OP Nayyar’s quintessential Rafi

January 28, 2015

A tribute to OP Nayyar on his 8th death anniversary January 28 (January 16, 1926 – January 28, 2007)

[Songs of Yore is now on Facebook.]

OP Nayyar with RafiI read a comment somewhere that OP Nayyar rescued Rafi from the staid classicism of Naushad. I ignore the sarcasm targeted at my favourite Naushad, but it underscores the fact that no one was more antithetical to him than OP Nayyar. Every other great rival of Naushad had one thing common with him: Lata Mangeshkar – she gave voice to their greatest creations. OP Nayyar is the only one who could reach the top in spite of shunning her completely. And for this reason, I was not very fond of his music, until I started noticing his Rafi songs. They are the polar opposite of Naushad, but they are awesome, and we are lucky that OP Nayyar happened, bringing out an entirely different facet of Rafi. Naushad had a solid training in classical music, OP Nayyar had none, his music was instinctive. While Naushad oozed Lakhnavi nafasat, OP Nayyar personified Punjabi brashness – this also reflected in their music.

Once I had an interesting discussion with Subodh about Rafi vis-a-vis other singers. He made a point that Rafi perhaps suffered a handicap because of his versatility. Other singers like Mukesh, Hemant Kumar and Talat Mahmood had their well defined niches where they reigned supreme. Whenever Rafi ventured into their territory, he came out a poor second. A clear example is Saranga teri yaad mein which is regarded as a definitive song of Mukesh (though Rafi also sang a short piece), and later Tum bin jaun kahan against Kishore Kumar.

Our discussion then moved on to what would be a typical Rafi. We further stretched it to, what if songs not quintessentially Rafi were sung by different singers – say Do ghadi wo jo paas aa baithe by Talat Mahmood, Toote hue khwabon ne by Mukesh and Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan by Hemant Kumar. Subodh felt that these may sound better in the alternative voices. This is entering into speculation, but my view was that whereas Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar had a niche, Rafi had several distinct niches – Rafi for Johnny Walker, Rafi for Mehmood, Rafi for Dilip Kumar (by Naushad), Rafi for Shammi Kapoor by Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi for Bharat Bhushan and Pradeep Kumar by Roshan, Rafi for Dev Anand by SD Burman, and Rafi for Shami Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee by OP Nayyar. Rafi’s greatness lies in that no other singer had so many distinct niches. And that brings me to the point of this post – what is the most quintessential Rafi. And I have no doubt that OP Nayyar’s songs for Rafi are a class apart, and they do not permit even a ‘what if’ discussion as we did about his other songs.

While in female playback OP Nayyar gave great compositions with Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and later with Asha Bhosle, in male payback Rafi was integral to him. He had over 200 songs with Rafi, far more than he had with any other male singer.  Differences with Rafi led him to move to Mahendra Kapur later in his career, but he was not a choice he would have voluntarily made. His music was important in transforming the sedate, sober and moustached hero Shammi Kapoor of Laila Majnu and Thokar into a wild and teasing lover with Tumsa Nahi Dekha, which was expanded into the ‘yahoo’ Junglee and Jaanwar by Shankar Jaikishan. OP Nayyar style became a cult. Dil De Ke Dekho is a kind of tribute by Usha Khanna to OP Nayyar style. Even Madan Mohan with his elite classicism and ghazal-Lata fame, unhesitatingly took ‘inspiration’ from OP Nayyar when he had to compose a fast dance song on Asha Bhosle or a song with bhangra/Punjabi beat.

OP Nayyar’s songs for Rafi remind me of a giant roller coaster in an amusement park in the US. You can make out the roller coaster from miles. The ride gives you an incredible thrill. The momentum takes you to the top of the loop when you become still; then by gravity you drop from a great height; at the bottom the accumulated kinetic energy now lets you cruise along the horizontal track until you come back to the point when the same circle is repeated.

To think that a composer in the 1950’s and 60’s could reach the top by excluding Lata Mangeshkar altogether is, besides haughtiness and supreme confidence, a testimony to his great talent. But his greatest compositions are either Rafi solos or his duets. As we celebrate this year as the Year of Naushad, it is an apt time to remember his polar opposite, OP Nayyar with his ten quintessential Rafi songs, as a tribute on his 8th death anniversary.

1. Mujhe dekhkar aapka muskurana from Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1962), lyrics SH Bihari

This is the song which makes me think of a roller coaster. In mujhe dekhkar aapka muskurana you cannot fail to notice a very deliberate pause at almost every syllable – ‘jhe’ in mujhe, ‘de’ in ‘dekhkar’, ‘ka’ in aapka, ‘ra’ and ‘na’ in muskurana. By then OP Nayyar has accumulated so much energy that he effortlessly lets you twist, turn and drop in the loop, complimented beautifully by Joy Mukherji’s emoting on the screen. A quintessential Rafi and a quintessential OPN which is uniquely theirs.


2.  Chhupne wale saamne aa from Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

Tumsa Nahi Dekha gave Hindi films a new hero – the wild rebel who wooed the girl like mad, teased her to exasperation, and ultimately won her.  It was OP Nayyar’s music which transformed Shammi Kapoor into the New Hero and created a cult.


3. Ek pardesi mera dil le gaya (duet with Asha Bhosle) from Phagun (1958), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

This song has more of Asha Bhosle, but you cannot take her out of OP Nayyar.  This song is my great favourite, not only for its absolutely wonderful ‘been’ music and dance, but also because OP Nayyar makes even Bharat Bhushan a delight to watch.   A bonus in the link below is a very contrasting melody from the same film Tum rooth ke mat jana.  A solid proof of OP Nayyar’s talent.


4. Lakhon hain nigah mein zindagi ki raah mein from Phir Wohi dil Laya Hun (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

There was a Shammi Kapoor and there were some faux Shammi Kapoors, Joy Mukherjee being one of them, propelled by OP Nayyar’s music. You do not mind if he does not even pretend to play the guitar he is carrying (he is carrying it more like Hanuman’s गदा), or the strange sight that the garden (Nishat in Srinagar?) seems to have hundreds of girls in different groups, but hardly any male except our hero.  The Rhythm King uses a variety of percussion instruments (including castanets? – a new name I learnt from a fellow blogger Ravi), but also manages to give great melody.


5.  Subhan Allah haseen chehra ye mastana adaayein from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), lyrics SH Bihari

This debut of Sharmila Tagore in Hindi films was a runaway hit on the strength of OP Nayyar’s music.  No film better represents Rafi as the Voice of Shammi Kapoor than Kashmir Ki Kali.  In Ye chaand sa roshan chehra… tareef karun kya uski, you can visualise Shammi Kapoor, who in the frenzied clapping and singing  Tareef karun kya uski would jump in the lake.  In Subhan Allah he is in his elements again, backed by this OP Nayyar-Rafi magic.  Realising that the lech Pran is up to no good,  Shammi Kapoor in drag jumps at the back of the truck Pran is driving, carrying the heroine and other girls.  But he finds the haseen chehra irresistible and breaks into this qawwali-style song, not bothering that his disguise would be blown.


