Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music : September, 2017

Welcome to September, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Actress Shakila, who is known for the song Babuji Dheere Chalna, passed away in Mumbai on 20th September, 2017.

Actress Shakila dies of heart attack: 5 songs that will remind you of ‘the fairy queen of Indian fantasies’  – Ankita MehtaShakila was one of the top actresses in the 50s and 60s. She acted with Guru Dutt in Aar Paar (1954), Dev Anand in C.I.D (1956), Raj Kapoor in Shriman Satyawadi (1960), Shammi Kapoor in China Town (1962) and Sunil Dutt in Post Box 999.

Shakila, the star of ‘Aar Paar’ and ‘CID’ dies at the age of 82 – She made her debut as a child actor in 1950 and made her breakthrough in Guru Dutt’s ‘Aar Paar’. Born as Badshah Begum on January 1, 1935, Shakila was introduced to cinema by her aunt, who went on to manage the acting careers of Shakila and her sisters Noor, and Nasreen. Shakila’s early appearances include Dastaan (1950), Sindbad the Sailor (1952), Rajrani Damyanti (1952), Aagosh (1953), Shahenshah (1953), Raj Mahal (1953) and Armaan (1953).

Most of the newspapers, like Indian Express, Times Of India, National Herald, Hindustan Times , Free Press Journal, The Quint, News18.com, The Hindu Business Line , Mumbai Mirror etc. also have paid rich tributes.

We will also take a retrospective look and read Shakila (Shakeela) – Interview – by Nalini Uchil in 1984. the interviewer notes that she had great fun while she worked in films. ……Now, Shakila has no use for awards or trophies. …..And nothing will make her come back into films.).

We will now take up tribute posts:

M.S. Subbulakshmi: The woman who built bridges with her music : Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi, who was born on 16 September 1916 and died on 11 December 2004, remains an unsurpassed phenomenon in Carnatic music

Seven Contemporary Covers of Songs Once Famously Sung By Noor Jehan… on her birthday.

Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies: S Mohinder is combined tribute post to S Mohinder on his 92 birthday and Asha Bhosle on her 84th birthday on 8th September:

Kaun kahe unse ja ke ae huzoor by Asha Bhosle from Paapi (1953), lyrics Sarshar Sailani

The September 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to (Shankar-) Jaikishan and Hasrat Jaipuri’s Songs Fading From the Memory.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Ten of my favourite ‘imprisoned singer’ songs – Hindi cinema has its fair share of people who are in prison, at times in really dire straits but still being able to summon up the energy to sing.

National film archive adds 162 films to its stash – According to a press release, 125 of the newly acquired films are in their original negative format. These include Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti (1969), SU Sunny’s Kohinoor (1960) starring Dilip Kumar, and Jayant Desai’s Amber (1952) starring Nargis and Raj Kapoor.

OP Nayyar’s influence on other Music Directors – Ravindra Kelkar maps representative songs for the three scenarios of the songs composed by other MDs which sound like OP:

1) Those songs which were composed in OP style willingly
2) Those songs composed in OP style due to pressure from producer/distributor
3) Those songs composed in OP style with the intention of cutting OP out

We have reviews of three books at Conversations over Chai:

  • To Her, With Love – that of ‘The Classic Biography of Meena Kumari’
  • No Holds Barred – that of Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography; Khullam Khulla
  • To the Movies Born – that of Asha Parekh’s autobiography. ‘The Hit Girl’, co-authored by Khalid Mohammed

Hindi Songs With Whistling – a list of hindi film songs, where whistling forms a significant part of the song or at times, identity of the song. Not included are the songs having whistling only for a few seconds, may be at the end or the beginning. (e.g. ‘Tum Pukar Lo’ from Khamoshi)

In photos: A Jitendra Arya exhibition captures a budding film industry and a changing nationDamini Kulkarni – acclaimed photographer Jitendra Arya’s camera was as intrepid and bohemian as its owner, capturing Indian personalities like MF Hussain, Ravi Shankar, and Dilip Kumar, as well as powerful international figures like British Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, Clement Atlee, and Grace Kelly. Arya’s skill as a portraitist has been compared to the versatility of Yousuf Karsh, who has been widely regarded as one of the best photographers of the 20th Century.

Teesri Kasam – A Story of Love That Meandered to its Dead EndTeesri Kasam – the name given to Maare Gaye Gulfam for its cinematic version – was hailed a classic and collected reasonably well at the box-office though a little too late for its producer – the great poet Shailendra. Vijay Kumar explores the similarities and deviations between Teesri Kasam and Maare Gaye Gulfam, both written by the renowned Hindi literatteur Phanishwar Nath Renu. In this exhaustive critique, he peels the layers off five songs of Teesri Kasam, revealing the deep and profound message they express about the anguish of women in the rural hinterland.

Duet Songs with ‘Two Moods’ lists songs having two different moods, mainly Happy and Sad, in broad terms.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?, SoY has presented Best songs of 1948 songs: Wrap Up 1 wherein Mukesh is adjudged the Best Singer for the song Gaaye ja geet milan ke or Kabhi dil dil se takarata to hoga.  In continuation of the series on this blog, we continued with the  posts on Female Solo Songs with following up the first part with the second part  of the solo songs of Geeta Dutt with .

We will end the present post with two very well-known Mohammad Rafi songs featurin Shakeela on the screen.

