Best songs of Kishore Kumar 1.0

October 13, 2017

A tribute to Kishore Kumar (4 August 1929 to 13 October 1987) on his 30th death anniversary

Kishore KumarA later version of an operating system is considered superior to its earlier version. That is, ‘Windows 1o’ is superior to ‘Windows 8’, which is superior to ‘Windows 7’, and so on. However, that is not true for music. A singer or a music director’s career follows an inverted U-curve. After progressively rising to the peak, there is a plateau and, thereafter, there is decline. Kishore Kumar must be the only exception to this law. After 20 years of singing career starting from his debut in 1948, post-Aradhana (1969) his career zoomed to a higher trajectory, reaching another peak when he became the pole star of male playback singing. I have metaphorically said Kishore Kumar became the new Rafi in my post titled Mohammad Rafi versus Kishore Kumar, which specifically addressed how an era changed after Aaradhana. Kishore Kumar 2.0 (i.e. post-1969) sang about four times more songs than his previous two decades’ career, i.e. Kishore Kumar 1.0.

India is a young country, 80% of its population was born after 1970. For most people, Kishore Kumar means Kishore Kumar 2.0. But the fans of Songs of Yore have a special fondness for his older songs even though he was nowhere in competition to the great playback singers like Rafi, Mukesh and Talat Mohammad.

Born Abhas Kumar Ganguly in Khandwa to Kunjlal Ganguly and Gauri Devi, he was the youngest of three brothers and a sister. While Abhas was still a child, his eldest brother Ashok Kumar had become a superstar with Bombay Talkies. He used to spend his holidays with Ashok Kumar who took him along to Bombay Talikes. Saraswati Devi often used him in chorus songs. It was natural that Abhas was attracted towards films and music. He earned fame by singing songs of KL Saigal while he was a student at Christian College, Indore. He shifted to Bombay in 1945 for a career in films and took the name Kishore Kumar.

While his brother wanted him to be an actor, Kishore Kumar’s own preference was to become a singer. He got his first acting role in Ashok Kumar-starrer Filmistan’s Shikari (1946). He debuted as a singer in Ziddi (1948) under the baton of Khemchand Prakash. His first song was a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Yah kaun aya re karke solah singaar. His first solo was Marne ki duayein kyun maangun, jeene ki tamanna kaun kare. Though an imitation of KL Saigal-style, it has acquired an iconic status. Khemchand Prakash followed it with another great song by Kishore Kumar in the following year, in Rimjhim (1949) – Jagmag jagmag karta nikla chaand poonam ka pyara. In spite of Saigal-effect yet again, the song is memorable and Kishore Kumar’s voice is distinct.

Kishore Kumar got his first lead role in the Bombay Talkies film Aandolan (1951). Thereafter, his career continued on two tracks. While the other top music directors didn’t give him much importance, SD Burman used him as the voice of Dev Anand with an outstanding song, Mere labon pe dekho aaj bhi taraane hain, in Baazi (1951). Though SD Burman used Hemant Kumar, too, in some films, and Rafi in several films for Dev Anand, he had a soft corner for Kishore Kumar and gave him some everlasting songs in Taxi Driver, Munimji, Funtoosh, Nau Do Gyarah, Paying Guest, Teen Deviyan and Jewel Thief. SD Burman used him outside Navketan films, too, quite prominently; his music for the classic comedy, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, starring Kishore Kumar with his other two brothers, Ashok Kumar and Anup Kumar, became a roaring success.

Kishore Kumar’s acting career was also taking off. Bimal Roy gave him the lead role in Naukari (1954). Salil Chaudhary was not inclined to use him as the singer; his choice was Hemant Kumar, but when he heard Kishore Kumar sing, he changed his mind, and, thus, was born a landmark song, Chhota sa ghar hoga baadalon ki chhao mein. He became extremely popular for his unique wild and crazy comedy with terrific dancing and singing. He was cast opposite all the top leading ladies, such as Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Mala Sinha, Vyjayanthimala and Nutan. This phase saw him act in several films like Bhai Bhai, Bandi, Musafir, Nai Dilli, Asha, Begunah, Dilli Ka Thug, Bewaqoof, Jhumroo, Half Ticket, Rangoli, Naughty Boy and Mr X in Bombay. Padosan was the zenith of his acting career in comic roles with some great songs in his voice. He was a multifaceted talent – besides acting and singing, he also wrote lyrics, composed music, produced and directed some movies, including Door Gagan Ki Chhao Mein on a serious theme.

Along the way, several other music directors composed great songs in his voice. Anil Biswas created an outstanding romantic song, Aa mohabbat ki basti basaynge hum (with Lata Mangeshkar) in Fareb (1953). Another duet of the same class is Kashti ka khamosh safar ho (with Sudha Malhotra) from Girl Friend (1960), composed by Hemant Kumar. This film also had his very poignant solo, Aaj rona pada to samajhe. Shankar-Jaikishan were the music director of several films starring him. Salil Chaudhary, Madan Mohan, Laxmikant Pyarelal and Chitragupta also composed several everlasting songs for Kishore Kumar 1.0.

I have earlier done at least three Kishore Kumar-specific posts: On his crazy and mad comic songs; his solos and duets by SD Burman. Shankar-Jaikishan’s songs for ‘other’ singers, too, included several songs by Kishore Kumar. After filtering these out, there still remain a large number of his songs which have become immortal. I don’t have to convince the followers of SoY that Kishore Kumar 1.0 was far more melodious and soulful than KK 2.0. Even the younger generation, if they get to hear these songs carefully, would be convinced that Kishore Kumar was far greater than his post-Aradhana songs.

I pay a tribute to the great singer and the multi-faceted talent with some of my favourite songs of Kishore Kumar 1.0 on his 30th death anniversary.

1. Hawaaon pe likh do from Do Dooni Chaar (1968), lyrics Gulzar, music Hemant Kumar

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors didn’t create much impact, unlike its later adaptation Angoor, which became a roaring success, but the song Hawaon pe likh do is an absolutely lovely song. I feel as if I am floating in the air when I hear this song.

Here is a superior quality audio of the song.

2. Thandi hawa ye chaandni suhanee from Jhumroo (1961), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Kishore Kumar

This was the first film for which Kishore Kumar composed music – naturally he was in the lead role, opposite Madhubala. And what a great talent he displayed! He was terrific in his mad, crazy act, with equally mad songs, like Main hun jhum jhum jhum jhumroo (which was also written by him) and Ae baba loo baba. He went to the other extreme with extremely melancholic Koi humdum na raha, which he actually reprised from his brother Ashok Kumar’s song, composed by Saraswati Devi in Jeevan Naiya (1936), but he vastly improved upon it. If you dismiss it as an ‘imitation’, you have some more – Matwaale hum matwaale tum and Thandi hawa ye chaandni suhanee.

