Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – August, 2017

Welcome to August, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We have three posts for our present episode that befit the season:

Beyond ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’, the film songs that dare to step out of line when things go off-key – Rather than pop patriotism tunes, it’s the songs about dissent and debate that resonate as India turns 70 – Rineeta Naik recalls the anti-nationals in Hindi films who stepped out of line and reminded us of the times when things went off-key… The songs presented here convey a poet’s despair over social and moral decay, the agony of a man unfairly marked as a traitor, and the exuberant cynicism of city-dwellers who discovered that “sone ki chidiya” rhymes nicely with malaria.

Celebrate the monsoon with this performance of raag Mia ki Malhar by Amir Khan – Malhar raags are prescribed for the rainy season. – Aneesh Pradhan – Amir Khan’s presentation of Mia ki Malhar, a raag considered to have been created by the 16th-century vocalist and composer Mia Tansen, has always been considered by musicians and aficionados as one of the most iconic interpretations of the raag. The recording featured here was made for the All India Radio National Programme of Music in 1958, but it continues to haunt listeners to this day.

Rainy Days has captured songs picturised in the rain, let it be for a part of the song or the entire length, from drizzle to showers! The song may not be about the rain itself.

We will first take up the posts on Meena Kumari in our regular anniversaries or eulogies posts:

Meena Kumari: An enigma – DP Rangan pays a very touching and vivid tribute to Meena Kumari on her 85th birth anniversary (1 August 1932 – 31 March 1972).

Gaddeswaroop’s Blog has added two songs in Meena Kumari singing for herself in 1947

Ankhiyan Taras Rahin Un Bin – Piya Ghar Aaja (1947) – Bulo C Rani – Pt. Indra

Sawan Beet Gayo Mai Ri – Duniya Ek Sarai (1947) – Hansraj Behl – Kidar Sharma

We also take a look at the life of Meena Kumari in Meena Kumari Biography by Javed Akhtar. The Enigma Called Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari Part 1 ǁ Part 2 ǁ Part 3; Virasat – Meena Kumari Part 1 of 2 ǁ Part 2 of 2 and the 20 Rare Pictures of Meena Kumarisupplement good deal of interesting aspects on the subject

We have chosen to take a Retrospective look to revisit:

No One Quite Like Her –  The Inimitable Meena Kumari’ – “Good looks, great talent and unhappiness. Perhaps no other star combined all three in such a heady brew as Meena Kumari did.” Sathya Saran writes about how the iconic actress carved out an inimitable niche for herself, had held sway over her audiences for two decades and continues to fascinate her fans to this day….. Nothing added as much to the legend of Meena Kumari as her liviing of it. For many it seemed the natural culmination to a life of suffering. To be abandoned and exploited, and left without money after earning  sums that were beyond the reach of lesser stars, and die sick in heart and body is a tale that cannot fail to touch anyone who hears it.

The Legend That Was Meena Kumari in which Antara Nanda Mondal poignantly notes that pain and anguish was part of her life and she brought them to the fore in her performances that became iconic.

At a film premiere – Talat Mahmood with Meena Kumari, Usha Kiran, music director Madan Mohan and other guests

Meena Kumari – Interview (1952). This is an interview when Meena Kumari was on the verge completing two significant and much talked-about films, “Footpath” and “Baiju Bawra”, in which she had played the feminine lead.

Remembering singer Parul Ghosh, one of Hindi cinema’s quietest trailblazers – Wife of an illustrious husband, sister of a famous brother, Parul Ghosh made indelible contributions to music. Rudradeep Bhattacharjee pays tribute on her fortieth death anniversary.

All these years later, nobody exudes flamboyance like Shammi Kapoor – On the Hindi film star’s death anniversary, a reminder of his irresistible exuberance. Akshay Manwani states that In his book on dancing star and rebel hero, Shammi Kapoor: The Game Changer, journalist and film critic Rauf Ahmed gives readers a view of Kapoor’s ascent into stardom.

70mm Man: C Mohan, who designed the logo for ‘Sholay’ and other classics – Ramesh Sippy’s landmark film was released this week 42 years ago. Its designer was one of the leading exponents of Bollywoood Expressionism.

