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Mukesh : The 'one-song' Celebrity .....

, Give him just one song and he turns it into a lifetime hit!

 
 
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> Mukesh : The 'one-song' Celebrity ....., Give him just one song and he turns it into a lifetime hit!
Reeth
post Nov 27 2007, 12:34 AM
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A one-song celebrity is normally a performer who has had only a single major hit in his lifetime. In the case of Mukesh Chand Mathur, however, the remarkable thing is: given him only Chal ri sajni to sing in the 'Bombai Ka babu' background and he turns it into a lifetime hit! Leaving our best male singer ever, Mohammad Rafi, wondering what it was his saathi na koi manjil, going on 'Bombai ka Babu' Dev Anand himself, so lacked that Mukesh managed to get his thoroughbred head past him in the popularity stakes!

Do not forget that Chal ri sajni was first given to Kishor Kumar to render. ButKishor diplomatically turned it down, since the song was not on Dev Anand. whose main voice in 'Bombai Ka Babu' was friend-cum-rival Rafi!. It was 'Surile Sangeetkar' Brij Bhushan (as Ameen Sayani styled him) who first drew my attention to the Mukesh phenomenon.

"My best composition in Shatrughan Sinha's 'Milap ' was the one with the refrain, Mere saathi meri awwaj ke peechee chale aao, so superbly rebdered by Rafi. yet it was not this song but Mukesh only song in 'MIlap', Kayi sadiyon se, kayi janmon se that caught the public imagination!," noted Brij.

Brij Bhushan did have a point. Mukesh, even when given just one ball to deliver, had this unfailing gift of coming up with a 'hit-trick'. Take what happened to a Mukesh non-believer like S.D.Burman. Burman had many misgivings about entrusting Chal ri sajni to Mukesh in 'Bombai Ka Babu'. If the Mukesh recording turned out to be unsatisfactory, Burman had Threatened to scrap the song.

Crap! such was the Chal ri sajni spell cast by Mukesh, that Dada Burman was left with no alternative but to call for this " not a good singer " for the atmospheric number in ' Bandini ' in which Nutan waits for the Bengali babu's boat.

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As a ' litmus Mukesh test,' following the impact made by Burman himself as a singer with Sun mere bandhu re' in ' Sujata,' Burman than decided to step in vocally in 'Bandini'. Burman, being the master Bengali folksinger that he was, produced a song of rare Hoogly vintage title O re maanjhi O re maanjhi. But there was Mukesh to confound him all over again, by eclipsing him, at least in popularity, with O jaane waale ho sake to lout ke aana in the same 'Bandini'.

It is on one such 'one time', yet at all the times Mukesh songs (steering clear from duets) I focus here, we can but wonder whether Hemant Kumar with his romance, would really have excelled Mukesh had he, as Salil Chowdhury wanted it, come to render Suhana safar aur ye mausam hansi on Dilip Kumar in 'Madhumati'.

Would even Talat Mahmood have succeeded in producing 'the Mukesh effect' on Dilip with Suhana safar? After all, Dilip Kumar initially wanted Talat to render for him in 'Madhumati' both Suhana safar and Toote hue khawabon ne. How surpassingly Rafi ultimately came to soliloquies Toote hue khawabon ne is a ghosted history of 'Madhumati'. Yet did Rafi's Toote hue displace Mukesh's Suhana safar? No comment, both Rafi and Mukesh are no more...

No composer set up singers in vocal competition with the skill Roshan did. In B.R.Chopra's 'Chandini Chowk', for instance, Roshan had Rafi, in 1954, giving evocative expression to the solo going with the film's titles: Zamin bhi wahin hai wahin asmaan. Yet Roshan always did reserve a special soulfulnes for Roshan, something you came to feel, in 'Chandini chowk', via Majrooh's Humen ai dil kahin le chal bada tera karam hoga.

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Talat,Mukesh,Lata and Rafi...

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Mukesh With Hemant Kumar & MohammadRafi

But enough of comparing Mukesh with a fellow-singer. If only because Mukesh does not need to be compared, to drive home the 'one-song' celeb point. Let us stick to Roshan. Let us take a note of such wistful Mukesh numbers scored by this composer ( as just 'one song by this singer in one film'). Just stir the cobwebs of your imagination to hum Kidar Sharma's Dil ne to diya dokha mohabbat ne sazaa de ('Bedardi'); Tere pyar ko is tarah se bhulana ('Maine Jina Seekh Liya'); Bahut diya dene waale ne tujhko ('Soorat Aur Seerat'); Neeraj's Dekhati hi raho aaj darpan na tum ('Nai Umar Ki Nayi Fasal').