6.  Humdum mere maan bhi jaao from Mere Sanam (1965), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

Biswajit was another Shammi Kapoor-pretender.  At times you feel like killing him, such as when he flees on the road in nothing but his briefs, but this gorgeous song makes you tolerate him.


7.  Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai from Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), lyrics Anjan

From rythmic delight we now come to a superb ghazal.  Dharmendra on the piano singing this great romantic song is very likeable.


8. Na jane kyun hamaare dil ko tumne dil nahi samjha from Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966), lyrics SH Bihari

Dharmendra again, but now in a soft, teasing mood with Rajshree.  You get another variant of OP Nayyar-Rafi.


9.  Dil ki aawaz bhi sun mere fasaane pe na ja from Humsaya (1968), lyrics Shevan Rizvi

We are back to Joy Mukherjee, now in a sombre mood.  His career was by now in decline.  OP Nayyar was also well past his peak.  By this time Mahendra Kapoor had come to his fold.  Dil ki aawaz bhi sun could be probably one of the last of OP Nayyar-Rafi songs, but one of their best.


10.  Zulfon ko hata le chehre se from Saawan Ki Ghata (1966), lyrics SH Bihari

I started with a roller-coaster song.  I end with another song which gives you the thrill of a roller-coaster ride.  A slow mukhda (riding on the flat surface) with very deliberate elongated notes, slow climb, then a fast antara like a sharp drop.  I had put it at the top in my post on zulf songs, but it is so good I cannot complete OP Nayyar-Rafi without it. You would have to ignore Manoj Kumar, because his unabashed imitation of Dilip Kumar’s mannerisms in the prelude to the song is quite irritating.

{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pushpendra Kumar January 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

Again a good article from one of my fav music blogs. BTW I also run a film website where I take my cue on Indian Golden age and I wrote this triibute to Nayyar on his Bday – http://philmistani.in/filmistanis-top-20-o-p-nayyar-songs-the-master-of-rhythm/

Let me know what you big guns think of this list 🙂

2 dustedoff January 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

Mmm. Mazaa aa gaya. Thank you for that, AK! OP Nayyar has long been a favourite of mine, thanks to my father, who – along with Naushad and SD Burman – ranks OPN as one of his favourite MDs (yes, my father has eclectic tastes; that’s probably where I inherit my taste in music from). Adding to your list (most of which I like a lot), I’d also bung in Pukaarta chala hoon main and – rather predictable, but still – Ae dil hai mushkil.

3 gaddeswarup January 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm
4 PRAVEEN January 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Predictable, repetitive, ghoda – ghadi tunes are epithet’s generally given for Nayyar’s music – but no one can deny that they are incredibly hummable

My favourite, though, is the tough to hum ‘ Aap ke haseen rukh’ 🙂

Also I would agree with dustedoff – Would have preferred Pukarta chala hoon main in the list of 10

5 mumbaikar8 January 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm

In Jigesh’ style I will say DIL KHOOSH KAR DIYA!
It is really surprising they got along so well in spite of their totally different personalities.
I would add Rafi for Guru Dutt in his several niches, though the number is small the variety is amazing.
App ke hasin rukh pe was Rafi Guru Dutt song too.
Not only Usha Khanna and Madan Mohan were influenced by his stlye, Roshan in Vallah kya baat hai with Shammi Kapoor as hero sounds like OP, it took me a while to realize that it was not OP.
Two songs for example
khanke tokhanke
title song

6 AK January 28, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Pushpendra Kumar,
Thanks for your nice words. I visited your OP Nayyar article. It is very well-written. You have put in his songs which are all considered iconic, though personally I would not include some of the songs in my top favourite (purely personal taste). I find some common songs, and I would not mind taking Hai duniya usi ki and Banda parwar thaam lo jigar among OPN-Rafi’s ten best in place of the ones I have chosen.

7 AK January 28, 2015 at 7:56 pm

I am happy you liked most of the songs. Ae dil hai mushkil is my favourite too, but Pukarta chala hun main somehow did not enthuse me much. From Mere Sanam my other favourites are Roka kai baar maine dil ki umang ko and Huye hain tum par aashiq hum.

8 AK January 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Thanks for the link. Almost all accounts mention that OP Nayyar did not formally learn classical music and that his talent was all instinctive, though it is difficult to believe that a person without formal knowledge could compose songs like the title song of Raagini (1958) in the voice of Ustad Amir Khan (Jogiya mere ghar aaye) and in the same film, Chhed diye mere dil ke taar by Ustad Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali.

The other day Javed Akhtar narrated an incident about OP Nayyar in his series ‘Classic Legends’. Ustad Amir Khan complimented him for his incredible feat of composing all the songs of Phaagun (1958) in the same Raga. OP Nayyar was bewildered and told the doyen that he did not know any Raga, and could he (Ustad) please tell him which Raga he was talking about. Now it was the Ustad’s turn to be surprised and asked him whether he did not really know that he had composed all the songs in Piloo.

9 AK January 28, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Aapke haseen rukh pe is also in my list (#7), but I prefer some other songs to Pukarta chal hun from Mere Sanam that I have mentioned in my reply to Dustedoff.

10 AK January 28, 2015 at 8:19 pm

You have made me happy by your comments.

Wallah Kya Bat Hai is completely OP Nayyar. Thanks for mentioning it. So Roshan also joins the list of OPN admirers.

11 PRAVEEN January 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm

The last song in today’s special on OP (Golden Era by Annu Kapoor) was my fav ‘Aapke haseen rukh’. You get an inferiority complex when the screen is filled with such good looking faces – even Deven Verma looks dapper! Great picturisation of a lovely song

PS : AK sir – I know that this song was already on your list – my point was that among the ten, this was my favourite

12 ksbhatia January 29, 2015 at 12:31 am

AK’ji; Once again a beautiful reminder of the bygone era . First with Naushad , then with C Ramchander and now with O P Nayyar ! A Hat trick ! Looks like watching World Cup thru’out the year . AK’ji ; as always , a beautiful bouquet from the valley of melodies of the master of rhythm. I am trying hard to add a few more flowers[ songs] and will go on adding more as time passes by . 1. Raat bhar ka mehman andheera ……from Sone ki chidiya . 2. Main soya ankhiyan meeche……. a duet with aasha from Phagun . 3 . Aana hai to aa raah main kuchh pheir nahi hai ……from Naya Daur . 4. Gaarib jaan ke hamko na tum bhula dena …….from Chhoo Mantar . 5. Aap yuain agar hum se milte rahe …… a duet with aasha ji from Ek musafir ek hasina . And lastly one must note as to how many times word ‘ Tarif’ is rendered [ all in different style ! ] in the concluding line of the famous O P’s song ‘ Tarif karoon kya uski ‘ .

13 AK January 29, 2015 at 12:50 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Have a nice time with the three great music directors of the Golden Era, who were also very colourful personalities. All the songs you have added are among the best of OPN-Rafi.

