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

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

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

Kavi Pradeep

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

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

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

Chitalkar

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

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

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

Ravi

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

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

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

Aside:

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

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

Balbir

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

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

Mukesh – In a Version Song

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

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

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

Asides:

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

Anil Kumar

Hardly anything is known of this singer.

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

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

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

Yesudas

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

 

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Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs – [2] – Kishore Kumar | Manna Dey

Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey were the other two mainstream Hindi playback singers for whom Hemant Kumar composed songs when it seemed to the THE choice that was available.

Kishore Kumar

The songs that Hemant Kumar has composed in Kishore Kumar’s voice have two have two essential variants – one is the songs for the films wherein Kishore Kumar was also acting, and the other is where Kishore Kumar has been playback singer to some other actor on the screen.

Here are a few representative songs, each representing a different mood, each one representing three different phases of Hemant Kumar’s career in Hindi films as music director.

Ek Roz Hamari Bhi Daal Galegi – Bandi (1957) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

The opening lines follow a parody form of popular folk lyrics, Kishore Kumar freely improvising his frustrating progress with cooking the food. The couplet ends with Kishore Kumar’s signature style of parodying of some of the classics, K L Saigal’s Panchhi Kahe Hot Udaas in the present case. The song then moves in, providing enough space to Kishore Kumar’s antics.

Aaj Rona Pada Toh Samjhe, Hasane Ka Mol Kya Hai – Girl Friend (1961) – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi

The song ranks as one the Kishore Kumar classics. Composed with minimal orchestration support, the composition fully brings into play the beauty of Kishore Kumar’s vocal cords.

Gaana Na Aaya Bajana Na Aaya, Dilbar Ko Ana Bana Na Aaya – Miss Mary (1957) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Here is a song that has all the trappings of Kishore Kumar’s natural mischievous mannerisms. The net effect is that he indeed sounds so out of tune.

Hawaaon Pe Likh Do Hawaaon Ke Naam – Do Dooni Chaar (1968) – Lyrics: Gulzar

The prelude to the song, mainly in the form of base-tone humming and slightly-higher-scale short alaaps by Kishore Kumar sets the pensive mood of the song.

Aside trivia: The child artist in the frame @0.57, subsequently shown strolling with goat cub, accompanying Kishor Kumar in the whole song is Baby Neetu Singh.

Woh Shaam Kuchh Ajeeb Thi – Khamoshi (1969) – Lyrics: Gulzar

This is one song that is enshrined in the roll of honors in the Kishore Kumar’s filmography. In fact, it may not be exaggeration to say that the song helps to lift the mood of the situation – ruefully reminiscing those moments when the protagonist was with his beloved in the present.

Vaidh Ke Palle Pade , Kaise Vaid Ke Palle Pade, Marta Mar Jaaye Rog Se Rogi, Vaidh Se Kaun Lade Raahgeer (1969)  – Lyrics : Gulzar

This comedy songs is to the tune of the famous prayer Om Jai Jagdeesh Hare.

Manna Dey

Even as Hemant Kumar has used Manna Dey very sparingly, he has fully exploited the flexibility and range of Manna Dey’s singing prowess.

Ek Bade Baap Ki Beti Kal Ghar Ke Munsi Sang Dekha Gul Mil Batiya Karte – Bandi (1957) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

The ‘common men’ are enjoying behind-the-back jibes at ‘bade log’ and their lifestyles.  The song is filmed as a street nautanki performance, and Hemant Kumar too also has composed it as such and then let Manna Dey do the rest of the job.

Rehne Ko Ghar Do – Biwi Aur Makaan (1966) – Lyrics: Gulzar

The song seems to be tailor made for Mehmood’s signature theatrics on the screen.

Dost Kahan Koi Tumsa, Tumsa Nahi Koi Mister – Khamoshi (1969) – Lyrics: Gulzar

This is a typical mandatory song that must be assigned to a comedian in the film. In most the cases, music directors, lyricists and singers have turned such occasions into presenting a song that, at the minimum, ensures that the public in the cinema hall remains seated during the song.

In the third and concluding part, we will take up Hemant Kumar;s Male Songs in the voices of  Other Singers.

