I am delighted to present a survey of the best songs of 1955 and invite the readers to an interactive discussion to choose the best songs, singers and music director. For this post I have to thank the readers AM and KR Vaishampayan who suggested while discussing the music of Mughal-e-Azam (which failed to win the Filmfare award for 1960 films!) that I do a year wise survey of music of films of 1953-45 in reverse order and place it for in-depth analysis, comments and suggestions by the readers. They suggested 1953 as the year because the first Filmfare awards were given in 1954.
Then why I am starting with 1955? The year of Filmfare awards relates to the films made in the previous calendar year. The 1954 awards should by that logic have been for films made in 1953. But as we all know the first award for the best music was given to Naushad for Baiju Bawra, which was made in 1952. I do not think the awards were meant for 1952-53 combined. Then both 1955 and 1956 year awards went for movies made in 1954 – SD Burman (Taxi Driver) and Hemant Kumar (Nagin) respectively. 1957 Awards onwards the calendar becomes regular. Which means there are gaps in 1955 and 1953.
Some more Filmfare Awards trivia. In the first two years the award for the best music was given for a particular song (Naushad for Tu Ganga ki mauj; SD Burman for Taxi Driver). Thereafter this category of award was given for the entire score in a film. Further, the awards for the best playback singer was started in 1959, which was combined till 1967. After 1968 onwards separate awards for male and female playback singers were given.
Since we have the advantage of hindsight and the internet, we might lay down the following ground rules:
· Year of Awards would refer to the films released in the same calendar year.
· Best music director award would be given to the complete score in a movie and not a specific song. It may be a good idea to discuss the entire work of a music director in that year to understand his impact.
· Separate awards would be given to male and female playback singers.
So here we go.
By this time Naushad was a superstar. Films were financed and sold in his name. He got as prominent billing as the stars in publicity material. He comes up with his typical class score in this fantasy film with great songs by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.
Azaad: C Ramchandra
C Ramchandra was the antithesis of Naushad. It was said for C Ramchandra that he could create a score in a month what Naushad would take a year to do. CR proved this literally with Azaad. Regulars at this blog would by now be familiar with the story how Naushad rebuffed the offer of SHS Naidu, the producer from South, to compose music of the film in a month. They had just finished the Tamil version and they wanted to produce the Hindi version on the same set in a quick time. Naushad’s answer was that he was a music director and not an assembly-line factory. CR accepted the assignment, and true to his reputation he created a marvellous score containing a cornucopia of Lata Mangeshkar songs, including a duet with Lata in his own voice Kitna haseen hai mausam. Dilip Kumar wanted Talat to be his playback. But he was not available. CR assured Dilip Kumar he would sing in such perfect Talat style that no one would know the difference.
Shree 420: Shankar Jaikishan
Shree 420 was as much a Raj Kapoor masterpiece as Shankar Jaikishan’s with the team of Shailendra-Hasrat Jaipuri-Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar. If a list of immortal iconic songs is made Mera joota hai Japani and Pyar hua iqrar hua would figure prominently in it.
Devdas: SD Burman
Just as it required daring on the part of Bimal Roy to recreate PC Barua – KL Saigal’s Devdas (1935), SD Burman had a tougher task to match up to Timir Baran- KL Saigal’s magic. For Saigal’s two duets – Balam aye baso more man me and Dukh ke ab din beetat naahi, SDB created two Talat solos Mitwa lagi re ye kaisi anbujh aag and Kisko khabar thi fitting wonderfully on the deeply tragic hero Dilip Kumar. (If you think about it, Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Ismail Durbar did not even try – there is no solo for Shahrukh Khan in their Devdas (2002). And I should say, rightly so – because their most memorable song is the peppy dancing duet between Paro and Chandramukhi Dola re dola re. Saratchandra must be squirming in his grave – in his story the two ladies do not meet). Another remarkable song is an outstanding mujra by then unknown singer Mubarak Begum Wo na ayenge palat ke unhe lakh hum bulayen, which gave her big fame as one of the best singers of mujras.
Mr & Mrs 55: OP Nayyar
OP Nayyar had created sensation a year earlier with Aar Paar. He continued his great success in this light hearted romantic comedy of Guru Dutt with Rafi and Geeta Dutt. Very early in his career OP Nayyar crossed swords with Lata Mangeshkar and sworn never to work with her. Geeta Dutt was his mainstay in his challenge to Lata Mangeshkar, as was also her challenge to her. OPN would later carry on this war with Shamshad Begum and Asha Bhosle as his main singers.
