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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: July 2021

Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet Song With The Music Director: 1944-1946

To commemorate the memory of Mohammad Rafi on his birth anniversary, December 24, 1924, @ Kotla Sultan, Sindh and death anniversary, July 31, 1980 @ Mumba, we have had taken up Mohammad Rafi’s first solo song with a music director, from December 2016 till 2020. The present series of Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet Song with the Music Director is the natural follow-on series.

The series is quite simple at its core. Mohammad Rafi’s exceptionally long career is divided in five-year periods, pick up the first ever association with music director(s) in the chronological order in that five-year slot and then pick up the first film which has the first duet song of the music-director – Rafi combination. If the film has more than one duets, then we take up the least heard one for a closer look and take note of the others. The primary focus would be male-female duet, but we will take due note of first male-male duet or even triads from that combination if and as and when they come up in later years. We will limit the scope of the present series till the year 1969.

I do not have any pretense of evaluating influence of different music director on Mohammad Rafi’s singing style or the contribution of each other to the furtherance of each other’s careers Our goal is quite simple: refresh our memories of Mohammad Rafi’s fading-from-the-memory-duet-songs and bring them on one page and enjoy them on the call.

1st Five-Year Period: 1944 -1948

That Mohammad Rafi’s talent was first taken note of in 1937 in public function whereat he sang for K L Saigal, his initial introduction with music director Shyam Sundar are now a matter of folklore. Shyam Sundar recorded the first ever film song of Mohammad Rafi in Punjabi film Gul Baloch (which was released in 1944) in 1942. As is well-known now, that was a duet, with Zeenat Begum – Pardesi…Sohneys Oye Heeriye Oye. The song had become an instant hit, well before the film was released. The records also show that that film had one more duet, composed by Dhani Ram, with Munnavar Sultana – Achhanve – too.  

1944

Once Mohammad Rafi reached Bombay (as it was then known) from Lahore, after Shyam Sundar gave him an introduction letter, the way Mohammad Rafi could meet Naushad are the events very vividly covered in Mohammad Rafi’s biographies. For the purpose of our present series, the story begins after Mohammad Rafi got his first break in Hindi films under Naushad, which happened to be a chorus song – Hindustan Ke Hai Hum, Hai Hindustan Hamara; record # GE3416 – in the company of Shyamkumar, Allauddin Naved and B. M. Vyas in the film Pahele Aap.

The year 1944 has one more landmark in Mohammad Rafi’s personal life- his marriage with Bilquis Bano.

Naushad’s association with Mohammad Rafi took some time before it turned into a Fevicol bond. Naushad–Mohammad Rafi combination has yielded around 149 songs to the Hindi film industry.

Tum Dilli Main Agre, Mere Dil Se Nikale Haye Fasla Sau Kos Ka, Humane Sawan Bito Jaaye – Pahle Aap– with Shyam Kumar – Lyrics: D N Madhok – Music: Naushad Ali [Record # GE3419]

A close listening to the lyrics indicates that Mohammad Rafi seems to be singing for an actor who plays a female role in this nautanki song.

We will make an exception here and listen to another duet from this film –

Ek Bar Unhein Mila De, Phir Meri Tauba Maula… Ab To Lagi Booja De, Phir Meri Tauba Maula – Pahele Aap– with Shyam Kumar – Lyrics: D N Madhok – Music: Naushad Ali [Record # GE3417/19]

Mohammad Rafi seems to have been given a second fiddle in comparison to more experience Shyam Kumar, but that has not deterred the budding singer a bit.

1945

We have four music directors opening their relationships of duets with Mohammad Rafi in the year 1945.

Shyam Sundar is always remembered for his meticulous choices of instruments (Kis Tarah Bhoolega Dil; Gaon Ki Gori, 1945), wonderful composition (Mausam Aaya Hai Rangeen; Dholak, 1951) and choice of singers (Saajan Ki GaliyaN Chhod Chale; Bazar, 1949).

Jab Dil Ho Kaabu Mein to Dildar Ki Aisi Taisi… Tauba Tauba Husn Ke Sarkar Ki Aisi Taisi.. – Gaon Ki Gori, a.k.a. Village Girl – with G M Durrani, an unknown male singer – Lyrics:  – Wali Sahab – Music: Shyam Sundar

This song is on record number GE3596, i.e. later in then the Pahle Aap songs here above,  but is widely considered as Mohammad Rafi’s first Hindi film song.