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

 

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Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs – [1] – Hemant Kumar | Mohammad Rafi

Every time the topic of Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Film Songs in Male voice comes up, the discussion usually gets marooned in the question – was he a great composer who also sang well or was he a great singer who also made some memorable music?

This article essentially is a part of the overall portrait of Hemant Kumar as a music director. Therefore, it is incumbent of the spirit of the article that we remain focussed on the first part of the question only and leave the answer to the second part to the judgement of the readers.

The distribution curve of Hemant Kumar’s male solo song compositions is, perhaps naturally, more skewed towards his own songs. However, as a music director, he seemed to be aware of the needs of the situation of the song and those of the market forces while choosing to use the voice of other male playback singers for his male songs.

Talat Mahmood and Mukesh, being nearer his own voice quality, Hemant Kumar perhaps did not seem to have felt much need for solo songs in these voices. Also, the Hemant Kumar did not get to compose music for the films for those heroes for whom thier voices would have been the order of the day. The case of use Manna Dey appears to be beyond discussion in an article like this, in the absence of availability of any major back-up, dependable, reasoning. In any case, Manna Dey was getting almost a similar treatment in the industry. We need to rest with the fact that he was used, very, sparingly.

As such, the tail of Hemant Kumar’s male solo compositions remains skewed in favour of Mohammad Rafi, and then to a lesser degree in favour of Kishore Kumar.

For the purpose of our article, we shall stick to basic tenet that a music director knows which voice would do justice to his composition. Our role is here to cast our net wide across the breadth of Hemant Kumar compositions in the films for which he was music director and dig out all possible male songs on the table. Once done, the selection of songs is so filtered such that picture that emerges presents us a very representative retrospective of the range of Hemant Kumar as a music director.

Hemant Kumar

Hemant Kumar’s compositions in Hemant Kumar’s own voice would easily call for a special, stand-alone, wholesome treatment to have the complete picture over different moods, for different actors and for the lyrics penned by different lyricists. Presently, I have selected songs from three different periods, in three different moods.

Dil Chhed Koi Aisa Nagma, Geeton Mein Zamana Kho JaayeInspector (1956) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

This is a song of pensive mood. Hemant Kumar’s soft, baritone voice ideally suits such moods.

The song has a twin Lata Mangeshkar version as well. The video clip here has both versions.

Sawan Mein Barkha Sataye Pal Pal Chin Chin Barse – Biwi Aur Makaan (1966) – Lyrics: Gulzar

Here is a song that is sheer romance, expressing a strong feeling for belonging with the beloved one when it is raining. The throw of lyric – Sawan Mein – at the very beginning of the song,or scaling up the up the delivery of lyrics midway in each stanza, present the creativity of Hemant Kumar as music director as well as his flexibility in the singing as a singer.

Tumhare Nain Dekh Ke Suna Hai Log Jogi Ho Gaye – Rahgeer (1969) – Lyrics: Gulzar

The poem composed by Gulzar, with long, narrative stanzas, would be a challenge to a music director to yield a melodious song.  For a singer also to sing all these lines without loss of breath is equally an imposing challenge. Hemant Kumar, in the dual role of the music director and the singer, has so deftly handled both the challenges.

Mohammad Rafi

Hemant Kumar’s choice of Mohammad Rafi as a second highest male singer is ample testimony of his true role play of a music director. Hemant Kumar’s solo song compositions in Mohammad Rafi’s voice also is a subject for a separate, full-fledged analysis, as he has used Rafi’s voice from lead actors to character actors; from romantic songs to comedy songs to pathos moods songs to pensive songs, set to a wide range of situations.

Paase Sabhi Ulat Gaye, Dushman Ki Chaal Ke…..Ham Laaye Hain Tufaan Se Kashti Nikalke – Jagriti (1954) – Lyrics: Pradeepji

Being a patriotic song, the initial couplets open on high scale, gradually coning down to the regular singing scale. The tone of the delivery is that of firmness of conviction of a loving, soft-natured, teacher. This is the tone in which the main song begins.

