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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May 2021

Welcome to May 2021 edition of IXth Volume of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We pay our tribute to Vanraj Bhatia who left for heavenly abode on 07.05.2021.

(Photo: Rajya Sabha TV/YouTube)

Vanraj Bhatia dies at 93, He was best known for the music of films such as Ankur, 36 Chowringhee Lane and TV show Tamas, has passed away at the age of 93. The veteran music composer was battling poor health and financial constraints.

‘An Indian film without songs is meaningless’ – Jyoti Punwani draws memories from her interviews with the legendary composer Vanraj Bhatia himself explained what made his music so unique…. “The first duty of music is to express the film’s texture, and the second is to be able to stand on its own feet. It must be absolutely perfect,” he said…. “When I compose, I make the music matter in the film, even if the director pushes it into the background. Like my teacher would say, you must speak the same language as everybody else, but infinitely better.”

When Vanraj Bhatia asked me to mail his opera DVD and resume to the world’s major opera housesLuis Dias – In an interview in early 2013, the great music composer professed to me his love affair with opera and shared his earnest hopes.

Night Music for Solo Flute (Rachel Woolf) by Vanraj Bhatia

Legacy Of The Enigmatic Vanraj BhatiaSunil Sampat – On the occasion of a felicitation of Bhatia at the NCPA in March 2017, Zakir Hussain said, “Vanraj Bhatia is India’s greatest ever composer. Period.” 

Young Vanraj with his family

Vanraj Bhatia’s extraordinary, multi-faceted oeuvreRanjit Hoskote – The composer’s transcultural experiments were always intense and persuasive.

I have always liked Vanraj Bhatia’s interview with Irfan, of Rajya Sabha TV – Guftagoo with Vanraj Bhatia for his candid views. The song that Vanraj Bhatia refers to @22.48 is Barse Ghan Saari Raat – Tarang (1984) – Lata Mangeshkar – Vanraj Bhatia – Raghuvir Sahay

It’s a long narrative number describing a deserted wife’s desolation. About the song, Lataji recalls, “It was one of the most difficult and complex songs of my career. [Ref: Vanraj Bhatia’s CHALLENGE for Lata MangeshkarSUBHASH K JHA]. The story that is connected with the song is also narrated by Harish Bhimani in In Search of Lata Mangeshkar’ (1955, Harper-Collins, ISBN 81-7223-183-0) – excerpted as hereunder, as a footnote on page 102 – “Composer Vanraj Bhatia rushed in excitedly….exclaiming, “(Lata) Bai stayed back yesterday to listen to my recording !”……”….The intent of this passage is that Lata Mangeshkar, who never waited to check back on her recording, was keen to know how the song was recorded.

We now move on to other tributes and memories:

The Masters: Majrooh Sultanpuri – Majrooh’s simple turns of phrase expressed the most profound emotions. With more than 6,000 songs in over 300 films to his credit, Majrooh’s poetry traversed the gamut from the soulfully romantic to philosophical, cynical and devotional.

Remembering Bulo C Rani who debuted as independent music director in Pagli Duniya (1944).

Remembering Naushad: The music director beyond compareAjay Mankotia – Naushad passed away on May 5, 2006 – 15 years ago. But old masters never die. The music lovers and connoisseurs still adore him.

India’s DeMille: Remembering Mehboob Khan on his 57th death anniversaryShaikh Ayaz   – We know him as the ambitious maker behind Bollywood’s greatest ode to Indian womanhood (1957’s Mother India) and perhaps as the founder of Mumbai’s iconic Mehboob Studio. But Mehboob Khan was more than that.

‘Teesri Kasam’ was the perfect meeting of minds between Phanishwarnath Renu and Shailendra – Phaniswarnath Renu had named his youngest daughter Waheeda Rehman, after the actor who played the lead in Teesri Kasam.

