Naushad’s gems before ‘Rattan’ (1944)

December 3, 2015

NaushadIt is well known that Naushad zoomed off in an orbit of his own with Rattan (1944). He had debuted four years earlier as independent music director with Prem Nagar (1940). To be exact, his first recorded song was Bata do koi kaun gali more Shyam in the voice of Leela Chitnis for Kanchan (1941), but because of some rift with that film’s team he had to leave it after recording this song and the remaining songs were composed by Gyan Dutt. Kanchan’s release got delayed and, thus, Prem Nagar became his first film. Before Rattan, Naushad did over a dozen films, having over 120 songs. You may ask, is it worthwhile to discuss his pre-Rattan songs?

Before the Internet, for most of us the radio was the primary source of music. I was familiar with about five of his early songs pre-dating Rattan. The Internet (YouTube) has brought to us a large number of his early songs. Arunji has done a series on Vintage Naushad (going up to 1946) on Atul Song A Day. Atul himself has covered Naushad in a very exhaustive manner. These sources now reveal that a large number of his early songs are of outstanding quality. One for one, these songs are no less melodious and enjoyable than Rattan’s. Rattan is a milestone, because it was the beginning of Naushad’s spectacular rein at the top, when all the 10-12 songs in a film would be stupendous hits. The film, to my mind, is no great shakes; I have mentioned somewhere that Sanjog (1943) is a much smarter movie for its times, but success generates its own myth. Some myths were started by Naushad himself, such as he brought UP folk with Rattan. Anyone familiar with vintage film songs knows that UP folk is present in many songs of Saraswati Devi and Anil Biswas of 30s and early 40s. And most interestingly, Naushad himself used what is distinctly UP folk in some songs of Prem Nagar. We all try to be known by our grand successes.

Thus, the exploration of early Naushad is historically interesting. We also get some very unique insights. If you look at his entire work, especially the later part, his tilt towards a selected few singers is very pronounced – Rafi in male playback; Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum and Suraiya in female playback. Major singers like Geeat Dutt, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey virtually did not exist for him. Early Naushad is very different. You have some unheard names like Pandit Ramanand, Bimla Kumari, Sharda (not the one who croaked in 60s/70s) in Prem Nagar. They are never again repeated; the next year in Mala (1941) he has some other unfamiliar singers such as Miss Rose, Miss Brijmala and Shrimati Ghosh (corrected as Sheetal Ghosh, who is a male). Amirbai Karnataki has her first song, Kaahe barase jaye badariya, with him in this film. In Darshan (1941), Naushad uses GM Durrani for the first time, who would have his favour for some more films, until he discovered Shyam Kumar, Surendra and, finally, Rafi. He would later bring a mothballed Durrani for a wonderful duet with Shamshad Begum in Deedar (1951), Nazar phero na humse. In Darshan we also find a number of other singers (and actors) such as Prem Adib, Jyoti, Meera and Kaushalya. It would be the first and the last time for some of them that they sang for him. Readers would remember Jyoti was a major singer for Anil Biswas (For trivia buffs, she was a sister of Waheedan Bai, thus a mausi of Nimmi. She married GM Durrani).

In Nai Duniya (1942), we are aware Suraiya debuted with Boot karun main polish babu. While she would have a long, successful run with Naushad, the major vintage era singer Rajmukari who was the lead singer in this film, would not be so lucky. She would barely have a look-in later. GM Durrani continues as the male playback singer. In Sharda (1942), Suraiya sang for Mehtab, and as the legend goes she was so small that she had to stand up on a stool to sing. Many sources credit Panchhi ja, peechhe raha hai bachapan mera from this film as Suraiya’s debut song. Another new singer(-actor) Nirmala Devi appears in this film. Long ago I knew her as the classical singer Nirmala Arun, whom I had an opportunity to hear live, and the next morning found myself in the same train compartment with her returning from Saharsa to Patna. I didn’t know then that she had acted and sung in films, and that many years later, she would be known as Govinda’s mother. In Station Master (1942), there are no surprises as to singers – GM Durrani, Prem Adib, Rajkumari, Suraiya, Amirbai and Kaushalya had been used earlier. But it would be curtains for Prem Adib, Rajkumari and Kaushalya. Prem Adib would be the second lead in Anokhi Ada (1949), but Mukesh would sing his songs with a magical effect.

