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

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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

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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

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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

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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…..

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

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

We will commence our present episode with My Favorites: Songs of Spring. The only restrictions placed in the selection of the songs were that the lyrics should actually mention the word ‘Spring’ in any of its synonyms – Bahaar. Basant. Vasant-  and that the picturisation should show some signs of the season, even if it only means that the song is picturised outside. This is why Aaya basant hai aaya from Subhadraharan (1964) or Dekho mausam kya bahaar hai from Opera House (1961) do not make it to the list. It’s also why Ketki gulaab juhi (Basant Bahar / 1956) is missing from this list, even though the lyrics describe the season so well. Here are some of the less heard songs from this list –

  • Bahaar aayi khili kaliyan  – Alif Laila (1953) – Lata Mangeshkar – Shyam Sundar – Sahir Ludhianvi
  • Aayi bahaar hai  – Hamari Shaan (1951) -Kishore Kumar, Shamshad Begum – Chitragupt – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
  • Din suhane mausam bahaar ka  – Poonam (1952) – Lata Mangeshkar – Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
  • Shaam-e-bahaar aayi Shama Parwana (1954) – Mohammed Rafi, Suraiya – Husnlal Bhagatram – Majrooh Sultanpuri
  • Aayi jhoomti bahaar –  Insaniyat (1955)  – Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mehmood – C Ramchandra

I have also added one from my side –

We now move over to our regular Anniversaries section.

Lalita Pawar: The Dominating Matriarch And Scheming Manthara – A tribute to the prolific Indian actress, with some interesting anecdotes on her life and times By Niilesh A Raje on her 100th birthday .

Lalita Pawar - in 1940s

Before she met with a freak accident in 1942, Lalita Pawar- born Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916 – used to play the lead roles.

We have one song from a 1938 film. The clip does not have the original soundtrack with video, but the video uploader, Shalin Bhatt has filled in the gap with some rare images of Lalita Pawar

Sakhi Prem Sudhaa Bharne Aayi – Duniya Kya Hai (1938) – Music: Anna Saheb Mainkar .

Big FM had a Lalita Pawar Birthday Special

The Swar Kokila Kanan Devi – A tribute to Kanan Devi (22 April 1916 to 17 July 1992) on her birth centenary – Here is pip into her well-known and not-so-well-known songs –

On Mac Mohan’s Birthday, Remembering Sholay’s Forgotten Villain – Khalid Mohamed completes the whole picture of Mac Mohan’s persona.

Shamshad Begum’s songs by OP Nayyar is a tribute to Shamshad Begum (14 April 1919 – 23 April 2013) on her 97th birth anniversary. The back-to-back posts on Shamshad Begum’s songs by Naushad and C Ramchandra last year there was inevitably a reference to OP Nayyar as he is the third member of the trinity which made the greatest contribution to her. To this list we can expect Hansraj Behl in the future who has77 Hindi songs (solos and duets), and 50 songs from Punjabi films. Shamshad Begum’s songs by SD Burman had been presented under the title East meets West. Here are some of the less heard ones –

‘Jo Bhi Ho Tum Khuda Ki Kasam, Lajawab Ho’: Remembering Shakeel Badayuni By Peeyush Sharma – One rare feat (for those times) that gets associated with Shakeel is his hat-trick of Filmfare Best Lyricist Awards in the years 1961, 1962 and 1963. Forty six years ago, on 20th April, lyricist, poet, shayar, Shakeel Badayuni breathed his last owing to diabetes related complexes. He was just 53 years old

Two of his great ghazals, rendered by Begum Akhtar

Silsila Khatm Na Hoga Mere Afsaane Ka: Shakeel Badayuni, a Tribute – Pavan Jha – He sang his own song in Paak Daman (1957)

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

Simple melodies of Ravi would normally have dominance of santoor and flute in their orchestration. In most of the cases, the lyrics came first and the tune later. Please enjoy 24 of his lovely songs from LINK TO SIMPLE MELODIES OF RAVI.