Jitni Haseen Ho Tum Utani Hi Bewafa Ho – Mangu Dada (1970) – C Arjun – Akhtar Romani

Chheda Jo Dil Ka Fasana Hasa Jor Se Kyon Jamana Alla Jaane Walla Jaane –  Nakli Nawab (1962) – Babul – Raja Mehandi Ali Khan

We also have a Book Review: Sujata Dev’s ‘Mohammed Rafi: Golden Voice of the Silver Screen

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – August, 2017

Welcome to August, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We have three posts for our present episode that befit the season:

Beyond ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’, the film songs that dare to step out of line when things go off-key – Rather than pop patriotism tunes, it’s the songs about dissent and debate that resonate as India turns 70 – Rineeta Naik recalls the anti-nationals in Hindi films who stepped out of line and reminded us of the times when things went off-key… The songs presented here convey a poet’s despair over social and moral decay, the agony of a man unfairly marked as a traitor, and the exuberant cynicism of city-dwellers who discovered that “sone ki chidiya” rhymes nicely with malaria.

Celebrate the monsoon with this performance of raag Mia ki Malhar by Amir Khan – Malhar raags are prescribed for the rainy season. – Aneesh Pradhan – Amir Khan’s presentation of Mia ki Malhar, a raag considered to have been created by the 16th-century vocalist and composer Mia Tansen, has always been considered by musicians and aficionados as one of the most iconic interpretations of the raag. The recording featured here was made for the All India Radio National Programme of Music in 1958, but it continues to haunt listeners to this day.

Rainy Days has captured songs picturised in the rain, let it be for a part of the song or the entire length, from drizzle to showers! The song may not be about the rain itself.

We will first take up the posts on Meena Kumari in our regular anniversaries or eulogies posts:

Meena Kumari: An enigma – DP Rangan pays a very touching and vivid tribute to Meena Kumari on her 85th birth anniversary (1 August 1932 – 31 March 1972).

Gaddeswaroop’s Blog has added two songs in Meena Kumari singing for herself in 1947

Ankhiyan Taras Rahin Un Bin – Piya Ghar Aaja (1947) – Bulo C Rani – Pt. Indra

Sawan Beet Gayo Mai Ri – Duniya Ek Sarai (1947) – Hansraj Behl – Kidar Sharma

We also take a look at the life of Meena Kumari in Meena Kumari Biography by Javed Akhtar. The Enigma Called Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari Part 1 ǁ Part 2 ǁ Part 3; Virasat – Meena Kumari Part 1 of 2 ǁ Part 2 of 2 and the 20 Rare Pictures of Meena Kumarisupplement good deal of interesting aspects on the subject

We have chosen to take a Retrospective look to revisit:

No One Quite Like Her –  The Inimitable Meena Kumari’ – “Good looks, great talent and unhappiness. Perhaps no other star combined all three in such a heady brew as Meena Kumari did.” Sathya Saran writes about how the iconic actress carved out an inimitable niche for herself, had held sway over her audiences for two decades and continues to fascinate her fans to this day….. Nothing added as much to the legend of Meena Kumari as her liviing of it. For many it seemed the natural culmination to a life of suffering. To be abandoned and exploited, and left without money after earning  sums that were beyond the reach of lesser stars, and die sick in heart and body is a tale that cannot fail to touch anyone who hears it.

The Legend That Was Meena Kumari in which Antara Nanda Mondal poignantly notes that pain and anguish was part of her life and she brought them to the fore in her performances that became iconic.

At a film premiere – Talat Mahmood with Meena Kumari, Usha Kiran, music director Madan Mohan and other guests

Meena Kumari – Interview (1952). This is an interview when Meena Kumari was on the verge completing two significant and much talked-about films, “Footpath” and “Baiju Bawra”, in which she had played the feminine lead.

Remembering singer Parul Ghosh, one of Hindi cinema’s quietest trailblazers – Wife of an illustrious husband, sister of a famous brother, Parul Ghosh made indelible contributions to music. Rudradeep Bhattacharjee pays tribute on her fortieth death anniversary.

All these years later, nobody exudes flamboyance like Shammi Kapoor – On the Hindi film star’s death anniversary, a reminder of his irresistible exuberance. Akshay Manwani states that In his book on dancing star and rebel hero, Shammi Kapoor: The Game Changer, journalist and film critic Rauf Ahmed gives readers a view of Kapoor’s ascent into stardom.

70mm Man: C Mohan, who designed the logo for ‘Sholay’ and other classics – Ramesh Sippy’s landmark film was released this week 42 years ago. Its designer was one of the leading exponents of Bollywoood Expressionism.

And Happy Birthday to Another Big Reason I Got Drawn Into Hindi Films, that of Vyjayanthimala, who just happens to be celebrating her birthday as this post was in the writing. There is one more post on Vaijayantimala’s birthday – Seven Dances for Vyjayanthimala’s Birthday  – posted seven years ago. This post has video clips of some of her lesser known dance songs,

Of the Ten of my favourite Mumtaz songs, presented in celebration of the 70th birthday on 31sy July, I have picked up O matwaare saajna chhalak gaya mera pyaar (Faulad, 1963) as my own offering to the celebration.

The August 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Shailendra and “Other” Music Directors

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (2): Their songs for ‘other’ singers’ is a follow up post to The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (1): Their songs for Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi, SoY recounts the memorable meeting with 90-year-old Nirmala Devi, wife of Pt. Husnlal.

