The first duo Husnlal-Bhagatram (2): Their songs for ‘other’ singers

August 11, 2017

(While I had already scheduled the first part and was working on the draft for this part on Husnlal-Bhagatram, I was also in touch with Pt Husnlal’s US-based son, Dinesh Kumar Prabhakar, and Pt Bhagtram’s Mumbai-based son, Ashok Bhagatram Sharma. Communication with Ashokji was difficult as he has kept himself outside the digital word, but I was delighted to get a call from Dineshji who was in Delhi, and I had a most memorable meeting with him and his mother, the 90-year old Nirmala Devi, the wife of late Pt Husnlal. I have incorporated the gist of my conversation with them in the later part of this post.)

Husnlal-BhagatramHusnlal-Bhagatram shone like a meteor very briefly, during 1948-51, when their main singers were predominantly Lata Mangeshkar, Suraiya and Rafi. During this period, they created some absolutely mesmerising songs, but in many songs there was a repetitiveness in the melody and orchestration. In the Golden Era of playback singers, they did not diversify much beyond their above preferred singers. Thus, they were behind the curve when Mukesh and Talat Mahmood were creating waves. However, whenever they used them, HB showed their immense potential, for example in Kismat bigadi duniya badli (Mukesh, Afsana, 1951), or Ai meri zindagi tujhe dhoondhoon kahan (Talat Mahmood, Adal-e-Jahangir, 1955). If there was any doubt that they had a limited range, they dispelled it with an absolutely superb song in Kishore Kumar’s voice (duet with Lata Mangeshkar), Lahron se pooch lo ki kinaaron se pooch lo (Kafila, 1952). We also get a sprinkling of some nice songs in Shamshad Begum’s voice.

Before 1948, it was a kaleidoscope of voices. Their debut film Chaand (1944) had songs in the voices of GM Durrani, Zeenat Begum, Sitara Devi and Manju. Thereafter, in Hum Ek Hain (1946), which was Dev Anand’s debut film, they had an entirely different set of singers, namely Manik Verma, Zohrabai Ambalewali and Amirbai Karnataki. They repeated Zohrabai and Amirbai in a major way in Nargis (1946). But next year, they used Paro Devi as the lead singer in Heera. In the same year, they combined with their elder brother and mentor, Pt Amarnath, in Mirza Sahiban (1947), composing some of the career best songs of Noorjehan. Thereafter, they took to Suraiya, Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi in a big way, dispensing with the vintage era singers. I have covered these three major singers in the first part of my post on Husnlal-Bhagatram. They did use other playback singers occasionally, often creating outstanding songs. Any discussion on HB’s music is incomplete without looking at the immense variety of songs they composed for other singers, both in the vintage and the golden era.

These songs demonstrate that repetitiveness was not the only or the main reason for their decline. In the showbiz, the uncertain element of ‘luck’ also plays a part. HB happened to peak at a time which saw flowering of several talented composers: the doyen Anil Biswas, Naushad, C Ramchandra, and the new kids on the block, Shankar-Jaikishan, who would walk away with their legacy. Nevertheless, HB remain one of our greatest composers.

In conversation with Shrimati Nirmala Devi, wife of (late) Pt Husnlal and their son, Dinesh Kumar Prabhakar

I had mentioned in my earlier post that Dinesh Kumar Prabhakar plays the violin and is based in the US, teaching music there. Earlier he had worked for long years with the AIR and also composed music for several short films. I was in touch with him, and was planning to call him allowing for ten and a half hour time difference, when I was pleasantly surprised to get his call from a local number. Even though he was visiting Delhi in connection with a bereavement in the family (death of Pt Amarnath’s son), he was very kind to welcome me to meet him, his mother and their extended family. The 90-year old Shrimati Nirmala Devi is an amazing lady. She still has a razor-sharp memory and superb knowledge of music and music personalities of that era. She gave me a lot of interesting information, not available elsewhere – for example, the reason why the younger brother Husnlal’s name comes first in the duo’s name. Her talk also revealed that other family commitments, too, in Delhi were contributory factors for their decline in the film music.

