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….

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

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

This is the month when the world celebrated Valentine Day. We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

Bachapan Ki Yaad Dheere Dheere Pyaar Ban Gayi – Shaheed (1948) – Lalita Deulkar – Ghulam Haider – Qamar Jalalabadi

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

The three distinct phases of OP Nayyar’s career –  Ravindra Kelkar pans three distinct musical styles, each corresponding to three time periods of O P Nayyar’s career.  Here are three illustrations, each for a respective phase:

Taare Chandani – Baaz (1953) – Geeta Roy (Dutt) – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Man More Ga Jhoom Ke – Mangu (1954) – Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Humdum Mere Khel Na Jano – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Remembering Madhubala, Bollywood’s Very Own Marilyn Monroe – Khalid Mohamed- republished to mark Madhubala’s birth anniversary Madhubala’s end-years were spent in deflecting an illness which had a deadline. At one point, doctors had declared that Madhubala wouldn’t last beyond a period of two years. ..Despite that, she attempted to complete the last shooting spell required for Chalak co-featuring Raj Kapoor. Lore has it that since filmmakers had stopped approaching her to act, she threw caution to the wind, and steered towards film direction. Neither this project titled Farz Aur Ishq, nor Chalak, could get to the finishing line.

Cuckoo Did Get A Mention Here On Her Birthday This Year… – Even as there is no specific post on Cuckoo,  a new comment to the old post Discussion, Info and Great Pics Related to the Earliest Appearances of Cuckoo makes up for the loss.

We have two posts on Waheeda Raheman’s birthday –

  • Waheeda Rehman – The Woman of Substance On-Screen – In Pyaasa, Mujhe Jeene Do, The Guide, Teesri Kasam and Kaagaz Ke Phool – Waheeda’s best four movies to the author’s mind – Waheeda played the women who traded their charms for sustenance.” Vijay Kumar revisits these films from the perspective of the towering women characters in them played by Waheeda Rehman.
  • In Praise of Waheeda Rehman who had quite a few songs that are songs that are paeans to her beauty, praising her charm and her loveliness, while some of the others are sheer romance, in verse.

Hua jab se dil mein tera guzar, Mujhe chain hai na qaraar hai (Zara sun haseena-e-nazneenKaun Apna Kaun Paraya (1963) – Mohammed Rafi – Ravi – Shakeel Badayuni

Remembering Faiz Ahmed Faiz Through His Aching Words – Almas Khateeb – here’s looking at some of this subtle and sophisticated poet’s works, that’ll stay with us for years to come: Faiz Ahmed Faiz and His Beguiling Poetry.

The February 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to ‘Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory’.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

the-corsican-brothersram-aur-shyam

Films that are 50: A Dilip Kumar double treat in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’  – Nirupama Kotru – The thespian proves that comedy is as easy as tragedy in the 1967 hit comedy, which was a remake of  the popular Telugu film Ramudu Bheemudu, which in turn was loosely based on Alexander Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers.

Los Angeles, 1975. Lata Mangeshkar takes the stage. Deafening applauseMohan DeoraRachana ShahOn Stage With Lata is a different kind of memoir: it is a short history of Mangeshkhar’s concerts in the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean and the Fiji Islands between 1975 and 1998.

Audio master: ‘Kismet’ laid the foundation of the Hindi film song as we know itRudradeep Bhattacharjee – In the 1943 blockbuster, the essential elements and conventions of the movie tune were codified, including the mukhda-antara form. Musicologist Jayson Beaster-Jones notes, “Both the film and the music of ‘Kismet’ exemplify a point just before a critical moment of transition for Indian filmmaking.”

Hope for Mumbai’s single screen cinemas after New Excelsior gets a shiny makeover – Subhash Ghai’s cinema chain has renovated and relaunched the iconic Mumbai theatre with new amenities and fewer seats.

Flowers bloom in Bollywood – D P Rangan has presented a colorful spread of Hindi film songs on flowers.

