Remembering Kishore KumarSubmited By Faris Hussain
Today is the 81st Birthday of legend Bollywood singer and versitile geneous Kishore Kumar who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter. Kishore Kumar sang in many Indian languages.
After Ashok became a Bollywood star, the Ganguly family used to visit Mumbai regularly. Abhas Kumar changed his name to Kishore Kumar and started his cinema career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies where his brother worked. His first film as an actor was Shikari (1946), in which Ashok Kumar played the lead role.
Music director Khemchand Prakash gave him a chance to sing the song Marne ki duayen kyon mangu for the film Ziddi (1948). After this, Kishore Kumar got many other assignments, but he was not very serious about a film career. In 1949, he decided to settle in Mumbai.
Kishore Kumar played hero in the Bombay Talkies film Andolan (1951), directed by Phani Majumdar. Although Kishore Kumar got some assignments as an actor with help of his brother, he was more interested in becoming a singer. He was not interested in acting, but his elder brother Ashok Kumar wanted him to be an actor like himself.
He starred in Bimal Roy Naukri (1954) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee directorial debut Musafir (1957). Salil Chowdhury, the music director for Naukri was initially dismissive of him as a singer, when he came to know that Kishore Kumar didn’t have any formal training in music. However, after hearing his voice, he gave him the song Chhota sa ghar hoga, which was supposed to be sung by Hemant Kumar.
Music director S. D. Burman is credited with spotting Kishore Kumar’s talent as a singer, and advancing his singing career. During the making of Mashaal (1950), Burman visited Ashok Kumar’s house, where he heard Kishore imitating K. L. Saigal. He complimented Kishore, but also told him that he should develop a style of his own, instead of copying Saigal. Kishore Kumar did not have a formal training in music.
S. D. Burman recorded with Kishore for Dev Anand’s Munimji (1954), Taxi Driver (1954), House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Prem Pujari (1970), and Tere Mere Sapne (1971). He also composed music for Kishore Kumar’s home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).
Some of their initial films included the songs “Maana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin” from Paying Guest, “Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke” from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), “Ai Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa” from Funtoosh, and “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si” and “Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka” from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).
C. Ramchandra was another music director who recognized Kishore Kumar’s talent as a singer and their collaborations include Eena Meena Deeka from Aasha (1957).
Kishore Kumar produced, directed, and acted in the film Jhumroo (1961). He wrote the lyrics for the title song, Main Hoon Jhumroo, and composed music for all the songs in the film. Later, he produced and directed the film Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964). He also wrote the script and composed music for the film. The film is based on the relationship between a father (Kishore Kumar), and his deaf and mute son (played by his real-life son, Amit Kumar ). He made another two films called Door Ka Rahi (1971) and Door Waadiyon Mein Kahin (1980).
In the late 1960s, Rahul Dev Burman worked together on the soundtrack of the film Padosan (1968), in which Kishore Kumar sang the popular songs “Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein” and “Kehna Hai”.
Kishore Kumar sang for all leading actors in 1970s & 1980s, including Rajesh Khanna Amitabh Bachchan Dharmendra , Jeetendra Sanjeev Kumar Dev Anand Shashi Kapoor Randhir Kapoor Rishi Kapoor Mithun Chakraborty Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff .
S. D. Burman and Kishore continued to churn out several hit songs together, including “Phoolon Ke Rang Se” and “Shokhiyon Mein Ghola Jaaye” from (1969), “Aaj Madhosh Hua Jaaye Re”, “Khilte Hain Gul Yahan” and “O Meri Sharmilee” from (1971), “Meet na mila” from Abhimaan (1973), “Pyaar Ke Is Khel Mein” from Jugnu.
In 1975, S. D. Burman composed his last song for Kishore Kumar. S. D. Burman went into a coma for the second time, soonafter Kishore recorded the song “Badi Sooni Sooni Hai Zindagi” for the film Mili.
Apart from the Burmans, Kishore Kumar worked with other major music directors as well. The composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) also composed many hit songs sung by Kishore Kumar.
Kishore Kumar’s voice inspired many upcoming Bollywood singers, including Kumar Sanu Abhijeet Vinod Rathod and Babul Supriyo After his death, many of his songs have been remixed or re-sung by several artists.
He was one of the highest paid male playback singers in the Hindi film industry from 1969 till his death in 1987.