C Ramchandra as Chitalkar

December 14, 2015

C RamchandraIn the Naushad-C Ramchandra duel I have presented through the year, both seem to be evenly matched so far in spite of my known partiality towards Naushad. But as Chitalkar, the singer, CR has no competition from Naushad. As the year draws to a close, continuing the series on the Year of Naushad (with C Ramchandra in tandem), I present the songs of CR as a singer. He sang most of his songs as Chitalkar, mostly composed by himself, but he has also sung for other music directors, such as Mir Saheb (Lal Haveli, 1944), Anil Biswas (Jwar Bhata, 1944; Veena, 1948), Husnlal-Bhagatram (Apni Chhaya, 1950), Hemant Kumar (Samrat, 1954; Lagan, 1955), Roshan (Baraati, 1954), Usha Khanna (Faisla, 1965), Laxmikant-Pyarelal (Chhaila, 1967) etc.

Many of his songs, especially duets have achieved enormous popularity. Some have acquired iconic status such as Ana meri jaan meri jaan Sunday ke Saunday, Mere piya gaye Rangoon, Shola jo bhadke etc. He had a special flair for composing for romantic comedies, and he would sing many of the fun songs himself. The style of these songs, such as Ana meri jaan meri jaan, shows an irreverence, which seemed to be a part of his personality. There was an opposite side, too, of C Ramchandra, which was deeply soulful, which created immortal soft and poignant melodies in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

Some of his own songs, too, are very soulful. Even his light-hearted, fun songs were intrinsically melodious. He combined his mastery over rhythm with melody which was a result of his thorough grounding in classical music, having learnt music from Shankarrao Sapre of Nagpur. His assistantship to the doyens like Anil Biswas and Mir Sahib gave him invaluable training in the intricacies of film music. He learnt the use of Western instruments in orchestra from BS Hoogan. He had an eclectic taste in music. He combined elements of Western, Arabic, Middle Eastern music with Hindustani classical ragas. He drew from folk from all parts. His use of Western instruments, such as the congo, bongo, trumpet, guitar, clarinet, saxophone with the traditional Indian instruments such as the flute, sarangi, tabla and sitar created an enthralling effect. He used Goan musicians in a big way in his orchestra. With all that innovation, the enduring popularity of his songs was because his tunes remained simple and hummable. His singing generally remained in the middle octave, but he was endowed with a pleasant voice and enormous talent to understand the pulse of the listeners.

He may not count among the major playback singers, but a number of his songs are now regarded as landmarks in the history of Hindi film music. I am excluding his duets, because his fame primarily rests on the duets which are very well known. I am presenting here a selection of his solos which are of no mean merit, as my tribute to the great genius.

1. Kahte hain pyar kisko panchhi zara bata de from Baarish (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Baarish should be considered a major milestone in the career of C Ramchandra as the singer Chitalkar. This film had a very soulful, romantic, melodious duet, Phir wohi chaand wohi hum wohi tanhaai hai, by him with Lata Mangeshkar. Rajendra Krishna tweaked this mukhada slightly to write another melodious ghazal for Talat Mahmood in Jahanara (1964), composed by Madan Mohan.  Incidentally, CR has some interesting Talat connection. Besides composing some of the career best songs of Talat, CR decided to fill in for Talat himself when the latter was not available to sing for Dilip Kumar in Azaad.  The result was Kitna haseen hai mausam, in which his voice is indistinguishable from Talat.  Baarish had a number of other memorable songs, including a double version Kahte hain pyar kisko panchh zara bata de – the happy version duet with Lata Mangeshkar. The sad solo version he does not give to Lata, but sings himself which is a proper serious song for the hero. We have already seen his songs for Raj Kapoor (Sargam etc.) and Dilip Kumar. With Dev Anand in Baarish, he completes playback for the great trinity.

2. Daane daane pe likha hai khanewale ka naam from Baarish (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

From soft, sad and romantic, Chitalkar displays his real métier in this light-hearted song from the same film. But notice, the song always sounds melodious.

3. Chali bhi aa ke tera intezaar kab se hai from Shatranj (1956), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Back to a soulful romantic Cihitalkar. This film had one of the best Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duets, Badli mein chhupe chaand ne kuchh mujhse kaha hai. Chitalkar decides to display his prowess as a playback singer in this wonderful solo.

4. Haseeno se mohabbat ka bura anjaam hota hai from Albela (1951), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

I am switching back and forth between serious and light-hearted to showcase Chitalkar’s talent. Albelaa was an enormously successful musical comedy, where CR displays his huge range from the deeply soulful and soft Dhreere se aa ja ri ankhiyan mein and Balma bada nadaan re to the rip-roaring, light-hearted duets Shola jo bhadke and Bholi surat dil ke khote. The hazards of being trapped by an enchantress, which can only lead to misfortune to the guy, is a familiar theme in Hindi film songs. Haseeno se mohabbat ka is a qawwali-style street song forewarning of the dangers of sliding into charms of a beautiful damsel.

5. Tu bhool ke haseeno ke phande mein na ana from Lal Haveli (1944), lyrics Shams Lakhanvi, music Mir Saheb

We find this warning of the danger of haseenas in one of his earliest songs, picturised on the comedian Yaqub, composed by his mentor Mir Sahib. CR would have a number of successful comedy films and light-hearted songs with Yaqub.

6. Aankhein ladaana chhod do from Sipahiya (1949), lyrics Ram Moorti Chaturvedi

This warning song is somewhat constructive and gives a sage advice not to have a roving eye and to get married instead.

7. Koi Shyam rang koi gori from Veena (1948), lyrics Narendra Sharma, music Anil Biswas

Here is a wonderful song Chitalkar sang for his another mentor Anil Biswas. He starts with a perfect light classical recital in Kafi, switching to a comic style.

8. Haan main hun ek khalasi mera naam hai Bhimpalasi from Sargam (1950), lyrics PL Santoshi

In this irreverent song CR seems to be making fun of the classical Raga Bhimpalasi. If you think about it he composed an iconic Ye zindagi usi ki hai in this raga. His Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag and Radha na bole na bole are regarded as the best examples of Bageshree in film songs. Obviously he believed you don’t have to wear your knowledge or love of classical music on your sleeve. “Who is Naushad to preach us on classical music” was one of his piques against his rival. His irreverence concealed a great insight into classical music and his capacity to use it effortlessly without making much song and dance about it.

9. Kar khushamad to har ek…Khushamad ka hai bolbala from Nausherwaan-e-Adil (1957), lyrics Parvez Shamsi

It is clear Aga and Shammi provided parallel comic track in this movie, which was the practice then in our films, until our heroes became all-in-one – romantic, action, comedy in the same film.

10. Tum paschim ho hum poorab hain from Navrang (1959), lyrics Bharat Vyas

But CR can be preachy if the situation demands. Navrang was a major landmark for Shantaram and C Ramchandra, eulogizing the superiority of our music and arts. Mahipal brazenly tells the British Regent how lowly and vicious his culture is. Since the Regent does not know the language, the courtiers are able to convince him that the song is about the union of East with West which would write a golden chapter in history.  Many years later, the Bharat Manoj Kumar would give some pep-talk on Purab and Paschim to the goras in their own country.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rakesh Srivastava December 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

Chitalkar has sung in so many films like Jhamela,Sargam,Nadiya Ke Paar,,Khazana.Sagai, Sanwariya,Shin Shinaki Boobla boo,,Sharda,Shagufta etc.The list is very exhaustive.However your pick and selection is marvellous.Another wonderful journey down the memory lane !!

2 Dinesh K Jain December 14, 2015 at 10:05 am

A very interesting article; enjoyed; thanks, AK.

