Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March, 2018

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

We begin our March, 2018 episode with two obituaries. One is in memory of Sridevi and the other one is in memory of Shammi..

  • No One Could Have Expected This Loss – RIP, Sridevi
  • Sridevi’s superior southern style – Sridevi recast her gamut of talents professionally as an actor to comply with her limited northern brief
  • The Moonlight Has Dimmed – Sridevi was the quintessential director’s actress, molding herself like clay into what her directors demanded of her. Director Shekhar Kapoor once remarked that Sridevi made love to the camera. The quiet, reserved woman who sat quietly in one corner of the sets, makeup on, waiting for her co-stars to arrive or the shot to be ready, would transform once the director called ‘Action’.

Annu Kapoor on Shammi: In spite of setbacks, she always smiled – Born as Nargis Rabadi in 1931 in a Parsi family Shammi debuted against Sheikh Mukhtar in Ustad Pedro(1949), then as one of the lead actors of Malhar (1951). The film didn’t do well commercially even though she got noticed. Soon after, she was cast along with Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in Sangdil (1952).

We recall here one of her forgotten appearance in Musafirkhana (1955)

And, now, we take up the tributes in March, 2018:

Remembering Baby Naaz, Sridevi’s voice in her early Hindi filmsSoumya Rao – Despite achieving acclaim early on as a child actress, Salma Baig spent her later years lending her voice to the cinematic dreams of others.

Chalo Ik Baar Phir Se: The Versatility of Ravi – The trademark of music director Ravi’s compositions? They are hummable, memorable and as alive in our memories as yesterday. Monica Kar looks at the phenomenon this giant, prolific, composer was and what he leaves behind.

Music Composer Ravi & The Golden Age Of Hindi Cine Music – A Suresh Sharma Film, showcasing his last composition

As a matter of mere coincidence, the choice of Romantic Songs by Sahir, in the course of celebrating Sahir Ludhyanavi’s 96th birthday (on 8th March, 2018),  happens to be duets. Here is one of the rare duets from the post: Chand Bhi Koi DeewanaPyas (1968) – Asha Bhosle & Mahendra Kapoor – N Datta

Recalling a Fine Actor and Poet – Sajjan (Lal Purohit), born in 1921 was a rare combination of actor and a poet. He wrote several geets that Talat Mahmood crooned in his soft voice:

‘The New York Times’ obituary of Madhubala notes her tragic life, compares her to Marilyn Monroe – The Madhubala tribute, published by ‘The New York Times’, is part of ‘Overlooked’, a series of obituaries of 15 trailblazing women.

Riding in Masculine Style  celebrates launching of ROXOR by Anand Mahindra from their US plant. M&M’s Jeep was one popular vehicle which actors have even been singing songs while driving it too. The post lists some cases of actors behind the wheel in a Jeep during a song, whether they themselves were lip-syncing or another actor was, or even if the song was being filmed background

Nasir Hussain-The King Of Musical Hits (16 November 1926 – 13 March 2002) had a ear for good, popular music.. He started his career as story writer in 1948. The famous films he wrote for Filmistan include Anarkali (1953), Munimji (1955), and Paying Guest (1957)

March, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to: S N Tripathi: Unremembered music director of remembered songs:: 1951 – 1956 in continuation with March, 2017 episode of his songs from 1941 to 1950.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

Parody songs: Part 1 and Part 2 are single parody songs and medley of songs respectively.

Songs in the praise of Nature lists the songs that mainly describe the beauty of nature, and also some may describe its connection to the character singing the song. E.g.

Mausam Hai Jawan – Tower House (1962) – Asha Bhosle – Ravi – Asad Bhopali

The Trio of DEV ANAND,DILIP KUMAR and RAJ KAPOOR in 1960s combined to formed the trilogy of the Indian cinema in the 1950’s and 60’s. All the three started their career as Hero before Independence. In the 1950s all of them were in the peak of their career. Each had their own brand value and distinct persona and loyal following. ..

