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)

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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….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – December, 2016

Welcome to December, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We will begin our present episode on a lighter note with You’ve never heard the demonetized version of this famous song from Guru Dutt’s ‘Pyaasa’. As a parody, ‘When it was our turn in the queue, the bank’s coffers were empty‘ is a part of sort of mini cottage industry – These Bollywood spoofs on demonetisation will tide you over the cashless blues.

December, 2016 also had another major event- passing away of Tamil Nadu CM, J Jayalalithaa.

Wadia and Nadia: How love kicked in pre-Bollywood filmdom – Nadia was a JBH discovery. But it was Homi (May 22, 1911 – December 10, 2004) who gave this memsahib with a thick Scottish accent, a voice. “Homi realised her language was her ‘body’,” says film theorist and curator Amrit Gangar. “He kept Nadia’s dialogue to a bare minimum because of her difficulty with Hindi.”

mary-ann-evans-aka-fearless-nadia-in-a-still-from-carnival-queen-1955
Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia in a still from Carnival Queen, 1955

Happy Birthday Dharmendra: As he turns 81, we bring you his various filmi moods – He was probably the first Indian male star who appeared bare-chested in a song in Phool Aur Patthar. From Anupama (1966) to Satyakam (1969), Dharmendra tried to create a space for himself as an actor. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chupke Chupke is another film which proved that the actor could balance subtle comedy just as well as slapstick elsewhere.

MS Subbulakshmi: A journey from Kunjamma to Meera – is N Venkataraman’s tribute on her birth centenary (16 September 1916 – 11 December 2004).

December is also a month of birth dates of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, two fulsome actors of the Great Triad.

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Dilip Kumar – Leaves from My Diary in an interview conducted in 1957.

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Prithivi Raj Kapoor with sons and a grand son

15 Songs of Shailendra: The Art of Simply Expressing Deepest Thoughts – On Shailendra’s death anniversary,Antara Nanda Mondal and Peeyush Sharma have compiled a brief list of 15 songs that give a glimpse of his massive range – encompassing songs of love and romance, songs of introspection and philosophies, songs of spiritual awakening and harsh social realities, songs of that celebrate liberation and songs that express the anguish of entrapment.

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We have an excellent career-sketch of Sitara Devi: The Twinkling Star profiled by Karan Bali on her second death anniversary on 25th November.  Some of her memorable films are Judgement of Allah (1935), Achhut (1940), Pagal (1940) and India Today (1940)., Roti (1942), Najman (1943) or her snake dance in Anjali (1957) or the Holi dance in Mother India (1957).

We will also take note of A Short Film Tribute to Sitara Devi   

Karan Bali has also profiled PC Barua, who is most easily remembered for K L Saigal’s songs of Devdas (1935) or Saigal’s So Ja Raajkumari So Ja (Zindagi).

The December, 2016 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Mohammad Rafi’s solo song from the first film with the music director. This part of the article covered the first three years of the first-five-year-period of 1944-1948. The second part of the article, has covered songs from 1947 and 1948 @ Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song From The FIRST Film With The Music Director ||2||.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ and the beginning of a film movement – A Book Review by Sangeeta Datta – A script written during the filmmaker’s college years became the foundation of his sparkling career as one of cinema’s greatest realists.

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Smita Patil as a child: Mischievous, adventurous, emotional and an excellent mimic – In her review Maithili Rao notes that  Smita Patil biography reveals that the acclaimed actor, whose death anniversary is on December 13, was ‘prem mayee’: a being suffused with love.

More Delicious Chutney Covers of Hindi Film Songs – After the introductory piece, we can now expect this to be a regular fare.

Southern Spice in Hindi Music highlights key aspects of South Indian music that have been absorbed in Hindi film songs, that have added what one would call as a dash of Southern spice in Hindi film music. This is not about the vocal styles from South India, but instruments from South India. LINK TO PLAYLIST FOR SOUTHERN SPICE IN HINDI FILM MUSIC takes us to 12 such songs from 1940s to’60s, with one exception.

I have been able to land upon this quite an imaginative subject – “Samne waali khidki” songs rather belatedly.

Shankar-Jaikishan’s multi-faceted genius with ‘other’ singers – have covered so far their best songs for his leading singers, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi and Manna Dey. also presented his best dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets. presenting my final tribute to SJ with their songs for ‘other’ singers which give a glimpse of their multi-faceted talent.

