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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: September, 2016

Welcome to our September, 2016 episode of ‘Fading Memories. Unforgettable Songs’.

We had dedicated our August, 2016 episode to Mohammad Rafi on his 36th death anniversary.

We will dedicate the present episode to the memory of Mukesh on his 40th death anniversary (22 July 1923 to 27 August 1976)

In quite a path breaking post, Mukesh’s vintage duets, Songs of Yore and quite active readers thereof have presented and discussed duets of Mukesh with singers of vintage era. The post has, necessarily therefore, chosen to 1949 as the cut-off year.

As it happens, in a concurrent series, Songs of 1949 @ SoY, I have had covered Solo Songs of Mukesh.

It so happens that 1949 has one more significance as well in so far as Hindi film songs of Mukesh is concerned. This is the year in which he had repeated, in a consecutive year, playback for the famous triad of heroes of the Golden Era – Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar. Not that he had rendered voice for each of this three upcoming Greats for the first time. In the past he had several such songs that had acquired high praise from critics and great box-office runs for the records.

For Raj Kapoor:

Baharon Ne Jise Chheda Woh Saaz-e-Jawani Hai – Sunehare Din (1949) – Gyan Dutt – Shezvan Rizvi

We do get very strong indicators of signature Mukesh as Raj Kapoor’s playback alter ego here.

Of course, we certainly shall not miss Barsaat. But as far as songs were concerned, it was more a Lata Mangeshkar show than that of Mukesh. Mukesh had two duets in the film – each one of a diametrically opposite tastes and far more different appeal. The only solo filmed on Raj Kapoor has Mohammad Rafi’s voice.

For Dev Anand:

Yeh Duniya Hai… Yahan Dil Ka Lagana Kis Ko Aata Hai – Shair (1949) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni

As we do not have any solo of Mukesh for Dev Anand, we will make an exception to include a Male Female Duet in this case.

For Dilip Kumar:

Andaz was simply a blockbuster, on any and all counts…..All songs that Dilip Kumar had enacted on screen were played back by Mukesh and were roaring hits….compared to Raj Kapoor lip-singing his songs in Mohammad Rafi’s voice with a rather tepid audience response…. Who would have imagined that the picture will be exactly reversed in so far as the default voice of each of them by the turn of the decade just a couple of years away!!!

Toote Na Dil Toote Na– Andaz (1949) – Naushad – Majrooh Sultanpuri

And that provides us the setting for revisiting Mukesh’s solo songs, right from his debut film, 1941 – Nirdosh –  till 1948 – wherein he playedback songs for the great triad in one given year, for the first time.

If there is more than one solo song in a film, I have chosen only one for the purpose of today’s episode.

Dil Hi Bujha Hua Ho To Fasle Bahaar Kyaa – Nirdosh (1941) – Ashok Ghosh – Neelkanth Tiwari

If this song has the historic credit of being Mukesh’s first recorded song for Hindi Films, Nirdosh itself also has the distinction of being the film in which Mukesh also acted for the first time ever ON the screen.

In the next year, Mukesh did have a film in which he acted too – Dukh Sukh . It had two duets with Sitara. Music was composed by Khemchand Prakash. Before the sudden demise, just before his torch bearer song for the Golden Era – Aayega Aanewala- had hit the public, it seems he and Mukesh could not leave behind some solo songs for us.

In 1943, we have Adab Arz, in which Mukesh had played a character from a rich family who married gardener’s daughter in the end. Based on Urdu culture Mukesh played a Muslim role. Gyan Dutt was the music director. The film does not have any song of Mukesh though. We get the first test of their collaborative effort in terms of a solo song in Sunehare Din (1949).

1944 also had one film – Us Paar – in which Firoze Nizami had composed the music and has only one duet of Mukesh – with Kusum (Jara Bolo Ri Haan)in the album.