Shrimati Nirmala Devi speaks about her husband (late) Pt Husnlal

DD Kashyap, who was directing Chaand (1944) for Prabhat Films, wanted to engage Pt Amarnath based in Lahore, who was a towering figure in music. As he was heavily preoccupied, he strongly recommended his younger brother Pt Husnlal who was staying with him and assisting him in Lahore-based films of Pancholi and others, assuring Kashyap that Pt Husnlal was no less talented than him. Pt Amarnath was like a father-figure to his younger brothers, especially to Pt Husnlal. A music session was organized to demonstrate Pt Husnlal’s talent. Kashyap was highly impressed. When it was time for Pt Husnlal to proceed for Poona/Bombay, Pt Amarnath, out of concern for his kid-brother, suggested to Kashyap to also engage Pt Bhagatram with him. Kashyap expressed difficulty in arranging the payment for two as the contract was already made out. Pt Amarnath assured him that he should not bother about increasing the fee, but the two brothers must work together. (Thus it was that Bhagatram got appended to Husnlal, forming the duo HB. Another reason why the younger brother’s name preceded the elder brother was simply the aesthetics – Husnlal-Bhagatram sounding better than the other way around.)

HB became hugely popular. There came a time when 75% of the theatres in Bombay would show HB films. The family had a huge kothi in Versaova and, later, in Chembur near RK Studios. Many struggling music directors were given shelter by the family. Khayyam acknowledges that he owes everything to HB. Roshan also lived in one of the outhouses where Rakesh Roshan was born.

As I was the sole daughter of my father, I had to shift to Delhi to look after the family property. Panditji would visit Delhi from time to time. He started reducing his engagements in Bombay and, finally, shifted to Delhi as his staying in Bombay was becoming untenable. His main interest was in classical music and got busy with teaching and performing in major concerts.

On 28 December 1968, he went out for his morning walk as usual. We didn’t know where exactly he went. When he did not return for several hours, we got worried and started contacting the police. Mandir Marg police station informed us that a dead body had been found which was lying in Willingdon Hospital (now RML Hospital), where he lay peacefully with just a small scratch mark on his forehead. In the hospital records he was mentioned as an ‘unknown body’.

Panditji was tall and handsome and extremely popular for his sweet and helpful nature. He was a pujari of music, he had no other concern. Bhagatram handled the commercial part of the contract etc. Panditji played a major role in teaching Lata Mangeshkar the proper accent of Hindi and Punjabi-style songs. She was the daughter of a very famous music personality, and was gifted by Saraswati. Uma Devi (Tuntun) and Kishori Amonkar too learned from him for some time.”

I and my wife heard her mesmerized and didn’t realise how an hour and a half passed by. The family was concerned that she was straining herself, but she obviously loved to meet the lovers of songs of yore. I told the family in a lighter vein that such engagements would keep Mataji fit for many many years. You can have a brief glimpse of the amazing lady in this short clip I recorded impromptu and she very sportingly obliged.

Dineshji also sent me some nice pictures which I am presenting below.

Husnlal-Bhagatram in rehearsal with Rafi     Pt Husnlal in rehearsal session before recording

I am delighted to present the diverse side of HB’s talent in the second part of my tribute to them.

1. Do dilon ko ye duniya milne bhi nahi deti by Manju from Chaand (1944), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

Manju had two songs, Angadai teri hai bahana and Jhoothe hain sab sapne suhane, in Naushad’s Rattan in the same year. Rattan went on to become a trail-blazer. That is a matter of luck. Manju sang several more songs in her career, but Do dilon ko ye duniya by HB in their debut film remains by far the best. The itinerant singer playing the harmonium slung around his neck has been used in many songs. HB would do it again with stunning effect in Chup chup khade ho zaroor koi baat hai.

2. Mere dilruba aa ja by Sitara Devi from Chaand (1944), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

The term ‘Item dance’ or ‘Item song’ number has come into vogue recently, but our films had item dancers from the very early days. The most famous item dancers of the vintage era are Azurie and Cuckoo. Here is a terrific item dance-song by Sitara Devi set to an Arabic tune. As the dance gets hotter, the excited onlookers can’t help whistling. Finally, all the men surround Sitara and dance in unison, she enjoying herself thoroughly all the while. Fans of Anil Biswas might remember, he had composed an item dance number for Sitara Devi two years earlier in Roti (Sajna saanjh bhai), but HB’s composition is more frothy.

3. Ae dil mujhe rone de by GM Durrani from Chaand (1944), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

GM Durrani was the leading singer of his time and an idol of Rafi in his early days. However, there was a sameness in Durrani’s singing; thus, he stood no chance when Rafi blossomed in full flow. But Ae dil mujhe rone de is a very nice song from his heydays.