My favourites: Ten answers to the ‘Kaun Aaya’ question is in response to songs on Kaun Aaya, such as:

Chaakuwaala chhuriwaala… aaya main mastaana (Al-Hilal, 1957)

Mehfil mein jo aaye tum (Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962)

Ghoomke aaya hoon main… Baajewaala Patialewaala (Basant, 1960)

The Adivasi Chain Dances (Santali and Dhimsa)Circle dance, or chain dance, is a style of dance done in a circle or semicircle to musical accompaniment, such as rhythm instruments and singing. Circle dancing is probably the oldest known dance formation and was part of community life from when people first started to dance.

We end today’s episode with a prayer composed also by Mohammad Rafi

Hazrat Adam Ka Wakeya

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 – January, 2017

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

We will commence our current episode with the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies.

Which Was the True Voice of Pancham? – It will be 23 years since Pancham (R D Burman) on this day in 1994 left us music lovers with an awful feeling of loss just when we were about to celebrate his huge comeback. Peeyush Sharma recalls the many voices that he sang to us in, trying to really understand which his true voice was. All songs picked in this list had music by R D Burman himself. The voice had become known as a distinct and melodious one which had that ‘ras’ that was so typical of him. Mone poRe Ruby Roy (later reused as Meri bheegi bheegi si in Anamika) and Jete jete pathe holo deri (which had a Hindi reincarnation as the iconic Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa to nahin in Aandhi) became chart-toppers in the Bengali non-film songs category.

Om Puri certainly deserved profuse eulogies in the print and net media. I have picked up the three representative ones here –

  • Om Puri – The Luminance of a Natural Actor  – Amitava Nag – Om Puri passed away on 6 January 2017 after four decades of acting. One of the pioneer faces of the Indian ‘parallel’ cinema movement of the 70s and 80s, Om Puri later on shifted to international cinema and remained a forceful actor till his last.
  • The original choice for Ahuja’s role in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ was… not Om Puri – Pankaj Kapoor was to play the builder Ahuja, but when he was cast in the larger role of Tarneja, Om Puri made his celebrated comic debut.
  • Everyman, comedian, sutradhaar: a tribute to Om Puri – It is a bit sad to realise that much of Puri’s best work was done between 25 and 35 years ago, that few roles in the final years did him justice…Much like the man whose hesitant voice and flashing eyes helped make them so memorable, they belong to us all. Or as JBDY’s Ahuja might slur, “Yeh films aap akayle ke nahin hain. Hum sab shareholder hain.”

Urdu Poet, Lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri Dies at 88  – He first got break in the 1952 film Jaggu with the song Agar Teri Aakhon Se Aakhein Mila Doon (Asha Bhosale, Hansraj Behl).

From Hindi film music to raga-based symphonies, the remarkable journey of Anthony GonsalvesNaresh Fernandes pays rich tribute to the renowned musician, whose fifth death anniversary is on January 18, merged the Western classical music of his Goan heritage with Hindustani melodies.

Geeta Bali’s Personality Had the Energy of Shammi Kapoor’s Dance – Megha Mathur – This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 21 January 2016. It is being republished to mark Geeta Bali’s death anniversary.

Kamal Amrohi made only four films. Fortunately for us, one of them was ‘Pakeezah’ – On the director’s birth anniversary, here is an excerpt from Vinod Mehta’s biography on Meena Kumari revisits the film’s troubled production.

The January 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Dilip Dholakia as singer. This was preceded by the guest article Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies (11): Dilip Dholakia, which I then had reblogged on 10-1-2017. Here we have looked at back at Dilip Dholakia from the lens of a music director of Hindi films.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Noor Jehan with R.D. Burman & Asha Bhosle – Asha Bhosle said that “Badnaam mohabbat kaun kare [Dost, 1944, Sajjad Hussain] is her favorite song by Noor Jehan.

noor-jehan-with-r-d-burman-asha-bhosleBharat Bhushan, Meena Kumari at premiere of Baiju Bawra (1952)

bharat-bhushan-meena-kumari-at-premiere-of-baiju-bawra-1952

From left to right: Bharat Bhushan, Meena Kumari, Meena Kumari’s sister Madhuri and Surendra, who played the role of the musician Tansen in the film.