As the song progresses, the message keeps on being more and more intense. Topics like atom bombs reflect the heightened concerns. When it reaches @ 3.50, the teacher tells his wards that the time is now ripe to stop dreaming the idealism or live in the luxuries, as now is the time to go in for a quantum jump to touch the highest of ambition, of firmly and positively unfurling the tricolour of an independent nation from the top of Himalayas all over the world.  As can be expected, anyone will be carried away with these emotions. Song also suddenly jumps up in scale, remains there till the message is clear, and then returns to its normal flow.

Pradeepji has so clearly spelt out the message in his meaningful, crisp lyrics, Hemant Kumar has weaved in the mood of the song at every stage of the song. And who else could do full justice to such a song, other than the versatile Mohammad Rafi!

Ab Mori Binati Suno Bhagwan – Taj (1956) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

This is a prayer song, which has the earnestness in the base tone of the song, but as the new stanza begins, there is a sense of heightened urgency in the request. In the end, this request reaches a crescendo. Since he himself has rendered the other songs, Hemant Kumar seems to have specifically chosen Rafi for this song. Mohammad Rafi very naturally handles these variations.

Phoolon Se Dosti Hai Kanto Se Yaari Hai, Aise Majhe Ke Pyare Zindagi Hamari Hai – Duniya Jhukati Hai (1957) – Lyrics; Rajinder Krishna

This is one of the famous songs among the ‘tonga songs’ genre of Hindi film songs. Hemant Kumar has very innovatively composed interlude orchestration pieces.

Today when I see the video clip, I note that Sunil Dutt is wearing a loud-stripped T-shirt. In those days striped T-shirt was dress code for small time ‘gunda’ or mawaali’ (ruffians or scamps) characters on the silver screen! One may even recall that David was shown wearing such a T-shirt in Boot Polish’ (1954), probably to epitomise that people who live in that kind of surroundings always have indecent ways of living. The film then goes on disprove this beief.

O Gawalan KyuN Mera Man Teri Chitawan Le Gayi – Champakali (1957) – Rajendra Krishna

Even as Mohammad Rafi, perhaps, comes in as default playback singer for Bharat Bhushan, The song is quite atypical for a Hemant Kumar composition.

Yeh Mard Bade Dil Sard Bade, Chalo Ji Maana, Mardon Ka Phir Bhi Ghulam Hai Zamana – Miss Mary (1957) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Miss Mary, a remake of Misamma in Telugu or Missiamma in Tamil, was a light mood film. It was one of the big box-office grossers in those days. Its songs had also become extremely popular. Hemant Kumar has very deftly made subtle changes in the composition, as compared to the original Telugu or more or less similar Tamil version, which has made the song very melodious while retaining its comedy elements. As a result, it looks more natural that Jamuna could have been induced to dance at the music while relishing the delivery of satire in the lyrics!

Side Notes:

The Telugu version – Telusukonave Chelli (filmed on N T Rama Rao, Savitri and Jamuna)

The Tamil version – Therinthu kollanum penne (filmed on Gemini Ganeshan, Savitri and Jamuna)

Pyari Bole Bulbul, Padosan Boli kauwa….. Kisi Ko Main Chhaila, Kisi Ko Main Hauwwa…– Hum Bhi Insan Hai (1959) – Lyrics: Shailendra

Hemant Kumar has so easily composed this comedy song, which fits Mohammad Rafi like a T.

Side Notes:

In the same year in a Bengali movie, ‘Khelaghar’ Hemant Kumar gave Mohammad Rafi two Hindi songs penned by S H Bihari. One of the two songs had the same mukhda – Pyari Bole Padosan ….

Kehti Hai Mujh Ko Duniya Deewana Nashe Mein Ha

Woh Kaunsi Mushkil Hai Jo Na Ho Sake Aasaan – Maa Beta (1962) – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan

Other music directors have often chosen Hemant Kumar’s baritone voice as background song. The song here is about the underlying confidence to overcome the present adversities.  Hemant Kumar easily opts to choose Rafi for his capability to express such feelings even when singing at a lower scale. And once again, as Rafi has been called into the play, why not take the advantage of scaling higher notes to express the surge in confidence!

