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Centenary Celebrations I Liked Music from films

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 7

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 , Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Pran, Joy Mukherjee in the present series till now.

We have reached end of ‘50s in the Manna Dey’s career. With that we will now also enter a third phase if career, wherein he playbacks for some of the third – generation lead players.

With Sanjeev Kumar (a.k.a. Harihar Jethalal Jariwala) [B: 9 July 1938 | D: 6 November 1985]

Sanjeev Kumar technically entered Hindi film with a very minor role of a polic offcer in Hum Hindustani (1960). He then got a role of a side-kick of Joy Mukherjee in Aao Pyar Karein (1964) – seen as one of the sycophant friend in Ye Jhuki Jhuki Si Nigahein Teri. His first step in lead role was Nishan (1965), a Wadia Brothers make B grade film.

Humkadam Humsafar Humnashi HumzubaN, Mast Apne Hal Mein Zinda Diilo Ka KarwaN – Nishan (1965) – With Usha Khanna, Mahendra Kapoor – Usha Khanna – Javed Anwar (a.k.a. Manohar Lal Sharma (father of Usha Khanna)

A boy of teen age years, in the opening lines of the song, Sanjeev Kumar transforms into a young man in the first stanza – so apt a metaphor that also mirrors Sanjeev Kumar’s graduation to lead roles.

As had been the case with several earlier lead actors covered in this series, Manna Dey sings here for Sheikh Mukhtar, who grooms Sanjeev Kumar in the film. So to say, Manna Dey plays the (indirect) role in mentoring Sanjeev Kumar to scale the heights of an illustrious histrionic career.

Apne Liye Jiye To Kya Jiye – Badal (1966) – Usha Khanna – Javed Anwar

Sanjeev Kuamr’s run with B grade film continues, so too continues his association with songs composed by Usha Khanna, who give Manna Dey a quite known, but underplayed in the Hindi film history, song in two versions

Part 1

Part 2

Mit Jogi Banke O Gori Aaya Hai Ab Tere Dware, Saiyan Se Gori Nazare Mila Le  – Badal (1966) – Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali

Manna Dey easily matches the playful, mischievous mood of the song.

Soch Ke Ye Gagan Zoome, Abhi Chand Nikal Ayega – Jyoti (1965) – with Lata Mangeshkar – S D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Sanjeev Kumar is in the lead role, along with one of those very unlucky, but highly, talented actress Nivedita.

Kanhaiya O Kanhaiya Koyi Murali Ki Taan Suna De, Mere Tann Mann Mein Aag Laga De, Laga De – Rajaa Aur Rank (1968) – with Lata Mangeshkar, Kaumudi Munshi – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

Sanjeev Kumar can be said to have started gaining the escape velocity in this film.., Manna Dey sings his lines in the background as a narrator.

Aye Dost Maine Duniya Dekhi Hai – Sachchai (1969)- With Mohammad Rafi – Shankar  Jaikishan – Rajinder Krishna

The first sign of transformation of Sanjeev Kumar’s stature is a major role with Shammi Kapoor.

In Part 1 Sanjeev Kumar plays philosophical

In Part 2, the roles are reversed and Shammi Kapoor becomes philosophical.

Phir Kahi Koi Phool Khila – Anubhav (1971) Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

Not directly lip-synched by Sanjeev Kumar on the screen, the film marks Sanjeev Kumar’s footprint as an accomplished actor.

Manna Dey’s singing career, too, has passed through such turns.

Goyake Chunanche….Ho Naache Gaye jhoom Ke – Manoranjan (1974) – with Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Here too Sanjeev Kumar has successfully charted his course as lead actor who plays a common police man. Rise of his stature is manifested by Kishore Kumar as his play-back voice.

In the reversal of roles that we had earlier seen the Sachchai song, Manna Dey playsback for Shammi Kapoor here.

Bindiya Jagaye Bindiya Jagaye Ho Rama, Nindiya Na Aaye Haye Bindiya Jagaye – Daasi (1984) – Ravindra Jain – Ravindra Jain

Manna Dey is possibly chosen more for the ground of song being based on classical mode, but can be taken as metaphor of Sanjeev Kumar having reached the peak of fame as an actor, to whom Manna Dey’s playback  suits as much as that by Bhupinder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbjEBDz82Gw

with Rajesh Khanna (a.k.a. Jatin Khanna)

He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat, directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz, directed by Ravindra Dave, both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers’ Talent Competition. G.P. Sippy and Nasir Hussain were the first to sign Rajesh Khanna after he won the contest.

Rajesh Khanna went onto chart a blockbuster career as the First Superstar of Indian Cinema, keeping in toe Kishore Kumar as his THE playback voice. But, he also enacted acting-as-an-art intensive roles as well. It was Manna Dey who was in his good company in such toles.

Chunari Sambhal Gori Udi Udi Jaaye Re, Maar Na De Dankh Kahin, Nazae  Kahin Haaye – Baharo Ke Sapne (1967) – with Lata Mangeshkar – R D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Baharo Ke Sapne was Nasir Hussain’s low-budget project to keep the unit engaged while his Teesari Manzil was getting delayed.