Dattaram Part 1: Under the shadow of big banyan tree with songs of Mukesh and Manna Dey – Even as several of Dattaram;s songs with Mukesh and Manna Dey have had large following, Dattaram was not limited Mukesh And Manna Dey.

Kaif Irfani – A Forgotten name – Here is his very popular, romantic song Dil Tujhe Diya Tha Rakhane KoMalhar (1951) Mukesh / Music – Roshan

Shailendra Sharma @ Golden Era of Bollywood has posted following memorial tribute posts:

Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s story is as much about friendship as it is about their tunesGanesh Vancheeswaran – The 1963 B grade film, Parasmani set the tone for an unprecedented 35-year-long run for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, in which they offered 3,000-odd songs they composed in about 500 films.

Pyarelal (left) and Laxmikant. Courtesy Rajeshwari Laxmikant.

Ban Mein Bahar Aa Gayee, Man Mein Umang Chaa Gayi – Balwant Singh was born in 1918.He got his break aas a singer, for Bomaby Talkies’ film Jeevan Prabhat (1937).. Here is his duet with Devika Rani from the film – Tum Meri Tum Mere Saajan (Music – Saraswati Devi = Lyrics: J S Kashyap).

Digging (Into) the ’60s and early ’70s Songs of Usha Uthup/Iyer – Usha Uthup has a very special voice as far as Indian film singers go, a bit lower and thicker even than many western female singers’, and it often has a certain unusually appealing hoarseness too. before she sang in Hare Rama Hare Krishna for R.D. Burman, she got a role singing as part of a Shankar-Jaikishan soundtracks in Bombay Talkie (1971) – Hari Om Tat Sat and Good Times and Bad Times..

May 2021 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Manna Dey – Chale Ja Rahein Hai…. 1954 – 1955. Till now we have covered his songs for the year(s)  

1942 – 1946 in our 2018 issue,

1947-1950 in the 2019 episode, and

1951 – 1953 in the 2020 episode.

When Rafi sang for Hanuman, Manna for Ravan… – On the legendary Manna Dey’s 102nd birth anniversary, Subhash K Jha traced an interview he had done with Mannada way back in 1997.

We now move on to songs on other subjects –

Romantic Songs with a Third Person – These are songs where apart from the couple in love, there is someone else in the frame – either obtrusively or unobtrusively

Here’s A Vintage Pic Of Raj Kapoor And Wife Krishna

From Bollywood Rewind Sampada Sharma – Indian Express’s weekly column:

  • Sharada: Of love that is beyond labels – Starring Meena Kumari and Raj Kapoor, LV Prasad’s Sharada is the kind of romance that makes you question your understanding of love, and how meaningful relationships can exist, even with the strangest labels.
  • Awara: Of nature vs nurture – Starring Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Prithviraj, Awara is set in an era where climbing out of the vicious cycle of poverty was near impossible, and strangely enough, times haven’t changed much in the last 70 years.

The Catch-22 Songs which juxtapose options and thus, present dilemmas. Some are frivolous whereas the others are weighty.

Composers sing for themselves: Ten songs are the songs where a composer actually recorded—and it was included in the film in question—a song in his/her own voice

Anand Bakshi on his legacy as a film lyricist: ‘My songs will beat just as our heart beats’ – An excerpt from a biography, Nagme, Kisse, Baatein, Yaadein – The Life & Lyrics of Anand Bakshi, Rakesh Anand Bakshi, Penguin Random House India, of the songwriter whose career in Hindi cinema spanned six decades.

Rabindra Sangeet in Films: 10 Songs Sankhayan Ghosh presents a range of songs, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious to the innovative.

Regional Star, Hindi Also-Ran: Ten Actors, Ten Songs –who, for some reason or the other, never could make it big in Hindi cinema.

‘क्या भूलूँ क्या याद करूँ’ – a journey into what one wants to forget and what to remember.

In continuation to our tradition of ending the post with a few songs of Mohammad Rafi, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post.