14 Pushpendra Kumar January 29, 2015 at 7:22 am

Thanks AK ji for the nice words
Doing a top 10 or 20 for Nayyar is almost impossible, though I would request you to check out stuff that we churn out at Philmistani. Already done some stuff on legends like Jaidev saab -http://philmistani.in/naam-gum-jayega-part-i-jaidev/
and a lot of stuff on rafi saab, Asha Tai, Hemat da et all.
Would be great to get your perspective 🙂

15 Siddharth January 29, 2015 at 9:31 am

What a wonderful treat. OPN was under represented on this wonderful blog. Thanks for providing so much variety in the very first month of the year. If I had to write this article, my feelings would have been exactly the same, but of course I could not have match the quality.
My favourite Rafi is with OPN along with SDB.

16 AK January 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Thanks a lot for your very generous words. One reason for less of OPN on SOY was absence of Lata Mangeshkar in his music. I am not a great fan of Asha Bhosle. But his best that I like will surely appear here. And I would be quite happy to carry if someone wishes to write guest article on his songs for Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt.

17 Anu Warrier January 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm

AK, Dil khush kar diya! 🙂 Mohammed Rafi at his sublime best. Adding my mite to your list (most of which would rank among my favourite songs as well):
Phir miloge kabhi from Ye Raat Phir Na Aayegi
Jawaniya ye mast mast bin piye from Tumsa Nahin Dekha
Aap yunhi agar humse milte rahe, the Rafi-Asha duet from Ek Musafir Ek Haseena

18 AK January 29, 2015 at 9:24 pm

OPN gives undiluted joy. The songs you have listed my favourites too, but from Ek Musafir Ek Haseena my next big favourite is Bahut shukriya badi meharbani.

19 Jignesh Kotadia January 30, 2015 at 12:40 am

Dear Akji, mumbaikarji
Aisa ho hi nahin sakta ke OPN ka gana sune aur dil khush na ho 🙂 whether it is sung by geeta, shamshad begum, asha, talat , rafi or mahendra kapoor… the rhythm king didnt rely on any singer to produce top class music,, always made joyous music when all mds were making ‘rona dhona’ songs. His collaboration with Rafi is any hfm lover’s favourite folder. each song selected in your list is iconic..a timely tribute to the genius composer and the brave man.

this is one more must listen

Tere gesuo ka saaya, meri jaan jisne paaya
Use mil gayi khudaai, wo naseeb leke aaya
(love and murder, 1966)

he never compromised with his quality even in such out of sight movies like ‘love and murder’, ‘naseehat’, ‘the killers’, ‘shrimanji’..etc


rather i should say to you sir OPN

Tere geeto ka saaya meri jaan jisne paaya
Use mil gayi khudaai wo naseeb leke aaya

Nice compilation akji, kya baat kya baat ! music at it’s top level !

20 Jignesh Kotadia January 30, 2015 at 1:01 am

in late 90’s, jatin lalit reused the tune of “mujhe dekhkar aap ka muskurana” in film “sangharsh” and made a lilting melody with sonu nigam “mujhe raat din bas mujhe chahti ho, kaho na kaho mujhko sab kuchh pata hai”


21 ASHOK M VAISHNAV January 30, 2015 at 6:59 am

Any discussions of the golden period of HFM without OPN would be a curry without any spices.
And the most undisputable contribution by OPN is some of the great Rafi songs.
That he could rise so high to the demands of the situation is so succinctly corroborated by:
Ana Hai To Aa, Raah Men Kuchch Der Nahin Hai – Naya Daur – 1957

22 AK January 30, 2015 at 7:48 am

Your excitement is as pleasing as OP Nayyar’s music. Thanks for your appreciation.

OP Nayyar’s magic is timeless. Tushar Bhatia too paid tribute to him in Andaz Apna Apna (1994) in Elo ji sanam hum aa hi gaye with horse-cart beat and his style.

23 ASHOK M VAISHNAV January 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

I am not able to place two more interesting songs from OPN – Rafi combine:
First one is :
Tumhari Mulaquat Se – Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (a highly lilting tune)
and the second one is where OPN has used Rafi as Kishore’s playback, even when he had quite successfully used Kishore for Kisore’s playback, in the same film

Chale Ho Kahan – with Asha Bhosle – Bhagam Bhag

24 AK January 30, 2015 at 1:03 pm

The song you are looking for is Man mora baawra from Raagini.

25 shreya January 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

These songs are legendary. Love all the songs. Thank u for the list…

26 SSW January 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Nice selections AK. I know this song has been mentioned before but I have a soft spot for this OPN-Rafi combo, Rafi has sung it so effortlessly. Lovely composition, starting with the long prelude on the alto saxophone. There are two saxophones playing together in the interludes, one playing the main melody and the other playing the backing harmony. Really beautiful flute pieces too right through the song and while Rafi is singing you can hear the main violins providing support.

27 ksbhatia January 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

SSW ; Nice observation on a very nice song. It is the first time I am hearing the long prelude on the saxophone . It is really beautiful piece and It should have been there in the song also . Like saxophone OPN has very effectively used Piano accordion in some songs like …1. Dekh ke teri nazar 2 . Thandi thandi hawa mainey puchhaa pata 3. pom pom pom [ from aasman] . Beside these he also masterly used flute and clarinet in most of his songs .

28 AK January 31, 2015 at 7:21 am

Hai duniya usi ki is my great favourite. Your knowledgeable comment enhances the pleasure of listening it. Thanks a lot.

I could have included this song, but settled for the wild Shammi Kapoor.

29 chitrapatsangeet January 31, 2015 at 9:51 am

Among other songs of Rafi, the one that I love is “Hamne to dial ko aap ke ” from Mere Sanam. It is a very difficult tune, sounds easy.

30 chitrapatsangeet January 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I think Ismail Darbar’s father played the saxophone for KKK.

31 SSW January 31, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Yes Mr. Bhatia there were some wonderful accordion players like Y S Moolkay , Enoch Daniel to put ideas into sound.
Chitrapatsangeet, I thought it was Manohari Singh who played the alto saxophone lead in the song.
Yes “Hamne to dil ko aap ke kadmon” is really a lovely song and it is difficult . The notes have to be held for longer durations and there are abrupt pitch changes at certain points and Rafi and Asha have sung it with great feeling. It has beautiful orchestration too. Each instrument is delineated to good effect. Right at the start the guitar plays the first four notes of the C major scale , the violin starts its solo part the guitar fades away playing chords in the background. The brush strokes on the drums , the sitar and santoor in the interludes and the violin always playing backing counterpoint to the voice. Great stuff. I have always thought that familiarity with our dadra taal made the use of the 3 beat rhythm and its variants a natural for lots of our Indian popular music tunes. In the west modern pop/rock of the American mould and its derivatives, especially music starting from the 50s rarely uses that rhythm.

32 chitrapatsangeet January 31, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Great analysis SSW. Ismail Darbar mentioned it one of the reality singing show in star plus TV.