In Namaste (1943), Naushad repeats his then favourite, GM Durrani, but his female lead singer is Parul Ghosh. She was the main singer for her brother, Anil Biswas. Naushad’s choice might have been prompted by her very famous songs in Basant (1942) and Kismet (1943). Before Naushad hit big time, Anil Biswas was the man to beat. We find a new name Sham as a singer. My guess is he is Shyam Kumar, who would be Naushad’s favourite singer replacing GM Durrani in the next few films.

In Kanoon (1943), he uses Suraiya, Shyam and Nirmala. In 1944, he had three more films besides Rattan: Geet, Jeevan and Pahle Aap. The chronological sequence of these films is not known to me; therefore, we may also look at the songs of these films. The four films of 1944 show interesting progression in beauty parade of singers. Zohrabai Ambalewali makes entry in the year in a small way, becomes the lead singer in Pahle Aap, and creates a sensation in Rattan we have already seen. Nirmala Devi is repeated, but probably 1944 marked her exit from Naushad. The glory of Zohrabai (and Amirbai too) would not last much longer either, because in later years Suraiya would be the star actor-singer in several films which became superhits; Shamshad Begum would take centrestage in several films, until Lata Mageshkar swept everyone away.

In 1944, Rafi makes a very tentative entry in Pahle Aap as a secondary voice to Shyam Kumar. He would have a very long probation under Naushad; barring a solo in Anmol Ghadi (1946), it wouldn’t be until 1949 when he would have a spectacular Suhani raat dhal chuki (Dulari), which would make Shyam Kumar and GM Durrani history.

Besides the above singers, we also have a sprinkling of songs in some more voices, some of which are fairly unknown.

I realise the above narration is quite tedious, and some readers may wonder what the point is of all this. A long procession of singers is not unique to Naushad, every major composer of the Vintage Era – take Anil Biswas, for example – had this feature. A small part of the reason was the phenomena of actors-singers. But the main reason was something else. Playback technology had been introduced as early as in 1935, and though soon there were a large number of playback singers, there was no Lata Mangeshkar before Lata Mangeshkar (and so was no Rafi before Rafi). Therefore, I treat 1949 as the clear dividing line between the Vintage and the Golden Era.

My primary purpose for writing this was not the above history, but to present Naushad’s early gems. Continuing the Year of Naushad celebrations, here are some of his great songs pre-dating Rattan.

1. Aye bhi wo gaye bhi wo by Parul Ghosh from Namaste (1943), lyrics DN Madhok

Anil Biswas must have given his best for his sister, who had her maximum number of songs by him. Yet Aye bhi wo gaye bhi wo is up there matching with her best by AB, such as Papiha re more piya se kahiyo jaye (Kismet), or Tumnko mubarak ho oonche mahal ye, humko hai pyari hamari galiyan (Basant). Naushad was very fond of tweaking his tunes to create another outstanding melody. He did that with this song to compose Jab se chale gaye hain wo zindagi zindagi nahi for Suraiya in Natak (1947).

2. Chale gaye chale gaye dil mei aag lagaanewale by Zohra Ambalewali from Pahle Aap (1944), lyrics DN Madhok

If you thought Zohrabai was Rattan, here is her gem from Pahle Aap, with all her verve, energy and full-throated voice.

3. More sainyaji ne bheji chunari by Zohra Ambalewali from Pahle Aap (1944), lyrics DN Madhok

Zohrabai is infectious. Here is another outstanding song with chorus-backing and a very brief male voice (most likely Shyam Kumar), but Zohrabai towers above all in this mix of UP and Punjab folk.

4. Kaahe barase jaye badariya by Amirbai Karnataki from Mala (1941), lyrics DN Madhok

Very early in his career Naushad gives this sure-footed song for Amirbai Karnataki.

5. Bata do koi kawan gali more Shyam by Leela Chitnis from Kanchan (1941), lyrics DN Madhok

Thanks to YouTube we have the very first film song composed by Naushad in the film Kanchan (1941), but his Prem Nagar was the first film to be released. Leela Chitnis was no singer, though her duets with Ashok Kumar in some Bombay Talkies films are remembered till today. She has to carry this song entirely on her own, but not a bad effort. (Note: Roshan composed a wonderful Kaun gali gayo Shyam in the twin voices of Lata Mangeshkar/Mana Dey for Madhu (1959). Further down in 1972, Naushad composed this traditional Khamaj thumri in the voice of Parveen Sultana for Pakeezah.)