Tum Hase To Gam Sharmaya – Dana Pani (1953) – with Shamshad Begum – Mohan Junior – Kaif Irfani

Aate Jaate Aankh Bachana ..Haye Re Tera Jawaab Nahin – Mehbooba (1954) – with Shamshad Begum – OP Nayyar – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Mujhe Jag Ki Bana De Malika, Phir Malik Ban Mere Man Ka – Dark Street (1961) – with Suman Kalyanpur  – Dattaram – Gulshan Bawra

Shokhiyan Nazar Mein Hain – Aasra (1966) – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Annad Bakshi

I look forward to your inputs to enrich the contents of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Disclaimer: This monthly series of posts is my best-effort-based compilation of posts on Hindi film songs that I normally visit regularly. As I record my sincere thanks to all the original creators of these posts, any other posts that I have nor covered herein shows my lack of awareness of existence of such posts and is by no means any disrespect to their work. The copyrights to the posts, images and video clips remain the properties of the original creators.

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In my view Music from films

Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director : 1962 – 1963

To commemorate Mohammad Rafi’s anniversaries, [Born: 24 December, 1924// Death: 31 July, 1980] we commenced a series of articles on Mohammad Rafi that essentially tried to bring the solo song of Mohammad Rafi from the first film with the music director.  Beginning 2016, we have taken up one five-year slot every year, in the chronological order, starting from 1944, the year in which Mohammad Rafi sang his maiden solo song in Hindi Films. Till now we have covered

For the 4th Five Year period of 1959 to 1963, we have heard Mohammad Rafi’s maiden solo songs for the years 1959-1960 and 1961 this year. Presently, we take up the last two years – 1962 and 1963 – of the 4th Five-Year Period.

As the journey progresses into the ‘60s, we a see trend of more songs under the category of ‘popular songs for the year’ than compared to the ‘first-solo’ one. If there is a systematic study of new music directors coming in in a given year, then such a conclusion can be corroborated. Till then, we will take this as an untested hypothesis.

1962

For the year 1962, we have 64 solo songs of Mohammad Rafi.

We will first take up the songs that had become popular for the year:

Roshan – Aarti (Ab Kya Misaal DooN), Vallah Kya Baat Hai (Gam-e-Hasi Se Bagana Hota) | Ravi –  Apna Banake Dekho (Raaz-e-Dil Unse Chuupaya Na Gaya); Bombay Ka Chor (Hai Bahar-e-Baag-e-Duniya Chand Roz); China Town (Baar Bar Dekho); Raakhi (Bandha Hua Ek Ek Dhaage Mein Bhai Behan Ka Pyar, Ya Meri Manzil Bata Ya Zindgi Ko Chheen Le)| Shankar Jaikishan – Asli Naqli (Chheda Mere Dil Ne Tarana, Gori Zara Has De Tu, Ek Putal Banaunga, Kal Ki Daulat Aaj Ki Duniya); Dil Tera Diwana (Dhadakane Lagata Hai Mera Dil, Nazar Bachake Chale Gaye Ho); Professor ( Ae Gulbadan, Khuli Palak Mein Zootha Gussa)  } S D Burman – Baat Ek Raat Ki (Akela HuN Main); | O P Nayyar – Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (Hum Ko Tumhare Ishq Ne, Mujhe Dekh Kar Aapka Muskurana); | N Dutta – Gyara Hazar LadkiyaN (Dil Ki Tamanna Thi, Mere Maheboob Mere Saath Chalana Hoge Tujhe) | Chitragupt –  MaiN Chup Rahungi (Main Kaun HuN , Khush Raho Aele Chaman); Main Shaadi Karane Chala (Koi Bura Kahe Ya Kahe Bhala Main Shaadi Karane Chala); | Babul – Naqli Nawab (Chheda Jo Dil Ka Tarana, Tum Puchhate Ho Ishq Bhala Hai Ke Nahi) | Naushad – Son of India (Zindagi Aaj Mere Naam Se)

For the year, we have only two music directors composing maiden solo song for Mohammad Rafi. One of these is from the South remake genre and the other one belongs to ‘Only-One Rafi-song’ club..