My Favourites: Heroes – 1 (40s-70s)  is the pairing list of earlier  My Favourites: Heroines – 1 (40s-70s) , based on an idea of Stars and Songs, that the author, Ava Suri, particularly like featuring the actress. In the continuum, Zeenat Aman – My favorite Songs is a collection of Baker’s dozen songs that have matching visuals to the catchy lyrics with Zeenat Aman in the focus and Ashok Kumar – 10 favorite songs that the actor sang as well as performed on the screen.

‘Diya Na Bujhe Ri Aaj Hamara’ – Kumkum The first song I got as a dancer was the song “Angana Baaje Shehnai Re, Aaj Mori Jagmag Atariya” in the film Sheesha which was sung by Shamshad Begum. ‘Raat Ke Raahi’s song ‘Daayein Baayein Chhup Chhupa Ke Kahaan Chale’ was picturized on Kumkum’s younger sister Radhika and Shammi Kapoor.Radhika also stays with her family in Mumbai.

Trios, Quartets, and More: Ten of my favourite songs has presented songs such as:

Bas mujhko mohabbat ho gayi hai (Biwi aur Makaan), 1966); Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant, Talat Mahmood. There is one more such experiment in the same film – Nahi Hota… Aa Tha Jab Janam Liya – Mukesh, Manna Dey & Hemant Kumar

The Legends: Asha Bhosle sets the tone with the help of solos and The Legends: Asha Bhosle – Part 2 has her duets.

We end today’s episode with a short film on songs and life of Mohammad Rafi: Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3. 

I take this opportunity to wish a great 2017 to all of you and look forward to your valued suggestions to keep our content more engrossing…

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – October, 2016

Welcome to October, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

For the present episode we have posts from Silhouette magazine delves on the on the memories of S D Burman on his birthday on 1st October (1906) –

Pag thumak chalat balkhaye, haye, Sainyan kaise dhaarun dheer (Sitaron Se Aage, 1958) Lata Mangeshkar

In addition to these, Moti Lalwani has penned Part 1 of his memoir of S D Burman’s experiments, which we shall look at in details along with Part 2, to be published later.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee: In a Humane Genre of His Own By Antara Nanda Mondal  – Most of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films had music that has lasted through the decades and continue to be heard, hummed and cherished till date. SD Burman, Hemant Kumar, Shankar Jaikishen, RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vasant Desai – whoever he worked with came up with some of their best tunes for him.

We should not miss Hrishikesh Mukherjee: Giving Cinema a New Definition too – a tribute based on a lengthy interview Shoma A Chatterji had with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Tribute: Shailendra was the proverbial moth who got burned too quickly – The lyricist has left behind a legacy of exquisite songs that make you cry and think.

Films that are 50:

We have a few excellent career-sketches too for the present episode:

Hema Malini by Karan Bali – Acting aside, Hema has dabbled in film production having produced Swami (1977), Sharara (1984), Awaargi (1990) and Marg (1992 but unreleased) besides directing Dil Aashna Hai (1991), Tell Me O Khuda (2011) and Mohini (1994) for Television.

Kersi Lord – by Karan Bali – Ace musician Kersi Lord, not only imported the first synthesizer into India in 1973, butthe-human-factor also introduced musical instruments like the ‘glockenspiel’ in Indian cinema for the cigarette lighter effect in Hum Dono (1961). He is also well-known for playing the accordion pieces in the hit songs Roop Tera Mastana from Aradhana (1969) and O Meri Sharmilee from Sharmilee (1971), among many others. it was RD who first introduced the electronic organ in India for the composition O Mere Sona Re in Teesri Manzil (1966) for which I had the privilege of playing the organ.” Kersi Lord retired in 2000 after a career spanning more than 5 decades. He passed away in Mumbai on October 16, 2016. He had been ailing for sometime. The Lords – father  Cawas, Kersi and his brother, Burjor, all musicians, have been featured extensively in a wonderful documentary, The Human Factor (2012), directed by Rudradeep Bhattacharjee.

leela-a-patchwork-life Leela Naidu: The Person Behind the Image – “A couple of months ago when I had come across her autobiography, “Leela – a patchwork life” (Penguin India, 2010), written with Jerry Pinto, I was very tempted to read it and at the same time, I was not very sure that it would be a wise thing.
Through experience I have learned that favourite film persons are better seen through the sepia tinted glasses of nostalgia. Knowing them as persons ruins their magic. However, in the end I had not resisted. The book has definitely changed my perception about Leela Naidu, the person behind the image.”

