teacher was Pandari Nageshwar, from whom he learnt to play tabla. Subsequently, he worked for Sajjaad Hussain for a few months, before he chanced to meet Shankar  in a gym. With Shankar’s help, he secured a job at Prithvi Theatres. He became part of the trio that used to play the background music during the interval in the stage shows – the other two being Ram Ganguly on sitaar and Ramlal on shehnai. Dattaram became famous as a tabla player, and a special rhythm that he used to play became to be known as ‘dattu tthekaa’. (a percussion rhythm played on tabla).

Dattaram assisted Ram Ganguly in Raj Kapoor’s Aag (1948) and then onwards assisted Shankar-Jaikishan in Barsaat (1949). Dattaram continued to assist Shankar-Jaikishan in a majority of films, all the way up to ‘Dhoop Chhaon’ in 1977. He was part of the core RK music team of Shankar-Jaikishan, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, and Mukesh, besides himself.

In 1957, Dattaram made his mark as an independent music director with the RK film ‘Ab Dilli Door Nahin’. In his career as a composer, he created music for just about 21 films from 1957 to 1971.  He is the one of those unfortunate composers, who did not succeed on the commercial parameters, even when his songs did become quite popular. In the initial phase even help from Raj Kapoor also could not turn the tables on his side.

In a series of tribute articles, we had listened to Dattaram’s songs from 1957 to 1959 in June,2018 episode of our present platform. We will listen to some of his known, and not so known, songs for the years 1960 and 1961.  These songs epitomize the irony of Dattaram’s career – the success of his songs was not strong enough to provide the escape velocity required for the long term success as an independent music director.

Kala Aadmi (1960)

Many of us may not remember the film, but Mukesh solo from the  film, Dil Dhundhata Hai Sahere Sahere, will ring instant recall.

The other songs from are also very good to listen to.

Aankh Mila Kar Vaar Karoongi Roko – Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Dattaram has so skillfully used Suman Kalyanpur for a ‘typical’ club song. The song is filmed on Minu Mumtaz and others.

Ankhiyaan Milaa Ke Toone Mujhko Hi Jeet Liyaa  – Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

This is a ‘party’ song, filmed on the film’s lead lady, Shayama, hence Dattaram brings in Lata Mangeshkar to playback the song. Prelude and interlude orchestration has strong shadow of Shankar Jaikishan style, but Dattu tthekkka’s distinct presence establishes the song as THE Dattaram composition.

Shriman Satyawadi (1960)

Dattaram once again takes up the musical baton for a film in which Raj Kapoor is lead actor, after Parvarish in 1958. As against his use of Manna Dey as the lead playback singer in Paravarish (except Ansoo Bhari Hai Ye Jeevan Ki Rahein), Dattaram has deployed Mukesh as Raj Kapoor’s lead playback singer in this film. The songs – Haal-e-Dil Hamara Jaane Na Ye Jamana and Ae Dil Dekhe Hai Hamne Bade Bade Sangdil – are copybook Mukesh-Raj Kapoor songs, and as can be expected had become quite popular.

Rut Albeli Mast Samaan, Saath Haseen Har Baat Jawaan – Mukesh – Lyrics: Gulzar Dinvi

Song is filmed as a Tonga /Victoria song, however, Dattaram has not resorted to the typical ‘tonga’ based rhythm.  Dattu Thekka also been used very innovatively in the song.

Ek Baat Kahoon Wallah Ye Husn Subhan Allah – Mahendra Kapoor, Suman Kalyanpur, Mukesh – Lyrics: Gulzar Dinvi

Dattaram has experimented with Mahendra Kapoor as playback voice of Mehmood in the song. The song is an additional evidence of Dattaram’s range of capability, to be able to so easily handle a variety of song genres during his career.

We find PreSong Dances on YT, wherein we find Dattaram experimenting with different western dance tunes.  Each piece has been created with a different set of rhythms and corresponding instruments. E.g.@3.36, we get to listen one of the most popular dance tune, wherein Dattaram has freely experimented with the use of rhythm and main composition instruments.

Dark street (1961)

Dattaram now seems to get trapped into waling up the dark street of B/C grade films for sustenance, which, typically, does not help his career.

Ajab Hain Is Duniya Ke Raaz, Jo Bhi Mile Wo MaskebaazGeeta Dutt – Lyrics-Gulshan Bawra

Use of Geeta Dutt for club dance is perhaps too late, since she was no more in the prime singer list by this time. However, B/C grade film constraints of tighter budgets further aggravate competition with big-budget, big-banner films for the time slots of the top-rung singer, So the music director has to make best of what is available. In most of similar cases, the song does work out as good, but not good enough to be commercially successful.