3. Matwale hum matwale tum from Jhumroo (1961), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Kishore Kumar

This link only has the audio, but this song too creates the same romantic mood.

4. Mere mehboob qayamat hogi from Mr X in Bombay (1964), lyrics Anand Bakshi, music Laxmikant-Pyarelal

In this sci-fi about a potion making a person invisible (a precursor of ‘Mr India?’), LP create this iconic song for Kishore Kumar. This has a happy and sad version, the slower version being more appealing.

5. Chhota sa ghar hoga from Naukari (1954), lyrics Shailendra, music Salil Chaudhary

Here is a sweet song of hope in the midst of the struggle for finding a job. A lady voice (who has been identified as Shaila Belle) briefly joins in singing the mukhada together and humming, but the song ligers in memory mainly as a solo.

6. Din hai suhana aaj pehli tareekh hai from Pehli Tareekh (1954), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music Sudhir Phadke

The same year had this fun song which has become a Vividh Bharti fixture on the first day of every month. I do not remember a first day of a month when their programme on Bhoole Bisre Geet did not start with this song. In the song he also mentions the names of some famous stars, not forgetting to mention his own name in an endearing display of narcissism. (Can the readers name at least one more song in which Kishore Kumar references his own name, along with others?)

7. Payalwali dekhana from Ek Raaz (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta

The man sings and the woman dances – there are many songs of this type. Here is a gem from Kishore Kumar.

8. Ajanabi tum jaane pehchaane se lagate ho from Hum Sab Ustad Hain (1965), lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Laxmikant-Pyarelal

This song has a twin version, too, in Lata Mangehskar’s voice. But my favourite, of course, is this Kishore Kumar version.  And what a romantic thought – the stranger who seems so familiar!

9. Pyar baantate chalo from Hum Sab Ustad Hain (1965), lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Our train journeys are the best means for spreading love. The passengers give Kishore Kumar company on musical instruments and by breaking into twist dance.

10. Munna bada pyara from Musafir (1957), lyrics Shailendra, music Salil Chaudhary

This Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed film is famous for the first and the only song sung by Dilip Kumar (a duet with Lata Mangeshkar), Laagi naahi chhute Ram, which generated some controversy that Lata Mangeshkar was trying to outshine Dilip Kumar. However, this song by Kishore Kumar has a childlike innocence.

11. Aa chal ke tujhe main le ke chalun from Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964), lyrics and music Kishore Kumar

This directorial debut of Kishore Kumar had him in a very uncharacteristic serious role, with three soulful solos by him. The film was also produced and written by him. He wrote the lyrics, too, of this song, Shailendra being the lyricist for the other songs.

12. Jin raaton ki bhor nahi ho aaj waisi hi raat ayi from Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964), lyrics Shailendra, music Kishore Kumar

The remaining two solos of Kishore Kumar in the film are the very well-known Koi lauta de mere beete huye din, and this less-heard sad song, but my great favourite. A very poignant line in this song is ‘Raah kisi ki hui na roshan jalana mere bekaar gaya‘. For the very perceptive listeners with great memory, I may mention Shailendra had used this line earlier for Talat Mahmood in the song ‘Sapnon ki suhani duniya ko ashqon mein basana mushkil hai’ in the film Shikast (1953). The third and last stanza in that song was ‘Raah kisi ki hui na roshan mera jalana yun hi gaya’. 

Acknowledgements and Notes:

1. Swaron Ki Yatra by Anil Bhargava

2.  HFGK mentions Marne ki duayein kyun maangun from Ziddi (1948) as Kishore Kumar’s first song, whereas Swaron Ki Yatra gives this credit to Yah kaun aya re karke solah singaar (duet with Lata Mangeshkar) from the same film. Considering the order in which the songs are listed and their record numbers, I have accepted Yah kaun aya re as his first song, and Marne ki duayein kyun maangun as his first solo.

3. Marne ki duayein kyun maangun generated some heated debate on my Wrap Up1 of the Best male solos of 1948. Mumbaikar8 strongly disagreed with me on mentioning this song for a Special Award on the ground that it was an imitation of KL Saigal. However, I trust she would agree that it is an outstanding song. I had no hesitation in including Jagmag jagmag karta nikala, this too in KL Saigal-style, among the best male solos of 1949.

4. Just as Koi humdum na raha had been sung by Ashok Kumar for Saraswati Devi, in Jeevan Naiya (1936), another famous song Ek chatur naar, too, was inspired by the Ashok Kumar original for Saraswati Devi in Jhoola (1941), though except the mukhada and the tune the lyrics were quite different. We have discussed this trivia earlier on SoY.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashok Kumar Tyagi October 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm

AK ji,
Marvelous songs. Agree with the view that KK had a better first innings, though he was excellent post-Aradhana also. Maybe he missed the magnificent array of Lyricists and MDs of ‘golden era’ who sparkled like a constellation in the backdrop of a clear sky.

2 Arunkumar Deshmukh October 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm

AK ji,
Thanks for writing again on my favorite singer- Kishore kumar.
Usually likes and dislikes for anything in one’s life are closely associated with his own experiences at that time.
Same holds true for Music too. Why we like a particular singer or an actor may be associated with the good memories associated with his films, which we have seen earlier.
During our growing years, if kishore has sung interesting songs of your likings, your love for Kishore will be everlasting.
May be because of this, I will always love KK’s song of the early era in his singing and acting career, like the late 40s or the early and middle 50s.
A lot can be discussed on this issue and actually has been discussed here too earlier, so I will not go into that again.
Here is a song of my liking, from KK’s first film as a Hero in film ” Andolan-51”.
It is sung by KK with Manna Dey and Shanti Sudha Ghosh ( daughter of Pannalal Ghosh) and Chorus.
The video is worth watching too. If you can put it on on your page, others can see and enjoy real vintage Kishore.

3 Jignesh Kotadia October 13, 2017 at 9:42 pm

A timely tribute to the allrounder of our cinema. Of course AKji you cant convince the new g that KiKu 1.0 was better than KiKu 2.0 until they realize themselves. The songs collection you listed is a testament of this fact.
The early kk was so sweet. Some of his delicate songs are extremely
Muhabbat ka chhota sa ek ashiyana, kisi ne banaaya kisi ne mitaaya (pyar,1950)…
Jhag mag jhag mag karta nikla chaand poonam ka pyara, meri chandni bichhad gayi mere ghar men hua andhiyara (Rimjhim,1949)..
Wo meri taraf yun chale aa rahe hai, ke armaan dhadkan se takra rahe hai..(Kaafila,1952)..
Husn bhi hai udaas udaas ishq bhi gham se choor hai
Mere naseeb dekhiye paas woh hoke door hai (Fareb,1953).

4 AK October 13, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. In ‘success’ terms, he was far more successful post-Aradhana.