Mareez-e-Ishq Hoon Aye Jaan-e-Man Meri Dua Lena – Bin Badal Barsaat (1963) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Under the regular circumstances, this could have been a poem recital, but here we have a signature Mehmood comedy song, with all the strappings of Rafi – scaling high scales at the beginning of each stanza and then reverting back to the normal scale, or some choice words, like Mareez-e-ishq being delivered in a different style each time it repeats in song.

Tera Husn Rahe Mera Ishq Rahe, To Ye Subah-o-Sham Rahe Na Rahe – Do Dil (1965) – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

A song in the praise of the (beauty) of the beloved has emerged as a very distinct genre in the Hindi films. As it so happens, Mohammad Rafi has a virtually a monopolistic presence in this genre.

Prior to Do Dil, Biswajeet had had a string of films under other banners, wherein it was Mohammad Rafi who was his playback voice. Songs from those films had been quite successful too. That, perhaps, has weighed in in the use of Mohammad Rafi for all Biswajeet songs in this film!

In the Second Part, we will take up Hemant Kumar;s Male Songs in the voices of Kishore Kumar, Mannadey and Other Singers.

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

 

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Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions : Female songs – Bengali female playback singers

We have covered Hemant Kumar’s Female compositions in the form of Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle’s song  and ‘Other’ Singers’ songs previously.

Other than these, he has also chosen to experiment with Bengali female playback singers, like Ratna Gupta, Pratima Banerjee, Aarti Mukherjee, his wife Bela Mukherjee and his daughter Ranu Mukhrtjee, Bula Gupta etc.

Ratna Gupta

Ratna Gupta was the wife of film director, Hemen Gupta.  She has rendered songs only in the films which Hemen Gupta had directed, viz.– Bhuli Nai (1948) in Bengali and Ferry (1954) and Taksaal (1956; Music by Roshan) in Hindi

Yehi Hai Mere Sapno Ka Sansar – Ferry (1954) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Geeta Bali, with her two children, is on a joy tour to her beautiful world of dreams. Ratna Gupta’s pleasant Bengali-intoned voice adds to the refreshing charm of the situation.

The song also has a sad, twin, version.

In the clip here, we get to listen a soft call of a boatmen to keep pushing the boat – the metaphor for the life – in the voice of Hemant Kumar. The main song is composed on a high scale, to reflect the anguish of Geeta Bali as the moments of her past happy family life flash in her memory.

Pratima Banerjee

Ek Baat Kahu Tumse….. Mehfil Men Tere Husn Ke Diwane, , –  Sahara (1958) – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

Kamal Barot and Nileema Chatterjee

We have one more just one- off experiment in so far as use of these two singers is concerned.

Main Laal Laal Gujkoonn – Majli Didi (1967) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Neeraj

The song is a children’s song, based on quiz game. Kamal Barot sings lines for a child artist who we can now recognise as Baby Sarika. Nileema Chatterjee sings for a boy, identified as Master Khalid.

Ranu Mukherjee

Hemant Kumar has used Ranu Mukherje’s voice in different moods, in different situations, at different stages of her age.

Nani Teri Morni Ko Mor Le Gaye – Masoom 1960 – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Ranu Mukherjee must be five/six years old when the song must have been recorded. So, the natural childlike discordant notes in her voice can be felt, but otherwise this as virtuoso performance as any professional would have rendered!

Mera Qatil Hai Jee Qatil JavaN Qatil Hai – Farar(1965)  – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

This is mother of all scoops. Just five years after that childlike innocent song, Ranu Mukherjee comes up with this full-fledged western club song, in an equally virtuoso performance.

Ab To Muskuraiye, Muskuraiye Zara, Aapki Sharatein Gul Khila Chukee – Do Dooni Chaar (1968) – Lyrics: Gulzar

Hemant Kumar’s bag of scoops has still more surprises. Three more years down the line, and Ranu Mukherjee now comes up trump as a lead singer – in a film that is pure comedy, giving playback to a vivacious, mischievous sister-in-law character so lively enacted by Tanuja and, to enliven the lyrics of Gulzar with that correct throw of a given word.

Ranu Mukherjee had two more, equally interesting, solos in the film.

Asides Trivia for the records: Gulzar seemed to have made up his mind to remake this Shakespeare’s play, ‘Comedy of Errors ‘-inspired version under the banner of Bimal Roy Production. He went to onto make a classic, in the form of Angoor (1982).