Love gets spooky in ‘Lag Ja Gale’ from the suspense thriller ‘Woh Kaun Thi?’Nandini Ramnath – The song from Raj Khosla’s classic features Sadhana at peak etherealness. A remake of Raj Khosla’s Gothic-style suspense thriller Woh Kaun Thi? (1964) is on the cards. To be produced by KriArj Films, the movie will retain two of the biggest reasons behind its success: the songs Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim and Lag Ja Gale.

Bollywood’s Connection with Goa – Goans played a major role in Bollywood music until the 1980s,Initially only Goans, having trained in Western music, knew how to compose music for orchestras, with a multitude of instruments playing in harmony.The biggest connection with Goa is Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle who are from Goa.

‘Devdas’ to ‘Daas Dev’: What torch songs say about Indian cinema’s favourite tragic heroArchana Nathan – There’s a song to fit every mood in every adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic novel.

In our tradition of ending our post with article on Mohammad Rafi or a topical song of his, I have picked up songs that basically have link with the topics discussed in the present post, i.e. two songs filmed on Shammi but wherein Mohamamd Rafi playbacks and one of the many Ravi- Sahir compositions for the year 1963. The second of the Rafi song on Shammi also is penned by Sahir Ludhyanvi ::

Thoda Sa Dil Lagaa Ke Dekh – Musafirkhana (1955) – with Shamshad Begum – O P Nayyar –  Majrooh Sultanpuri

This is an Asymmetric Duet where Rafi is in the support role.

Jahan Jahan Khayal Jata Hai, Wahan Wahan Tumhi Ko Paata Hai – Bade Sarkar (1957) – with Geeta Dutt – O P Nayyar

Itni Haseen, Itni Jawaan Raat Kya Karein – Aaj Aur Kal (1963) – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanvi

I earnestly seek your suggestions / inputs / criticisms so as to make our Film Blog Festival more interesting and live.

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March 2017

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

This is the month when the North India in particular celebrate the fun and frlickings of aolourful Holi . We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

“Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon” – Joy MukerjeeThe failure of “Humsaya” and the inability to release “Love in Bombay” resulted in Joy Mukerjee losing his stardom as soon as the 70’s dawned. To repay his debts, Joy was forced to act in B- and C- grade movies like “Ehsan”, “Puraskar”, “Mujrim”, “Aag aur Daag”, “Kahin Aar Kahin Par”. This ended up denting his reputation further. Joy’s sorrow and inner anguish reflected in his face and the sadness that had crept on his face was palpable….As a hero, Joy Mukerjee appeared only in 32 films.

Sai Paranjype’s ‘Katha’ is a fabulous fable about the most charming chawl in the worldBubla Basu – The renowned filmmaker’s 79th birthday is the perfect excuse to revisit one of her loveliest films, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval.

For Sahir Ludhianvi, the best kind of love was unrequitedNirupama Dutt – On the celebrated Urdu poet’s 96th birth anniversary, a reminder of his contradictory attitudes towards women and relationships.

The eyes have it in ‘Achcha Ji Main Haari’ from ‘Kalapani’Rudradeep Bhattacharjee – The song from Raj Khosla’s ‘Kalapani’ works on playful looks and sighs.

The Vanraj Bhatia interview: ‘My music was unique then and is perhaps unique even now’Greg Booth – The acclaimed 90-year-old composer looks back on the music he made and looks ahead to the opera he hopes to finish someday. Let us listen to: Sanvariya Dekh Zara from Shyam Benegal’s Sardari Begum (1996).

Films that are 50: A mad scientist, a vampire and willing victims in cross-border hit ‘Zinda Laash’Karan Bali  – The baggy adaptation of the Dracula legend proved to be a neat box office fit in Pakistan in 1967.

The March 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to S N Tripathi: Unremembered music director of remembered songs.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

WHEN BOLLYWOOD ACTRESSES DECIDED TO MASQUERADE AS ‘MEN’!Sharada Iyer is a mirror image of her article Bollywood’s Drag-Queen Acts, wherein she has been able to muster of 18 films where the actresses have donned the man’s role.

