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An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..

Mohammed Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar . Rafi displayed his talent for singing at the tender age of 13. The lure of movies beckoned him to Bombay in 1944. His first hit was the Tera Khilona Toota Balak from Anmol Ghadi in 1946. India lost this jewel on July 31, 1980. […]

Mohammed Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar . Rafi displayed his talent for singing at the tender age of 13. The lure of movies beckoned him to Bombay in 1944. His first hit was the Tera Khilona Toota Balak from Anmol Ghadi in 1946. India lost this jewel on July 31, 1980.

Abhas Kumar Ganguly, better known as Kishore Kumar was born on August 4, 1929 in Kandwa. Following the footsteps of his elder brother Ashok Kumar he too ventured into movies. But he soon realised that his heart was in singing. Under the patronage of RD Burman he soon flourished. He would at times compose and write songs himself. Sadly he passed away in October,1987.

The debate as to who was the greater singer carries on even today, even decades after their death. Both of them left an indelible mark in the world of Indian film music, a void that still cannot be filled today. No wonder that their fans are at constant feud with one another trying to prove that their hero was better.

It is a no secret that Mohammed Rafi was a trained classical singer and that Kishore Kumar had a natural talent. Hence Rafi’s fans feel that he was the more accomplished and skilful of the two. Kishoreda’s fans are of the opinion that though he may not have been trained, he had purity and sheer quality of voice. The fact that he wasn’t trained, and could still sing anything, both classical and non classical songs with equal magic rendered him more superior than Rafi.

Fans claim that Rafi was the most favoured singer for many veteran composers while Kishore Kumar was preferred by few and was a playback mainly for Dev Anand and later for Rajesh Khanna. Rafi on the other hand balanced his melodious voice for diverse stars like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor.

In support of Rafi’s greatness, many of his fans say Rafi sang for Kishore Kumar in films that Kishore himself acted. They also draw the attention to Rafi’s song Darde Dil in Karz which was based on a single note and proved that he was indeed blessed with God-gifted melody. Mohammed Rafi’s fans also claim that Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan who belong to the Rafi school are technically better than Kumar Sanu, Babul Supriyo etc.

On the other hand, Kishore Kumar’s fans remind people of songs which he sang by melodiously incorporating his inimitable yodelling. Those numbers are extremely popular even today. They further claim that in the 70’s and 80’s, it was he who sang for a number of heroes.

This debate can go on endlessly. However it must be stated that both were great singers of their times and each had his own distinctive style.

There was no feud between the two and the immense respect that Kishore Kumar had for Mohammed Rafi is clearly seen in the photo during Rafi’s funeral. A silent, sad and grief-struck Kishore in the newspapers portrayed very well that no one except him understood what an irreparable loss had taken place in Indian film music.

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2,285 Responses to “An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..”

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  1. 1851
    kishorefan Says:

    1840 – rafi fan

    That kishore fan, who made comments in rafi forum, is different from me. You can at least find out from the language presentation. So do not get confused, like you got confused between Ghantasala and SPB, just kidding. By the way SPB song which you mentioned, I felt there was no maturity in his voice, i thought it was a voice of his teens to middle age. The song is simple to sing, i understand from your posts that you understand and appreciate only very easy songs which anybody can sing, even a lay man, (perhaps you have joined as common man in rafi forum now ???) SPB voice in the song shankara & taali…. shubavela song as shared by some people here, was more matured expression wise and strength wise as compared to above song – enneno janmala bandham. Perhaps you cannot appreciate the shankara song, rafi fan, as it is a difficult song to sing and layman or common man can only enjoy it, rather sing it.

    How is the rafi-ghantasala debate going on in rafi forum, my dear common man / rafifan ? Vitthal ji’s posts were very interesting there. This is specially only for you rafi fan ji, since you are also a participant there ?