Itne Bade Jahaan Mein Apna Bhi Koi Hota – Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: Indeevar

The song falls into a classic slot of all-female twin song genre. Both versions have been able to carve out quite distinct identity as individual songs, while complementing as twin songs of a happy and a sad mood.

Version 1

Version  2

First Love (1961)

We have one more film that has been lost in the obscurity, but its songs remain live even today.

Mujhe Mil Gayi Hai Mohabbat Ki Manzil, Koi Poochh Le Yeh Mere Hamsafar SeMukesh, Lyrics-Gulshan Bawra

Dattaram once again comes up with a winning Mukesh-song formula.

Maano Ya Na Maano Meri Zindagi Ki Bahaar Ho – Suman Kalyanpur, Mukesh – Lyrics-Gulshan Baawra

Dattaram seems to have preferred to err on the safer side and have selected a typical Mukesh-duet-song formula

We must also take note of one the most known Suman Kalyanpur songs, which was recorded in this film.

Beete Hue Din Kuchh  Aise Hi Hai, Yaad Aate Hi Dil Machal Jaaye – Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: Gulshan Bawra

Dattaram uses Suman Kalyanpur’s voice to create a feeling of deep pathos. The song also epitomizes irony of fate – the song is considered to be a class creation that was well-received by the mass, but  not its music director.

Zindagi Aur Khwaab (1961)

The competitive compulsion on Dattaram – to work in B/C grade, unknown banner films – seems to work as blessing in disguise as he gets chance to work with a wide range of lyricists. However, even this does not help in breaking the jinx to his career.

Phool Bagiya Mein Bhanwre Aaye, Akeli Chameli GhabraayeMubarak Begam – Lyrics : Pradeep

Dattaram gets to work on a mujra song here. He has been able to use Mubarak Begam well enough in the song.

Kidhar Main Jaaun Samajh Naa Paaun…Kabhi Kisi Ki Khushiyaan Koi Loote Naa – Mukesh – Lyrics: Pradeep

Once again Dattaram comes up with a trump of a Mukesh-pathos song. The song also is proof of Dattaram’s capability of handling different genres of songs – this is a ‘piano’ song.

Asides:

The film also has a very popular Manna Dey – Suman Kalyanpur duet – Na Jaane Kahaan Tum The Na Jaane Kahaan Ham The, Jaadu Ye Dekho Ham Tum Mile Hain.

In the chance meeting of this film, Meena Kumari was already a star, Manna Dey and Suman Kalyanpur were well –respected but remained the second-best choice.  Dattaram has been struggling to come out of the down-hill path. Rajendra Kumar may be considered as perhaps the most-limited talent artist in the picture frame of the song, but was so lucky that he went to become golden-jubilee-kumar and retained stardom for a fairly long stretch of time.

Kateele Kateele Nasheele Nasheele Kaise Jhonke Aaye, Hawaa Ke kaise Jhonke Aaye – Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: Shailendra

Here we have Salil Chaudhari-styled, vivacious, fast paced, high-pitched song, that is orchestrated on SJ style.

We will now take up one Mohammad Rafi song from each of these films to end our episode with Mohammad Rafi song. Each of the song is of a different type, created for a different situation.

Beema Life Beema Policy! Babu Insurance Kara Lo, Mister Insurance Kara Lo – Kaala Aadmi (1960) – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

One does not need to be told that the song is filmed on Jhonny Walker.

Rang Rangeeli Bottle Ka Dekho Jadoo – Shriman Satywadi (1960) – Lyrics: Gulzar Dinvi

This time it is Mehmood who lip syncs Rafi on the screen.

Mujhe Jag Di Bana De Malika – Dark street (1961) – With Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: ?

We have a bhangra song, that has distinct use of Dattu Ttheka.

O Dekho Aayi Bahrein Layi, Woh Dekho Aayi Hai Senorita – First Love (1961) – With Suman Kalyanpur – Lyrics: Gulshan Bawra

This looks like a picnic song, which also was a very oft-used genre in Hindi film songs in 60’s.

Mera Bandar Chala Hai Sasuraal, Dekho Zara Latka. Hoy Betaa Ji Ke Laal Laal GaalZindagi aur khwaab (1961) – With Kamal Barot – Lyrics:Pradeep

The songs is one more addition to Dattaram’s range of different genres – A Street song, based on folk music- and different playback singers – Kamal Barot.

We will continue our exploration tour of Dattaram’s music direction in the future episode(s), too.

We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month……..

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