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

This Indian Film Won The Highest Prize In Cannes In 1946, But Still Remains Forgotten – Gautam Chintamani – Even though it won the highest prize at Cannes, Chetan Anand’s ‘Neecha Nagar’ remains largely forgotten today.music-masti-modernity

From Teesri Manzil to Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Nasir Husain’s cinema is celebrated in a new bookRohini Nair – In an interview with Firstpost, Akshay Manwani spoke of why he felt compelled to write – in a new book, titled Music, Masti, Modernity — The Cinema of Nasir Husain about the cinema of Nasir Husain, the filmmaker’s legendary collaborations with Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh and RD Burman, and what his lasting contribution to Hindi films has been.

Actors Prepare – From Ravan to Mahatma Gandhi  presents some of the images of the theatre actors from India, Italy and some other countries.

Redemption song: ‘Titli Udi’ by Sharda was a beginning and an end by Manish Gaekwad – Once upon a time in the 1960s arose a rare challenger to the Lata-Asha combination – This is quite an interesting, and yet balanced, narrative of Sharda’s Hind film career.

N.B.:  The articles that have appeared in this series in the past can be accessed at Stories in A Song.

‘Jago Hua Savera’ dropped: ‘Mumbai has lost out on watching a classic that is still relevant’ by Anjum Taseer – Jago Hua Savera sees the best talent from East and West Pakistan and India participating in a production under trying circumstances. This is a film that was lost, rediscovered and restored. The new version is a perfect showpiece of the original masterpiece.

Songs of Angana nostalgically recalls the Anagan, the courtyard, a central feature of the then houses of India. Open to the sky, and surrounded on the four sides by verandah and living rooms, this quadrangle is the place where the family lives out its life, does all its mundane chores of daily existence, and also holds all its ceremonies and special occasions.

We have had a post on songs of atariya too on SoY.

Remembering Diwali Songs presents a multi-faceted view of Diwali in Hindi film songs during the decades of ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

Vyjayantimala’s Singing Debut for Composer Master Venu  – by Lakshmipriya – The songs referred to in the title of the post are: Dachinanu ravoi neekai and Daricheraga rava priyuda . There is also an interesting refrence to Dekhane Mein Bhola Hai. Waheeda Rahman mentions this anecdote in her many interviews of how she was humming the yeruvaka song on the sets of Solva Saal. S D Burman was very impressed to found out who the composer was and asked Master Venu permission to use it in his song Dekhne Me Bhola for Bambai ka Babu. Master Venu was so delighted that he immediately agreed happily…...

In Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, having covered Male Solo Songs, Other Than Lata Mangeshkar Female Solo Songs, and Solo Songs of Lata Mangeshkar. In the category of Duets, we had covered duets of Mohammad Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar, Suriya and Shamshad Begum and Geeta Roy and other female playback singers  and Duets of Mukesh in the Male-Female Duets sub-category. For the present month, we have continued with duets of Shamshad Begum with other Male singers, Geeta Roy, Lata Mangeshkar and Suraiya with other Male Singers, Other Male Female Duets and then have moved on to Female-Female Duets of LatamangeshkarOther Female-Female Duets in the Female- Female duets subcategory.

We end today’s episode with a post on Mohammad Rafi’:

Rafi is Hindi Cinema’s greatest voicePankaj Vohra – The findings of the survey were revealed on the Independence Day and Rafi came out as the winner from a formidable field that comprised Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh. In fact, the Survey put Rafi ahead of Lata Mangeskar by nearly 12 percent with Kishore Kumar coming second, with about five percent votes less than those secured by the winner…It was also interesting that Asha and Mukesh polled nearly the same number of votes and if added to those polled by Lata Mangeshkar, they were not enough to catch up with Rafi….Another aspect of Rafi’s voice was that he could replicate his studio recording even in a public function and sang exactly the same way as he done for a film. This was a unique trait since there has been no singer other than him who could sing exactly the same song in a public function as during the recording.