4. Aye hain balma din pyare pyare by GM Durrani and Zeenat Begum from Chaand (1944), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

All the eleven songs of Chaand are very enjoyable. I introduce the fourth singer from this film, Zeenat Begum, singing a joyous duet with GM Durrani, picturised on the lead pair Beguam Para and Prem Adib, as they go on a joy ride in a car, with the lady on the wheel.

5. Ho nadiya kinare mora gaaon re by Manik Verma from Hum Ek Hain (1946), lyrics PL Santoshi

You see a graceful dance by Cuckoo, which must be one of her earliest appearances, accompanied by two other dancers. Manik Verma was better known as a classical singer.

6. Ye to bata mere khuda lut gaya by GM Durrani from Nargis (1946), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

This is a very melodious song in the voice of GM Durrani.

7. Roti aankhon mein teri yaad liye jaati hun by Amirbai Karnataki from Nargis (1946), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

8. Chale aana more Raja wada yaad kar ke by GM Durrani and Paro Devi from Heera (1947), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

Here is a Punjabi-folk based duet which would delight the lovers of vintage songs.

9. Aa ja tujhe afsana judaai ka sunayein by Noorjehan from Mirza Sahiban (1947), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music Pt Amarnath and Husnlal-Bhagatram

I don’t know how much credit should go to HB for Mirza Sahiban, which they composed with their elder brother and mentor, Pt Amarnath. Pt Amarnath passed away during the making of the film; therefore, HB must have had a major role in its music. This YT link credits the song to them. This is easily one of the best songs of Malika-e-Tarannum Noorjehan.

10. Haye re ud ud jaye mera reshami dupattawa by Zohrabai Ambalewali, Shamshad Begum and Noorjehan from Mirza Sahiban (1947), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music Pt Amarnat and Husnlal-Bhagatram

If Zohrabai and Shamshad Begum join with Noorjehan, you can imagine they would create a blast. You can compare this with their protégé SJ’s song on the same theme of a dupatta flying away – Hawa mein udata jaye mera laal dupatta malmal ka.

11. Saamne gali mein mera ghar hai by Zohrabai Ambalewali from Mirza Sahiban (1947), lyrics Aziz Kashmiri, music Pt Amarnath and Husnlal-Bhagatram

You can never tire of Cuckoo’s dance. There was oomph as well as grace about her. If the voice is of Zohrabai, it is sone par suhaga.

12. Haath seene pe jo rakh do to qaraar aa jaye by GM Durrani and Noorjehan from Mirza Sahiban (1947), lyrics Aziz Kashmiri, music Pt Amarnath and Husnlal-Bhagatram

I didn’t mean to fill up this post with the songs of Mirza Sahiban, all the ten of which are outstanding. But this GM Durrani-Noorjehan duet is too good to be left out.

13. Itne door hain huzoor kaise mulaqat ho by Surinder Kaur from Pyar Ki Jeet (1948), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

To HB goes the credit of recording Surinder Kaur’s first song for Hindi films in Pyar Ki Jeet – Kabhi panghat pe aa ja mere raja which was a chorus song with Suraiya and Meena Kapoor. Here is a very melodious solo by her. (Shaheed was released earlier, and Surinder Kaur became identified with Badnaam na ho jaaye mohabbat ka fasana from that film.)

14. Tere aane par dil dhadke tere jane par dil roye..Tera aana tera jana, na ye achchha na wo achchha from by Geeta Dutt from Hamari Manzil (1949)

Geeta Roy (Dutt) was the lead singer in Hamari Manzil. Here is a nice song for her fans.

15. Ho kaale kaale baadal chhaye piya by Mukesh and Shamshad Begum from Apni Chhaya (1949), lyrics PL Santoshi

This has appeared earlier on SoY. But worth a repeat as it must be one of the best Mukesh-Shamshad Begum duets.

16. Manwa mein pyar dole sara sansar dole by Mukesh and Zohrabai Ambalewali from Sartaj (1950), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

A repeat again, but what an absolutely delightful song.

17. Mohabbat ka dono ke dil par asar hai by Shamshad Begum from Afsana (1951), lyrics Asad Bhopali

Gorgeous dance by Cuckoo to a gorgeous song by Shamshad Begum, set to music equally brilliantly by HB.

18. Lehron se pooch lo ya kinaron se pooch lo by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Kafila (1952), lyrics Vrajendra Gaur

19. Ae meri zindagi tujhe dhoondhun kahan by Talat Mahmood from Adal-e-Jahangir (1955), lyrics Qmar Jalalabadi

This also has a twin version in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. No prizes for guessing which version is better.