Incidentally, during his very initial years, G M Durrani was Mohammad Rafi’s role model for singing. As fate would have it, it was Mohammad Rafi who played back to GM Durrani  in Unke Khayal Aaye To Aate Chale Gaye (Lal Paththar, 1971; Lyrics:  Hasrat Jaipuri; Music – Shanker Jaikishan)!

H P Das (1905 – 1989) was one of the leading Bangla music directors who was successful in Hindi films as well.

Dil Diye Chalein… Hum Jiye Chalein Aise – Begum – with Mohantara Ajinkya – Lyrics: G S Nepali – Music – H P Das

We have a very pleasant, fast-paced song. Mohammad Rafi sounds so young.

Gobind Ram was a versatile music director of 40s. He is considered to have great influence in shaping the Hindi film music of 40s.

Chhoti Si Ek Banaayenge Naiyya… Khud Hi Banenge Us Ke Khewaiya – Hamara Sansar – with Shamshad Begum, Zohrabai – Lyrics: Ramesh Gupta – Music: Govind Ram

Mohammad Rafi sings in lower scale to begin with then raises the scale to higher octave.

Asides: Mohammad Rafi acted in a cameo role in Laila Majnu song Tera Jalwa Jisne Dekha (with S D Batish and chorus; Lyrics: Tanvir Naqvi- Music: Gobind Ram)

Alla Rakha (a.k.a. A R Qureshi) would need any introduction to those who have even rudimentary exposure to the classical music. He was basically the famous tabla player, who composed music for around 30 films between 1943 and 1958.

Topi Wale Babu Ne Dil Chheena Re Mora Man – Kul Kalank – with Amirbai Karnataki – Lyrics: Roopbani – Music: A R Qureshi

For relatively new entrant, Mohammad Rafi exudes fair amount of confidence.

1946

Mohammad Rafi’s career wagon seems to be picking up the momentum, wih 8 muisc directors using his voice for the duets.

Firoz Nizami was the first music director who gave Rafi popularity in Lahore by offering him a chance to sing for AIR at its Lahore radio station.

Main Jab Chhedun Prem Tarana Naache Mere Saath Jhamana– Amar Raj – with Mohantara Ajinkya – Lyrics: Pandit Fani – Music : Firoz Nizami

Interestingly HFGK mentions ‘other singer’ to accompany Mohantara Ajinkya.  Shri Sudhir Kapur explored the matter in details and what comes out is truly unbelievable. The details can be read@ Main jab gaaun geet suhaanaa

Asides: It would be opportune to enlist the song on the side 2 of that fateful record GE3795 – a solo by Mohammad Rafi

S Quereshi is not a familiar name among the music directors.

Macha Di Dhoom Duniya Mein Islaam Ke Deewanon Ne – Arab Ka Sitara – with Ameerbai Karanataki – Lyrics: Shewan Rizvi – Music: S Quereshi

HFGK does not have names of the singers identified for the songs of the film. I have selected the song from one of the highly authentic-considered spreadsheet compilations of Mohammad Rafi’s filmography by Mauveen. However, when we listen to the song, female voice is accompanying in mukhada and then is part of the chorus, only. So, for all practical purposes, the song is a Mohammad Rafi solo only.

Shankar Rao Vyas was a classically trained vocalist and musician. He had 35 Hindi, 5 Marathi and 3 Gujarati films to his credit in the career spanning 1937 to 1955.

Naino Se Mad Madira Pilaakar Tumne Humein Deewana – Ghunghat – with Nirmala – Lyrics: Ramesh Gupta – Music: Shankar Rao Vyas 

We have here a romantic song that begins in form of exchange of dialogue that is acceptance of mutual love.

S N Tripathi[1] who worked under the baton of legendary Saraswati Devi was a versatile artist a music director, director, and actor.