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Subah ki is a nice inspirational/patriotic song. I heard it for the first time. Thanks. Clicking on the link from your comment also opens the YT video link.

5 AK October 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You are post-Aradhana generation. Therefore, if you can be convinced about KK 1.0, it should not be such a difficult task.

6 Jignesh Kotadia October 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm

KK’s life is a message to the talented people of this world that To have extraordinary talent is just not enough to make a mark in the respected field. One may have to wait for decades under the dependence of luck and time….to achieve a success, to gain a recognition from people.

7 SSW October 14, 2017 at 12:21 am

I like Kishore Kumar in almost all his avatars. Some of his comic roles though I could do without. One of my close friends lived in a bungalow next to his house on Juhu Tara road and we used to play cricket at his house and often the ball would land up inside KK’s house/grounds. He had a bunch of Pekinese or Pomeranian dogs that would come out barking every time we lost the ball and would stand around the fence looking at us. Anyway one of my favourite tunes of KK is from an unreleased film. The MD is KK himself and the tune was inspired by the song from the Marilyn Monroe film “River of no return”. Apparently KK liked this film very much.
Here is Marilyn singing the song herself (she could really sing , she wasn’t just a pretty face)

and this is KK’s take on the tune frpm the unreleased film Neela Aasman (1959)

8 ksbhatia October 14, 2017 at 12:25 am

AK ji;
A very balanced coin presentation with….. kishore sad and kishore happy….songs on each side . His lost was a great lost for 1.0 followers……aaj rona pada to samjhe hasne ko mol kya hai…..a song that I would like to listen again and again ; as also all the beautiful sad and happy songs .

After the success of …Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi….Kishore desperately tried to cash on this title by producing and directing sort of sequel named movies like…..Chalti ka naam Zindgi , Badhti ka Naam Daadi[ in this movie he went to the extent of making K N Singh sing and dance on the beach with the local beauties ]….etc. ; but his this 3.0 phase and his over enthuism failed him miserably and proved him to continue as singer and not a film maker . Needless to say he did good job as a film maker in 1.0 version.

For senior SoY members I think Kishore 1.0 was and will remain the best version .

Aaj rona pada to samjhe…..Girl Friend……HK

Another master piece……

Dukhi man mere…….Funtoosh……SDB

9 AK October 14, 2017 at 8:38 am

So true, except that the Lady Luck does not follow a logic.

KK’s dogs, his converations with his trees, all seem to be a part of his cultivated eccentricities. You are lucky to have had such close proximity to the eccentric genius.

I am also very fond of some of his later songs, but I give part of the credit to the overall package including, for example, Amitabh Bachchan dancing and ‘singing’ those on the screen.

Akela hun main is jahan mein is a very nice song. Kishore Kumar seemed to have a melancholic side, hidden behind a comic exterior. Thanks a lot for adding it and its original.

KS Bhatiaji,
With Amitabh Bachhan becoming a single-window solution for romantic, action and comedy roles, there was not much room for stand-alone comedians. Johnny Lever frankly was at times quite irritating. Also, with the humongous success as a singer KK didn’t have the time or the need for acting. I look at him only as 1.0 and 2.0. He continued to give superhit songs till his last days.

10 Mehfil Mein Meri October 14, 2017 at 9:40 am

congratulations for this wonderful post on KK.
and thanks for the post as well.
I am also a fan of KK pre-Ardhana and think these songs are better than post Aradhana.
As u have covered majority songs in ur this and earlier posts, very few songs come to my mind.
1 Chup Ho ja from Bandi
you may have covered it earlier, but still my favorite, so posting it.

2 Diya hai apne bada-akalmand

3. kachhi pakki sadakon pe- pyar

4 khali pili kaheko akhha din- tamasha
this again , u might have covered in funny songs post, but posting again!

I hope u enjoy these songs.

11 Ashok M Vaishnav October 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

KK1.0 many a times remains so overshadowed by several other male songs, including the omnipresent Rafi, that many a times that phase of his career is not looked at with a close interest that it deserves.

It must be interesting to fathom out his (stray) songs with the music directors of the era and put them on the same page with his SDB or his own composed songs.
I made a cursory effort to recall his Madan Mohan songs of that time which need a little effort to recall, but is worth every inch of that effort:
Dil DIl Se Mila Kar Dekho Nazarein To Mila Ke Dekho – Memsaheb (1956)
Madan Mohan has fully exploited the carefree style of KK in this duet with Asha Bhosle. In fact the way Asha has been teamed up with KK in the song only goes on to underscore so unfortunayely assumed lack of versatility of Madan Mohan

Mere Jaisa Nahin Milega – with Mohammad Rafi – Fifty Fifty (1956)
Another songs where MM has so brilliantly experimented of Rafi teaming with KK in a song that is a siganture KK-style song.

On the spur of the moment I am not able to recollect whether Roshan (Sr.) did ever used KK.

12 R Vasudevan October 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

Yes well written post and songs are all great ones. I think KK excelled more in his sad songs/pathos than other variety. I will come with my choicest numbers a little later.

13 Mehfil Mein Meri October 14, 2017 at 10:35 am

@ Vaushnav ji # 11
the only one song i can recollect, KK with Roshan (Sr) is from mashuqa-
a duet with meena kapoor
Yeh sama hum tum jawan

14 Dustedoff October 14, 2017 at 10:39 am

AK, mazaa aa gaya. Thanks so much for this. Usually, when I find a songs list, I only bother to listen to the songs I don’t recall hearing. This time, I was very familiar with all of them (except the last one), but despite that, I listened to each one all over again. A morning well spent! I agree that for a lot of people, KK is the 70s, but I tend to prefer his earlier songs. Some really great songs, as your post so amply shows.

Some of my favourite KK solos from the pre-70s period include Khwaab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat (Teen Deviyaan), Agar sun le toh ek naghma (Ek Raaz) and Yeh dil na hota bechaara (Jewel Thief).

15 Jignesh Kotadia October 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm

@Mehfil Mein Meri
KK had also one funny song with Roshan
“Dil ho gaya shanty flat ya rabba khair huzoor feete munh” in SHISHAM (1952). Dont know the exact meanings of these weird words !!

16 Ravindra Kelkar October 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

AK ji,
A nice tribute to KK. He was a fantastic talent. Many of his movies, you can still enjoy, even after 50 years. Of course, KK 1.0 was better and the main reason is far superior quality of the composers. However, the combination of KK-RD in KK 2.0 was also excellent. In fact the next generation after ours (roughly age group of 35 to 45 years) clamour for these songs with great zeal.
As a confirmed fan of OP I must mention the most popular OP-Kishrore song, Surama Mera Nirala from film “Kabhi Andera Kabhi Ujala” which most probably you have never heard before.