20. Yah kah do chaand taaron se…Hai zindagi itni haseen by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle from Apsara (1961), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi

I have to thank Mahesh for introducing me to this melodious Talat Mahmood-Asha Bhosle duet. A befitting song to end this post with which shows HB’s talent with a variety of singers and styles.

Acknowledgements and notes
1. Dinesh K Prabhakar has since gone back to the US. His website is here. You can view his music videos on YT in the account dkp3650.
2. I am grateful to Arunkumar Deshmukh for giving me contact number of Ashok Bhagatram Sharma, though it didn’t lead to much; and to KS Bhatia for the contact details of Dinesh K Prabhakar.
3.  It transpires that while the three brothers, i.e. Pt Amarnath and H-B were very fond of each other, Bhagatram’s descendants have become estranged from the branch of the other two brothers.
4. The video clip of Shrimati Nirmala Devi had some disturbances. Our very enthusiastic senior DP Rangan has been a great help in cleaning it up.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 11, 2017 at 10:18 am

AK ji,
Great work done !
An excellent achievement !!
Superb efforts on behalf of HFM lovers!!!
Thanks.
Words fail me in congratulating and appreciating you for this work, which only a true worker of HFM can understand. I hope you will think of writing a book on all the film related personalities you have met so far, for the benefit of music lovers and for documentation.
Thanks again from my heart.
-AD

2 Ashok M Vaishnav August 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

I fully and wholeheartedly second Arunkumarji.

This article has become a collector’s piece.

3 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm

A priceless post! I look forward to savouring it at leisure over the weekend!

4 AK August 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Arunji,
Thanks a lot for your overwhelming praise. I was lucky to meet with Shrimati Nirmala Devi. Earlier too, it was sheer coincidence that led me to Minoo Mumtaz. I have not made any conscious effort to meet film related personalities.

Several years before blogging, I could have direct access to Ravi and Vyjayanthimala, but there was no particular reason to meet with them. Today I realise I missed a golden opportunity.

You do have a book within you. Your output is already there on the net, it needs to be given a shape.

Thanks a lot again for your appreciation.

5 AK August 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Ashokji, Ashwin
Thanks a lot for your generous compliments.

6 Mahesh August 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm

AK ji,
I have just had a glance at the post, but am still commenting, because I would like to savour all the comments too of this beautiful post.
Will read in detail at weekend.
I was expecting the Chhoti Bhabhi song also.

7 Ravindra Kelkar August 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm

AK Ji,
Great work done for posterity. I feel you have a great knack of accomplishing such things. The SOY blog is running at full speed mainly because of your personal skills.
It’s good to see two posts on HB in quick succession. They deserve it for sure.
I will listen to the songs in due course of time….

8 AK August 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Mahesh,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I had to leave some songs. Your song adorns the post as the concluding song.

Mr Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I was lucky to meet with Dineshji, Shrimati Nirmala Devi and their family. We are lucky that she is still around and with all her faculties intact.

9 Gaddeswarup August 12, 2017 at 2:54 am

Very nice article. Is it Amirbai in the number7 song?

10 AK August 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

Gaddeswarupji,
Thanks a lot. Yes, it is Amirbai Karnataki in song #7. I have mentioned her name in the song title as the singer.

11 ksbhatia August 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

AKji ;

This is just amazing article, a travel show for me with HB melodies . Simple straight forward and down to the core of gentlemen with no hangups with any one . As said earlier , I had a number of oppertunities to have seen and hear them whenever they visited our school where Dinesh Prabhakar and Ashok were also studying .

My quick hearing of HB songs do point out about their styling of orchestra that as ahead of their times . Competing with other stalvert of course were not their motto . The dance number by cuckoo do however indicate that some year latter Gulam Mohd. came up with a very improved version in…..more ghunghar wale bal….song by shamshad .

Talat’s song …..Aye meri zindgi tujhko dhundun kahan……takes away cake from the rest …..as far as composition is concerned.

12 Mahesh August 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Only solo of Mukesh with HB (Afsana 1951). It has a shorter version too

https://youtu.be/ycKpiISv290

Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur in HB’s last film (Sher Afghan 1966)

https://youtu.be/yEjlIZTYhec

13 D P Rangan August 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

AK
A perfect foil to the earlier part. Both of them can fit like a jigsaw puzzle.
A brilliant write up to go along and my cup is full. Your interview of the grand matron is the icing on the cake. What I did was just like a tailor mending old clothes. I considered myself fortunate I could do the minor repair.
You must go ahead and cover other vintage MDs. where records are available or can be gathered.