    By the way, why don’t you mention your favourite kishore songs ? You have mentioned kishore as your favourite. There is nothing wrong when the other kishore fan mentioned a fact about dharmendra. In 70’s and 80’s any hero preferred kishore more than rafi. Just do not try to pull up stories of 60’s and start telling that the heroes of 70’s started liking rafi. Then perhaps we do not know why kishore was so popular and preferred in 70’s and 80’s if rafi was liked by the heroes of 70’s.

    Jara shanti se socho rafi fan janaab, please hear om shanti om song of kishore from karz film, a balanced and matured voice of kishore you will find in this song of kishore even in late 70’s, I do not think rafi had the kind of attractive voice, as was that of kishore as said.

  2. 1852
    common_man Says:

    “So do not get confused, like you got confused between Ghantasala and SPB, just kidding.”

    LOL. well deserved and touche.

    “perhaps you have joined as common man in rafi forum now”

    they’re forcing you to register, rafi fan was talking (surprise lol!) so i am but a common man.

    “By the way, why don’t you mention your favourite kishore songs ? You have mentioned kishore as your favourite.”

    favorite kishore songs…where to begin? i’ll just randomly jot some of my favorites…

    meri beeghi beeghi si – one of a kind song 🙂
    tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa – loRD’s composition is out of the world; kishore’s voice is fresh
    mere neendon mein tum; one of my favorites
    salamat rahe dostana hamara; my favorite rafi-kk duet
    badi sooni sooni hai – like rafi, he expresses multiple emotions in single lines
    mere sukh dukh ka sansaar- usually i prefer faster songs but this is good stuf
    matlabi hai logon yahan par – great expressions of emotions in this 80s song
    mere mehboob quayamat hogi – need i say more? i love the beginning guitar. who ever said lp was less than stellar?
    zindagi ek safar hai suhana – brings you to life
    ami chini go chini – my all time favorite kk romantic song
    mere samne wale ladki – second favorite romantic kk song
    bahoot khoobsoorat ek ladki – underrated song from dostana
    achcha kaho bura kaho…humko maafi de do (ram balram) – energetic, robust, thundering voice!
    tum bin jaaon kahan…rd’s composition benefitted immensley from the yodelling

    these are just a few of many. yes i am a rafi fan but…(1) i am also a big fan of kishore (2) i realize that kishore had his dimensions or there was certain songs for which he was #1. overall i hold rafi in highest regard.

    “There is nothing wrong when the other kishore fan mentioned a fact about dharmendra.”

    kishorefan, there is. i don’t care who dharmendra’s favorite was. i’ve said many times that i don’t give much weight on personal opinions (even of luminaries). what does matter however is to deny an established fact. i know that certain producers or md’s like rdb preferred kishore in the 70s. it’d be foolish for actors like dharmendra to go against md & producer + a proven, hot product like kishore. however, and i tell you an established fact, dharmendra was fine with rafi in the 70s during the peak of the kishore wave and did not actively prefer kishore over rafi. this is not to say that dharmendra refused kishore to go for rafi. but rafi was still his favorite and preferred *even* in the 70s. no, i’m not going by interviews from the 60s as that would be useless for a discussion of the 70s. i’m going by sources from 70s to as recent as 2000 something and dharmendra reminisces about “main jat yamla pagla deewana” 1975. it’s not about dharmendra’s preference or opinion but about denying proven, established facts. so i disagree with you but i don’t want to argue further.

    “om shanti om song of kishore from karz film, a balanced and matured voice of kishore you will find in this song of kishore even in late 70’s, I do not think rafi had the kind of attractive voice, as was that of kishore as said.”

    if by “attractive or matured” if you mean that rafi did not have a deep, booming, resounding voice…than i can see where you are coming from. kishore was best suited for “ek haseena thi”. i think kishore’s voice from 50s and 60s was more balanced.

    i’ll tell you more about the layman songs that anyone can sing another day 🙂

  3. 1853
    common_man Says:

    anil 1845,

    thanks so much for sharing those songs with me. amazing voice quality! velvet smooth just as i like it 🙂 the gods were too biased towards this man! what a divine voice.

