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Centenary Celebrations

Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs – [3] – ‘Other’ Male Singers

This is the third and concluding part of the article – Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male songs. The previous parts have covered Hemant Kuamr’s solo songs in the voices of Hemant Kumar |Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar |Manna Dey.

The end of the spectrum of Hemant Kumar’s solo male compositions presents quite unusual variety of, not-from-the-mainstream, male singers. Except for the first and last song, incidentally in the chronological order, all other songs can also be ascribed to not-so-usual song situations. However, one thing that stands out is the Hemant Kumar’s choice of the singer for the song – he has fully leveraged the singer’s voice quality in the first and the last song, while duly accommodating his compositions to the vocal range of the respective singer in the other songs.

Kavi Pradeep

Pradeepji was essentially a poet, but the beauty is whichever film song is recorded in his voice has become a massive hit.

Aao Bachcho Tumhe Dikhaye Jhanki Hindustan Ki – Jagriti (1954) – Lyrics: Pradeepji

When I look at the song now, I realize how imaginatively the song has been conceived, filmed, composed, and rendered. No wonder, we found the song so enchanting in our school days in the latter half of ‘50s.

Chitalkar

Chitalkar (a.k.a. C. Ramchandra) has very rarely agreed to sing a song for other music directors. However, the mutual rapport that both will have developed while working together for Anarkali (1953) seems to have tilted the scales.

Sunaoon Ik Majnu Ka Haal, Ke Ghar Pe Pakati Na Thi Daal – Lagan (1955) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

The song seems to be street song. Hemant Kumar has packed in all possible variations that the situation for the song seems to have demanded and Chitalkar deftly handles his part of the deal.

Ravi

It is said that Ravi’s original plan was to make a career as a singer, as well. As such, he did pick up every possible opportunity in the beginning of the career. However, he did seem to have finally settled to focus on his music direction career.

Khol Ke Aankhein Dekh Jara…. Dekhi Teri Duniya Duniyawale – Lagaan (1955) – Rajinder Krishna

Whether it is quirk of circumstances or was Ravi’s own choice, but good many of beggar song genre songs that Ravi composed were popular.

Aside:

HFGK records Mohammad Rafi as the singer of the song ‘Dekhi Teri Duniya’ (Lagan 1955). There is a footnote saying that initially the song was recorded in the voice of Ravi.

Therefore, we may surmise that Mohammad Rafi was called in to sing the song with a view to boost the sale of records, and in turn, possibly help the performance of the film at the box office.

Balbir

Balbir (a.k.a. S. Balbir) has had a fairly long active career in the Hindi films. He is said to have sung around 120 songs in the films, but he was so typecast as a co-singer in male-male duet songs that there are hardly a dozen or so solo songs to his credit. To that extent, Hemant Kumar deserves special mention since he has used Balbir’s voice as a standalone singer in the following song, and the duet – O Lili, Yu Tham Ja Mere Aagey Aa Gayi Billi – with Geeta Dutt.

Main Mar Gaya To Likhna Ye Kabhi Mere Afsaane Mein… Arre Hamne To Saari Zindagi Gujaari Kedkhane Mein – Laalten (1956) – With chorus – Lyrics: Shewan Rizvi

Mukesh – In a Version Song

Mukesh apparently did not have solo song composed by Hemant Kumar.

Gori Chori Chori Jaana Buree Baat Hai, Teri Kismat Ki Chaavi Mere Haath Hai – Ek Jhalak (1957) – Lyrics: S H Bihari

Mukesh Geetkosh (Hindi Edition, November 2020) records this as version song, with record number FT21009

Asides:

Here is the song as it appears in the film, in the voice of Hemant Kumar

Anil Kumar

Hardly anything is known of this singer.