Ten of my favourite funny songs is a list of ten songs that are actually funny, funny because of the lyrics, the rendition, the picturization—whatever (in some stellar instances, all of the above). These may not be songs that make one laugh out loud, but they are songs that always make you smile rather more widely than usual.

We have picked up a couple of less heard songs

How Bhupinder Singh blends the ghazal with the guitar – Bhupinder had a tough call to take: should he be behind the microphone or strum a guitar? Having both wasn’t going to be easy. Some of Rahul Dev Burman’s greatest songs, including “Dum Maro Dum” (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971), “Chura Liya Hai Tumne” (Yaadon Ki Baaraat, 1973) and “Mehbooba Mehbooba” (Sholay, 1975) were backed by Singh’s musical fingers. Singh has a formidable body of work in film music, having sung for over 50 films. “Dil Dhoondta Hai” (Mausam, 1975), “Naam Gum Jayega” (Kinara, 1977), “Karoge Yaad Toh” (Bazaar, 1982), “Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intizaar”(Aitbaar, 1986), “Baadalon Se Kaat Kaat Ke” (Satya, 1998) are just a few of his most popular songs, but the ones that need to rediscovered, like the man himself.

‘In Aradhana, Sachin Karta Gave Me My Life’s Biggest Hit’: In Conversation with Shakti Samanta By Peeyush Sharma -In this never-published-before interview, Shakti Samanta recalls the superlative and everlasting music that became the hallmark of his films.. Shakti Samanta made four films each with O P Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishen and S D Burman. With R D Burman, he did the maximum number of films – 11 in Hindi plus four more in Bengali. Three of his films were with the famous Bengali singer-composer Shyamal Mitra and two each with Ravi and Ravindra Jain.

The post has several very-well songs. I have located one which is not much heard.

Dekho Dekho Jee Balam  – Bahu (1955) – Geeta Dutt, Talat Mahmood – Hemant Kumar – S H Bihari

Kite (Patang) Songs  is a result of several factors that happened in the background. To us what matters is the outcome –

Hindi film songs in SwahiliManish Gaekwad – Taarab, a fusion of Indian, Arabic, and African sounds popular on the Swahili coast of Southeast Africa, has a special place for Hindi film music. Traditionally sung in the Swahili language at weddings and social gatherings, Taarab songs weave several themes into the lyrics, including romance and politics…… There are over two dozen of these songs on YouTube – yet another instance of the phenomenal popularity impact of Hindi film music beyond its traditional markets.

Nutan on the sets of Laila Majnu (November, 1953)

Costumed as Laila, the youthful Nutan signs autographs for fans who visited the “Laila Majnu” set

Costumed as Laila, the youthful Nutan signs autographs for fans who visited the “Laila Majnu” set

Madhubala Goes Chinese (January, 1957) – Members of the Chinese Women’s Delegation dropped in on madhu bala-chinesethe sets of Om Prakash’s – whom most of us know as a veteran comedian and character actor –  “Gate­way of India” the day they arrived in Bombay. Madhubala welcomed them cordially and is seen chatting with two of the members.

Om Prakash entertained the Delegation to the screening of a special Chinese song-and-dance number filmed for “Gateway of India”. – Chal Mere Dil Ke Udan Khatole Udata Ja Tu Hole Hole  – Mohammad Rafi – Madan Mohan-  Here Madhubala, Bhagwan and a party of Chinese children dance together.

Madhubala – The Biggest Star in the Worldby David Cort for Theatre Arts – August, 1952 – The actress, born Mumtaz Ataullah in Delhi in 1933, with the greatest following, in numbers and devotion, is not to be found in Hollywood, but on the opposite side of the planet — in Bombay, India.