17 Jignesh Kotadia October 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I m doubtful whether this can be counted in KK 1.0 ! Bcz It has close resemblance to his renaissance songs..similarly i have doubt about : Wo shaam kuchh ajeeb thi…from Khamoshi.

I think the phase from “Gata rahe mera dil” to “Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi” is differing a bit from his early streak and can be counted as KK 1.5.

an OPN-KK in Shrimanji (1968)
Pehlu men yaar ho to kis baat ki kami hai
Hai khushnaseeb jin ko ye zindagi mili hai

18 KB October 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Good to read about Kishore kumar 1.0. Here I wish to add that Madan mohan and OP also used his voice often ,mostly for songs filmed on him and also CR for some of the songs of the early fifties of which Shin shinaki boobla boo and Ladki were popular. Chitrgupt and Ravi also used his songs and some of them are popular even today. Good selection of topic!

19 Jignesh Kotadia October 14, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Ashokji and MMM
Roshan has two more films with KK.

Aagosh (1953) in which there is a duet with Lata : Tu hai chanda main hun chakor.
Maalkin : (1953) in which KK has four duets with Mukesh, Rafi and Lata.

perhaps after that Roshan didnt get any KK movie.
perhaps after that he realized this guy KK is no singer and to work with him is complete wastage of time and prestige.

20 Canasya October 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm

AK ji:

Excellently timed tribute to KK with a song selection to match. One adjective often associated with him was “versatile”. At times that can be a curse. A professor at MIT once did a study of Hollywood careers. While critics often deride actors ‘typed’ for certain roles (think of Helen), and sing paeans for ones who don multiple avatars in the same movie (Sanjeev Kumar?), he found that the lifelong earnings of typed stars were significantly higher than those of the versatile ones. The screen ambitions of Talat and Mukesh nearly wrecked their singing careers. KK was lucky to get a second inning, and had the sense to welcome it with both hands and to eschew everything other than singing. The secret of KK 2.0’s success was then simply greater focus. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s Rafi was the only leading male voice who focused single-mindedly on his singing career (Manna Dey had composed music for couple of films, Hemant became an MD and a producer).

Here is KK 1.0 singing for RDB (‘Jaago Sonewalo’ in Bhoot Bungla), a surprisingly rare combination before Aaradhana:

21 Mehfil Mein Meri October 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

@ Jignesh & KBji
How I forgot Agosh song! It is known to me, but I could not recollect it.
Malkin had KK as lead role? I dont know.
Eventhough, a few MDs didn’t use him in pre 60s, his songs from that era will remain our favourite.
I tried to find out chitragupt and Ravi songs for KK.
Apart from well known…..
a few that i didn’t know
Chitragupt- Tera mera ho gaya pyar- Sindabad the sailor (with Shamshad)
He also used KK in Miss Mala, but i have not heard the songs from the movie.
Ravi and KK- dilli ka thug and bandi are known ones.
Other movies are from post 70s………

22 AK October 14, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. All the four songs you have added #10 are new for SoY. I especially liked Khali pili.

Dil dil se milakar dekho is one of the best songs of KK by Madan Mohan. Now the readers have added several Roshan songs, but none to match MM. Roshan and Madan Mohan moved in tandem in quality and variety of singers. It is surprising Roshan could not compose any worthwhile song for Kishore Kumar.

Mr Vasudevan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

I am happy you enjoyed the songs. The three songs you have mentioned are, of course, KK’s iconic songs. These have figured on SoY in some category or the other. I am sure Jin raaton ki bhor nahi ho would grow on you.

Mr Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Kishore Kumar 2.0 was also very good not only with RDB but also with LP, Kalyanji Anandji, SDB and Bappi Lahiri, but as I have said in one of my responses that the impact was because of the total package, i.e. the picturisation and the actor dancing and lip-synching on the screen. Surma mera nirala is a very nice song. My selection was focussed on soulful and serious songs.

Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

Wo shaam kuchh ajeeb thi is in the style of his vintage melancholic songs of 1.0. Gata rahe mera dil, you can put in 1.5, but then there would be too many subdivisions. It is convenient to think of two phases pre-1969 (KK 1.0) and post-1969 (KK 2.0).

It would be unfair to both Roshan and KK to say that the former thought of him as no singer and wastage of time. It is just one of those things that they did not have any great songs together. There is no question that both were highly talented.

23 AK October 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. MIT professor’s thesis may fall under the category of ‘unnecessary’ research. In entertainment world what is relevant for the viewers is not an artiste’s gross earnings – this figure concerns the chartered accountants and IT men – but his/her long term impact. Amitabh Bachchan’s greatness lies in his variety. KK’s success in 2.0 was also the Black Swab event of Aradhana.

24 R Nanjappa October 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm

I am so happy to read this. This reflects my long held belief that KK 1.0 was pure gold. KK2.0 is also gold, but ornamental, duly diluted !
I was looking for that Husnlal-Bhagtram gem ” O meri taraf Yun” from Kafila. Found it mentioned by a commentator. KK also sounds so different in his own compositions. Real genius.

25 Jignesh Kotadia October 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm

here are the remaining Roshan-KK songs links :

1. Aagosh duet

Maalkin songs
1. Dhoti aur patloon men ik din hui ladaai

2. O piya mera bhola jiya

3. Lo mil gayi degree pyaar ki

4. Kahin se oonchi kahin se nichi

26 mumbaikar8 October 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The difference I find in Kishore 1.0 and 2.0 is the ratio of quality and quantity.
In 1.0 it was say 8:2 in 2.0 it reversed to 2:8.
Enjoying songs by you as well all the contributors.

Jignesh @ 6
Kishore , I think, did not have to wait for the success but was talented smart and lucky enough to achieve all that he aimed.
In hindi one can say जो चाहा वोः पाया
AK @ 9
Not only him even Mukesh and Rafi continued to give hits
until their last day perhaps because all of them died young.
This Anil Biswas song true to his personality.

27 Giri October 14, 2017 at 9:19 pm

I am a huge fan of KK(1.0). I loved all the songs I came across, sung by him in his pre ’69 days. What a voice! With no formal training in music, he was a natural.
I think except SDB other MD’s thought of him as a ‘singing actor’ and composed songs for him only in the movies where he acted. In the second phase also he gave some memorable songs.
In my view, the quality of music in general started deteriorating in the 70’s and 80’s due to the following factors:
With the proliferation of action oriented movies the music part was not given importance.
With many stalwart MD’s bowing out of the scene, the field was dominated by a few like RDB,LP,KA etc. The work load on them with the pressure to complete the work in time resulted in some insipid music at times.
Can someone tell me if there is any song composed by Naushad in KK’s voice?
P.S.: You have raised a query at the end of ‘Pehli tarik’ song:Did you mean ‘Income taxum Kishore kumaram?

28 Mehfil Mein Meri October 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Thanks jignesh @ 26
I will listen to the songs afterwards.
Thanx again.