Jhanak jhank payal baje: Vasant Desai
If C Ramchandra was contrast to Naushad, Vasant Desai was a bigger contrast to OP Nayyar. So in the same year you have a musical masterpiece based on classical music and dance. Among rare songs sung by great classical singers is the title song of this movie by Ustad Amir Khan. You also have several Lata Mangeshkar songs, and an extremely melodious Hemant Kumar – Lata Mangeshkar duet Nain se nain nahi milao.
As per the rules set by AM and KR Vaishampayan I am not supposed to give any conclusion. My role is limited to presenting the facts, some overview and analysis, and leave it to the jury that is the wider reader community to decide the final winners. I think I would not be breaching the boundaries set forth for me, if I suggest that the best music director would be perhaps one of the above.
Other important musical compositions.
Besides the above big six there are several other films which are significant for their music or some songs, though they may not have been blockbusters. Main gharibon ka dil hun watan ki zuban by Hemant Kumar in Aab-e-Hayat composed by Sardar Malik is an eternal song for me. I have covered it in my post on Sardar Malik. Baradari composed by Nashad (not Naushad) has several iconic songs. Tasweer banata hun figures in my list of Talat Mahmood’s best and Bhula nahi dena jib hula nahi dena among the top 5 greatest Rafi- Lata duets. SD Burman had two more films with everlasting songs – House No 44 starring Dev Anand and Kalpna Kartik which had Hemant Kumar songs Teri duniya me jeene se and Chup hai dharti chup hain chand sitare, and Munimji starring Dev Anand and Nalini Jaiwant, which had Kishore Kumar’s Jeevan ke safar me rahi. Thus SD Burman shows tremendous range. Shankar Jaikishan had started foraying outside RK banner though to some annoyance to Raj Kapoor. In Nutan, Balraj Sahni starrer Seema they created a Manna Dey masterpiece Tu pyar ka sagar hai. Among the great composers who created memorable music in more than one film in the year is also C Ramchandra whose Vyjayantimala, Suraiya, Jayant starrer Yasmeen had unforgettable Talat classic Bechain nazar betaab jigar ye dil hai kisi ka deewana. A memorable niche song is Kavi Pradeep’s Tere dwar khada bhagwan bhagat bhar de from Vaman Avtar composed by Avinash Vyas. Another memorable song is Rafi’s Basti bast parvat parvat gata jaye banjara from Railway Platform composed by Madan Mohan. Incidentally this was the debut film of Sunil Dutt. But the song that takes the cake for immortal song from a completely unknown composer (Amarnath) is Preet kiye dukh hoye from Garam Coat. YouTube mentions that he was different from the famous Pandit Amarnath, the elder brother of Husnlal-Bhagatram. It seems this Amarnath gave music only for this film. If true, this is a most amazing personal discovery for me, because for some reason I always attributed this song to Madan Mohan.
Ravi had his first film as independent music director in this year – Vachan which had an iconic children song Chanda mama door ke. Ravi had been earlier assistant to Hemant Kumar. Ravi also gave music to another film in this year Albeli, which had a very pleasant Hemant Kumar-Lata Mngeshkar duet Muskurati hui chandni. Jaidev also debuted this year with Joru Ka Bhai which had a memorable Talat Mahmood song Teri zulfon se pyar kaun kare. N Dutta’s first film as music director Milap came this year, with some extremely popular songs such as Bachna zara ye zamana hai bura (Rafi, Geeta Dutt) and Jate ho to jao par jaoge kahan (Geeta Dutt). His association with Sahir Ludhiyanvi would later give many more memorable films such as Chandrakanta, Dhool Ka Phool, Lighthouse, Bhai Bahan etc. N Datta and Jaidev had been assistants to SD Burman. N Dutta had another film this year, Marine Drive with a memorable Rafi song Ab wo karam karen ki sitam main nashe mein hun.
Fact file and trivia
There was a film named Amar Sahgal in this year which was made from the clippings of KL Saigal’s films. This film had his 19 film and non-film songs. Another film named on a film star was Dev Anand in Goa. IMDB indicates it was a film about freedom fighters, so was Dev Anand playing himself, and if so what was he doing?
Film Lagan music by Hemant Kumar had a song, Dekhi teri duniya wo duniya ke rakhwale sung by Rafi, which was apparently first recorded in the voice of Ravi (but perhaps not used in the film). We lost Ravi on March 7 this year, so here is this song in his voice as a tribute to one of the great composers of the Golden Era.
