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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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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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

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

The year 2021 opened on a very unusual note for Blog World of Hindi Film Music with a post Hans Akela: A song that stood tall amid the ruins on SoY. Rahul Bhagwanrao Muli presents the songs that are only the surviving link to the memory of the film. The song is then “Hans Akela“ which is still floating freely, liberated from the mortal debris of the film.

And of course, a post on 26th January – Republic Day: Reading between the lyrics of five patriotic Hindi film songs – The better and more enduring ones of this gnre, however, make room for other sentiments – celebration with caution, pride tinged with anxiety, a love for the country that is firm but not blind.

We now move on to other tributes and memories:

Boss of Bombay Talkies: How Devika Rani fought innuendo and personal tragedy to get back on her feetKishwar Desai presents Edited excerpts from a biography – The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani, Westland Books – of the movie star and pioneering studio owner.

Mahendra Kapoor: The playback singer who did not need a sound systemAjay Mankotia – January 9, 2021 was the 86th birth anniversary of the singer who owned the bastion of patriotic and religious songs in Bollywood

Sajjad Husain, the ‘Unsung’ MaestroRajan NS – Sajjad Husain was a priceless asset to Hindi film music but could not get the recognition that was his due, despite his prodigious talent.

The Masters: Naushad Ali – After a few forays into working as an instrumentalist in films, Naushad got his first big break when music director Khemchand Prakash took him on as an assistant. It was 1940 before he got his first film as an independent composer – Prem Nagar, for which, Naushad says, he did a lot of research on the folk music of Kutch. Soon, other films followed, but it was with Rattan (1944) that Naushad first tasted success.

The Unlucky Genius N Datta: His songs for ‘other’ singers is a rounding-off article after Hans Jakhar ‘s articles on N Datta’s principal singers, Asha Bhosle and Rafi

The Masters: C Ramchandra – Ramchandra Narhar Chitalkar was born on January 12th 1918 and died on January 5th 1982. His debut in Hindi films, as an independent music director was in Jeevan (1942), on the strength of his bond with Master Bhagwan. While the film only did average business, the music was appreciated, and Ramchandra had his foot in the door in the Hindi film industry as well. Bhagwan and he would collaborate professionally on a further 15 films.

Rafi sings for Chitragupt – Part 1 is the solo songs whereas part II is his duets.

How Guru Dutt became the reluctant hero of his masterpiece ‘Pyaasa’Excerpted with permission from Guru Dutt – An Unfinished Story, Yasser Usman, Simon & Schuster India.

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

Ae Nargis e Mastana – Remembering Sadhana on her 5th anniversary on 25th December.

My favourite ‘Rafi-Suman Kalyanpur’ duets is a tribute to Suman Kalyanpur on her 84th birthday. Here is one duet that I have picked up as my choice, and the other one is at then end of this episode –

Zara Thehro Ji Abdul Gafaar – Satta Bazaar (1959) – Kalyanji Anandji – Hasrat Jaipuri

January 2021 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Jaidev: Brilliant, But Underrated, Composer:  1972-1973 that covers Jaidev’s music in films Bhavna, Maan Jaaiye (both in 1972) and Prem Parbat (1973). We have covered, the years –

  • In 2018, we listened to his songs from the most successful films phase of 1955 to 1963.
  • In 2019, we listened to his more remembered songs from his less remembered films for 1964 to 1970, and
  • in 2020, we listened to highly appreciated songs from the films that did not succeed in 1971

in the form of our commemorative annual series in the month of Jaidev’s death anniversary month.

We will now take up the articles on other subjects:

Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (14) – The Melodious Trio: Bageshri, Rageshri and Malgunji – Subodh Agrawal – All three ragas are very sweet and pleasant – ideal for shringar rasa. Malgunji is perhaps the sweetest, while Rageshri has a touch of gravity.

Songs of Music (!) explores different facets of music or where music plays a very important role in the song and / or the movie. For example – Manbhaavan Sangeet Suhavan (Chandramukhi, 1960 – Manna Dey – S.N.Tripathi – Bharat Vyas) , a song based on Raag Basant Bahar, is a perfect tribute to music. It refers to the various gods and goddesses who espouse the cause of music,

Heroine introduces herself! follows up on Hero introduces himself!

In the Micro View of Songs of 1945  we have carried forward the micro view of solo songs of Female singers  – now in the form of Naseem (Banu) | Naseem Akhtar | Munnavar Sultana, Other female singers – Part I and Part II and the Summing up post on Female Solo songs – My TOP female solo songs. We, then, commenced the Micro View of the Duets for the year 1945 with Duets (+) of Golden Era (Male +) Singers.

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.

Sambhal Sambhal Kar Jaiyo O Banjare.. Dilhi Door Hai – Saajan (1947) – with Lalita Deulkar, Gereta Roy – C Ramchandra – Ram Murti Chaturvedi

Tum Ho Jaao Hamare, Hum Ho Jaaye Tumhare – Roop Lekha (1949) – with Surinder Kaur – Sajjad Hussain – Khumar Barabankvi

Chhin Ke Pher Li Aankhein Jaan Gaye Ham Jaan Gaye – Chandani Raat (1949) – with Shamsahd Begum –  Naushad Ali – Shakel Badayuni

Ghata Mein Chhup Kar….Jo Dil Ki Baat Hai..Nazar Tak AAyee Jaati Hai – Baaz (1953) – with Geeta dutt – O P Nayyar – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Sambahl Ke Baitho Jhara, ChhaoN Mein BaharoN Ki,,,,Chand Hai Taare Bhi Aur Ye Tanhai Bhi – Roop Lekha (1962) – with Suman Kalyanpur – Nashad – Farooq Qaiser

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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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – December 2019

Welcome to December 2019 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

First, the major events in December 2019:

Shriram Lagoo (1927-2019): Acting legend and rationalist leaves behind a rich and complex legacyDamini Kulkarni – The legend of the stage and the screen died in Pune at the age of 92 on 17-12-2019

We also take an opportunity to revisit – The Legend of Dr Shriram Lagoo | Tabassum Talkies

A boy called Yusuf – What would Dilip Kumar, who turned 97 on 11-12-2019, say on the identity debate today?

Ten of my favourite Naushad Songs is a tribute to the memory of Naushad who was born on 25 December 1919.

Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore: Exploring the silver screen journey of two beautiful stars – The two share their birthdays besides having shared a wonderful on-screen chemistry.

Happy Birthday Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore! – Here are films featuring the pair – Subhash K Jha recounts, Anupama (1966), Devar (1966), Satyakam (1969), Yakeen (1969), Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968), Chupke Chupke (1975), Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka (1975), Sunny (1984)  as the 8 films the duo have done together.