Bela Mukherjee

It should be redundant to state that Bela Mukherjee is the wife of Hemant Kumar and quite a singer on her own. Hemant Kumar has used her voice for just handful songs which at best can be classified as special situation songs.

Ae Din Dayal Daya Do Hame – Farar (1965) – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

This is a school prayer song. Hemant Kumar has deftly used voice of Bela Mukherjee for a, boy, child artist

Bula Gupta

There is reference to a name Bula as ‘Baby Bula’ in Ferry (1954). Knowledgeable co-bloggers had identified her as daughter of the director of that film Hemen Gupta. In fact, there is mention of a child duet song in that film, where in this Baby Bula has joined Master Jayant (Hemant Kumar’s son). If we put two and two together, this Bula Gupta seems to be the same person, now a young lady.

Jaam Utha Ke Tod Ke Tauba Pee – Us Raat Ke Baad (1970) – Lyrics: Gulzar

Hemant Kumar has persisted with experimenting with Bengali singers to sing ‘special’ songs. Hemant Kumar has blended use of mid-east string instruments with western instruments in the orchestration.

Aarti Mukherjee

Aarti Mukherjee is a trained singer, who has worked as playback singers more in Bengali films then in Hindi films.

Billi Bajaye Baja, Gaye Chuhiyon Ka Raaja, Nache Bandariya Lahenga Dal Ke– Sahara (1958) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

After Aarti Mukherjee won the All-India Murphy Metro Music contest held in Mumbai, in 157, this is her reward. She was in the school in those days, so she gets to sing for the child artist in this song.

Do Do Pankh Laga Ke Panchi Banenge – Rahgeer (1969) – with Hemlata and chorus – Lyrics: Gulzar

It seems the song may have been rendered by some character in the adolescent age on the screen.

Aaj Ki Raat Chargon Ki Raat – Khamoshi (1970) – Lyrics: Gulzar

The film carries a shortened version of the song

Sharon Prabhakar

Love’s Reflections – Love in Canada (1980) – Lyrics: Sharon Prabhakar

Love in Canada is the swan song of Hemant Kumar in so far as Hindi film music is concerned, but his experimental streak is still as alive and as sharp as ever.

Hemant Kumar’s female songs has so many shades that one article by any one person will never be able to do full justice to the subject. If I were to do this article once again, even I may choose some other songs over what I have chosen here. There is always that hope for that next time…..

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


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

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Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Female songs – ‘Other’ Singers

We have covered Hemant Kumar’s Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle’s songs earlier.

We now move over to the ‘Long Tail’ of the skewed distribution of Hemant Kumar’s female songs. Hemant Kumar has used the ‘other’ known Hindi female playback singers more as an exception only. Raj Kumari had one dance number in Anand Math (1952). Shamshad Begum has two solos and two FF duets, Sudha Malhotra has one solo, one FF duet and one (an iconic) MF duet – that we will take up discussion separately- and Suman Kalyanpur has two FF duets, and Usha Mangeshkar has one solo and two FF duets. We also have a very rare Mubarak Begum, Sulochana Kadam FF duet and a song by a classic trained singer Lakshmi Shankar, as well

Rajkumari

Dil Ka Paimana Hai, Ulfat Ka Hath Hai – Anand Math (1952) – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Sheila Ramani is so gracious as lead dancer in this court dance song.

Laksmi Shankar

Kaisi Lagi Karjeawa Mein Katar – Ferry (1954) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Hemant Kumar has used a classic trained singer for Mujra Song. From the initial dialogue in the clip, it seems that the song is seen by the daughter (Geeta Bali) as her mother has to perform for such mehfils

The song is in two parts. The second part has Geeta Bali singing the song on the screen. The feeling of pathos is very clearly felt in the way song is rendered in this part. The context of this change would be clear only when one has seen the film.

Usha Mangeshkar

Kaisi Lagi…..Jiya Jaye To Jiya Jaye – Ek Hi Rasta (1956) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

The song is a duet dance song, so typically planned to celebrate special occasions.

Pyasi Hai Mamata Meri Aaja Dheere Dheere Aa – Maa Beta (1962) – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan

Hemant Kumar has so melodiously weaved lathos of mother being away from her offspring in this lullaby.

