Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet Song With The Music Director: 1947-1948
The Google Doodle by Mumbai-based illustrator Sajid Shaikh, on Mohammad Rafi’s 93rd birthday [B: 24-12-1924 | D: 31-7-1980] depicted Mohammad Rafi as the king of playback singing in Bollywood. It shows the journeys of famous Rafi songs as they progressed from the studio, onto the silver screen and into the hearts of fans forever.
The second part of the First Five-Year Period of Mohammad Rafi’s career, covering the years 1947 and1948, that we presently take up for our series Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet Song with Music Director can be said to be period when he was still in the music recording rooms. As we have seen in the first part covering years 1944 to 1946, Mohammad Rafi was at the initial phase of ‘being under test’. More and more music directors were giving him a solo here or a duet there.
As we shall presently see, the definite trend of Mohammad Rafi trying to create his own space by discovering his own style to the confident delivery of his lines against more experienced female singers of vintage era under the batons of wider range of music directors has started emerging by the end of First- Five Year Period.
Six more music directors have offered Mohammad Rafi diets with as many as eight different singers – three of which are the male singers – in the year 1947.
In so far as Mohammad Rafi’s career is concerned, the year 1947 had opened the door – in the form of the solo, Duniya Mein Meri Aaj Andhera Hi Andhera (Do Bhai- Music: S D Burman – Lyrics: Raja Mahendi Ali Khan) – that led to a strong association with S D Burman.. 1947 had also Mohammad Rafi singing his first, and the only duet with Noor Jehan – YahaN Badala Wafa Ka Bewafai Ke Siwa Kya Hai (Jugnu – Music Firoz Nizami – Lyrics: Azhar Sarhadi). This also was Mohammad Rafi’s first ever playback for Dilip Kumar.
Datta Davjekar, (15-11-1917 | 19-9-2007) a fairly known name in the then Marathi films, debuts with Aap Ki Sewan Mein in Hindi Films. He composed music for 5 Hindi films, 51 Marathi and around 500 documentary films. The film, Aap Ki Sewa Mein, has other record, in the form of. Lata Mangeshkar’s maiden songs as a playback singer with the song Paa Laagoon Kar Joree Re, to its account.
Desh Mein Sankat Aaya Hai, Ab Kuchh Kar Ke Dikhalana Hai – Aap Ki Sewa Mein – with G M Sajan – Lyrics: Mahipal
The song reflects the mood of pre-independance era, as it ends with “Chheen lo , chheen lo ……..” hinting ‘Azaadi chheen lo”. Otherwise, the lyrics are mainly about food shortages, or maybe it is talking about famine, in Bihar or Bengal, that rampaged India in that period..
There is a male-female duet son too.
Main Teri Tu Mera Dono Ka Sang Sang Basera – Aap Ki Sewa Mein – with Mohantara – Lyrics: Mahipal
Mohammad Rafi has handled the eagerness of a longing lover on his way to meet his beloved in a controlled high-octave scale rendition. The beauty of the composition is in its vibrant freshness after so many years.
Datta Dawjekar worked as an assistant to C Ramchandra from 1952 to 1961. As such, the source of inspiration for C Ramchandra’s popular song Eenaa Meena Deekaa. . . (Aasha, 1957) is originally created for the Marathi song “Ina Mina Mona Baass” from a children’s play for Marathi stage, by Datta Dawjekar, who also wrote the lyrics for the Marathi song.
Source Credit: Shishir Krishna Shrama’s post on Datta Dawjekar
Prakash Nath Sharma does not seem to be a known name as a music director. The only film for which he seems to have composed music, Ek Kadam, does have one Mohammad Rafi – Shamshad Begum duet. Tu Bhi Rah Main Bhi (Lyrics: Avtar Visharad), that does not seem to have a digital presence on net.
C(hitalkar Narhar) Ramchandra (12 January 1918 – 5 January 1982), is another music director who went on to have a strong presence in the subsequent period of Golden Era.
Kisko SunauN Hal-e-Dil. Ham ko Tumhara Hi Aasra Tum Hamare Ho Na Ho – Saajan – with Lalita Deulkar – Lyrics: Moti B A
The duet, and Mohammad Rafi’s solo version, were immensely popular and the both has the future imprint of Mohammad Rafi’s singing style that was later identified as his unique style during his post vintage-era career of ‘50s..