Perhaps to continue the set trend of Manna Dey’s career, here too Manna Dey directly plays back for Anwar Hussain on the film, but the focus of the song is on Rakesh khanna

For the records, this remains Manna Dey’s sole hit for the banner

Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Haae – Anand (1970) – Salil Chowdhury – Yogesh

Rajesh Khanna too charts on to a parallel track of acting in non-commercial films.

For the song Manna Dey was THE choice of Salil Chowdhury.

Tum Bin Jeevan Kaisa Jeevan – Bawarchi (1972) – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

Once again Manna Dey comes in to playback for Rajesh  Khanna in a non-commercial lead role.

Bhor Aayee Gaya Andhiyara – Bawarchi (1972) – With Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Kishore Kumar, Nirmala Devi, Laxmi Shankar  – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

Madan Mohan has also charted a non-commercial track by selecting of payback singers  from classical sinigang for female singers and Hridaynath Chattopadhyay sininging for himself. Manna Dey fits into the scheme of things like a T.

Hasne Ki Chaah Ne Kitana Hamein Rulaya Hai – Aavishkar (1974) – Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

Here too Manna Dey does not directly playback for Rajesh Khanna, but the song remains a landmark in the careers of Rajesh Khanna as well as Manna Dey.

Mere Lal Tum To Hamesha The Mere Mann Ki Abhilasha Mein – Aavishkar (1974) – Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

In the narrowest scope, the song would fall into a background song genre. However, I have selected it here as a token of demonstrating virtuosity of Manna Dey’s voice, with Rajesh Kahanna in the focus as an additional justification !

Gori Tori Paijaniya…..Man Khole Bhed – Mehbooba (1976) – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Rajesh Khanna being ina masquerading track and the song taking up a classical base, makes Manna Dey as the ideal choice to sing the song.

Aamli Ki Taamli GaoN Mein – Prem Bandhan (1979) – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

Laxmikant Pyarelal must have preconceived Manna Dey as the singer for the song to playback for Rajesh Khanna as an oldish head of the tribe on the screen.

We plan to transit for Manna Dey as singer for the lead actors to Manna Dey as the singer of comedy songs in our next episode on Manna Dey and Mahmood.

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.
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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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

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

Our focused topic for the month of August, 2018 is Mena Kumari’s 85th birthday on 1st August, 2018.

Google Doodle celebrates tragedienne Meena Kumari’s 85th birthday – The formidable actress in Indian cinema appeared in more than 90 movies during her career that spanned over three decades.

The Life And Death of Meena Kumari | Tabassum Talkies

The Films of Meena Kumari and Dev Anand did together are: Sanam (1951), Tamasha (1952), Baad Baan (1954) and Kinare Kinare (1963). I have selected on song from each of these films

Bedard Shikari Are Bedard Shikari – Sanam – Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar – Husnlal Bhagatram – Qamar Jalalabadi

Thi Jinse Pal Bhar Ki Pehchan – Tamasha – Asha Bhosle – Khemchand Prakash / Manna Dey – Bharat Vyas

Dekho Chanchal Hai Mora Jiyara – Baadbaan – Asha Bhosle – Timir Baran, S K Pal – Indeevar

Har Ash Ashqbar Hai Har Saans Beqarar Hai – Kinare Kinare – Lata Mangeshkar – Jiadev – Nyay Sharma

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

The Great Sawan Songs of Bollywood – The month of Savan, 5th month in Hindu calendar, normally coincides with August. Hindi films have relished Savan in the songs.

Remembering Poet & Lyricist ‘Jan Nisar Akhtar’, whose maiden Hindi film song was Aa Jaane Wafa ( Anarkali, 1953, Geeta Dutt, Basant Prakash), but had first major commercial success was Yasmin (1955, C Ramchandra).

KHEM CHAND PRAKASH – The creator of musical gems, and the mentor of stalwarts like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Naushad, Manna Dey and Bulo C Rani

Neel gagan ki chhaon mein – Deepa Buty relives the song from Amrapali on Vyjayanthimala’s birthday on 13 August 2018

[N.B. Deepa Buty is the founder of the site SongPedia, which has a tagline “For Music Lovers, By Muisc Lovers’. The site spots tags like Legends , Song Sketch, Collections, Startups, People, Songs, We will commence our detailed visit to this site from our next issue.]

Most Memorable Films of Vyjayantimala – Born on August 13, 1933, she was a natural performer who danced for the pope at the age of four. She started in films under MV Raman’s direction at AVM with Vazhkai/Jeevitham (1949), a bilingual film in Tamil and Telugu. The immensely popular film was later adapted as Bahar (1951).

My Favourites by Shakeel Badayuni  – the only lyricist to have scored a hat trick of Filmfare awards:

1961Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Chaudhvin Ka Chand
1962 – Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin Gharana
1963Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil Bees Saal Baad

Two faces of Haribhai, a.k.a. Sanjeev Kumar is an effort to say some vaguely nice things about SK, by the author who is generally skeptical about the histrionics abilities of Sanjeev Kumar.