Gulzar’s 1988 movie ‘Libaas’ to be finally released later this year -Zee Classic and Amul Mohan, the son of the producer Vikas Mohan, will release the film.

Subodh Agrwal has taken up a very difficult subject of Asymmetric Duets. He has further tightened the rules by taking up the duets in which the rhythm and the tune do diverge and yet complement each other too. SoY readers have chipped in a very large number of such interesting songs.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?, we have conclude the sub-series of Male Solo Songs with My Top Male Solo Songs and commenced the series of posts on Female Solo Songs with 21-solo-songs of Suraiya, following up with the first part and second part  of the solo songs of Geeta Dutt.

We will end the present post with a chance Mohammad Rafi song that an e-mail from my friend Samir Dholakia presented me.

De De Mori Mundari – Sat Saaliyaan (Punjabi) 1964 – S.Madan- Naqsh Lyallpuri – Mohd.Rafi

Note: In the song @4.28 a reference to other well-known songs – Akhiyan Sakhi Akhiyan Lagi and Ek Chatur Naar- is made as a parody

The song merited some more searches that led to a full-fledged parody song as well from the same film:

Bahut Shukriya Badi Meharbaani

Not to be satisfied now, I search more, and get two beautiful duets with Suman Kalyanpur:

Sohniye Tu Na Modi Munh

Kehdi Gallon Russiyan Ne

and a signature Rafi song

Sat Saaliyaan – Oye Sohna Jeha Mukhda

BTW, the music director S Madan is known to us for his far more famous and melodious duet with Asha Bhosle:

Ye Raat Ye Fizaain Phir Aain Naa Aaye – Batwara –Majrooh Sultanpuri

Batwara too had one signature Rafi song:

Yeh Kaisi Deewar Hai Duniya 

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – July, 2017

Welcome to July, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We will first take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

One hundred years of Sarat Chandra’s ‘Devdas’ being published as a book (on 30th June 1917).

More on Sarat and Devdas : In The mortals of Devdas by J.N.Sinha: Its admirers have tracked many a character in Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s life and his novels….On a closer look, Devdas is none other than the author himself, and Paro a young vivacious girl of the same town.”

Roshan at 100: The ultimate playlist, plus the story of the three lives of a single songRudradeep Bhattacharjee – The legendary music composer had a golden run during the 1960s, but the foundation was set in the previous decade. – One of Roshan’s most memorable songs from the 1960s is Rahein Na Rahein Hum (Mamta, 1966). It was a reworking of another Lata Mangeshkar song Thandi Hawayein, composed by SD Burman for the film Naujawan (1951). This is fascinating because of various reasons: one, RD Burman himself reworked the tune for one of his famous songs (Sagar Kinare); two, SD Burman himself is said to have been inspired by a tune he had heard being played on the piano in a Juhu hotel; three, Roshan used the tune way back in 1954 in a little-known film called Chandni Chowk in Tera Dil Kahaan Hai.

OP Nayyar-Geeta Dutt: A peerless combination – Ravindra Kelkar pays tribute to Geeta Dutt on her 45th death anniversary (23 November 1930 – 20 July 1972)

On this occasion, we will also take a retrospective look at articles on Geet Dutt @ Silhouette Magazine :

The Masters: Madan Mohan commemorates what would have been 93rd birthday of the music director….He once said that “…the foremost requirement of a song is only one thing;  it should be capable of capturing the interest of the listeners in a short period and sustaining it in the years to follow.” He needn’t have worried; his legacy endures, as timeless as his soul-stirring compositions.

The foregoing post has studiedly avoided Lata – MM songs because the author had already done an exclusive post: An Afternoon Tryst with Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar

The music man and his treasure bag: songs in Aashirwad – a song-sequence series post that remembers Sumita Sanyal on her passing away. [Here’s an earlier piece about the Aashirwad song “Saaf Karo Insaaf Karo”]

Jalaa do yeh duniya: poets and merchants in Pyaasa and Navrang – “when I think of the Pyaasa scene, I also think of a very different sort of scene from a film made two years later – another song that touches on the dilemmas facing a pure artist in a material world, but does it with splendid lightness of touch. That Song is “Kavi Raja”, sung by the film’s lyricist Bharat Vyas, begins with a group of friends – poets as well as poet manqués – coming together for an impromptu little sammelan.

[Earlier Mint Lounge columns on songs-sequence articles here]

Even in the darkness, he dreamed of lights: A tribute to renowned cinematographer KK MahajanRudradeep Bhattacharjee – On the death anniversary of Kewal Krishan Mahajan, or KK as his friends called him, a look back at his unmatched legacy.

The July 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song From The FIRST Film With The Music Director: 1949

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (1): Their songs for Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi – Having done series on Anil Biswas, Naushad, C Ramchandra, SD Burman and Shankar-Jaikishan, SoY now has taken up the lesser, but no less talented star-duo of Husnlal Bhagatram.

Gaddeswarup’s blog expands the on Husnlal Bhagatram by recalling Satish Chopra’s article ‘The diamond cutters!’, and that famous song Chup Chup Khade Ho from Badi Bahen. Here is the Tamil version of the song Enni Enni Parkka Manam, that was filmed on debutant Vyjayantimala in the film ‘Vaazhkai’ (1949). The film was re-made in Hindi as Bahaar, for which S D Burman had composed the music.