Poster of 1951 film 'Badal', based on Robin Hood theme

Poster of 1951 film ‘Badal’, based on Robin Hood theme

‘Badal’ was quite successful. Most of the songs of the film also had done well. We will take up one of those for the records

Do Din Ke Liye Maheman Yahan – Badal (1951) – Lata Mangeshkar – Shanker Jaikishan

Two Timir Baran songs

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

When Dev Anand lent his voice to a Mohammad Rafi song –This is an article that was published on 4-12-2011 – ‘Hurray Hurray’ @0.08  in the song Pyar Mohabbat Ke Siwa Ye Zindagi Kya Zindagi,(Pyar Mohabbat1966Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Shanker Jaikishan)is recorded in Dev Anand’s voice. According to some reports, Dev Anand had also lent his voice to another Rafi song from Kala Bazar (1960) – Sooraj Ki Jaise GolayiS D Burmanby adding ‘Om dhan hai namah’ and ‘Hari dhan hari dhan’ @4.52.

Philatelic Tribute to Great Legend – Mohd Rafi

Rafi 30001

An Open Letter to Rafi Demeanors – J.K. Bhagchandani – The post is a point-to-point rejoinder to the contention that Mohammed Rafi did not have natural pain in his voice for sad songs and he has to bring in sobbing effect to infuse the right impact. The author of the post strongly states that it is not only sad songs that he has provided us with different shades/ sub-genres but almost all genres of songs sung by him have that diversity factor

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

Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs: April, 2016

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Holi has still left its imprint on this page, by way of some quite rare songs remembered by our friends on this occasion.

Sumantbhai (Dadu) has sent in two songs –

A 1939 song – Phagun Ki Rut Aayee Re – Sitara Devi and Amrit Lal –  from ‘Holi’, composed by Khemchand Prakash

And a 1944 song Holi Mai Khelungi Un Sang – Miss Manju (Gaali, Pt.Hanuman Prasad).

Samir Dholakia  has remembered  Sadanand Kamath’s post Jab Phaagun Rang Jhamakte Hon wherein Sadanand Kamath reminisces the Nazms of Nazeer Akbarabadi (1740-1830; real name Shaikh Wali Mohammed). The Holi song – Jab Pahagun Rang Jhamakte Ho – that he has remembered in particular, is sung by Chhaaya Ganguli in a concert ‘Husn-e-Jaana’ held in New Delhi sometime in 2001. Later, it was included in the music album ‘Husn-e-Jaana’ (2001).

In Ode to the Great Indian Family, Songs of Yore had reminded us that Holi also was the festival that brought back the diaspora populations back to their native places to congregate with the, typically larger, Indian Family. In the technological age of very high connectivity, this tradition may still not have lost its value. But the increasing miniaturization and fragmentation of the families have certainly led to fading out of quite a few relations that the Indian larger family has fostered. Add the impact of now prevalent practice of calling these relations by the generic English nomenclature, and one may see over some years from now that some of these distinct terms will, quite likely, be fossilized. We have picked up such relations here, well supported by equally colorfully vivid songs, so as to help retain the longevity of these relations.  In order to focus on the songs while embedding the memory of the relation, I have stayed away from mentioning the underlying relationship explicitly —

Kaka Abba Bade Khiladi – Padosi (1941) – Gopal, Balkram and Balwant Singh – Master Krishna Rao  – Pt.Sudarshan

Baanke Nainon Se Kar Ke Ishaare Haye Mora Chhota Sa Devar Pukaare – Tadbeer (1945) – Naseem Akhtar – Lal Mohammad – Swami Ramanand Saraswati

Meri Ayi Hai Teen Bhabhiyan – Hum Ek Hain (1946) -Zohra Ambalewali and Rajkumari – Husnlal-Bhagatram – PL Santoshi,

Naana Se Kehti Thhi Naani Hamaari – Renuka (1947) – Baby Shaila, Uncredited Male Voice – Sardar Malik – Qamar Jalaalabaadi

Tune Jahan Banake Ehasan Kiya Hai – Maa Ka Pyar (1949) – Lata Mangeshkar – Pt. Govindram – I C Kapoor

We have had several more songs still in our stock on this account. So we will venture into the Indian family relations from this post through the songs of 1950s in our next episode.

Now let us move over to songs that our other friends have remembered, for the present episode.