1945 would remain a very important milestone in the Mukesh’s singing career. Anil Biswas recorded Dil Jalata Hai, which blazed a trail on which Mukesh went on to scale great heights. The film also had one more Mukesh solo:

Tay Kar Ke Badi Door Ki Poorpech Nagariya – Pehli Nazar (1945) – Anil Biswas – Dr. Safdar ‘Aah’

1945 had another film – Moorti, in which Mukesh did get to sing for Motilal under the baton of Bulo C Rani. Hasino Ko Hasino Se Muhabbat Ho Hi Jaati Hai remains quite known. Mukesh successfully continues to clone K L Saigal. We will also listen to:

Mana Ke Tum Haseen Ho,Eh-Le Shabab Ho – Moorti (1945) – Bulo C Rani – Pandit Indra Chandra

The cloning continues into singing a Ghazal-style composition.

During 1946, we see three films in Mukesh’s bag.

Chehra had one duet, with Shamshad Begum and one solo –

O Praani Kyaa Soche Kyaa Hoye – Chehraa (1946) -,MA Mukhtar – Ishwar Chandra  Kapoor

Rajputani also had one duet with Hamida Banu and one solo –

Kiye Ja Pyar Kiye Jaa Na Himmat Haar, Kabhi Inkaar, Kabi Ikraar  – Bulo C Rani – Pandit Indra

Rasili had only one duet, but that is a male-male duet, with Narayan. Again a first for Mukesh….

Aaghaaz Chalaa, Anjaam Chalaa, Wah Rota Hua Nakaam Chala – Raseeli (1946) Composed and written by: Hanuman Prasad

The 1947 has 6 films that have Mukesh Songs –

Beete Din had one solo –

Arsho Pe Sitaara Hai Woh  – Beete Din (1947)  – Pandit Dinkar Rao  – Pandit Faani / H. Tanveer (?)

Do Dil had two duets with Suraiya, one duet with Rajkumar and three solos of which have picked up only one here –

Jia Beimaan, … Bas Mein Paraye Hai, Ghadi Ghadi Bhar  Aaye Hai – Do Dil – Pandit Govind Ram – D N Madhok

Neel Kamal, which had Raj Kapoor in the lead role, had two duets with Johrabai Ambalewali and one with Hamida Banu. Mukesh had one song in which Mukesh blends with chorus to sing the credit title song for the film –

Shri Kamal Netra Stotram – Neel KamalB Vasudev

Chhin Le Azadi had one duet with Shamshad Begum and Dak Banagla had one duet with Suraiya.

Tohafaa had two duets with Hamida Banu and three solos, of which we have picked up one solo here –

Kisne Chheda Man Ka Taar … – Tohfa – M A Rauf – Shant Aroda

With that we come to the last sections of our circle, the year 1948.

This year we see Mukesh’s presence on a far wider compass of music directors –

Anjuman had a duet with Shamshad Begum and a solo of Mukesh –

Woh Teer  Kaleje Par Ik Shokh Ne Maara Hai – Anjuman – Bulo C Rani – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Ghulam Mohammad composed Grahasthi had one duet with Shamashd Begum., Pugree  had one duet with Sitara (of Kanpur), Ali Husain Muradabad  composed O Jaanewale had two duets with Shamshad Begum., Toote Taare (Shaukat Ali a.k.a Nashad) had two duets with Geeta Roy

Gunjan had two solos, of which we have picked up one:

Koi Din Zindagi Ke Gungunakar Hi Bitata Hai – Gunjan – Ashok Ghosh – Saraswati Kumar Deepak

Pardesi (Ghulam Haider) also had one duet – with Lata Mangeshkar.

Pardesi Mehmaan had one duet with Husn Bano and one solo –

Hoshiyaar Naujawaan Jag Ae Naujawan, Jal Raha Tera Makaan, Jal Raha Tera Hindostan – Pardesi Mehmaan – Hanraj Behl – Pt Indra

HFGK records two songs in Mukesh’s name for Shree Rambhakta Hanuman simply because other records may not have specifically the name of the singer.

Tum Bin Soona Jeevan Mera – Shree Rambhakta Hanuman – SN Tripathi – Pandit Indra/ B D Mishra (?)