6. Jin nainan nain samaaye by Prem Adib from Darshan (1941), lyrics Pt Phani

This song shows unconcealed ‘inspiration’ from KL Saigal.

7. Aye re pee ki nagariya se aye re by Sharda from Prem Nagar (1940), lyrics DN Madhok

In his very first film Naushad creates this extremely melodious folk-based song (UP?), which would become his hallmark a few years later. DN Madhok, who was a multi-faceted talent, helped Nauhsad get this assignment.

8. Dil loot liya ji dil loot liya by GM Durrani and Rajkumari from Nai Duniya (1942), lyrics Tanveer Nqvi

As we have discussed, this film had the debut song of Suraiya, Boot karun main polish babu. Rajkumari was the lead singer, which was the only time she would have this honour with Naushad. GM Durrani, besides being the male lead singer, was Naushad’s assistant music director in this film, which happened to be produced by Naushad himself. This was directed by AR Kardar with whom Naushad would have a very long association. Listen carefully, especially at 2.05, you will see early traces of O jaanewale baalamwa.

9. Tum nahi aate to nahi aao by Nirmala Devi from Sharda (1942), lyrics DN Madhok, music Naushad

Nirmala Devi was a prominent presence in some early films of Naushad. I have heard some of her classical based songs, but this ghazal style song is very pleasing. The lyrics follow the same style which DN Madhok used in some other songs such as, Aaye bhi wo gaye bhi wo and Jab se chale gaye hain wo. This song has a nice turn of phrase: You are not coming. OK don’t come, but याद से कह दो वो भी ना आये.

10. Kaun gali ka chhora pukaare by Shyam Kumar and Hamida from Sanjog (1943), lyrics DN Madhok

I am a huge admirer of Sanjog. I have used a song, Aa more saanwre sainya, from this film earlier in my post on Suraiya’s songs by Naushad. Suraiya was the lead singer for Mehtab in this film. Here is a fabulous duet which is a clear precursor of O jaanewale baalamwa (Rattan), picturised on unknown actors.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dinesh K Jain December 3, 2015 at 10:31 am

Thanks, AK, for dipping deep, once again, into recesses of Indian Hindi film musical history to ferret out these gems, and thus adding to our knowledge and enjoyment, surely for me.

2 Jignesh Kotadia December 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

The narration is not tedious at all Akji. Very interesting piece of info. Naushad started with hundred singers and settled with just two ! I really miss his work betwn 44-52 when plenty of singers sung golden melodies for him. Thanx for bringing a new track this time. From pre 44 Naushad i have only heard the songs of Station Master and a funny song from Premnagar :: Main kali baagh ki tu bhanwara kala..

3 Ravindra Kelkar December 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

AK,
Nice post. I hadn’t heard many of the songs. I liked song nos 2,3, 8,9 & 10.

4 AK December 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Dinesh,
Knowing your views about music before 1952, This is high praise indeed. Thanks a lot.

Jignesh, Ravindra Kelkar
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

5 N Venkataraman December 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Vintage Naushad songs were delightful and entertaining. The songs of Zohrabai, Parul Ghosh, Prem Adib were true gems. Especially I loved the Zohrabai numbers. There was a special charm and grandeur in her rendering. I would like to mention one of my favourite songs (although it was after 1944) was ‘Kya bataaen kitni hasrat, dil ke afsaane mein hai, subah gulshan mein hui aur sham veeranen mein hai’.
Besides the duet by Suraiya and Rajkumari Chalo Chalo Ri Sakhi Madhuban Me and Baba Chocolate laye by Kaushalya are interesting songs.
Thanks Akji for yet another good post.

6 AK December 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Venkataramanji,
Thanks a lot for your aprecaiation

7 ksbhatia December 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm

AK ji;
A fab.dig into pre- birth history of some of us thru rememberence of a great musician of all times . The narration shows the great efforts for this in-depth studies . I can only remember to have listened to the first song [ Aye bhi woh ] during my child hood . Other song of the late 40s which I still have in my memory was……Hum ko tumahra hi aasra tumjo hamare ho na ho…. Rafi….Sajan…..CR . How this song resemble the Naushad’s style . May be CR was contesting Naushad sahib with his own brigade of singers during mid 40s as he was also riding peak during that period of time . I think period between 1944 and 1949 was a great contesting time for all other MDs to give their best . Great efforts and inputs were required to match Naushad sahib’s music .