I always wondered what happened to the greats of the New Theatres. I find the name of RC Boral as the music director of a film titled Swami Vivekanand, whose songs obviously no one knows. It makes one somewhat sad at the end of a great era. RC Boral was the lynchpin of the New Theatres in Calcutta and defined the best in music with iconic songs by KL Saigal like Babul mora naihar, Tadpat beet din rain etc. RC Boral (as also others) migrating from Calcutta to Bombay and becoming inconspicuous by 50’s signified Bombay finally prevailing over Calcutta for better or worse.
This year had at least four pairs of twin songs of which two were unknown to me. Ye baharon ka sama by Hemant Kumar/Lata Mangeshkar is an extremely melodious song. It may be my bias, but this song also proves my general theory about twin songs that the male version is almost invariably vastly superior to the female version. The other twin song which I did not know is quite unusual in that both versions are sung by males. The song is Bast basti parvat parvat gata banjara by Rafi/Manmohan Krishna. I have not been able to locate the Manmohan Krishna version, but I am sure it would land up on the YouTube some day. After my expanded list I had thought I had covered all the well known twin songs, but it is amazing I keep on stumbling upon some outstanding twin songs.
LIST OF MEMORABLE SONGS
Here is a list of memorable songs of 1955 film wise in alphabetical order to help readers make choices. The list is obviously not exhaustive, but seeks to include all noteworthy songs.
Aab-e-Hayat: Sardar Malik
1. Main gharibon ka dil hun watan ti zuban - Hemant Kumar & others
Azaad: C Ramchandra
2. Radha na bole na bole na bole re - Lata Mangeshkar
3. Aplam chaplam - Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Mangeshkar
4. Dekhoji bahar ayee - Lata Mangeshkar
5. Ja ri ja ri O kari badariya - Lata Mangeshkar
6. Kitna haseen hai mausam - Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar
7. Marna bhi mohabbat me kisi kaam na aya - Raghunath Jadav & others
8. Pee ke daras ko taras gayi ankhiyan - Lata Mangeshkar
9. Kitni jawan hai raat koi yaad aa gaya - Lata Mangeshkar
Adal-e-Jahangir: Husnlal Bhagatram
10. Ae meri zindagi tujhe dhoodun kahan - Talat Mahmood/Lata Mangeshkar (twin songs)
11. Muskurati hui chandni - Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
Baap Re Baap: OP Nayyar
12. Piya piya piya mera jiya pukare - Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle
13. Bhula nahi dena ji bhula nahi dena - Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar
14. Mohabbat ki bas itni dastan hai - Lata Mangeshkar
15. Tasweer banata hun tasweer nahi banti - Talat Mahmood
16. Kho diya maine pakar kisi ko aag lag jaye is zindagi ko - Lata Mangeshkar
17. Dard bhara dil bhar bhar bhar jaye - Lata Mangeshkar
Devdas: SD Burman
18. Aan milo aan milo Shyam sanwre - Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt
19. Sajan ki ho gayi gori - Geeta Dutt
20. Ab aage teri marzi - Lata Mangeshkar
21. O janewale ruk ja koi dum - Lata Mangeshkar
22. Mitwa lagi re ye kaisi anbujh aag - Talat Mahmood
23. Kisko khabar thi kisko yakeen tha - Talat Mahmood
24. Jise tu qabool kar le - Lata Mangeshkar
25. Wo na ayenge palat ke - Mubarak Begum
Garam Coat: Amarnath
26. Jogiya se preet kiye dukh hoye - Lata Mangeshkar
House No. 44: SD Burman
27. Teri duniya me jeene se behtar hai - Hemant Kumar
28 Chup hai dharti chup hai chand sitare - Hemant Kumar
29 Phaili hui hai sapnon ki baahen - Lata Mangeshkar
Insaniyat: C Ramchandra
30. Ayi jhoomti bahar - Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar
Jhanak jhank payal baje: Vasant Desai
31. Jhanak jhanak payal baje - Ustad Amir Khan
32. Saiyan ja ja - Lata Mangeshkar
33. Nain se nain nahi milao - Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
34. Jo tum todo piya main nahi jodun re - Lata Mangeshkar
35. Mere ae dil bata - Lata Mangeshkar
Joru Ka Bhai: Jaidev
36. Teri zulfon se pyar kaun kare - Talat Mahmood
Marine Drive: N Dutta
37. Ab wo karam Karen ki sitam main nashe mein hun - Rafi
Milap: N Dutta
38. Bachna zara ye zamana hai bura - Rafi and Geeta Dutt
39. Ye baharon ka sama chand taron ka sama - Hemant Kumar/Lata Mangeshkar (twin songs)