Suhaag Raat had one duet with Rajkumai and a solo –

Lakhi Bulbul Mere Kaahe Ko Deenhi VidesSuhaag Raat – Snehal Bhatkar – Ameer Kushro

Veena had three solos, of which we have picked up one:

Mere Sapnon Ki Rani Re – Veena – Anil Biswas – Narendra Sharma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGXw4txpz08

The year has Mukesh singing for all three Great of India Hindi Film Triad, for the first time in the same year –

Aag was Raj Kapoor’s maiden directorial venture.

Zinda Hun Is Tarah Ke Gam-e Zindagi Nahin –Aag – Ram Ganguly – Behzad Lakhnavi

In Vidya, Dev Anand teams up with Suraiya. The film had one duet and one solo –

Bahe Na Kabhi Nain Se NeerVidya  – SD Burman – YN Joshi

Dilip Kumar had two films – Anokha Pyar and Mela. The former had Anil Biswas and later had Naushad as music director respectively.

Jeevan Sapna Toot Gaya – Anokha Pyar – Anil Biswas – Zia Sarhadi

This one also had a marvelous Lata Mangeshkar version too.

Mela was a roaring success. It had three duets with Shamshad Begum and a widely popular solo –

Gaaye Ja Geet Milan Ke Sjan Ghar Jaana Hai – Mela – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

So…… this is the history of  Mukesh at his vintage best……

We will end our present episode of Vintage Mukesh with a duet in company of vintage Mohammad Rafi –

Jale Jalanewale  Humko Jaise Mombatti  – Chilman (1949)– Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh – Hanuman Prasad – P L Santoshi

If you have songs to share, you are most heartily welcome…..

Categories
Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs I Liked

Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs: July, 2016

Welcome to our July, 2016 episode of ‘Fading Memories. Unforgettable Songs’.

We will first take up a few of the songs of 1940s. These songs have been forwarded by Sumantbhai (Dadu) from his great treasure trove collection.

Daras Bina Dukhan Laage Nain – Meerabai (1932) – Bibbo  – SP Rane

While searching for a YT link, I landed up on same bhajan, but it was for film Sneh Bandhan (a.k.a.Intezar) 1940, composed by Panna Lal Ghosh.

Ab Shaad Hai Dil Aabaad Hai Dil – Yahudi Ki Ladki (1933) – Ratanbai – Pankaj Mallik

Here too we find a version of this song, sung by Utpala Sen and released in 1948

We now take a Sardul Kwatra’ composition sent in by Samir Dholakia. As the coincidences happen, I am separately taking a micro-view of songs of 1949 and I had shortlisted this song under “Other Male Singers’ –

Chot Padi Dil Pe Aisi Ke Bas Yaad Karen – Ek Teri Nishani (1949) – Raja Gul- Sardul Kwatra – Sarshar Shalani

As it happens I had also identified 1949 – Sardul Kwatra song for my Micro Review, under Other Female Singer group.. And this is an Asha Bhosle song!.

Chupke Chupke Mast Nigahein

There is another Asha Bhosle song from the same, but composed by Pandit Amarnath.

Teri Kafir Jawani Ko Jawani Kaun Kahata  Hai

Do these songs sound bells for future specialization by Asha Bhosle……

And this was enough to kindle enough interest about Sardul Kwatra.  Till now I have certainly heard a song here or  a song there that were composed by Sardul Kwatra, but had really that name registered in my mind as a the music director who ought to be explored. So, I went on to search for Sardul Kwatra (1928-2005) on Google and YT.

Among some good references, here is one that should be of interest – Sardul Kwatra and his Soulful Music – Harjap Singh Aujla.His filmography records 20 films to his credit, of which Ek Thi Nishani is his debut film.

So, here we go over to taste some of the Sardul Kwatra’s compositions.

Dil De Ke Pachchata Gaye Hum – Ek Teri Nishani (1949) – Uma Devi

I have selected the songs at random, only taking care to pick up song of different singers.

Kyon Khel Preet Ka Kheli – Goonj (1952) – Suraiya  – Lyricist : D N Madhok

None these songs I had heard previously, so I have no comment to make on any of these songs…..