29 AK October 14, 2017 at 11:47 pm

R Ninjappa,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

I am happy you enjoyed the songs, and agreed that KK 1.0 was far superior in quality.

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Yes, ‘Income Taxum Kishore Kumaram’ was in my mind which comes in the song ‘Guni jano re bhakt jano’. But there must be some more self-references.

30 Jignesh Kotadia October 15, 2017 at 12:41 am

are you kidding me ?
Kishore “did not have to wait for success” !!?

He achieved his dream of being a renowned playback singer after 21 years of subordinate phase !!!
He was not even a reserved player like MK for OPN or Ravi. He was mere a good singing Vidushak for most MDs, who can gather crowd in theatres by his antics embellished with singing skills. They never saw him as a playback singer. Naushad never went his way, Sajjad used to call him “Shor Kumar”, Roshan never tried him after Malkin, Salilda recognised him only after Koi hota jisko apna !! SJ, MM, OP, CR used him only in his acting films. SJ and OP used Rafi’s playback for KK in 2 films.
Only KP and SDB tried to settle him..unfortunately KP died much earlier otherwise we would have 50’s decade full of KK’s playback singing..thanks to SDB, Dev and his own successful acting career by which he could keep alive his majestic voice until it could see a dramatic dawn.
Now dont come up with poor excuses like the then time MDs didnt find opportunities to call KK as playback singer and so…one can refer SDB’s all singers welcome career.

31 Ravindra Kelkar October 15, 2017 at 1:17 am

AK Ji,
I beg to differ with you that KK 2.0 was equally good with KA,LP, Bhappi in comparison with RD. No doubt many of his songs were popular for these MDs, though I can hardly recall any songs composed by them which come even close to KK 1.0 songs. I am referring here to the quality of songs of KK1.0 with KK 2.0. In my view RD’s songs with Kishore 2.0, come the closet to the quality of the songs of KK 1.0.

32 mumbaikar8 October 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

21 years of subordinate music phase was a phase of successful acting career and justwhen his acting career was fizzling Aradhana happened.

33 Anu Warrier October 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

AK, dil khush ho gaya. Such lovely, lovely songs – what a talent that man was!

I did think that, once in a while, he went overboard with his yodelling, but I keep finding more and more songs of his to love. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

The man was truly an eccentric, and he did seem to cultivate it as well. Leena Chandravarkar said in an interview that on his deathbed, he rued having sung so many sad songs – he was sure that Doordarshan and AIR would only air those after his death.

I do like many, many songs from his V2.0 but here are some of my other favourites:
Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si from Chalti ka Naam Gaadi
Husn bhi hain udaas udaas from Fareb
Aankh seedhi lagi from Half Ticket – it is technically a duet, but since Kishore is singing both male and female voices, I think I can slip it in. 🙂

And just so you can keep reading about his eccentricities, here’s an interview I had linked to, in my post on Kishore Kumar.

34 R Vasudevan October 15, 2017 at 9:32 am

I see KK’s career in two phase – the golden era period (1950-1970) and
post 1970 period. In the first one Rafi Sahib, Talat and Mukesh were the prominent singers though KK was getting regular singing assignments and many lovely songs he had sung. In the second phase especially after Aradhana became a super duper hit KK became No 1 singer and some of the greatest/memorable songs he sang in the second phase.
A few of them – as samples I mention here:
1. Chholar mere man ko – Yaarana
2 Jeevan baree ankhee – Safar
3 Ye jeevan hai is jeevan mein – Piya ka Ghar
4 Hume thumse pyar itna – Kudrat
5 Geeth gaatha hoon mein – Lal Pathar
6 oh mere dil ke chain – Mere jeevan saathi
7 hum bewafa har giz na thee – Shalimar
8 dieye jalthe hain phool kilthe hain – Namak Haram
9 a pathos from the film Majboor – not recollecting the first line
10 ruk ja nahee thu kahi haar ke – Imthihaan

35 Canasya October 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm

AK ji @ 23:

I count myself second to none as an Amitabh Bachhan (AB) fan and a KK fan. But AB would himself be the first to agree that the worst phase in his career was when he tried to do too many things.

A Hindu piece from yesterday may be relevant to our appreciation of the “versatile” KK 1.0.

I have learnt over the last decade or so of connectivity to limit myself to enjoying music while reserving loyalty. I used to put favourites on a pedestal, ready to fight for them against heathens. But now, in showering praise on a lot of KK’s work (and of several HFM stalwarts) one feels like an Indian Idol judge praising efforts of a participant reproducing someone else’s original!

Here is ‘Ek do teen char’ from Muqaddar (1950); MD: James Singh (according to one commentator on YouTube it’s the first KK-AB duet; according to another the female voice is Meena Kapoor’s. Over to experts.)

36 Shalan Lal October 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

A very good post that reviews the multi-talents of Kishore Kumar in the good old days of the Bollywood.

Kishore was an intelligent actor and singer and would create the needed effect at his will.

Kishore suffered from the anger of Indira Gandhi during the emergency for refusing to join her propaganda.

His second suffering came from his inability to have caring understanding of the relationship in a married life.

Sadly Madhubala did not tell him in their early courtship that she had cardiac problem. KK’s efforts to help her were late in their relationship.

Furthermore he converted to Islam just to marry Madhubalal as her father would not have a Hindu Son-in-law. But he knew the terminal disease of his daughter and did not tell about it to his eccentric future son-in-law.

Kishore’s parents, his brothers and sister’s family broken ties with him as they found their ordinary life in storm.

Even he had some stability in marrying Leela Chandawarkar a heiress from Goan gentry and political upper crust.

He took perverted pleasure in playing practical jokes on his own friendly circle but that did not give him real stability.

He developed eating disorder and many other habits that created his mind and body unstable.

But then this is a pattern of life style of many bollywoodies who fall from the glamour of the tinsel town.

For us his films and songs are a good treasure to enjoy at the finger touch in present techno world.

He was the only one of his kind in the history of Bollywood with enormous contribution to the film-art and it is good to remember him at least once in a year.

Shalan Lal

37 AK October 15, 2017 at 7:59 pm

Mr Kelkar,
Some songs for your consideration:
1. Sama(n) hai suhana suhana – KA
2. Main jahan chala jaaun bahaar chali jaye – LP
I also like Bappi Lahri for this, though it is a combined package including Amitabh Bachchan:
Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera naachi re.

There are several more. Comparisons are odious, but my point was they also composed outstanding songs.

38 AK October 15, 2017 at 9:06 pm

I am happy you enjoyed the songs. He was excellent in sad songs, and these songs became landmarks. It is surprising that he was unhappy about having to sing so many sad songs. Pritish Nandy’s interview is very revealing. I think I had read it earlier. He feels his eccentricity was a put-on, though Shalan Lal says there was something wrong with him.