40. Jate ho to jao par jaoge kahan - Geeta Dutt
Mr & Mrs 55: OP Nayyar
41. Ae ji dil pe hua aisa jadoo - Rafi
42. Thandi hawa kali ghata - Geeta Dutt
43. Jane kahan mera jigar gaya ji - Rafi and Geeta Dutt
44. Ab to ji hone laga kisi ki sorat ka samna - Shamshad Begum
45. Chal diye bandanawaz chhod kar mere dil ka saaz - Rafi and Geeta Dutt
46. Idhar tum haseen ho udhar dil jawan hai - Rafi and Geeta Dutt
47. Preetam aan milo - Geeta Dutt
Munimji: SD Burman
48. Jeevan ke safar men rahi - Kishore Kumar/ Lata Mangeshkar (twin songs)
49. Shivji bihane chale - Hemant Kumar
50. Ghayal hiraniyan main ban ban dolun - Lata Mangeshkar
Naqab: Govind Ram
51. Tera khyal dil ko sataye to kya karen - Talat Mahmood
52. Hum unki mast ankhon ke mastane hain - Talat Mahmood
53. Majnu bana diya warna hum bhi aadmi the kaam ke - SD Batish, Balbir & others
Ratnaghar: Sudhir Phadke
54. Aise hain sukh sapan hamare – Lata Mangeshkar
Railway Platform: Madan Mohan
55. Basti basti parbat parbat gata jaye banjara - Rafi/Manmohan Krishna (twin songs)
56. Dekh tere bhagwan ki halat kya ho gayi insan - Rafi, SD Batish, Manmohan Krishna & others
Seema: Shankar Jaikishan
57. Suno chhoti si gudiya ki lambi kahani - Lata Mangeshkar
58. Tu pyar ka sagar hai - Manna Dey
59. Kahan ja raha hai tu ai janewale - Rafi
60. Manmohna bade jhoothe - Lata Mangeshkar
Shri 420: Shankar Jaikishan
61. Mera joota hai Japani - Mukesh
62. Dil ka haal sune dilwala - Manna Dey & others
63. Ichak dana bichak dana - Lata Mangeshkar & others
64. Pyar hua iqrar hua - Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakr
65. Mud mud ke na dekh - Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle & others
66. O janewale mud ke zara dekhte jana - Lata Mangeshkar
67. Ramaiya vastavaiya - Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar & others
Tangewali: Salil Chaudhary
68. Halke halke chalo sanwre - Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
69. Mera salam le ja - Lata Mangeshkar & others
70. Mohabbat ki rahon men chalna sambhal ke - Rafi
71. Na toofan se khelo - Rafi
72. Hamare dil se na jana - Lata Mangeshkar
73. Na ro ai dil kahin rone se taqdeeren badalti hain - Lata Mangeshkar
74. More saiyan ji utarenge par ho - Lata Mangeshkar & others
75. Sitaron ki mahfil saji tum na aye - Lata Mangeshkar
76. O door ke musafir mujhko bhi sath le le - Rafi
77. Chanda mama door ke - Asha Bhosle
78. Jab liya hath me hath - Asha Bhosle and Rafi
Waman Avtar: Avinash Vyas
79. Tere dwar khada bhagwan bhagat bhar de re jholi - Pradeep
Yasmin: C Ramchandra
80. Bechain nazar betab zigar - Talat Mahmood
81. Mujhpe ilzam-e-bewafai hai - Lata Mangeshkar
82. Tum apni yaad bhi dil se bhula dete to achcha tha - Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar
83. Ankhon me sama jao dil me raha karna - Lata Mangeshkar
84. Hans hans ke haseenon se nazar char kiye ja - Lata Mangeshkar
Some ‘special’ songs
Now I post some songs of 1955 which I consider ‘special’. They are not the best nor the most popular, nor are they likely to figure among nominations or winners. Some of these songs are relatively unknown, but extremely melodious and deserve to be known better. Some are quirky, breaking from the general mould, while some others have some interesting point about them. So enjoy these special songs of ‘1955’, while you think about the shortlist for various awards.
1. Aise hain sukh sapan hamare by Lata Mangeshkar from Ratnaghar, lyrics Narendra Sharma, music Sudhir Phadke
Sudhir Phadke-Narendra Sharma-Lata Mangeshkar combination’s classic Jyoti kalash chhalke from Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan is well known. No less melodious is the relatively unknown Aise hain sukh sapan hamare, with equally elegant lyrics by Narendra Sharma.
2. Muskurati hui chandni by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Albeli, lyrics Ravi, music Ravi
What a fantastic gift by Ravi, who wrote the lyrics as well as composed the music, to his mentor Hemant Kumar. Ravi later became known for his ghazals for Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor, but in this early song and one of the rare songs he composed for Hemant Kumar, the latter’s influence is quite obvious.