Unko Yeh Shikayat Hai Ke Hum Kuch Nahin Kehte – When Silence Speaks Volumes – There are some songs that rise high above the regular and become proverbial. Such is the everlasting magic of this exquisite ghazal from Adalat (1958) which says volumes more than simple words could ever convey. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore the finer nuances of this quietly introspective ghazal, written by Rajinder Krishan, composed by Madan Mohan and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, which connects with the listener at a personal level.

Another Mujra in a Different Kitchen –is post about performances by people who are not necessarily stars and have not had huge studios invested in them, who are happy simply to practice and exhibit an art that they love. It may also be lot of fun to see people doing classical Indian or Bollywood dances in very ordinary surroundings, in front of objects as incongruous as, say, modern kitchen appliances.

Noor Jehan in Incomplete Film Tara (1949) – If completed and released on time, Tara might have become Noor Jehan’s first film in Pakistan. However, with the continuous string of flop Urdu films during the formative period of Pakistani Film Industry, someone advised Shaukat Hussain Rizvi/Noor Jehan to produce and direct a film in Punjabi instead of Urdu. Chanway, a Punjabi film released in 1951 became Noor Jehan’s first released film in Pakistan and a very successful one.

Guest Post: Rajinder Singh Bedi – My Uncle as I remember him in which Nischint Bhatnagar‘Nishi’, who is Mr Bedi’s niece (his younger brother’s daughter)  a heart-warming little insight into the man Rajinder Singh Bedi was.

In Film songs in classical ragas (11) – The evocative duo: Mand and Shivranjani.Subodh Agarwal carries forward his monumental contribution of presenting Hindi Films based on a particular classical Raag along with the basics of the Raag  that laypersons would understand and relish.

Best songs of 1948: And the winners are? Apart for the very meticulous Film Historians, it is the crowd-funding efforts of netizens that have made the Vintage Era of Hindi Films so much accessible to us. “Best songs of year” has become a most dependable platform to bring all these works on one page in a structured way.

This curtain raiser has provided so much fodder, that absorbing so much itself will take some before we I commence my micro-review journey for the year.

As the curtain on 1948’s songs has gone up, I have picked up Mohammad Rafi’s most known song on Gandhiji  to end the present episode:

Suno suno ae duniyawalo Bapu ki ye amar kahani (NFS) -lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Husnlal-Bhagatram

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March, 2015 edition

Welcome to March, 2015 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

March has a very important festival – Holi – linked mainly to onset of the spring in the North India. The celebration of the festival is deeply ingrained into the fabric of the entire social culture of the people. As a natural corollary, it is but natural that the festivities are reflected into the mainstream (Hindi) Cinema. From the mellow and richly classical Holi songs in the 50s to the fun songs in the 70s, the flirtatious songs of the 80s to the power-packed, rigorous dance sequences in the new millennium, Holi songs have seen a gradual but marked change in style of music and the manner of filming the sequences. It is natural that we devote the opening session of the current edition of our blog festival to the articles featuring Holi songs in the Hindi Films.

And here are some of the randomly selected articles published in the mainstream journalistic flavor:

We now turn to the anniversaries:

Conversations Over Chai has three articles to commemorate Talat Mahmood’s birth anniversary on 24th February (1924):

The Legends: Talat Mahmood – has a few ‘quintessential Talat’ songs, each one for a different music director. While reading the article and comments thereto, Tum To Dil Ke Taar Chhed Kar, Kho Gaye (Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raaja – 1961- Shanker Jaikishan) came up from my memory. This, incidentally, is a twin version song. Furthermore, looking for some other songs, I landed upon Tera Khayal Dil Ko Sataye To Kya Karen (Naqab – 1955 – Govind Ram).

My Favourites: Talat Mahmood – Lata Mangeshkar Duets

In addition to a fairly rich collection and the contents in the main article, these songs in Comments also catch our attention:

Yaad aanewale phir yaad aa rahe hain Anmol Ratan – Vinod. He gave another great duet Shikwa tera main gaaun in the film.
Mat chhed zindagi ke khamosh taar le jaRaag Rang – Roshan.
Saawan ki raaton meinPrem Patra – Salil Chaudhary
Chaahe nain churao chaahe daaman bachao pyar ho ke rahegaAas – Shanker Jaikishan

Mausam Ye Pukare Masti Mein Le Chal – Burmah Road (1962) – Chitragupt

The Legends: Talat Mahmood – Part 2 – has lined up duets with different singers.

