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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories ….. Unforgettable Songs : March 2022

Ghulam Mohammed and His Singers : 1950-1952

Ghulam Mohammed (1903 – 17 March 1968)’s musical scores during the years 1943 to 1949 had established his identity as percussionist who had also gift of composing melodies as well. He had already been successful with the scores of Pugree (1948) and Shair (1949). However, it seems that his concurrent role as assistant to Naushad perhaps had cast some kind of shadow over his own identity as independent music director. This relationship continued till film Aan) 1952. Some historians consider him too naïve a businessman since he continued to assist Naushad even he had getting success by 1948.

This theory seems to hold some merit, because Ghulam Mohammed did get three films in 1950, two in 1951 and three again in 1952. These numbers need to be viewed in the back drop of the fact that several other (so-called) already stablished) music directors were also scoring successful music for the then big production banners in the same period. 1950 had Naushad scoring music for ‘Dastan’ and ‘Babul’, C Ramchandra for ‘Sargam’ and Anil Biswas for ‘Arzoo’. In 1951, along with “Deedar’ of Naushad, S D Buraman’s ‘Bahaar’ and Baazi’, C Ramchandra’s ‘Albela, Anil Biswas’s ‘Taraana’ and Shanker Jaikishan’s “Aawara’ occupied the space. There was hardly any respite in 1952 as well, with Naushad’s  ‘Aan’ and ‘Baiju Bawra’, S D Burman’s Jaal and Shanker Jaikishan’s ‘Daag.’

In all the fairness to Ghulam Mohammed, it should also be noted that some other equally talented music directors also had not been able to break the glass ceiling, even if their music was also noted with high respect o their talent. For example, Bulo C Rani – Jogan (1950), Roshan – Hum Log (1951) and Anhonee (1952), Hemant Kumar – Anand Math (1951) and Madan Mohan – Ashiana (1952) to name a few representative cases.

Be that as it may, our principal focus of the present series to commemorate the death anniversary month of Ghulam Mohammed is to refresh our memories of his compositions and get an overview of Ghulam Mohammed’s repertoire of 37 films as independent music directors with special attention to the wide range of playback singer he has used for his compositions.

As such, we have sidestepped some of his popular compositions for the present series and intentionally chosen songs that may be called as less heard ones so as to get a better appreciation of Ghulam Mohammed’s talent.

Previously, in 2021, we have covered Ghulam Mohamamed’s songs with different singers for the years 1943 to 1949.

With this backdrop to be kept at the back of our minds, we now take up Ghulam Mohammed’s songs for different playback singers during the years 1950 to 1952.

Rajkumari, Mukesh – Maine Sapna Jo Dekha Hai Raat… Bhala Jo Koi Puchhe… To Main Kya KahuN – Hanste Aansoo (1950) – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Here is an archetypical vintage era styled composition. However, the song succeeds in conveying the feelings of a girl who has fallen in love, for the first time. Majrooh Sultanpuri also has preferred to use very simple lyrics to truly express the feelings.

One noteworthy feature of Ghulam Mohammed’s  compositions was differently presented stanzas of his compositions, unlike many of his contemporaries who would not waste one more tune in one composition.

Shamshad Begum, Hameeda Banu, Raja Gul – O Jane Wale Theher Ja …., Dil De Ja Ya Le Ja Raja Ulfat Ka Ye Bazaar Hai – Hansate Aaansoo (1950) – Lyrics:  Shevan Rizvi

Ghulam Mohammed has boldly experimented with non-traditional orchestration for this street dance triad song, while maintaining the identity of the song genre with the use of catchy piece of harmonium in the brief prelude.

Shamshad Begum – Hum Dil Hi Apna Haar Gaye – Maang (1950) – Lyrics: Husaini

Comparison of the present composition with the previous one, Maine Sapna Jo Dekha Hai Raat, evidently demonstrates the vastness of range of tunes that Ghulam Mohammed can command to present almost similar feeling.