Also read:

We pick up other tributes and memories:

Shailendra — the Leftist poet and Dalit genius whose lyrics define beauty of simplicity – 14 December marks the 53rd death anniversary of the artist who died at the young age of 43. Regardless of his fame, Shailendra fundamentally remained a “people’s poet” .

From Hindi film music to raga-based symphonies, the remarkable journey of Anthony GonsalvesNaresh Fernandes – The renowned musician, whose fifth death anniversary is on January 18, merged the Western classical music of his Goan heritage with Hindustani melodies. (Reposting of an Jan 18, 2017 article)

Geeta Dutt – The Artist and Her Art – Geeta Dutt identified artistic “inspiration as the cause of divine fires in the creator, fires which result in his frenzied seeking after artistic perfection”. Sounak Gupta pays tribute to the artist and her art that went way beyond the limits of technique.

The Legends: Geeta Dutt presents a bare handful of songs that showcase Geeta Roy/Dutt’s immense talent,, with as many of the music directors she worked with as possible. A small representative sample form the list –

I have added Kareeb Aao Na Tadapao – Love Marriage (1959) – Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra to the list.

The Legends: Geeta Dutt – Part 2 lists Geeta Dutt’s duets with as many singers as can be possible. Let us recall a few rarely heard duets form this list:

Raah Bani Khud Manzil – The Lingering Effect of Hemant Kumar Part 1  – His music spelt class and showcased quality. His deep, resonant, sonorous and haunting voice cast a spell on his listeners. Vasanti Limaye pays a tribute to Hemant Kumar, singer and composer. In Part II, the author explores some of his compositions of merit and his opus as a music director in Hindi films.

Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt rehearse with Rahul Dev Burman, then the youngest music director in 1961 (Pic: SMM Ausaja)[1]
Shailendra Sharma @ Golden Era of Bollywood has posted following memorial tribute posts:

In our series Manna Dey and his contemporary lead actors, the December 2019 episode remembers his songs with Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Khanna. We have covered Manna Dey’s songs with main stream lead actors Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Ashok Kumar, Balraj Sahni, David Abraham, Bharat Bhushan and Kishore Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Guru Dutt, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar, Prem Nath, Pradeep Kumar and Sunil Dutt; with Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Pran and Joy Mukherjee till now.

[N.B. – All seven episodes of the series ‘Manna Dey and His Contemporary Lead Actors’ can be viewed / downloaded as one file by clicking on the hyperlink.]

In a series on Ravi, SoY has two more articles: Ravi’s ‘other’ female playback singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Ravi’s many-splendoured genius with the ‘other’ singers

Bollywood stars who died penniless – The list includes such stars as Chandra Mohan, Mater Bhagwan, Bharat Bhushan, A K Hangal, Sulochana (Ruby Myers), Cukoo (Moray), Achala Sachdev, Vimi, Nalini Jaywant, Meena Kumari, Parveen Babi. Of course, the list can run into several pages

“Yeh Chaman Hamara Apna Hai” – Sulochna Latkar who recently turned 90 in July stays away from the limelight in the Prabhadevi area which is near Mumbai’s famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple. Film ‘Ab Dilli Door Nahin’s famous song ‘Ye Chaman Hamara Apna Hai …’ was picturised on Sulochna and Master Romi.

December, 2019 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director: 1961

This was followed up by the third part of the years 1962 & 1963 of the 4th Five Year Period of Mohammad Rafi’s maiden solo song with a music director

[N.B. – 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.

We will now take up the articles on other subjects:

Shades of The Moon in the songs wherein direct help from the moon is sought for different tasks, e.g. Chandrama Ja Unse Keh De – Bharat Milap (1965) – Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor / Vasant Desai – Bharat Vyas  | Chanda Ja Chanda Ja Re Ja – Man Mauji (1964) Lata Mangeshkar / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan

Short review – F-Rated: Being a Woman Filmmaker in India is a wide-ranging publication, by   Nandita Dutta, that tells individual stories while also probing cinematic tropes, trends and viewer demographics. The book comprises of interviews with and profiles of important Indian filmmakers, from veterans Aparna Sen and Mira Nair to Alankrita Srivastava and Nandita Das. In the process, the book presents the preferred themes and working styles of these artists, about the challenges they face as they balance profession with home life or the demands of parenthood – or cope with extra scrutiny, condescension and even sexual harassment.

Ten of my favourite ‘recording studio’ songs on radio, for albums, and so on, in which the ‘singer’ (the actor or actress lip-syncing to the song) is shown singing in a recording studio. Here are a few of the less heard songs from this list –

In the third concluding article, Best songs of 1946: Wrap Up 3, of the on-going series of Best songs of 1946: And the winners are?, Aawaz de kahan hai – Surendra and Noorjehan (Anmol Ghadi, Naushad), and Ek yaad kisi ki yaad rahi – GM Durrani and Shamshad Begum (Shama, Ghulam Haider) have been adjudged joint winners in the duets category.

[N.B. : All the episodes of The Micro View of Best Songs of 1946: Duets can be read / downloaded from one file, by clicking on the hyper link.]

In the final wrap-up article, Best songs of 1946: Final Wrap Up 4, the SoY Award for the Best Music Director of 1946 goes to Naushad.  And, special mention is made of Ghulam Haider and Hansraj Bahal for their outstanding music in the year.

[N.B. – All the episodes of The Micro View of Best Songs of 1946 can be read / downloaded from one file, by clicking on the hyper link.

We end 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, we have picked up:.

Lagi Hai Aag Dil Mein – Hulchul (1951) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Mohammad Safi – Khumar Barabanqvi

Main Bhi Jawan Hu Tu Bhi Jawan – Do Dulhe (1955) – with Geeta Dutt – B S Kalla  – Pt. Indra

Zara Si Baat Pyar Ki Zubaan Se Nikal Gayi – Salaam Memsaab (1961) – with Suman Kalyanpur  – Ravi – Asad Bhopali

Sudh Bisar Gayee Aaj – Sangeet Samrat Tansen (1962) – with Manna Dey – S N Tripathi – Shailendra

Ghar Tum Bhula Na Doge, Sapne Yeh Sach Hoge – Yakeen (1969) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri [and its Lata Mangeshkar twin version]

Till we met again in 2020, here is wishing all a great, eventful and fruitful 2020.

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.

[1] Additional reference: Geeta Dutt with newer generation of composers @ end of the article

P.S. – All episodes of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music  for 2019 can be viewed / downloaded as a single file by clicking on the hyper link.

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music, December, 2018

Welcome to December, 2018 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We will take up posts dedicated to commemorate 112th birthdate of Prthviraj Kapoor.as THE topic for December, 2018.