Interestingly, but certainly not having any link to the previous article, Dusted Off has chosen Nishan (1965), one of the early, B-grade Sanjeev Kumar films, for a full-fledged review this month.

The Songs of Gulzar shadow over his other roles as (originally assistant director) director and film script and dialogue writer.

in Part II, Monica Kar follows up, Musically Yours, 1963 (Part I) to pay a personal tribute to 12 music directors who created note-worthy compositions in 1963.

The Unforgettable Tunes of JAIDEV – unfortunately many of his best compositions are lost in unfinished films and albums.

The Master of Qawwali Roshan and some hidden qawwalis of Madan Mohan – In a career which had many parallels, as Roshan carved a niche in qawwaalis, Madan Mohan was known to specialize in composing the ghazals. The present post, lists the well-known Roshan qawwalis and some not so-known Madan Mohan qawwaalis.

The Great Yodeling Songs of Kishore kumar on his 89th birthday on 3rd August.

The world’s first South Indian Pathan? Why Sridevi’s accent in her Hindi films has never mattered – Edited excerpts from an upcoming biography of the actress, who would have been 55 on 13th August this year, by Lalita Iyer.  Shridevi had turned her language handicap into a quirk. Throughout her Hindi film career, she spoke Hindi with a thick, sing-song Tamil accent, and depending on whether one is a Shridevi fan or not, this could be grating or cute.

Shammi Kapoor – Who Sang his Songs from his Heart, whether they were serious pre-Tumsa Nahn Dekha songs or peppy post-Tumsa Nahin Dekha songs.

August, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to Shailendra’s songs composed by Roshan.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

The Great Bollywood Songs based on Folk Music – The leading composers of Bollywood films had used the folk songs in successful films and popularized them.

Musical Rhythms of the Running Train – Trains have been integral to the lives of people ever since the first train ran in 1853 in India. In Indian cinema, there are lots of songs which are picturized either on the running train or in the backdrop of the moving locomotive, snaking through the hills and the fields. Kunal Desai observes how composers have created the basic rhythm for songs which were picturized on a train or with the train as the subject. It is the story and the scene sequences, which influence the sound arrangement of any song.

Hindi Songs with ‘Anokhe Bol’ is akin to the songs that Radio Ceylonbroadcasted in it’s the tehn popular program Anokhe Bol

On the World Photography Day, The Hindi Films where Hero plays a photographer.

Ten Songs from ‘One-Song-Wonder’ Films is a list of songs that were the one major hit song in a film otherwise characterized by forgettable songs. E.g. Tum jo aao toh pyaar aa jaaye from Sakhi Robin,

Seen But Not Observed  the instrument Double Bass like Michael Caine, who got his fame “as being seen, but not being observed”. Check out Mera naam Chin Chin Choo from Howrah Bridge, 1958, and also Teen canastar peet-peet kar gala phaad kar chillaana from Love Marriage, 1959). The interesting thing is that while most significant instruments have been played by at least one major Hindi film actor on the screen, the Double Bass has the dubious distinction of never having been played by a significant actor, except for a few seconds by Kishore Kumar in Gaana na aaya.

The Great FRIENDSHIP Songs of Bollywood – Friendships have remained a popular genre in Hindi Film songs.

Live Music While You Eat – Many restaurants offer music to add to the dining experience; ghazals, popular film songs or pop, jazz, country western, etc. A book by Charles Spence of Oxford University, Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, announces that music can make our food taste better. The posts lists songs where a person was seen singing in a restaurant. Not dancing and singing, because that becomes a story of song and dance. If the patrons themselves dance, that’s ok J

‘Forgotten Artists of Early Cinema and The Same Name Confusion’ – While introducing the maiden book – Forgotten Artists of Early Cinema and The Same Name Confusion  –  published by Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh , co-authored by Surjeet Singh, the post has listed a few songs that link up with the subject of the book. Here is one such song:

Hath Chakra Trishul Sadashiv Alakh Jagaate Nagari Mein Abhram Bhagat (NFS bhajan, 1940)

Book Review: Anil Zankar’s ‘Mughal-e-Azam: Legend as Epic’ (Harper Collins Publishers India, 2013; 200 pages; Rs 250) – The author,among a good many other interesting details,  mentions that of the fifteen songs originally written for the film, only twelve were finally used, he doesn’t mention that one song—Husn ki baaraat chali—was actually shot, though eventually not used in the film.

Behind the Human Curtain – As for our poetry, we put all cloaks under the simplistic umbrellas of ghunghat, parda and naqaab. While by parda we also mean a curtain separating the women from the men, the result being the same. And in this collective simplification can be found several songs from Hindi cinema.

We continue Micro View of Best songs of 1947: And the winners are? with female solo songs, wherein after having covered solo songs of Suraiya and Geeta Roy,  Shamshad Begum. Rajkumari, Amirbai Karnataki (Part I and Part II) Zohrabai Ambalewali (Part I and Part II), we have now covered Khursheed, Noor Jehan & Kanan Devi, Meena Kumar, Naseem Akhtar and Zeenat Begum in ‘other’ female singers.