But, if you allow, for once you seem to have slipped! The Baarish song’s mukhda is not exactly the same as of the Jahan Ara song. The former is phir wahi chand wahi ham wahi tanhayi hai and the latter is phir wahi sham wahi gham wahi tanhayi hai. The similarity may have been restricted to inspiration alone.

3 Ravindra Kelkar December 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm

AK,
Interesting article. Many of the songs I heard after a long gap of years. I have always felt that, though he was OK as a singer, he would have been better off using Rafi, Talat or Hemant Kumar. The quality of the final product of the song would have got enhanced by at least 10%. Since, he himself was a composer, I fail to understand his thinking. SDB is the best example of using judiciously the most suited voice available for the composed tune & the results are there in front of us. The point is, many of the composers where fairly good singers themselves, but they knew that the professional singers like Rafi, Talat, Hemant Kumar, Mann Dey, etc. were better than them. So they refrained from singing there own songs.
However, keeping that aside, CR was very versatile & was one of the best MDS of the golden era. I personnally admire him more than Naushad, for his creativity, variety & flair for composing simple & effective tunes without getting overly obsessed with Classical music.

4 AK December 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Rakesh Srivastava,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

Dinesh,
Thanks a lot for the correction. I had a complete blind spot.

Ravindra Kelkar,
I think his singing too reflects his flamboyant personality. With Kitna haseen hai mausam he proved he could do a Talat Mahmood brilliantly. He managed to sing and compose some humongously popular duets. I found while doing this post that his solos too are quite good. As I have said, with his Lata Mangeshkar obsession he didn’t care much for male voices.

5 D P Rangan December 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Very judicious selection of songs to show his versatality. If we churn the You Tube ocean like asuras and devas did milk ocean of Mahavishnu to get amrit, we may be in for many surprises. That is what this followup means. I agree with Ravindraji that many of the songs would have sounded far better had it been given to Rafi for example. Probably as a music director he had the prerogative to sing any song he thought he was fit for. He must be the music director with the maximum as singer to his account of his own creation or others. I think he got into argument with Filmistan producers in the film Nasik and was not with them thereafter.

We are missing a lot of his creativity if we omit duets. You will find even better songs of all varieties. AK should consider another post of his duets before the year is over. It should be what we say in Hindi – oh tho bayen hath ka kel hai.

6 D P Rangan December 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

One correction. Film is Nastik.

7 ASHOK M VAISHNAV December 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm

When the music director is a fairly good at singing, he runs into a position of a bowler who is also captain of the his team in cricket. When and how much to bowl always becomes a catch-22 situation for him / her.
Apart form SDB, who chose to sing quite sparingly, Usha Khanna also tried her voice very selectively. Hemant Kumar has some of his best songs in his own music direction as well under other music directors too. That would speak for his singing abilities.
AKji has presented quite a judicious mix of Chitalkar’s songs here.
If one does pass a judgement, it may be fair to infer that his use of other (male) singers has given us far more memorable songs without taking away due credit to him as singer in his own right.

8 A.S.Velpanur December 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Once again a badhiya article. This is one of Chitalkar’s masti songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqfqN0ycALs

Movie Albela .Isn’t Bhagwan’s acting a bit put on also?

9 Ravindra Kelkar December 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm

DP Ranganji & Vaishnavji,
Thanks for agreeing (at least partially) with my view about singing his own songs was not the best idea on CR’s part. Apart from that, he was a fabulous composer, no two views about it. I agree that SDB very selectively sang his own compositions in the films & he did it with such a great effect that you can’t imagine anybody else singing it in any better way. Hemant Kumar was a class apart, so no arguements about him singing his own compositions.

10 AK December 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm

DP Rangan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am not very enthused about doing his duets because his best ten are on everyone’s lips, and a good number of them have appeared in different contexts. His solos presented something new. His remaining duets would surely find place in some other themes.

11 AK December 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Ashokji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

AS Velpanur,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. With Bhagwan it is OK. The theme was about his aspirations to get fame in theatre. A slight over-the-top acting fitted with his character.

12 AK December 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Ravindra Kelkar, DP Rangan, Ashokji,
On CR letting the established male playback singers sing his songs, I have a somewhat different view which is not specific to him, but the way I respond to music. I have mentioned earlier that a well-known song gets embedded in my mind with that singer, and I find it difficult to speculate how it would sound in another voice. On one site someone observed in all seriousness that चलो एक बार फिर से अजनबी बन जाएँ हम दोनों would have sounded better in Rafi’s voice. I am no fan of Mahendra Kapoor and he stands nowhere near Rafi, yet I would throw the idea outright. My comparison is somewhat exaggerated. I would agree that CR would hardly count among playback singers, and he is no match to SD Burman and Hemant Kumar, but we have to grant he gave us joy with his singing too. On SDB I should add while his Hindi film songs are about a dozen his non-film songs (both Hindi and Bengali) are several times more (I have covered that in the series on him in great detail).

13 ksbhatia December 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm

AK ‘ji
Once again a very interesting right up on one of the most talented MDs of the golden era . All the songs listed are beautiful and enjoyble . I think Bhagwan dada , CR and Rajendra krishan were a deadly combination as far as musical social and comedy movies were concerned . CR giving playback to Dilip And Devanand shows his guts , grit and determination . I have seen one of the less heard movie of the 60s……Sarhad , starring Devanand . It has some good songs by CR as Dev’s playback . In my youth days I pictured C R as a mix of Talat ,Hemant and Manna dey. Here is a sample of C R voice as Dev’s playback in a duet with Asha ji from Sarhad .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQgxRFIO_XE

Of course for comedy movies his voice suited best for yakub , Gope and Bhagwan .

14 AK December 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation and the link of the song from Sarhad. The big trinity Dilip-Raj-Dev were powerful enough to have their way in other matters too in their films. You are right CR singing his songs shows his courage. It also shows a brazenness and bravado which was a part of his personality. Only Dilip Kumar is known to have demurred in Aazad, but CR finally had his way.

15 Shalan Lal December 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm

This post, perhaps the last of the year, is wonderful to think about the jollity of the season. From my experience with C.Ramchandra he enjoyed hilarity and gaiety of life. The songs he chose for himself were fun and frivolity. For example the songs in “Khidki 1948” and of course in Shanai, Sargam, Saqui, Shin Shnaki Bubla Boo, Jhanjar, Hangama and that most funny film Aasha etc. In Khidki he has used the voice of Rafi along with him. And as in the previous post AK has mentioned that in Sajan and other films he has used Rafi. So there should not be debate about bringing in Rafi where he felt he should sing. In the film Albela the first song “Mahfilmein Meri Kaun Yeh Diwana Aya” along with Lata he has used Rafi’s voice when he could have sung it himself similarly in Anarkali Ay Baade Saba he could have sung himself instead of H.K but then it was not possible when the establishment of Filmistan was a Bengali and HK migrated to Bombay and needed money for living.
In fact why not use when one’s own voice is very good. Secondly Hindi songs have enriched its store of voices and not just one voice as in case of Lata had happened however she was the supreme voice it was not fair for the democracy of nearly sixty Karode of people at the time. Granted that Rafi and manna could have done the job well, but we would have the jollity and cheerfulness of Annasaheb missed. However bad voices I enjoy them for example the voice of Johnny Walker in some songs. I get jaded after hearing too many songs of Lata. I find release in the voices of Samshad, Suraiya, Asha, Meena, Usha, Sudha, Lalita Deulkar, Kanchanmala, Sandhay Mukharji, Sulochana Chavan and many other voices. Similarly I enjoy voices of those male voices that Rafi had drowned and made them extreme fringe.
So my verdict is this post is very good and interesting to celebrate the voice of C.Ramchandra. I would have more appreciated the post if Ramchandra’s duets also included. He sang duets for some obscure music director P.Ramakant in the film (Babooji 1950) directed and acted in and produced by Bhagwan. Perhaps this gave C.Ramchandra and Bhagwan to concoct the cocktail of fun and frolic of entertainment of Albela and many other films.
Shalan Lal

16 AK December 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your detailed comments and appreciation. I was conscious that CR, i.e. Chitalkar is known more for for his duets than solos. There is no time in the year to cover that, but I would see if it can be appropriately done later.

