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I Liked Music from films

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 2

In the First Part of the present series, we have listened to the songs that Manna Dey played back for Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Ashok Kumar.

By the turn of decade of ’40, Manna Dey was well-recognized for classical-based songs. The trend continued in 1951 and 1952. He made more in roads into the big banner films like RK’s Aawara (1951), which was to set up a very special, strong bond with the music directors, Shanker Jaikishan, and in turn with Raj Kapoor. After having tried his hands with music composition, first assistants to music directors like S D Burman or H P Das in ‘40s, in the initial years of ‘50s, he also tried his hand with music direction when he worked with Khemchand Prakash for Shree Ganesh Janma (1951) and Vishwamitra (1952).Then in 1953 came Do Bigha Zameen, which unmistakably shot his fame as a (singer) star. So, he, very wisely, did give up pursuit of music direction and decided to concentrate on his singing career.

With Balraj Sahni

Balraj Sahni had made a noteworthy entry with his role in K A Abbas’s in Dharati Ke Lal (1946). His ideological leanings and histrionic commitment made him the ideal fit for the role of a poor farmer for Do Beegha Zameen. Salil Chaudhary used Manna Dey for two songs – Hariyala Sawan Dhol Bajata Aaya and Dharati Kahe Pukar Ke – which not only made Manna Dey a very widely-known name across the country, that also established Manna Dey’s association with Balraj Sahni.

Balraj Sahni was not the material for lead male actor in the traditional Hindi movie fold, but he had several films to follow wherein he played the lead role of (sort of ) anti-hero. The first such film was Seema (1955) where Shanker Jaikishan found an ideal fit in Manna Dey, to playback for Balraj Sahni for a choir-tune-based song Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai, Teri Ek Boond Ke Pyaase Ham (Lyrics: Shailendra)

Asides:

It was Mohammad Rafi who was a parallel ‘seventh’ choice, for Kahan Jaa Raha Hai.

In 1957, Balraj Sahni was the co-lead actor for a Russian joint venture film ‘Pardesi’.  The film was based on XV century Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin’s travelogue ‘A journey beyond three seas’. Anil Biswas has used Manna Dey’s voice as playback for several Balraj Sahni enacted songs in this film.

Phir Milenge Jaanewale Ae Yaar, Dasvidaniya – Pardesi (1957) – Anil Biswas

For  a song that has an undertone of pathos, but is sung boldly, Manna Dey’s voice seems to be the obvious choice.

Tujh Mein Ram Mujh Mein Ram Sab Mein Raam Samaya – Pardesi (1957) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan

In line with the basic social egalitarianism of the film, the song is used to spread this message.

1961 had two Balraj Sahni films, for which music director was Salil Chaudhary.

Of these two films, Kabuliwala is considered to be a classic.

Ay Mere Pyare Watan  Ay Mere Bichhade Chaman Tujh Pe Dil Qurban– Kabuliwala (1961) – Salil Chaudhary – Prem Dhawan

The song is in fact filmed on Wazeer Mohammed Khan, but it is Balraj Sahni who is in the center of the song

Aside:
Wazir Mohammed Khan is the actor who had acted in the first Hindi talkie film Alam Ara (1931) as well as its remake in 1956 and in 1973.

[Note: Akji(SoY) adds in his comment that WM Khan has the credit of singing the very first song of Hindi films, De de Khuda ke naam par for Alam Ara

The other film, Sapan Suhane (1961) was as obscure as Kabuliwala was famous.

O Gori Aaja Gadi Wich Baith Ja – Sapan Suhane 1961 – with Lata Mangeshkar –  Salil Chaudhary – Shailendra

Here is the song, which is truly of a romantic mood, though set in rustic settings.

Dil Kaheta Hai Zara To Dam Lelo, Dagar Kaheti Hai Ke Chalte Chalo – Sapan Suhane 1961 –  Salil Chaudhary – Shailendra

Here is another very playful song that embodies the philosophy of a life on the move.

The film had a third Manna Dey song, a triumvirate – Naam Mera Nimmo Mukam Ludhiana – wherein Manna Dey plays back for Master Bhagwan.

Balraj Sahni has sung a few more songs as the lead male actor, but these were played back by other singers like Mohammad Rafi (Sone Ki Chidiya) or Subir Sen (Kathputli). So we move on to two songs wherein Balraj Sahni is in the lead character role and Manna Dey chips in for the play back. Both songs were composed by Ravi.

Ae Meri Zohara Zabeen Tujhe Malum Nahi – Waqt (1965) – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanvi

This is the song which remains one of the front-ranking-ever Manna Dey songs.