33 A.S.Velpanur January 31, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Have been a great admirer of your site and your writing. Not to leave out enthusiastic and knowledgeable contributors like Dusted off, Anu Warrier, Ashok Vaishnav ji, Gadde Swarupji who enhance the quality of the articles with their incisive comments. I am a great fan of Mohammed Rafi and yes OPN brought the best out of Rafi. Can I also add Diwana Hua badal and Isharon Isharon Men dil to this eclectic mix . Thank you for delighting people like me who are part of a vast majority who enjoy music.

Bahut shukriya badi meherbani .

34 AK February 1, 2015 at 12:29 am

AS Velpanur,
Thanks a lot for your very generous words. It is good to know there are so many silent, but equally passionate, followers of SoY, besides the ones who actively participate. Of course, Deewana hua baadal and Isharon isharon mein are great songs. And Bahut shukroya badi meharbani to you too!

35 Dr Dhanwantari G. Pancholi February 1, 2015 at 7:10 am

Another beautiful and very comforting and praiseworthy quality of this platform is tha you have all the relevant vedio
bedded on one page where you can play and have its context on the same page / place .
To put it in more clear way
1. All the good music of say OPN
2 one page
3. Descriptions
4. Embedded vedios
you dont have to make collection it is all there you just have enjoy because of the labour and passion of this gentleman. WOW. A big WOW.

36 Dr Dhanwantari G. Pancholi February 1, 2015 at 7:22 am

Hey i like the amazingly witty part of the conversations

Bahut shukroya badi meharbani

now it is becoming catchy. From me too
“Bahut shukroya badi meharbani” for the hilariousness.

37 AK February 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Dr Pancholi,
Bahut shukiya badi meharbani again! Thanks a lot for your compliments.

38 Subodh Agrawal February 4, 2015 at 11:30 am

One of the most enjoyable lists to come out of SoY. Thanks for the honourable mention! Adding a bit more to the discussion you have referred – the Rafi/OP combination always works with Shammi Kapoor; just as the Mukesh/SJ combination did with Raj Kapoor. Actors like Joy Mukherjee and Biswajeet would perhaps vanish from people’s memory but for songs of this duo.

Interesting observation about the pauses in the first song. The other song I find quintessentially OP is ‘Bahut shukriya badi meherbaani’ with its wavy, somewhat jerky movement.

39 AK February 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Thanks. Bahut shukriya too is fabulous, and quintessentially OPN. Discussions with experts like you always help in formalising my thoughts.

40 chitrapatsangeet February 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

2 other lovely songs are “Aanchal me saja lena kaliyan” and the unpicturized “Mein Pyar ka rahi hoon”.

41 AK February 5, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Absolutely. Aanchal mein saja lena kaliyan also came in for a very respectable reference in Padosan. Guru Vidyapati (Kishore Kumar) is frustrated in teaching the tone-deaf Bhola (Sunil Dutt), when he hears this song from the radio. This gives him the brainwave of using playback technique, and thus was born Mere saamnewali khidki mein.

42 N Venkataraman February 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Hindi film music of golden age had space for diverse genre of music composers. I am glad to find that after Naushad (Rattan) and C Ramchandra (Patanga) SoY explores the music O P Nayyar. It is said that O P Nayyar did not have any formal training or schooling in music! But look at the great names in whose company he held his own. Naushad, C Ramchandra, S D Burman, Madanmohan, Roshan, Shankar-Jaikishan, Khaiyyam …….. Through his sheer genius and hard work he carved a space for himself. I would pay less significance to his lack of formal training in music or his knowledge in classical music. It is of no consequence. What is important is the output he delivered to satisfaction of his producers and to the delight of the music lovers. The selection of songs presented here (both by you and others) reiterates the point and it was pure pleasure listening to the songs. Thank you AKJi for yet another good write up. It has become your habit and SoY readers have started expecting the best from you. I am sure you will live up to the expectation and spring more such surprises.

Let me statistically try to address the question ‘how much O P Nayyar was Md.Rafi centric’. If we look at the period from the 50s to the 70s, Md.Rafi must have rendered 65% of the Male solos as well as the duets etc. composed by O P Nayyar.

O P Nayyar was most prolific in the 50s. He made his debut in the year 1952 and he had completed more than 50% of his films or composed more than 50% of his songs by the end of 50s, effectively in eight productive years. Md.Rafi’s contribution to O P Nayyar’s composition, during this period, would be more than 70% in both solos and duets etc.

In the 60s Md.Rafi delivered almost 60% of the male solos and duets etc for O P Nayyar. But that does not give us the true picture, because Md.Rafi’s association with O P Nayyar had started waning after 1966. From 1966-69 Md.Rafi’s contribution to O P Nayyar’s composition would be less than 5-6 songs. And in the seventies it would be around a dozen songs. In fact this is the period when O P Nayyars graph also started nose-diving. So if take the cut off yea as 1966, then we have an interesting figure. Between 1960 and 1966 (7 years) Md.Rafi rendered 90% of the male solos and almost 85% of the duets etc. for O P Nayyar. Thus Md.Rafi was O P Nayyar’s dominant male voice between 1953-1966.

Let me add one more song to the list of wonderful songs posted by you and others. I think this was the first solo song Md.Rafi rendered for O P Nayyar.
Ghata me chup ke bhi bijli , film Baaz (1953), lyrics Majrooh Sutanpuri

I am slow in responding and yet to get back into the groove. Hope to find my rhythm and go with flow very soon.
Thank you once again.

43 AK February 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for your detailed analysis. I agree with you his lack of training in classical music is immaterial. He gave outstanding music, and surprisingly, he also composed some pure classical based songs.

However, to my mind, absence of Lata Mangeshkar has limited his music.

We can perhaps say Rafi was as central to his music as was Lata Mangeshkar forCR’s.

44 s p sinha February 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

two rafi songs from yeh raat phir na ayegi,viz 1.phir miloge kabhi and 2. aapse maine meri jan are great melodies and deserve consideration. Yeh raat phir na ayegi overall had a great soundtrack but the movie bombed.

45 ksbhatia February 10, 2015 at 12:08 am

AK’ji ; I think OPN – Mohd rafi – Shammi kapoor equation started with ” Jawaniya yeh mast mast bin piye ” and this song should have been there amongst the list. The mukhda of the song @8 ” Na jane kyun hamare dil ko tumne dil nahi sam jha” is quite similar to ” Sun mere sajna re apna bana ke chhoad na jana” from 1953 movie Aansoo with MD as Husanlal Bhagatram . I feel that song from Tumsa nahi dekha has more lilt and melody and may be included against song @8 .

46 AK February 10, 2015 at 6:18 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Jawaniya ye mast mast bin piye is a very good song. OPN’s some films had many outstanding Rafi songs, and the choice becomes extremely difficult. I had decided not to take more than one song from a film.