In ‘Ninaithen Vandaai’, MGR and Jayalalithaa are Antony and CleopatraArchana Nathan – In ‘Kavalkaaran’, Jayalalithaa’s character revisits the stories of star-crossed lovers and decides her own love story deserves a happy ending.

Is ‘Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi’ from ‘Gaman’ the ultimate separation song?Nandini Ramnath – In Muzaffar Ali’s debut film, Farooque Shaikh drives a taxi in Mumbai while Smita Patil waits interminably for him. The song is a version of Makhdoom Mohiuddin’s ghazal Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi. Chhaya Ganguli’s masterful rendition of a song that speaks of the pain of a prolonged separation wafts over some of the quietest visuals in the movie. In Gaman, Jaidev’s brilliant soundtrack has one of the greatest laments about life in Mumbai. Seene Me Jalan is the mournful flipside of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil from CID (1956).

Mehfil Mein Meri is a new addition to our blogroll. The blog opens its books with Voice of Dev Anand which has listed some of the songs of Dev Anand by various playback singers

Ten songs picturized in famous gardens, with a rider that song from the same garden would not be included in this post.

Favorite Scenes Showing Kathak Footwork (danced by Gopi Krishna, Sitara Devi, and Roshan Kumari) – I have picked up two songs that are not heard often and one from A Satyajit Ray film:

K.N. Singh – My Memorable Roles (1963) –“Every actor knows that doing a long stretch of walking in front of the cameras is the worst possible ordeal for a newcomer. The camera is a harsh, relentless observer—a one-eyed monster all eyes for the smallest gaucherie. And why only an actor? Off-camera, how many men can walk manfully, unself-consciously, in the full gaze of a roomful of watchful people?”

Baghban” directed by A.R. Kardar, is the film Singh rates highest. He played a villain in it “but the violence was not physical but subtly mental.” To this role and film, Singh ascribes his “continuance” in films.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?, we have added the detailed posts on Male Solo songs with those of G M Durrani, Surendra and Other Male Singers.

To end the today’s post with an article on Mohammed Rafi, I have picked up a two Madan Mohan’s (relatively) unheard songs and a video clip of a public performance.

Tribute to Rafi Saheb and Madan Mohan – Singer Khalid Baig

Oonche Oonche Melahonwale – Jagir (1959) – Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

Har Sapna Ek Din Toote Is Duniya Mein – an unreleased song

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – June, 2017

Welcome to June, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

It is a great pleasure to open the curtains of June 2017 post of blog carnival series with Songs of Yore completes seven years that presents what has by now been a well-established tradition of presenting some quite unusual songs and songs of some unique personality form the world of music on the occasion of celebration of the birth anniversary of this blog. Master Madan is the case in point this year.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

‘Not very beautiful but vivacious’: How Nargis was cast in her breakthrough movie ‘Taqdeer’Kishwar Desai –  June 1 marks the birth anniversary of Nargis, one of Indian cinema’s greatest actresses. Nargis had appeared in a few films in small roles before Taqdeer, which was directed by Mehboob Khan. She was 14 at the time, and was paired with Motilal.

The Spontaneity of Nutan That Rose Above ‘Acting’Antara Nanda Mondal pays a tribute to the legendary actress Nutan with a brief journey through some of her immortal songs – in which she essayed an amazing variety of roles. Her spontaneity and versatility made her rise above the accepted norms of ‘acting’ in mainstream cinema.

Nutan speaks about Bimal Roy is recently added by the Youtube channel WildfilmsIndia which features many videos of a geographical, historical and cultural nature.

KA Abbas, ‘biggest bulk buyer of tickets’ of his own films and eternal dreamerJuhi Saklani– The medium was always the message for Khwaja Ahmed Abbas (June 7, 1914-June 1, 1987), the celebrated writer, filmmaker and columnist.

Chaar Rahein – K A Abbas at the junction between tradition and progress – is one of the most structurally interesting Hindi films of its time, with separate stories coming together through the device of the crossroads and the personal journeys of the characters passing it. Two years earlier, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s debut film Musafir had used a house and its landlord to link three discrete narratives. If the “makaan” in that film represents a society made up of many types of people, Char Dil Char Rahein is about the tradition-modernity conflict facing a nation; it is, literally and otherwise, set at the intersection between old roads and a new one.

Sajjad Hussain, the composer whose music has endured ‘with a tenacity that defies reason’Rudradeep Bhattacharjee – June 15 marks the birth centenary of the multi-instrumentalist and legendary composer of the movies ‘Sangdil’ and ‘Rustam Sohrab’. …Hussain’s work in the film, a historical titled Daiwayogaya (1959) (a Sinhala film), has largely escaped our attention. This, among other things, means that most of us have been bereft of the pleasure of listening to the spellbinding Adarayai Karunawai.

Sudhir, in his tribute post on Atul’s Songs a Day remembers Sajjad Hussain  thru’  Chali Pawan Purvaai, Chali Pawan (Dharam, 1945; Singers – Naseem Banu, Ratanbai).

Gaddeswarup Blog adds Sajjad Hussain: A biography and his perhaps most popular song…

Ye Hawa Ye Chandani Teri Ek Nazar Ka Khumar Hai – Sangdil (1952) – Talat Mahmood

The June 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to V Balsara, known probably more for his mastery in playing different musical instruments.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Documentary retraces the journey of the woman from Faizabad who became Begum AkhtarNandini Ramnath – Nirmal Chander’s visually sumptuous (documentary) ‘Zikr Us Parivash Ka’ is a cradle-to-grave account of one of India’s most celebrated classical music artist.