Tujhe Suraj Kahoon Ya Chanda – Ek Phool Do Maali (1969) – Ravi – Prem Dhawan

The song can be considered to suit Manna Dey like a ‘t’. from any angle you look, and Manna Dey has made the best of the ideal opportunity.

With David Abraham

I think everyone will justly conclude that we are going to talk about Boot Polish’ (1954), where technically David Abraham is in once-in-a-life-time  supporting role of John Chacha, who mentors two young urchins away from the streets to the life of pride and self-respect.

Lapak Japak Tu Aa Re Badaria, Sar Ki Kheti Sukh Rahi Hai – Boot Polish (1953) – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra have come up with a winner of a song that is to blaze the future genre of classical-based-songs-for-comedy-situations.

Asides:

Raj Kapoor was a great perfectionist when it came to making of his films. Shri Arunkumar Desmukh recounts a very interesting story in relation to this song. We get to know to what length Raj Kapoor would go to enliven the situation that has germinated in his mind.

O Raat Gayi, Raat Gayi Phir Din Aata Hai Isi Tarah Aate Jaate Hi Sara Jivan Kat Jata Hai – Boot Polish (1954) – With Asha Bhosle – Shanker Jaikishan – Saraswati Kumar Deepak

The song is classic depiction of hope in the face of gloom.

Song also has a mundane historical value of being the first duet of Manna Dey and Asha Bosle.

Thehar Jara O Jaaneale O Babu Mister Gore Kale… Kab Se Baithe Aas Lagaye Ham Matwale Paliswale – Boot Polish (1954) – With Asha Bhosle and Madhubala Zaveri – Shanker Jaishan –  Shailendra

Manna Dey comes up with vigor of full joy as he opens the song and then continues the mentoring with an encouraging lively tone as he opens the interlude.

Asides:

Once again, Mohammad Rafi comes up the ‘seventh’ choice to replicate the voice of an elderly person in Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri Mutthi Mein Kya Hai

With Bharat Bhushan

It is very difficult to associate Bharat Bhushan with Manna Dey in the playback, since almost of the successful songs that Bharat Bhushan got to sing on the screen invariably has Mohammad Rafi for playback. However, the subject of ‘Basant Bahar’ (1956) revolves around a singer who is blessed with a classically-oriented voice, which makes Manna Dey as the very natural choice for the music directors Shanker Jaikishan.

Sur Naa Saje Kya Gaun Mein, Bhay Bhanjana Vandana Sun Hamari, or a classic competition song. Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champak Ban Phoole, are indeed best in the class songs. Perhaps, this would be classic tale where greater the height of immediate success seems to have undesirable long term effect.

The film does have one of the most melodious duets to the credit of Manna Dey – Nain Miley Chain Kahan, Dil Hai Wahin Tu Hai Jahan – where Manna Dey matches Lata Mangeshkar’s natural melody on a chord-to-chord basis.

In Rani Rupmati (1957), a historical film, Bharat Bhushan played the lead role. One of the very popular song from this film – Aa Laut Kar Aaja Mere Meet – had Mukesh as playback singer. In a classical competition duet – Baat Chalat Nayi Chunari Rang Daali – Mohammad Rafi plays back for Bharat Bhushan. There are three more duets Phool Bagiya Mein Bulbul Bole, O Raat Andheree Dar Lage Rasiya and Jhananan Jhan Jhan Baje Payaliya, where too Mohammad Rafi is chosen as play back of Bharat Bhushan. However, S N Tripathi once again falls back upon a high-octaved poignant feeling song Ud Jaa Ud Jaa Bhanwar Maya Kamal Ka Aaj Bandhan Tod Ke.

Manna Dey again plays back to Bharat Bhushan in Kavi Kalidas (1959). Choice of Manna Dey seems directly linked to his now strong association with classical based songs.

Jai Saraswati – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

Here is the prayer to the Goddess of Education (Maa Saraswati).

Naye Naye Rango Se Likhati Dharati Nayi Kahani – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

This is the romantic poetry that describes the beauty of nature as it operates through the changing colors of the earth in different seasons.

O Ashadh Ke Pahele Badal – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – With Lata Mangeshkar – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

This is a poignant request to The Clouds to carry his message to his beloved.

