The previous episode of the three-part article of S D Burman and Other Male Playback Singers, we had covered the period from the beginning of his career in 1946 till 1949. This was the period when S D Burman was still striving to create his own firm space in the field of Hindi Film Music world.
Presently, we take up the second set of S D Burman’s songs of ‘Other” Male Playback Singers chronologically can be set to the period 1950 to 1955.
Our period begins with two films, Mashal and Afsar, which were to become the key thrust engines that were to provide the much needed escape velocity to S D Burman’s career to attain e respectable orbit space among the front-ranking music directors of the Golden Era of Hindi Films.
Once having attained an assured specific space, S D Burman went on to use the established male playback singers like Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar for most of the major male solo and duet songs. He also chose other front-line male singers like Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood, Hemant Kumar and Mukesh as and when so required. So use of ‘other’ male singers is now more situation-specific, and, perhaps, to a great extent of S D Burman’s choice.
S D Burman – Arun Kumar Mukherjee
‘Upar Gagan Vishal’ of Mashal (1950) is considered to have really breathed a lease of new life into S D Burman’s career. It is said that SDB was so disillusioned that he was on the verge of leaving this Ashok Kumar’s Bombay Talkies banner production incomplete. He was dissuaded from doing so, and as is said the rest was history.
Jab Ham They Tumhare Aur Ham They Tumhare …Wo Thode Se Din They Kitane Pyare – Mashal (1950) – Lyrics: Pradip
Arun Kumar Mukherjee was Ashok Kumar’s cousin. Probably, that may have titled the scale in his favour for playing back to Ashok Kumar on the screen. Arun Kumar Mukherjee does not sound wanting to the demands of the situation.
Mohe Lagaa Solva Saal, Haye Main To Mar Gayi – Mashal (1950) – With Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Pradip
The song is principally filmed on the Cuckoo, so Shamshad Begum has obviously the lion’s share of the song. Arun Kumar gets to sing just a few lines, but the lines are indeed very catchy.
S D Burman – Man Mohan Krishna
‘Afsar’ (1950) was the maiden film under Dev Anand’s home banner, Navketan Films. The film did not do that well on the box office, but Suraiya’s songs for the film certainly were quite popular. The film went on to build S D Burman’s permanent association with Navketan Films, which have given us quite a few of the very memorable songs under S D Burman’s baton.
Jat Khol De Kiwad Pat Khol De,….Badhaai Dene Ko Aaye Hai Tere Dwar – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil
Sadhu Ke Ghar Chhokariyan Do, Ik Patli Ik Bhari – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil
Man Mohan Krishna is typically associated with serious character roles. He has rendered quite a few numbers of very popular songs on the screen. S D Burman has sprung a surprise herein by recording quite light-mood songs in Man Mohan Krishna’s voice.
[The clip here below has both these songs clubbed together.]
S D Burman – Hridaynath Mangeshkar
Hridaynath Mangeshkar possibly chose to focus more on music direction over playback singing. His maiden – Marathi – film as an independent music director was Akash Ganga (1955).
Lehron Ke Saath Naiya Mori Khele – Babla (1953) – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi
Hridaynath Mangeshkar was around 15 years old when S D Burman has recorded this song. The song recounts adolescent pleasure of launching the paper boats into the rain water streams in the street. So we can expect that the song may have been performed by an adolescent protagonist on the screen. Hence, probably, the choice of Hridaynath Mangeshkar, with a suitable natural voice, for the playback.
S D Burman – Jagmohan Baxi
Jagmohan Baxi (and his music direction partner Sapan Sengupta) had started his career as chorus singer at Salil Chaudhary’s Bombay Youth Choir. And yet, the Sapan Jagmohan duo are remembered for a handful tunes for 42 films for which they had composed the music – like, Phir Wo Bhuli Si Yaad Aati Hai (Begana, 1963); Kho Diye Hai Sanam Kitane Janam Teri Talash Mein (Teri Talash Mein, 1968); Main To Har Mod Pe Tujhko Dunga Sadaa (Chetana, 1970) etc.
Dekho Maane Nahi Roothi Hui Haseena Kya Baat Hai – Taxi Driver (1954) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi
S D Burman has used Talat Mahmood and Kishore Kumar too for playback of Dev Anand in this film. Apart from these singers, S D Burman, as well most of the music directors who have composed Dev Anand songs, have tried several voices of regular playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar as well. Additionally, Salil Chudhary has experimented with Dwijen Mukherjee, Anil Biswas with Shankar Dasgupta and C Ramchandra with his own voice for Dev Anand.
S D Burman – Thakur (Pran)
Pran would hardly be remembered to have acted in lead roles in films like Khandan (1942) during the first phase of career between 1940 -1947. He is most remembered for his roles as villain in his most illustrious second innings and then equally respected for his character roles in the 3rd phase of his career. Many of his fans will immediately recollect some of the iconic songs that he enacted on the screen when acting as character actor. But to imagine him in the tick of a very very light-hearted song and that too trying to sing a few lines too, when cast in the role of a villain, is something that nobody would ever imagine. S D Burman has so cleverly croaked voice of Thakur (Pran) to create a very unique song.
Dil KI Umange Hai Jawan,….Rang Mein Dooba Hai Sama – Munimji (1955) – With Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi
The song will not go down in the record books only for the use of voice of Pran to add to the mockery in the mood of the song, but also possibly for Hemant Kumar being able to match the leg-pulling teasing tone of Geeta Dutt in this song.
S D Burman – S Balbir
Balbir got typed into an accompanying playback singer, but most of the connoisseurs of HFM recognize and appreciate his contribution in that song.
Nigaho Ke Tere Jalwe Ki Aas Raheti Hai, Ha Tere Bagair Tabiyat Udas Raheti Hai, Aa Bhi Ja Ke Tera Intezar Kab Se Hai –Society (1955) – with Mohammad Rafi – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi
Can you guess whose arrival or appearance is so keenly awaited?
The first half of the period of 1950-1960 was the beginning of the picking up in so far as S D Burman’s career is considered. As a result, we have seen a very different pattern in the types of ‘other’ playback singers which he has used, the corresponding situations in the film, and hence on the composition of the song.
In our next episode, we will take up the concluding phase of S D Burman’s career and revisit S D Burman’s use of ‘other’ male playback singers in that period.