इस एक्टर को कहा जाता है बॉलीवुड का भीष्म पितामह, एक ही फिल्म में दिखा दी थी 3 पीढ़ी – He acted in a supporting role in India’s first talkie-film Alam Ara in 1931

In an video interview, Sanjana Kapoor on Prithviraj Kapoor and his Theatre Legacy

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Remembering Prithviraj Kapoor on his 111th birth anniversary – was an excellent photo memor by Indian Express

We now move on to other birthday/ death anniversary posts for the month:

It is but expected that Mohammad Rafi is remembered so fondly in the month of his birthday.-

Mohammad Rafi – A God-gifted voice.

Rafi’s best duets by Madan Mohan

Shakeel-Naushad: Classy Confluence, Seamless Flow – 1 – Shakeel Badayuni is considered to be one of the finest romantic poets of the previous century. And Naushad among the monarchs of Hindi film music. When they teamed up, the result was classic! Vijay Kumar pays a tribute to this inimitable confluence with an exploration of the music and poetry they created together.

Remembering my father and the legend Madan Mohan – In response to SoY invitation, Sangeeta Gupta, the eldest daughter of Madan Mohan, joins in contributing a guest article on Madan Mohan’s songs ‘with other singers’ as a touching finale to the tandem series on Roshan and Madan Mohan on SoY.

Happy Birthd  Usha Mangeshkar! And Usha Mangeshkar – II are the posts in tribute to her 83rd birthday. The former lists her Hindi and Marathi solo songs whereas the latter lists her duets.

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

Singer Mohammed Aziz No More , born 2nd July, 1954, Mohammad Aziz’s maiden Hindi Film song was Mard Tangewaala main hoon

Songs ‘sung’ by people with disabilities: my favourites, lists some superb songs ‘sung’ by people with disabilities to observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

December, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to Mohammad Rafi’s First Song with a Music Director’s  3rd Five Year period’s year 1956.. The corresponding post for years 1954 and 1955 was published on 8 July, 2018, and for the solo songs of tears 1957 and 1958 is published on 24 December, 2018. All the three separately posted posts of Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director: 1954 -1958 can be accessed at / downloaded by clicking on the hyperlink.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

The ‘Radio Songs’ from Hindi films are the songs that have radio to a major extent. The song can be the one which is being played on radio and is also seen being recorded too.

Chariots of Verse – The older generations rues the Axial Age of our cinema, mainly the middle 1940s to the late 1960s, when cinema and music reached heights of excellence that seem unachievable today. That age was exemplified not just by a wide range of words used, but by the high use of imagery too…Sometimes, songwriters of that time used different words or sentence structures to express essentially the same idea, like he lyrics-writer Anjaan said Teri aankh mein wo kamaal hai (Rafi/Mr India, 1961).. There are many thoughts—more or less of the same kind—that have been offered differently in 3 or more songs, even if it’s sometimes the same poet in two songs. The post engages with such poetic chariots of 3 poems with similar attributes:

The Great Horse Beat Songs of Bollywood resonates in our memories even today thanks to some of the great songs composed on that rhythm.

Musically Yours, 1963: Part 3  – This is Part 3, following up Part 1 and Part 2  in a 4-part series of essays, exploring the Hindi film music of 1963, the year of birth of the writer Monica Kar. In a personal tribute to composers who gave music that makes its presence felt even after 55 years, Monica Kar explores the enduring magic of three composer-duos – Shankar Jaikishan, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Ten of my favourite Bharat Vyas songs lists the songs of Bharat Vyas to pay tribute in the centenary year of his birth.

If it’s a Harp, This Could be a Woman – there is a musical instrument that is mostly associated with women, and it’s an ancient instrument too, so for observation’s sake, its history can be studied in some detail. The instrument is called the harp, whose early shape was inspired by the curve of the hunting bow. It now comes in many shapes, but in all of them, it has a charming appearance. The post lists songs featured on women with harp.

Mann Kyun Behka – Utsav – Midnight Musings   Aditi and Vasantsena in Utsav (1985) bonding over their love for Charudutta share their feelings in this duet..

Two of a kind lists humkhayaal thoughts from different minds, which make a subject for a fascinating study, for example:

Jab bhi jee chaahe nayi duniya basa lete hain log
Ek chehre pe kayi chehre laga lete hain logLata Mangeshkar – Daag, 1973) – Laxmikant Pyarelal

And, across the border in Pakistan, the wonderfully-voiced Mehdi Hassan had rendered something similar in Saza (1969), to the poetry of Qateel Shifai:

Jab bhi chaahen ik nayi surat bana lete hain log
Ek chehre pe kayi chehre saja lete hain log

Jogi Jab Se Tu Aaya – Bandini – Under The Spell is the song that Love makes its presence felt and before you know it, you are under the spell.

SoY concluded Best songs of 1947: And the winners are? With the concluding piece Best songs of 1947: Final Wrap Up 4 adjudging Naushad and C Ramchandra as joint winners.

Micro View of Best songs of 1947: And the winners are? with the Duets of 1947, All the episodes of The Micro View of Best Songs of 1947 can be read / downloaded from one file, by clicking on the hyper link.

In our tradition of ending our post with article on Mohammad Rafi or a topical song of his, I have picked up a few songs, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post.

Woh Hum Na The Woh Tum Na The – Cha Cha Cha (1964) – Iqbal Qureshi – Neeraj

Maya Ka Aanchal Jale – Kinare Kinare (1964)– With Usha Mangeshkar, – Jaidev – Nyay Sharma

Baman Ho Ya Jaat – Karigar (1958) – C Ramchandra  -Bharat Vyas

Pihu Pihu Karat Papiha – Baiju Bawra 1952) – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

Ankhon Pe Bharosa Mat Kar Duniya Jadoo Ka Khel Hai – Detective (1958) – With Sudha Malhotra – Mukul Roy – Shailendra

I wish that 2019 remains resonant with chimes of success and happiness for you and your family.

P.S.  : All episodes of our blog carnival of articles and posts on Hindi film Songs for the year 2018 can be accessed at  / downloaded from  in single file by clicking Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – 2018.

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I Liked Music from films

“The Micro View of the Songs of 1948 @ SoY – MY Top Music Director(s)

Having gone through the exercise of micro-reviewing the songs  for the six years – in this case from 1955 backwards to the present 1948 – I have observed that the task of choosing MY TOP of Music director every year has become more tough as year goes down. That is mainly because older I go into the timeline, less I was found conversant with either the film itself or the context in which the song was played (situational context vs.song composition relevance) or even the popularity /approval of the film’s song as a whole from listeners  / critics respectively.

So, I kept on devising some or other tests to come up with rational judgement to moderate my inherent biases.