Thanks a lot for sharing Vikram Phukat’s article. I liked Kishore Kumr’s wild acts on the screen; that this was an ‘imitation’ of Danny Kaye does not, in my eyes, minimise the joy or his talent. I too feel that the female voice in Ek do teen chaar, is Meena Kapoor, though HFGK mentions Asha Bhosle.

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. From your comment, KK turns out to be loony, and he needed help. Pritish Nandy’s article linked by Anu Warrier gives another interpretation.

39 ksbhatia October 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Here is a hidden gem of a comic song for every one to enjoy and more over so as it is penned by Sahir !. Some time less heard songs later on turned to be listed among the entertaining songs .

Aankh jhuka ke…. Kishore , Asha…….Funtoosh……..SDB

40 ksbhatia October 16, 2017 at 12:12 am

Canasya @35 ;

Ek Do Teen Char….is a beautiful song , reminds me of the rhythm of western texas cowboy songs of the 50s .

Here are less heard but entertaining songs of the 50s when Kishore was in up socks readiness of comic songs.

1. Mera ghoda hai bada nigodha……Parichey [1954]…..Vedpal

2. Pehli na Doosri Teesri Pasand Hai…..Madhbare Nain[1955]…SDB

3. Tumhen Dulhaan Mili Hamein……Hamsafar [1953]….Ali Akbar Khan !

4. Ek Hum Aur doosre tum aur teesara koi nahin….GD,K…Pyaar[1950] ……SDB

5. Kachhi Pakki Sadkon Pe Tam Tam……Pyaar…..SDB

Note the prelude humming by Kishore in song no.4 that quite matches that of Lata’s popular song….Thandi hawaheyen lehra ke aayein.

41 ksbhatia October 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

The comments, observations and reviews indicates the popularity tag all these years Kishore carried along , be it 1.0 or 2.0 .

A few of random songs of the colored era movies where Kishore excelled and held his most versatile singer image .

1. Yeh Duniya wale poochenge….Kishore, Asha……Mahal…..KA

2.Rim Zhim Gire re saawan…… Manzil [1979]…..RDB

3. Aane wala pal …..Golmaal……RDB

4. Pal pal dil ke paas……Blackmail……KA

42 mumbaikar8 October 16, 2017 at 4:11 am

Canasya, AK,
I would go all in for Asha on Ek do teen char. Felt like questioning the comment-er, what made him say it is MK but with AK doubtful, big time Asha fans (if I am not mistaken) Hans Arvinder Sharmaji, Ravindra Kelkar can help out.

43 Anu Warrier October 16, 2017 at 5:01 am

AK, Kishore Kumar was definitely not loony; at least, not clinically so. Most of his so-called eccentricities were definitely put on, as evidenced by the many veteran journalists who interviewed him and knew him personally, such as Khalid Mohammed, Pritish Nandy, etc. In fact, Stardust had had an interview with Leena Chandravarkar after his death –

And another interview with Amit Kumar about his father:

And above all, this. If you can read this without smiling, there’s a serious lack of humour. 🙂

44 AK October 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

I didn’t smile at KK’s interview with Pritish Nandy, I laughed hysterically. But, frankly, I am confused. If the words ascribed to KK are really his, he was an extremely intelligent and creative person. But the things he did were so crazy, it could easily confuse people that he was really loony.

He did the same with his acting songs – in the same song, he would jump on the sofa, dance, yodel, sing a bhajan, switch to a Thumri – Maine laakhon ke bol sahe, to a nursery rhyme, to a spoof of KL Saigal or KC Dey. Take your pick whether he was sane or crazy. Both choices are correct.

45 Jignesh Kotadia October 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

This KK 1.0 bengali song (from movie Lukochhori) has been heard frequently on tv in an ad campaign since some time.
Sing nei tobu nam tar singo

46 Giri October 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Anu @43
KK’s interview with Pritish Nandy is a ‘ROFL’ type.
Thank you for sharing it with SOY

47 AK October 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Jignesh @45,
This is one of KK’s typical wild, crazy, comic songs. It has a Hindi version too. But a Bengali song which really represents the best of KK 1.0 is Ami chini go chini tomare from Satyajit Ray’s Charulata.

Ami chini go chini tomare from Charulata (1964)

48 Ashok Kumar Tyagi October 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

AK ji,
Pl. Refer comment no. 16. Ravindra Kelkar ji has linked up a lovely song :’surma Mera nirala’. Typical flowing interlude music and melodious tune. In the song KK changes the tonal quality of voice and presentation style a number of times. In 1988, a vocal singing competition was held at Siri Fort Auditorium (org. by Amarjit S Kohli and brilliant orchestra of DO RE MI of Popli bros. in attendance). The individual who sang this song won the first prize.

49 Jignesh Kotadia October 17, 2017 at 1:53 am

ami chini go chini an excellent song !
is that actress in the song Vidya Baalan’s mom ??

I exactly can not recall that crazy song which you mentioned in # 44…but here’s one of such crazy songs in which he covers romantic melody to folk to nursery rhyme all with the medley of his typical unusual words.

Des chhudaaye bhes chhudaaye
kya kya kare naa preet rama,
kya kya kare naa preet
Rang badal de dhang badal de Preet ki aisi reet rama,
preet ki aisi reet..

Kaga sab tan khaiyo, chun chun khaiyo maans
Yeh do naina mat khaiyo
O mohe..o mohe…o mohe pat pat nee nee patnee, patnee milan ki aas
Main to sadke javaan
Baajre ke khet me suratiya dikha jaa gori
Sau mushkil se dil ko dil se, mila hai man ka meet rama
Mila hai man ka meet.. des chhudaye

Aa ha, aa ha…. tumhaari najar ka yeh pehla ishara
Churake mera dil hua nau do gyarah,
kiya mom tune bade sang dil ko
Jo mara bhi to kaise muzhi ko mara
Mara mara mara mara ma rama ho, rama ho,
rama ho rama.. rama ho…..
Sham savere hardam tere gaye yeh manwa geet rama
Gaye yeh manva geet.. des chhudaye

Nazar banti hai jab dhaga gaga ga ga gaga ga ga
to love ka gown silta he..hehe he he hehe he he
Meri jaan chahnewala lala la la lala la la
Badi diffi badi diffi culty culty, difficulty se milta hai

Takila Lakila Habahuba Labaluba
Dhum tak dhum tak tak ta dhum
Dhum tak dhum tak tak ta dhum

Baaudika bibidika bibidika baaudika baaudika bibidika deeddaddaa
Bibidika baaudika baaudika bibidika bibidika baaudika vuhhuhhuu
Baauduka bibidika bibidika baaudika baaudika bibidika raddaddaa
Bibidika baaudika baaudika bibidika bibidika baaudika
tadamm tadamm tarrham pam pam

Jack and Jill went up the hill in search of love
Both fell down and then they found they are drowned in love
lilee lil lil lil lil lilee lilee lil lil lil lil lilee
lala lal lal lal lal lala lala lal lal lal lal lilee

Kismat palti, yeh difficulty ban gayi sundar preet rama
Ban gayi sundar preet, des chhudaye…

50 Soumya Banerji October 17, 2017 at 5:47 am

A very nice selection of songs. Two comments.
1. The videos you posted of the song ‘Hawaon Pe Likh Do’ don’t have the entire song. The song begins with KK humming after which the prelude starts. Video link:
2. The interludes for the song “Pyar Baantate Chalo” contains a theme that was clearly lifted from this piece by the Ron Goodwin Orchestra.
LP does a fine job integrating it into the song.