17 mumbaikar8 December 15, 2015 at 6:44 pm

AK,
Good one. Enjoyed it!
I like Chitalkar as a singer and enjoy most of his songs, but like Ravindra Kelkar, DP Rangan, Ashokji, think that that some songs are special and for those he should have opted for Rafi or Manna Dey….. Sardar Mallick had once said that all the singers were good but Rafi and Lata had the ablitiy to take a song from उन्नीस से इक्कीस.
In your list song # 3 I feel Rafi would have made a difference. Just like Humko tumhara hi aasara.
I will upload Rafi Chitalkar duet, this one is different from their usual comedy duets.
It has all the charm of Lata Chitalkar combination.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXbt2emhpV4

18 Ravindra Kelkar December 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

AK,
Ms Shalan Lal, raised a good point, about having songs sung by a variety of singers, like Lata, Asha, Geeta, Shamshad, Suman, etc. & Rafi, Talat, Hemant Kumar, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, etc. If every song had been sung by Lata & Rafi, we would have missed so many different flavours. However, my point remains that CR was not in the same class (you have also endorsed this). Ms Shalan Lal has rightly mentioned that in “Khidki” there are a couple of songs where we have two male voices, those of CR & Rafi. There are quite a few such songs composed by CR, e.g. in “Patanga”, “Hangama”, & a few more films, where we have two male voices, in CR & Rafi. That’s fine, since one of them is a proper singer. Also, as exception, it’s OK to sing a song here & there which is a sort of comedy / frivolous song & not a main stream song. But CR has sung a number of very melodious duets with Lata, where Rafi/Talat/Hemant Kumar would have enhanced the beauty of the song. As an MD, who is paid for coming up with the best output, I feel CR here compromised on the overall quality of the final product. Mind you, he was a competent singer, so as long as the quality of the tune/composition was excellent, many of these duets were lapped by the listeners. As a show case of this, take the duets in Albela, which became great hits (where I genuinely feel Rafi would enhanced them even further). Another interesting aspect is, he didn’t do this when it came to female songs. Once he discovered Lata, he totally discarded Shamshad. So obviously he had one rule for male songs & another for female songs. The only possible explanation is that he had a very high opinion of himself as a singer & genuinely felt that he was at least as good or better than other male singers of his time.

19 AK December 16, 2015 at 5:53 am

Mumbaikar8,
Don’t you think #3 sounds more like Talat Mahmood? I agree Talat would have enhanced the song.

CR-Rafi duet you have added is quite atypical of them. Thanks a lot for adding it.

20 AK December 16, 2015 at 6:07 am

Ravindra Kelkar,
I can hardly contradict what you are saying except that I would put it in a more qualified way. For example, it is quite clear Chali bhi aa would have sounded much better in Talat Mahmood’s voice. On the softer side his voice was similar to TM’s. On most other songs I would let it be. Regarding your speculation that he believed himself to be as good or better than mainstream singers, that may not be the reason. It seems more a case of ‘They may be better but I don’t give a damn’. Plus the practical aspect of buy versus make choice.

21 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

AK ji

This has reference to comment No. 15 in which ” obscure music director” P.Ramakant is mentioned as MD for film Babuji-50.

It was C.Ramchandra who gave music as P. Ramakant, who was his assistant since 1942.
Here is a rough translation of an extract from a book, “Marathi Chitrapat Sangeetkar Kosh” written by Madhu Potdar. This is considered a valuable document in the history of Music in Marathi and Hindi, as many MDs gave music in Marathi also during the early days like the 30s, 40s and the 50s.
“P.RAMAKANT
From Goa. Ramakant Paingankar. Very good player of Flutes of all types. Many programmes on A.I.R.
From 1942, he was working as an assistant to Music Director C.Ramchandra. Film Director Raja Nene was a special friend of CR. Nene had produced a film “Shaadi se Pehle’-in 1947 and gave its music to CR.There was a problem. CR was bound by a contract with Filmistan that time and could not give music to any film from other banners. CR did compose the music for ‘Shaadi se pehle’-47, but gave the name of P.Ramakant (along with Karnad) as its MD. Similarly, for Master Bhagwan’s films like Bhedi Bangala,Bhole bhale,Bakshish and Babuji,he gave the name of P. Ramakant, though he composed the music.
In 1950, P.Ramakant gave music independently only to film Rupaya. ”
I hope this should confirm that for these films-as mentioned- the real composer was CR and not P.Ramakant as declared.
In the same way,Snehal Bhatkar had also given music as Vasudev, B.Vasudev,V.G.Bhatkar and Snehal, when he was working with HMV.
-AD

22 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

AK ji,
In addition to my above comment,I wish to add that in the Listener’s Bulletin No. 70 of September 1987, an interview of master Bhagwan taken by shri Harmandir singh Hamraz ji, has been published. In this, Hamraz ji says that on specific query, Bhagwan confirmed that CR gave music to the above mentioned films in the name of his assistant P.Ramakant.
-AD

23 AK December 16, 2015 at 10:57 am

Arunji,
Thanks a lot for this clarification. I remember you had also mentioned it earlier in the context of Babooji.

24 KB December 16, 2015 at 2:42 pm

He used all the voices avaliable during his time such as Rafi,Talat,Mannadey,Kishore and Hemant besides singing a number of songs himself. Only regret is that he could not use Mukesh effectively like SJ or Salil Choudhary or Chitragupta. Very good post

25 AK December 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

KB,
Besides Mukesh, Manna Dey too did not get a commensurate place in CR’s music.

26 N Venkataraman December 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm

An Interesting article on the “occasional “singer, Chitalkar Ramchandra. Before the internet era I was not aware of his singing prowess. He may not be in the same class as the regular singers, nor can be compared to other MD-cum- singers like S D Burman, Hemant Kumar, but his casual and relaxed singing provided a lighter touch and welcome relief. Here some songs which were of different genre and worth listening.
Here is song from Paigham (1959). Here a full throated Chitalkar sings for Rajkumar.
Daulat Ne Paseene Ko, lyrics Kavi Pradeep
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMUCYk3QqWI

It is difficult to believe that these NF songs were rendered by Chitalkar Ramchandra.
Tu kahan gaya mere saanware
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP0tVNCQw3E

Na Main Roop Dekhta
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiFMeqaLwsU

Thanks AKji for the tribute.

27 mumbaikar8 December 16, 2015 at 6:08 pm

AK,
Does Man mor machaye shor from Ladki seem to be the (inspired ) (more poular) female version of the song I mentioned in comment #17?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoMiZYb_IcA

28 AK December 16, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Venkataramanji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. For an occasional singer, CR managed to give some immensely popular songs. Thanks for adding the three interesting songs.

29 AK December 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Mumbaikar8,
Since you mention it, the meter does seem to be similar. But the similarity in tune is not very obvious. But congratulations for a very smart observation.

30 KB December 16, 2015 at 7:20 pm

In the case of composers such as SD and OP , although they used some singers like Mukesh and Mannadey to very limited extent, they were given very good songs when they were called to sing. Best example is OP gave immortal songs such as Chal akela and Chehere se zara aanchal to Mukesh.
Same is the case with Ravi. But this did not happen with CR in case of Mukesh and Mannadey.