The first of such test is the logo picture posted by SoY at the very opening of the overview post, which invariably places six films in the frame. For the present case, ‘Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?’, Naushad has two films – Mela and Anokhi Ada whereas Anil Biswas (Anokha Pyar), C Ramchandra (Nadiya Ke Paar), Ram Ganguli (Aag) and Ghulam Hiader (Shaheed) have one film each.

I then run through posts relating to Male Solos, Female Solos and Duets to make amental note of music directors whose songs continues to strike chord even now. I observe that Naushad’s songs in Anokhi Ada and Mela or Anil Biswas’s songs in Anokha Pyar, Gajre and Veena, those of C Ramchandra in Nadiya Ke Paar and Khidk’ or those of Husnlal-Bhagatram in Pyar Ki Jeet or certainly Ghulam Haider in Shaheed, to a great extent Ram Ganguly in Aag or Khemchand Prakash in Ziddi standout for the everlasting songs. For the year, Ghulam Mohammad in Grihasthi and Pugree, or Shyam Sundar in Actress have also pitched in well.

Then I have out the songs that appeared in the respective category of MY Top listings. The number of songs composed by differenet music directors appears as given herebelow:

Music Director Male Solos Female solos Duets Total SoY

Total

Hansraj Behl 1 1
Husnlal Bhagatram 1 2 3 3
Naushad 1 1 2 4 10
Ram Ganguly 1 1 1 3 2
Anil Biswas 1 3 1 5 1
S D Burman 1 1 1 3 1
Khemchand Prakash 1 1 1 3 2
Ghulam Haider 1 1 2 3
Avinash Vyas 1 1
C Ramchandra 1 1 2 3
Snehal Bhatkar 1 1 1

If we place the results of the Total in the descending order, then Anil Biswas comes at the top, followed by Naushad and then Husnlal Bhagatram, S D Burman, Khemchand Prakasha and Ram Ganguly share the next spot, followed by Ghulam Haider and C Ramchandra.

Apart from the simple quantitative perspective, one of the most noteworthy feature of Ghulam Haider’s songs in Shaheed and those of C Ramchandra in Nadiya Ke Paar is that they have used relatively not very popular singers like Surinder Kaur or Lalita Deulkar for a very popular heroin Kamini Kaushal. And yet the songs did attain very high acceptance- both the by the critics as well as by the listing public in general.

SoY, @ Best songs of 1948: Final Wrap Up 4, also adopted a smilar matric for quantifying the process of evaluating the share of different music directors in the Top lsting of songs under different categories. The last column in the foregoing table reflects the Total score. Based on this evaluation The Songs of Yore Award for the Best Music Director of 1948 has been conferred on Naushad.

How would have you analyzed the Songs of 1948?

I am sure you will certainly join me to take up a similar detailed Micro View when SoY takes up 1947 next in this Best songs of year series.

P.S.

All the posts that have appeared on this subject can now be accessed form one file @ The Songs of 1948 @SoY

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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

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

December, 2017 in any case has several anniversary / birth dates of people connected with HFM.

This month, Shashi Kapoor bade farewell to this mundane world. That would have led to Muhammad Rafi’s birthday, in the presence of Shashi Kapoor in the heaven. The first time it happened in Yeh Dil Kisko Doon (music : Iqbal Qureshi, Lyrics: Qamar Jalalabadi) in 1963,  a black and white film by K Mishra, that had over half a dozen songs from Mohammad Rafi. Here are the duets:

I have recalled the solos at the end of the present post.

Here are some other tributes to Shashi Kapoor:

Some other December tributes:

Diip Kumar:

The Many Moods of Dilip Kumar – He was a fantastic actor, a man who was equally good at comedy and romance (if you don’t believe me, just watch Beimaan tore nainwa from Tarana) as he excelled at the intense, angst-ridden characters he so often played.

Naushad:

  • Always Aashiqana With Naushad Ali’s Music presents some of the gems on the maestro’s birth anniversary (25 December)
  • Aawaz De Kahaan Hai: The Golden Music of Naushad – Naushad’s destiny was written in music, by music to be dedicated to music. Peeyush Sharma, in ‘Silhouette’ pays tribute with a glimpse of his musical journey.
  • NAUSHAD-Once All of India was crazy about his Melodies. – This master composer first made both Mukesh (Andaz) and Talat Mahmood (Babul) sound surpassingly individualistic on Dilip Kumar He was, near clandestinely, getting Mohammed Rafi ready for the big leap. From his first Anmol Ghadi solo, Tera khilauna toota baalak (1946), to O door ke musafir on Dilip Kumar in Uran Khatola (1955), Rafi came a long, long way, once the Baiju Bawra (above) miracle happened in 1952..

Noor Jehan:

My Favourites by Shailendra (30 Aug 1927 – 14 Dec 1966), who worked with nearly all music directors ( exceptions being Naushad & O P Nayyar).

Remembering Meena Kapoor, who passed away on 23rd of November 2017. Meena’s last playback singing was for the movie ‘Chhoti Chhoti Baatein’ that was released in 1965 and was also Anil da’s last film as a music director.

Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet Yaad Rakhna: Bappi Lahiri’s Melodious Hits – On 27th November this year Bappi da turns 65. Also, with his first film, Nanha Shikari, released in 1973, he has completed 45 years in this industry as a music director. Peeyush Sharma takes us on a trip down his memorable songs.

Google remembered Mirza Ghalib on 27th December.

Who is Mirza Ghalib, featured on today’s Google Doodle?

Mirza Ghalib’s 220th birth anniversary: Google Doodle pays tribute to legendary poet

Here are some more posts on this occasion:

Mohammad Rafi has a special place in December on this blog:

We have two parts episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs for December, 2017 in the memory of Mohammad Rafi. In the series of articles featuring Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song from FIRST film with the Music Director, we have covered years 1952-1953, after having covered years 1950-1951 earlier this month and year 1949 earlier this year of the 2nd five-year-slot of 1949 to 1953.

And then, we have –

And, now the posts on other subjects:

My Favourite Lullaby Songs – one of the first popular lullby songs from a Hindi movie is ‘So Ja Rajkumari So Ja‘ sung by K L Saigal from Zindagi-1940 (Music by Pankaj Malik). The song is still considered to be an ultimate lori

Ravindra Kelkar has presented three more posts on O P Nayyar @ SoY:

Raj Kapoor: ‘I dream cinema, I breathe cinema and I live cinema’Ritu Nanda – An excerpt from a compilation of writings by and about the legendary actor and filmmaker.

Beauties bond over baubles in ‘Mann Kyun Behka’ from ‘Utsav’Nandini Ramnath – Rekha and Anuradha Patel are visions to behold in the Laxmikant-Pyarelal song from Girish Karnad’s movie.

Ten of my favourite ‘Unusual Singer’ songs, which means:

(a) That it’s the person who’s lip-syncing to the song (and not the playback singer) who’s unusual…

(b) and unusual because the actor in question is a well-known face, but doesn’t usually lip-sync to songs.