8 mumbaikar8 December 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm

AK,
Interesting and informative post, have heard some of them but as not very fond of vintage songs do not remember. It will take some time to go through them all.
Any surprise for his birthday?

9 AK December 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. As for Humko tumhara hi aasra I never thought it resembling Naushad. I have mentioned in my CR-Naushad-Rafi post how CR gave more prominence to Rafi compared to Naushad in his early years.

Not only 1944-49, but take any block of five years, intense competition between top composers has been a constant feature of our film music. Thank God for that.

10 AK December 3, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Mumbaikar8,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Waiting for your return after you have heard the songs.

If you mean Naushad’s birthday I have to have something in the Year of Naushad. I don’t know whether it will be a surprise for you.

11 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

AK ji,

A very nice presentation and topic.
In your write up, in the third para, you mentioned about a singer “Shrimati Ghosh”. There is no person like shrimati Ghosh. It was a misprint. The name should have been Sheetal Ghosh. Harmandir ji has clarified this point in his Addenda in the same volume. Later you too have mentioned the name of Sheetal Ghosh, who was a Male singer.

I will come back again.
-AD

12 AK December 4, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Arunji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation and for the correction.

13 D P Rangan December 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

AK

For once you are in safe territory. Nobody will dispute your selections made out of an extensive digging into those obscure years. Few would have listened to those songs again and again to mentally form a list of their favourites and discuss here. I know you are a great favourite of Naushad and find any songs composed by him as acceptable. I would honestly say that some of the songs above can only be appreciated if one were to time shift themselves to that period mentally. I do find the broad map of Naushad music even at that period. Many of the latter day songs bear a close resemblance to some of them. Your efforts are laudable and I hope you will unearth more of such gems.

14 AK December 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

DP Rangan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. About half the songs were new even for me. Post-1944 most songs of Naushad are well-known. Exploring pre-1944 Naushad is equally fascinating.

15 Mahesh December 5, 2015 at 3:16 pm

AK ji,

Hearty congratulations on a very meritorious and praise-worthy post.
Naushad Ali’s post Rattan and pre Mughal-e-Azam songs are so popular and well known that we tend to restrict ourselves in this comfort zone of extraordinary melodious gems. This is a nice post on how he reached the pinnacle of his success before settling for Lata and Rafi.

Thanks.

16 AK December 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Mahesh,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. It is interesting how he transformed from multiple singers to Rafi-Lata MD.

17 Shalan Lal December 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

AK
Now I have some breathing time from the whirlwind of Xmas, everything around is going mad!
This post of rare gems of Nausea pre-Rattan is a really a rare gem written with very good research and in erudite and authentic language and nice way to say goodbye to the year of Naushad. But I am sure he will pop in again in the next five years here and there as being major and influential creative musician who gave pleasure to many audiences during his time and our time as well. His experiments in the films “Uran Khatola” with the church choruses and Bhojpuri dhoons in “Ganga Jamuna” are worth looking in deep.
I have my doubts about the thirties and major part of the forties being filmy musically occupied nation of Indian sub-continent when it was dominated by a heady and reckless wind of Independence Movement and the heroes of the country were Gandhi, Nehru, Subhash and many who were becoming Shahid every day. The music was the music of the talks of the nationalist leaders and the songs were those songs sung at the daily protests marches and the songs of the Azad Hind Fauj.
The film art was just coming and trying to find its place in that mêlée and the filmy music was becoming a release from that heightened life. The musicians also were finding their footing and measuring if working for the films was really an honourable profession. So whatever they did was not a deliberate aim but a matter of chance. But the success of Devdas (1935) made a great impact and Saigal and his voice became “Awaz Ki Duniya”. That made an inroad for the future composers. In his beginning career Naushad was transfixed on the success of New Theatres. His watching of the New Theatre films again and again is written in his famous diary.
I with a great interest listened to the song “5. Bata do koi kawan gali more Shyam by Leela Chitnis from Kanchan (1941), lyrics DN Madhok” along with the AK’s very good note about it. There is a good satisfaction about the efforts of taking to meditate on it. I think she sang very well in the old style.
Leela Chitnis was one of the early University graduate pulled in the film Industry. She was married off young to a Vilayat returned Maharastriyan writer and agitator. Her father Nagrkar was a Marathi Brhamo Samajist and went to Chicago along with Vivekanand to attend the first Religious conference and presented a paper on Brahmo Samaj.
Film world and film glamour are dangerous winds and good people turn into unstable state and whiffle-waffle and flutter like a leaf fallen from a firmly rooted tree, and find it hard to cope up. Leela’s first marriage broke with a crash. She met a Sindhi business man on the way to Karachi on a boat to act in a Pancholi film. Married and added a number of children to her ever growing uncertain life.
However she acted in about hundred films and directed two three films and wrote plays and artistically had sumptuous life. But did not find answer to that quest “Bata do koi kawan gali more Shyam” but she did a very good acting in the film “Hum Dono” singings “Allah Tero Naam.”
Shalan Lal