Jai Hind…Ye Hind Ki Kahaniyan… Sansar Ke Itihas Ki Ye Hai Amar Kahaniya – Mansarovar – with Geeta Dutt, Binapani Mukhrjee – Lyrics: Saraswati Kumar Dipak – Music: SA N Tripathi

HFGK lists the singers as ‘Chorus’ only. However, Geetadutt.com and other reliable sites mention Geeta Dutt and Beenapani Mukherjee as co-singers along with chorus.

Premnath has had formal training of music in his formative years. Rangbhoomi is his maiden film as an independent music director. He has given four songs to Mohammad Rafi, one with chorus and three duets with Shamshad Begum.

Khud Samajh Lo Iletajha Kya Hai, Hum Hi Keh De To Phir Maza Kya Hai – Rangbhoomi – with Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Arzoo  Lakhanavi – Music Premnath

Mohammad Rafi sings in a typical vintage era style here.

Other duets are: Aag Lagi Tan Man Dhan Sab Mein Narak Bhayo Sansaar (with Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Arzoo Lakhanvi) does not seem to be available on YT and Jo Aage Badhe Use Peechhe Hata Do with Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Pandit Fani) – a second part of the Rafi and Chorus song Sue Manzil Badhaye Chala Chal. – is available together in one clip@ https://youtu.be/KHAk87nu8w8

Hanuman Prasad is known mostly for the discovery of Geeta Roy, when she was 16, and gave her few lines in foiur songs of film Bhakta Prahlad (1946). He is also director of the present film, Raseeli.

Dil Mujhko Jalaata Hai Main Dil Ko Jalaati Hun – Raseeli – with Shamshad Begum- Lyrics: Hanuman Prasad – Music: Hanuman Prasad

Here is the song that is inherently poignant, as Rafi and Shamashad render it in low octaves. It must have been quite an experience to the budding Rafi!

The film has another Shamshad – Rafi duet, Yah Nayan Kyun Sharma Gaye (Lyrics: Gaafil Harnaalvi) where Rafi can be heard in early raw tone.

Bulo C Rani is a leading vintage era music director.

Jaao Jaao Na Bolungi Main Accha Ji Hato Hato – Saalgirah – with Kaumudini Deekshit , an unknow female singer – Lyrics: Wali Sahab – Music: Bulo C Rani

This a mischievous mood romantic song, where Mohammad Rafi indulges in music-director guided ‘harkats’ of interrupting with Aisa Kya and all. In the later years, Mohammad Rafi was known to do so spontaneously to make the songs lively.

Taufil Farooqi (1916-1988) is fondly recalled as creator of the original Zumka Gira Re (Dekhoji, 1947 – Shamsahd Begum).

Baithe Hain Tere Dar Par Kuchh Karke Uthenge – Sona Chandi – with Shamshad Begum – Wali Sahab – Music: Taufil Farooqui

This can be considered maiden Chhed Chaad song for Mohammad Rafi.

We will make an exception to include another duet –

Man Ki Suni Nagariya Suhani Bani – Sona Chandi – with Amirbai Karnataki – Lyrics: Khawar JamaN – Music: Taufil Farooqui

Here we have a totally romantic duet. Mohammad Rafi quite easily matches sur-by-sur with experienced Amirbai.

We will take up Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet with a Music Director for the years 1947 and 1948, of the First Five-Year Period: 1944-1948, in our December 2021 episode.


[1] S N Tripathi’s Unremembered Songs from 1941 to 1968

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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: December 2020

Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director: 1967-1969

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

We have reviewed the first part of the years 1964 – 1966 for the present 5th  Six-Year Period , and for the time last part of the present series in July 2020. Presently, we will take the last three years – 1967 to 1969 – of this 5th period.

As has been noted by the musicologists and the Film Music historians identify three main stages for the first 25 years of a 50-years long active career. ‘40s was the period for Mohammad Rafi to create his space in the playback singing. The period of 50s was the period of consolidation and strengthening his position. He started getting varied song genres by almost all music directors and emerged as THE voice for many of the heroes of that period. One male playback singer who was displaced totally by the end of the ‘50s was Talat Mahmood. ‘60s was the period he was considered to adapt to racy compositions that was now becoming the order of the day. He was the automatic choice for the next generation heroes who came up on the scene in the early ‘60s.Mohammad Rafi developed customized theatrics for most of the heroes.