I studiedly mention the song writers in the alliance of Roshan and Mukesh. Why ? Because it is my belief that Roshan was every bit of match to Madan Mohan, in the matter of dressing poetry as music. What is more, Roshan so dressed such poetry that he managed to transmit the soul in Mukesh's voice to the masses as distinct from the classes on whom Madan Mohan's niche rests.

Let us now turn to the man whom even Roshan feared for his caliber as a composer : Anil Biswas. How do the Mukesh classics of Roshan I have noted compare with those of Anil Biswas? Get a hear of what Anil created " for my own Dil jalta hai to jalne de Mukesh": we have Rajendra Krishna's Ae jane jigar dil mein samane aa jaa ('Aaram') and Safdar Aah's Dum bhar ka tha daur khushi ka (' Maan'). Remember, Mukesh was here performing for an Anil Biswas who once slapped the singer when he failed to turn up for a recording. And Mukesh never in his life held that against the elder statesman of our music, Anil Biswas. Such was this performer's dedication.

When we are on class composers, how can we overlook Salil Chowdhury, who rates Mukesh as the best of our male playback singers. Salil's one-song act on Mukesh begins with the never never Shailendra's Zindagi khwab hai (' Jagte Raho ' ) ; a song whose Dil ne humse jo kaha hum ne waise hi kiya has become a national hymn - with Mukesh as our alibi for escaping responsibility!

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Friends Forever

Ww further recall Salil through Mukesh via Kayi baar yun bhi dekha hai (' Rajni gandha ') and Nain hamare saanjh sakare ( an 'Anndaata' composition of which Salil is quite proud. Also through two stand-out Mukesh numbers treasured by connoisseurs: Kisi ne jaadoo kiya main karun kya ( ' Chand Aur Suraj ' ) and Yeh din kya aaye lage phool hasne (' Chhotisi Baat ').


In the face of such results given for Salil by Mukesh. is Dada Burman's prejudice against this singer not shocking? Salil has given credit to Burm for being the lone composer to spot the spark in Kishore Kumar very early, when every other music director ( including Salil ) dismissed him as a clown. Yet S.D.Burman did not change his opinion about Mukesh to the end.

When Dada summoned Mukesh reluctantly for ' Dr. Vidya ' (1962), he had little faith in this singer turning up trumps with Ai dil-e-awaara chal. And S.D.Burman's approach to Mukesh sadly rubbed on to R.D.Burman too; despite Mukesh's producing, for Pancham, the results he did, In a Kishore show like ' Kati Patang ' through three solos, Mukesh through just one Jis gali mein.

It was not as though Pancham alone, among the younger set, did not care for Mukesh though we had R.D.Burman oddly, turning to this singer for the title song of ' Karm ' : Karm kaho kismat kaho chahe kaho taqdeer. As to how Pandit Bharat Vyas, strayed in to B.R.Chopara's Urdu camp to write this one? Search me!

Let us them take those who had no faith in Mukesh first. Jaidev as S.D.Burman chief assistant, just could not bear to hear this singer. And that after Mukesh came for Jaidev in ' Kinare Kinare' with Jab gham-e-isq satata hai.

The only point in common between the music made by Husnlal Bhagatram and JaIdev was that Mukesh was 'out' in the case of both! That after Mukesh gave Husnlal Bhagatram one of their greatest Radio Ceylone hits in Kismat bigdi duniya badli ('Afsana').

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Mukesh With Lata Mangeshkar At A Song Recording

Husnlal Bhagatram once tussled for the no 2 spot in our films in terms of fees with C.Ramchandra, Naushad always being clearly first. And C.Ramchandra, as a good singer himself, shared Husnlal Bhagatram's apathy for Mukesh. It was only after a polite request from Raj Kapoor that C.Ramchandra let Mukesh sing; in 'Sharda' Jap jap jap jap jap re. Only to conclude Mukesh did not fill the bill even on Raj Kapoor and replace him, in the same 'Sharda', with Manna Dey for Raj Kapoor in Duniya ne to mujh ko chood diya.

A decade later (1967), C.Ramchandra relented, saying, "Now days I like Mukesh," and getting this singer to render for him, in ' Wahan Ke Log' Hum tujh se mohabbat kar ke sanam duniya ka fasana bhool gaye. The song proved a hit and I told C.Ramchandra his change of opinion about Mukesh was valueless, since it came at a time when he had lost his prime position in our music world.