Two snake dances from S.D. Burmam and one from Naushad

O Pardesiya..Pyar Ki Bahar Leke, Dil Ka Qarar Leke… – Bahar (1951) – Shamshad Begum – S D Burman

Serpent Dance – Guide (1965) – S D Burman

Snake Dance – Dastan (1950) – Naushad

Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (12) – A morning with Asavari/Jaunpuri in which the guest author Subodh Agrawal decodes the similar ragas Asavari, Jaunpuri and Dev Gandhar with his characteristic clarity.

‘Roop Tera Mastana’ simply refuses to grow oldArun Fulara  – ‘Aradhana’ director Shakti Samanta filmed the song in a single audacious take.

My Favourites: Memorable Scenes From Hindi Films, depicting many moods; scenes that, if you tell the name of the film, are the ones one will immediately recollect.

Before ‘Tubelight’, ‘Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani’ dreamt of Hindi-Chini bhai bhaiNandini Ramnath – V Shantaram’s 1946 movie retraces the journey of Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis from Sholapur to the Chinese battlefield.

Homes and Houses: Ten songs Hindi cinema has done ample justice to the concept of ‘home’ and ‘house’, from songs like Ek bangla bane nyaara to films like Dastak, Biwi aur MakaanHamaara Ghar, Gharaunda and Tere Ghar ke Saamne. The author has picked pre-1970 songs of Homes that are envisioned, homes that are hoped for, homes that light up with joy because of the coming of a festival or the arrival of a loved one, homes destroyed. Here are a couple picks form the list:

Cycle trails of BollywoodAfter taking us through horses, tongas and steam engine, DP Rangan now logically takes us on a joy-ride of cycle songs. Along the way, he also writes a dissertation on its history.

Nain se nain from generation to generation

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan of Patiala – Raag Darbari

Raag Darbari fusion with rock music – composed by his nephews Wali hamid ali khan & Kamran Akhtar

Shah Rukh Khan’s Doodle Among Stunning Rare Film Collectibles, Stills, Artwork in Osian’s Auction –  Antara Nanda Mondal– Among the rare collectibles in the auction are a bunch of original artworks by renowned filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Mani Kaul. Besides there are original publicity-material art for Andaz (1949), Anari (1959), Guide (1965), Deewaar (1975) and others. A huge collection of rare posters, showcards, lobby cards, photographic stills from the golden 1950’s period to the era of Amitabh Bachchan to the current trinity of Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan go under the hammer at the prestigious auction on 22 June, 2017.

SIKENDER. 1941 starring Prithviraj Kapoor in title role
Sepia toned Photographic Stills Mounted on Lobby Cards, probably used for early re-release publicity ({Pic: Osians)

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY, we have commenced the detailed posts on Male Solo songs with those of Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh.

To end the today’s post with an article on Mohammed Rafi, I have zeroed upon an old post – Seven of My Favorite Rafi Songs– from Dances on Footpath. The author also has noted that these seven songs are not appreciated as Rafi songs go. Well, of the seven songs mentioned therein YT link 4 links have become dysfunctional. At least two songs do certainly would not be qualified as “unappreciated” So here are just two songs that stand out:

Nazron Ke Teera Maare Kas Kas – Do Ustaad (1959) – with Asha Bhosle – O P Nayyar – Qamar Jalalabadi

My Dearo Dearo Mummy Nahin – Nagina (1951) – with Shmashad Begum – Shanker Jaikishan

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May, 2017

Welcome to May, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Month of May also has brought in two very specific posts:

Singing for a better tomorrow: A Hindi film song helpline for May DayAshwini Deshpande

On International Workers’ Day, a reminder of the times when lyricists, in Hindi films. These songs were filled with optimism, hope and dreams of a better life marked by equality.

Month of May also has a most significant milestone for Indian Cinema. DG Phalke’s labour of love ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was released on May 3, 1913. Here is what went into the making of the first Indian feature filmSruthi Ganapathy Raman  recalls  that it was far from easy to make.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

Passing away of Vinod Khanna did result in a downpour of eulogies, form all and different quarters.

  • Vinod Khanna conquered Hindi cinema by just being thereMustansir Dalvi – When not playing the villain, Vinod Khanna played straight man to the more garrulous co-stars.
  • Thus Endeth Another Chapter of “a man with sad eyes, self-confident without being arrogant, the quietness of a man who was – finally – at peace with himself. For someone who was so much a man’s man, so ruggedly handsome, what remains with me is the half-smile that quirked his lips in the most endearing way, and the way his eyes lit up when he smiled. That smile made him at once real, and human.”
  • In Tribute: Vinod Khanna (1946-2017) – The deeply nuanced roles that went to actors like Sanjeev Kumar may not have been Vinod Khanna’s, but the roles he played, he played well. He played them convincingly, and he played them with a flair that was very appealing.
  • ‘Where are the available men’ and other tales from the sets of the sexual liberation drama ‘Rihaee’ – Arunaraje Patil faced typical and unforeseen challenges while directing her first solo feature in Gujarat in 1988 – edited excerpts from her autobiography Freedom My Story– “It was during the dubbing of Rihaee, that Vinod, finding me preoccupied, literally cornered me into telling him what the problem was. When he found out what was bothering me, he stepped out of the studio, went to his car and got me thirty thousand rupees. This was exactly what I needed for the first print. When I made a fuss about taking it, he thrust it in my hands and said, ‘Don’t worry, payable when able.’”
  • Remembering (and Re-Introducing) Vinod Khanna – Little wonder then that this strikingly handsome man, who might have made a career out of being a poster boy, letting his sunglasses and open shirts do most of the work for him, participated in a number of relatively offbeat or understated films – starting with Gulzar’s Mere Apne and Achanak and Sunil Dutt’s Reshma aur Shera, and continuing for the next two decades, through Meera, Lekin… , Muzaffar Ali’s uncompleted Zooni, or Patil’s Rihaee