From the festivities of color, we now join Harish Raghuvanshi who has recalled two of the   K L Saigal songs.  KL Saigal songs indeed have an eternal life!

Suno Suno He Krishan Kala is one of the bhajan genre songs that Saigal had so successfully experimented with.

Panchchi Kahe Hot Udas (My Sister) Songs composed by Pankaj Mullik and rendered by Saigal is that classic treasure that has no expiry date…

We venture into our search for songs of the 1950s that seem to have faded through our memories through Peeyush Sharma’s post – The Magic of the Melodies of Roshan and Chitragupt.  As can be expected, the post has quite a few songs of these two great, but relatively unsung music directors, which are still as fresh in our memories. But there are some which call for an effort to refresh. Of these, we have picked up songs of Chitragupt only for the present episode. After struggling for around 4-5 years, it was Sindbad The Sailor (1952) that brought huge fame and credit for Chitragupt. ‘The Sailor who was dancing and singing in 1952 had a grown up son and a daughter by 1958. The father and son films were directed by Nanabhai Bhatt. Chitragupt held the hierarchy rights and gave music for both Daughter of Sindbad and Son of Sindbad.’

We have picked up one song form each of these films –

Tera Mera Mera Tera – Sindbad The Sailor (1952) – Kishore Kumar, Shamshad Begum

Suniye Suniye Hamara Fasana – Daughter of Sinbad (1958) – Geeta Dutt, Mohammad Rafi

Chhedo Ji Aaj Koi Pyar Ka Tarana – Son of Sindbad (1958) – Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar

Avo Kabhi Milne Ko Meri Gali  and Zamane Ke Darr Se Na Daman Chhudana are Dolly Katrak (Kwatra)’s Obscure songs from an unreleased film – Teer (1958). The music is composed by equally obscure music director Suleman  Dafrani.  Of course, the songs are quite a treat to listen to.

Naresh Mankad is fascinated by that ring in the young voice of Manna Dey in Suraj Zara Aa Paas Aa, Aj Sapno Ki Roti Pakayenge Hum (Ujala – 1959 – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra).  The menu that the song offers also is quite a strong attraction:

aaloo tamaatar ka saag
imli ki chutney bane(sssssssssss)
roti karaari sikein
ghee uspe asli lage!🙂

Hats off to Shailendra for weaving such a complex egalitarian philosophy in so simple manner that song comes off quite comfortably as children song!

For 1960s, we have  Meri Zindagi Ke Chirag Ko Teri Berukhi Ne Bujha Diya ( Jaal – 1967 – Lata Mangeshkar  – Laxmikant Pyarelal)  for which Samir Dholakia has noted the very striking Madan Mohan style.

To conclude our present episode, we have two Mohammad Rafi songs. The first one is an Anil Biswas composition from a 1957 film, ‘Abhiman’,. Saraswati Kumar ‘Deepak’ has penned the lyrics.

Chali Jawaani Thokar Khaane, Duniya Ke Bazaar Mein – With Asha Bhosle  –

For the second one, we go over to two more decades. This one is composed by Jaidev for a 1974, rather obscure, film, ‘Alingan’. The song is filmed on Romesh Sharma and Zahira and penned by Jan Nissar Akhtar.

Iss Tarah Jaao Nahin

We will meet again on 2nd Sunday of the next month… with more unforgettable songs that have started slipping out of our memory….

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

More Than Bollywood: Studies in Indian Popular Music

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–Guest Article by  Tadatmya Vaishnav#

More Than Bollywood - Studies in Popular MusicI recently had opportunity to read through most of the book titled “More than Bollywood: Studies in Indian Popular Music “. It is a collection of essays on popular, film and non-film, Indian music. The book is edited by musicologists Gregory D. Booth and Bradley Shope. The essays are in a scholarly style and were meant to be a formal study of Indian film music as well as certain non-film music genres, such as pop, rap and rock.