The film has one more duet Main HuN Jaipur Ki Banajaran, Chanchal Mera Naam, with Lalita Deulkar (Lyrics: Qamar Jalalabadi) and two triads, Hum Banjare Sang Hamare Dhoom Macha Le Duniya (Lyrics: Moti B A) and Sambhal Sambhal Ke Jaiyo Banjare, Dilli Door Hai (Lyrics: Ram Murti Chaturvedi) with Lalita Deulkar and Geeta Dutt (Roy).
Khemchand Prakash, a doyen of ‘40s, made two most significant contributions for which the Golden Era remains indebted. One was introduction of Kishore Kumar in Ziddi (1948) – Jeene Ki Tamanna Kaun Karein ……. Marne Ki Duaein KyoN Maangein . and gave Lata Mangeshkar a defining identity in Aayega Anewala (Mahal, 1949).
Aji Maat Poochhco Baat Ki College Albeli, Indrapuri Sakshat Colege Albeli – Samaj Ko Badal Dalo – with Arunkumar and Manna Dey – Lyrics: ?
We have only audio clips here, but the knowledgeable bloggers note that Mohammad Rafi has sung his own lines on the screen.
Pt. Ramakant Paingankar-Karnad, one more of those unknown names., except that Ramakant Paigankar was known to be a part of C Ramchandra orchestra team.
Chalo Ho Gayi Taiyyar.. Thehro Jee…. – Shaadi Se Pehle – with Lata Mangeshakar – Lyrics: Pt. Mukhram Sharma
This is a simple fun song that shows the lady making a big shopping list that her beloved readily agrees to buy for her with all the strapping. The song has the distinction of being the first ever Rafi Lata duet.
K(oregaonkar) Datta is said to have given Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle a chance to sing with the then reigning queen Noor Jehan. He scored music for 17 Hindi films
Nainon Se Naina Milaake Sota Prem Jagaate – Shahkar – with Rajkumari – Lyrics: Arzoo Lakhanavi
HFGK does not mention singers for the song. The song seems to be composed as a tong-song. The singing by both the singers rhymes exactly with rhythm of the song.
Ye Duniya Sab Prem Ki Tu Prem Kiye Jaa – Shahkar – with Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Arzoo Lakhanavi
HFGK mentions the song as Parody song (record no. GE 3729 /31), though I must confess that I could not make it why it was so. However, the song has experimented with one singer overlapping the main singer on a different scale in the mukhada, which must have called for some very innovative recording skills on the part of the sound recordist as well the music arranger.
In 1948, on the first anniversary of Indian Independence, he was awarded a Silver Medal by Jawaharlal Nehru for his, a marathon 4-part, song on Mahatma Gandhi, Suno Suno Ae Duniyawaalon Bapu Ki Amar Kahani (Music: Husnlal Bhagatram – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna)
1948 has once again a very rich crop in so far as our present subject goes, with eight music directors and as many as ten co-singers, Except for Shamshad Begum and Ameerbai Karnataki, in the female singer section, GM Durrani in the male singer section, and Geeta Dutt and Beenapani Mukherjee one triad earlier, all other singers have partnered Mohammad Rafi first time.
Ram Ganguly (1928-1983) was part of Prithvi Theatre team. His choice of music director for Raj Kapoor’s maiden film Aag was thus a natural choice. However, because of some misunderstanding during the days when Barsaat was being planned, Aag remained the only film RK and Ram Ganguly di together,
Solah Baras Ki Bhayee Umariya – Aag – with Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Mohammad Rafi gets his chance in the maiden Raj Kapoor film Aag,. Since then, even if he has not been a main singer for RK films, he has always got a song or two in almost every film, some of which have become most notable songs of Rafi’s entire career.
The visuals of the song can be seen with a typical Raj Kapoor touch.
Hans Raj Behl has used Mohmmad Rafi for duets in two films in 1948 – Chunariya and Satyanarayan.
Phool Ko Bhul Le Ke Baitha Khar, Tera Kaanto Se Hai Pyar – Chunariya – with Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Mulk Raj Bhakhari
The song seems to be some type of beggar or a fakir song.
Dilliwale Sahab Gajhab Kar Daala Re – Satyanarayana – with Beenapani Mukherjee – Lyrics: Pt. Indra
This is a thoroughly enjoyable fun song.
Ghulam Mohammad has paired Mohammad Rafi to sing with Suraiya, one of the top actress-singing star of that time. The pair then went on to sing 24 duets, some of which remain the most memorable duets, which can be a subject for a separate article in the future.
TaaroN Bhari Raat Hai Par Tu Nahi – Kajal – with Suraiya – Lyrics: D N Madhok
On the face of it the lyrics seem to express pain of the two being away from each other. However, the song runs on a fast pace, normally used for happy songs. In the absence of this dichotomy remains unresolved. However, listening to Mohammad Rafi as if he were singing a song almost after half a decade later in the time in the style of ‘40s and matching Suraiya’s exhortations for clearly expressing the love is such a pleasant surprise.