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

Rafi’s best songs by Madan Mohan – Madan Mohan has composed nearly 168 Mohammad Rafi songs, of which quite a few have everlasting fame. I have also picked up a very rarely heard, but famously enjoyable, song from the list:

Duniya Ke Saare Ghamon Se Begana, Ho Main Hun Mastana – Mastana (1954) – Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishna

Yeh To Kaho Kaun Ho Tum – Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Madan Mohan – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Yahan Koi Nahi Tera Mere Siwa – Dil Ek Mandir (1963 – Shanker Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Sanjeev Kumar Speaks on Mohammed Rafi

Haye Tabassum Tera – Nishan (1965) – Usha Khanna – Javed Anwar

Chalte Chale Chalo Chalta Hua Saahil Hai Zindagi – Insaan Aur Shaitan (1970) – Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali

Teen Taal Par Naach Budhape Bachpan Aur Jawani Ka – Ek Bul Bula Paani Ka (1970 – Jaidev – Kaifi Azmi

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

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

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

Hindi Film Music world lost its two more talented, but not corresponding recognized personalities – Mubarak Begum and Omi (of Sonic-Omi duo). Mubarak Begum made her debut in 1949 and thus saw the transformation of the HFM from vintage era to golden era.  Omi (Omprakash Sonic) of Sonic-Omi music director (Uncle, Manoharlal Sonic and his nephew Omi) duo, who did enter the HFM world at the last phase of the golden era and thus saw the transition for the golden era to the present day HFM world.

Here are the tributes to Mubarak Begum:

Mubarak Begum - Woh Na AAyende Palatkar

Ae Dil Bata  Hum Kahan Aa Gaye  – Khooni Khazana (1965) –  S Kishan –  Khawar Zaman
Chaah Karani Thi Chaahkar Baithe – Punarmilan (1964)  – C Arjun – Raja Mahedi Ali Khan
Itne Kareeb Aa Ke Bhi  – with Talat Mahmood – Shagoon (1964) – Khayyam  – Sahir Ludhianvi
Mere Aansuon Pe Na muskara – Morey Man Mitwa (1965)  – Dattaram –Priyadarshi
Hum Haal-e-Dil Sunayenge – Madhumati (1958)  – Ssalil Chowdhary – Shailendra
Mujhhko Apne Gale Laga Lo  – with Mohammad Rafi – Humrahi (1963) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Bemurrawat Bewafa – Sushila (1966) – C Arjun – Jan Nissar Akhtar

Hamrahi (1963) – Mubarak Begum & Rafi – Mujh Ko Apnay Galay Lagaa Lo, Ae Meray Hamraahi – Shankar Jaikishan (Hasrat Jaipuri)

Gogola (1966) – Mubarak Begum & Talat – Zara Keh Do Fizaayo.n Se Aame.n Itnaa Sataye Na – Roy & Frank (Baalkavi Bairagi)

Phoolon Ke Haar (1951) – Mubarak Begum & Devendar Goel – Jhoom Jhoom Kar Door Gagan Pe Badal Kare.n Ishaaray – Hans Raj Bahal (Varma Malik)

Basera (1950) – Mubarak begum & BS Nanji – Dekho Ji Baat Suno, Tum Mujhse Aan Milo– MA Rauf (Sardar Ilham)

Awara Shehzadi (1956) – Mubarak Begum & Shashikant – Karlo Ji Pyaar Karlo Ji Pyaar Dil waalo Pyaar Kar Lo – Nashad (Sartaj)

Patit Paawan (1955) – Mubarak Begum & Sudha Malhotra – Jeevan Ka Tu Ujiyaara Hai, Rakhwaara Bansi Waara Hai – Jamal Sen (Bharat Vyas)

Haar Jeet (1954) – Mubarak Begum & Geeta Dutt – Bechain Hai Betaab Hai Is Dil Ka Fasaanaa Sun Le – SD Batish (Kaif Irfani)

Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966) – Mubarak Begum & Asha – Saaqiyaa.n Ek Jaam Vo Bhi To De – Madan Mohan (Rajendar Krishan)

SoY also had posted An evening with Mubarak Begum on January 5, 2013.  I have selected these two songs from this post:

And the tributes to Omprakash Sonic:

AAJ KE FANKAR- A TRIBUTE TO COMPOSER OMI (DUO SONIK- OMI)

We also recollect Omi ji (of Sonik-Omi) in an exclusive interview with Anmol Fankaar and “Sansaar Hai Ik Nadiya” – (Sonik) Omi

We now take up posts that remember the Anniversaries:

Sanjeev Kumar – The Actor Who Rose Above The ‘Hero’ – From among his several costars, ranging from Hema Malini to Sharmila Tagore, from Raakhee to Vidya Sinha, Suchitra Sen to Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar experimented the most with his female lead and bosom pal Jaya Bhaduri (Bachchan). These two superbly talented actors played out all kinds of relationships on screen – husband-and-wife (Koshish), father-in-law and daughter-in-law (Sholay), lovers (Anamika), father-daughter (Parichay), the multifarious 9-character role in Naya Din Nayi Raat, ending up as the doctor and patient who hesitatingly comfort each other on finding that their respective spouses are having an affair (Silsila).