In the year ’69 Rajesh Khanna suddenly came out of his initial struggle period with Aradhana, 1969, (Music S D Burman, but virtually conducted by R D Burman because of SDB’s ill health) and Dushman, 1971 (Music- Laxmikant Pyarelal). R D Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal were the new stars of the emerging, new, generation of the music directors, who had huge success in the use of Kishore Kumar as THE voice of Rajesh Khanna. As a result, Mohammad Rafi started losing his top position. He continued singing almost till the end and did have quite a few ‘good’ songs, history records this period as the period of the afterglow after the Sun has finally set for the day.

Moreover, as was observed in the first three years of the present 5th Six-Year Period, on one hand, the entry of new music directors who were to succeed in the years to come seemed to dry-up considerably. On the other hand, the music directors and the lead actors of the previous generation, who distinctly preferred Rafi, were distinctly seen ‘aging out’. It therefore makes all the more sense to complete the series of Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director with year 1969, as we take up the years 1967 to 1969.

1967

The year 1967 has 88 solo songs for Mohammad Rafi.  Mohammad Rafi has had fairly popular songs from the films like Aman. An Evening in Paris (music director for both – Shankar Jaikishan, Amne Samne (Music: Kalayanji Anandji), Nai Roshani (Music : Ravi), Naunihal (music: Madan Mohan), Palki (Music: Naushad), Taqdeer(Music: Laxmikant Pyarelala). From his many popular songs during 1967, I would even consider Hum Intezaar Karenge Tera Qayamat Tak (Bahu Begam; Music :Roshan, Lyrics: Sahir) and Tere Pyar Ne Mujhe Gham Diya (Chhaila Babu, Muic: Laxmikant Pyarelala, Lyrics: Asad bhopali) that has strong shades of charm – less theatrics, more depth – of Rafi that we had seen during later pat of ‘50s. Mohammad Rafi had had two songs in Oriya film a’Arundhat’ and one in Gujarti film, ‘Sneh Bandhan’ –

Milan Na Deep Sau Bujai Gaya Chhe  (Muisc: Dilip Dholakia)

The year 1967 has only music director Bhushan, who has his first ever Mohammad Rafi solo song. If I have been able to get all correct references, Bhushan seems to have only one more film – Purani Pahechan (1971) – subsequently.

Baithe Baithe Dil-e-E Nadaan Ye Khayal Aaya Hai – Maikhana – Lyrics: Kidar Sharma

We have here Mohammad Rafi that we usually hear in his NFS ghazals – playing with lyrics of mukhada differently every time, with deep emotions, sans all loudness even when he raises the scale a few notches.

1968

The year 1968 has 82 solo songs of Mohammad Rafi. The successful films for the year include Aadmi, Sangharsh (music director for both ; Naushand), Brahmchari, Jhuk Gaya Aasman, Kanyadaan, Mere Huzoor  (All: Shankar Jaikishan), Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal) , Neel Kamal (Music: Ravi).

I would pick up Mile Na Phool To Kanton Se Dosti Kar Li (Anokhi Raat, Music: Roshan, Lyrics; Kaifi Azmi) and Dil Ki Awaz Bhi Sun Mere Afasane Pe Na Jaa (Humsaaya, Music: O P Nayyar, Lyrics: Shewan Rizvi) as real Rafi-touch songs.

We have five music directors – Ved Shethi, Parmarthi Ashwatham, Ram Kadam, S Kishan and Jimmy / Premnath recording their first solo songs for Mohammad Rafi this year.

Ved Shethi has only one Hindi film to his credit.

Ek Nanhi Si Kali Roye Daali Ke Liye – Aanchal Ke Phool – Lyrics: Naqsh Lyalpuri

The song is background genre song, that describes the fate of the child protagonist. The lyrics for these songs usually convey the meaning for the song. Singer has to ensure that he /she remains faithful to that message.

Pamarthi Ashwatham belongs to those music directors who have rendered music for the films that were originally made in South Indian languages.

Kaahe Ka Rona Dhona – Ram Aur Raheem (1968) – Lyrics: Sant Kabir

The film was directed by V Nagaiya. Nagaiya and Surya Kumari were in the lead roles. It had as many seven Mohammad Rafi solo songs, all Saint Kabir’s bhajans.