C.Ramchandra, even given his fixed views on how a song composed by him should be rendered, could at least have stopped to reflect upon how Mukesh scored an ace with even music directors for whom he sang but the odd one song in the odd film. In this category, never to be forgotten, are Ravi Shankar's Hiya zarat rahat din rain ('Godaan'); Kanu Ghosh's Do roz mein vo pyar ka aalam guzar gaya ('Pyar Ki Rahen'); Iqbal Qureishi's Dar pe aaye hain Qasam le ('Love In Simla'); Sonik-Omi's Jinhe hum bhulana chahe ('Abroo'); Sapan Jagmohan's Main to har mood par tujh ko doonga sadaa ('Chetana'); Sardar Malik's Sun chand meri ye dastaa ('Naag Jyoti'); Babul's Are wah maalik tera jawab nahin ('Naqli Nawab'); and Shyamji Ghanshyamji's Main dhondhata hoon jinko ranton ke khayaloon mein ('Thokar').

All these were but one song by Mukesh in the one film. The classic instance os such a Binaca toper is O.P.Nayyar's Chal akela chal akela going with the titles of 'Sambandh' and a song dismissively allotted to Mukesh. I have all ready quoted O.P.Nayyar's reply to why he never willingly sent for Mukesh again even after a super hit like Chal akela, a song that entered the Geetmala almost a year before 'Sambandh' came and just refused to go away. Said Nayyar : "What, for one Mukesh hit, am I to forget Rafi ?" Nobody ever asked O.P.Nayyar, or any other composer, to forget Rafi or anyone else. Our only point is they should not have had a closed ear on Mukesh.....

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All Times Greats

How Kalyanji-Anandji, as S-J's followers, took to Mukesh like ducks to water! I feel amazed when I glance at the way they came up with hits for Mukesh even while fulfilling my condition of: 'One film , one song. Just take a look at thier range in this category for Mukesh.

Even before Anandji joined him to complete the S-J style duo, Kalyanji Veerji Shah, putting aside his claviolin, gave us the recurring Jain TV hit from 'Bedard Zamana Kya Jane': Naina hain jadoo bhare hi gori terea naina hain jadoo bhare. Once the younger brother joined in to make it a team, Kalyanji-Anandji hits for Mukesh (in our stipulated norm) just flowed. Look as you hear : Socha tha pyar hum na karenge ('Bluff Master'); Hum chood chale hainmehfil ko (Ji Chahta Hai'); Thumak thumak mat chalo hanji mat chalon (Kahin Pyar Na Ho jaye'); Chal mere dil lehra ke chal ('Ishara'); Tu laakhon mein hai ek sanam (birju Ustad'); plus that evergreen which was among the earliest hitsto be written by Anand Bakshi: Chand aahen bharenga ('Phool Bane Angare').

As Kalyanji-Anandji came to be accepted as emulators, not mere imitators, of S-J by the trade and the public alike, their Mukesh offerings, meeting our condition of 'One film, one song', became legendary: Jis dil mein basa tha pyar tera ('Saheli'); Waqt karta jo wafa ('Dil Ne Pukara'); Diwanon se ye mat puchchon ('Upkar'); Kush raho har khusi hai tumhare liye ('Suhag Raat'); Taash ke bawan patte panje chhakke satte ('Tamanna'); and Moti jaisa rang ang mein ('Ansoo Auir Muskaan').

That I need another personal paragraph to complete the Mukesh picture here is a pointer to Kalyanji-Anandji's very special Mukesh charm. Thus you still have left to savour: Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de ('Purab Aur Paschim'); Jo tumklo ho pasand wohi baat kahenge ('Safar'); Zuban pe dard bhari dastaan chali aayee ('Maryada') and Darpan ko dekha tune jab jabkiya singaar ('Upasana').

Do I then owe a sop to Kalyanji-Anandji fir the digs I once had at them, like I did at Ravi? Talking of Ravi, is there a single category in film music in which you can honestly evade mention of this honey-sweet composer? Ravi is right there on Mukesh here, the way we want it, through Tu hai harjai to apna bhi yahi tour sahi ('Tu Nahin Aur Sahi'). Even if it is through a solitary Mukesh song, Ravi qualities as a long-distance runner of our cinema!

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Mukesh,Wife Sarla and Raj Kapoor....