Shankar-Jaikishan’s songs for Mukesh  – Continuing the series on Shankar-Jaikishan, SoY presents the songs composed by them for Mukesh as a tribute to the singer on his 93rd birth anniversary (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976). All the songs that are posted present a good panorama of their association.  I have added a few on my art here. Except for ‘Apne Hue Paraye’ song, these songs that immediately popped up, but had remained dormant till the memory was jolted out by this post….

‘Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega, Mera Saya Saath Hoga’ – The Everlasting Songs of Raja Mehdi Ali Khan – From patriotic to sentimental, from humorous to romantic, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan penned a wide range of songs that were simple yet sublime. In a tribute, we revisit some of those everlasting songs on the extreme end of the spectrum:

Music Makers of Golden Era

The Music Makers of the Golden Era – Roshan, Anil Biswas, Hemant Humar, Mohd. Shafi, Naushad, Jaikishan, C. Ramchandra and Madan Mohan

‘Rehearsals were Never Easy, Music Sittings were Always Fun’ – Remembering Madan Mohan – Madan Mohan, the creator of immortal melodies and film ghazals, had a fun-loving, outgoing personal side as a gracious cook and host, a wrestling and racing enthusiast, a car freak among other energetic interests – his eldest daughter Sangeeta Gupta in a conversation with Peeyush Sharma.

Orthodox RD Burman – an extremely talented and creative composer with a solid foundation in the orthodox style of composition., a style of composition where there is an emphasis on melody and melodic content in the vocals of the song. We can listen to 30 handpicked songs in his orthodox style in a playlist by clicking LINK TO R D BURMAN PLAYLIST

Tumko Piya Dil Diya Kitne Naaz Se – GS Kohli, the Unsung Music Composer – We have picked up only one song here to simply illustrate the versatility of GS Kohli.

We now take a look at posts on other subjects –

My Favourites: Songs of Strangers – in honour of those long-gone days, when pardesis seemed to make frequent trips to far flung villages and find the love of their lives in those unsullied vales, here are some of my favourite pardesi songs.

My Favourites: ‘Where Are You?’ Songs – I have picked up two of the less heard songs from this list to give us the idea about what the subject is about –

D P Ranagan, in one more of his highly innovatively informative article, Star showers in Bollywood, has presented Hindi Films songs that have featured the stars

Book Review: Dorothee Wenner’s ‘Fearless Nadia: The True Story of Bollywood’s Original Stunt Queen’Fearles Nadia

In her biography of Hindi cinema’s ‘original stunt queen’, German film-maker and curator for the Berlin International Film Festival, Dorothee Wenner sets out to explore the life and times of this fascinating actress. Fearless Nadia: The True Story of Bollywood’s Original Stunt Queen (Translated by Rebecca Morrison; ISBN: 0-14-303270-4; Penguin Books; 248 pages; Rs 295)

Ten of my favourite Dupatta/Chunri/Chunariya songs – a salwar-kurta (or churidarkurta) or a sharaara, or even a ghaagra, the dupatta served to drape the upper part of the body: the bosom, at least, but in some cases, even the head. It thus became a symbol of modesty—and, in some instances, an extension of the heart, the feelings of the wearer. More than the saree or any other garment, the dupatta became the theme for songs. (It even gave its name to one really lovely Pakistani film starring Noorjehan). However, this post is really a response-in-kind of “absolutely lovely dupatta” that friend, fellow blogger and soul sister Anu’s gift to the author.

Three Queens of the Indian Drums focuses on some great contemporary female players of Indian drums.

Pakistani Stars endorsing Lux Soap – The first Pakistani actress to endorse Lux Soap was Meena Shorey in 1956

Guru Dutt with his family (1957)

guru-dutt-family

Back row: Guru Dutt with his father, mother and Geeta Dutt. Front row: Guru Dutt’s brother Atma, his wife, sister Lalita and her husband. The children are those of Guru and Atma Dutt.

Autographs of Hindi Film Stars – I and II – and links to the profiles of – Om Prakash, Cuckoo,Nalini Jaywant, Vimla, Kuldeep Kaur, Jairaj, Sajjan and Veera

Biswajeet – Memories – as told to Santosh Sud in1990 – throws light on some very interesting facets of him.

In Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, having covered G M Durrani, Talat Mahmood, Surendra and ‘Other’ Male Playback Singers , Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi’s ever green solo songs, first and second part of  Other Noteworthy Solo songs in the Male Solo Songs category till now, I also declared MY Top Male Solo Songs, choosing Mohammad Rafi as the Best Male Singer for 1949 and his Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki (Dulari, Naushad) as the Best Song. SoY also has released Best songs of 1949: Wrap Up 1, choosing Mukesh as the Best Male Singer and Tu kahe agar as the Best Male Solo.

Then I have taken up Solo Songs of ‘Other Than Lata Mangeshkar’ Female Singers, in which we covered Suraiya, Geeta Roy , Shamshad Begum, Raajkumari, Asha Bhosle, Surindar Kaur.