Since the song is not available on YT, here is an adio link: Hum Dil Hi Apna Haar Gaye.mp3

Uma Devi, Lata Mangeshkar – Na Jaane Aaj Kyon Gabra Rahi Ho – Maang (1950) – Lyrics: Prakash

Ghulam Mohammed recreates magic of blending voices of vintage era icon (Uma Devi) and the rising star of Golden Era) Lata Mangeshkar)

(Rajkumari), Geeta Dutt, Hamida Banu – Aaya Achanak Aisa Jhonka Hind Ka Jagamag Deep Bujha – Maang (1950) – Lyrics: Sagheer Usmani

Here is song that eulogises passing away Mahatma Gandhi. Even he Ghulam Mohammed has very deftly experimented with change in tunes for different stanzas.

It may be noted that Rajkumari is singing along with Geeta Dutt in first part of the song.

Mohammed Rafi, Amirbai Karnataki – Main HuN Bada NaseeboNwala….Hua Tera Mera Pyar Fatafat – Pardes (1950) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed comes all trump in a light-hearted comedy song. The icing on the cake is use of Amirbai Karnataki for such a song!

How imaginatively Ghulam Mohammed has used Mohammad Rafi’s voice for the opening line!

Lata Mangeshkar – KyuN Ae Dil-e- Diwana Hai Hosh Se Beganaa – Bikhre Moti (1951) – Lyrics: Akhtar ul Iman

The influence of vintage era style on Ghulam Mohammed’s compositions, even during 1951, is evident in the way he has used Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in this song.

Talat Mahmood – Chandanee Raato Mein Jis Dam Yaad Aa Jaate Ho Tum Roshani Bankar Meri Ankhoein Mein Chha Jaate Ho Tum – Naazneen (1951) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

I so much regret that this is one Talat Mahmood song that I must have hardly got to hear earlier.

Asides: Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh informs that this was the film in which Amjad Khan has acted as a child artist.

Shamshad Begum, G. M. Durrani, Mohammed Rafi – Do Din Ki Zindagi Hai … Ik Baar Muskara Do, Parde Mein Tum Hansi Ke …. Dil Ki Lagi Ko Chhupaa Lo – Ajeeb Ladki (1952) – Shakeel Badayuni

This song indeed should tell us what effort Rafi must have put into create his own identity in his initial days as we find difficult to the way Rafi handles lower octave mukhada and high pitch opening of the first stanza or chips in with a cameo line in the second stanza.

Zohrabai Ambalewali, Shamshad Begum – Dil Ke Sheesh Mahal Mein Aaya Yeh Matwala Chor – Amber (1952) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

In the stage dances, the dancers take up dress code of two cultures of two regions. Ghulam Mohammed has composed the tune matching to that culture. Especially noteworthy is the multi-instrument orchestra put to use by Ghulam Mohammed.

Mohammad Rafi – Churakar Dil Ko Yun Aankhein Churana Kisse Sikha Hai .. Chale Jaana Tum Door Bade Shaukh Se Huzoor…Mera Dil Mujhe Wapas Kar Do. – Amber (1952) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Unlike majority of Ghulam Mohammed compositions, here we have complex to sing tune, and that too for a song where the hero is trying to please the heroine!

Lata Mangeshkar – Tutegi Nahi Pyar Ki Dor Duniya Chahe Lag Le Jhor – Amber (1952) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed has not only switched to Lata Mangeshkar as lead singer but has also stayed away in using Lata Mangeshkar in the shadow of vintage era singing style.

Shamshad Begum, Mohammed Rafi – Rote Hai Naina Gam Ke Maare, Dekh Rahi HuN Din Mein Taare – Amber (1950 – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

I have selected this ‘masala’ dance song to validate the hypothesis – that Ghulam Mohammed has given Lata Mangeshkar the position of lead singer – put forward in the earlier song as soon as he has been entrusted the music for the film with the ‘hottest’ pair of the day – Nargis and Raj Kapoor.

Noteworthy is the change in the mood o the song that he has accomplished the way he has used Mohammad Rafi.