18 Dinesh K Jain December 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm

AK #4. Thanks for your words of encouragement. Nonetheless, let me say, in all honesty, that while I am learning much about our ‘ancient’ music from being a member of the SoY, or about our songs of yore as you have put it, my ‘yore’ does not quite coincide with your yore! To recall what I mentioned to you when you first broached about your website with me, to me the best Hindi film music was, still, created between mid-50s and mid-60s. Naturally, I do not like my music by any labels including dates or MDs or singers, but by what appeals to my ear and to my taste. Thus, my own list of ‘best’ songs largely comprises songs from the said period, although it also has a song or two from the 40s and likewise from the 70s onward almost till date.

Just so you know where I stand exactly. And, yet, I will be glad if you allow me continued membership of the SOY group notwithstanding my frank disclosure.

19 AK December 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Shalan Lal,
First, thanks a lot for your very generous words. Leela Chitnis played the quintessential Bharatiya Nari. It is difficult to imagine she had such a turbulent and unconventional personal life. Something to do with showbiz! Saraswati Devi did manage to create some memorable songs, especially duets, in her voice. Barring that she would be hardly known as a singer.

20 AK December 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Dinesh,
Kabir said:
निन्दक नियरे राखिये आंगन कुटी छवाय 😄
You will remain an honoured member and a dear friend.

21 ASHOK M VAISHNAV December 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Presenting ‘vintage’ Naushad on hand does brings in some great songs on one page for the readers of SoY and on the other hand presents an early creative period of Naushad.
This was the period when music directors had to integrate voices of a wide range of singers in their tunes and compositions and yet have to come up with a commercial success.
The tilt towards female singers was perhaps a necessity of that period . However, we can still look forward to such posts which may focus on male songs or duets as matter of definitive choice.

22 Subodh Agrawal December 8, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Although I won’t go as far as Dinesh, I too am not very fond of the songs of the forties and earlier. For me the best period of Hindi film music begins in late forties – around 1948 and ends in middle sixties. Still, older songs have a simple charm that is undeniable. It is also a contribution to my musical knowledge to hear the voices of singers whose names I had not heard earlier.

Thanks to my mother I searched for and found a song ‘Nagri meri kab tak yun hi barbad rahegi’ from ‘Man ki Jeet’ (1944) by a singer named Sitara Kanpuri. Do you have anything more on her?

23 AK December 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

Subodh,
Welcome back after a long gap. It is surprising that you should be diffident about pre-1948 songs. I had fascination for the vintage era from the very beginning which got strengthened when you introduced me to indianscreen.com.

There is some information on Sutara Kanpuri on Cineplot.com. She was born in 1920s, was introduced as a singer by WZ Ahmed in Man Ki Jeet (1944). She sang in 7 films in all: Meerabai (1947), Pagdi (1948), Saajan Ka Ghar (1948), Apradhi (1949), Rangeela Rajasthan (1949) and Rasheed Dulhan an unreleased film of the 1940s. She is often confused with Sitara Devi, the famous actor-singer and Kathak dancer. An easy test is if Sitara Devi was not in the star cast of the film, the singer should be usually Sitara Kanpuri.