14 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm

An observation: The tune of the mukhda of ‘Saamne gali mein mera ghar hai’ is the same as that of the mukhda of Madan Mohan’s ‘Saanwari surat man bhaayi re piya’ from Ada (1951).:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNegUh24wwE

15 AK August 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
Thanks a lot for the correction. It is amazing how I missed it even when you mentioned it.

16 AK August 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
I am happy the post brought you nostalgic memories. Now it should be possible to renew your contacts with Dineshji.

Mahesh,
Kismet bigadi duniya badali is quintessential Mukesh. Ae bahar-e-zindagi too is a very nice song. Seldom heard, thanks for reviving its memory.

DP Rangan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. And also, thanks for your help with the video. Get well soon.

Ashwin,
To me, Saanwri surat man bhaayi re piya seems to have 2 or 3 matras more, and the tune, too, different, but you are the expert.

17 Shalan Lal August 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

The second part is more interesting than the first one. HB got singers like Nurjehan, Surinder Kaur, Rafi, Lata, Samshaad, Geeta and the brothers achieved monumental blue plaque in the Hindi Filmy songs of Yore.

And we now are enjoying the beginning of the golden era and Vintage era at the same time. Wonderful!

18 AK August 12, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot. The second part has more variety of singers, tunes and orchestration.

19 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 12, 2017 at 6:25 pm

AK @ 16,

Compare the tune of the segment ‘Saamne gali mein mora ghar hai’ with the tune of the segment from 0.23 to 0.26 (‘tori saanwari soorat man bhaayi’ minus ‘tori’) of the MM/Lata song.

Both songs are set to a 4-matra rhythmic cycle.

20 AK August 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Ashwin,
Now it is the same meter.

21 mumbaikar8 August 13, 2017 at 4:21 am

AK,
You constantly spring surprises. I will add to what Ravindra Kelkar has said, along with great personal skill you do it with unfathomable enthusiasm and passion too!
Great work! Song collection is great too. Itne door ai huzoor is personal favorite.
One complaint though:) you could have done by keeping Lata out as this one is for other singers.
Kishore has an equally good solo in Kafila
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C6B6WmTC2w

22 AK August 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Mumbaikar8,
Thanks a lot for your compliments. Your complaint accepted – since it was about the ‘other’ singers, I should have taken care to remove the impurity. But I chose the more famous song. Besides, Lahron se poochh lo is an absolutely marvellous song. But thanks a lot for adding Wo meri taraf yun chale aa rahe hain.

23 ksbhatia August 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

AK ji; @16 ;
I am expecting to meet Dinesh ji during our Butlarian school meet , some time around 25 th Dec ,2017 when school will be celebrating Hundered years of its existence .

D P Rangan ji ;

Good to see you are back . Blog is good when you are around .

24 Mehfil Mein Meri August 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

AK ji,
As usual a wonderful article.
I liked it many many folds, as compared to part I, if I may say so!
This part had so much to read, so much to listen to, and so much to see!
It shade more light on HB’s glorious days, which remained less known so far.
Thanks for this article.
The song, Hay re Ud Ud Jaye from Mirza sahiban was amazing!
I had other few songs from the film, but this was unknown to me.
The Same is with, Chand, which is best known for, Do dilon ko yeh duniya. The other songs are also nice.
You really take a lot of efforts for any article,
Thanx again!
🙂

25 Subodh Agrawal August 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

AK, I fully endorse what Ravindra Kelkar and Mumabaikar8 have said about your passion and commitment. Even thinking up of so many different themes is a task by itself; writing such well-researched posts on them in your lucid style is a great achievement. May your source of inspiration never run dry. Hopefully I will be around when SoY celebrates its Silver Jubilee.

This post had many unfamiliar songs for me and I enjoyed each one of them. This has been a real treat. Thank you.

26 Shekhar August 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm

May I add four tid-bits to this excellent and comprehensive article on H-B duo:
(1) Husnlal sang a duet with Amirbai Karnataki in Hum Ek Hain (1946): “ Wo boli, wo boli, wo boli, …din aaye hain ab to bahaar ke”, which is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/DKmekpEPt3c.
(2) H-B recorded Lata’s arguably the first hit – a duet with Premlata in Badi Bahen (1949): “Chup-chup khadey ho zaroor koi baat hai”, which is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/M-U7RfFoztU.
(3) Husnlal persuaded a very nervous Meena Mangeshkar to sing an ever so sweet duet in FarmaIsh (1953) with Rafi: “Aap’ne Chheen Liya Dil”, which on YouTube at https://youtu.be/eNzL7MzPzXU.
(4) There is some good information on Cinepot dated 08 Nov 2009 at http://cineplot.com/husnlal-bhagatram.