31 mumbaikar8 December 16, 2015 at 7:45 pm

KB.
CR has this very beautiful song from Sharda with Manna Dey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwj9KJKIQUY

32 Gaddeswarup December 17, 2015 at 5:14 am

mumbaikar8 at #27. I thought that this film was remake of the Tamil film Penn, simultaneously made in Telugu as Sangham. But the Wikipedia gives date 1954 for the Tamil film and 1953 for the Hindi version. May be Shri Vankataraman can clarify. Anyway the music director generously ‘borrowed’ from C.Ramachandra in some of his films. The Tamil and Telugu versions of this song are also popular and do sound a bit different to me http://youtu.be/Cnc0cHgUR4g

33 N Venkataraman December 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Gaddeswarupji at #32
A V Meiyyappa Chettiar initially launched this movie in Hindi. He later thought that by making it in Telugu and Tamil also, it would become a more commercially viable project. Thus the three versions were almost simultaneously produced. Ladki was released on October 30, 1953, Penn got released on June 26, 1954 and Sangham on July 10, 1954.

34 Gaddeswarup December 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Venkataramanji, Many thanks for the clarification. I did not know that. The Telugu version is one of my favourites and for the record here it is. One of the highlights of life in Melborne about 15 years ago: two excellent singers both named Rama sang this in a party. http://youtu.be/Wrdf5owDgUs

35 Gaddeswarup December 18, 2015 at 2:03 am

Shri Venkataraman’s comment just before this about Ladki 1953, Penn, Sangham 1954 seems to have disappeared. Here is an article confirming what he said http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-cinemaplus/sangham-1954/article5643652.ece

36 AK December 18, 2015 at 7:32 am

Gaddeswarupji,
I had also read Venkataramanji’s comments so I was surprised how it landed up in Spam folder. It is up again.

37 Ashok Kumar Tyagi December 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm

AK ji,

We are into the last fortnight of 2015. Thanks to you and all other worthies for lively posts and excellent comments right through the year. Having gone into some older posts I put on record appreciation for meticulous effort you all have put in. As you love the songs of those times, you lovingly put in so much energy, i may add, without cribbing. Adverse comments have also been accepted graciously and sportingly. These qualities make SoY an esteemed blog. There is still time available in 2015 to fit in a couple of posts around Chrismas and New Year Eve.

With best wishes and warm regards

Yours
Ashok

38 Shalan Lal December 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I would like to praise the work of Post Writers and the readers who have given such a vlauable information in first five years of the Soy.

In this post and other as well the comments of KS Bhatiya and Mr Venkatraman have added the rationality and information as well.

And also the the writers who make comments on every post keep the SoY jingling.
let us hope thenext five years will be as exciting as the first one.

Shalan Lal

39 AK December 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Ashok Kumar Tyagi, Shalan Lal
Thanks a lot for your generous words. SoY would not have been what it is without its readers and their active participation. If this continues, there is no doubt SoY will carry on with the same zeal. I have planned one more post before the year ends.

40 ksbhatia December 19, 2015 at 11:34 pm

AK ji , Ashok Kumar Tyagi ji, Shalan Lal ,
December is really a month of celebration as it offers a variety of events to happen till the New Year which happened to have Happy as its prefix . Its a time to hog up cakes and pastries and home get up with Red decorated items near the x mas tree …..and music to match the holiday mood playing your fav. gospel by the great singer Jim Reeves ……and dotting with Jingle bells when grand children are around .
Visiting down town was a must in the golden days of the era of 60s thru 70s . The restaurants and hotels of that time used to play live band that suited the lively atmosphere . The songs of the likes…….Those were the days……The last waltz……. Zorba’s dance ….. Lara’s theme ….were most popular . Hindi film songs that were popular were …..Lara lappa lai rakhda…… Gore gore o banke chhore ……Lal lal gaal ……and other fast numbers which suited the club atmosphere .
The scene now a days have completely changed to the visit to Malls , do some shopping , have some fast food and come back home .
With X Mas around the corner here is a CRs fast number to celebrate with….. Eena meena deeka…….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeTJAc4mXRc
Here is one of my fav. X Mas song by Jim Reeves…..An old X Mas card….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8GC6PTK7iY

Ms Shalan lal ,…. Thanks for liking the comments and observations made from time to time . In fact yourself , Venkataraman ji and many others have contributed immensely in practically every other post which were really well appreciated .
Being the last quarter of december I feel my duty to offer vote of thanks to A K ji for his total obsorption , hard work and untiring dedication . This goes to all others as well who have contributed various posts .

41 Shalan Lal December 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm

KS Bhatiya
Your are the right person among many others who would like to appriciate the dedication and hardwork of AK.

He has kept last five years all of us bubbling and bloiling with so many posts of SoY.

He deserves our gratitude for giving us conntinuous enjoyment and also bringing back the SoY from nearly being extinct.
Wonderful! So it is “Ring in the Old and (W)ring out the New with SoY.
Thanks for your timely consideration.

The English songs you have mentioned are from the sixties on wards.

But there are many good and great songs that go right back to two hundred years of European and Anglo-American history of popular songs. Without any reservations I love Western and Indian songs.

Thanks again

Shalan Lal

42 ksbhatia December 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm

AK ji , Ms Shalan Lal ,
Sailing thru the SoY sea has been a great voyage covering many nautical miles and plenty of shores and thanks to Captain of the Ship …..A K ji . Rightly said …..Ring in the Old and Weed out the New ……and that should be SoY signature theme .
I do passionately listen to the western music as I do with the classic indian music . I will rate music of the 40s and 50s as much better than the music of the eras that followed . I am fond of songs of the movies…..Casablanca, An american in Paris , Singing in the Rain ,….and songs of Dean martin , Frank Siatra , Patti Page , Jim Reeves , Joni Harms and many more .
As Waltz is my fav. amongst others I am loading one such song by Patti Page ……….The Tennessee Waltz [1950]…..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ek3eCbfqp0

43 Shalan Lal December 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm

ksbhatia
Sorry that I spelt your name incorrectly.
With that view about the music of the world you are for rich treasure on every journey you will make.
Once Mr Chitalkar said to me that “the music takes him into the sea of happiness more than the whiskey he drinks. The joy of music is very lasting but the joy of drink has headachakes and other fears at the end”

So love music of all kinds and you are on the track of the eternal bliss.

44 Shalan Lal December 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm

A view from the bridge
I remember I read the name of Ramakant as assistant on the film Shabanam1949 title roll starred DK and KK produced by the Filmistan. Now I wonder if CR is using his assistant’s name then is it possible that he as a contract bounded to Filmistan assisted SDB? The three particular songs in that film look like CResques- one is “Yeh Duniya Roop Ki Chor…(it is a pale version of Ab Kis Liye Kal Ki Baat from Aadmi 1939), Hum Kis Ko Sunaye Haal, and perhaps “Ika Baar Tu Ban Ja Mera”
In the Filmistan there often was chaos in the Music Department as in the time of the films like Anarkali and Shrimatiji. For Shrimatiji 1952 one called Jimmi along with Basant Praksh and S Mohinder is mentioned. Who is this Jimmi? The film is a very boisterous and there are many funny songs. Both S. Mohinder and Basant Prakash are not much known for humorous songs. If we use the logic of Arunkumar Deshmukh the finger points at CR. But this stretched logic looks very ridiculous.
Now about those songs sung by CR some feel insistently and resolutely and also very sincerely that,” had CR brought in other singers those songs would have yielded more sweetness for them”. The example of Sangam of RK is good enough to show the contradiction in the argument. It is in the myth of this film that RK invited DK to play his character or that of Rajendra K’s by Dilip K who flatly refused to do so. Why? Because DK knew whatever he had done in the film, RK never wanted him to outsmart him i.e. RK and out act in the film. It would have disaster for DK’s career.
Second line of thinking is the financial constrain. Only from the film Albela onward CR had the choice of singers and since he decided all his female compositions should work better in Lata’s voice most of the money went into her coffers. She was the top “Bell-de jour” for the financiers who would not put their returns in dangers.
Third point is to try out and see: I saw in the Video of “Mortal Men and Immortal Songs” a singer called “Anwar” who sang Rafi song “Ek Dil Ke Tukde Huwe Hazar” in very Rafilike voice. If that singer is alive and still has his Rafi-voice then Mr Kelkar and his supporters should request him to sing those songs of CR and see if those songs would sound better. And make them available on SoY so then we will know which milk is and which is water?, once for all.
My fourth point is the film Insaniyat 1955. This film has a massive number of songs total about 17. All kinds of the songs had opportunity in this epic that had two heroes two heroines and many other famous actors. Very broad epic story and screen for the film. There is one song Agha sang for the Zippy monkey which is very comic. Rafi sang it. I think Chitalkar would have enhanced it. Similar the Ravan song that Manna Dey sang CR would have done far better. The Bhajan-song sung by Rafi was very good and well acted by DK and that was correct choice. As Rafi sang Hindu songs far better than Hindu singers would have done.There is one song duet with Rafi Chitalkar and that was also very correct choice. So CR is fair and knows his onions well in the music business.
Shalan Lal