Jaaun Main Kahan – Pipli Saheb (1954) – Lata Mangeshkar  – Lyricist : Hasrat Jaipuri

Jhoom Le Gaa Le Khushiya Manaa Le – Son of Alibaba (1955) – Geeta Dutt , Shaminder: Lyricist: Prem Dhawan

O Jadugar Na Mujh Pe Kar Ye Jhoota Jadoo – Air Mail (1960 – Sudha Malhotra – Lyricis: Anand Baxi

Sun Meri Faryad – Air Mail (1960) – Suman Kalyanpur .

Sardul Kwatra, obviously, has composed several songs for Punjabi films. Here is one representative song from Heer Sayal (1960) rendered by Mohammad Rafi Asha Bhosle, Shaminder,  Mubarak Begum, Sudha Malhotra

I have retained Saardul Kwatra’s  Mohammad Rafi songs for now traditional ending of our each episode:

Jalte Deep Bujh Gaye – Jalte Deep (1950) – Lyrics : M A Taj

Shaam Suhani Ho – Kala Chor 1956) – Lyrics-  Verma Malik

Chhod Ke Teri Duniya – Mirza Sahiban (1957)

If you have songs to share, you are most heartily welcome…..

Categories
Music from films The Books I read

Melodies, Movies & Memories – Nalin Shah

Movies, Memories and Melodies - Nalin Shah

Melodies, Movies & Memories – Nalin Shah © 2016
Publisher: Saarthak Prakashan, Ahmedabad ǁ Price: Rs. 300
ISBN: 978 – 93 – 84076 – 17 – 7 ǁ Buy Online

 

 

 

“The act of writing on vintage Hindi Music is akin to documenting the Ganga without having any idea of Gangotri”, writes Urvish Kothari in the preface to a well – known writer of film history-related articles, Nalin Shah’s maiden book Melodies, Movies & Memories.

nalin shahHowever to Nalin Shah, the obsession of the vintage Hindi films and its music is rooted in his early boyhood, when he wrote articles for various Gujarati periodicals on the subject of vintage film music. Later on, his writings for Filmfare, G (a film magazine of Vaju Kotak’s Chitralekha group), Playback & Fast Forward, The Pioneer, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Mid-day etc. attained the stature for their authentic content, objective point-of- view and accurate analysis. ‘Writing for press enabled (Nalin Shah) to reflect on artistes as people and their place in the wider world. As a Development Officer at Life Insurance Corporation of India, in his primary professional career, Nalin Shah also had had frequent opportunities to travel to different cities all over India. These helped him to clarify his thought-process, as well as to check (and many times cross-check and re-check) and to verify “facts”. All these experiences and interactions then were distilled into lucid and engrossing stories, covering a wide panorama of subjects. He has conducted lecture-demonstrations on the history of film music and staged audio-visual shows on KL Saigal, Naushad, Khemchand Prakash, New Theatres, Mehboob Khan, Bombay Talkies. We now get to read these stories between the two covers in the present book.

In spite of relatively active publishing of film related works, the fact remains that over the years, different communication channels of the industry, like Gramophone companies, or the public communication media or the film correspondents or journalists, as a whole has not enough to preserve or document the multiple facets of the film-making, its music and its history. The advent of internet and the evolving digital platforms have been now very imaginatively been put to use by some of the very dedicated, little-known film enthusiasts to supplement the very pioneering and path-breaking works in the print media in so far as the first two decades of the Hindi Films and its world of music. Nalin Shah’s present book is not simply a documentation of history nor is it the plain narratives of stories. While maintaining very high standards of reporting, he develops story in quite an interesting style of writing. He has also been very particular in maintaining a professional arm’s length objectivity even with people, events or songs for which he has developed a deep personal like or proximity. Here is one typical illustration, picked up from the very first chapter – In Search of Gold – of the book:

I find the music of 1940s more enchanting than anything heard before or after. The music of 1950s too was extremely melodious though more ostentatious. The decline started in 1960s….However, the relevance of term ‘Golden’ to a musical age is dependent on many factors including the time and the environment. But the academic question cannot take away the appeal of any music composed at any time if it has an inherent charm.