Shamshad Begum

Hemant Kumar has used Shamshad Begum for four songs, of which a duet, with Ravi, from ‘Daku Ki Ladki” (1954) do not seem to be traceable on the internet

Meri Itni Araj Hai Huzur Se, Pyar Karna Magar Door Door Se – Hamara Watan (1956) – Lyrics: S H Bihari

We have here a classic mujra song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zik26guG66o

Hum Kisi Se Na Kahenge Chup Chup Se Rahenge– Yahudi Ki Ladki (1957) – with Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: S H Bihari

The song is set to what has now become familiar Arabic dance tunes (thanks to n-number of films based on stories from that milieu) to the listeners of Hindi film songs. Both the singers have been accorded freedom to sing in their natural range.

Pyar Jata Ke Lalchaye Mora Balama –- Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – Lyrics: Shailendra

This seems to a mujra-styled dance song. Shamshad Begum is her at vintage best, even in 1959.

Sudha Malhotra

Mujhe Tarke Taaluk Samjaya Jaata Hai – Sahara (1958) – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

Hemant Kumar has so easily been able to present a signature mujra song – with prominent tabla thaaps (beats),  beginning of the stanza without the support of any instruments and of course the use of most ubiquitous instrument of a mujra music – the sarangi.

Suman Kalyanpur

Suman Kalyanpur is present in only two FF duets. Both the duets are perfectly composed FF duets, but have differently blended the inherent vocal qualities of different singers in the respective songs.

Kabhi Aaj Kabhi Kal, Kabhi Paraso – Chand (1959) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Shailendra

The song appears to be public dance stage show. As such, both the performers are expected to move and sing in perfect synchronisation. Hemant Kumar has achieved this synchronization in the vocal part of the songs by perfectly blending almost similar sounding voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur.

Phulwa Band Maheke Dekho Dali Dali – Ham Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – with Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Shailendra

Shailendra has captured the two points of views of friends in the song, who seem to be visiting the flower garden – both see different hues in the same settings in which both are present together. Hemant Kumar has enlivened this effect by using two naturally different voices – those of Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur.

Aside Trivia:

The song seems to have been inspired from Meghla Bhanga Rod Utheche (The Sun Rises in the Clouded Sky) – Tar Aar Par Nei. – Pratima Badopadyay – composed by Nachiketa Ghish, lyrics: Pulak Banerjee

Mubarak Begum, Sulochana Kadam

Bharat Ke Lok Geet (Fashion, 1959) is collection of folk songs from different regions.

The song can be heard by clicking on this link

https://gaana.com/song/bharat-ke-lok-geet

Other than these, he has also chosen to experiment with Bengali female playback singers, like Ratna Gupta, Pratima Banerjee, Aarti Mukherjee, his wife Bela Mukherjee and his daughter Ranu Mukhrtjee, Bula Gupta etc.

We will take up Hemant Kumar’s songs of ‘Other’ (Bengali Female Singers in the next episode.

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

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I Liked Music from films

Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions – Songs of Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle

Hemant Kumar (16-6-1920 | 26 September 1989) had already shown flare for music composition from his early childhood. Even though his formal career did commence as a singer, his talents as a composer also did not have to wait longer to get formal recognition. Of course, in so far as Hindi Films is concerned, the first ever film for which he got to compose the music was good eight years after he sang his first film song. He then went on to compose music for 50+ films for next 27 years.

Hemant Kumar’s start as music director in Anadmath (1952) was on a reasonably high note. It soon reached peak with Nagin (1954) and Shart (1954). Both these films had excellent run on box office mainly on the backing of the songs of the film. Hemant Kumar then continued to score at least one musical hit for every two or their films for which scored the music, irrespective of the box office outcome of the film. As it happens with majority of the film songs, the songs from the films that did well on the box office has had longer recall value in the minds of the listeners. These are the songs that have normally cemented the image of Hemant Kumar as the composer in our minds.

The full spectrum of Hemant Kumar’s range as a composer has four distinct shades of grey – his solo songs in his own voice, his songs in the voice of female singers, his solo songs in the voice of other male singers, his own duets and his duets in the voice of other singers.

