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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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I Liked Music from films

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.