27 Ashok Kumar Tyagi August 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm

AK ji
An excellent post created after a lot of work – research, reaching the concerned persons, penning down their views and so on.

Thanks

28 AK August 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Anup,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

Subodh,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Silver Jubilee was not in my thoughts. I had thought of pausing after the 10th Anniversary. But, Insha Allah.

Shekhar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Thanks for adding the Husnlal-Amirbai Karnataki duet.

I would differ with you slightly on one point. Lata Mangeshkar’s first great hits were in 1948: Chanda re ja re ja re and Yaad rakhna chaand taaro is suhani raat ko.

Tyagiji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

29 RSR August 13, 2017 at 10:40 pm

“Lata Mangeshkar’s first great hits were in 1948: Chanda re ja re ja re “.
———————————————————————————
Unlike most later songs by other directors, this song’s stanza keeps on going along a winding path with new turns.
I have heard that song. Nice. ..It was by Khemchand Prakash in Ziddi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaQqQQygC1U

30 Shekhar August 14, 2017 at 4:42 am

AK@28 and RSR@29,
I totally agree with you both. Both numbers that you have mentioned are far superior to the later Badi Bahen number that I have mentioned in musical quality and being evergreens.
But when I called it “hit”, I meant it in the sense of “instant popularity”. We got our first radio in 1952 and I heard the Badi Bahen number umpteen times rather than the other two.
The next Lata number to make waves, according to me, was under the baton of Khemchand Prakash in Mahal (1949): Aayega Aane Waala.

31 N Venkataraman August 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

Akji,
Thanks for another interesting article. I would like to endorse what others have said about your passion, commitment and inspiration. Enjoyed the variety of songs presented.

32 AK August 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Venkataramanji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am happy you enjoyed the post.

33 RSR August 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Sri.Sekar @ 30-> Glad that you like the Ziddi song… To tell the truth, I heard a number of very early Lata classics ( according to me anything earlier than 1952), only in later years (around 1968 or so) through a Long playing record. My impressions are all through recorded music only. I think that is what counts. ( the tune) Neither the video nor even the lyrics. Of course, sometimes, the picturization of the song and the poetic beauty of the lyrics may add value but my feeling is that very often they take away the greatness of the tune and singing. That is why I suggest that we can omit the video and give just the audio as mp4 with the picture of the SINGER/SINGERS only and not the actual scene from the film. An good example is the pages in dustedoff.
https://madhulikaliddle.com/2009/09/05/anuradha-1960/#comment-56181
There are images but no videos. Why not try that format experimentally for one of the future writeups?

34 Mehfil Mein Meri August 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

How about this duet by Lata & S D Batish from surajmukhi 1950
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L06GTsB6dME

Also, i think husnalal has sung a duet with Lata, i couldnt remember it at present!
May be someone remember it

35 Mehfil Mein Meri August 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

Also, a solo from the same film, by geeta dutt,
door se ek pardesi aaya
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTWq9SHgG-o

36 Mehfil Mein Meri August 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

Ae chand zara sun le from pyar ki manzil
1950
lata & husnalal
the above two duets, i suggested as the other singer is other than rafi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHM6RMQTNbA

37 Shalan Lal August 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

RSR @ 33

Your understanding and keen desire to appreciate the tune is good.

But often the recorded song is different than the song in the film. This is due to the need for getting the songs on the records before they were shot on the film so as the people would get interested in the films and also it would help the shooting as well.

For example “Tunhe Hai Mere Dil Ke” of Lata in the film “Nagina” shot on Nutan was a dis appointment for me as I heard the song many times before I saw the film

In one of this memories C.Ramchandra says that many times Shashsdhar Mukharjee the producer and owner of the Filmistan Studio dismissed his songs as they were no musically fit.

But he would do the trick to play the Recorded songs in the studios canteen for the workers and ask the workers to hum them when Shashsdhar would be passing by.

It would work with many of his songs.

I often did not like the shot songs on the films as recorded songs created different images in the head about the songs.

Any way each has own way of appreciating the songs.