Asides:

S N Tripathi has fallen back on the ‘seventh’ choice Mahammad Rafi for a simple romantic duet Un Par Kaun Kareji Vishwas

Bharat Bhushan once again played a devotional role in Angulimal (1961) that naturally prompts music director Anil Biswas to use Manna Dey for a background song filmed on the main protagonist – Aye Manav Tu Mukh Se Bol Bhudhdham Sharanam Gachhami (Lyrics: Bharat Vyas)

Bharat Bhushan’s association with Manna Dey also should record one of the most famous classical-comedy genre song Phool Dendava Na Maaro of Dooj Ka Chand (1964) (Music: Roshan; Lyrics – Sahir Ludhyanvi). Dooj Ka Chand is produced ny Bharat Bhushan. The song is filmed on Agha.

Asides:

The songs filmed on Bharat Bhushan himself – Sun Ae Mahajabeen Mujhe Tum Se Pyar Nahin, Chand Takta Hai Idhar and Mahefil Se Uth Jaanewalo have been rendered by Mohammad Rafi.

If Manna Dey was the classical playback singer choice for Basant Bahar, he too was THE choice for the romantic male lead of Chori Chori (1956), and a ‘seventh’ but quite an important choice for Shree 420 (1955) for Shanker Jaikishan. Each of the songs of these films were game changers and should have set any other singer right on the seventh heaven. Manna Dey did scale seven heavens, but as the niche playback singer only.

We will continue with Manna Dey’s journey with actors, who initially had Manna Dey as their play back, but their path to the first row seats of the commercial success of the cinema was travelled riding on the playback of other singers

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – February, 2018

Welcome to February, 2018 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We begin our February, 2018 episode with Bharat Darshan – Bharat Darshan in Songs (1): Small towns  followed by Bharat Darshan in Songs (2): Metros. Once we tour India, how can we be satisfied without having a look Around the World in Songs.

Knowing fully well that a mere mention of the these tours will not suffice, I have selected one song from each post to taste the potentials of these tours

Tum Dilli Main Agra Mere Dil Se Nikle Haaye – Pahle Aap (1944) – Shyam Kumar and Mohammad Rafi – Naushad  – DN Madhok

Bombay Purani Kalkatta Purana – Umar Qaid (1961)   Mohammad Rafi and Kamal Barot – Iqbal Qureshi – Hasrat Jaipuri

Ek Din Lahore Ki Thandi Sadak Par Shaam Ko Ja Rahe TheSagai (1951) – Chitalkar, Rafi and Shamshad Begum – C Ramchandra  –  Rajendra Krishna

Around the World in Ten Songs also is an off-shoot of the aforementioned Bharat Darshan posts. There are songs—the ones shot abroad—merit a separate post, because so many of them (Akele-akele kahaan jaa rahe ho, O mere shahekhubaan, Raat ke humsafar, Aye meri zindagi tu ajnabi toh nahin, etc) have little to do with the place itself. The present list is limited to the songs that actually name a city or town, whether or not the song itself is shot there, e.g.  Bade Bhaiya Laaye Hain London Se Chhori  – Ek Hi Raasta, (1956) – Asha Bhosle – Hemant Kumar – Majrooh Sutanpuri

And, now, we take up the tributes in January (post-our January, 2018 issue) / February, 2018:

The first five posts are w.r.t. the Valentine Day.

Valentine Day also is the birth date of Madhubala.

The Many Moods of Madhubala – On her 85th birth anniversary on 14th February, 2018 – Her obvious beauty blinded people to her talent, and her ill-health didn’t allow her much of a chance to explore roles that might have rewarded her latent talent.

Barsat Ki Raat Part 1: A Musical Romance – On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, and the birthday of Hindi films’ Venus, Madhubala, Monica Kar revisits the classic musical Barsat Ki Raat 1960, exploring the evergreen memorable songs and scenes of this delightful romantic story. [We will include the Part II of the article in our next episode.]

Happy Birthday Suman Ji! presents her representative solo songs on her 81st birthday on 28th January, 2018.  This is followed up with Suman Kalyanpur – Duets. I have picked up a duet with Mohammad Rafi from her one of the first films just after her marriage:

Jara Thahero Abhdul Gaffar Rumal Mere Leke Jaana – Satta Bazar (1959) – Kalyanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra – The tune is composed on Gujarati Garba folk song tune.

The Many Moods of Waheeda Rehman – a ‘song’ tribute to Waheeda Rehman on her 80th birthday (3rd February, 2018), songs that she sang on screen presenting her in a different mood and/or emotion.

OP Nayyar — Music Alchemist  –  In a tribute to the legendary music director OP  Nayyar, Silhouette presents a unique collection of essays curated by noted musicologist and author Manek Premchand, admin of the RTS group. The group draws its name from Manek’s book ‘Romancing the Song, an in-depth encyclopedic lyrical journey through the history of the Hindi film song.