45 KB December 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm

In the fifties especially CR was the king.He could bring about any type of music without compromising on the melody. Wish he could retain the same trend later on also.However we could intermittently hear some of his mastery in films such as BAHURANI (1963) and TASVEER (1965) and even in a film like ROOTHA NA KARO (1970).He also switched over to more of devotional films during this time and may be could not get better singers and good banners.

46 Ravindra Kelkar December 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Ms Shalan Lal,
Thanks for your views. If you feel, CR as a singer was as good as Rafi/Talat/Hemant kumar then it’s fine, why not? Everybody has his own likes & dislikes…..
I remember reading an interview by CR, given to a very well-known Marathi Journalist, Shirish Kanekar. In that he had implied that he didn’t care much for the quality of the male singers of his time compared to Lata…including himself. So I really feel that he considered himself equal to Rafi/Talat/Hemant Kumar, etc. In that interview he had also said that Mukesh is no singer. I will try to get my hands on the interview & try to traslate his exact words. It was a long time back, I think between the period of 1971 or 1972.
However, we can always have diferent views, so please take my comments in that spirit. I enjoy reading your views & will continue to do so.

47 ksbhatia December 22, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Ms Shalan Lal…@43 ‘;
Thanks for your kind words . love for music has always been there since my child hood ….and this will go for ever ……be it highway , shores or hills.
KB ji @45 ;
After Tasveer came one more film La bela …a C grade movie made by Bhagwan with music by Chitalkar . The film had a star cast of Sujit kumar , Kumkum , Bela bose , bhagwan etc. I saw this movie when it was released …only for the reason that the movie may be of the like of the super chart buster Albela as it sounded like that and was made by Bhagwan -C R combo .
But , alas , it fell so poorly in all the depts. including its music. CR has been one of my fav.music director but this movie I will surely rate it as one of the disasterous film ever made by Bhagwan and CR . The graph was surely on decline after Bahu rani and Tasveer .
To prove my point here is one song from La bela by Asha and chitalkar which I think is better than rest of the songs .
O my dear O my sanam…..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agKjObUO1QE

48 mumbaikar8 December 22, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Ravinder Kelkar,
Being your supporter, I would like to add my view on likes and dislikes too.
I would like to begin with kaifi Azmis’s sher.
“Ab aage jo bhi ho anjaam dekha jayenga
khuda tarash liye aur bandagi karli.”
Lliving in a free society each one can have our likes and dislikes or beliefs or disbeliefs I do not feel obliged to prove that I am right or get proved otherwise. It is nothing like which is milk and which is water if I want to think my water is milk it my prerogative. I am not asking anyone else to believe. I respect every body’s belief( mine as well ), though I would like to discuss it in forums like SOY and if I find some HUM KHAYAL I feel good as
“ khoob guzregi jo mil baithenge diwane do” or even more ( the more the merrier) .
I feel so blessed to be the part of SOY where we get revelations time and again.
Revelation this time is that as Anwar sounds like Rafi he can also sing like him.

49 Ravindra Kelkar December 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Mumbaikar8,
You are absolutely right. Variety is the spice of life. Similarly, having different likes/dislikes/views which gets posted in this blog, really makes this site so popular & interesting. So kudoes to AK for providing us an open platform like SOY. The key to its success is that most of us respect the different views that are put forward here, which you personally do not agree with. It helps that in my friend circle, we have all sorts of people with very divergent views & still remain friends without any rancour or ill-will. So I have many friends who are exactly like AK-with complete obsession about Lata/Mukesh/ Hemat Kumar. I also have many friends who are Asha/Geeta fans, some who are Rafi fans like me, some who prefer Kishore…So I don’t really get worked up if some friend does not agree with my views, since I have come to realize that each human being is different.

50 Shalan Lal December 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Ksbhatia @ 47
Thanks for posting the link of the song from La Bela or Labela. Yes it is a pun/ jest on Albella. This 1966 film has six songs by C.Ramchandra, Lyrics by Anand Baxi Directed by Bhagwan.
The song I watched and heard three times in a row. I found it very professionally done on the sound and on the screen by a Rock ‘n’ Roll by Bhagwan and Kumkum. Both have natural feel for the dance and very good footwork. The song is done with finesse, charm, grace and elegance. Baxi’s lyric is also lyrical and added flair and poise. Both Chitlkar and Asha are very at easy with the singing of the song.
This created a further interest in me to watch and hear other songs from this film supposed to be a making knock down about the Western cultural spreading influence in India started way back from the film “Vilayat Return” in the thirties. If you have links for all the songs and even for this film I shall have a good time of the sixties film that I had missed. The whole performance has that shadow of the Magroor (1950) song of MIrza Musharaf and Meena Kumari
C.Ramchandra had many flops in the fifties like “Jhanjar”, Shin Shnaki Boo Bla Boo, etc. “The Box Office Hit” is a mystery to all film makers. So if this film had done similar thing it wouldn’t have made any dent on his self-esteem. AK should take a note of this song if he is planning about the duets of CR.
Shalan Lal

51 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 23, 2015 at 9:52 pm

AK ji,

Shashadhar Mukherjee called S.D.Burman from Calcutta to give music to his film Shikari-46. Since he was new here, Filmistan requested CR to help him. CR agreed with a condition that his name should not appear in credits or elsewhere. He helped SDB for an arranger and may be helped him in composing too..may be.

Composer Jimmy is one of those little known composers who never got fame or name in spite of their Talents. His real name was JAMES SINGH. He was a Christian sikh from Ludhiana. He was educated in Delhi.He started his career in Hindi films as a singer in Chorus. He could play many western instruments,especially all types of Guitars.When he failed as a singer,he became assistant to many composers. Finally.he got his chance to compose few songs for film ‘Muqaddar-50’,though with Khemchand Prakash and Bhola Shreshtha. He composed 2 duets of Asha and Kishore. The credit of teaching ” Yodelling ” to Kishore kumar goes to Jimmy. Kishore ‘yodelled ‘first time in this film.

Jimmy then gave music to 12 more films like, Shrimati ji,Smuggler,Awara Shehzadi,Sher e Baghdad,Nek khatoon,pathan,Misschaalbaz,Tarzan and Gorilla,Duniya hai dilwalon ki,Tarzan in fairy land,khoon aur sazaa and his last film,Sachhi Ibadat-1987.Inspite of giving sweet and melodious songs of a variety,Jimmy never came upto A class. He always remained a composer for C grade films. Anyway,as long as Kishore’s yodelling is heard,Jimmy’s name will be remembered.