‘More than Bollywood’ includes many of the leading scholars currently working on Indian popular music and culture. The volume offers a wide perspective on contemporary and historical popular music in India, and confronts the inescapable importance of the Indian film song; but it also offers the largest collection to date of research on “non-film” popular music in India. It can be treated as one of the most comprehensive single volume on a subject that is of growing interest to scholars and students in music, ethnomusicology, film studies, popular music studies, and South Asian studies. It is intended to stand on its own as a work of scholarship, but it is also simultaneously intended as a fundamental resource for courses on popular music and music in India.

All the chapters were not, in fact, interesting, as far as I am concerned. So, I take up the three chapters that I did find interesting.

Chapter 1 – A Moment of Historical Conjuncture in Mumbai

In this chapter, Gregory Booth presents an interesting case of how the Hindi film song, as we knew it until 1990 or so, was shaped substantially in the five year period of 1948-52, immediately after Independence. He treats the 1931 – 1947 period as a period of aesthetic and professional transition. Among major changes, he identifies growing sophistication in cinematography of song sequences and a change in the sound of the female voice in film songs. During this period, the film song also got to occupy the role of the most important form of popular song. He has taken a set of three representative music directors – Naushad Ali, Shanker Jaikishan and C Ramchandra- and two arrangers – Antonio Vaz and Sebastian D’Souza and only one full-time playback singer (Lata!) as having played a major complementary role in shaping the Hindi film song. Collectively, they effected sophistication of film song orchestration, explicit engagement with classical Indian and foreign popular music and redefinition of the sound of female playback singing, among others. Destiny seemed to have chosen them as ‘right person in the right place at right time.’

The musical and professional patterns that were established during 1948 and 1952 remained almost unchanged till at least until 1970. For a further 20 years, the rise of a new generation of musicians took over major roles. The shift in the basic structural composition of the film music is seen by examining the proportion of composers who composed more than one film in a year. Only a few, generally two or three, music directors dominated the year in terms of those soundtracks that were ‘most heard’. By 1952, the percentage of music directors with multiple releases had increased to 62%. For the next ten years this figure hovered around 50%, declining back to 30% in in 1967. The corresponding figure for 1932-1947 was seen in the range of 60%. Of the 60 highest net grossing films during 1947 to 1957, 32 % were during 1948-1952. Of these, Naushad, SJ and C Ramchandra had 68% share.

The rise of an oligarchy in the world of playback singers was also equally pronounced. Among male singers it was Mohammad Rafi who ruled the roost before Kishore Kumar took over in 1969. Nevertheless, the number of important male singers was greater as compared to that of female singers. In the case of female singers, the shift was far more dramatic and extreme. 1952 was the year that virtually brought an end to the richly textured and individually timbred voices of the earlier era. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt collectively recorded slightly over one-third of the songs recorded in 1951. With the fading away of Geeta Dutt, by end of 1950s, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle shared between them more than one-third of all songs. Having given a quantitative background, the author has taken up the examination of more interactive musical, aesthetic and industrial practices in this chapter.

One may disagree, as I did, with some of the conclusions – that it was Naushad who “tightened” the concept of a ‘film song’, as distinct from ‘singing in the film’, by way instrumental interludes, tempo, orchestral size, recording techniques and professionalization of the singers. Or, that the style of the male voice in Hindi film songs followed mainly from Saigal’s style while the style of the female voice changed radically with Lata (I agree only with the latter part).

The statistics quoted at various places are useful and some of the points do note important conclusions. The last point about the technology that enabled separation of on-screen voice and playback voice and the emergence of the playback singer as a distinct role, is well-made and pivotal to Hindi film music.

Chapter 2 : Global Masala – Digital Identities and Aesthetic Trajectories in Post-Liberalization Indian Film Music is written by Natalie Sarrazin.

It is a very well-written account of how globalization, as well as new technologies, has influenced the creation of popular music, mainly film music, in India since the 1990s.

The author goes into a very detailed, second-by-second, analysis of the prelude music of the title song of Roja, in order to show how digital recording techniques can marry the audio to the video much more effectively than in the past.