  4. 1854
    Kishorefan Says:

    1844 – sastry

    What a melodious and great song of ghantasala – Anybody who hears this song will straightaway get carried away with the melody. The most melodious song and voice which I heard till today in all the ghantasala songs presented here.

    This is the song and voice, which, in my view, exactly places ghantasala at top in terms of melody, majesty and presentation.

    Arghya ji , Paramjeet ji and satyansh ji, – kindly hear the song, Really great melody and presentation.

    Could you give some more links to such melodious songs in the south ?

    This is called exactly true music discussion.

    Rafi fan,

    Come on now show a rafi song equivalent or nearer to this song in terms of melody. If necessary, please share this with your rafi friends also. Anyhow, please enjoy the great melody as a true musician.

  5. 1855
    Bhattacharya Says:

    Sastry saab – 1844

    Very melodious song by ghantasala – I liked it. Specially the beautiful taan in the 2nd para. He sings taans very easily, as if they are nothing for him. It appeared like a cool and evening melody. Thanks for sharing the song.

    Rafi fan,

    What are your choices for kishore songs ?

    You had said,

    “First, I don’t think Rafi had “*literally* failed in the southern industry”

    What do you mean by this? Can you clarify ? How many songs did rafi sing in the southern industry – I think there are 4 languages there – telugu, tamil, kannada, malayalam – jara bataiye – so that how much successful he was here, let us see. I asked this question to you, because I am not much aware of rafi’s contribution to south indian industry, but when you say he has “literally” not failed, I thought i may be happy upon knowing the success of rafi in the south indian industry. Please also mention at least one top song of rafi from each of the languages there, so that “at least” that can give some idea of the so called doubtful success factor.

    Could you provide me a link where dharmendra mentions rafi as his favourite singer ? You are calling blatant incorrect facts of kishore fan, please prove yourself now, since you have made the statement.

    Kishore fan – 1846

    Karz film song mere umar ke now jawano – om shanti om was a big hit in those days. Frequently that song used to come on the radio. Kishore was “literally” ruling then in HFM.

    Dar de dil gana ke bare me bahut kehtey hai. Magar mujhe kuch importance nahi dikhta yeh gaane me. No offence to rafi lovers, but in my view, just I did not find anything special in rafi rendition. I think the song if sung by kishore would have become more popular.

    Rafi fan – dar de dil song people mentioned was composed in one note. Please clarify what this one note means. See the above article, you will find reference to the same.

  6. 1856
    Kishorefan Says:

    Rafi fan – 1833

    Kishore kumar / Manna dey / Rafi – classical type songs

    Much furore was made recently here about kishore’s ability to sing classical type songs. Sholay song – yeh dosti, Padosan – Ek chatur naar are examples where kishore kumar has more more punch and attraction than Manna dey, the singer of hindi who was classically ahead than even mohd rafi. In Ek chatur naar you will find even if Manna has done classically nice, in the tamil get up, but kishore’s voice has got more punch. This factor made kishore more attractive even than manna dey though he was classically ahead of kishore in training. Kishore kumar was gifted with such voice, even the pronounciation of lyrics in padosan song is dignified, yet comical. That was kishore. I do not know why rafi was not given the song to sing with Manna dey and why kishore was preferred for the song. Could you clarify please ? Even in sholay song, kishore kumar has got more punch, though the song is composed by R D Burman, it does not rank among greatest of his songs, but Kishore singing it had made the song hit. Manna dey voice, in my view, does not have that punch, as kishore has, due to that it appears light when compared to kishore. Having specialised in classical music and speaking from classical music angle, Manna would have been definitely created attraction than kishore, if he had that “punch and depth” factor, which you would find fully in ghantasala’s voice which was fully perfect from all angles. Next Rafi vs manna dey also, as I said, each had their issues, rafi was not as super as manna dey technically, but had a sweeter voice which created an edge for him over manna, and made him more preferable than manna. But, padosan being a 1968 film, ek chatur naar despite being a classical type song, kishore was roped in along with manna, when rafi was very much available. Rafi could have been roped in instead of kishore to sing with manna or even rafi could have roped in to sing with kishore i.e to be clear the song could have been made between rafi-kishore or rafi-manna, but it was between kishore-manna. Kya keytey ho rafi fan ji ? Kishore ka kamal dekh liya na.