Presently, we will take up the segment of Hemant Kumar’s female songs to explore breadth and depth of Hemant Kumar’s compositions

In terms of the singers, the solo songs of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt, in that order, occupy more that 80 % of the female-singers-spectrum of Hemant Kumar’s compositions. Hemant Kumar mostly used Lata Mangeshkar as his lead singer when he did not use Geeta Dutt. Quantitatively and qualitatively, he had still had enough room for using Asha Bhosle’s talent fully. One major impact of this heavy skew in the distribution of the female solo songs was to lead me to explore Hemant Kumar’s musically relatively less successful films to dig out songs of the other female singers. In the process, I had excellent opportunity to listen to many forgotten Lata/Geeta or Asha songs from these films as well.

These deep-sea explorations have resulted into a several large catches of songs of these three singers. I, therefore, have luxury to choose from the less heard songs of the less remembered films to present a different perspective of the rich legacy of repertoire of Hemant Kumar’s female song compositions.

Lata Mangeshkar

Like his other contemporary Bengali music directors, S D Burman or Salil Chowdhury, in the Hindi Film world of that period Lata Mangeshkar was the clear first choice of Hemant Kumar. The natural melody of the Lata Mangeshkar’s voice was a logical and obvious choice for the soft Bengali tone of these music directors.

Hemant Kumar’s compositions in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, normally, keep being published at regular frequency on several social media. So, I have picked up only one song from an early film and other one from his few of the last films, to present as encompassing as possible range of Hemant Kumar’s female songs

Kahan Se Le Ke Aayi Hai Kaha Majburiya Meri….. Meri Taqdir Ke Mailk Mera Kuchh Faisala Kar De – Shart (1954) – Lyrics: S H Bihari

The song opens with a couplet that epitomises the helplessness of the protagonist. Hemant Kumar deploys short pieces of violin ensemble that accentuates the pathos mood of the song.

Mitwa Re Bhul Gaye The Rahein Mitwa – Rahgir (1969) – Lyrics: Gulzar

This song also renders the mood of pathos – caused by the separation of the lovers. Hemant Kumar has used high scales of Shehnai in the interlude, to immediately follow the line wherein chorus also joins the song. The song is classic Gulzar poetry which is always a challenge for the music director. However, Hemant Kumar’s natural bent for melody returns with a complex, and yet a melodious composition.

Geeta Dutt

Hemant Kumar did use Geeta Dutt as lead female voice in his maiden film Anandmath (1952) – 5 songs. He then used her voice as lead singer in only Laalten (1956) – 6 songs; Police (1958) – 6 songs and of course, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1960) – 3 songs. He did keep using her off and on, in solos or duets,  in films like Ferry (1954)- 2 songs;  Samrat (1954) – Songs; Shart (1954) – 2 songs; Bahu (1955) – 3 songs; Bhagwat Mahim (1955) – 1 song; Arab Ka Suadagar (1956) – 2 songs; Bandi (1957) – 3 songs; Ek Jalak (1957) 3 songs; Fashion (1957) – 2 songs; Hill Station (1957) – 3 songs; Kitana Badal Gaya Insaan – 3 songs; Miss Mary (1957) – 1 song; Yahudi Ki Ladki – 5 songs; Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – 2 songs and Duniya Jhukti Hai (1960) – 1 song. If some of the songs are remembered even today, some were lost quickly.

Aa Re Bhanvare Aa, Maheki Meri Man Ki Bagiya – Anand Math (1952) – Lyrics: Shailendra

Since Geeta Bali seems to be on an espionage or a luring mission into the British camps, she resorts to amorous gestures, matching her singing to her physical movements. Geeta Dutt supports such gyrations with matching variations of her singing. Hemant Kumar has so vividly woven an earthy folk-based composition with the situation.

Rangili Rangili Chhabili Rani Nindiya, Aa Mere Raja Ki Ankhiyo Mein Aa – Ferry (1954) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Hemant Kumar sets the lullaby to a soothing, soft orchestration.

Agar Pyar Mein Muskuraaye Na Hote – Laalten (1956) – Lyrics: Kaif Irfani

Hemant Kumar has set Geeta Dutt’s voice to a tone that exudes pathos, and then goes on to support that with short pieces of orchestrations.