But the composer who has me floored with the 'One-song' variety explored by her on Mukesh is Usha Khanna. What a string of Mukesh hits this resourceful lady has, yet how come she never hit the big time? If it is a Saawan Kumar-written hit on Mukesh by Usha Khanna you want, you have it Barkha raani jara jam ke barso ('Sabak'). But that is the last Usha Khanna's 'One-song' hits for Mukesh. Before that she takes your humming breath away with: Gaa dewane jhoom ke ('Flat No 9'); Meri jaan, meri jaan na zulfen kholo ('Awara Badal'); Teri nigahon pe mar mar gayr hum ('Shabnam') Gori tere chale pe mera dil qurbaan ('Faisala'); Chaand ko kya maalum chahta hai use koi chakor ('Lal Bangla'); Aaj tumse door ho kar aise roya mera pyar ('Ek Raat'); Tere hoton ko teri lali ko tere youvan ki hariyali ko ('Deedar'); and Dhadkanon ke saaz per kya gaa rahi hai zindagi ('Kaun Ho Tum').

Take a bow, Usha Khanna, you are worthy lady competition to the two gentlemen who came to films just a years before you: Kalyanji-Anandji. In this one-song strait jacket, which she wears in a style, Usha Khanna has many more Mukesh hits to credit than ever. Laxmikant-Pyarelal, her one time assistants! L-P's hits for Mukesh ( in our set orbit of 'one song in one film' ): Do rang duniya ke aur ('Do Raste'); tan man dhan sab hai tera ('Manchali'); Mukesh revealing his boat-song expertise all over again with Maanjhi naiya dhoondhen kinaraa ('Uphaar'); and Jane chale jate hain kahan ('Pushpanjali').

If we come to Shankar-Jaikishan so late, it is probably because that film was rare in which this 'duo of duos' had but a single song for Mukesh. This process in the case of S-J, was first seen in operation when Jaikishan was to make a personal screen appearance, singing on the piano in I.S.Johar's 'Begunah' (1957). Naturally, Jaikishan himself first tuned the song. But Shankar decreed, " It is good, but not still good enough for my Jai, when the whole song is to be picturised on him". Saying which, Shankar amended the tune. Call it Shankar's tune, call it Jaikishan's, but there is no denying that Mukesh weaves a vocal web of his own in this ' Begunah' beguiler, Ae pyass-e-dil bezubaan tujh ko le jaaoon kahaan, written to go on Jai not by Hasrat, but by Shailendra.

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The Sangam Team

If Ae payaas-e-dil was the outcome of the S-J duo's joint collaboration, it was Shankar alone who tuned Yeh mera deewana pan hai ('Yahudi'), Jaikishan alone who tuned Raat aur din diya jale ('Raat Aur Din'). Not too many Mukesh 'one-songers' from 'S-J' are there?

But S-J's assistant Dattaram, has a revealing composing array in this direction. Get a feel of Dattaram's Aansoo bhari hain yeh Jeevan ki rahen ('Parvarish'); Dilne use maan liya jiska andaj naya ('Santan'); Dil dhoondhata hai sahare sahare ('Kala Admi'); kabhi kisi ki khushiyaan koi loote na (Zindagi Aur Khwab'); and Ae meri jaan-e-wafaa maine dekha hai ye kya ('Neeli Aankhen'). Shankar brought Dattaram into the S-J fold, but it was with Jaikishan, like with hasrat, that this assistant later tuned. Any wonder the first three of the abovr five Dattaram offerings are written by Hasrat?

Let us take another assistant, Chitragupta, of the classical titan, S.N. Tripathi. this titan created for Mukesh such 'one-song' numbers to remember as Aa laut ke aaja mere meet ('Rani Roopmati') and Jhoomati chali hawa ('Sangeet Samrat Tansen'). But Chitragupta, once he branched out on his own, had his own Mukesh contribution to make via Muft hue badnaam ('Baarat'); and Babam babam bam bam lahri (Ramu Dada'). study the above two sets of two songs to discern how antithetic pupil Chitragupta's style was to his master's.

Remains only to cite certain other Mukesh 'one -timers' I goted down, but could not fit into this framework. Among them are two by Sapan-Jagmohan; Na jaane kahaan kho gaya woh Zamana ('Begana') and Zindagi ke mood per hum tum mile aur kho gaye ('Man Tera Tan Mera'). Then there is Bipin-Babul's duniya mujhko paagal samjhe ya samjhe aawara ('chaubis Ghante'). And if we must add Naushad's kar bhala hoga bhala ant bhale ka bhala (taangewala').

Majrooh, reunited with Naushad, is the unlikely-sounding author of such a train of 'Taangewala' thought. To think Majrooh returned to Naushad (with 'Saathi' in 1968) only when Mukesh, too, did so, two decades after Majrooh's 'Andaz'. Mukesh in 1949 was dominant in Naushad's 'Andaz' repertoire for Dilip Kumar, where Rafi had to settle for the one duet in the film, on Nargis-Raj Kapoor (Yun to aapas mein bigadte hain). But Mukesh, like Talat at this stage took it into his head to turn a hero-and Rafi broke through...