Khayyam: The Poets’ Musician – The earnestness, the depth and the genius of Khayyam led to the creation of masterpiece ghazals, songs and nazms that are among the most beautiful melodies in Hindi film music. Vijay Kumar explores a few of Khayyam’s everlastings songs on the music maker’s birthday on 18th February, 2018.

Pankaj Mallik-The Singer,Composer Admired By Rabindranath Tagore – The credit of taking Tagore’s songs and music, which have come to be known as ‘Rabindra Sangeet’, to the masses goes to ‘Mukti’.

Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi: Bharat Bhushan’s Unforgettable Singer-Poet Musicals – By Peeyush Sharma – Bharat Bhushan’s educated, decent, quiet and humble personality made him excel in unforgettable musicals as historical singer-poet or romantic shayar.

February, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to: Talat Mahmood’s Duet Combinations with Rare Co-singers. I plan to follow the practice of following-up one artist every month every year. E.g. Our present episode is follow-on post to the February, 2017 episode:Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory’.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

The mesmerizing Qawwaalis from Hindi movies – Listening to a good Qawwaali may take you into a state of trance. Bollywood movies have carried the Qawwaali tradition a long way through several memorable Qawwaalis.

Bombay Returned is Manek Premchand’s maiden article as far as this blog carnival is concerned.  The post looks at many actors, singers, composers or filmmakers who came to Bombay to try their fortunes in Hindi films, only to go back to where they were known better through the prism of lens of their Hindi Film Songs.

Great Theme Music of Bollywood – Theme music is a piece that is often played during the introopening credits and/or ending credits. This music is a Signature Music of a Film. For example – Alaap at the end of a musical piece from ‘Pakeeza’. In the early years of radio and television, celebrities often had a signature song associated with them that became their theme.

‘Bandini’ is about crossings real and imagined, literal and metaphoricalRudradeep Bhattacharjee – Gulzar made his debut as a lyricist with the 1963 Bimal Roy classic, starring Nutan, Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra and scored by SD Burman…Mora Gora Ang Lai Le is the only song Gulzar wrote for Bandini. By then Burman and Shailendra had made their peace, and the latter wrote the remaining songs. [A concerned Bimal Roy then asked Gulzar to join in on his next production, which was being directed by Hemen Gupta. Kabuliwala, for which Gulzar wrote Ganga Aaye Kahaan Se, went on to release earlier than Bandini.].This song also is the first after SDB and Lata’ feud was patched up.

25 All Time Great Whistling Songs Of Bollywood – Whistling is an old art used in songs started in 1930s and 40s. A whistle can be used to express happiness or woo a beloved. Many a times whistling is a part of hero’s introduction song, where he is shown to whistle happily, either walking or riding a bicycle, or driving a car.

‘Gharonda’ remains one of the most resonant films about Mumbai’s housing woesNandini Ramnath – House-hunting leads to heartbreak in Bhimsain’s 1977 morality tale, starring Amol Palekar, Zarina Wahab and Shreeram Lagoo.

Devika Rani is a free-spirited bird in ‘Main Ban Ki Chidiya’Archana Nathan – The famous song from Franz Osten’s ‘Achhut Kanya’ is a perfect ode to Devika Rani.

Zara Dekhiye Meri Saadgi’ – Dara Singh – His first real acting film was Bhaktraj (1960). But he came in a hero in Faulad (1963), and then went to act in 80 films in the lead role. The song that the article title refers to is from Nasihat(1967) – rendered by Mahendra Kapoor and composed by O P Nayyar.

We concluded our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?  with the final post that presents my views on the Top Music Directors for 1948. If we recall, SoY had concluded the series with Best songs of 1948: Final Wrap Up 4.  All the posts of the Micro View of Best Songs of 1948 can be accessed @ The Songs of 1948 @SoY.

In our tradition of ending our post with article or topical song, I have picked up one duet with Suman Kalyanpur and one rarely heard composition of O P Nayyar and Roshan each, in continuation to leads that we have had earlier in this episode::

Aankade Ka Dhandha Ek Din Teji – Satta Bazar (1959) – Kalyanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra

Sharab Ka Sahara Leke Bahal Saka Na Mera Dil – Commecrical Pilot Officer (1963) – Roshan- Anand Bakshi

Bana De Bana De Prabhuji Tu Bigdadi Bana De Prabhuji – Phaagun (1958) – With Asha Bhosle – O P Nayyar – Qamar Jalalabadi

Madhubala and Bharat Bhushan lip sing the song on the screen.

I earnestly seek your suggestions / inputs / criticisms so as to make our Film Blog Festival more interesting and live.