And Happy Birthday to Another Big Reason I Got Drawn Into Hindi Films, that of Vyjayanthimala, who just happens to be celebrating her birthday as this post was in the writing. There is one more post on Vaijayantimala’s birthday – Seven Dances for Vyjayanthimala’s Birthday  – posted seven years ago. This post has video clips of some of her lesser known dance songs,

Of the Ten of my favourite Mumtaz songs, presented in celebration of the 70th birthday on 31sy July, I have picked up O matwaare saajna chhalak gaya mera pyaar (Faulad, 1963) as my own offering to the celebration.

The August 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Shailendra and “Other” Music Directors

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (2): Their songs for ‘other’ singers’ is a follow up post to The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (1): Their songs for Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi, SoY recounts the memorable meeting with 90-year-old Nirmala Devi, wife of Pt. Husnlal.

Gulzar’s 1988 movie ‘Libaas’ to be finally released later this year -Zee Classic and Amul Mohan, the son of the producer Vikas Mohan, will release the film.

Subodh Agrwal has taken up a very difficult subject of Asymmetric Duets. He has further tightened the rules by taking up the duets in which the rhythm and the tune do diverge and yet complement each other too. SoY readers have chipped in a very large number of such interesting songs.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?, we have conclude the sub-series of Male Solo Songs with My Top Male Solo Songs and commenced the series of posts on Female Solo Songs with 21-solo-songs of Suraiya, following up with the first part and second part  of the solo songs of Geeta Dutt.

We will end the present post with a chance Mohammad Rafi song that an e-mail from my friend Samir Dholakia presented me.

De De Mori Mundari – Sat Saaliyaan (Punjabi) 1964 – S.Madan- Naqsh Lyallpuri – Mohd.Rafi

Note: In the song @4.28 a reference to other well-known songs – Akhiyan Sakhi Akhiyan Lagi and Ek Chatur Naar- is made as a parody

The song merited some more searches that led to a full-fledged parody song as well from the same film:

Bahut Shukriya Badi Meharbaani

Not to be satisfied now, I search more, and get two beautiful duets with Suman Kalyanpur:

Sohniye Tu Na Modi Munh

Kehdi Gallon Russiyan Ne

and a signature Rafi song

Sat Saaliyaan – Oye Sohna Jeha Mukhda

BTW, the music director S Madan is known to us for his far more famous and melodious duet with Asha Bhosle:

Ye Raat Ye Fizaain Phir Aain Naa Aaye – Batwara –Majrooh Sultanpuri

Batwara too had one signature Rafi song:

Yeh Kaisi Deewar Hai Duniya 

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Advertisements

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May, 2017

Welcome to May, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Month of May also has brought in two very specific posts:

Singing for a better tomorrow: A Hindi film song helpline for May DayAshwini Deshpande

On International Workers’ Day, a reminder of the times when lyricists, in Hindi films. These songs were filled with optimism, hope and dreams of a better life marked by equality.

Month of May also has a most significant milestone for Indian Cinema. DG Phalke’s labour of love ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was released on May 3, 1913. Here is what went into the making of the first Indian feature filmSruthi Ganapathy Raman  recalls  that it was far from easy to make.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

Passing away of Vinod Khanna did result in a downpour of eulogies, form all and different quarters.

  • Vinod Khanna conquered Hindi cinema by just being thereMustansir Dalvi – When not playing the villain, Vinod Khanna played straight man to the more garrulous co-stars.
  • Thus Endeth Another Chapter of “a man with sad eyes, self-confident without being arrogant, the quietness of a man who was – finally – at peace with himself. For someone who was so much a man’s man, so ruggedly handsome, what remains with me is the half-smile that quirked his lips in the most endearing way, and the way his eyes lit up when he smiled. That smile made him at once real, and human.”
  • In Tribute: Vinod Khanna (1946-2017) – The deeply nuanced roles that went to actors like Sanjeev Kumar may not have been Vinod Khanna’s, but the roles he played, he played well. He played them convincingly, and he played them with a flair that was very appealing.
  • ‘Where are the available men’ and other tales from the sets of the sexual liberation drama ‘Rihaee’ – Arunaraje Patil faced typical and unforeseen challenges while directing her first solo feature in Gujarat in 1988 – edited excerpts from her autobiography Freedom My Story– “It was during the dubbing of Rihaee, that Vinod, finding me preoccupied, literally cornered me into telling him what the problem was. When he found out what was bothering me, he stepped out of the studio, went to his car and got me thirty thousand rupees. This was exactly what I needed for the first print. When I made a fuss about taking it, he thrust it in my hands and said, ‘Don’t worry, payable when able.’”
  • Remembering (and Re-Introducing) Vinod Khanna – Little wonder then that this strikingly handsome man, who might have made a career out of being a poster boy, letting his sunglasses and open shirts do most of the work for him, participated in a number of relatively offbeat or understated films – starting with Gulzar’s Mere Apne and Achanak and Sunil Dutt’s Reshma aur Shera, and continuing for the next two decades, through Meera, Lekin… , Muzaffar Ali’s uncompleted Zooni, or Patil’s Rihaee