When Cinema Matched Music Beat by Beat: Nadiya Kinare in Abhimaan  – The challenge of Nadiya kinare in Abhimaan was to create a supremely classical yet rustic song. SD Burman’s music, Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice along with Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan’s performance and Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s direction were ably supported by the competent technical crew and musicians. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore how master craftsmen of cinema and music matched every frame to a note in this song which can well be called a textbook in song composition and picturisation!

A snowy winter is the perfect excuse to get cuddly in Hindi film songsManish Gaekwad pens this sub-genre of Hindi Film Songs.

Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (10) – Bihag and its family – Subodh Agrawal continues from where he had left off his series, Songs based on classical ragas.

My Favourites: ‘Kaun Aaya?’ Songs – Hindi films are full of rhetorical questions to which everyone, including the people asking those questions, know the answer… One such question is ‘Kaun aaya?’ The answer is obvious, of course (and the characters on screen know who has stolen their heart, resided in their soul, made them laugh…), but they ask (sing) the questions anyway.  The post has some excellent, but not more often heard songs –

Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko Raaton Ko Khayalon Main Mein’ – Shiv Kumar (Pathak) made his debut with Poonam KI Raat (1965). Here is the link to the song in the title of the post – Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko

Flashback 50 Years By Peeyush Sharma  – There is a marked shift in the style of compositions, change in the audience taste and acceptance of new music directors. Among the films that had their music release this year, Shankar Jaikishen, O P Nayyar and Usha Khanna each had 7 films while Madan Mohan and Ravi had five each and Hemant Kumar had three. Laxmikant Pyarelal had 10 releases to their credit – a defining year for their career. RD Burman gave his life’s first massive chart buster hit Teesri Manzil.  There were several others who scored memorable music scores in a single film or two.

  • (Part I): Shankar Jaikishan Hits of 1966 – Teesari Kasam, Gaban and Amrapali were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.
  • (Part II): OP Nayyar Hits of 1966 – Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi, Sawan Ki Ghata, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.
  • (Part III): Madan Mohan Hits of 1966 – Mera Saaya, Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.

Steam behemoth rides in Bollywood – D P Rangan takes on the nostalgic trip to the younger days of most of the readers who are in 40+ age group.

Ten of my favourite non-romantic male-female duets which do not mention romantic love in any form, not even as part of a bhajan (the Radha-Krishna trope is one that comes to mind). And that the actors should both be adults (because there are far too many songs which have a female playback singer singing for a child onscreen) as in Saanwle-salone aaye din bahaar ke (Ek Hi Raasta, 1956).

Do actors have what it takes to stop lip-synching and start singing their own film songs? – No actor took playback singing as seriously as Premnath when he sang an Indian classical bandish Dagar Chalat Dekho in the little-known film Raja Kaka (1973). It was an enviable accomplishment that went unnoticed.

Odd(itie)s and Ends, Joys of Fusion, and Blogging Restlessness is a post that is a little more scattered and eclectic than usual, which may signal a direction for other posts to come.

Cinema classical: When Parveen Sultana trumped Kishore Kumar in ‘Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna’Manish Gaekwad has kick started to showcase the voices of the stalwarts of Indian classical music in popular films with this song from Kudrat. Naushad introduced Parveen Sultana to Hindi moviegoers in Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam in Pakeezah (1972). The thumri was used in the background….Sultana returned to Hindi playback only in 1981 for Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna, composed by RD Burman for the movie Kudrat. The track, in raag bhairavi, was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Parveen Sultana won the 1982 Filmfare trophy for her version of the song.

My Favourites: Songs of Promises – are all love songs, songs of promises between lovers. Not ‘aap ki kasam’ songs, or the breaking of promises but actual promises being asked for, or made. Promises of a future together, of hope that one will have someone with whom to share life’s struggles and happiness, of trust that one’s faith will not be betrayed. For example:

Picture the song: Guns and snogs in ‘Mile Mile Do Badan’ from ‘Black Mail’Nandini Ramnath narrates why we should trust Vijay Anand to insert a romantic song in the middle of a chase sequence and make it work…..

We end today’s episode with a INTERVIEW of Ahsan Qasim by Sanjeeb Updhyay about GREAT MOHD RAFI SAHAB – Part 1  ǁ Part 2 ǁ Part 3 ǁ Part 4

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