Rooh Pyase Hai, Pareshan Hai Oos Raat Ke Baad – Oos Raat Ke Baad (1970) – Lyrics: Gohar Kanpuri

The song is rendered in Mohammad Rafi style.in the credit titles of Oos Raat Ke Baad. The credit of the singer and the lyricist for the title song appears in a separate frame in the credit titles.

This is the video clip of the film. The titles run from the beginning till @2.19 in the clip.

Yesudas

Yesudas was playback voice for many of the songs filmed on Anmol Palekar on the screen., Probably, hence the choice.

Kise Khabar Kahan Dagar Jeevan Ki Le Jaaye – Do Ladke Dono Kadke (1979) – Lyrics: Yogesh

This film is produced by Hemant Kumar’s son, Jayanta Mukherjee. Hemant Kumar, the music director, has easily been able to rhyme in with the NextGen singer in the song.

In this Long Tail of the Other Singers Yesudas is the only exception of being a mainstream playback singer.

On the whole, this representative selection of Hemant Kumar’s male solo songs abundantly endorses the tenet that a music director knows whose voice would justice to the composition.

For the purpose of the debate of deciding whether Hemant Kumar is a better composer or a better singer, we can always have a couple of more of such samples, in the future.


Originally published on SoY as Hemant Kumar’s Male Playback Singers. This is the edited and improved-on-the-inputs-of-discussions-thereupon version.


A single file collated version of the three parts of Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Male Solo Songs is available for download by clicking on the hyper link.

 

Categories
I Liked Music from films

S D Burman and “Other” Male Playback Singers :: 2

The previous episode of the three-part article of S D Burman and Other Male Playback Singers, we had covered the period from the beginning of his career in 1946 till 1949. This was the period when S D Burman was still striving to create his own firm space in the field of Hindi Film Music world.

Presently, we take up the second set of S D Burman’s songs of ‘Other” Male Playback Singers chronologically can be set to the period 1950 to 1955.

Our period begins with two films, Mashal and Afsar, which were to become the key thrust engines that were to provide the much needed escape velocity to S D Burman’s career to attain e respectable orbit space among the front-ranking music directors of the Golden Era of Hindi Films.

Once having attained an assured specific space, S D Burman went on to use the established male playback singers like Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar for most of the major male solo and duet songs. He also chose other front-line male singers like Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood, Hemant Kumar and Mukesh as and when so required.  So use of ‘other’ male singers is now more situation-specific, and, perhaps, to a great extent of S D Burman’s choice.

S D Burman – Arun Kumar Mukherjee

Upar Gagan Vishal’ of Mashal (1950) is considered to have really breathed a lease of new life into S D Burman’s career. It is said that SDB was so disillusioned that he was on the verge of leaving this Ashok Kumar’s Bombay Talkies banner production incomplete. He was dissuaded from doing so, and as is said the rest was history.

Jab Ham They Tumhare Aur Ham They Tumhare …Wo Thode Se Din They Kitane Pyare – Mashal (1950) – Lyrics: Pradip

Arun Kumar Mukherjee was Ashok Kumar’s cousin. Probably, that may have titled the scale in his favour for playing back to Ashok Kumar on the screen. Arun Kumar Mukherjee does not sound wanting to the demands of the situation.

Mohe Lagaa Solva Saal, Haye Main To Mar Gayi – Mashal (1950) – With Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Pradip

The song is principally filmed on the Cuckoo, so Shamshad Begum has obviously the lion’s share of the song. Arun Kumar gets to sing just a few lines, but the lines are indeed very catchy.

S D Burman – Man Mohan Krishna

‘Afsar’ (1950) was the maiden film under Dev Anand’s home banner, Navketan Films. The film did not do that well on the box office, but Suraiya’s songs for the film certainly were quite popular. The film went on to build S D Burman’s permanent association with Navketan Films, which have given us quite a few of the very memorable songs under S D Burman’s baton.