Zohra Sehgal was the mother of all screen grandmothersRhea Nath – In movie after movie, the dancer and stage actress played a matriarch as charming as she is crusty.

Waqt Ne Kiya – The Introspective Songs of Kaifi AzmiPeeyush Sharma – We have picked up one rare song here and one – one of the finest – at the end of our episode:

Aaj ki kaali ghata  – Uski Kahani, 1966 – Geeta DuttKanu Roy

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana: Shankar Jaikishan’s Melodies of 1971 – 18 Films, 104 Songs Peeyush Sharma – Shankar, bade goodbye to this world on 26 April 1987. Jaikishan departed on 12th September, 1971. SJ (Shankar-Jaikishan) had 18 Hindi and one Telugu film releases this year. They had also now started working with a variety of lyricists; Hasrat was the regular as always, they added Rajendra Krishan, S H Bihari, Neeraj, Shaili Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, Varma Mallik, Indeevar and even Gulzar. Jaikishan had earlier appeared on screen way back performing on the Mukesh song, Ae pyase dil bezubaan, tujhko le jaaun kahan, in Begunaah in 1957. This year he made an appearance as Jaikishan himself, working on a balancing machine while recording the Kishore song Naach Meri Jaan Fatafat. The song went on Mehmood.

We have picked up three songs form the Telugu film Jeevitha Chakram:

Kallallo Kallupetti

Kanti Choopu (Female)

And its male version

Shankar-Jaikishan’s duets (1): Mukesh/Rafi with female singers and Shankar Jaikishan’s duets (2) is the continuum of singerwise posts for Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi, Manna Dey, ‘Other singers’ and two posts on their dance songs – for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets.

The May 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Snehal Bhatkar. Snehal Bhatkar composed songs for 27 Hindi films and 12 Marathi films. His contribution in Marathi NFS is also highly respected.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Returning to the songs of Ningalenne Communistakki (but still looking for subtitles) presents songs from a classic Malayalam film Ningalenne Communistakki.

Ashwin Bhandrakar debuts with guest post Beena madhur madhur kacchu bol in unpretentious style peppered with a dash of humour on bees and honey.

Pakeezah’ resonates to the sound of Meena Kumari’s ankletsManish Gaekwad – The soundtrack of the 1972 classic was by Ghulam Mohammed, who used the foot ornaments to startling effect.

Lovers burn up the phone wires in ‘Jalte Hai Jiske Liye’Nandini Ramnath – The song from Bimal Roy’s 1959 classic ‘Sujata’ is one of the most quietly raging love songs out there.

Dil Dhoondta Hai’ and the heart that never stops searchingBubla Basu -Gulzar’s ‘Mausam’ features two versions of a love. From the first words “Dil dhoondta hai” (the heart is searching), we slip into the nostalgic, compelling mood of the film. Someone, somewhere, somehow is searching for someone. The solo is an echo of a love that is lost but not forgotten…. Madan Mohan’s haunting music and Gulzar’s evocative lyrics ensure that we recognise the song later in the film when Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore render a longer and livelier duet.

The original ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’ from ‘Padosan’ is more than just a comical tune – The popular song by Kishore Kumar from the 1968 comedy mixes traditional Baul music with elements of the qawwali and the love ballad.

Two Mukesh duets buzzing me today: Yeh Duniya Hai… Yahan Dil Ka Lagana Kis Ko Aata Hai (Shair,1949, Ghulam Mohammad) and   Khayalon Mein Kisi Ke Is Tarah Aaya Nahin Karate (Banware Nain, 1950, Roshan).