That is how Mukesh came to be reduced to agreeing to sing the odd song in the odd film. Like even S-J could accommodate him, in 'Chhoti Bahen', in only one song. But how singularly noteworthy that one composition turned out to be in the Hasrat-Jaikishan format of Jaaoon kahaan bataa ai dil, duniya badi hai sangdil, chaandni aayee ghar jalane, sujhe na koi manzil.

Even that odd song was an even-toned hit in Mukesh's voice. And that is what makes Mukesh, Shakespeare "season'd with a gracious voice", that 'one-and-only' : Ek din bik jayega maati ke moljag mein rah jayenge pyaree tere bol.....


(Article by Raju Bharatan)









The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

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desai2rn
post Nov 27 2007, 02:08 PM
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Reeth,

A great article . I came across it few months ago. Indeed the only singer who can take a hatrick
with one ball. I am a fan of all the singers of the golden age and appreciate the ones before
them like K. L. Saigal, CH Atam etc. But Mukesh was special. He was Inimitable. No one could
pour the feelings in a song like he did and yet his singing was straight and simple and it got
right to hearts of people. Some once said to be able to sing like Mukesh you had to be as nice
a person as he was. I think it would be hard to find a pesron more humbler and gentler than
Mukesh. Even the people who did not care for Mukesh the singer, like SDB or OPN described
as Gem of a person.

In over three decades he only sang 1000-1200 songs. But most of them were Gems like Mukesh
the person.








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simplefable
post Nov 27 2007, 02:25 PM
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Thankyou Reeth for such fine article.. It needs to be pinned on the board for the exhaustive way it was dealt with. It is true that Mukesh is endowed with feel, which is so authentic and down to earth. When he sings what we visualize is humanity in all it's vivid hues. But honestly, we can never compare any singer of those golden times with any other. They are everyone unique in their own way. smile.gif

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
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desai2rn
post Nov 28 2007, 10:14 AM
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QUOTE(simplefable @ Nov 27 2007, 02:25 PM) *

Thankyou Reeth for such fine article.. It needs to be pinned on the board for the exhaustive way it was dealt with. It is true that Mukesh is endowed with feel, which is so authentic and down to earth. When he sings what we visualize is humanity in all it's vivid hues. But honestly, we can never compare any singer of those golden times with any other. They are everyone unique in their own way. smile.gif



SF , I support your views that the article deserves to be pinned. You are right that all the singers of the goden era were geniuninley talented and unique.




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Reeth
post Nov 28 2007, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE(desai2rn @ Nov 27 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Reeth,

A great article . I came across it few months ago. Indeed the only singer who can take a hatrick
with one ball. I am a fan of all the singers of the golden age and appreciate the ones before
them like K. L. Saigal, CH Atam etc. But Mukesh was special. He was Inimitable. No one could
pour the feelings in a song like he did and yet his singing was straight and simple and it got
right to hearts of people. Some once said to be able to sing like Mukesh you had to be as nice
a person as he was. I think it would be hard to find a pesron more humbler and gentler than
Mukesh. Even the people who did not care for Mukesh the singer, like SDB or OPN described
as Gem of a person.


In over three decades he only sang 1000-1200 songs. But most of them were Gems like Mukesh
the person.


It was written in 1995 smile.gif .....I agree with you totally, indeed Mukesh was a GEM of a person by all accounts..



QUOTE(simplefable @ Nov 27 2007, 02:25 PM) *

Thankyou Reeth for such fine article.. It needs to be pinned on the board for the exhaustive way it was dealt with. It is true that Mukesh is endowed with feel, which is so authentic and down to earth. When he sings what we visualize is humanity in all it's vivid hues. But honestly, we can never compare any singer of those golden times with any other. They are everyone unique in their own way. smile.gif


Thank you SF, smile.gif i too feel that they were all unique and Great in their own way and from what i have read all the Male singers shared a great rapport with each other.....


QUOTE(desai2rn @ Nov 28 2007, 10:14 AM) *

QUOTE(simplefable @ Nov 27 2007, 02:25 PM) *

Thankyou Reeth for such fine article.. It needs to be pinned on the board for the exhaustive way it was dealt with. It is true that Mukesh is endowed with feel, which is so authentic and down to earth. When he sings what we visualize is humanity in all it's vivid hues. But honestly, we can never compare any singer of those golden times with any other. They are everyone unique in their own way. smile.gif



SF , I support your views that the article deserves to be pinned. You are right that all the singers of the goden era were geniuninley talented and unique.



Thanks for the appreciation..



The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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