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Centenary Celebrations

Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs – [3] – ‘Other’ Male Singers

This is the third and concluding part of the article – Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs. The previous parts have covered Hemant Kuamr’s solo songs in the voices of Hemant Kumar |Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar |Manna Dey.

The end of the spectrum of Hemant Kumar’s solo male compositions presents quite unusual variety of, not-from-the-mainstream, male singers. Except for the first and last song, incidentally in the chronological order, all other songs can also be ascribed to not-so-usual song situations. However, one thing that stands out is the Hemant Kumar’s choice of the singer for the song – he has fully leveraged the singer’s voice quality in the first and the last song, while duly accommodating his compositions to the vocal range of the respective singer in the other songs.

Kavi Pradeep

Pradeepji was essentially a poet, but the beauty is whichever film song is recorded in his voice has become a massive hit.

Aao Bachcho Tumhe Dikhaye Jhanki Hindustan Ki – Jagriti (1954) – Lyrics: Pradeepji

When I look at the song now, I realize how imaginatively the song has been conceived, filmed, composed, and rendered. No wonder, we found the song so enchanting in our school days in the latter half of ‘50s.

Chitalkar

Chitalkar (a.k.a. C. Ramchandra) has very rarely agreed to sing a song for other music directors. However, the mutual rapport that both will have developed while working together for Anarkali (1953) seems to have tilted the scales.

Sunaoon Ik Majnu Ka Haal, Ke Ghar Pe Pakati Na Thi Daal – Lagan (1955) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

The song seems to be street song. Hemant Kumar has packed in all possible variations that the situation for the song seems to have demanded and Chitalkar deftly handles his part of the deal.

Ravi

It is said that Ravi’s original plan was to make a career as a singer, as well. As such, he did pick up every possible opportunity in the beginning of the career. However, he did seem to have finally settled to focus on his music direction career.

Khol Ke Aankhein Dekh Jara…. Dekhi Teri Duniya Duniyawale – Lagaan (1955) – Rajinder Krishna

Whether it is quirk of circumstances or was Ravi’s own choice, but good many of beggar song genre songs that Ravi composed were popular.

Aside:

HFGK records Mohammad Rafi as the singer of the song ‘Dekhi Teri Duniya’ (Lagan 1955). There is a footnote saying that initially the song was recorded in the voice of Ravi.

Therefore, we may surmise that Mohammad Rafi was called in to sing the song with a view to boost the sale of records, and in turn, possibly help the performance of the film at the box office.

Balbir

Balbir (a.k.a. S. Balbir) has had a fairly long active career in the Hindi films. He is said to have sung around 120 songs in the films, but he was so typecast as a co-singer in male-male duet songs that there are hardly a dozen or so solo songs to his credit. To that extent, Hemant Kumar deserves special mention since he has used Balbir’s voice as a standalone singer in the following song, and the duet – O Lili, Yu Tham Ja Mere Aagey Aa Gayi Billi – with Geeta Dutt.

Main Mar Gaya To Likhna Ye Kabhi Mere Afsaane Mein… Arre Hamne To Saari Zindagi Gujaari Kedkhane Mein – Laalten (1956) – With chorus – Lyrics: Shewan Rizvi

Mukesh – In a Version Song

Mukesh apparently did not have solo song composed by Hemant Kumar.

Gori Chori Chori Jaana Buree Baat Hai, Teri Kismat Ki Chaavi Mere Haath Hai – Ek Jhalak (1957) – Lyrics: S H Bihari

Mukesh Geetkosh (Hindi Edition, November 2020) records this as version song, with record number FT21009

Asides:

Here is the song as it appears in the film, in the voice of Hemant Kumar

Anil Kumar

Hardly anything is known of this singer.

Rooh Pyase Hai, Pareshan Hai Oos Raat Ke Baad – Oos Raat Ke Baad (1970) – Lyrics: Gohar Kanpuri

The song is rendered in Mohammad Rafi style.in the credit titles of Oos Raat Ke Baad. The credit of the singer and the lyricist for the title song appears in a separate frame in the credit titles.

This is the video clip of the film. The titles run from the beginning till @2.19 in the clip.

Yesudas

Yesudas was playback voice for many of the songs filmed on Anmol Palekar on the screen., Probably, hence the choice.

Kise Khabar Kahan Dagar Jeevan Ki Le Jaaye – Do Ladke Dono Kadke (1979) – Lyrics: Yogesh

This film is produced by Hemant Kumar’s son, Jayanta Mukherjee. Hemant Kumar, the music director, has easily been able to rhyme in with the NextGen singer in the song.

In this Long Tail of the Other Singers Yesudas is the only exception of being a mainstream playback singer.

On the whole, this representative selection of Hemant Kumar’s male solo songs abundantly endorses the tenet that a music director knows whose voice would justice to the composition.

For the purpose of the debate of deciding whether Hemant Kumar is a better composer or a better singer, we can always have a couple of more of such samples, in the future.


Originally published on SoY as Hemant Kumar’s Male Playback Singers. This is the edited and improved-on-the-inputs-of-discussions-thereupon version.


A single file collated version of the three parts of Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male Solo Songs is available for download by clicking on the hyper link.