    Next, even in salamat rahe dostana hamara, kishore has got that punch factor than rafi – many people prefer kishore in this song bane chahe dushman jamana hamara. Another song, also you can take, yaadon ki barat, even there too kishore has more punch than rafi – Truly speaking, a perfect male voice has necessarily to have that punch and depth factor, to fully bring attraction from the angle of perfect male voice.

    So, going by the above classical discussions, it can be inferred that the impression on classical type renditions vs. kishore vs. rafi, is not so bad as many rafi fans think. Even Mr. P Haldar, recently in rafi forum was commenting on a typical conclusion (reproduced below) arrived at by way of discussions among various classical musicians and sure, it holds true.

    “rafi is not in the same league as ghantasala. Forget the two sisters, rafi lags behind even manna in classical songs. You can consider rafi and kishore to be on par in classical songs.”

    And the above discussion on kishore’s role in padosan song and his voice attraction vs. Manna and his preference for the song with manna instead of rafi, clearly supports the aforesaid conclusion.

  7. 1857
    Rafifan1 Says:

    Kishore fan

    The article on dharmendra and rafi in rafi forum was for 1960’s and it basically lays focus on rafi’s songs on dharmendra. It is not that kishore did not perform great for dharmendra but the article mainly laid focus on dharmendra and rafi. Kishore too indeed has rendered good numbers for dharmendra.


    Rave Na cheliya, The ghantasala song in post 1844 is great, very melodious. He has got a amazing control on his vocal chords and musical notes. His gifted voice (which has a nice strength and punch as well) could clearly explore the advantages to the fullest extent. The song is not a classical or semiclassical number, but a song belonging to the solo melody romantic genre, if I am not wrong. It reminded me of the several rafi songs such as chaudvin ka chaand etc. (the feeling of ecstasy when we hear a melodious song)

    Rafi fan,

    Interesting posts by you.

    M Krishna – 1838

    Correct post and nice message. Keep it up. I fully agree with your views on ghantasala and rafi.

  8. 1858
    Balarykar Says:

    What is your opinion about SPB’s first Malayalam song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmS0QWb8eI

    Did he get it properly?

  9. 1859
    common man Says:

    it’s not so much that i prefer easy songs but that i like filmy songs better than classical songs. nothing wrong with that. i deliberately chose some songs that are easy to sing because i wanted to focus primarily on the voice quality itself and nothing else. while a song like aaj mausam bada beimaan hai may be easy to sing for some, few will be able to match the velvet smooth voice and expression behind individual syllables like rafi. a lot of people can sing “aaj mausam bada beimaan hai” but there’s reason why rafi was chosen to sing it. rafi has quite a few songs that are difficult to sing AND he does not bring attention to it. taking select examples like “o duniya ke rakhwale” and trying to generalize that does great injustice to rafi.

  10. 1860
    Dhani Ram Says:

    Hindi film music has seen a lot of oddities.Obviously factors other than just the quality of music have played their part in it.

    1.Rafi showcased his tremendous talent with suhani raat dhal chuki and yet until baiju bawra happened he didn’t get his rightful place in film singing.

    2. The blackest day in film music was when Talat Mahmood, like whom there was no other in his style,was eased out ( even ousted ) just after singing a real gem jaayen to jaayen kahaan.

    3. Manna De was underused throughout.

    4. In 50s and particularly 60s, gross injustice was done to Kishoreda by not using his voice as widely as it should have been.I can’t understand how a singer who sang an etherially beautiful song like koi hum dum na raha in early 60s wasn’t given his due.And when he got going in 70s he was overused as Rafi had been in the preceding decades.

    5. About Film Fare Awards,the less said the better.I am a Rafi fan but I strongly believe that Film Fare Award for the year should have gone to Mukesh for Dost dost na raha and not to Rafi for yeh mera prem patra.Rafi got FFA in seventies for a song that didn’t deserve it.He was ignored for the ones for which he should havegot it.Jaidev didn’t get it for Hum Dono.And Madan Mohan not for Anpadh.