On Mohammad Rafi’s anniversary we end our present episode with a few of Sonic-Omi’s Mohammed Rafi songs that did not gain ‘high’ popularity:

Haseen JulfoN Ka Rang De Do – Beti (1969) – Shakeel Badayuni

Mere Mehboob Tu Mujhko – Beti (1969) – Shakeel Badayuni

Yeh Dil Nahin Hai – Aabroo (1968) – GS Rawal.

We will take up an exclusive article on Mohammad Rafi in our next Fading Memories.. Unforgettable Songs episode…..

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 – July 2015

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

As always we begin with posts dedicated to tributes.

How the groovy saxophonist Manohari Singh helped redefine Hindi film musicRudradeep Bhattacharjee – Known for his solo in the super-hit ‘Satta Bazaar’, he was an important figure during the golden era of Hindi film music. It’s his fifth death anniversary on 13th July 2015. SD Burman asked him to play for the background score of ‘Sitaron Se Aage’ (1958) and then in his subsequent films. Some of vary famous pieces:

Even before ‘Pyaasa’, the shadows had started gathering in Guru Dutt’s ‘Mrs & Mrs 55’Nasreen Munni Kabir – To mark the filmmaker’s 90th birthday, we revisit the movie that signaled a maturing of style but also anticipated the turn towards darker material in his subsequent works.

Unfinished business: The movies that Guru Dutt announced and abandonedKaran Bali – The celebrated director, actor and producer was responsible for several classics. But he also left many aborted projects.

An Afternoon Tryst with Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar – an always welcome combination.

Anatomy of a Debate: Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) sums up extreme reactions of both affection and disgust from modern viewers.

Sanjeev Kumar was one of those few actor-stars to whom the role meant more than anything in the world…..he chose to tread the path set down by other actor-stars such as Motilal and Balraj Sahni and rewrote many of the conventions of Bollywood rather than follow the conventional star system.

Naushad’s exceptional Mukesh – a tribute on Mukesh’s 92nd birth anniversary (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976) – presents 10 gems from 26 songs that Naushad composed in all with Mukesh.

We now turn to our other regular posts:

Memorable Guitar songs where a guitar is heard in the song. The post contains a medley of guitar pieces from 15 songs, the catchy prelude in the chart buster song – Dum maro dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) and the 15 handpicked songs on the player

[More] Dances from Indian Dance Group Mayuri, from Petrozavodsk, Russia from the films came out at different times between the early’60s and the present decade. (The first dance is from a film made in the present decade, and it is not even Hindi; it’s Marathi.)

My favourite ‘car’ songs are with caveats that All the songs would have to take place for at least 80% in a moving car and No actor would feature in more than one song. (There is one exception – Guru Dutt. But well, he isn’t singing in either, so should not count!)

My favourite songs with the word ‘Badal/ Badra’ is a list of 10 songs that have the words badal or badra or badarva in the first line of the song and not a ‘My favourite Cloud Songs‘ post because I have left out songs with megha and ghata. We have picked two songs here:

Wedding Songs – And Beyond incorporates various elements that lead up to a wedding and its aftermath.

Some songs from Gopinath 1948 has remembered Ayee Gori Radhika – Neenu Majumdar and Meena Kapoor [The song seems to have provided the base inspiration for Satyam Shivam Sundaram’s Yashomati Maiya Se Bole Nandlala]. To which we add up other songs to update the records:

MUSINGS has critically carved out the career path of Nutan – 1950 – 1951[Cradle, Cheshire Cat?], 1952- 1954 [The delicate Bud], 1955-1956 [The Pink Tip], 1957-1958 [The Rosebud], 1959-1960 [Parijata], 1962 – 1963 [Eternal Spring], and 1963-1970 [Bed of Thorns] – banking upon a good deal of well- reasoned research and well-presented chain of personal observations and opinions. There several more posts, which I would suggest that you take up directly at the blog.

Five psychedelic sitar classics by Ananda ShankarNate Rabe – The most low-key member of the fabulous Shankar family, Ananda Shankar created funky sitar versions of ‘Light My Fire’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. Listen to these tracks as a single playlist here on YouTube channel.

Five Pakistani-Christian singers who were the mainstay of Lollywood’s golden yearsNate Rabe – An introduction to Salim Raza (aka Noel Dias), Irene Parveen and more . We have picked up this one as an interesting illustration: Yaaro Mujhe Maaf Karo Mein Nashe Main Hun – Salim Raza – Saat Lakh. There are several illustrious versions of this nazm. We will take one by Ghulam Ali on records here and may take up other versions in a separate post at a more opportune platform.

Book Review: Sidharth Bhatia’s ‘The Patels of Filmindia: Pioneers of Indian Film Journalism’ – If nothing else, then the book ought to be read for the art, the ads, the feel of the 30s, the 40s, the 50s. Even the 60s. -The golden age of Hindi cinema.