47 Ravindra Kelkar February 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Very good article on Rafi & OP. OP has been my favourite since long back. I had the fortune of meeting OP at least 20 times from 1982 onwards. Unfortunately, OP was always extremely reluctant to discuss his music. He used to give all the credit to “Malik Ki Den Hai. I don’t know how I made that music”. He maintained this stand throughout whenever I discussed his music with him. He was very proud of his achievment that he succeeded without Lata, but in a very detached way. About Rafi, he used to say, “Sau Saalon Mein Ek hi Rafi Paida Hota Hai”.
Coming back to Rafi, I say that you can imagine Rafi singing best songs of other singers like Talat, Kishore, Mukesh, etc. May be he will score 75 marks, if you give 80 marks to the original singer. However, you will not be able to say same other way round. So whatever your friend Subodh says, I don’t agree with him at all.
Another interesting comment OP made about Rafi with regard to other singers was that, Rafi’s voice was a “Young” voice, listening to other singers “aisa lagata hai ke boodha (Old person) ga raha hai”. I think this a very significant comment, Rafi’s voice had a youthfullness that was unmatched.

48 AK February 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Welcome to SoY, and thanks a lot for your comments. I don’t agree with Subodh either, but in a more general way. Every great song is etched in my memory with that singer’s voice and I can’t imagine a famous song in any other voice.

OPN’s comment about Rafi’s voice being young is very apt. Kishore Kumar had that quality post-1969.

49 Samir Ahmed February 12, 2015 at 6:24 am


A wonderful treat and a delightful read, which includes the comments section!

Although OPN’s name is synonymous with upbeat, foot-tapping songs, I personally prefer his pensive, melancholic numbers. Songs such as Hai Duniya Ussi Ki, Aanchal Mein Saja Lena or Tukde Hain Mere Dil Ke aptly demonstrate he was equally adept at composing the serious stuff when the need arose.

Mohammed Rafi’s ejection from the recording of Meri Jaan Tum Pe Sadke was I feel the beginning of the end for him. Indeed, to have survived so long without the services of Lata was a monumental effort on his part, but to then also discard the top male singer of the time was IMHO akin to self-immolation. A few years later and Asha also disappeared. Consequently, there’s is absolutely no way a MD at that time could survive in such a cut-throat environment without the patronage of the three leading singers…

Commentators above have mentioned Pukaarta Chala Hoon Main, a song I’m also avidly fond of. I attach a link to Ivy York’s song Call of Spring which is heavily inspired by the aforementioned song:


Keep up the great work!

50 AK February 12, 2015 at 10:48 am

Thanks a lot for your generous appreciation, and thanks for introducing Ivy York’s ‘Call of Spring’. It is not only ‘heavily inspired’, but seems to be a pure tribute to OPN. Did they acknowledge him?

51 Anant Desai February 21, 2015 at 8:13 am

Omkar Prakash Nayyar was my favorite in childhood. He is rarely remembered for devotional and thought provoking songs. Since this is about Rafi, I will limit to Rafi solo songs:
1. Jaan sake to jaan, tere man mein chhup kar baithe, dekh tere Bhagvan
From Ustad, soulful lyrics by Jan Nisar Akhtar, raag Jaunpuri
Not having seen the film, we still get the story from one song.
2. Raat bhar ka hai meheman andhera, kis ke roke ruka hai savers?
From Sone ki Chidia, uplifting lyrics by Sahir.
Pyar par bas to nahin hai is Talat, but OP is wery tender with these tender words.
3. Saathi hath badhana and Aana hai to aa from Naya Daur
Again timeless lyrics by Sahir.

These songs are not just worth listening to, the lyrics are worth memorizing. They will provide answers in our darkest moments. As Asha Bhonsle said recently on Sa Re Ga Ma that words are the soul, composition is the body and singing and orchestra are the abhushan or clothes and ornaments.

OP could leave behind his rhythm and embrace gentle melody when required. His interview published after his death was revealing of his romantic soul. It was a treat to hear him sing Dil ki away bi sun with Sonu Nigam on Sa re ga ma.

52 AK February 21, 2015 at 9:21 am

Anant Desai
Thanks for adding those lovely songs. Jaan sake to jaan is my special favourite.

53 Mrunmayee March 19, 2015 at 10:25 pm

First time commentator here! I have been reading your blog for so so long but never thought I could comment with all these super knowledgeable people here 🙂 (I am 27 and a lover of the golden era songs)

Would I suggest you make a playlist on youtube accompanying all your brilliant list. It would so great to keep on listening to all these songs while still reading your lines.

54 AK March 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Welcome to SoY. I do hope you comment without hesitation, finding young people sharing our passion for old music is always exciting.

I have made a large number of Playlists on YT of my favourite songs (I have sent you a mail), but these do not have direct co-relation with the songs I put here. These are the songs I like to hear, and include a good deal of classical music which would not fit here. However, I have used some light classical songs depending on the context, and my friend Subodh writes a series on classical ragas in film songs (link on the right side bar on the blog).

I should also add many music lovers have created some wonderful Playlists which I often visit. Once you start browsing you would get beautiful gems endlessly.

55 Sani Thakur April 6, 2015 at 2:00 am

To be honest, I am not extremely surprised that OPN reached the success that he did without the supreme voice of Lata. That is because he had other toppers such as Asha & Rafi . While Lata is her own class, and in my opinion ultimate, Asha too is unmatched. Basically, it’s hard to go wrong with either of these sisters. Their voices will forever be unparalleled.

Awesome blog.

56 AK April 6, 2015 at 7:40 am

Sani Thakur,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your generous compliments.

On OPN, the only issue is that for some like me who were Lata-addicts, OPN’s music appeared limited. I don’t believe the politically correct reasoning that her singing was incompatible to his style of music. The reason must be personal. OPN was capable of creating very diverse style of music. My theory is the reason he chose to accentuate Punjabi style and Ghodagaadi beat in his music was to emphasise his differentness from other MDs who were all Lata Mangeshkar-devotees.

57 ksbhatia July 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm

AK’ ji ;
Ghoda gaadi beats and songs really made OPN very demanding in every second musical movies of the 60s which usually had the themes based on Guns, Gals and Guitar. To fill all these G’s OPN fitted the most. Even his Asstt. MD G S Kohli also some how carried on with Tonga beats in some of his B or C grade films like Faulad ; ” o Matware saajna chala chala mera pyar ” by Aashaji is one example of that beat:


AKji’ It is a fact that Lataji never sang for OPN but he sdmired her the most . How come he never offered much songs even to Suman kalyanpur either ? Where as G S Kohli gave beautiful duet of Lata and Aashaji in Shikari ……..” Tum ko piya dil diya ”


58 Arun Barve July 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm

There were many masters in Hindi Film music .I rate Shankar Jaikishan as “General Champion “.SJ was Everest , C Raamchandra was Moon and OP Nayyar was man from heaven. I personally told him “who says that you do not have the training in Music ? You had your but before you were born.The yakshas and kinnars have given you training .” Indeed his music was creation of God. My affair with OPN music have for for last 45 odd years. One can only imagine the highest repeat value of his songs. He had been a best mixture of vocal performances, intros and interludes and postludes. A master of simple but rich orcherstra . In an interview Mr. Shammi Kapoor commented that it was OPN who changed Rafi from his old style after 1953.

59 AK July 7, 2015 at 11:19 pm

Arun Barve, Welcome to SoY and thanks for your comments.