I whole-heartedly wish you and your family a Crackling Happy Diwali, and look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – August,2016

Welcome to August, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

One of our regularly visited blogs Dances on the Footpath celebrated its ninth anniversary on 30th July, 2016. We join all the readers to congratulate the blog author Richard on this great milestone.

As we delve into the posts on Anniversaries,

We take a belated note of the 80th birth anniversary of Nutan @ The origin of my admiration for Nutan and join in sharing the author’s views : «Nutan shares with classic Indian cinema this quality that I find so important and that we in the West have lost, in a way: a fundamental honesty. She adds to this quality something personal and special which I choose to call vibrant grace”.

Happy birthday Kishore Kumar: Top 5 things to know about the legendary singer – Kishore Kumar started his career in the field of acting, with “Shikari” in 1946. – 1946 is when S D Buramn also made his debut with Hindi films – In 1948, music director Khemchand Prakash gave Kishore Kumar a chance to sing “Marne ki duayen kyon mangu” for the film “Ziddi”…During the making of ‘Mashaal’ way back in 1950, Burman visited Ashok Kumar’s house, where he heard latter’s younger brother, Kumar imitating KL Saigal. Kishore Kumar, along with R D Burman, also formed a formidable team which ensured a volley of  chartbusters whenever they came together.

The Unforgotten and Unremembered Genius Jaidev – A tribute on his 98th birth anniversary (3 August 1918 – 6 January 1987) – Jaidev was neither a remembered composer nor a forgotten one. He is also possibly the only music director to have won the National Awards thrice for Reshma Aur Shera (1971), Gaman (1979) and Ankahee (1985). We have picked up a few songs here:

We also have a couple of more articles on Jaidev:

And so far as I am concerned, no discussion on Jaidev could ever without remembering

Raat Bhi Hai Khuchh Bhigi BhigiMujhe Jine Do (1963) – Lata Mangeshkar – Sahir Ludhyanvi

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

The ‘Biopic’ TeaserDebamitra Mitra – “Biopic films have more often than not run into controversies and debates about the authenticity in depicting the life of a celebrated person. From the Hollywood myth-making trends to the Bollywood surge in making biopics on sports-persons, film-makers worldwide are perennially plagued with legal hurdles, insufficient data and at times difficulty in finding the proper actor for the role. However there is no doubt that biopics have an important significance in the contemporary film culture.”

Rimjhim ke Taraane… The Breezy Rain SongsAntara Nanda Mondal and Peeyush Sharma relive at some evergreen rain songs of Hindi films that never cease to evoke a smile, a memory or simply uplift the heart, especially when you hear the raindrops starting to fall. Readers have also chipped in with songs on rain.

Ten of my favourite songs of waiting – “Waiting, of course, can be of different types, and for different things. It can be a patient wait, for something one knows is coming one’s way. It can be restless, dominated by an urge to do something to alleviate one’s own suffering. Or the restlessness can be one of hopelessness, of knowing that one waits for something that can never come to be…One may wait for a much-longed for event to happen. One can wait for news. For friends, relatives. And, much more frequently in Hindi cinema, where romance is such an important element of most plots, for the beloved.”

Kuchh to log kahenge” has presented songs wherein emphasis has to be on the issue of ‘saying’, e.g.

Patriotism and cinema are old companionsSanjukta Sharma – Directors and producers of 1950s’ Hindi cinema best exploited the patriotic sentiment …. In Hollywood and other big film-making nations like India, patriotism is a commonly used, commercially lucrative storytelling trope. Even a romance has a few patriotic scenes.

Santoshi Maa: The celluloid goddess – Ruchika Sharma – How an unexpected hit in the 1970s catapulted a minor local goddess to national fame.. The mythological, being unique to Indian cinema, is also its founding genre. Starting with Dadasaheb Phalke’s 50-minute silent movie Raja Harishchandra (1913), mythologicals dominated the silver screen before Independence. Their numbers began to dwindle post-1947, and by the 1970s, they had been relegated to the B-circuit….This was until Jai Santoshi Maa, a low-budget movie featuring unknown actors, became one of the highest grossing films of 1975, alongside Sholay and Deewar.

Here, Have Some Chutney! – Chutney is a fusion of Indian and Caribbean music that was born in the mid-20th century. Wikipedia specifically mentions that the people who created chutney music had ancestors in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh…. [the post has presented several video clips that gives enough idea about the subject….]