The book apparently does not have very specified divisions, in terms of the subjects of the contents of the stories. But a little more analytical view reveal a few discerning patterns of presentations of the subject matters.

Subjects, like travails of the artistes through the days of glittering Sunrise adulations to abject poverty or loneliness of the Sunset days or A Matter of Inspiration behind a particular song have been dealt with in fairly insightful details.

Nalin Shah’s discerning choice of songs to illustrate or emphasize the matter of the subject, on one hand imparts high clarity to the point of view being presented, and on the other hand helps the reader to rekindle memories of some of very rare gems of that era.

The book also has very judiciously enriched the memories of the era with the help of some very rare photographs of the artistes with whom Nalin Shah has maintained personal contacts. References to these rare songs and use of these photographs elevate the book to a level of a collector’s prized trophy.

Nalin Shah with Naushad at Viramgam where Naushad wanted to revive his past in Viramgam before the start of his career as music director
Nalin Shah with Naushad at Viramgam where Naushad wanted to revive his past in Viramgam before the start of his career as music director

When the author takes up the subjects of reasons and aftermath of break up music duos or the First Lady of Hindi Film Music directors (Saraswati Devi), the Rhythm in Songs, or the legendary tales of Peti- masters (as the music directors were then known), he seems to have chosen a very concise narrative format to drive his point of view home.

The articles, like The End of an era – Studios and Institutions, Vintage Music – The Saviour or Radio Ceylon: Jane Kahan Gaye Who Din, not only place some of the otherwise hazy or misattributed or misinformed records straight, but also have documented some of the pioneering and path-breaking roles played by several individuals. Some of these endeavours reached the status of the institutions that left profound impact on the industry. It would not be out of place to record at this stage, that articles of this stature, and any other representation for that matter, can go a long way in building up the right type of public opinion about the different aspects of films.

The role of lyricists also has been given its due recognition in the book. The portrayal of how different lyricists tackled the themes for a particular song or the how the use of the original literary works of the poet-lyricists have been used with or without modifications or the role of a lyricist or the music director or the star who enacted in on the screen is spread over different articles – The Writer’s Dominance, The Poet’s Lament and The Song, ShAIR and the Star.

In any historical perspective analysis, the topics like how much role the destiny played in making the preeminent position of Lata Mangeshkar in the post-partition years or how would the music scene have taken shape if Noorjehan had chosen not to migrate to Pakistan have always remained quite contentious and thorny issues of the debate among film critics, historians and fans. In ‘Daughter of Destiny – Why a Lata Can Not Be Reborn’ and ‘Noorjehan, Lata and Partition’, Nalin Shah has succeeded in balancing the facts with perceptions and opinions.

We also get the taste of Nalin Shah’s considered forthright views on the subjects of film awards in ‘A Matter of Awards’, ‘Phalke, Who ?’ or ‘An Award named ‘Lata Mangeshkar’’.

The author also opines that ‘Moral Values’ in films not necessarily reflect the times but the degeneration in the minds of the films maker. Whilst on the subject, he does not miss the opportunity to record ‘the irony that delinquent film-makers welcome the controversy that can help generate some free publicity for a product which may otherwise may not be that sale-able on its own merits.

The book also finds adequate space for other contemporary subjects of Menace of Remix or The Genesis of Piracy, which underscore the fact that no one can claim to be holier than thou. The big service can be made if the original (genuine) music is ‘made available at an affordable price to the public.

‘Melodies, Movies and Memories’ must have scratched only the tip of vast treasure of treasure of documents, photographs and memories of insightful anecdotes that Nalin Shah has very assiduously built along with his “enviable storehouse of 78-RPM records”. We fondly hope that when the book is published in a digital format of e-book, addition of the soundtracks of the songs that have been referred to in the book also (as far as possible) be added on to make this book as the most memorable and immortal gift that a person who has been witness to more than half of the life span of the Hindi Film industry can bequeath the future generations.

We join the publishers in wishing that the present book “is just a precursor to many more”.