“Nazar Lagi Tore Bangle Par” and Zarina Begum, who was a protégé of Begum Akhtar.  Both famously sung a version of “Nazar Lagi Tore Bangle Par” that predated the one in Kala Pani.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are? , we completed the third part of Lata Mangeshkar solo songs, and then summed the Female Solo Songs for 1948 with  My Top Female Solo Songs and then went on to take up Male- female Duets in the Duets section. We covered the male female duets of Mukesh as well as those of  Mohammad Rafi. SoY has concluded the series with Best songs of 1948: Wrap Up 3 and Best songs of 1948: Final Wrap Up 4.

We have placed the articles paying tributes to Mohammad Rafi in the space for the tributes here before in the present article. So we will take up two songs of Mohammad Rafi, form the first film he played back solo for Shashi Kapoor to begin the end of the article:

Ye Dil Kiso Dun – Ye Dil Kisko Dun (1963) – Iqbal Quereshi – Qamar Jalalabadi

Mera Dil Tum Pe Aa Gaya., Mere Pahlu Se Dil Gaya – Ye Dil Kisko Dun (1963) – Iqbal Quereshi – Qamar Jalalabadi

The Christmas Celebration in Hindi Films’ picks up the rare, ddelightful Christian characters, which always brought a smile on our lips.

On that note of festive smile, I wish you all a very HAPPY & PRPOSPEROUS 2018 that keeps providing rich music to your Life.

Categories
I Liked Music from films

The Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @ SoY – MY Top Music Director(s)

The theme poster of ‘Best songs of 1949: And the winners are?’ has six films, but five music directors. Naushad has two films there (Andaz and Dillagi), whereas four others Shanker Jaikishan, C Ramchandra, Khemchand Prakash and Husnlal Bhagatram have one each (Barsat, Patanga, Mahal and Bari Bahen respectively).

Naushad had huge contribution in the huge success of Andaz at the box office, mainly through the solos of Mukesh, with Lata Mangeshakar solos playing a fair measure of the support. This was the last monumental work that Naushad had had with Mukesh, till they worked again in Saathi, a good 19 years later.

Hum Aaj Kahi Dil Kho Baithe Yun Samajo Kisi Ke Ho Baithe

Shanker Jaikishan also had a lion’s share in box office success of Barsat, that went on to create a great Lata Mangeshkar wave. They also created the RK-SJ signature style of ending the films with a very unique style of the theme song of the film –

Barsat Mein, Ham Se Mile Tum Sajan Tumse Mile Ham

Here is the such first maiden final scene

Khemchand Praksh needed to have created only Ayega Aanewala, to find a very honorable emeritus mention in the annals of Hindi Film Music history.

Ek Teer Chala Dil Pe Laga

Husnlal Bhagatram, who too appear quite prominently in  Male Solos, Female Solos or even Duets  lists for 1949, certainly have to their credit some all-time outstanding solos of Suraiya (in Bari Bahen) this year.

Tum Mujhko Bhul Jao Ab Hum Na Mil Sakenge

Mere Piya Gaye Hai Rangoon is one of those non-traditional song among such other all-time chartbusters from the stable of C Ramchandra that one would hardly ever imagine that it is same CR would later on go on to give some of Lata’s or Talat’s all time greats.

Balam Tujhe Mera Salam

However if we go a step beyond the measure of box office success of both the film and the songs, we have at least a couple of more music directors who had excellent scores for 1949.

Gyan Dutt has Maine Dekhi Jag Ki Reet, Meet Sab Jhuthe Pad Gaye or Baharon Ne Jise Chheda Woh Saaz-e-Jawani Hai like evergreens for Sunhare Din.

Javani Ke Din Hai Yeh

S D Burman too had Quismat Mein Bichhadan Tha or Tu Mahalon Mein Rahanewali or Tumhare Liye Hue Badnam for Shabnam.

Hum Kisko Sunaye Haal Ke Duniya Paise Ki

Shyam Sundar had had his own share in Lahore (Nazar Se Dur Jaanewale, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi Magar Hum Tum Juda Honge) and Bazaar (Apni Nazar Se Dur Woh Unki Nazar Se Dur Hum) or Char Din (Anjaam-e-Mohabbat Kuchh Bhi Nahin).

In fact the towering commercial success of Andaz had paled some other very good scores of Naushad. Dillagi songs like Leke Dil Chupke Se or Duniya Kya Jaane Mera Afsana or Char Din Ki Chandani Phir Se Andheri Raat Hai had quite an undeniable charm. So were Do Din Ke Bahar Pyare or Na Bol Pee Pee More Anagana Panchhi Ja Re Ja or Muhabbat Hamaree Jamana Hamara Tu Gaaye Aye Dil Tarana Hamara form the album of Dulari. Even relatively little less known Chandani Raat had gems like Chhaya Meri Ummeed Ki Duniya Mein Andhera or Aankh MilI Dil Chala Gaya or Do Din Ki Khushi Haye Do Din Ki Kushi Raaaz Na Aayi Kisiko.

1949 had so many other than Lata Mangeshkar – Mohammad Rafi great songs from such a wide cross section of Music Directors that no one may have ever imagined then that just by the turn of the decade this duo will overwhelmingly rule the Hindi Film Song world.

In the ultimate analysis that will remain the sole importance of the year 1949 in the history of Hind Film Music – a threshold that provided the escape velocity to Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi even when many other singers were so strong on their spheres.

SoY has presented a very comprehensive summary of all the discussions @ Best songs of 1949: Final Wrap Up 5. The detailed analysis leads to the conclusion that the Best Music director of 1949 goes to Naushad.

P.S.

I have compiled a meta write-up of my micro-view of the songs of 1949, in pdf form. Here is the link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_GJ0xhT0LUuamJWTlRoQUJiVUE

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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

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

As always, we first take up posts that focus on memories –

The Many Moods of Meena Kumari – with the exception of sadness  – and indeed the listing in the post and in the discussion thereon present Meena Kuamri in so different moods that it now appears she was known more as ‘tragedy queen’.

SoY has already presented OP Nayyar’s songs for Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor and Shamshad BegumBest songs of Asha Bhosle by OP Nayyar – on her 83rd birth anniversary (b. 8 September 1933) – now, does succeed in bridging the obvious gap while deftly handling  the difficult task of presenting a representative set of songs from 300+ to choose from.