Jat Khol De Kiwad Pat Khol De,….Badhaai Dene Ko Aaye Hai Tere Dwar – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil

Sadhu Ke Ghar Chhokariyan Do, Ik Patli Ik Bhari – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil

Man Mohan Krishna is typically associated with serious character roles. He has rendered quite a few numbers of very popular songs on the screen. S D Burman has sprung a surprise herein by recording quite light-mood songs in Man Mohan Krishna’s voice.

[The clip here below has both these songs clubbed together.]

S D Burman – Hridaynath Mangeshkar

Hridaynath Mangeshkar possibly chose to focus more on music direction over playback singing.  His maiden – Marathi – film as an independent music director was Akash Ganga (1955).

Lehron Ke Saath Naiya Mori Khele – Babla (1953) – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Hridaynath Mangeshkar was around 15 years old when S D Burman has recorded this song. The song recounts adolescent pleasure of launching the paper boats into the rain water streams in the street.  So we can expect that the song may have been performed by an adolescent protagonist on the screen. Hence, probably, the choice of Hridaynath Mangeshkar, with a suitable natural voice, for the playback.

S D Burman – Jagmohan Baxi

Jagmohan Baxi (and his music direction partner Sapan Sengupta) had started his career as chorus singer at Salil Chaudhary’s Bombay Youth Choir. And yet, the Sapan Jagmohan duo are remembered for a handful tunes for 42 films for which they had composed the music  – like, Phir Wo Bhuli Si Yaad Aati Hai (Begana, 1963);  Kho Diye Hai Sanam Kitane Janam Teri Talash Mein (Teri Talash Mein, 1968); Main To Har Mod Pe Tujhko Dunga Sadaa (Chetana, 1970) etc.

Dekho Maane Nahi Roothi Hui Haseena Kya Baat Hai – Taxi Driver (1954) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi

S D Burman has used Talat Mahmood and Kishore Kumar too for playback of Dev Anand in this film. Apart from these singers, S D Burman, as well most of the music directors who have composed Dev Anand songs, have tried several voices of regular playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar as well. Additionally, Salil Chudhary has experimented with Dwijen Mukherjee, Anil Biswas with Shankar Dasgupta and C Ramchandra with his own voice for Dev Anand.

S D Burman – Thakur (Pran)

Pran would hardly be remembered to have acted in lead roles in films like Khandan (1942) during the first phase of career between 1940 -1947. He is most remembered for his roles as villain in his most illustrious second innings and then equally respected for his character roles in the 3rd phase of his career.  Many of his fans will immediately recollect some of the iconic songs that he enacted on the screen when acting as character actor.  But to imagine him in the tick of a very very light-hearted song  and that too trying to sing a few lines too, when cast in the role of a villain,  is something that nobody would ever imagine. S D Burman has so cleverly croaked voice of Thakur (Pran) to create a very unique song.

Dil KI Umange Hai Jawan,….Rang Mein Dooba Hai Sama – Munimji (1955) – With Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi

The song will not go down in the record books only for the use of voice of Pran to add to the mockery in the mood of the song, but also possibly for Hemant Kumar being able to match the leg-pulling teasing tone of Geeta Dutt in this song.

S D Burman – S Balbir

Balbir got typed into an accompanying playback singer, but most of the connoisseurs of HFM recognize and appreciate his contribution in that song.

Nigaho Ke Tere Jalwe Ki Aas Raheti Hai, Ha Tere Bagair Tabiyat Udas Raheti Hai, Aa Bhi Ja Ke Tera Intezar Kab Se Hai –Society (1955) – with Mohammad Rafi – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Can you guess whose arrival or appearance is so keenly awaited?

The first half of the period of 1950-1960 was the beginning of the picking up in so far as S D Burman’s career is considered. As a result, we have seen a very different pattern in the types of ‘other’ playback singers which he has used, the corresponding situations in the film, and hence on the composition of the song.

In our next episode, we will take up the concluding phase of  S D Burman’s career and revisit S D Burman’s use of ‘other’ male playback singers in that period.