-AD

52 ksbhatia December 23, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Ms Shalan Lal @50 ;
Noted your interest in La bela songs . Here are three more song from the film and I will try to locate more for further continuity .
1. Li Angadayi Khanak……..Asha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUhKzgHvsfA
2.Bhari Mehfil mein………Asha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD-aoYYWTjY
3. Tauba gajab hai………Asha , Chitalkar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au1v_TyORuo

53 AK December 23, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Arunji,
Thanks a lot for this information. I had earlier read your write up about KK’s first yodelling by Jimmy.

54 AK December 24, 2015 at 12:10 am

KS Bhatiaji, Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for introducing us to Labels songs. The contrast between the Rock n’ Roll O my dear O my sanam and the folk (Marathi?) Tauba gazab hai is amazing.

55 Shalan Lal December 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

RK @49 and mumbaikar8 @48 and of course all other readers as well

I would like to quote 12AK December 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm for his following comment.

“I have mentioned earlier that a well-known song gets embedded in my mind with that singer, and I find it difficult to speculate how it would sound in another voice. On one site someone observed in all seriousness that चलो एक बार फिर से अजनबी बन जाएँ हम दोनों would have sounded better in Rafi’s voice. I am no fan of Mahendra Kapoor and he stands nowhere near Rafi, yet I would throw the idea outright.”

I would like to draw the attention of those readers who put Rafi on high pedestal and find it difficult to appreciate a song without mentioning or comparing a singer with him, the first line of the above statement “I have mentioned earlier that a well-known song gets embedded in my mind with that singer, and I find it difficult to speculate how it would sound in another voice.” I praise AK for his bravery in self analyzing and coming out with a matured remark.

I want to say similar about the singer as well. That the success of the singer like Rafi too gets embedded in the psyche of many people from the sub-continent and they lose the ability to appreciate the individual contribution. In the sixties when the Welsh Singer Tom Jones hit the screen on the top of the parade most of the Indians in our Indian Hostel labeled him as the “English Rafi”. They could not think that the quality of voice and manipulations of notes at high octave in him was possible without any Indian background. While the fact is there are hundreds of Welsh singers who could do what Tom Jones was doing. But in addition he had stage presence and he could put in emotions and intensity in the songs at right places. Most of the songs he sang became immortal and other singers also sang his song with their own interpretations.

I think Rafi should be appreciated on his own qualities without bringing personal emotions of likes and dislikes.

Similarly Chitalkar should be appreciated on his presentation of the song. He sang in public many of the classical songs of Lata like “Radha Naa Bole” without any trepidation and showed that he could sing well a female song and that of Lata.

When people say like Ravindra Kelkar has said @3 “. I have always felt that, though he was OK as a singer, he would have been better off using Rafi, Talat or Hemant Kumar.” I feel it is very unfair and no amount of praising of his directorship of music and singing in the Indian films would repair that.

He certainly was a good singer of good standing and a great performer. No other singers like him ran his own group called “Bhoole Naa Bhayo” with full orchestra and with many talented artists. I was at the Bombay’s Shanmukahnand Hall in seventies saw his impressive performance. When he would sing “Eena Meena Deeka” public would stand up clapping and some would go in the front part of the hall and dance. He was a superior perfumer than Kishore Kumar appeared in the public.

Likes and dislikes are good if they are kept with oneself and not brought in public debate neither they are part of the real democratic process apart from the right to have them. Recently Indian democracy has been facing issues rose from the individual and community liking and disliking so much so that large scale of killings have taken place and similar actions have been challenged by the elected members of the Central and Provincial governments.

Shalan Lal

56 Shalan Lal December 24, 2015 at 3:48 pm

AD@51

Mr Deshmukha your information is very valuable. Not only on Jimmy but on SDB had opportunity from CR to learn the technic of comic songs which he has used in later films.

I praise you for this most valuable information.

Shalan Lal

57 Shalan Lal December 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm

ksbhatia @52
Thanks for your links of Labela.

At present I am getting trouble with the links. But shall come back to them after 28 December.

I am on my way to a Buddhist Meditation Sanctuary where no phone, not internet etc is allowed.

This is my fourth year there. I find my battery is recharged after my return.

I wish you all those who celebrate Xmas, a very Merry Xmas and also wish you all A Very Happy New Year.

Especially my good wishes are for AK who should be as energetic as he has been for the last five years.

Shalan Lal

Shalan Lal

58 ksbhatia December 24, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Shalan Lal @55 , AKji, Arvinder sharma ji , Mumbaikar8 ,
I am inviting attention of every one to go back to the blog on Mahindra kapur , Sahir, Ravi where in a lot of comments and observations were made by each and every one on switching / swapping of Rafi/ MK songs -extent of their ability to do so for their respective songs . Observations @ 29 on wards are worth revisiting again .
I still feel that MK’s song made history whereas Rafi’s similar songs composed by Ravi released in the same year ; though very good; went unnoticed . I some how stand by…….To each his own…..policy .

59 Hans December 25, 2015 at 12:47 am

I am very late in responding to this tribute to the singer CR. As is well known I agree with AK that a song gets embedded in a singer’s voice. So, I never try to even visualise anybody else singing that song. I enjoy good songs of every singer. I rate Chitalkar as a very good singer. In fact much better than many others. In MDs Hemant is a cut above the rest. But, no 2 in my view is CR. Though SDB, left a big impact in some songs which is unmatched, but their is no variety in his hfm songs. AK has brought out the variety in CR’s singing. Venkatramanji mentioned another type of his song from Paigham and also couple of non-film songs, which all show his variety.

Some readers have said it would have been better if he had used other singers. This may be true, but for that he lost out on variety as MD and is now known as Lata only MD, though unfairly. But, this fact should not be considered while evaluating him as singer. He was, initially not a very keen singer, even in his own films. It all perhaps started with the incident mentioned by Arunji, when he was called upon to assist SDB. As a reward to that he got Safar as well as a duet in Eight Days (SDB), ‘ek nayi kali sasural chali’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yxxQatGX6E
This song became an instant hit and the Filmistan people asked him to repeat the feat in Safar. Not many people know that in Safar he sang 4 duets (3 of them with Binapani Mukherjee). The duet ‘kabhi yaad kar ke gali paar karke’ became a rage in those days and continued to be popular for a very long time. The remaining 3 also became hits. I give here the link to ‘kabhi yaad kar ke’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_leYhaTYPE
After that he became a regular feature in songs in Filmistan films. Others also accepted him in view of his success. Since, with time we tend to forget, his impact on the singing scene in late 40s and early 50s has also been forgotten. During that period he was among the top playback singers. He could not figure in films of other MDs as a singer, because he was too busy with his own films.

AK has mentioned his lampooning of ‘bhimpalasi’. Here is a song from Sanwaria-1949 in which he ridicules western instruments, though he extensively used them. Here is ‘chale gaye angrej english gaana’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2fGUD-5BZU

Here are some of his solos showing his variety.
Kadam kadam badhaye ja (Samadhi-1950)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmRNXXeLbso
Mera dil hai nikhattoo (Nirala-1950)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DCpxw6-oyE
O betaji (Albela – 1951)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wE4cKR0suI

If people are not still satisfied about his singing prowess, look at this sharabi song from Subah ka Tara(1954), ‘thahar jara o jane wale’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMp7NjDrEFY

60 gaddeswarup December 25, 2015 at 9:04 am

My impression as a non-expert on Chitalkar singing. I think voice, skills are all there but he seems to coast along in parts of the songs and is flat often. Very professional singers seem to cover these flat parts somehow or other by some twist in thevoice or some other trick. I never felt that there were flat parts in Saigal’s songs. There are some exceptions like KITNA HASEEN HAI MAUSAM. Possibly lack of riyaz.

61 mumbaikar8 December 25, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Shalan Lal,

Thanks for addressing directly and not as supporters of Mr. Kelkar, Appreciate it. I was the only supporter that felt that a certain song would song better with Rafi ( AK thought it would be Talat), that is the reason why I made it personal.