Zohra Sehgal was the mother of all screen grandmothersRhea Nath – In movie after movie, the dancer and stage actress played a matriarch as charming as she is crusty.

Waqt Ne Kiya – The Introspective Songs of Kaifi AzmiPeeyush Sharma – We have picked up one rare song here and one – one of the finest – at the end of our episode:

Aaj ki kaali ghata  – Uski Kahani, 1966 – Geeta DuttKanu Roy

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana: Shankar Jaikishan’s Melodies of 1971 – 18 Films, 104 Songs Peeyush Sharma – Shankar, bade goodbye to this world on 26 April 1987. Jaikishan departed on 12th September, 1971. SJ (Shankar-Jaikishan) had 18 Hindi and one Telugu film releases this year. They had also now started working with a variety of lyricists; Hasrat was the regular as always, they added Rajendra Krishan, S H Bihari, Neeraj, Shaili Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, Varma Mallik, Indeevar and even Gulzar. Jaikishan had earlier appeared on screen way back performing on the Mukesh song, Ae pyase dil bezubaan, tujhko le jaaun kahan, in Begunaah in 1957. This year he made an appearance as Jaikishan himself, working on a balancing machine while recording the Kishore song Naach Meri Jaan Fatafat. The song went on Mehmood.

We have picked up three songs form the Telugu film Jeevitha Chakram:

Kallallo Kallupetti

Kanti Choopu (Female)

And its male version

Shankar-Jaikishan’s duets (1): Mukesh/Rafi with female singers and Shankar Jaikishan’s duets (2) is the continuum of singerwise posts for Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi, Manna Dey, ‘Other singers’ and two posts on their dance songs – for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets.

The May 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Snehal Bhatkar. Snehal Bhatkar composed songs for 27 Hindi films and 12 Marathi films. His contribution in Marathi NFS is also highly respected.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Returning to the songs of Ningalenne Communistakki (but still looking for subtitles) presents songs from a classic Malayalam film Ningalenne Communistakki.

Ashwin Bhandrakar debuts with guest post Beena madhur madhur kacchu bol in unpretentious style peppered with a dash of humour on bees and honey.

Pakeezah’ resonates to the sound of Meena Kumari’s ankletsManish Gaekwad – The soundtrack of the 1972 classic was by Ghulam Mohammed, who used the foot ornaments to startling effect.

Lovers burn up the phone wires in ‘Jalte Hai Jiske Liye’Nandini Ramnath – The song from Bimal Roy’s 1959 classic ‘Sujata’ is one of the most quietly raging love songs out there.

Dil Dhoondta Hai’ and the heart that never stops searchingBubla Basu -Gulzar’s ‘Mausam’ features two versions of a love. From the first words “Dil dhoondta hai” (the heart is searching), we slip into the nostalgic, compelling mood of the film. Someone, somewhere, somehow is searching for someone. The solo is an echo of a love that is lost but not forgotten…. Madan Mohan’s haunting music and Gulzar’s evocative lyrics ensure that we recognise the song later in the film when Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore render a longer and livelier duet.

The original ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’ from ‘Padosan’ is more than just a comical tune – The popular song by Kishore Kumar from the 1968 comedy mixes traditional Baul music with elements of the qawwali and the love ballad.

Two Mukesh duets buzzing me today: Yeh Duniya Hai… Yahan Dil Ka Lagana Kis Ko Aata Hai (Shair,1949, Ghulam Mohammad) and   Khayalon Mein Kisi Ke Is Tarah Aaya Nahin Karate (Banware Nain, 1950, Roshan).

When the bhajan ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ inspired a Pakistani love songKaran Bali – ‘Phirni Aan Main Labdi’, from the 1957 movie ‘Nooran’, features Pakistani singing sensation Noor Jehan. – Written by Hazin Qadri, Phirni Aan Main Labdi is among several wonderful tunes by composer Safdar Hussain for Nooran.

We could not make any progress in annual Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY.

We end our present episode with Kafi Azmi’s the song that just sweeps you away: Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm, 1973, Madan Mohan). It has got the rhythm of the crashing waves and pouring rain in every note. It rises and falls like the tidal sea waves, races like the wind and then slows down to a gentle pitter-patter only to pick up the pace again at a frenetic speed. What an amazing song, composition and rendition by the trio of Kaifi Azmi-Madan Mohan-Rafi.