Aaja Zara Mere Dil Ke Sahare – Ek Jhalak (1957) – Lyrics: S H Bihari

I always had an impression that this song is only a duet of Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt. This solo twin version is a find of the work for this episode.

Aside: The song is considered to have been inspired from Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (1955) song.

Koi Door Se Awaaz De, Chale Aao, Chale Aao – Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

After the success of Bees Saal Baad (1960), Hemant Kumar and Shakeel Badayuni again team up here. The deep-from-the-memory, haunting, softly echoing, sound of the song in the voice of Chhoti Bahu draws Guru Dutt to the place where he finds the bangles of the Chhoti Bahu. The film goes into the flash back. (@.4.14 to 5.38 of the film soundtrack). The short, soft, sounds of violin in the background in the following frames speak volumes for Hemant Kumar’s creativity as a composer.

Incidentally, it is in this opening that the Hindi version dramatically differs from the Bengali version of the film.

The present song returns at the end of the film to encapsulates the haunting melancholy of the loneliness of Chhoti Bahu

Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle, technically for the most part, did not enjoy the status of a lead singer in Hemant Kumar’s scheme of things. But Hemant Kumar has always done full justice to the range of her voice, in terms of number of songs that he gave to Asha Bhosle, as well in terms of variety of the music content. As a result many of Hemant Kumar -Asha Bhosle songs, like De Di Hame Azadi Bina Khadag Bina Dhal (Jagriti, 1954), Yaad Rakhana Pyar Ki Nishani Yaad Rakhana (Nagin, 1954), Sakhi Ri Sun Bole Papiha Us  Paar (Miss Mary, 1957)  or Bhnwara Bada Nanadan and Saaqiya Aaj Mohe Nend Na Ayegi (Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) are respectfully placed in Asha Bhosle’s most respected songs ever.

I have selected a few representative songs here, as a sample of the wide range of Hemant Kumar’s Asha Bhosle songs.

Chalo Chale Maa, Sapno Ke Gaon Mein – Jagriti (1954) – Lyrics: Pradeepji

The song is a twin version song. The first version has strong undercurrent of hope of good tidings to come. Hemant Kumar has epitomised the high hopes by setting the opening scale of each stanza on a high note. The second version has pensive pathos mood. Hemant Kumar reframes the initial high notes of the stanza by extending them over the whole line.

Bade Bhaiya Laye Hai London Se Chhori, Dila Do Hamein Bhi Dulhan Gori Gori – Ek Hi Rasta (1956) – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Hemant Kumar conjures a beauty in the form of a children song. He seems to have taken all care to use only those instruments that are mostly seen being used on the screen in the song.

Hemant Kumar’s ingenuity as a composer is evidenced in the second stanza, wherein the song switches over to qawwali style singing because the lyrics talk about the Baarat (bride’s marriage procession).

The transition from qawwali back to the original marching rhythm is also very deftly managed @ 3.39

An interesting Trivia : @1.00 to 1.5 we get to listen a piece on harmonica which is the theme of another great Hemant – Lata duet from the film – Sanwale Salone Aaye Din Bahar Ke

We fast-forward to the later part of the Hemant Kumar’s musical filmography.

Bin Badal Barsat Na Hogi – Bin Badal Barsat (1963) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Hemant Kumar has chosen to base the  composition of this dance song on a folk tune, but the interlude orchestration has all the elements of a mystery-film song, since there seems to be some hidden story that connects the protagonist (Nishi) on the dance floor with the key spectator– Biswajeet. Asha Bhosle’s delivery of the song is also so composed that the elements of mystery and underlying melancholy of the main protagonist’s feelings remain evident.

Kyun Mujhe Itni Kushi De Di, Ki Ghabarata Hai Dil – Anupama (1966) – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Here is a dance song staged on the screen as a party song. Hemant Kumar has again successfully used Asha Bhosle’s voice to blend the two moods, one obvious mood of joy,  befitting what can be seen on the floor and the other a hidden underlying mood of the protagonist (Shashikala) in sync with lyrics of the song

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

We will take up Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions in Other Female Voices in the Second Part