When the bhajan ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ inspired a Pakistani love songKaran Bali – ‘Phirni Aan Main Labdi’, from the 1957 movie ‘Nooran’, features Pakistani singing sensation Noor Jehan. – Written by Hazin Qadri, Phirni Aan Main Labdi is among several wonderful tunes by composer Safdar Hussain for Nooran.

We could not make any progress in annual Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY.

We end our present episode with Kafi Azmi’s the song that just sweeps you away: Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm, 1973, Madan Mohan). It has got the rhythm of the crashing waves and pouring rain in every note. It rises and falls like the tidal sea waves, races like the wind and then slows down to a gentle pitter-patter only to pick up the pace again at a frenetic speed. What an amazing song, composition and rendition by the trio of Kaifi Azmi-Madan Mohan-Rafi.

Tum bhi the khoye khoye, main bhi bujhaa-bujhaa
Thaa ajnabi zamaanaa apnaa koi na thha
Dil ko jo mil gayaa hai teraa sahaaraa

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – April, 2017

Welcome to April, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

The first day of April is to make fun. We have picked up  a topical post to commence our present episode:

Some unique good good songs is an excellent presentation of songs that repeat words, so typical spoken style of Hindi language, e.g.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

Then and now: How a ’40s movie star dealt with a bad marriage and prying eyes  -Kanan Devi broke off her short-lived marriage to Ashok Maitra after he objected to her career, thereby proving herself to be a truly independent spirit. – an excerpt with permission from Kanan Devi The First Superstar of Indian Cinema, Mekhala Sengupta, HarperCollins India.

Shamshad Begum with 3G, i.e. music directors Ghulam Haider, Ghulam Mohammad and Pt. Govind Ram,is a tribute to her on her 98th birth anniversary. The previous articles on Shamshad Begum @ SoY are available @ the tag Shamshad Begum.

The bit about Parveen Babi that you won’t find in the UG Krishnamurti biography – An outtake from the graphic novel by Nicolas C Grey and James Farley imagines the actress’s encounters with the philosopher. – Depicted here are the panels, which were not used in the final publication, the authors imagine the moment when Babi became a Krishnamurti follower – Reproduced with permission from This Dog Barking: The Strange Story of UG Krishnamurti, Nicolas C Grey and James Farley, HarperCollins India.

Yesterday’s Films For Tomorrow – It was but natural that legendary

PK Nair was a collector, a cinephile, a historian, an archivist, an evangelist, a teacher and a student of cinema

archivist and  ‘Celluloid Man’ PK Nair’s last wish was that his personal collection of books, journals and diaries be handed over the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) to preserve after he passes on. Yesterday’s Films for Tomorrow was released recently in Mumbai to commemorate P K Nair’s 84th birthday.

Antara Nanda Mondal notes that this book is a remembrance of a person who was obsessed with not just the stories that cinema told, but with all its facets — the form, function and the ephemera of the moving image.

Peeyush Sharma pays tribute to K L Saigal with a journey through Saigal’s songs in Main Kya Janoon Kya Jadoo Hai: K L Saigal’s Magical Music .

‘KL Saigal’s Songs Started the Sugam Sangeet Revolution’ – In Conversation with Author Pran Nevile – Pran Nevile is the author of the authoritative book KL Saigal – Immortal Singer and SuperstarK.L. Saigal The Definitive Biography and the richly illustrated Nautch Girls of India: Dancers, Singers, Playmates.

After a successful career in the Indian Foreign Service and the United Nations, Pran Nevile turned to writing specializing in the study of Indian art and culture. His other books include Lahore – A sentimental Journey; The Raj Revisited; Love Stories from the Raj; Rare Glimpses of the Raj; Stories from the Raj – Sahibs, Memsahibs and Others; Beyond the Veil – Indian Women in the Raj and Marvels of Indian Painting: Rise and Demise of Company School.

In a conversation with Sundeep Pahwa in his Gurgaon home, Pran Nevile responds to a series of questions on K L Saigal drawn up by Peeyush Sharma and Sundeep Pahwa.