SoY continues with Focusing on Naushad as the theme of the year while undertaking comparisons with C Ramchandra in Talat Mahmood by Naushad and C Ramchandra. Naushad used Talat Mahmood in lead only once in Babul (1950) and then as a co-singer with Mohammad Rafi in Kaisi haseen aaj baharon ki raat hai (Aadami – 1968). In the queer twist of commercial considerations, Talat Mahmood was replaced by Mahendra Kapoor in the final track, but the records were already in the market. In comparison, C Ramchandra has a fairly large share of ‘great’ songs with Talat Mahmood. Here also, Talat Mahmood was on the losing streak once – Kitna haseen hai mausam kitna haseen safar hai – which is finally rendered by Chitalkar himself.

Naushad-C Ramchandra duel for Amirbai Karnataki, is an innovative tribute to Amirbai Karnataki, on the 50th death anniversary (c.1906 – 3 March 1965). Naushad had About fifteen songs in seven films in a span of eight years whereas C Ramchandra had Eight films and about fifteen songs in a span of eight years – same as Naushad’s. ,,,, If we look at Amirbiai Karnataki’s singing career in overall perspective, Anil Biswas first catapulted her to great fame with Kismet (1943); she sang the maximum number of her songs for Gyan Dutt and maximum number of his songs were sung by her…. Vidur Sury has written an exhaustive and excellent article – Amirbai Karnataki – A Legendary Indian Singer on Amirbai Karnataki. He has also contributed to Atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics Amirbai Karanataki’s Deendayaal sakal dukhbhanjan (Narsi Bhagat – 1940)……..And this in turn takes us to the categories Ameerbai Karnataki songs, which has 118 posts and Ameerbai Karnataki solo, (78 posts) on Atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics

‘Bags, Books and More’ pays tribute to Ravi, through his scores to Sahir Ludhyanvi’s songs, in My favourite Sahir Ludhianvi – Ravi songs, on the third death anniversary. In terms of getting less to hear a song , we pick up Mahendra Kapoor-Asha Bhosle duet Rangeen Fiza hai (Bahu Beti, 1965) from among the ‘favorites’ .

We now turn to other posts on our regular blogs:

Tennis, Pathakji and ‘Tere sadke balam’ – There would many who have very strong association with a song….But it takes SoY to make it a memory to be shared with all as if we lived all those moments ourselves.

Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (8) – Pilu – Guest article by Subodh Agrawal in which he discusses the best film songs based on this Raga and some fine classical pieces. Pilu is the one that truly captures the mood evoked by this earthy smell, possibly because it is the raga of the Gangetic plain, where the summers are long and severe, and the rain – when it comes – comes in torrents, as in a fragment from the film Sara Akash (1969), as it captures the traditional movement better than any other clip one could locate.

As can be easily expected, the advent of spring should have led to posting of articles on the subject. Ten of my favorite spring songs takes up the task with the rules: the synonym for spring—basant, bahaar, etc—should actually be present in the lyrics, the word (especially in the case of bahaar, which can also refer to scenery or enchanting environs) should specifically refer to spring itself and the word should be used in the literal, not the metaphorical, sense, making the reading even more interesting.

Ten of my favourite cloud songs is a thematic songs-list article, which follows these rules: firstly, the synonym for cloud must be in the first line of the song, and secondly, the reference to clouds should be literal; clouds should not be used only in the metaphorical sense. On a similar vein, there have been other posts on rain songs and wind songs.