3. Ye baharon ka sama by Hemant Kumar from Milap, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music N Dutta
You have another forgotten Hemant Kumar masterpiece composed by another debutant. Sahir Ludhiyanvi, who later became known for his hard hitting rebellious poetry, writes a somewhat uncharacteristic soft romantic song, matching perfectly with the sonorous voice of Hemant Kumar. It is a twin song, the other version is sung by Lata Mangeshkar. My own preference is Hemant Kumar without doubt, but this video link has both the versions.
4. Shivji bihane chale by Hemant Kumar from Munimji, lyrics Shailendra, music SD Burman
I have to admit of Hemant Kumar-weakness. Here is a very different Hemant Kumar fun song about Shiv-Parvati cosmic marriage, presented as a stage song by a comic anchor Dev Anand disguised in heavy moustache. For good effect, in his introductory speech Dev Anand warns the ladies in the audience (read Nalini Jaiwant) not to look at persons in moustache with buri nazar, because hiding underneath may be their Lord Shiv (paramour).
5. Halke halke chalo sanwre by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Tangewali, lyrics Prem Dhawan, msic Salil Chaudhary
There must be something about 1955 and Hemant Kumar, here is another ‘special’ song with him. We are all aware of tonga songs of OP Nayyar-Rafi-Asha Bhosle. Nothing could be more different from it than Salil Chaudhary-Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar. So you have this tonga song with a difference picturised on a pre-Rafi Shammi Kapoor and Nirupa Roy.
6. Tere dwar khada Bhagwan bhagat bhar de re jholi by Pradeep, lyrics Pradeep, music Avinash Vyas
Kavi Pradeep has a very special niche in film music. Essentially he was a lyricist of inspirational, devotional and patriotic songs. With his booming voice, whatever he sang became a landmark. This is one of the most memorable songs of Pradeep.
7. Dekh tere Bhgawan ki halat kya ho gayi insan by Rafi from Railway Platform, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Madan Mohan
Pradeep must have been hugely popular, because you have this parody of his famous Dekh tere insan ki halat which came a year earlier (Nastik, C Ramchandra). By overturning the phrase Sahir Ludhiyanvi laments at the state of affairs of God who does not have time for the deprived, but has chosen to reside in the abode of rich people.
8. Ab to ji hone laga kisi ki surat ka samna by Shamshad Begum from Mr & Mrs 55, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar
Mr & Mrs 55 is famous for Rafi and Geeta Dutt’s songs. But for Shamshad Begum lovers, this song is a treat. Guru Dutt-OP Nayyar had some fascination for creating situational songs on extras and unknown actors with the lead actors being onlookers. He would do the same thing with his iconic Le ke pahla pahla pyar in CID. Shamshad Begum was among the few prominent singers who stood for OP Nayyar in his spat with Lata Mangeshkar.
9. Marna bhi mohabbat mein kisi kaam na aya by Raghunath Jadav and others in Azaad, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra
There are qawwalis and qawwalis in films – you have some by usual playback singers like Rafi, Manna Dey and Balbir and some by professional qawwali singers like Ismail Azad (Humein to loot liya mil ke husn walon ne). It is the latter which give you the real flavor of qawwali. I had not heard the name of Raghunath Jadav before the internet era, but apparently he must be a professional qawwali singer. As per Sudhir Kapur’s article at Atul’s site this song is picturised on Baalam (in black achkan) and Master Nisar (in cap).
10. Preetam aan milo by Geeta Dutt from Mr & Mrs 55, lyrics Saroj Mohini Nayyar, music OP Nayyar
Preetam aan milo is the iconic song of CH Atma composed by OP Nayyar much before he entered films. The song is written by his wife Saroj Mohini Nayyar. He uses the same song in the voice of Geeta Dutt who was capable of singing for two entirely different situations – one deeply spiritual and the other racy night clubs or party dancing. OP Nayyar gives a glimpse of both Geeta Dutt’s in this film.
AND THE WINNERS ARE!
Having come to the end of my presentation, the question still remains who are the winners for 1955. I have refrained from giving my own nominees or winners, though I, like every music lover, do have my own preferences. So let me seek comments, views and opinions about nominees for each category (say five for each category). And if I am permitted to be a bit immodest, let us call them:
Songs of Yore Awards for 1955 for music category: Nominees for
Best music director
Best male playback singer
Best female playback singer
P. S. – On the suggestion of some readers I am also adding an Award for