51 AK October 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

That actress is Madhabi Mukherjee, a Satyajit Ray favourite. She has no connection with Vidya Balan.

Desh chhudaye is one such crazy song. In Ek roz hamari bhi daal galegi, KK spoofs. Panchhi kaahe hot udas and Main ban ka panchhi ban ke ban ban dolun re. There are several songs with such embedded parody.

52 AK October 17, 2017 at 7:42 am

Kishore Kumar had this gift of changing the tonal quality, melody and rythm in a song several times seemlessly. Surma mera nirala is a nice song. I this post my inclination was towards serious songs.

Soumya Banerjee,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

53 Ravindra Kelkar October 18, 2017 at 12:45 am

Anu ji, #43,
Thanks for the link to KK’s interview. I think he was a highly intelligent person. He was most certainly not mad. As he mentions in the interview his only ambition was to be a singer. Since he was forced into acting, he did all those crazy things and it had an adverse impact on his career, since MDs started not to take him seriously and to treat him as actor first and then singer. He had I think a good friend in Dev Anand and mainly because of their friendship he got opportunities to give play black to Dev Anand’s songs under SDB. Of course SDB had a soft corner for him and this must have helped in addition to being a friend of Dev Anand.
I think in Dev Anand’s autobiography “Romancing the Life”, Dev has written about his close friendship with KK, especially in the period 1950-1955. He also had a good friend in RD Burman and luckily for KK RDB didn’t have too high a regard for Rafi as a singer and that turned out to be the catalyst in KK getting to sing those songs in Aradhana and rest is history.

54 Dinesh K Jain October 18, 2017 at 2:28 pm

An excellent write-up and compilation, as usual, AK, but to me no collection of KK’s best songs can ever be complete without Prem Pujari’s Phoolon ke rang se…

55 Dinesh K Jain October 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

…and, I suspect, KK 1.0 might seem superior just because of its selectiveness. He was then not singing every other male-voice song being produced, and a larger sample was bound to contain that many more ordinary songs. The larger number of songs made his songs far more commonplace. Also, his own effort would be that much less focused. Lastly, do not forget that after the early 70s, there was a sharp decline in the quality of music being produced, and KK alone could not be responsible for that.

56 Shalan Lal October 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm

AK @ 38, Anu W @ 43
In my comment @ “36”I said,:
“But then this is a pattern of life style of many Bollywoodies who fall from the glamour of the tinsel town.”
The pressures of “success” on the filmy people are heavier than those on an ordinary person, often break downs are seen on the Hollywoody or Bollywoody persons.
This is similar to all people who are in public area as well. Most of the politicians do suffer from many mental health issues.
I presented a selection of the pressures KK went through his life. And I presented them in a logical order. My syllogism is expanded.
Behind them I had this classic syllogism of logic~
All men are mortal
Aristotle was a man
Aristotle was mortal

It is not good to brush out the pressure of his first wife abandoning him, Madhubalal’s needs and her father’s demands and his own family of a conservative and prestigious state, life of his father, his enormous success as singer, song writer composer and actor etc.
Yes, right way was he should have sought help from the qualified doctor who had worked in mental health issues.
I read those articles written by friends and family members but found cannot be trusted as they being close to him and more likely the material they would be imparting would be affected to both KK and the narrator as well..
Lata told a few years back a story on Indian TV. When she was going to record songs of “Ziddi” a young man jumped in her compartment of the local train to Malad. He came straight and sat in front of her in an empty seat and started making faces and whistling and generally monkeyed about. He followed her to the Bombay Talkies. Lata was very frightened of him. She told her experience to Khemcahnd and as her story was finished the same man came and sat next to her. She was much more frightened then. Khemchand introduced her him as Kishore Kumar, brother of Ashok Kumar and she had a duet to sing along with him.
This story suggests that Kishore had some mental health problem right from the very long time. The root could be he was very ill for a long time when he was a school going boy. And he had to spend long time on his own.
At present “Mental Health” is a medical term used as an umbrella term to cover all mental illnesses and physical unwell like being weight problem, eating disorder etc. come under this tem.
At present in India when one started showing cracks in the behaviour it is stigmatised and undermined the person’s mental illness.
Presently West has abandoned the stigmatised words and used a broad umbrella word “Sufferer of the mental Health issues”. Recently young Royals like Prince Harry, his brother and their father came forward and told the public that they suffered and are still suffering from the various issues of the Mental Health.
In the old time when Mehboob came to London with his team for “ the Colour by Print Technic “ to use for his film “Aan” both Dilip Kumar and Naushad were with the team. Dilip Kumar did some sessions with a mental health doctor. Naushad did not do the same. But when he went back he sought the help from his Hakim. He advised him that he should get away from the filmy world and live in the jungle or fly kites etc or go on “Shikar” party. Naushad did precisely that and killed a tiger which I saw stuffed in his visitor’s room and Naushad was eloquent about it. When asked he said it did not help him but it was something he would never do again. He went to Huj. That did not help him as well. But work helped him.
I do not think KK really understood the value of the “Mental Health Expert.” Because to date in India and Indians abroad have miss understanding, under-understanding in the blown up stigma of lunacy, madness, all negative words.
I do not believe that all his eccentricities were carefully engineered acts but they just happened without his mental control on them. Towards the end of his life many of his friends and relatives were very hostile and did not want to see him.
For a long time I kept one copy of “India Today” in eighties, in which there was an article about him referring to his strange behaviour. After a few years Kishore died.

57 ksbhatia October 19, 2017 at 11:39 pm

AK ji @52;
Here is one more KK duet song where again he changes his tone , rhythm and vocal chords effortlessly .

Ghar ki raounaq hai gharwali….Geeta, KK…..Bandi…..HK

Now a lullaby by KK from the same movie……

Chhup hoja amiroan ki yeh sone ki ghadi hai…..

58 ksbhatia October 20, 2017 at 12:02 am

… continuation…

Two more songs in serious mode…

Panthi hoon maein us path ka….Door Ka Rahi…..

Jaane kya soachh kar nahin guzra…..Gulzar RDB KK combo…..