Gyan Dutt is also a very respected ‘40s name in music direction arena. We have two duets here. Of the two, Chalo Jamuna Ke Paar … Dil Ki Dukanein Lagi JahaN Par NainoN Ke Bajar (Lal Dupatta – with Shamshad Begum, Sulochana Kadam, Chorus- Lyrics: Shewan Rzvi (?))being a very sweet-to-listen-to triad with chorus, Rafi does no get much exposure. So, I have opted for the other one for the present article.
Ari O Albeli Naar Kyon Chhupakar Kare Vaar – Lal Dupatta – with Shamshad Begum, Chorus – Manohar Khanna
This is a chhed-chhad-cum-appeasement light mood duet, the first line of the mukhada and each interlude representing chhed chhad. Mohammad Rafi seems to enjoy seriously matching Shamshad begum’s mischievous tone
Dhumi Khan, is one more of an unknown music director, even though he is shown as ‘supporting actor, music director’. YT has an interesting video clip on Dhumi Khan, that gives some more vital pieces of information. The famous duet song Ambuwa Ki Daali Daali Jhoom Rahi Hai Ali (Vidyapati, 1937- Music: R C Boral) has Dhaumi Khan as co-singer with Kanan Devi. Hopefully, the Dhumi Khan is same person.
Ek Abr-e-Siyah Chhaya Aaja Mere Saathi – Rahnuma – with Shamashad Begum- Lyrics: Dhumi Khan
The song is a simple love song, Mohammad Rafi expressing the sincere intent of the lover for his loved one.
Ek Aisa MahaL Banayenge (with Rekharani- – Lyrics: Habib Sarhadi) from the same film is not traceable on net.
Ameerbai Karnataki, a renowned playback singer, has composed songs for ‘Shahnaz’, wherein Mohammad Rafi had two solos and three duets in the film.
Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai, Ye Meri Chak Damani – Lyrics: Fiza Kausari Banaglori
Mohammad Rafi very deftly handles a medium spaced composition.
Nazaaron Se Kheloon Bahaaron Se KhelooN, Mera Bas Chale To Chand TaaroN Se KhelooN, Yahi Chahta Hai BaharoN Se KhelooN Machalatae Hue AabsaaroN Se KhelooN – Lyrics: Akhtar Pilibhiti
In response to Amirbai’s high scale singing, Mohammad Rafi comes up with a lower scale singing.in this very small clip that is available.
Tere Nazdeek Jaate Hein Na Tujhse Door Hote Hain, Mohabbat Karanewale.. Is Tarah Mazboor Hote HaiN – with Ameerbai Karnataki – Lyrics: Akhtar Pilibhiti
Mohammad Rafi gets to sing a qawwali composition early in his career.
Rasheed Attre was one of the music directors who went on to hit immense popularity even after migrating Pakistan. His composition of Faiz Mohamamd Faiz’s ghazal Mujh Se Pahale Si Muhabbat Mere Maheboob Na Mang remains the hallmark of Noor Jehan’s career.
Koltaar Mein Rang De Piya Mori Chundariya – Shikayat – Khan Mastana, G M Durrani, Aslam, Chorus – Lyrics: Ibrahim Khan ‘Momin’
Mohammad Rafi is a minor partner in this MM triad.
Statically speaking, the first Five-year-period of 1944-48 has seen Mohammad Rafi working with 26 music directors for first time for a duet song. Each of the song has given Mohammad Rafi a different experience of singing. That perspective apart, the fact remains that the journey had taken off well and was gaining the required velocity.
We will end 1944-48 five-year-period with what I consider as Mohammad Rafi’s most iconic song, which also happens to be my most favorite among Mohammad Rafi’s songs…
Vatan Ki Raah Mein Vatan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho – Shaheed – with Khan Mastana, chorus – Music: Ghulam Haider – Lyrics: Raja Mahendi Ali Khan
Mohammad Rafi’s finely controlled delivery of so high passion would be hallmark of his sing style in the future.
Our journey of Mohammad Rafi’s first duet with a music director continues……
Both episodes of the 1st Five-Year Period of Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet with a Music director – 1944-1948 can be downloaded as one file by clicking on the link.
All 12 episodes from January to December 2021 of the series Fading Memories, Unfading Songs-2021 can be read /downloaded by clicking on the hyperlink.
We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month next year too……..
Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.