Faiz & Nayyara Noor – “Jab Teri Samandar AankhoN maiN” – Unlike Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s very popular, overtly political poetry, Yeh dhoop kinaray is an example of Faiz at his finest.

Harmonium has remembered two of my favorites records [Talat Mahmood] In a Blue Mood and In 1976 The Finest Ghazals from Mohd. Rafi @ Mixed up Blue: Talat Mahmood  and New and Old Ghazals: Mohammad Rafi respectively.

The Power of Holding Hands is so aptly presented via Hum Panchhi Mastane (Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar – Dekh Kabira Roya (1957) – Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishna).

Usha Kiron – Dr. Kher Wedding Picture (May, 1954)

Usha Kiron – Dr. Kher Wedding Picture (May, 1954) - Shammi (right) “says” it with flowers

Shammi (right) “says” it with flowers

As we could not cover articles form Scroll.in last month, we have a deluge of articles that have to be accommodated in our episodes. This month also our episode seems to be bordering on being too verbose. So, we will need to take them up  in smaller groups in our forthcoming issues.

In Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, having covered G M Durrani, Talat Mahmood, Surendra and ‘Other’ Male Playback Singers , Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi’s ever green solo songs, first and second part of  Other Noteworthy Solo songs in the Male Solo Songs category till now, I followed it up with MY Top Male Solo Songs, choosing Mohammad Rafi as the Best Male Singer for 1949 and his Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki (Dulari, Naushad) as the Best Song. SoY also has released Best songs of 1949: Wrap Up 1, choosing Mukesh as the Best Male Singer and Tu kahe agar as the Best Male Solo.

Then,  I have finished up the Micro View of  Solo Songs of ‘Other Than Lata Mangeshkar’ Female Singers, in which we covered Suraiya, Geeta Roy , Shamshad Begum, Raajkumari, Asha Bhosle, Surindar Kaur,Uma Devi and Meena Kapoor to end up with solo songs of Lalita Deulkar, Amirbai Karnataki, Hamida Bano, Zeenat Begum and Pushpa Hans. I also went on to wrap up the subject My Choice of the TOP Solo Songs of the Other Female Singers for 1949. My final choice was a toss-up among Suraiya ( Woh Pas Rahe Ya Door Rahein, Nazron Mein Samaye Rahate Hain); Shamshad Begum – Na Bol More Angana Pi Pi Panchhi Ja Re Ja and Raajkumari – Ghabra Ke Jo Ham Sar Ko Takaraye To Achcha Ho. SoY also has released its analysis and choice@ Best songs of 1949: Wrap Up 2, which happens to be Shamshad Begum, followed by Suraiya.

Our journey now continues with Solo songs of Lata Mangeshkar, part 1 and 2 of three part review.

We have some more of articles on Mohammad Rafi’ on his 36th death anniversary 31st July, 2016:

In his tribute, Not just Hindi: When Mohammed Rafi sang in English, Creole, Dutch and Persian , Manish Gaekwad  recounts how the legendary singer extended his vocal range to foreign languages whenever he got the opportunity.

On Mohammed Rafi’s 36th death anniversary, the question lingers: How did he sing so effortlessly? – While lamenting as to we are still waiting for the definitive study of the timeless songs he sang, Akshay Manwani  takes us through Mohammad Rafi’s versatility over a widest possible range – of subjects, situations, notes and all that ““Rafi sa’ab jo kar saktey hain”.

Month of August also has one more very strong connection with Mohammad Rafi – his patriotic songs:

Are you patriotic tonight? Here is a songlist that will make your heart swell with pride– India’s greatness has been frequently celebrated through nationalist songs, as proven by Manish Gaekwad’s  potted list.

List of 120 Patriotic songs by Rafi Sahab – Swaminathan Rajan has painstakingly collected film and non-film songs here

In order to maintain continuity with the subject of patriotism, we will end our present episode with

Vande Mataram on recycled instruments and other versions of the modernised national song, which happen to be one more take-off on AR Rahman’s ‘Vande Mataram’, not the original one.

I look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May 2016

Welcome to May 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We begin with our regular Anniversaries section.

Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies: Iqbal Qureshi –  Once you get to listen to the songs, one would simply wonder how come such a talented music director did not succeed commercially after having composed such songs. Even some of his less heard songs too are a treat to listen to, even today:

Interestingly, the same tune when used for Ek chameli ke madwe tale, do badan pyar ki aag mein jal gaye – Cha Cha Cha (1964) got huge success.