S M Subbaiah Naidu

S M Subbiah Naidu, a.k.a SMS, (15 March 1914 – 26 May 1979) was a South Indian composer, conductor, and orchestrator. He was one of the oldest music directors. He was a favourite music director M G Ramchandran.

Sona Re Bhaiya Sona Re – Humein Bhi Jeene Do– Lyrics: Saraswati Kumar Deepak

The film is remake of Tamil film, featuring M G Ramchandran and B Saroja Devi

YT link for the song is not yet available.

Sudarshan

From All the available records, Sudarshan has composed music for only this film – Mall Road.

Jaam Chal Ne Ko Hai Sab Ahel-e- Nazar Baithe Hai – Mall Road –Dabalish

A well-composed ‘drunkard’ song that freely deploys Mohammad Rafi’s theatrics to full use.

Padhe Likhe Kuch Khak Nahin Par Naam Hai Mister Y – Mall Road –Lyrics: Dabalish

Lyrics and composition indicates that song must have been filmed on a comedy artist of the film.

Are Bus Mein Nazar Takrai – Mall Road – Lyrics: Dabalish

The composition is alin to some of the O P Nayyar compositions. Nonetheless the song comes out a worth-listening-to song.

1963

We see 102 solo songs of Mohammad Rafi in 1963. Even the songs that had become popular is also relatively a larger proportion both in number of songs as well as the range of music directors Interestingly it is Ravi who takes a lion’s share in these song this year. On a closer look, we also can observe that there are more of background songs in this list.

Ravi – Aaj Aur Kal (Itni Haseen Itni Jawan Raat, Ye Wadiyan Ye Fizayein Bula Rahi Hai Tumhe); Bharosa (Ye Juke Juke Naina, Is Bhari Duniya Mein); Gehra Daag (Aaj Udata Hua Ek Panchhi, Bhagwan Ek Qasoor Ki); Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya (Kaun Apana Kaun Paraya, Zara Sun Haseena-e-Naznin);  Mulzim (Deewana Kah Ke Mujhe Aaj Pukariye, Sang Sang Rahenge Tumhare); Nartaki (Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Akele The Hum); Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (Jan-e-Bahaar Husn Tera Lajwab Hai, Zindagi Kya Hai Gam Ka Dariya Hai); UstadoN Ke Ustad (Sau Bar Janam Lenge); Ye Raaste Hai Pyar Ke (Tum Jis Pe Nazar Dalo, Koi Mujhse Puchhe Ke Tum Mere Kya Ho)  | Kalyanji Anandji – Bluff Master (Govinda Ala Re); Phool Bane Angare (Watan Pe Jo Fida hoga) | Shankar Jaikishan – Dil Ek Mandir (Yaad Na Jaaye Beete Dino Ki); Humrahi (Dil Tu Bheega, Ye Ansoo Mere Dil Ki Zubaan Hai); | Dattaram – Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai (Hum Aap Ki Mahefil Mein Bhule Se Chale Aaye) | Jaidev – Kinare Kinare (Teri Tasveer Bhi Tujh Jaisi Haseen Hai); Mujhe Jeene Do (Ab Koi Gulshan Na Ujade) | N Dutta – Mere Armaan Mere Sapne (Duniya Mein Aaya Hai To, Tera Aana Bhi Dhokha Tha) | Naushad – Mere Maheboob (Mere Maheboob Tujhe, Ae Husn Jara Jaag Tujhe Ishq Jagaye, Tumse Izahar-e-Haal Kar Baithe) | S D Burman –  Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (Nache Man Mora Magan Tikra Dheegi Dhegi); Tere Ghar Ke Samne (Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar, Tu Kahan Ye Bata, Sun Le Tu Dil Sada) | OP Nayyar – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hun (Banda Parawar Tham Lo Jigar, Anchal Mein Saja Lena KaliyaN, LakhoN Hai Naigahon Mein) | Ramlal – Sehra (Taqdeer Ka Fasana) | Roshan – Taj Mahal (Jo Baat Tujh Mein Hai)