For Noor Jehan’s 90th Birthday, Here’s a Lovely Performance by Her from 40 Years Ago listing of songs (and other things), along with the times in the video when they appear:

0:00                 Awaaz De Kahan Hai
2. 5:06             Talk and Interview
3. 9:17             Sanu Nehar Waley Pul Te Bulake
4. 13:59           Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat
5. 20:04           Chithi Zara Saiyaanji
6. 24:30           Bhoolnewale Se Koi Keh De

Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye – Mukesh’s Hit Songs for HeroesPeeyush Sharma takes up on a journey through some of Mukesh’s hit songs, which he sang for the reigning heroes or stars of his time, presented in the alphabetical order in the article, in a tribute to the Golden Voice Mukesh. V. Balsara, the music director settled in Calcutta, had (once) commented that one Mukesh song in the film assured that at least one song would be a hit. The article has a special mention of Saath Ho Tum Aur Raat Jawan (Kanch Ki Gudiya, 1961, Suhrid Kar / Shailendra / Asha Bhosle and Mukesh, picturized on Manoj Kumar and Sayeeda Khan) on Public Demand.

rekha-_the-untold-story

For Rekha, the show won’t endSanjukta Sharma‘Rekha: The Untold Story’ taps into that irresistible fantasy of knowing a who has been mythologized all her life.

Lucknow’s Great Son: Naushad Ali recollects the LP record (Odeon ‎– 3AEX 5015)   ’The Genius of Naushad” that has  a collection of some of his greatest hits sung by voices as diverse as Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Suraiya and Shamshad Begum.

Music by Naushad, lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni: The great partnership in Hindi film music history is an excerpt of Ganesh Anantharaman’s book Bollywood Melodies A History of the Hindi Film Song, published by Penguin Random House India.

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

My Favourites: Picnic Songs – Picnics in Hindi films today seem to have gone the way of the dodo, but they were a staple, indeed, integral part of the narrative in the 60s and 70s. Picnics were the perfect occasion to include a song; mostly, it was there so the hero and heroine could a) tease each other b) make fun of the other c) fall in love with each other.

Dekho Dosto Chhed Ka Maza! – Guest article by Shalan Lal – The Chhed chhad songs or the sketches are sub-division of a general term called Comedy. The post and as is always the case, the discussion thereon , are quite scholarly penned presentations of songs and views thereon.

My Favourites: Zulfein – History, mythology and fairy tales are replete with hairy tales……But. Hindi films knew how to celebrate hair. Especially women’s hair, because ‘zulfein’ seemed to refer only to women’s hair. So here are some …‘zulf’ songs, songs that are romantic, sensuous, playful… and extremely lovely plus a bonus song. This has nothing to do with romance, or passion –

Ten of my favourite Aankhen songs is again a very meticulously curated list that includes

‘Mother India’ at the Oscars: ‘The audience laughed with the characters and cried with them’  – Bunny Reuben – Here’s what Sylvia Norris wrote (“Filmfare:” June 6, 1958): The day Mehboob Khan met Cecil B. DeMille in Hollywood; he was referred to as ‘The DeMille of India’. This is a title he richly deserves; not only for his latest spectacle, Mother India, but for the thirty years of devotion he has given the Indian film industry.

Here is one batch of articles from the recent past editions of Scroll.in last month-

The debt owed by Gulzar’s lyrics to Mirza GhalibManish Gaekwad  recounts how the lyricist isn’t shy to admit, in the series of conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir’s book ‘In the Company of a Poet’,  that the song ‘Dil Dhoondta Hai’ from the film ‘Mausam’ was inspired from Ghalib’s couplet.

In Missing silent film ‘Bilwamangal’ finally returns to India,  Scroll Staff  narrates the story of a digital version of 20-minute duration that arrived at the National Film Archive of India from Cinematheque Francaise in Paris.

Akshay Manwani in a Film flashback: To understand Hindi cinema of the 1960s, start with 1957  hat-tips a great year in which apart from ‘Pyasa’ and ‘Mother India’,  several other films also shaped the future of Hindi cinema on various fronts, showing early signs of the frothy ’60s.

The ‘Prabhat touch’: How the legendary studio became a respectable workplace for actressesZinnia Ray Chaudhuri presents the essay, titled Teen Deviyan: The Prabhat Star Triad and the Discourse of ‘Respectability’  – available on the free online encyclopedia Sahapedia, – in which film historian Sarah Niazi reflects on the circumstances at the film production company that boosted the presence of women in various capacities.

In Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, having covered Male Solo Songs, Other Than Lata Mangeshkar Female Solo Songs, we continued the journey now with Solo songs of Lata Mangeshkar. After part 1 and 2 we covered of part 3 and the review – Summing Up: MY Top Lata Mangeshkar Solo Songs and have moved on to Male-Female Duets category. We have covered duets of Mohammad Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar, Suriya and Shamshad Begum and Geeta Roy and other female playback singers..

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

Bringing Generations Together – Rafi Sahab’s Magic – Achal Rangaswamy discusses with son whether Mohammad Rafi would have been able to sing the songs being “dished out” and how.

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

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March 2016

 

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

Sahir Ludhianvi -  The People's Poet  - Akshay ManwaniOn the poet’s 95th birth anniversary, Akshay Manwani  has narrated an account of Sahir Ludhyanavi’s  seditious youth in ‘I have lit fires with songs of rebellion’: Memories of Sahir Ludhianvi’s college years…..

Read full interview of Akshay Manwani on his book Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet :-Harper Collins Publishers India, ISBN 978-93-5029-733-9, Rs 399, 320 pages

Madhulika Liddle also has penned Book Review: Akshay Manwani’s ‘Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet’

Antara Nanda Mondal , in her tribute to Sahir Ludhyanvi,  Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par Voh Kahaan Hain: Songs of Sahir notes that his first among the four songs he wrote for ‘Aazadi Ki Raah Par (1949) –  B S Nanji, Music : G D Kapoor –  was – Badal Rahi Hai Zindagi.

More to read on Sahir Ludhianvi:

Best duets of the not-so-unloved Mahendra Kapoor – Mahendra Kapoor would always be remembered not only for his duets with Lata Mangeshakar or for Ravi or O P Nayyar duets with Asha Bhosle, but also for duets, composed by relatively lesser known music directors, with several other  contemporary singers.  Of the songs remembered here, we have picked up:

‘Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi Mil Gaya Thha’: The Music of Ghulam Mohammad is a special tribute to Ghulam Mohammad by Peeyush Sharma on his 48th death anniversary. Even though Ghulam Mohammad started giving music in films since early forties, his noteworthy compositions got their due from 1948 onwards. His music bore the fragrance of Rajasthan’s soil and touched new heights in Hindi film music. The article does full justice to Ghulam Mohammad’s work, beyond his all popular Shama or Mirza Ghalib or Pakeezah music.We would pick up a couple songs that find mention here, but do not have a video link:

Tonga in the Tinsel WorldGuest article by DP RanganHe recently debuted as a guest author with his piece on Bollywood’s love affair with horses. Here are  some of the songs that may  not be remembered well now:

  • Ek Nazar Ek AdaRaat Ke Rahi (1959) – Mohammad Rafi – Bipin Bapul – Vishwamitra Adil
  • Matwale Saajna – Faulad (1963) – Asha Bhosle- G S Kohli – Anjaan

Hum Ko Bhula Diya To Kya – Sudhir Kapoor remembers ‘Do Music Directors direct the music?’, an article that had appeared about 72 years ago in June 1943 issue of FILMINDIA magazine…..The sum and substance of the article is that the music directors, in most cases, have no control over what is to be sung, how it is to be sung, who is to sing and where the song is to be fitted in the screenplay….. The song which I am presenting is one of those songs which remind me of the tune of a popular song. The song is “Humko Bhula Diya To Kya, Yaad Meri Bhulaao To Jaanun” from the film ‘Chanda Ki Chandni’ (1948). Geeta Dutt sings the song on the words penned by DN Madhok. The song is composed by Gyan Dutt……This song reminds  of a popular KL Saigal song “Jeene Ke Dhang Sikhaaye Jaa” from the film ‘Parwaana’ (1947) (Music: Khurshid Anwar). Incidentally, this song was also written by DN Madhok.

Pradeep Kumar Songs from 1960 to 1963 – This is a follow on post to Some good Pradeep Kumar songs from the films released in 50s.Here are some of these:

“Dil Ko Lakh Sambhala Ji” – Shakila is a very vivid retrospective of Shakila a.k.a. Badshah Jehan.  Her songs are at SHAKILA HITS.

In Ten of my favourite “Man Sings and Woman Dances’ songs the singing man is not to dance along but physically must remain present in the picturization. That has ruled out  Tu Hai Mera Prem Devata or Jaa tose nahin boloon Kanhaiyya or Jhanan-jhanan baaje bichhua

Five Excellent Dances with Krishna Kumar – Krishna was in a dancing team with his brother Surya Kumar during the Vintage era, and they both also trained other dancers and worked as choreographers. Unfortunately, Krishna Kumar’s career came to an abrupt end sometime before the completion of the film Awara (1951), when he was murdered.

The Fascinating Tale of  So Many Anarkalis – The first screen adaptation was produced in the silent era. Two films were released in 1928, Loves of a Mughal Prince (Seeta Devi)and Anarkali (Sulochana). She appeared in two more Anarkali  films.  One was a 1935 talkie version of earlier silent one and in the second one , a 1953 version, She was Jodhabai and Bina Rai was Anarkali in this film. In 1955 telugu version, Anjali Devi plays Anarkali. The film was dubbed in Tamil as well. The 1958 version form Pakistan had Noor Jehan plyaing Anarkali.  ‘Jaltey Hain Arman. Perhaps best among all is K Asif’s 1960 version, Mughal-e-Azam . Apart from movies, the Salim-Anarkali saga has inspired theatrical performances, portions of song sequences and spoofs, including the Tamil film Illara Jyothi (1954), Chashme Buddoor (1981), Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986), Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam (2008) and most recently, Ready (2011). The affair between the prince and the courtesan may have been doomed, but their romance lives on.

How Chand Usmani Got Film Chance?  –  In this interview, Chand Usmani states that her favorite (Indian) stars are Nargis and Geetabali and Geeta Roy(Dutt) is not only her favorite playback singer, but a friend as well.

More Geeta Dutt  has remembered :

Raj Kapoor and Nargis on the sets of Aah(1953)

aah-sets-April 1953
Enter a caption

Raj Kapoor, and Director Raja Nawathe (seated on chair near window), together with other workers of the R.K. Unit, look on keenly while Nargis does a rehearsal for a sequence in Aah.

Shammi Kapoor’s Biography Makes for a Fascinating Read, is a review by Anirudha Bhattacharjee & Balaji Vittal, engineers by education and IT consultants by profession  ……overall, the book is a fascinating page-turner that can be consumed in one sitting. And unlike watching a Shammi Kapoor super hit which is a one-time watch masala film, it’s a book dense enough to be re-read, multiple times. And it has some lovely photographs too…

We end our present episode with an interesting post on Mohammad Rafi –

Mohammed Rafi - God’s Own Voice.pngRafi vs Talat vs Mukesh vs Kishore: the big rivalries of the Hindi film music world is excerpted (with permission from) Mohammed Rafi: God’s Own Voice by Dhirendra Jain and Raju Korti, (Niyogy Books_. For us, now, who played what games, and why, is certainly of no interest. It is those songs that have been mentioned that interest us, solely and wholly.

Nilay Majumadar, quite passionately states ‘that the most important effect of Rafi on me was it changed my way of listening to music. As the years passed, I understood the words more, their meaning, their correct pronunciation all became increasingly important. Above all poetry of the songs became significant….

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

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Music from films The Books I read

More Than Bollywood: Studies in Indian Popular Music

–Guest Article by  Tadatmya Vaishnav#

More Than Bollywood - Studies in Popular MusicI recently had opportunity to read through most of the book titled “More than Bollywood: Studies in Indian Popular Music “. It is a collection of essays on popular, film and non-film, Indian music. The book is edited by musicologists Gregory D. Booth and Bradley Shope. The essays are in a scholarly style and were meant to be a formal study of Indian film music as well as certain non-film music genres, such as pop, rap and rock.

‘More than Bollywood’ includes many of the leading scholars currently working on Indian popular music and culture. The volume offers a wide perspective on contemporary and historical popular music in India, and confronts the inescapable importance of the Indian film song; but it also offers the largest collection to date of research on “non-film” popular music in India. It can be treated as one of the most comprehensive single volume on a subject that is of growing interest to scholars and students in music, ethnomusicology, film studies, popular music studies, and South Asian studies. It is intended to stand on its own as a work of scholarship, but it is also simultaneously intended as a fundamental resource for courses on popular music and music in India.

All the chapters were not, in fact, interesting, as far as I am concerned. So, I take up the three chapters that I did find interesting.

Chapter 1 – A Moment of Historical Conjuncture in Mumbai

In this chapter, Gregory Booth presents an interesting case of how the Hindi film song, as we knew it until 1990 or so, was shaped substantially in the five year period of 1948-52, immediately after Independence. He treats the 1931 – 1947 period as a period of aesthetic and professional transition. Among major changes, he identifies growing sophistication in cinematography of song sequences and a change in the sound of the female voice in film songs. During this period, the film song also got to occupy the role of the most important form of popular song. He has taken a set of three representative music directors – Naushad Ali, Shanker Jaikishan and C Ramchandra- and two arrangers – Antonio Vaz and Sebastian D’Souza and only one full-time playback singer (Lata!) as having played a major complementary role in shaping the Hindi film song. Collectively, they effected sophistication of film song orchestration, explicit engagement with classical Indian and foreign popular music and redefinition of the sound of female playback singing, among others. Destiny seemed to have chosen them as ‘right person in the right place at right time.’