Manna Dey’s songs by Shankar-Jaikishan is a tribute to Manna Dey on his 97th birth anniversary with his songs by Shankar-Jaikishan as a part of the celebrations of SJ Year on SoY. As one would expect, the post and the discussion thereon yields a veritable treasure of SJ-Manna Dey combo.

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

My Favourites: ‘Don’t Go’ Songs – All the songs in this list have that one thing in common – they are all songs that entreat someone not to leave. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the first phrase in the mukhda, but the entreaty has to appear in the mukhda itself. Here are a couple less heard ones –

Ten of my favourite cynical songs – Ten songs that speak of the singer’s cynicism, his or her belief that the world is not a nice place. At times the bitterness boils forth in a fierce and/or despairing rejection of the entire world; at other times, it is cloaked with satire or a sort of bitter humour. Perhaps even smiles. But the cynicism is there, if you only pay attention to the lyrics. Here is the one as an example:

Moon and Mumbai (Bollywood) – Guest Article by D P Rangan –  Film makers in Mumbai and Chennai, the first two centers of film studios, had also fallen under the influence  of Chand, the Moon and used it as scene creator ab initio, and music directors had risen to the occasion and composed immortal musical pieces for the heroes and heroines to cavort about in joyful abandon. The post and the discussion thereon presents Chand in its all shades:

Madhubala in Greece – Did you know that Madhubala was so popular in Greece in early 1960s that a song was written in Greek for her and sung by perhaps the best singer ever of the “Laika” genre Stelios Kazantidis. Here is the song with English Translation

Suraiya on the sets of Goonj (1952) – Singing star Suraiya makes friends with a horse on the sets of Kwatra Art Productions’ “Goonj”; co-workers look on interestedly.

Beauty and the beast and a host of lookers on
Beauty and the beast and a host of lookers on

Kamini Kaushal, S.D. Burman, Lata, Kishore on the sets of Chalis Baba Ek Chor (1954)

Producer Kamini Kaushal (center) has first of the eight songs in “Chalis Baba Ek Chor,” her own production recorded. With her, from left, are Director P.L. Santoshi, playbacks Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, with music-director S.D. Burman completing the group
Producer Kamini Kaushal (center) has first of the eight songs in “Chalis Baba Ek Chor,” her own production recorded. With her, from left, are Director P.L. Santoshi, playbacks Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, with music-director S.D. Burman completing the group

 

A music link – Working with a grant sanctioned in 2008, Suresh Chandvankar steered the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP)190 project that has successfully digitized gramophone records, advertisements and publicity material as well as catalogues of the Young India record label that operated in Mumbai from 1935-55. A staggering 1,427 items populate this extraordinary collection which one can now access for free (http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Young-India-record-label-collection). [Once you visit this site, you will also find 103 item collection @Music From India.]

For the present, I did not find a fresh post @ that can be taken up here. That gives a good opportunity to go back a little in time and listen to a select Geeta Dutt songs, composed by Madan Mohan @ Madan Mohan: The Composer of the Classes By Gajendra Nand Khanna.  These are the songs that have western tunes, fairly heavy orchestration and a very lively Geeta Dutt. These songs amply show that Madan Mohan was capable of doing heavily instrumented songs as well when he did such songs.:

We have commenced Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, by now a well-settled, annual review feature of visiting the songs of particular year under the subject of Best songs of year. This year we have Best songs of 1949 for the Base. We have first taken up Male Solo Songs, and have covered G M Durrani, Talat Mahmood, Surendra and ‘Other’ Male Playback Singers till now.

We end our present episode with a posts/ articles that cover Mohammed Rafi, from a wide-ranging point of views –

Bhoole Bisre by Prakash Gowda – A zero budget short film with a million dollar message, by Prakash Gowda, that narrates the story of an old man who yearns for a hearing machine, just so that he can enjoy the songs of Mohammad Rafi.

Mohammed Rafi also always used to sing a song in the native language whenever he would visit different countries. Not many people know that Mohammed Rafi visited Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975 and recorded few farsi songs in Radio Kabul. Here is such rare non-filmi farsi song of Mohammed Rafi, with Afghan female singer Zhilla. This song is composed by Hafizullah ‘Khyal’ and recorded in Radio Kabul in 1975 with Afghan musicians.
Aye Taaza Gul Tu Zeenat-e-Gulzaar-e-Keesti
(Oh fresh flower, you are beauty of which garden?)