24 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

AK ji,

Here is some information about Sitara kanpuri…

Sitara Kanpuri or Sitara of Kanpur or Sitarabai Kanpurwali was born in Cawnpore(Kanpur-UP) in 1923 in a courtisan’s family and so her father’s name is not known.
She did not have formal schooling,but sang wonderfully.she started singing on Radio.She was an expert in Bhajans,Thumari and Gazals.
W.Z.Ahmed,who was also from Kanpur heard about her singing,heard her once and took her to his office in Bombay.She was so excited that without delay,she put her thumb on the contract put forth.The contract restricted her to sing only for Ahmed’s Shalimar studio productions for 10 years. She sang her first song,’nagari meri kab tak’ in Mann ki jeet-1944 for Neena ( real name Shahida-she was the wife of the brother of Renuka Devi the actress. She was a plain simple house wife,who was lured by Ahmed and made actress Neena and his wife),who was Ahmed’s wife.later she also sang in prithwiraj sanyukta-46 and Meerabai-47.In the free times she was allowed to do private jalsa for her living.
After Partition,Ahmed and Neena left for Pakistan,taking with them the prints of their films(like most others who left India) and Sitara was free to sing free lance now.She sang in Saajan ka ghar-48, Pugree-48,Aparadhi-49, Rangeela Rajasthan and Rasheed Dulhan -50.
After this she simply vanished into thin air !

25 Ashok Kumar Tyagi December 9, 2015 at 4:58 pm

AK ji,

Though we are discussing vintage songs of Naushad, a truly outstanding MD, in some of the comments above one notices that favourite period for some connoisseurs is 1948-66 or 1954-70 or thereabouts. One theory is that individuals best remember the songs that were current when when they were aged between 5-25 years or thereabouts. Anyway, what is being taken as the golden period had an advantage over the vintage period. In the vintage period, film music was just developing. Early songs were recorded live, therefore minimal use of instruments was possible. When playback, particularly use of specialist singers as different from actor-singers, developed in the forties, MDs experimented with larger assembly of instruments. Around 1948 or thereafter Naushad, Khemchand Prakash and their contemporaries started using full, well arranged orchestra. If we listen carefully the song ‘Dil mein chhupa kar pyar ka toofan’ from Aan (1951) we appreciate what wonders could be achieved with a 50-piece orchestra. This use of more instruments gave ‘golden age’ a clear edge over ‘vintage era’. The golden era MDs had a very large resource of excellent playback singers. Add to it their years of painstaking training in Indian classical music and also their study of various folk formats – all these ‘weapons’ in their armoury made them truly great. Post 1970 MDs had the advantage of much better stereophonic recording and also the fact that more and more Indian households had stereo systems still the songs produced could not match the songs of 1935-1970 period.

26 Ravindra Kelkar December 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Dear All,
I tend to agree with the view that the songs from Vintage era do not match up with Golden era. Tyagiji, has given a very plausible explaination for this. The only exception for me is the songs sung by KL Saigal & Noorjahan. They are magnificent. However, let me confess I have not done any thorough study of vintage era, so may be my views can change if I do that. AKji, has done his best to get people interested in Naushad songs from vintage era. A few of the above songs are good, but are not on patch with Golden era.

27 mumbaikar8 December 9, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
I ditto your thoughts but I would add Pankaj Mullick to the exception list.

28 ksbhatia December 9, 2015 at 11:47 pm

AK ji;
Hearing these gems again and again and getting the pleasure of naushad’s magical compositions . To me song no.2…..Chale gaye chale gaye …..is ab initio to the famous Mela song …..Aai sawan rut aai sajan mora ….. by mukesh , shamshad and chorus . Similarly , song no. 10…..Kaun gali ka chhora pukaare ……is pre -construction of Dulari music . Of course one has to take in depth listening .

AK Tyagi’ji ;
I think post 1948 , the recording of songs and back ground score improved tremendously and it was a great pleasure to watch the musical movies of those times like …. Mela, Udan khatola, Babul , Deedar , Dulari ….and lately Mughal E Azam etc. All these movies came before the birth of Stereo system and carried excellent sound effects . To me the release of Mughal E Azam in color and stereo effects looks a little diluted . I can not think Mela would be as good to watch in color version . Colors can not bring the rustic flavour to the country side / village movies . As you stated the Golden era MDs and movie makers had an edge over their counter parts because of the advancement in technology . It slowly had to diminish with the birth of modern times that gave birth to still more technical advancement like stereo , dolby , multi channels sound effects etc. Not only that the canvas also expanded from 35mm to cinema scope , 70mm .,and now to 3D . To the Music lovers I think melody is more important than all these tech. gimmics .