Ram Kadam was essentially a music director of Marathi films (113 films) who has also scored music for three Hind films and 1 Telugu film. We have two solo songs for his 1968 film Raaste Aur Manzil.

Jalte Jalte Ho Gayi Gam Ki Raat, Ho Gayi Gam Ki Raat, Khatam Hua Dil Jalte Jalte – Raaste Aur Manzil – Lyrics: Ibrahim Faiz

This is a poignant mood song. Rafi has done full justice to the mood.

Main Bahut Door Chala Aaya Hun – Raaste Aur Manzil – Lyrics: Ibrahim Faiz

Hindi films show the heroes resorting to heavy drinking to forget his sorrows. That always an ideal situation for a drunkard genre film.

S Kishan seems to have composed films earlier too, however all these B or C grade films never seem to have even faintly succeeded at the box office.

Ab Madad Farmaiyiye Mehboob Subahani Meri – Tattar Ki Haseena – Lyrics: M Yusuf

This is film which uses the folk themes – this time for the Tattar community of Mongolia. As can be expected, the composition has a strong influence of Mid-east music style.

Jimmy (James Singh), a Christian Sikh, from Ludhiana, had a long stint at Hindi films, but was not rewarded according to his merits. However, he has attained fame as the first music director  to have a ‘yodelling’ song – Ek Do Teen Char, Bagon Mein Aayi Hai Bahar – by Kishore Kumar (With Asha Bhosle, Muqqadar, 1950). Shrimatiji (1952) is his relatively more remembered film.

One more music director- Premanth– is also credited as (joint) music director for the film Tarzan In Fairyland.  However not much information is available about him

Hindi Cinema has all kinds of films made with Tarzan and King Kong. It seems Tarzan and King Kong also were infected with song-singing virus. The film Tarzan In Fairyland has one Mohammad Rafi solo – Ho Gaalon Pe Gulab Liye Nainon Mein Sharab Liye – probably composed by Premnath, for which I have not been able to find a digital version on the net.

1969

The year 1969 has 114 solo songs for Mohammad Rafi. The films that had all Rafi songs on the high-popularity chart were Aaya Sawan Jhhom Ke (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal), Chirag (Music Madan Mohaan), Pagla Kahin Ka (Music: Shankar Jaikishan) and  Pyar Ka Mausam (Music: R D Burman).

It is really interesting that one music director who changed the course of Hindi Male Playback Singing history – though, officially, as assistant to S D Burman in Aradhana – has three solos and one duet for Rafi in Pyar Ka Mausam (Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, all of which have been filmed on the lead male actor, Shashi Kapoor. Of the three solos, Che Khush Nazare….Ke Khud Pukare Ke Hai Pyar Ki Manzil is a mandatory song wherein hero entices heroine by his happy-go-lucky mannerisms. Tum Bin Jaun KahaN had four versions in the film – two each by Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi, each with a happy and sad shades version each respectively. The Kishore Kumar fans o one side and Mohammad Rafi fans on the other side were strongly divided then, as they may probably be divided today, as to which of the version is better delivered by the singer. Well, I have no intention to step into the quagmire of that discussion here. Rafi – Lata duet – Ni Sulatana Re – was the undisputed THE popular song of the films. The irony of the fate that is Hindi film music is that it was Pyar Ka Mausam that turned out to be launching pad that ser R D Burman to the outer orbit of success.

Narayan Dutt is again a music director about whom not much is known. The only notable feature that can be be note of the film ‘Pujarin’ is perhaps the only film wherein Rehana Sultan is not in her ill-famed ‘bold’ roles.

Piya Ki Nagariya Taj Ke Gori Jaaye Re – Pujarin – Lyrics: Madan

This is a background song, for the one of the extremely popular Hindi Film situations of Bride Farewell from her parental home after the marriage.

With that we also bid farewell to our Six-Part series Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director…. Till we meet again for a series on Mohammad Rafi’s Duet Song From the FIRST Film With The Music Director.


Both episodes of the 5th Six Year Period of Mohammad Rafi’s First solo with a Music director – 1964-1969 can be downloaded as one file by clicking on the link.


All six parts of the series Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director can be read / downloaded as one file by clicking on the hyperlink.


All episodes of Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs, from January 2020 to December 2020 can be read / downloaded by clicking on Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs 2020.