Shalan

38 RSR August 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Shalan @ 34 -> Yes. It happens often. All the more reason to dissociate the song record from the visuals especially video. …’Yeh zindagi usi ki hai ‘in Anarkali, the video is in perfect sync with the song. But not so the dance number by Padmini to the lovely song by Lata (CR) ‘mere man ka bawra panchi’. The song has 90% classical ingenuity and creativity of some hindusthani ragam, ( as often is the case with CR+Lata )_ but ill-fitting in that particular scene, It may be that CR composed that tune without having any idea of the actual scene and Lataji sang that in the same state . ..Again in Sharaarath, both the songs by Lata were lilting tunes but sung for not MK but kumkum and someone else. Has spoiled the mental picture .
If there is a provision for adding in-line audio player only, instead of any video , it will be nicer. Some image of the singer always and if suitable, a still image of the scene may be given.
In my experiments with the free google sites, it is very difficult to embed an audio player. but many wordpress sites provide that facility. That would greatly enhance the true mission of this special blog. as it is not about films ( as like Dusted off) but purely for songs of yore and related information and other inputs and links. An experimental trial may help. An example is
https://blog.msstribute.org/ms-repertoire-compositions-dwijendralal-roy-bengali/

39 RSR August 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

just now noticed that google ( and saregama) had blocked the videu. Mine has survived as it is in mp4.
https://sites.google.com/site/homage2mssubbulakshmi/home/05-dhano-dhanya-pushpa-varaan
Huge number of unwary sites and pages are killed by this habit of posing from youtube. We must find a solution.

40 RSR August 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm

sharing the scene for ‘mere man ka’ from the thamizh version. The tune fits well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=366anCNoN_s
( the lyrics are more apt)
—————————————————————-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWq71KOIRSM
another nice song and scene.
—————————————————————

41 ksbhatia August 19, 2017 at 12:01 am

Ms. Shalan Lal , RSR ,

I partially differ on sole input of songs without visuals . Visuals certainly adds to the pleasure of listening songs ; but not always…..like Mukesh song….Kabhi dil dil se takaraya to hota . The song is beautiful to listen but on screen the hero just appeared as a solid wood with no expressions at all and the director just made number of blunders by keeping the camera in a fixed position .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSk7K2619s

On the other hand watch the songs ……pyar kiya to darna kya….a complete visual treatment so entertaining . All the actors gave beautiful magnetic and intense expressions on each word, line and phrase of the song . Over and above cinematographer M M Malohtra did an exceptional work that caught the expressions of actors in each frame so brilliantly , highlighting the intensity of the situation . To this add the sound effects and inputs of other production values . For me it is a total experience getting the best of all dept.working at one place . This was true for R K Production also. I did made some observations on R K movies in some other article highlighting the magnificient achievments vis a vis the great inputs by the production house .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Au_J6jHKE0

Now , come to the master craftsman …..Mehboob Khan’s touch of class….. shooting and capturing the mood of the star players Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in the song…..Tere sadke balam . I think this is a milestone ……..a Tag that many other production houses should try to achieve . No doubt such songs are beauty to listen on your stereo player with all the inhance digital bass and treble inputs ; but watching visuals on Mp4 is more of a charm where one sees other production values as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlTdU5C3lpo

Lastly i hate the remaking , recoloring and added digital sound effects to the original production . It teases your brain of what original you have stored in your mind.

42 AK August 19, 2017 at 12:39 am

RSR, Bhatiaji,
Most bloggers embed what is available on the internet; it is cumbersome to embed an audio player and download MP3 versions or convert video format to MP3. If someone is doing that, hats off to him for his perseverance and technical competence. If the video is poor, I choose a better quality audio YT link (but that is still video format). That is the practical part of it. Frankly, the readers do not bother about these technical details, as long as they find the content interesting and they are able to play the songs.

To endorse KS Bhatiaji, the picturisation is an important part of many songs. Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor are famous for song picturisations. All the vintage dance songs of Cuckoo, Azurie, Mumtaz Ali and so many others have to be ‘seen’ to be enjoyed. In the modern era, it is more so. Khaike paan banaraswala and Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera naachi re are not only about Kishore Kumar’s singing, but also about Amitabh Bachchan’s tremendous screen performance. The same goes for Ek chatur naar. One can multiply such examples.