Posts culling out excerpts from Jai Arjun Singh, a.k.a Jabberwock’s book on Hrishikesh Mukherjee: a photo from the Satyakam set; Biswajit and a five-year-old movie star and Hrishi-da in a house full of bitches – does kindle the appetite to read the book, while furnishing a fairly satisfying preview on each of the topic picked up.

 This photograph almost gives the impression that David is directing Dharmendra, while the real director passively looks onThis photograph almost gives the impression that David is directing Dharmendra, while the real director passively looks on

SoY continues with the series on multiple versions of songs. We have Multiple Versions Songs (22): Female Solo and A Duet or A Chorus and Multiple Versions Songs (23): A Male / Female solo / duet or a Chorus – More than two versions of a song. Each post has a very rich supplement from the readers.

Now we move over songs remembered by our friends in this month –

Samir Dholakia

Arun Kumar Deshmukh’s Ik din tumne kahaa thha ji has a very high-octane prologue that so excellently pays tribute to according to one estimate, at least 1000 Music Directors, who gave music to just one film and disappeared. The song is Ik din tumne kaha thha ji (Ek Thha Ladka)(1951) Shamshad Begam, G M Durrani, Lyrics-Rajesh Kumar, MD-Rajhans Kataria.

Bhagvan Thavrani

In the last episode of our carnival, we had talked about the very widely discussed and participated exercise of annual review of songs of a particular year – Best songs of 1950: And the winners are?. We have covered up documentation of the further micro-review of the songs C Ramchandra, Husnlal Bhagatram and Ghulam Mohammad, Anil Biswas and other Music directors’ Lata Mangeshakar’s songs, as well as those of Suraiya and Shamshad Begum in June 2015. We continue with the posts published during the present month:

In the meanwhile SoY has now released Best songs of 1950: Wrap Up 1.

We will continue with the series in the next couple of months as well……

In the end, we have (our customary) very special songs of Mohammad Rafi taken out from the songs Bhagwan Thavrani has sent us –

We also have some more songs from Zimbo Comes…. Series of films:

Samir Dholakia has remembered Dekh Liya Maine Kismat Ka Tamasha Dekh Liya – Deedar (1951) – Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar – Naushad.

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

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – November 2014

Welcome to November, 2014 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We begin our journey with anniversary tributes.

Manna Dey – First Death Anniversary

The post lists Manna Dey’s five most iconic songs:

§ Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala – Shree 420 (1955) | Shanker Jaikishan

§ Tu Pyar Ka Saagar Hai – Seema (1955) | Shanker Jaikishan

§ Kaun Aaya Mere Man Ke Dwaare – Delkh Kabira Roya (1957) | Madan Mohan

§ Ae Meri Zohara Zabeen – Waqt (1965) | Ravi

§ Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Haae – Anand (1970) | Salil Chaudhary

Also lists author’s choices 10 Manna Dey songs.

Mandatory Sahir Post of the week! – on his 34th death anniversary on 25th October

We select two songs form the post here;

  • Laage Tose Nain (Chandi Ki Deewar, 1964, N.Dutta) – Talat Mahmood , Asha Bhosle

Sahir Ludhyanwi also has a range of devotional songs to his credit – Allah Tero Naam (Hum Dono), and then that brilliant Asha song from Kaajal, Tora Man Darpan Kehlaye and that fervent Rafi prayer from Naya Daur, Aana Hai Toh Aah Raah Mein

A tribute to S.D. Burman – 39th Death Anniversary on 31 October

Author writes – SDB is one of favorite music directors. O.P. Nayyar is another music director I have a special fondness for.

Remembering Rehman… An extremely talented but highly underrated actor with a powerful screen presence

We pick up these songs form the post:

Remembering Sanjeev Kumar

Our pick is:

The Unforgettable Geeta Dutt .. (so) ironical that her first super hit song was to be eventually prophetic about her short, tragic life – Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya, Main Prem Mein Sab Kuch Haar Gayi, Bedard Zamaana Jeet Gaya!

Our Picjk is:

Salil Chaudhary – versatile, experimenting, melodious

Happy Birthday, Sitara Devi!

..seven scenes represent a pretty nice range…Some of these are very lively and energetic dances, because she was extremely energetic (as Saadat Hasan Manto pointed out when he called her a typhoon). …also included are a couple of slower and less frenetic scenes that highlight her individual humor and unique expressions, because these have been an important aspect of her performances, too.

The Doyenne of Vintage Era: Khursheed

….. such a prominent singer of the Vintage Era.. Endowed with a full-throated, open and powerful voice… Vintage Era refers to not only a period of time, i.e. the 1930s through 40s, but also, and more importantly, a different style of singing, which became extinct with the arrival of Lata Mangeshkar….. No singer represented this contrast better than Khursheed

Anil Biswas’s songs for Bombay Saigal: Surendra

…because of contractual difficulties inherent in the Studio Era, Anil Biswas could not compose for KL Saigal, even though their careers overlapped for over a decade, half of which was in Bombay itself where Saigal shifted from Calcutta in the early 40s. But, when Saigal was becoming a national sensation with the New Theatres in Calcutta, especially after Devdas (1935), Bombay was looking for its own Saigal, and its prayers were soon answered in Surendra – a tall, handsome young man, with a melodious voice, from Lahore.