59 Anu Warrier October 20, 2017 at 5:14 am

@Shalan, perhaps. He certainly was eccentric but you’re right that ‘mental health’ covers an umbrella of issues, not many of which are understood even by the medical profession even today.

Whatever the reason for his eccentricities, he was a hugely talented man.

@ Ravindra Kelkar: RDB didn’t have too high a regard for Rafi as a singer
That was not true at all! Anyone with half a ear for music wouldn’t say they had no regard for Rafi as a singer – and RDB definitely knew his music. From an interview with Quint:
Rafi saheb toh ek hi tha… maine unke saath 100 gana banaya… and he was the best… God gifted.

MK Jha: But Kishore was your favourite…

RD Burman: Yes, Kishore dost tha lekin Rafi saheb toh guru thhe. I have been seeing him singing when I was a kid. Dada ke liye, pehle Dev Anand ke liye Rafi saheb gaate thhe.

That is not the opinion of a man who did not have a high regard for Rafi.
The whole interview is here.

60 Ravindra Kelkar October 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Anu Ji,
Thanks for the link to the interview. It’s an eye opener and changes my perception for sure and I am happy that in 1992 at least RDB gave Rafi his due. Basically what it means is that though Kishore was his first choice, it was not because he considered Rafi as the lesser singer.

61 KB October 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm

RDB has given Rafi good songs even in the sixties and seventies in fims like PYAR KA MAUSAM, THE TRAIN,WARIS, ABHILASHA ,TEESRI MANZIL and so on. I wish to add that RD has always given excellent songs to Rafi though his total songs given may be not very high. In fact ,I feel that he should have given more songs to other eminent singers like Mukesh ,Talat and Hemant Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor.

62 R Vasudevan October 20, 2017 at 6:56 pm

During mid 1970s when RDB was at his peak, old great actors barring Dev Anand were not very active in films and new heroes have taken their place like Rajesh Khanna, Rakesh Roshan, Vinod Mehra, Rishi, Navin Nichol,Amitab, and a few more. Jeetendra and Dharmendra were past their prime though still around. RDB might have thought it is KK would be better for all the above said heroes than Rafi.

RDB had very high opinion of Rafi and has composed some great songs. I have read a few biographies on RDB and in none of them RDB has made anything against Rafi’s singing. One more reason RDB and KK moved well together each respecting the other and each know how talented they are in their own way. Rafi was friendly with all MDs though he had a liking for OPN and Jaikishan.

63 Hans October 21, 2017 at 2:10 am

Before any comment on KK 1.0 or 2.0, I would like to say that his first song was not in Ziddi, but in Shikari (1946) and the first one to give him break was SDB. And from that song it is clear that he sang in his own voice and their was no imitation of Saigal.
Whosoever composed the songs of Ziddi composed it in Saigal style and asked KK to sing the song in Saigal style. You will say why I am saying whosoever composed the songs of Ziddi. It is because two days back when I was scanning the film Ziddi on youtube, I found that the music director named in its credits is Anil Biswas. The film has perhaps the shortest list of credits in any film. First the name Ziddi comes, then next is music Anil Biswas, then comes the cast with just four names and lastly the name of the director. Is there any explanation for the appearance of the name of Anil Biswas instead that of Khem Chand Prakash.

Regarding the comparison of KK’s songs in 1.0 and 2.0, I would agree with Jignesh that it is perhaps the generation effect. The older generation likes 1.0 because of the nostalgic effect of having heard his songs in their youth. For other reasons I would ditto Dinesh’s comments in 55 with the addition that the level of lyrics went many scales down in the 70s and 80s. I would say that whenever the quality of lyrics and music was good KK rendered very good songs in 2.0 version.

64 Hans October 21, 2017 at 2:23 am

Regarding the query of Canasya at 35, I would agree with Mumbaikar8 that it is Asha. In fact I would say that it is Asha, only Asha and nobody else, leave alone Meena Kapoor who was clearly identifiable in her early singing by her unigue way of singing ‘ra’ with a slight lisp. You can find it in her most famous song ‘mori atariya pe kaga bole’. I have listened almost all the songs of Asha from the early period and her voice sounded wierd because she struggled with the hindi diction like Lata in her early singing. Meena Kapoor had no such diction problems from the start.

65 Anu Warrier October 21, 2017 at 4:10 am

Hans, AK did not say Kishore’s first song was from Ziddi: he said, his first solo and his first duet were both from that film. The song from Shikari was a group song, and the main singers were Arun Kumar Mukherjee and Paro; Kishore seemed to be leading the group chorus. Even if we consider him an integral part of the song, the song is a triad.

I wonder why the YouTube link of Ziddi credits Anil Biswas for the music. My suspicion is that the DVD makers made a mistake. It’s SEPL – they are [in]famous for such things. To the best of my knowledge, the music of Ziddi was scored by Khemchand Prakash.

66 Subodh Agrawal October 21, 2017 at 7:35 am

AK, this is a wonderful post. You have captured a slice of Kishor’s multi-faceted genius that has something very lyrical, very innocent about it. Many of the songs are from his own films where he has given the music, and occasionally written the lyrics as well. The first song ‘Hawaon pe likh do’ deserves to be much better known. I had once thought of making a list of ‘everyday’ songs that people sing as they go about their daily lives. This one figured prominently in that. By the way, I read somewhere that the little girl in the song is Neetu Singh.

67 R Vasudevan October 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Ziddi released in 1948 had music by Khemchand Prakash (according to, ziddi released in 1964 had music by SD Burman and ziddi of 1997 had music by Dilip Sen & Sameer Sen.

68 AK October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Hans @63
Anu has already said what I wanted to say. I have mentioned Saraswati Devi used Kishore Kumar in some chorus songs, which might predate even Shikari. But I could have still worded it more clearly.

Ziddi (1948)-Khemchand Prakash: There is hardly any doubt. Anil Biswas did have some ambiguous credits, such as Basant and one song in Manmohan, but Ziddi is not one of them. AB never hesitated to lay his claim if he thought he had a role in it.

KK or anyone else ‘imitating’ Saigal in early years is hardly a discredit. When I said this I made it clear that I regarded those songs great nevertheless.

69 Shalan Lal October 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Anuji @ 59
Your quote,”Whatever the reason for his eccentricities, he was a hugely talented man.”

“Madness ( now politically incorrect term) in great ones must not unwatched go. CLAUDIUS.
Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1

Shakespeare Dictionary interpretation:
When important people start to show signs of insanity (now politically incorrect word), you have to watch …

There is a deep interpretative debate about whether Hamlet was real mad or his acts in the story were his put up front.

Many have done the productions with both the interpretations. Recently I saw one Hamlet set in the modern Hospital and in the period of repressive government.

All in all there is a good discussion going on this post.

Shalan La

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