60 Ravindra Kelkar July 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm

You are absolutely right, about Shammi Kappor’s assertion that OP was instrumental in changing Rafi’s singing style. Shammi knew it as he was witness to the fact that Rafi’s vocals on him in “Tumsa Nahi Dekha” changed his image completely, & he became Elvis Priesley of Bollywood. Also, if you go through Rafi’s career, it was only from 1955 onwards (after Aarpaar became a super musical hit in 1954) that other music directors like SJ, SD Burman & others realized the true potential/capabilities of Rafi’s, so far hidden. There is no doubt that Naushad was the only composer who backed Rafi fully and gave him support/confidence/guidance.But still under him Rafi was singing in a manner, where he was not fully expressing himself. Due to that he was one among the equals vis-a-vis Talat, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar,etc. In fact Talat was no 1 choice for most music composers, except Naushad. Once OP came along, with Aarpaar, Rafi found his true identity which took him beyond the reach of his male singing competitors & by end of 1955 left them far behind.
I personally feel that it was very sad that Talat lost out because of this, he was really a very special talent. The fact is that the film industry is very commercial & hence cruel, there is no place for sentimentality. This can be very easily observed again, when Kishore clicked in Aradhana & the way Rafi was sidelined overnight.

61 D K Rudola December 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Dear Mr AK,

You indeed write wonderfully! I particularly liked your analogy of a roller coaster. How well you have explained its likeness to the two songs!

I am also in agreement about your observations about JM & Biswajeet – the poor man’s Shammi Kapoor.

I for one, however, can’t even think of ‘aye dil hai mushkil’ song in any other voice (even if I reluctantly bring myself to imagine thus for the other two songs) – so intertwined/inextricably linked have been Rafi’s singing style to JW’s acting on the screen.

I am also in full agreement with Mr Kelkar’s opinion of Rafi’s signature songs in other voices.


62 D K Rudola December 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Sorry for the typo – I meant ‘….in agreement with about your observations…’

63 AK December 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm

DK Rudola,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

64 mumbaikar8 January 16, 2016 at 5:33 am

AK, Ravindra Kelkar,
A comment in this you tube video is that OP acknowledged that he had based this song on Taskeen Ko Ham Na Royen by Malika Pukhraj.
I checked it out, it seems similar to me, any view?
Hum ko tumhare ishq ne
Taskeen ko hum na roye

65 Ravindra Kelkar January 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I agree that the tune is similar, it’s quite possible that the Ek Musafir Ek Hasina song is based on this. However, I feel that, this tune is a very traditional one. In mushayaras, many a times the shayars, recite their shers in this tune. Of course, I could be wrong. If you have watched the Dev Anand-Nutan film Paying Guest, in that film, there is a contest between Nutan & Shubha Khote, where they sing there shers in this tune. I am sure there could be many more such examples from our films.

66 AK January 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

Youu might recall I had mentioned Taskeen ko hum na roye, sung by Iqbal Bano, and its precursor in the identical Darbari tune, Chori kahin khule na, sung by Mukhtar Begum. Since OPN says so, obviously he might have the aforesaid ghazal in his mind. But my thoughts would not have gone to Taskeen. I would have only said OPN song seems to be based on Darbari.

67 Arun Barve January 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

OP Fans, if you are talking about originality of OPN ,let me tell you he is not original music director !No one normally is ! As a person the music director is a listener also. OPN was listening to music since he was a lad.
So naturally his brain began to get influenced by that stuff he received by his ears from time to time. Now take one example .” Lakhon hai yahan Dilwale ” is not his original tune. But can we say he has copied from someone ? because it is again set in his very style of orchestration. Many tunes of SJ and RD are inspired from foreign stuff ,still they fit in their style and so we honor them. Many times music directors have used traditional tunes, ragadari bundish and folk tunes as germs for their finished product. May it be OPN, CR, ROSHAN, SJ OR RD.

68 xFedal July 18, 2016 at 3:59 am

AkJi, In reply to post 48, where you mentioned Kishore having having Young Voice… What made you say that? His voice was among the most harsh from the singers…. Did you mean the novelty factor something new? Have you ever though about Kishore reaching his peak when was in his 40’s and 50’s? No singer in history has hit his peak this late….. Talatji, Rafi Saab, MannaJi, MukeshJi, No composer, Singer came to prominence this late…

AK Saab you also mentioned in post 56 OPN not using Lataji for whatever reason, I also felt it was personal reason for why Anil Biswas Din’t use Talatji and Rafi Saab as much… Both these singers reached a higher peak than say Manna Dey and Surendra…

Ravindra Kelkar
SJ Used Rafi More than any other male singer during 1949-55 more so than Mukesh and Manna De and TalatJi… Naushad Used Rafi more than any other singer during 1949-55…. Same with OPN… I’m sure this would be true of other composers as well.. CR and Husnlal Bhagram…. You stated that ” There is no doubt that Naushad was the only composer who backed Rafi fully and gave him support/confidence/guidance.But still under him Rafi was singing in a manner, where he was not fully expressing himself. Due to that he was one among the equals vis-a-vis Talat, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar,etc. In fact Talat was no 1 choice for most music composers, except Naushad.” Nothing could be further from the truth from that… Rafi Saab was not in his peak during the period of 1949 – til 55 rather he was in his prime you could say but not peak, but still he was No.1 TalatJi was very unfortunate that he peak came during Rafi Saabs Prime and Naushads Peak… If there was no Rafi Saab then maybe Talatji would have been one of the few people to hit the 100 songs per year mark….. Perhaps even Manna Dey would have hit the century too just maybe… You included singers like Hemant Kumar, Rival to Rafi? He composed songs for Rafi Saab for Gods sake…. so I won’t include his tally…. Let me give the figures for year 1949:
Rafi sb 125 , Mukesh 30, Manna De sang 9 songs, Talat Ji 8, Kishoreda Sang 6…
For year of 1950 – Rafi sb 92, Mukeshji 36, Talatji 25, Kishore 15 and Manna De 4 songs…..
For the year of 1951 – Rafi Sb 73, Talatji 25, Mukeshji 22, Manna De 15 songs ,Kishore 10 ….
For the year of 1952 – Rafi Sb 80, Talatji 54, Kishore 26, Manna De 13 and Mukesh just 6 songs….
For the year of 1953 – Rafi Sb 82, Talatji 49, Manna De 31, Kishore 21 and Mukesh 10….
For the year of 1954 Rafi Sb 104, Talatji 65*, Kishore 23,Manna De 20
and Mukesh 6 songs…
For the year of 1955 Rafi Sb 172, Talatji 50, Manna De 31, Kishoreda 14 and Mukesh 8 …….

I included the numbers as its hard to argue against facts….it is far fetched to say Rafi was equal to many others when in fact he was the most in demand male singer around, every single year…. In Fact Mukesh has never had a year where he was more in demand than Rafi Saab… Same goes for Talat Saab… As you can see many of the years Rafi saab numbers have blown away the numbers of all the others combined…. unfortunately for all the singers this was not the best time for Male songs… Female songs far outnumbered Male songs…Geetaji/Lataji/Shamshadji had years where they all sung over 100+ songs …Moreover during Lataji Peak she was overtaken in numbers by Geetji and Shamshadji in 1950 and also Shamshadji was more in demand during 1949-50 than Peak Lataji…. it was only due Rafi Saabs Talent and virtuosity that they began to make more songs for Male singers….. During 1949-55 Talatji was his in his peak and a close 2nd to Rafi Saab thats it really… It is very hard to argue that Talatji was No.1 during this period… Rather he was in his best phase of his career….