Musical Shammi Kapoor

…When you speak of Shammi Kapoor, music cannot be far behind. All his films had that in common – melodious songs that were loud and energetic, joyous and boisterous, soft and romantic… the songs chosen (here) had him playing one instrument or another, or even multiple instruments in the same song…

We now take up visits to different sites which have several articles for our view:

Scroll .in

§ Remembering the Jewish refugee who composed the All India Radio caller tune

All India Radio’s caller tune has been heard by hundreds of millions of people since it was composed in 1936. Somewhat improbably, the melody, based on raga Shivaranjini, was composed by the Czech man.. Walter Kaufmann. He was the director of music at AIR and was one of the many Jewish refugees who found a haven in India from the Nazis.

Here’s a clip of one of his tunes, titled Meditation

§ Rediscover the virtuosity of Hindustani vocalist Amir Khan … a bandish ki thumri in raag Khamaj that he sang for the Bengali film Kshudhita Pashan. The music for this film was composed by sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan.

§ ‘Sun Mere Bandhu Re’: The double notes of S.D. Burman’s life – The thing about great stories is that there are a million way to say them and this is what makes reading Sathya Saran’s Sun Mere Bandhu Re ‒The Musical World of S. D. Burman a pleasure unlike any recent biography.

§ Before movie trailers, Indian producers used song booklets to publicise films – Ever since the release of India’s first talkie, Alam Ara, in 1931, songs have had the power of making or breaking a movie. Some releases scored big at the box-office only because of their repeat-value soundtracks. For music fans, the song booklet outlived the movie and became a record of who wrote the lyrics and who appeared in the production.

§ What’s Lata doing in a Britney Spears song? Western tunes with unlikely Bollywood samples – It’s not only Indian artists who get inspired by music from elsewhere. American music producers, with their penchant for overproduction and constant search for new, exotic sounds, have been sampling Bollywood music for years now. And it’s turned up in the most unlikely of places.

Songs, Stories, Books and More…

Before we switch over to our customary Mohammad Rafi ending of the carnival, we have a few more posts to visit –

  • My Favourites: Songs of First Love – What happens when you find that special someone? When Cupid’s arrows strike your heart, when one smile, one glance is enough to make your heart beat faster? How does it feel like to be in love? For that very first time?…..There is a special place in our poems and literature for pehla pyar. Perhaps it is the implication of innocence….the first realisation that someone else has become so important to your happiness….the hopes that he or she feels the same way about you….the dreams of living together forever…the expectation of happiness. … As always, Hindi films celebrate that first flush of love with songs. Seek, and ye shall find a cornucopia of songs that soak in this emotion…these songs that express many different shades of the same emotion.
  • Leke Pahela Pahela Pyar – Two other artists with Dev Anad and Shakeela were Sheela Vaz and Shyam Kappor, an assistant to Guru Dutt… the article narrates Shyam Kapoor’s fond memories of Gurudutt films, while updating on the present life of Shyam Kapoor.

Our friend Bhagwan Thavrani writes in to send the video clip – Woh dekho udhar chaand – Roop Kumari (1956) – Geeta Dutt , Manna Dey , because SN Tripathi has made exact replica later in 1961 as Nigahon mein tum ho – Jadoo Nagri. – Lata Mangeshkar

And now over to exclusive articles on Mohammad Rafi…

  • Combination of LP and Rafi in the films of Dharmendra and Jeetendra in the 1960s – By Dr. Souvik Chatterji – During 60s LP composed music for 71 films, which had pivotal songs of Mohammad Rafi.
  • HEADY WINE : Rafi-Dada Burman By K.V.Ramesh – Like many of his contemporaries SD Burman started out with his scores dominated by female voices. Shamshad Begum and Geeta Roy / Dutt were the two earlier voices usually associated with Dada Burman. The trend for male voices was seemingly straight forward – to replace Saigal Rafi sang his first song for S.D.Burman in ‘Do Bhai’(1947). Raja Mahendi Ali Khan’s ‘Duniya mein meri aaj andhera hi andhera’ is very Saigal inspired in so far as singing style goes.. In a movie dominated by two Geeta Roy killers – ‘Yaad karoge’ and ‘Mera sundar sapna beet gaya’ (both sung and emoted with exquisite pain) – it was but natural that this song probably sank without a trace and it’s not present in public consciousness.
  • Rafi’s Pancham note By Anuj Sharma – The combination of Rafi and Pancham produced around 110 songs and barring 4 – 5 songs each and every song of this combination was a gem….Even before Chhote Nawab happened in 1961, RD had already chosen Rafi for his first independent assignment under Guru Dutt Productions’ Raaz in around 1957. An eighteen year old Pancham had selected Rafi, Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar as his first set of singers for his first film….R.D’s third film ‘Teesra Kaun’ released in 1965 carried one solo by Rafi- ‘Meri jaan tu khafa hai to kya huwa’….. Do you hear SJ tune in the song????

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P.S. – Even before the post was published, Sitara Devi put the curtain down on her LIVE performances on 25-11-2014.