“Ravindra Kelkar April 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

AK ji,
Thanks for the last two posts on Shamshad Begum. I enjoyed it. Like Arun ji, I also have a preference of CR over Naushad. For me, CR’s music had something extra.
By the way, the songs you have posted, are they according to you the best 11 or 12 songs of Shamshad for CR & Naushad respectively? Or is it just a representation out of 60 odd songs that CR & Naushad composed for Shamshad ?
The reason I ask is that, OP Nayyar composed 35 songs for Shamshad comprising of 21 duets & 14 solos. In my view, if I pick 12 best songs out of them, they in no way are inferior to your posted songs.
Just as an afterthought, I liked song nos 8 & 9, but it seems from your comments that you feel they were better suited for Lata. Is my observation correct?
“AK April 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
I meant these as the best of Shamshad with CR and Naushad respectively. It is possible that some people may find the best of OPN-Sahmshad better than the songs in the two posts. I didn’t have any specific composer in my mind, but it seems to me that my top choice would be her songs by Naushad. All these are a matter of personal choice.

I have not stated any such thing in #8, but #9 I did feel as if it was meant to be a Lata Mangeshkar song, which by implication may be interpreted that it would sound better in her voice.”

This is the conversation between Ravindra Kelkar and AK in Shamshad Begum songs by C Ramchandra
Things are not the same when emotions are involved. Many times when I have criticized Rafi for going overboard in his mannerisms AK has defended him, but we all know where his emotions are attached.

I like and appreciate Chitalkar a lot and have mentioned in my remarks, may be one of the reasons why Lata sang so well in his music direction was that he was such a good singer, I will stick my neck out and say that for me he is better than KK except for his accent.

You can appreciate Rafi your way, my way is different.
I have my own ways of discussing and debating my likes and dislikes and I do not agree that all problems we are we facing are because of likes and dislikes, I think it is because we want to impose our belief on others, but that is my belief so we can agree to disagree

62 AK December 26, 2015 at 8:13 am

Hans,
Thanks a lot for your detailed comments and the songs you have added, some of which were new to me. I am with you on the futility of speculating the famous songs in other voices. I have said earlier too that I can only visualise swapping of close voices, such as Lata Mangeshkar for Suman Kalyanpur, or Hemant Kumar for Subir Sen or Dwijen Mukherjee.

The sharabi song is too good. Being one himself (by his own admission), CR was effortless in giving the right inflexion in his voice. The song is also enhanced by the superb acting and picturisation.

The ridiculing of English gana and ways is also interesting given that he was himself attacked by the purists for his ‘shocking’ music. This song may be his own way of getting at his critics in a self-referential mocking.

63 Siddharth December 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

Akji,
For me CR is unmatched in fun/comedy songs. He does not have to make efforts to sound funny. Be it ‘mere piya gaye rangoon’ or ‘sunday ke sunday’ etc. I have seen videos on youtube where he had sung some of his songs and there is a different charm in hearing from the MD himself.

64 ksbhatia December 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Siddharth , AK[jis] ;
It is really true that CR gave a hollywood twist to the stage set fun and comedy of hindi film songs of the golden era . And these songs were very popular in social gatherings as well as during wedding ceremonies . Beside CR , Vinod was not far behind with Lara lappa song .
Well here is a surprise …..beside CR as singer and MD there was one more very talented MD….Shyam Sunder who also perfected such stage comedy / fun songs using Rafi, Shamshad , Sulochna kadam , Batra etc as playback singers . Batra had beautiful singing qualities very close to that of CR .
Here are two songs from the film ….Dholak…. Shyam sunder as MD
1. Hulla gulla lai la ….Shamshad , Rafi , Batra and chorus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHpeAJ80IYc
2.Mausam aaya hai rangeen…..Sulochna Kadam , Batra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSNOKdbH4J0

Hearing the second song repeatedly has made me sweep off my feet at least by a foot . Sulochna rendering of the words …Holey, holey holey…. is the culprit for making me sway .
I think i have to wait [eagerly] for the comments of SoY members on the above tunes of Shyam Sunder vis a vis CR signature tunes .
Yes , rest of the songs of Dholak are worth listening …. they all are beautiful . Since it stars Meena shorey , it is important as well.

65 Siddharth December 26, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Bhatiaji,
Thanks for introducing me to the lovely songs of Dholak.
I am really hooked on the second song for all the reasons you have mentioned.

66 AK December 26, 2015 at 11:52 pm

Siddharth,
Are you including Kishore Kumar too? Since KK would storm up the screen too, I would like to keep him in a class by himself.

67 AK December 27, 2015 at 12:13 am

KS Bhatiaji,
I don’t mean to disappoint you, but what you describe happens to me with Chori chori aag si dil mein laga kar chal diye. Not exactly as you suggest.

The songs that come to my mind when I think of Shyam Sundar are all soft and deeply melodious: Baithi hun teri yaad ka lekar ke sahara, Need humari khwab tumhare, Sajan ki galiyan chhod chale, Ae mohabbat unse milne ka bahana ban gaya etc. I never thought of him as composer of comic songs.

68 ksbhatia December 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm

AK ji;
Like you said Shyam Sundar had in his kitty very sweet and soft melodies. I was also surprised when I looked at the other side of the coin .

This is just like the trend setter C R who really mastered both side of the coin in a very polished way . I do rate his voice as best in a duet with asha ji in Sarhad …….Aa gaya mazaa . I wish he could continue giving playback to Dev sahib for much more time .

69 KB December 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Sri KSB,
Aa gaya mazaa was a real good song in which he sounded differently.Even other songs of Sarhad by AshaBhosle were equally good. So singer does not really matter for a good composition.

70 ksbhatia December 28, 2015 at 11:30 pm

K B ji ;
The songs of Sarhad were really good dance numbers with beautiful rhythm and beats . Yes the two songs were pure copies of the western songs . …..Aja re aajaa laage na mora jeeya…..and….Jara aao gao jhoom ke. CR as singer and MD was impressive .

71 Shalan Lal December 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Hello all good friends

I am back or swam through our floods and stake of rains and extreme bad weather on British Isles. I heard it is similar in the U.S.A. as well. Well there is lot of common things between us and the U.S.A. we share like back to back and belly to belly. They treat us like their small friend in the Continent and use us whichever and whenever they please. We think them “Doodh-Khila Bacchaa” in democracy and they have lot to learn etc. but appriciate they are mighty.

The comment side of the Chitalkar post is fattened to seventy-something. This is good that so many blasé readers of the post decided to join in to enjoy the contribution of Chitalkar to the songs.

The Songs of yore are our real good friends as today is Hogmanay-the end of the year celebration when that old song “Auld Lang Syne” is sung all around the world with hands entwined and foot stamping. This song was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1700 with his own melody.

This melody was the direct inspiration for the popular Bengali folk song “Purano shei diner kotha” (Memories of the Good Old Days) composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and forms one of the more recognisable tunes in Rabindra Sangeet-a body of work of 2,230 songs and lyrical poems that form the backbone of Bengali music. Many of the melodies have been used in the New Theatres films and through many Bengali Music directors used them to compose many Hindi songs. Even some of the early melodies of Naushad have Bengali origin as he passionately studied Pankaj Mallic.

This song is very old Scottish and many find it difficult to make a sense of it. But in short it means that old time is passing now but we must not forget old friends. We hold a cup of wine to them and celebrate their friendship.