The April 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Hasrat Jaipuri, recalling his songs for music directors other than Shanker Jaikishan. This post has covered songs from the beginning of his career till 1953.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Ten of my favourite ‘not-quite-duet’ songs aretechnically duets’: not songs in which both singers play an equal part in making the song what it is, but in which the ratio is somewhat skewed or in which one singer only hummed, while the other did the singing. E.g. Phir aane lagaa yaad wohi (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon, 1963): Interestingly, Yeh Dil Kisko Doon featured not one, but two, songs that were sung primarily by a man but had a woman pitching in occasionally to add another dimension to the song. In Kitni haseen ho tum, Asha Bhonsle sings half a line here, half a line there while Rafi sings the rest of the song. In Phir aane lagaa yaad wohi, however, the female singer (in this case, Usha Khanna) has even less to sing: all she sings is three words, repeated at intervals through the song: Pyaar ka aalam, while Rafi sings the rest of the song. It works very well in this dreamy dream sequence.

Here is a belated posting: Enchanting Salil Chowdhary  – Listen to 18 songs from Salil Chowdhary by clicking the link below. These songs are from the 1950s to early 70s and many of them feature brisk movements among notes and wonderful arrangements to create an enchanting experience: LINK TO PLAYLIST OF SALIL CHOWDHARY SONGS

Sound of Lollywood: An obscure movie has a hidden gem for qawwali fans – “Mere Paas Aao’ from ‘First Time’ is, by turns, spiritual and romantic and wholly enjoyable.

Sahir Ludhianvi’s ‘Woh Subah Kabhi Toh Aayegi’ finds new meaning in ‘Begum Jaan’ – A song written after 1947 aptly describes the condition of a newly independent India. –  The song Woh Subah Kabhi Toh Aayegi from Phir Subah Hogi (1958) appears in the climax of Begum Jaan, with the lyrics and context made relevant to the plot.

A Look at Some of The New Remixes of Old Bolywood Songs – Sharada  Iyer wades through remixed songs and their corresponding originals in this article.

Picture the song: When Amol Palekar grinned his way to success in ‘Ye Din Kya Aaye’ – The entire world of Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ is contained in a six-minute musical interlude.

A pat of butter and a picnic basket of movie memories – This is written for the film section of the Amul India book, which you can get here.

A Ghulamm Mohd. Song – Ye Duniya Hai – Shair 1949 – Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh

Ghantasala modulates the same phrase in several ways – ‘Emanene’ said in so many ways. As ‘barago’ says, once as question, then with anxiety, soothing and agitation.

Meethe Bol Bole, Bole Paayaliya – A Sparkling Jugalbandi of Music and DanceMeethe bol bole in Kinara is a beautiful sangam of classical excellence brought together by three maestros – the music of RD Burman, the lyrics and direction of Gulzar and the Kathak Nritya choreography of Gopi Krishna. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore the layers of musical delights and dance pieces hidden within this sparkling gem from Kinara, sung by Bhupinder Singh and Lata Mangeshkar.

We have taken the first step in our annual Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY

We end our present episode with Dual Versions of the Same Song by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar – Sharada Iyer has presented 21 such songs with a small note for each song. I have picked up Mohammad Rafi’s version of Agar Bewafaa Tujhko Pehchaan Jaate…from an unheard film, Raat Ke Andere Mein (1969). The song is written and composed by Prem Dhawan

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – February, 2017

Welcome to February, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

This is the month when the world celebrated Valentine Day. We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

Bachapan Ki Yaad Dheere Dheere Pyaar Ban Gayi – Shaheed (1948) – Lalita Deulkar – Ghulam Haider – Qamar Jalalabadi

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

The three distinct phases of OP Nayyar’s career –  Ravindra Kelkar pans three distinct musical styles, each corresponding to three time periods of O P Nayyar’s career.  Here are three illustrations, each for a respective phase:

Taare Chandani – Baaz (1953) – Geeta Roy (Dutt) – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Man More Ga Jhoom Ke – Mangu (1954) – Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Humdum Mere Khel Na Jano – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Remembering Madhubala, Bollywood’s Very Own Marilyn Monroe – Khalid Mohamed- republished to mark Madhubala’s birth anniversary Madhubala’s end-years were spent in deflecting an illness which had a deadline. At one point, doctors had declared that Madhubala wouldn’t last beyond a period of two years. ..Despite that, she attempted to complete the last shooting spell required for Chalak co-featuring Raj Kapoor. Lore has it that since filmmakers had stopped approaching her to act, she threw caution to the wind, and steered towards film direction. Neither this project titled Farz Aur Ishq, nor Chalak, could get to the finishing line.