Tum bhi the khoye khoye, main bhi bujhaa-bujhaa
Thaa ajnabi zamaanaa apnaa koi na thha
Dil ko jo mil gayaa hai teraa sahaaraa

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – April, 2017

Welcome to April, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

The first day of April is to make fun. We have picked up  a topical post to commence our present episode:

Some unique good good songs is an excellent presentation of songs that repeat words, so typical spoken style of Hindi language, e.g.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

Then and now: How a ’40s movie star dealt with a bad marriage and prying eyes  -Kanan Devi broke off her short-lived marriage to Ashok Maitra after he objected to her career, thereby proving herself to be a truly independent spirit. – an excerpt with permission from Kanan Devi The First Superstar of Indian Cinema, Mekhala Sengupta, HarperCollins India.

Shamshad Begum with 3G, i.e. music directors Ghulam Haider, Ghulam Mohammad and Pt. Govind Ram,is a tribute to her on her 98th birth anniversary. The previous articles on Shamshad Begum @ SoY are available @ the tag Shamshad Begum.

The bit about Parveen Babi that you won’t find in the UG Krishnamurti biography – An outtake from the graphic novel by Nicolas C Grey and James Farley imagines the actress’s encounters with the philosopher. – Depicted here are the panels, which were not used in the final publication, the authors imagine the moment when Babi became a Krishnamurti follower – Reproduced with permission from This Dog Barking: The Strange Story of UG Krishnamurti, Nicolas C Grey and James Farley, HarperCollins India.

Yesterday’s Films For Tomorrow – It was but natural that legendary

PK Nair was a collector, a cinephile, a historian, an archivist, an evangelist, a teacher and a student of cinema

archivist and  ‘Celluloid Man’ PK Nair’s last wish was that his personal collection of books, journals and diaries be handed over the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) to preserve after he passes on. Yesterday’s Films for Tomorrow was released recently in Mumbai to commemorate P K Nair’s 84th birthday.

Antara Nanda Mondal notes that this book is a remembrance of a person who was obsessed with not just the stories that cinema told, but with all its facets — the form, function and the ephemera of the moving image.

Peeyush Sharma pays tribute to K L Saigal with a journey through Saigal’s songs in Main Kya Janoon Kya Jadoo Hai: K L Saigal’s Magical Music .

‘KL Saigal’s Songs Started the Sugam Sangeet Revolution’ – In Conversation with Author Pran Nevile – Pran Nevile is the author of the authoritative book KL Saigal – Immortal Singer and SuperstarK.L. Saigal The Definitive Biography and the richly illustrated Nautch Girls of India: Dancers, Singers, Playmates.

After a successful career in the Indian Foreign Service and the United Nations, Pran Nevile turned to writing specializing in the study of Indian art and culture. His other books include Lahore – A sentimental Journey; The Raj Revisited; Love Stories from the Raj; Rare Glimpses of the Raj; Stories from the Raj – Sahibs, Memsahibs and Others; Beyond the Veil – Indian Women in the Raj and Marvels of Indian Painting: Rise and Demise of Company School.

In a conversation with Sundeep Pahwa in his Gurgaon home, Pran Nevile responds to a series of questions on K L Saigal drawn up by Peeyush Sharma and Sundeep Pahwa.

The April 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Hasrat Jaipuri, recalling his songs for music directors other than Shanker Jaikishan. This post has covered songs from the beginning of his career till 1953.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Ten of my favourite ‘not-quite-duet’ songs aretechnically duets’: not songs in which both singers play an equal part in making the song what it is, but in which the ratio is somewhat skewed or in which one singer only hummed, while the other did the singing. E.g. Phir aane lagaa yaad wohi (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon, 1963): Interestingly, Yeh Dil Kisko Doon featured not one, but two, songs that were sung primarily by a man but had a woman pitching in occasionally to add another dimension to the song. In Kitni haseen ho tum, Asha Bhonsle sings half a line here, half a line there while Rafi sings the rest of the song. In Phir aane lagaa yaad wohi, however, the female singer (in this case, Usha Khanna) has even less to sing: all she sings is three words, repeated at intervals through the song: Pyaar ka aalam, while Rafi sings the rest of the song. It works very well in this dreamy dream sequence.

Here is a belated posting: Enchanting Salil Chowdhary  – Listen to 18 songs from Salil Chowdhary by clicking the link below. These songs are from the 1950s to early 70s and many of them feature brisk movements among notes and wonderful arrangements to create an enchanting experience: LINK TO PLAYLIST OF SALIL CHOWDHARY SONGS

Sound of Lollywood: An obscure movie has a hidden gem for qawwali fans – “Mere Paas Aao’ from ‘First Time’ is, by turns, spiritual and romantic and wholly enjoyable.

Sahir Ludhianvi’s ‘Woh Subah Kabhi Toh Aayegi’ finds new meaning in ‘Begum Jaan’ – A song written after 1947 aptly describes the condition of a newly independent India. –  The song Woh Subah Kabhi Toh Aayegi from Phir Subah Hogi (1958) appears in the climax of Begum Jaan, with the lyrics and context made relevant to the plot.

A Look at Some of The New Remixes of Old Bolywood Songs – Sharada  Iyer wades through remixed songs and their corresponding originals in this article.

Picture the song: When Amol Palekar grinned his way to success in ‘Ye Din Kya Aaye’ – The entire world of Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ is contained in a six-minute musical interlude.

A pat of butter and a picnic basket of movie memories – This is written for the film section of the Amul India book, which you can get here.

A Ghulamm Mohd. Song – Ye Duniya Hai – Shair 1949 – Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh

Ghantasala modulates the same phrase in several ways – ‘Emanene’ said in so many ways. As ‘barago’ says, once as question, then with anxiety, soothing and agitation.