Similarly when he visited the capital city of Suriname, Paramaribo, he sang Baharon Ful Barsao in Suriname language. Here is that clip where we can listen to his live performance in Suriname.

I look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..

The Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @ SoY – Male Solo Songs – G M Durrani + Talat Mahmood

Male Solo Songs

We commence our detailed journey for the year 1949 with Male Solo Songs. I would place the full video clip for those songs that I have heard for the first time or that I do not recollect much. For the songs that are well-known even today, I plan to hyperlink to the song. Once all major songs of each of the principal singers are covered, we will take up an overall summary of the specific category to present my views on the Best of the Category.

The game of numbers does not seem to work in favour of male solo songs in comparison with female solo songs. My review of the available songs for the year 1949 present 5 major male playback singers in so far as solo songs are concerned.

We take up Solo Songs of G M Durrani first.

Jigar Ke Tukde,Ye Dil Ke Tukde – Aaiye – Nashad (a.k.a. Shaukat Ali Haidari) – Nakhshab Jarachvi

Itani Si Kahani Hai Itna Mera Afsana – Aaiye – Nashad – Nakhshab Jarachvi

Nazron Se Mili Nazarein, Dil Ho Gaya Diwana – Aaiye – Nashad – Nakhshab Jarachvi

Zindgani Ka Maza Shaadi Mein Hai – Aparadhi  –  Sudhir Phadke – Amar Varma

Pi Aaye Aa Kar Chale Gaye – Bazaar – Shyam Sunder – Wali Saheb

Ye Rahen Mohabbat Katon Si Bhari Hai – Sawan Bhadon – Husnlal Bhagatram – Ravindra Dave –Duet

Solo Songs of Talat Mahmood

The songs do reveal the silken magic of Talat Mahmood, but certainly seems to await Anil Biswas’s ‘Arzoo’ touch to emerge as The Dominant Player, irrespective of numbers. It also appears to be no coincidence that music directors of two of the three films here belong to the Calcutta school.

Teri Gali Se Bahut..Dil Par Kisi Ka Teer-e-Nazar Kha Ke Rah Gaye – Rakhi – Husnlal Bhagatram – Sarshar Sailani

Jo Beet Gaya So Beet Gaya & Din Beet Chale – Swayam Siddha – Prafull Kumar Chaudhary – Bhawani Prasad Misra

Hai Ye Maine Kya Kiya – Samapti – Timir Baran ~ Pandit Bhushan

Man Ki Naina Bol Rahi Hai – Samapti – Timir Baran ~ Pandit Bhushan

In the next post we will listen to solo songs of Surendra along with the isolated solo songs of ‘the other singers’.

Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs: May, 2016

For the current episode most of the songs that I have presented are by and large quite new to me. However, as I was listening to these songs, the inherent charm of each song was so appealing that I have chosen to share them here.  It so happens that the plate has become full enough with songs chosen with two filters only. As a result, I propose to continue with the usual pattern of songs selection form the next episode of June, 2016.

We will first take up a few of the songs of 1940s. These songs have been forwarded by Sumantbhai (Dadu) from his great treasure trove collection.

As much as the music director and lyricist of the first song are known names, the singer and the song are as much unknown.

Aankhon Mein Aa Gaye Ho – Sasural (1941) – Brijmala – Gyan Dutt – D N Madhok

The next one is twin version female-female duet.

Aaj Hans Hans Ke Do Do Baatein– Main Kya Karoon (1945) – Sauraiya, Hamida  Bano  – Neenu Majumdar – D N Madhok

Its twin version is in slow-paced rhythm

The next one is based on a traditional Baul folk music of Bengal. But that apart, one obvious reason why I have picked up this song is that it is Chitalkar singing a S D Burman composition.

Ek Nai Kali Ssasural Chali – Eight Days (1946) – Chitalkar, Meena Kapoor – S D Burman – G S Nepali

In the second batch of songs I have collected Shamshad Begum songs from music directors other than O P Nayyar, Naushad, C Ramchandra,  Husnlal Bhagatram or S D Burman. As was noted in a tribute to her on her 97th birth anniversary in  Shamshad Begum’s songs by OP Nayyar , these music directors would account for a very large proportion of her total songs. So let us see how her songs with other music directors ring different, even if these may not have tested the commercial success.