Mubarak Begum – Jal Jal Ke MaruN Kuchh Kah Na SakuN – Sheesha (1952) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed deploys vast orchestra during mukhada but then the stanza comes rendered with minimal instrumental support! This should easily rate as one of the best Mubarak Begum songs; however, the fact remains that, at least, I have heard it for the first time. So unfortunate that Mubarak Begum did not get many such high-quality singing opportunities!

What a pity that the failure of film at the box office also leads to the very short life of the songs, barring, of course, some exceptions!

Lata Mangeshkar – Jawani Ke Raaste Pe Aaj Mera Dil Hai – Sheesha (1952- Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed sets the tone of happiness of the song by a very catchy prelude and then follows it up with composing the song in the effervescent singing mode.

Thanks to the technology and resourcefulness and the commitment of all the YT uploaders, we can recreate the mesmerising magic of Ghulam Mohammed’s compositions, even today, whether it did cast spell then or not!

We take a break here till the next episode so that we can absorb the nuances and range of present batch of Ghulam Mohammed’s compositions.

Categories
Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: March 2021

Ghulam Mohammed and His Singers: 1943 – 1949

top-post-markGhulam Mohammed (1903 – 17 March 1968), born in the family of musician in Bikaner (Rajasthan), got his early training from his father, Nabi Baksh, a tabla player and a stage artist. The career of Ghulam Mohammed is littered with ironies of fate that did give him his credit for his creation, but a little too late and far too less.

Every single piece of article written on Ghulam Mohammed would invariably focus on at least one defining characteristic. And yet, the fact that Ghulam Mohammed got to compose music for just 37 films in a career spanning almost four decades does neither tells the full story of his caliber nor it does justice to his talent. As such, in the month of his death anniversary, we commence an annual series that relives his known and less known songs.

We will begin with an overview of Ghulam Mohammed’s career in the form of songs he has composed for different singers. The choice of singers does seem to be a function of the period in which the music for the film is composed. Every song that Ghulam Mohammed created songs with each of this singer had the perfect mix of the singer and of the music director. We have adopted a conscious choice of selecting the songs that can easily be classified as the ones receding from the memory.

Hamida Bano – Ud Ja Re Ud Ja Panchhi Pee Pee Mat Bol – Mera Khwab (1943) – Lyrics: M E Ashq

Ghulam Mohammad got his first break as an independent music director in 1942 for a stunt film, Mera Khwab, released in 1943. However, some sources indicate Banke Sipaahi (1937) as Ghulam Mohammad’s debut film. There does not seem to be unanimity among film historians on this count. This was the period when he was known to be working as an instrumentalist for music directors like Rafiq Ghazanvi, Irshad Ali, Anil Biswas etc. It is further recorded that his first major break that elevated him to the status of assistant was in Sharda (1942; Music: Naushad). Their this relationship lasted till Aan (1953) even after Ghulam Mohammad had charted his own independent course in the meantime. Naushad also paid his tribute to their relationship by completing the unfinished tasks of Ghulam Mohammad swan song film ‘Pakeeza’

Zohrabai Amablewali – Tere Bina O Balam Kaise Kategi Mori Raina Bata Jaa – Mera Geet (1946) – Lyrics: Ramesh Gupta

The film had four music directors – Bal Mukund, Geeta Varma, Shankar Rao Vyas, Ghulam Miyan, Reejram – to compose as many as 16 songs. HFGK has been able to identify only a few songs for their respective composers. Even as we get to read the name is Ghulam MIyan, Cinemaazi confirms that this song is indeed composed by Ghulam Mohammed.

The song has very prominent and distinct use of dholak as rhythm instrument.

G M Durrani – Khel Nahi…Khel Nahi Gir Gir Ke Sambhalana – Doli (1947) – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

The song is set to what is popularly known as Ghoda songs 9 singer rides a horse or a horse driven cart on the screen). The song is set to a fast pace, but runs on a very low octave, indicating that protagonist is deep thoughts as he sings the song during the ride.