Lastly Ravindra KelkarJI you said “Kishoreda clicked in Aradhana & the way Rafi was sidelined overnight.” Rafi Saab was not sidelined overnight…. nothing could be further from the truth…. Rafi SB had sung later that year for Rajesh Khanna for Do Raaste. Kishore only sang 26 songs in 1969 and Rafi Saab sang 194…. Don’t listen to this Media nonsense that Rafi was no where to be seen after Aradhana, Rafi Saab had multiple years after 1969 where he out sung Kishore…. 1st year Kishores output was greater than Rafis Saabs was 1972…. Rafis output was still solid and he never went below 68 songs per year during the 70s, Kishore sang maybe 100-150 more songs than Rafi Saab in that decade… As you can see Rafi Saab position was still solid after Aradhana.

69 AK July 18, 2016 at 7:34 am

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your detailed comments. I can straightaway agree to your second point that for me Kishore Kumar’s best was pre-1969.

When he burst on the scene in his second avatar with Mere sapno ki rani kab ayegi tu, it gave a sense of new youthful energy. This was followed in song after song for different actors. It is just my personal observation.

70 xFedal July 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm

In reply to post 69, AKji always a pleasure speaking to you, I was wondering apart from Kishore Kumar as there been any other singer or composer who reached their peaks when they hit their 40’s and 50’s…. I can’t think of anyone….. More over it’s true that Kishoreda voice was better in 1950’s and 60’s and had more beauty in it, but Bengali Composers seemed to have forced Kishoreda into stardom in the 1970’s….. Aradhana was a catalyst that grabbed everyone’s attention, Kishore sang maybe 53 songs in 1970…. it’s not like Aradhana over night pushed him to the most in demand singer. He had to wait 3 years to be the most in demand singer again this is due to Politics employed by the RDB/SDB/Rajesh Khanna/Dev Anand… if you take RDB out of the 1970s then Rafi Saab would have sung more than Kishore…. so all I am saying he was strictly backed by his own Bengali colleagues…. KishoreJi can’t be blamed for it…. but there is no denying how strictly he was backed by the people of his own race..

71 AK July 18, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Let us not reduce the dabate to race and community. We do disservice to the two great artistes. Your point is simple that post-Aradhana, too, Rafi was no less than Kishore Kumar. You have a right to hold this opinion, as others have for a contrarary opinion on musical reasoning.

72 xFedal July 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

AKji, hope you have received my explanation on email…

I would like ask what was the lowest note Rafi Sb hit in the song ‘hai duniya usi ki zamana usi ka’ composed by OPN…. the highest It went up to was G#4 but I have trouble detecting the lowest note that he sung.

73 AK July 20, 2016 at 9:52 am

Our in-house expert SSW has sent this response to your query:

“The highest note touched is actually G4. Your visitor may be listening to a youtube film version and that would sharpen the note by a semitone. Remember I had sent you a link that explained why this happened. The lowest note as far as I can make out on my concert pitch tuned classical guitar is D3 (A4 is 440 hz) . This is the part which goes “zamaana usika” just before Muhabbat it is the “zamaana” part.

So the song range is from D3 to G4 a range of 1 octave and a half octaves.”

74 SSW July 22, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Actually xFedal was right. My guitar was tuned slightly flat I did not check. Listening to it again t is a very sharp G#4 at the highest point . But I’m playing it on my computer and I don’t have a good recording of the song and I’ve seen issues in the frequencies when digitized unless it is done well.

75 Ravindra Kelkar August 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

xFedal – #68,

This is a post on OP-Rafi combo, so my main comment was that OP made Rafi sing in a certain style, which helped Rafi to realize his full potential, due to which Rafi became unreachable from 1955 onwards for his rivals. I was aware of the number of songs sung by Rafi for the period 1949 to 1954, though didn’t know the statistics for other singers. As your numbers show, even in the period of 1949 to 1954, he was already far ahead of his competitors. However, numbers can be misleading, there were years when Asha had more songs than Lata, but Lata remained number one, due to the quality of the songs she got to sing. Loosely speaking, cream went to Lata & trash to Asha, of course, with some notable exceptions.
Secondly, after Aradhana, within a very short period of time, say a couple of months (sidelined overnight is just an expression, not to be taken literally), Kishore became number one male singer, in terms of popularity & demand. The impact of the success of Rajesh Khanna & Kishore’s songs in Aradhana was huge & film industry is all about making money, so majority of the producers went for Rajesh Khanna & or Kishore Kumar. As you mention, this got translated into actual figures by 1972. So though Rafi continued to give solid output, Kishore remained number one for the rest of Rafi’s career. I don’t know whether actual numbers also show the same or not.

76 AK August 3, 2016 at 6:15 pm

xFedal, Ravindra Kelkar
I don’t know whether you have seen it, but about six years back I had written a post precisely on Rafi versus Kishore Kumar. You may like to go through this. I belong to the generation which does not count Kishore Kumar in the same league as Rafi, but my view is also that post-1969 Kishore Kumar was the dominant singer. I have often called him the new Rafi. That is regardless of their total number of songs. Incidentally, Rafi versus Kishore Kumar also becomes a very heated debate, therefore, I had closed the comments on that post. That is the only post so far where I disallowed any further comments. I have just brought alive the comments for your perusal.

77 Ravindra Kelkar August 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

Yes, I have gone through that post. I agree that post-Aradhana, Kishore became number one. The only difference is that, Rafi remained a close 2nd to Kishore till the end, while after Rafi’s rise in 1955, Rafi faced very little competition (till 1969 event).
To change the topic, I recently visited a prominent music shop in Pune (my home city) & went through the stocks. It was very revealing that it was dominated by Pancham(RD) & Kishore albums. When I was talking to the staff at the shop, they told me, these sell well compared to others. Of course, Lata was there as well. It reinforced my observation that the current generation identifies more easily with Kishore & RD as compared with other male singers & other music directors of the golden era. I don’t know what to make of it. Probably, after twenty to thirty years, there will be very few takers for the music of the Golden era(1950-1970). I don’t know if it applies to the rest of India population as well.

78 AK August 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
The music shops would reflect the commercial demand, unless the dealer himself was a connoisseur and stocked classics. But another incredibly powerful medium has arrived which was not there earlier. I am talking about the Internet which has everything, including the oldest and rarest of the rare we could not have imagined. Some bloggers are doing their bit. Since it is available at the click of a button, we could be optimistic.

79 Ravindra Kelkar August 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

I agree. I will give my thoughts in the “Open Forum”, which is more proper platform to discuss these things.