The musical and professional patterns that were established during 1948 and 1952 remained almost unchanged till at least until 1970. For a further 20 years, the rise of a new generation of musicians took over major roles. The shift in the basic structural composition of the film music is seen by examining the proportion of composers who composed more than one film in a year. Only a few, generally two or three, music directors dominated the year in terms of those soundtracks that were ‘most heard’. By 1952, the percentage of music directors with multiple releases had increased to 62%. For the next ten years this figure hovered around 50%, declining back to 30% in in 1967. The corresponding figure for 1932-1947 was seen in the range of 60%. Of the 60 highest net grossing films during 1947 to 1957, 32 % were during 1948-1952. Of these, Naushad, SJ and C Ramchandra had 68% share.

The rise of an oligarchy in the world of playback singers was also equally pronounced. Among male singers it was Mohammad Rafi who ruled the roost before Kishore Kumar took over in 1969. Nevertheless, the number of important male singers was greater as compared to that of female singers. In the case of female singers, the shift was far more dramatic and extreme. 1952 was the year that virtually brought an end to the richly textured and individually timbred voices of the earlier era. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt collectively recorded slightly over one-third of the songs recorded in 1951. With the fading away of Geeta Dutt, by end of 1950s, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle shared between them more than one-third of all songs. Having given a quantitative background, the author has taken up the examination of more interactive musical, aesthetic and industrial practices in this chapter.

One may disagree, as I did, with some of the conclusions – that it was Naushad who “tightened” the concept of a ‘film song’, as distinct from ‘singing in the film’, by way instrumental interludes, tempo, orchestral size, recording techniques and professionalization of the singers. Or, that the style of the male voice in Hindi film songs followed mainly from Saigal’s style while the style of the female voice changed radically with Lata (I agree only with the latter part).

The statistics quoted at various places are useful and some of the points do note important conclusions. The last point about the technology that enabled separation of on-screen voice and playback voice and the emergence of the playback singer as a distinct role, is well-made and pivotal to Hindi film music.

Chapter 2 : Global Masala – Digital Identities and Aesthetic Trajectories in Post-Liberalization Indian Film Music is written by Natalie Sarrazin.

It is a very well-written account of how globalization, as well as new technologies, has influenced the creation of popular music, mainly film music, in India since the 1990s.

The author goes into a very detailed, second-by-second, analysis of the prelude music of the title song of Roja, in order to show how digital recording techniques can marry the audio to the video much more effectively than in the past.

Another good section is the one titled “Aesthetic Decisions”. It shows how the role of the music director has changed and how the sound engineer may be the most influential person behind the final finished song. This change may be revolutionary, but like many revolutions, the outcome may not be anything to be proud of. The author seems to take this major change in her stride, perhaps because she is a Westerner and does not have emotional ties to old music.

In her concluding remarks, the author notes that ‘Hindi film must project carefully crafted identities and desires onto the world stage, embodying Indian values in musical idioms palatable to an international music market and appealing to interesting non-Diaspora audiences. India’s active embrace of and enactment upon the promise of globalization require new Indian sonic agents, ones that portray India’s current energy, as well as image as a suitable global economic partner. Such music, to be successful, must create space for dreams and desires of Resident Indians and NRIs, while offering up musical fantasy escapism to the rest of the world.’

In Chapter 10: Latin American Music in Moving Pictures and Jazzy Cabarets in Mumbai, 1930-1950 Bradley Shope explores the period between mid-1930s and early 1950s when Latin American music in Hollywood films influenced jazzy cabarets that some of the Indian communities like Goans, Anglo – Indians and Parsis. The first half of the chapter traces the popularity of a native Brazilian dance, the Carioca – introduced to the world in the 1933 release Flying Down the Rio[i] in Mumbai and explores the relationship between this film and development of Hindi film songs containing Latin American sounds and images. The second half of the article uncovers the relationship between live cabarets in Mumbai and the development of Hindi films songs containing Latin American sounds and images.

The film Flying Down to Rio (1933) was successfully screened in urban India in 1934. The carioca dance shown in this films attracted vast audiences in Mumbai in nightclubs, restaurants, hotel ballrooms, social clubs and cabarets. Audiences learned the dance by watching the film or through lessons at local dance schools. By the 1940s, many jazz orchestras understood that learning Latin American repertoire could help secure jobs in a larger scope of avenues. It was no coincidence that when C Ramchandra composed Gore Gore O Banke Chhore (Lata Mangeshkar, Amirbai Karnataki, Samadhi, 1949),

he heavily borrowed from Chico Chico from Puerto Rico (Doll Face, 1945).

Latin characteristics were heard as early as in Naushad’s score for 1943 film Kanoon in the song Ek Tu Ho, Ek Main Hoon (Suraiya). The staged cabaret sequence Deewana Yeh Parwana from 1951 film Albela showcased great fusion of the chief arranger of ‘His Music Makers’, Chic Chocolate, and C Ramchandra. Chic Chocolate and his orchestra are dressed in stylized Latin American costumes in this song.

Carmen Miranda’s song sequence of ‘Week-End in Havana’ from 1941 film of the same name bears noticeable similarities to this song. And that includes not only the music, sounds or dance, but even Geeta Bali’s costumes as well.

One can find a similar beat of three+two clave (Dil Dhadake Nazar Sharamaye) or a music sound of rolling piano (Mere Dil Ki Ghadi Kare Tick Tick) in some other song sequences of ‘Albela’. Since the audiences of Hindi films were not typically exposed to these Latin American films or songs. That helped in creating that tantalizing element of fantasy in the Hindi film songs which brought up the entire effect far above real-life limitations of mundane restriction in the Indian society.

To be sure, other thematic, such as Hawaiian, Island, Spanish, Arab, French and the like, also suitably found way into Hindi films songs. Barring a few cases, the credit should also be given to director or music director that these adaptations were seen as highly innovative depictions that completely fused into the Indian cultural environment.

To illustrate each chapter author’s points, and to make available music not easily accessible in North America, the book is ably and vividly supported by Oxford web music companion website of audio and video tracks.

Bibliographic Information:

Print publication date: 2013 ǁ 380 pages ǁ Print ISBN-13: 9780199928835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

Paperback edition: Published: 12 December 2013 | 384 Pages | ISBN: 9780199928859

Other books:

Behind the curtain: making music in Mumbai’s film studios – Gregory Booth

American Popular Music in Britain’s Raj – Bradley G Shope

# Tadatmya Vaishnav can be contacted @ tavaishnav@gmail.com

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