Ek Kali Naazon Ki Pali – Khazanchi (1941) – Ghulam Haider

In the history of Hindi Film music, Khazanchi is considered to be a milestone when rhythm got the prominence in a film song composition.  This song is lip-synched by a very young, ebullient, Manorama, who went on to specialise in vampish character roles in the next couple of decades. Note a very large radio, akin to what is a very modern music system of the present days, over which the song which is recorded for a live broadcast, is enjoyed and appreciated. This particular genre of songs being recorded for All India Radio continued to deliver some of the most memorable film songs till end of 1960s.

Sasural Mein Tu Hogi Akeli – Mirza Sahiban (1957) – Shardul Kwatra

A typical Punjabi folk song associated with the marriage ceremonies. Bride’s friends enliven the gloom of the bride, who (traditionally) is saddened by the thought of her paternal home  …

Chali Pee Ko Milan Banthan Ke Dulhan – Ziddi (1948) – Khemchand Prakash – Prem Dhawan

Farewell to the bride was considered an integral part of the Indian marriage ceremonies. The actual scene always used to be very poignant. So, when a scene is enacted in dance song, the spectators move into those very feelings.

O Dilwaalo Ho Dil Hai Deewaana – Tikadambaz (1959) – B N Bali

A carefree court dancer enacting a playful dance in the court..

Aan Milo Balma – Hulchul (1951) – Sajjad Hussain – Kumar Barabankhvi

A village bellet… do notice very innovative orchestration…

Mere Dil Mein Aaiye – Dholak (1951) – Shyam Sundar – Aziz Kashmiri

The belle is at full charms to her (apparently) undecided love….

Paapi Duniya Se Door – Rail Ka Dibba (1953) – Ghulam Mohmmad – Shakeel Badayuni

An ebullient beginning of the morning chores..

Dil Na Lagana Dil Ka Lagana – Miss Mala (1954) – Chitragupt – Raja Mahendi Ali Khan

Shamshad Begum was so comfortable in creating the scenic effect with her singing style. We do not have a supporting video for this clip, but can very visualize a viviacious dance number being enacted by Vyjaintimala.

Na Jaan Re Na Jaan Re – Biraj Bahu (1954) – Salil Choudhary – Prem Dhawan

An excellent Mujra, set in an otherwise a Bengali social milieu. Pran also seems to have got free reins to resort to his later on well-known style of throwing rings of cigarette smoke to express his subtle glee in a given situation.

Off-the-Track:

Ham Haal-e- Dil Sunayenge, Suniye Ke Na Suniye – Madhumati (1958) – Mubarak Begum – Salil Chaudhary

Even as we do get some very memorable songs, the very popularity of such songs possibly turned out to be disadvantageous to the playback singers as their getting ‘branded’ for such genres took them away from the mainstream songs. This particular song can be taken as a classic case. Such an outstanding song on its own, got chopped at the editing table.

Dhadke Rah Rah Ke Dil Bawra – Naata 1955 – With S Balbir, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi – S Mohinder – Tanveer Nakhvi

By now, Lata Mangeshkar has taken over the role of playback for the heroine…

Pyar Jata Ke Lalchaye – Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – Hemant Kumar – Shailendra

When it comes to enacting earthy Punjabi feel of the tune, Shamshad Begum was the obvious choice

Kehte Hai Jisko Ishq – Aaj Aur Kal 1963 – with Usha Mangeshkar – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanvi

It now seems to Shamshad Begum is seen as ‘also-ran’ playback singer, even when the music director, lyricist or the film production house have a very respectable brand value. Quawalli, even as a very popular genre in the films, was generally rendered by not so well-known faces on the screen. As a result, even if the song did attain high popularity, the playback singer could not gain substantial long-term benefit.

I have been concurrently working on “Songs of 1949”. My search landed me on a Mohammed Rafi – Shiv Dayal (S D) Batish duet, composed Ghulam Haider for Kaneez (1949).

Har Aish Hai, Duniya Mein Ameeron Ko Aaram Nahin Milta

Under the curtains of a lighter toned satire, the lyricist Hazrat Lakh has taken quite targeted pot-shots at the rich strata of the society.

If you have such songs to share, you are most heartily welcome…..