Cuckoo Did Get A Mention Here On Her Birthday This Year… – Even as there is no specific post on Cuckoo,  a new comment to the old post Discussion, Info and Great Pics Related to the Earliest Appearances of Cuckoo makes up for the loss.

We have two posts on Waheeda Raheman’s birthday –

  • Waheeda Rehman – The Woman of Substance On-Screen – In Pyaasa, Mujhe Jeene Do, The Guide, Teesri Kasam and Kaagaz Ke Phool – Waheeda’s best four movies to the author’s mind – Waheeda played the women who traded their charms for sustenance.” Vijay Kumar revisits these films from the perspective of the towering women characters in them played by Waheeda Rehman.
  • In Praise of Waheeda Rehman who had quite a few songs that are songs that are paeans to her beauty, praising her charm and her loveliness, while some of the others are sheer romance, in verse.

Hua jab se dil mein tera guzar, Mujhe chain hai na qaraar hai (Zara sun haseena-e-nazneenKaun Apna Kaun Paraya (1963) – Mohammed Rafi – Ravi – Shakeel Badayuni

Remembering Faiz Ahmed Faiz Through His Aching Words – Almas Khateeb – here’s looking at some of this subtle and sophisticated poet’s works, that’ll stay with us for years to come: Faiz Ahmed Faiz and His Beguiling Poetry.

The February 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to ‘Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory’.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

the-corsican-brothersram-aur-shyam

Films that are 50: A Dilip Kumar double treat in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’  – Nirupama Kotru – The thespian proves that comedy is as easy as tragedy in the 1967 hit comedy, which was a remake of  the popular Telugu film Ramudu Bheemudu, which in turn was loosely based on Alexander Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers.

Los Angeles, 1975. Lata Mangeshkar takes the stage. Deafening applauseMohan DeoraRachana ShahOn Stage With Lata is a different kind of memoir: it is a short history of Mangeshkhar’s concerts in the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean and the Fiji Islands between 1975 and 1998.

Audio master: ‘Kismet’ laid the foundation of the Hindi film song as we know itRudradeep Bhattacharjee – In the 1943 blockbuster, the essential elements and conventions of the movie tune were codified, including the mukhda-antara form. Musicologist Jayson Beaster-Jones notes, “Both the film and the music of ‘Kismet’ exemplify a point just before a critical moment of transition for Indian filmmaking.”

Hope for Mumbai’s single screen cinemas after New Excelsior gets a shiny makeover – Subhash Ghai’s cinema chain has renovated and relaunched the iconic Mumbai theatre with new amenities and fewer seats.

Flowers bloom in Bollywood – D P Rangan has presented a colorful spread of Hindi film songs on flowers.

My favourites: Ten answers to the ‘Kaun Aaya’ question is in response to songs on Kaun Aaya, such as:

Chaakuwaala chhuriwaala… aaya main mastaana (Al-Hilal, 1957)

Mehfil mein jo aaye tum (Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962)

Ghoomke aaya hoon main… Baajewaala Patialewaala (Basant, 1960)

The Adivasi Chain Dances (Santali and Dhimsa)Circle dance, or chain dance, is a style of dance done in a circle or semicircle to musical accompaniment, such as rhythm instruments and singing. Circle dancing is probably the oldest known dance formation and was part of community life from when people first started to dance.

We end today’s episode with a prayer composed also by Mohammad Rafi

Hazrat Adam Ka Wakeya

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dilip-kumar

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

prithivi-raj-kapoor-with-sons-and-a-grand-son

Prithivi Raj Kapoor with sons and a grand son

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

sitara-devi

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

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

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

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

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

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

smita-patil-image-credit-jhelum-paranjape

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Films that are 50:

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

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

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

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

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As we delve into the posts on Anniversaries,

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

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

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

We also have a couple of more articles on Jaidev:

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

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

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shammi (right) “says” it with flowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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