43 RSR August 19, 2017 at 10:33 am

Bhatiaji @ 41-> Respected Sir, I think, we are on the same wavelength. ‘partially’ is the keyword. Most songs for dance numbers by Vyjayanthi should be given with video only. RK was a master craftsman as producer. No second opinion about it. If the tune,lyrics, acting, background music etal are in sync, the video will indeed be a must . but mostly they are best avoided. .. The experience of listening to ‘Raja ki aayegi baraat’ by Lata in Aah is different when seen in film.
As a compromise, may I suggest that mp4 with a still picture may be given as done in dusted off site and optional link to the tube?( just as it happens when readers give links to sites) The idea is just to make our blog site even more famous. No criticism is meant.

44 RSR August 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

Sri.AKji @ 42-> 1) it is very easy to extract the mp3 from youtube video… just try for any one tube video and see how easy it is!
https://mp3toolbox.net/
It is perfectly legal. No technical expertise is needed.
After getting the mp3 you can add it to your own site page ..you already have gmail-id. ( say, https://sites.google.com/site/soysongs‘ and create the page for the song and just add the file at the bottom. lyrics can be added at your convenience. /comments may or may not be allowed. /This would enable listeners to download the song as mp3. Would it not be nice?

45 Shalan Lal August 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Comments numbers 41-44
The discussion is very intelligent and the level is high.

Without the idea of the film the songs often create the desire to see the film and may not be matched by the director. But the songs have to have basic elements for the visuals.

Even with many skilled artists the visuals often are very boring e.g. the song “Yahan Badala Wafa…” the two artists DK and Nurjehan tired me to watch them as they were in a fixed position and had very little skills of acting was imparted by them But Rafi and Nurjeahn in their voices were dynamic..

The fixed positional song “Aba Mera Kaun Sahara” from “Barasaat” was watchable even RK was there in absence and as the director and lover of Nargis. But he should have done more as he has done in the film “Aah” the song “Aaja Re ….” the two fixed positional artists convince the agony and the atmosphere as well.

The songs in the film Malhar were excellent but the filming of them and the artists involved were not very good. But the songs light up on the records and forgetting their filming help to appreciate the tune, orchestrations and the intensity of the singers etc.

I think this subject will be good for a post then readers may like to tell us what works and what does not work?

Shalan

46 RSR August 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Sri.AK ji, I am sorry for the error in 44. The site for converting youtube to mp3 is at http://convert2mp3.net/en/index.php?p=home
————————————————————————————–
After converting to mp3 and downloading into our drive folder, we can use mp3toolbox to convert mp3 file into a simple mp4 with a suitable image( just one image). The image may be of the singer/s or the scene of the song .
—————————–
we can share the mp3/mp4 through gmail with all our friends.
——————————
The songs that you have mentioned in this post are all precious. Forum members would like to have them stored in their own device and listen at their convenience. perhaps again and again.
——————-
Shalan ji-> Glad that you approve.the purpose of the post .Thank you

47 chellamani August 20, 2017 at 7:46 am

AKji

Excellent and very informative write up on HB’s songs with Others…

Thanks a lot .

48 AK August 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

Chellamani,
You are welcome. I am happy you enjoyed the post.

49 AK August 20, 2017 at 9:36 am

RSR,
Thanks a lot for the information.

50 N Venkataraman August 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Mr.RSR, Shalanji, AKji, Bhatiaji,
Thanks for the interesting and erudite discussion.

51 Shalan Lal August 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

AK and other Sangee Premi readers

There are plenty of rare informations AK has collected about HB pair and their relatives. The Picture Pt Husnalal in rehearsal is extremely good.

I wonder if the people in the picture could be identified. It will help to understand which song is being rehearsed as well.

I wonder why a Brahmin Pundit (Kashmir Origin) has been given the Urdu worded name? Was it a Kashmiri/Punjabi custom to have Urdu names in their Baradari?

Shalan

Shalan

52 Ashok Kumar Tyagi August 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Maybe Urdu language is considered a language developed through the marriage of Farsi language with some of the dialects of Northwest/Central India. Nehru ji somewhere stated that Army Camps, where people speaking different dialects stayed together for lengthy periods, enabled development of Urdu language. Therefore Hindus having Urdu names is no surprise. Names like Iqbal Singh/Haakim Singh are common.
Thanks

53 AK August 21, 2017 at 4:57 am

Shalan Lal,
I was also curious to identify the persons in the picture and asked Dineshji for the same, but he has not responded.

Shalan Lal, Tyagiji,
There is a reverse influence t00. For example, Ayub Pandit – Muslims carrying Pandit surnames in Kashmir, probably because they were more literate and respected (that was in the good old days).

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