29 AK December 10, 2015 at 1:10 am

Ashok Kumar Tyagiji, Ravindra Kelkar, Mumbaikar8, KS Bhatiaji
You have made some intersting observations about Golden versus Vintage Era. There can’t be any dispute on the point that we all relate more to the Golden Era. Besides the great playback singers and innovations and maturity in orchestration, an important reason is that that is the music we heard most. A good deal of vintage era music we are not aware of. However, it is difficult to say that Golden Era music is necessarily better than Vintage. KL Saigal, Noorjehan and Pankaj Mullick have been mentioned as exceptions. Why not KC Dey and Kana Devi too? Then, whether better or not, while some of us may not be able to relate to Khursheeds, Zohrabai Ambalewalis, Amirbai Karnatakis, I and many of us find them hugely charming. I could summarise it one sentence, ‘old film music’ generally means 1950s and 60s.

KS Bhatiaji,
You have mentioned interesting similarity between Chale gaye chale gaye and Aayi saawan ritu aayi. I had not thought about it.

30 ksbhatia December 10, 2015 at 2:39 pm

AK ji ;
One more song of the likes of…..chale gaye chale gayee .

Hum dard ka afsana duniya ko dikha daiyne ge …..Shamshad &chorus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKmb5rOrxwA

31 Shalan Lal December 12, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Dinesh K Jain @ 18
I read your protest with interest. I would like to say depending of the taste in music just on one’s own ears is a very narrow zone and not fair on so many talents and labour artists take to create the art or have created in the field of humanity. In my childhood when once taken to the concert of a classical Khan Saheb I would say “I can’t stand the howling of this singer. Quickly take me back home”. When I grew up I regretted about my impatience and petulance. But I missed that live experience which I did not store in the inner mind.
It will be nice if we open ourselves give a fair chance to any creation and then pass our opinion however others may not like to swallow it at least there is a satisfaction that you have been fair with the fair chance and keenly have given your attention to it.
We grow and our understanding grows and if we allow ourselves to grow without any pre-judgment and so our vista widens.
One can say that one likes to enjoy one kind of work more than another but then we have to have some founding principles about it and those could stand up and support one all through life genuinely an honest to ourselves.
For a long time I had shut my eyes to the Modern art. I used to make acidic funny remarks about the trends in the modern art. But last thirty years I have now completely changed and I see numerous areas and appreciate the art and the efforts of the artists. I think my vision has been enriched by being open by being fair to myself. In the world there are two famous galleries of Modern Art, one in New York and one in London. These are visited by all kinds of people in throngs like the Indian pilgrims visit to the sacred places like Mathura, Kashi etc.
There was once an exhibition of a Turner Prize winner artist which was very criticized by many from all corners of the media. The cloak-room employee of the art gallery was traditionalist. He put the umbrellas of the visitors in certain arrangement and wrote under it “Failed to win the Turner Prize”. But he too got attention and the Executive of the Gallery remarked, “I’m glad that our exhibition is bringing out art in all kinds of people.” His remark was no sarcasm but in real praise of the worker.
Shalan Lal

32 Shalan Lal December 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

AK @23 and Arun Deshmukh
Until now the singer of the song “‘Nagri meri kab tak yun hi barbad rahegi’ from ‘Man ki Jeet’ (1944), I believed was sung by Sitara Devi. Most of the DJs here who came from the East Africa played this song and always said it was by Sitara Devi. But the knowledge is it was sung by Sitara Kanpurwali. The sad story that WZ Ahmed exploited her illiteracy is very touching and made her a bonded worker for which India is very famous. There is story that a person like Shantaram kept a great actor Chandra Mohan bonded by his bond and did not give him work, all because he asked him a raise in the salary. But in the West these things also happened. The great Hitchcock did worse than that to the heroine of the Birds (1963) Tippi Hendren. This is what she said about him:
“He ruined my career, but he didn’t ruin my life. That time of my life was over. I still admire the man for who he was.”
For me if I am asked to whom you appreciate more?
My answer is “Tippi Hendren” who prefers to go insane and a life of wreck than to succumb to Sir Alfred with all the glorious films he made.”

33 Dinesh K Jain December 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Shalan @ 31. I quite agree with you; thank you.

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