Meethe Bol Bole, Bole Paayaliya – A Sparkling Jugalbandi of Music and DanceMeethe bol bole in Kinara is a beautiful sangam of classical excellence brought together by three maestros – the music of RD Burman, the lyrics and direction of Gulzar and the Kathak Nritya choreography of Gopi Krishna. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore the layers of musical delights and dance pieces hidden within this sparkling gem from Kinara, sung by Bhupinder Singh and Lata Mangeshkar.

We have taken the first step in our annual Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY

We end our present episode with Dual Versions of the Same Song by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar – Sharada Iyer has presented 21 such songs with a small note for each song. I have picked up Mohammad Rafi’s version of Agar Bewafaa Tujhko Pehchaan Jaate…from an unheard film, Raat Ke Andere Mein (1969). The song is written and composed by Prem Dhawan

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March 2017

Welcome to March, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

This is the month when the North India in particular celebrate the fun and frlickings of aolourful Holi . We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

“Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon” – Joy MukerjeeThe failure of “Humsaya” and the inability to release “Love in Bombay” resulted in Joy Mukerjee losing his stardom as soon as the 70’s dawned. To repay his debts, Joy was forced to act in B- and C- grade movies like “Ehsan”, “Puraskar”, “Mujrim”, “Aag aur Daag”, “Kahin Aar Kahin Par”. This ended up denting his reputation further. Joy’s sorrow and inner anguish reflected in his face and the sadness that had crept on his face was palpable….As a hero, Joy Mukerjee appeared only in 32 films.

Sai Paranjype’s ‘Katha’ is a fabulous fable about the most charming chawl in the worldBubla Basu – The renowned filmmaker’s 79th birthday is the perfect excuse to revisit one of her loveliest films, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval.

For Sahir Ludhianvi, the best kind of love was unrequitedNirupama Dutt – On the celebrated Urdu poet’s 96th birth anniversary, a reminder of his contradictory attitudes towards women and relationships.

The eyes have it in ‘Achcha Ji Main Haari’ from ‘Kalapani’Rudradeep Bhattacharjee – The song from Raj Khosla’s ‘Kalapani’ works on playful looks and sighs.

The Vanraj Bhatia interview: ‘My music was unique then and is perhaps unique even now’Greg Booth – The acclaimed 90-year-old composer looks back on the music he made and looks ahead to the opera he hopes to finish someday. Let us listen to: Sanvariya Dekh Zara from Shyam Benegal’s Sardari Begum (1996).

Films that are 50: A mad scientist, a vampire and willing victims in cross-border hit ‘Zinda Laash’Karan Bali  – The baggy adaptation of the Dracula legend proved to be a neat box office fit in Pakistan in 1967.

The March 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to S N Tripathi: Unremembered music director of remembered songs.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

WHEN BOLLYWOOD ACTRESSES DECIDED TO MASQUERADE AS ‘MEN’!Sharada Iyer is a mirror image of her article Bollywood’s Drag-Queen Acts, wherein she has been able to muster of 18 films where the actresses have donned the man’s role.

Unko Yeh Shikayat Hai Ke Hum Kuch Nahin Kehte – When Silence Speaks Volumes – There are some songs that rise high above the regular and become proverbial. Such is the everlasting magic of this exquisite ghazal from Adalat (1958) which says volumes more than simple words could ever convey. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore the finer nuances of this quietly introspective ghazal, written by Rajinder Krishan, composed by Madan Mohan and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, which connects with the listener at a personal level.

Another Mujra in a Different Kitchen –is post about performances by people who are not necessarily stars and have not had huge studios invested in them, who are happy simply to practice and exhibit an art that they love. It may also be lot of fun to see people doing classical Indian or Bollywood dances in very ordinary surroundings, in front of objects as incongruous as, say, modern kitchen appliances.

Noor Jehan in Incomplete Film Tara (1949) – If completed and released on time, Tara might have become Noor Jehan’s first film in Pakistan. However, with the continuous string of flop Urdu films during the formative period of Pakistani Film Industry, someone advised Shaukat Hussain Rizvi/Noor Jehan to produce and direct a film in Punjabi instead of Urdu. Chanway, a Punjabi film released in 1951 became Noor Jehan’s first released film in Pakistan and a very successful one.

Guest Post: Rajinder Singh Bedi – My Uncle as I remember him in which Nischint Bhatnagar‘Nishi’, who is Mr Bedi’s niece (his younger brother’s daughter)  a heart-warming little insight into the man Rajinder Singh Bedi was.

In Film songs in classical ragas (11) – The evocative duo: Mand and Shivranjani.Subodh Agarwal carries forward his monumental contribution of presenting Hindi Films based on a particular classical Raag along with the basics of the Raag  that laypersons would understand and relish.

Best songs of 1948: And the winners are? Apart for the very meticulous Film Historians, it is the crowd-funding efforts of netizens that have made the Vintage Era of Hindi Films so much accessible to us. “Best songs of year” has become a most dependable platform to bring all these works on one page in a structured way.

This curtain raiser has provided so much fodder, that absorbing so much itself will take some before we I commence my micro-review journey for the year.

As the curtain on 1948’s songs has gone up, I have picked up Mohammad Rafi’s most known song on Gandhiji  to end the present episode:

Suno suno ae duniyawalo Bapu ki ye amar kahani (NFS) -lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Husnlal-Bhagatram

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….