Here are just a few lines that the song repeats itself at the 12.00 O’clock Midnight when the year is changing over to new one.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,
The “Auld lang syne” means “Old long since”
So we hold our cup to SoY and its maker AK and cheer him for his “Anokhi Adaa” and say “attaboy AK!” and pay our tribute.
Some have brought to the notice that C.Ramchandra brought western melodies into Hindi world. I see it as by doing so he has enriched the Hindi musical store. Others followed e.g. after Awara SJ with the goading by RK, Russian melodies came in the Hindi Songs as well.
But people do not moan about Tagorean melodies coming in Hindi. One thing about C.Ramchandra is that he had open mind. In one of his talks with me he told me the most famous song from Anarkali
“ये ज़िंदगी उसी की है, जो किसी का हो गया
प्यार ही में खो गया, ये ज़िंदगी …
ये बहार, ये समा, कह रहा है प्यार कर
किसी की आरज़ू में अपने दिल को बेक़रार कर
ज़िंदगी है बेवफ़ा…
ज़िंदगी है बेवफ़ा, लूट प्यार का मज़ा
ये ज़िंदगी …… etc
It is in toto a transplant from a Marathi musical play of early 1920s. The play is called “Sharada”. The song is so refined that it is hard to trace it back to the Marathi melody.
So we should thank all these musicians for enriching our audient treasure.
Shalan Lal

72 Dinesh K Jain December 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Shalan, One of the best and most evocative comments ever in the SoY saga, thank you so much. It was diversely full of feeling and erudition. And, first time learnt the meaning of the odd wordings ‘Auld Lang Syne’ which had intrigued me long.

73 AK December 31, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Shalan Lal,
Very kind of you to acknowledge me so generously. Your international musings makes me think how the world has shrunk. I am bidding 2015 adieu and welcoming 2016 in the Dutch town Galle in Sri Lanka. And amazingly the band in the carnival here was playing the tune of देखा न हाय रे सोचा न हाय रे from ‘Bombay to Goa’ – and Goa has Portugese connection.

74 KB January 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

I do not whether a similar post was there on Madan Mohan. It can also evoke such discussions since MM composed with melody as well as variety. Same is the case with Salil C who had more variety in his compositions.

75 AK January 1, 2016 at 10:15 pm

KB,
On Salil Chaudhary and Madan Mohan, I had a post each. The MDs who have come in for very detailed presentation are SD Burman, Anil Biswas and Naushad.

76 Siddharth January 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

AKji @66,
I agree KK was a class act. But CR did create a niche for himself in singing and composing fun songs as you have rightly called him as master of musical comedies.

77 Hans January 7, 2016 at 12:54 am

Bhatia ji #58
You have talked about Mahendra Kapoor and Rafi in 1963. Mahendra Kapoor is my favourite singer too. Some persons do not say this openly seeing very negative comments by some stalwarts on this blog, but I am frank with my views. MK was a very versatile singer who could sing any type of song from the high pitched to the softest with ease.

But, still I do not agree that MK had any superiority over Rafi in 1963. When this Gumrah song was discussed, you had said the same thing. Mumbaikar8 had then mentioned that one of reason for this song becoming so famous was its lyrics. That is a valid reason. The lyrics were declared to have come straight from the life story of Sahir. Some linked it with his relationship with Amrita Preetam and some to Sudha Malhotra. You would have remembered that we discussed Ravi’s songs of 1963 earlier. Ravi gave music to 12 films in that year. MK sang in bulk in just Gumrah and sang the occasional song in other films. In fact he sang 5 songs in Gumrah and 1 solo and 3 duets in four other films. In contrast Rafi sang 50 songs in the remaining 11 films. There are several reasons for a song becoming famous, many of which were listed by Jignesh in a discussion sometime back. In 1963, MK had very few top class songs so it is quite natural that his top songs would be in public memory. Rafi, besides the 11 Ravi films had films like Dil Ek Mandir and Hamrahi with SJ, Mere Mehboob with Naushad, Phir Vohi Dil Laya Hoon with OPN and Taj Mahal with Roshan. Besides these he had many top songs in other films also. In fact he had a bumper year for top gems. The problem with Rafi and Lata is of plenty. They had so many gems that a lot of their gems got forgotten.

78 Hans January 7, 2016 at 1:36 am

There had been an interesting discussion between AK and Sidharth about the comic songs sung by KK and CR. There is a duet in Daal Men Kala ‘utha le hamen upar wale’. Given below is the link and you can decide for yourself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrGt5zFUp40

In that film CR sang a triad ‘muhabbat karna hai asaan’ with Manna Dey and Asha in which CR gave playback for KK and Agha and Manna Dey gave playback for Agha and Sunder. In this song CR modulates his voice different for both.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrNDvk16amE

79 ksbhatia January 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Hans’ji @77 ;
I will surely go with your comments in toto . MK was never superior singer to Rafi . It is only out of respect we acknowledge their beautiful rendering when they give their very best ; as is the case of Gumrah songs . Many may not agree but I feel MK’s unknown C grade song ….kahan nazar takrai , dil yeh kis par aya….. is beautiful and one of my fav.song for its flowing rhythm and fast beats . Recently I came across two more songs , one each by Suman kalyanpur and Sulochana kadam , which really swayed me off my feet above the floor at least by a foot . These qualitative excellent songs , however , can not alter the position held by their seniors . Yes ; these songs made them carry more respect as genuine quality singers .
I am reloading these songs once again to prove my point .
1. Aa gaya mazaa……CR , Asha……Sarhad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuaGyBQ9VX4
2. Koi pukare dhire se mujhe …….Suman kalyanpur……Mangu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHfOTzEFnYQ
3.Kahan nazar takrai……..MK……..Magic ring
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HWeDUkd4-M

4.Mausam aya hai rangeen……..Sulochna kadam, Batra.
……….Dholak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSNOKdbH4J0

As far as lyrics are concerned … to me they matter most . Lyrics create a mood and composition polish the tune . It can make or kill the song if they are not made competable . If the tune is similar for two similar songs then of course lyrics gets its true weightage as was seen in the case of songs of Gumrah [ MK]and Nartaki[Rafi] .

80 KB January 7, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Here I wish to add that even as late as in 1970 he produced music for a film ROOTHA NA KARO where at least three energetic and melodious songs were present in the voices of Rafi and Kishore Kumar and were quite a success in spite of the film being not very well known.This was the case of many films of both OP and Madan mohan that films with good songs would go unrecognised because films themselves flopped.

81 raunak January 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Lovely songs. I am a big fan Of C.Ramchandra. His versatility as an composer is mind-boggling. In my view, only SDB,SJ and SC are as versatile as he is. I also find CR to be a very good singer though obviously the Uncomparable Six are simply uncomparable. If i had talk about composer-singers, then CR would definately come at spot 3 after HK & SDB .Pamkajda too would feature right at the top with HK, but he is from an earlier period so i better not compare. Also thanks to youtube, i had the good fortune to watch some of CR’s live performances, and i must mention that i found him to be a very good performer too . Of course Kishorda remains the king among indian performers but that’s altogether a different story.

Shalanji has raised a very pertinent question in one of the comments that while people moan about use of western tunes in Hindi film songs, they don’t moan about the use of Tagorean melodies. I think thats got to do more with the indian mentality of criticizing any influence from outside the country. As far its from within the country, be it Rabindra sangit, Baul-Bhatiyali from Bengal, Punjabi folk, Up folk, Marathi lavani, Goan music, south indian kuthu or indian classical music, its perfectly fine. But the minute a Salil Chaudhari uses western classical of Mozart or an OPN uses an english folk song, all hell breaks down. The same stands true for our bolly films too. Everything is perfectly fine if a bengali film is remade to produce classics like Padosan or Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, or a Marathi or South Indian film is remade as monster hits like Mera Saaya or Ram aur Shyam. But the moment a holly film is remade as Chori Chori, indian people start groaning, moaning and complaining, which i find quite upsetting as i believe that riches of humanity should not be confined to narrow lanes of country, language or religion.

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