80 xFedal August 4, 2016 at 8:04 pm

To Ravindra , Post 75, Rafi Saab sang different style for Naushad Saab and different for others to during this period… You said that Mr Rafi Saab was only used by N Ali, and that Talatji was used more, I gave you stats to show that it was false and Rafi was used more by most of the composers….. OP did explore Rafi Saabs to an extent but din’t use Rafi Saabs lower octave singing so much….. Most of the MD used middle to high octave singing…. If you listen to Rafi Saabs ghazals you would see he had such a great command on mandra saptak. I am not sure which MD explored Rafiji the most.

I know that numbers aren’t anything that is why I said Talatji was close 2nd to Rafi Saab and this was Talat Saabs best period of his Career and I rate him the Prince of the 1950’s decade ahead of Mukesh and Manna Dey…. Mukesh inactivity costed him in the mid 50’s. Numbers aren’t everything and apart from RDB-KK-RK the was hardly any quality from KK….. he had the most numbers again, Stats wise he would have needed to sing x2 or x3 to match Rafi Saabs dominance in late 40’s early 70’s… Asha Sang more than Lata but many of them were trash…. But Rafi Sb would also not sing trash songs and obscene vulgar ones…. During the 1969 decade Kishore sang 30 songs roughly, Aradhna it was a catalyst helped by Rafis absence from the studio, slowly year by year Kishoreda got better and better but with decline of the voice of Golden Era came the the decline of the Golden Era itself…. Why do you think AK hardly speaks about 70’s….. Na Kishore never became No.1 totally through out the last years of Rafi sbs career… In fact Rafi seemed to have regained that position in the late 70’s…. Rafi Sb Also had greater output during this time too.. It was Kishore from 1971-76-77 and then Rafi Saab during 77- till death 80, the No.1 singer.

81 xFedal August 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm

AKji Yh I read those comments on my mobile phone last year before Singing up, pure comedy though LOL…. AKji you have made the sensible choice not to include Kishore Kumar in the same league… as his Playback Voice and Golden Voice of the Golden Era Mr Mohd Rafi Saab…. Remember Kishore singing for Dilip Kumar ‘Sala Main To Sahab Ban Gaya (Kishore, Dilip Kumar)’… The irony …. Moving on Akji don’t you think Rafi sb had made a good comeback durin 76-77 all the way till death… He also sang one of the great Solos of the year 1973 ‘Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho’…… I wouldn’t have gone that far to say he became the new Rafiji he needed Quality for that through 70’s and 80’s which he dint have…. Dominant singer possibly but new Rafiji No way! Even Lata ji in her Interview said that Kishore never overtook Rafi Bhaiyya… She also mentioned some great Solos of Rafiji …. I thank you for opening that thread fully because before I could only view it on my mobile now we can actually talk? I hope your active on that.

82 AK August 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm

Rafi versus Kishore Kumar is open for the present. I was forced into blocking comments as these were becoming unpleasant.

I don’t think I can add much to what I have already said in that post and in comments.

You have asked me a pointed question about 1976-77 and beyond. I really don’t have an answer. We don’t visualise music as a race where you have a stopwatch and a tape to see who reaches there first. We view it emotionally and all my observations were in the nature of general perceptions. I may add another point – when I think of Rafi, my mind goes to Roshan’s Ab kya misaal dun or Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi mushqil hai, or SD Burman’s Hum bekhudi mein, or Naushad’s O door ke musafir or Tasveer banata hun. With these Olympian heights in mind, I am somewhat cool to his post-70 songs. That does not minimise him. He has reached heights which is unassailable.

83 mumbaikar8 August 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

My two cents @75 – 82.
In her blog Anu quotes Nasreen Munni Babir “In Lata’s own words, “We have never heard as fine a voice as his, nor shall we, in the next hundred years.” In her Conversations (Nasreen Munni Kabeer), she also says that “No one could sing as well in the higher octaves as Rafi Sahib.’ While singing Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar, Lata Mangeshkar used Mohammed Rafi’s recording as her dummy track. “It was a difficult song to sing because it had many high notes.” [Originally, Ehsaan tera hoga was only supposed to be only a male solo. Then, it was decided to picturise it on Saira Banu as well. Since Lata hadn’t yet recorded the song, Saira lip-synched to Mohammed Rafi’s voice (much to Lata’s amusement).]”
While a story about another very popular twin song in RDB’s words while praising Kishore

84 AK August 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Thanks a lot for this beautiful Mukesh song. Heard for the first time.

85 AK August 5, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Another oft-quoted story is that when Naina barse rimjhim rimjihim was to be picturised, Lata Mangeshkar was not available. Therefore, Sadhna lip-synched to the song recorded in the voice of Madan Mohan. Lata Mangeshkar dubbed the song on her return from London.

86 Ravindra Kelkar August 6, 2016 at 1:14 am

Interesting story about Ehasan Tera Hoga Mujhpar, I hadn’t heard it. It reminds me about another story. This is about the famous song ‘Sar Par Topi Lal Hath Mein Resham Ka Roomal’ from Tumsa Nahi Dekha. That song was originally planned as Asha solo. When Shammi Kapoor heard the song during the rehearsals, he liked it so much that, he went to Nasir Hussain (director of the film) & pleaded with him to convert it into a duet. Nasir Hussain could not deny Shammi’s request & so it was made into a duet.

87 atina August 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm

this Punjabi folk song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMeY_Od-pj0 by surinder kaur and parkash kaur (sisters) will remind you of the…. kashmir ki kali (1964)…. rafi asha duet …hai re mere hath mein tera haath…

88 Arun barve August 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Actually Aradhana’s music is not far from traditional style of composing but it was a new beginning .The old era was based on indian claasical music in the sense that taan , aalaap murki harkat etc were used .Take example of one song sung by Asha ji and Lataji . ” o chand hayan wo jaaye” composed by Cramchandra.Esperience of ability of Aasha and Lata and understand why they beat other female singers. The songs prior to Aradhana were such that only Rafi Aasha Lata and Manaa da were suitable.But post Aradhana the image of hero in Indian films also changed. No more ” madhubanme radhika ” or na kiseeki aanhkao noor hun or all line clear were needed to be sung by Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachhan. So Kishor kumar began to be successful. Why Rafi could still be there because some times his voice was considered to be suitable to guys like Rishi Kapoor.

89 Peddadu November 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

Arun Barveji @67,
I would like to point out that the mukhda tune of ‘Raat bhar ka mehman andhera’ from Sone ki chidiya 1958 was taken (copied?) from the last (a minute from the end) portion (‘Laila Laila pukaarun’) of (Hafiz) Khan Mastana’s song ‘Aata hai mujhko guzra hua zamana’ from Sri Nagad Narayan 1955, composed by Vinod aka Eric Roberts and lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJRakEdePJ0)

90 DHANWATARI PANCHOLI November 1, 2017 at 8:02 pm

There is reference of castanets, if anybody interested how it is played I am giving link below

91 DHANWATARI PANCHOLI November 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Reference ……………..4. Lakhon hain nigah mein zindagi ki raah mein from Phir Wohi dil Laya Hun (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri


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