Mukesh, Shamshad Begum – Tere  Naaz Uthane Ko Jee Chahta Hai – Grihasthi (1948) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

The song uses a duff (sometimes spelt as ‘daf’, too), another rhythm instrument that Ghulam Mohammed is credited with popularizing in Hindi film songs.

Knowledgeable bloggers inform us that this song was filmed on Pran and Sharda who was the sister of actor of ‘70s-‘80s Vinod Mehra

Mohammad Rafi – Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahata Hai – Parai Aag (1948) – Lyrics: Tanveer Naqvi

Composed to a softer, but relatively a fast, ‘qawwali’ style, and set to a soft Mohammad Rafi rendition, this easily the forgotten preceding song with the initial lyrics – Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chata Hai. Yes, the one with better recall value is one which was used in Asha Bhosle qawwali song by Roshan (Dil Hi To Hai, 1963 – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi)

Suraiya – Mohe Mera Bachpana La De … Jawani Bhaye Na – Kaajal (1948) – Lyrics: D N Madhok

The orchestration has strong resemblance to what is used in Naushad’s songs. However, this playful song is well-remembered by Suraiya fans.

Sitara Kanpuri – Dil Ki Lagi Zubaan Par Aaye To Kya Karun – Pugree (1948) – Lyrics:  Shakeel Badayuni

‘Pugree’ is the second film that Ghulam Mohammed composed music for the production house All India Pictures, after Doli (1947). All India Pictures perhaps is the only banner that Ghulam Mohammed had under his belt as an independent music director. Other films that followed were: Paras (1949), Pardes (1950), Nazneen (1951), Guahar (9153), Rail Ka Dibba (1953), Laila Majnu (1953), Hoor-e-Arab (1955) and Sitara (1955).

Songs of ‘Pugree’ were resounding success in those days.

Shamshad Begum – Masti Bhari Bahar Ne Masatana Kar Diya – Pugree (1948) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

So ever young Shashikala lip-syncs Shamshad Begum on the screen.

Geeta Dutt – Na Tum Mere Na Dil Mera, Azab Hai Bebasi Meri – Dil Ki Basti (1949) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed had two other solos, two male-female duets and one female-female duets in the film. However, Ghulam Mohammed has also used Lata Mangeshkar for two solos as well.

Lata Mangeshkar, G M Durrani – Do Bichhade Hue Dil Lo Aapas Mein Gaye Mil – Shair (1949) – Lyrics:  Shakeel Badayuni

‘Shair’ was also quite popular album, in the year wherein blockbusters like Andaz or Barsaat or Mahal would have occupied the memory space of the listeners.

It should be interesting to note that G M Durrani is preferred as a playback voice to the male lead, Dev Anand.

Even as I had planned to take up film-wise song later in this series, it would be opportune to listen to two other duets from Shair, for the use of different percussion instruments.

Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar – Ye Duniya Hai Yahan Dil Ka Lagana Kisko Aata Hai – Shair (1949) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Ghulam Mohammed has used ‘matka’ (an earthen clay pot) in this song. Matka was another percussion instrument that is credited to Ghulam Mohammed for being popularly used in Hindi film song.

Playback voice now shifts to Mukesh, possibly because the of the pathos mood of the song

This duet was also a chart buster of those days.

Mohammad Rafi, Shamshad Begum – O More Balma…Kahe Maari Kataar…. Haye… Daiya…. Daiya – Shair (1949) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Since my knowledge of music, and as a natural corollary, that of music instruments, is abysmally limited, I could only recognize a different instrument is used here, possibly a mix of dholak and matka, but do not which one it is!

A few strains of orchestration in the prelude seem to have faint the precursors of orchestration that we got to listen in the music of Pakeeza.

One interesting, and equally very rare as well, trivia to be observed is that Cuckoo is in the spectator’s gallery and enjoying the dance on the stage.

I plan to take up a few more singers in the next episode, before switching over to the usual format of remembering the songs from different films in chronological order.

We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month next year too……..

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.