Ijaazat (1987) very fondly traces the origin for writing up the review to Mera kuch samaan from the album You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood

Word Play: Shaam presents the Shaam songs with the self-imposed rules : the song had to begin with the chosen word. (At the most, the word could be the second one in the first line.) Preludes to songs didn’t count. And two, it has to be the word itself, not its variations., which have yielded three posts – Raat, Piya and Chand – in the past. We pick up, again on the basis of the criterion of not-getting-to listen-often:

Shaam gayi raat aayi – Shree 420 (1955) – Lata Mangeshkar – Shanker Jaikishan- a song that is recorded and then discarded from the film is classic fit for Mystery of the Missing Songs, strangely, this song was never used in any subsequent RK film either

Shaam dekho dhal rahi hai -Anjaan Hai Koi (1969) – Mohammed Rafi, Usha Khanna – Music: Usha Khanna

Gulzar’s “shaam se aankh mein nami se hai – Mukesh .The original Salilda tune has been used in another song and has also been sung by Mukesh.

The succinct review of Aah – 1953 has very judiciously provided a link to the jukebox filled with songs from the film.

Dances By Egypt’s Naima Akef -Egypt’s Golden Age of cinema happened very close in time to India’s, beginning in the 1940s and extending into the ’60s. …there also are close parallels between this cinema and Indian cinema in the song-and-dance sequences, with the main difference being that the Egyptian dances were mostly Middle Eastern…..the present selection starts with Naima Akef’s most strange and possibly most modern dance, “Mambo.” After that one, thrown in are six more, which fall all along the spectrum from modern cabaret to traditional Egyptian folk dance. Rather than going into any descriptions of those, let the dances speak for themselves (because they certainly do speak for themselves….).

Kahan Le Chale Ho Bat Do Musafir – Beena Rai – a career starting form Kali Ghata (1951) ran into some 18 films ending with Apna Ghar Apni Kahani (1968). The post has provided links to some of her very famous songs.

Whilst on Beena Rai, we may recollect Ashok Dave;s review of Vallah Kya Baat Hai (1962) (in Gujarati), and enjoy these two exceptional Roshan songs –

Enjoyable western beats has compiled a special list of 15 songs on the player, applying the criteria that You should distinctly hear the bongo, conga or drums played as a lead instrument for at least a few seconds, in some part of the song, hindi film songs from the 1950s to the 1970s (with one song from 1980).

Rhythm of CastanetsCastanets are relatively tiny instruments that fit into the palms of the two hands and were originally used in European music. They can be played quickly in continuous notes to create a roll type of sound, or they can be played with each click on the castanet being a discrete note. The representative songs are on Rhythm of Castanets.

Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par, from Pyaasa 1957 takes us to Madhukar Shukla’s Translation of the original poem, and in turn to original version in Roman Urdu and the modified film song version. Here is the video clip of the song, wherein @ 6.26 we have my most favoured portion:

vo ujale dareechoN meiN paayal ki chhan-chhan
thaki haarii saaNsoN pe tabale ki dhan-dhan
ye be-ruuh kamroN meiN khaaNsii kii Than-Than
jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahaaN haiN?

And its English translation:

The jingling trinklets at casement bright,
Tambourins athrob’ mid gasping life;
Cheerless rooms with cough alive;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

On this rather sombre note, we now turn over to articles from the random search of other blogs/ sites:

The Hindi film song & the soundtrack of our livesSantosh Desai in City City Bang Bang -..It would be far too simplistic to connect the change in Hindi film songs to the harsher angrier discourse that we see in our public conversations, but surely the inability to find little islands of gentleness into which we can periodically retreat must take its toll. With no better self to find refuge in, no song to hum with eyes closed in melancholic bliss, the world is a harsher place full of people resigned to their hardness.

The “Indian” Dances in Kali Yug (1963, Italy/France/Germany) – The four dances in the films all center around the character Amrita, an exotic-enough sounding Indian name, played by the French actress and “Bond girl” Claudine Auger.

And now over to exclusive articles on Mohammad Rafi…

clip_image002The search for songs on Holi had led to writer and journalist Vinod Viplav’s article होली से कटती मुंबइया फिल्में. A little more exploration of the blog leads us to the category Mohammad Rafi, where we come to know of publication of the second edition of his biographical book Meri Awaz Suno (ISBN – 81-904097-1-9), which in turn led to:

As we close our books for this edition, we get the news that Shashi Kapoor, who just celebrated his 77th birthday, will receive this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

We continue our pursuit of the golden period of Hindi Film Music …….