Another good section is the one titled “Aesthetic Decisions”. It shows how the role of the music director has changed and how the sound engineer may be the most influential person behind the final finished song. This change may be revolutionary, but like many revolutions, the outcome may not be anything to be proud of. The author seems to take this major change in her stride, perhaps because she is a Westerner and does not have emotional ties to old music.

In her concluding remarks, the author notes that ‘Hindi film must project carefully crafted identities and desires onto the world stage, embodying Indian values in musical idioms palatable to an international music market and appealing to interesting non-Diaspora audiences. India’s active embrace of and enactment upon the promise of globalization require new Indian sonic agents, ones that portray India’s current energy, as well as image as a suitable global economic partner. Such music, to be successful, must create space for dreams and desires of Resident Indians and NRIs, while offering up musical fantasy escapism to the rest of the world.’

In Chapter 10: Latin American Music in Moving Pictures and Jazzy Cabarets in Mumbai, 1930-1950 Bradley Shope explores the period between mid-1930s and early 1950s when Latin American music in Hollywood films influenced jazzy cabarets that some of the Indian communities like Goans, Anglo – Indians and Parsis. The first half of the chapter traces the popularity of a native Brazilian dance, the Carioca – introduced to the world in the 1933 release Flying Down the Rio[i] in Mumbai and explores the relationship between this film and development of Hindi film songs containing Latin American sounds and images. The second half of the article uncovers the relationship between live cabarets in Mumbai and the development of Hindi films songs containing Latin American sounds and images.

The film Flying Down to Rio (1933) was successfully screened in urban India in 1934. The carioca dance shown in this films attracted vast audiences in Mumbai in nightclubs, restaurants, hotel ballrooms, social clubs and cabarets. Audiences learned the dance by watching the film or through lessons at local dance schools. By the 1940s, many jazz orchestras understood that learning Latin American repertoire could help secure jobs in a larger scope of avenues. It was no coincidence that when C Ramchandra composed Gore Gore O Banke Chhore (Lata Mangeshkar, Amirbai Karnataki, Samadhi, 1949),

he heavily borrowed from Chico Chico from Puerto Rico (Doll Face, 1945).

Latin characteristics were heard as early as in Naushad’s score for 1943 film Kanoon in the song Ek Tu Ho, Ek Main Hoon (Suraiya). The staged cabaret sequence Deewana Yeh Parwana from 1951 film Albela showcased great fusion of the chief arranger of ‘His Music Makers’, Chic Chocolate, and C Ramchandra. Chic Chocolate and his orchestra are dressed in stylized Latin American costumes in this song.

Carmen Miranda’s song sequence of ‘Week-End in Havana’ from 1941 film of the same name bears noticeable similarities to this song. And that includes not only the music, sounds or dance, but even Geeta Bali’s costumes as well.

One can find a similar beat of three+two clave (Dil Dhadake Nazar Sharamaye) or a music sound of rolling piano (Mere Dil Ki Ghadi Kare Tick Tick) in some other song sequences of ‘Albela’. Since the audiences of Hindi films were not typically exposed to these Latin American films or songs. That helped in creating that tantalizing element of fantasy in the Hindi film songs which brought up the entire effect far above real-life limitations of mundane restriction in the Indian society.

To be sure, other thematic, such as Hawaiian, Island, Spanish, Arab, French and the like, also suitably found way into Hindi films songs. Barring a few cases, the credit should also be given to director or music director that these adaptations were seen as highly innovative depictions that completely fused into the Indian cultural environment.

To illustrate each chapter author’s points, and to make available music not easily accessible in North America, the book is ably and vividly supported by Oxford web music companion website of audio and video tracks.

Bibliographic Information:

Print publication date: 2013 ǁ 380 pages ǁ Print ISBN-13: 9780199928835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

Paperback edition: Published: 12 December 2013 | 384 Pages | ISBN: 9780199928859

Other books:

Behind the curtain: making music in Mumbai’s film studios – Gregory Booth

American Popular Music in Britain’s Raj – Bradley G Shope

# Tadatmya Vaishnav can be contacted @ tavaishnav@gmail.com

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