We have a highly interesting mix of music directors this year to compose the first solo for Mohammad Rafi – two pairs, of which one could not rise to their promise and the other scaled Evesrtian peak, and the third on one is the most respected classical music personality.

Sapan (Sengupta) Jagmohan (Bakshi)

Even though these two individually came to Bombay (as it was then known) in early ‘50s, their first released music directed film could come up in 1963 only. Fairly reasonable acceptance of Begaana songs did not bring their next assignment soon enough – which in fact was Zimbo Finds a Son (1966). Later, they did spark in BR Ishara’s films (Main To Har Mod Pe Tujhko Dunga Sada – Mukesh – Chetna), Sapan Jagmohan have also gone down the history of Hindi Film Music as highly talented, well-remembered, but not successful music directors.

Phir Wo Bhoolisi Yaad Aayi Hai – Begaana – Lyrics: Shailendra

Like several other maiden associations that Mohammad Rafi had with the upcoming music directors, presently he lends that extra yard to the launch of high-profile set-up of the music director’s career.

Pt. Ravishankar

Pt. Ravishankar’s association with Hindi film music direction dates back to 1946 with Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar’ and K A Abbas’s ‘Dharati Ke Lal’. He then had another extremely well received score for Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anuradha (1960). After Go Daan (1963), wherein we have two Mohammad Rafi songs, he worked for Gulzar’s Meera (1979).

Holi Khelat Nandlal Biraj Mein – Go Daan – Lyrics: Anjaan

Strictly not an exclusively a Mohammad Rafi solo, the song brings out Mohammad Rafi at his one of  the very best.

Pipava Ke Patwa Sareekhe Dole Manwa – Go Daan – Lyrics: Anjaan

We have one more gutsy folk song.  Rafi lives up the joy of protagonist’s return to his native village for a well-earned leave.

Interestingly, both these songs were lip-synced by Mehmood on the screen.

Laxmikant (Shantaram Kudalkar: 1937–1998) Pyarelal (Ramprasad Sharma: 1940- )

Laxmikant Pyarelal started their career with many B and C grade films, even when they had their first of the seven Filmfare awards for Dosti (1964) Their music did shine out in these films.  They grew from strength to strength with every film, to record scores for 635 films in their 35-year career. Their score for Mohammad Rafi songs is a hefty 388 songs, which is the highest for Mohammad Rafi’s songs with any music director.

Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya Ronak Tumhi Jahan Ki – Parasmani – Lyrics: Indeevar

Parasmani, a mythological film, is listed as the maiden film for which LP duo composed music as an independent team.

Ustad Zakir Hussain has played tabla for the song.

The present song can be considered a high benchmark, against which LP’s all other Mohammad Rafi solo songs can be evaluated.

In fact, in my personal opinion, LP have never been able to breach this landmark in their career, even as they have some very successful Mohammed Rafi solos, except, perhaps Jaanewale Jara Mud Ke Dekho Mujhe and Chahunga Main Tujhe Saanj Savere (Dosti, 1964).

Dharam Ki Khaatir Bik Gaya Raja – Harshchandra Taramati – Lyrics:  Pradeep

LP use Mohammad Rafi’s vocal strength in this background song.

We continue our journey of Mohammad Rafi’s first solo song with a music director next year with the 5th Five-Year Period of 1964-1969

All three episodes of the 4th Five Year Period of Mohammad Rafi’s First solo with a Music director : 1959 – 1963 can be downloaded as one file by clicking on the link.