    6. About Ghantasala garu it is impossible to say anything without offending his admirers.Therefore what I am going to say is not with the intention of belittling Ghantasala’s achievement.He is held in such a high esteem by the Telugus that their devotion to him is touching.But when we make comparisons among singers and try to prove the superiority of one over the others, we will naturally say things that would not be palatable to those who love a particular singer.My opinion is that the listeners of Hindi Film Music have been swayed by only three voices–those of Rafi,Mukesh and Kishore.Other singers,despite their excellences,couldn’t make that kind of impact.If Ghantasala were a North Indian trained in Hindustani classical music, I am afraid his voice wouldn’t have found favour with the North Indian audiences. It is surprising that Ghantasalaji didn’t sing a single song for Hindi films.One or two that are mentioned are not memorable while some other South Indian singers have done so well.Vani Jairam with her single song Akhiyon ke jharokhon se has am immortal place in HFM.People have found fault with Rafi’s rendering of Kuhu kuhu bole.The composition is by a Telugu who could have easily called on Thiru Ghantasala to fill in the slot.Isn’t it possible that Shri Adi Narayan Rao thought that Rafi had done an excellent job? My humble opinion is that in Rafi,Kishore and Mukesh,Hindi Film Music had three talents like which the nation didn’t possess.Yes,regional languages had their own stalwarts and Shri Ghantasala was one of them.

    7. There is a version of Chal ud Ja re punchhi in Ghantasala’s voice.Rafi’s song is much,much better.

    Well, I have just given my opinions and as a Hindi Film Music lover haven’t I a right to praise my idols as others extol theirs?.My purpose is not to hurt anybody.This is the way I think and this is the way millions of others think,among them are some leading South Indian luminaries like Yeshu Dasji,SPB,A.R.Rahaman etc.If you have a contrary opinion,please express it without resorting to invectives.

  11. 1861
    Srivas Says:

    Dhaniram ji

    Your love for rafi ji is respected. By the way, you had said rafi’s version is much much better in chal ud ja re panchi than ghantasala.

    Could you kindly state what was much much better. Rafi had himself stated that he could not do justice to the song as ghantasala did. I know very well that rafi indeed spoke on telephone to ghantasala in 1960 and said this statement.

    Here are the two versions :



    In my opinion, excepting soft voice melody rafi has not much to offer in terms of depth, modulation as well in the song. And I am with rafi ji’s statement that musically the song is more effective in ghantasala’s rendition. The song is emotional expression wise, I do not really find rafi creating emotional and deep effects similar to ghantasala, which the meaning of the song itself signifies. Musically, the kalyani raga effects in the song, I find the telugu version more melodious than the hindi version. Even in the ending raga, the depth and command emotional as well as expression wise, high pitch wise is great in telugu rendition – I think rafi simply could not match upto that as well in this song. Clearly it can be noted that rafi ji’s voice has a difference in terms of musical presentation in the high octave in the end as compared to his voice in the middle octave. Whereas ghantasala has same effect in all the pitches -even at high / low – the same strength and depth. Rafi ji was absolutely correct in his statement that he could not do justice to the kalyani raga in the way ghantasala had did it.

    If we compare similar songs of ghantasala and rafi, In kuhu kuhu song, I think rafi’s attempt was more stronger than this chal ud ja re panchi song, though he struggled in terms of technical terms, but absolutely rafi’s rendition was nice in this particular hindi rendition.

    Next Adinarayan Rao’s role in roping in rafi for kuhu kuhu song is : yes ghantasala was himself advised by adi narayan rao to sing the song in hindi but I was given to understand that ghantasala had himself recommended to rope in rafi to the song in 1957, due to his busy schedules in the south in all the 4 languages at that time. In tamil, of course, ghantasala and suseela had rendered it. And further , I was also told that rafi felt reluctant to sing the song and rather advised to get it sung through Manna dey, but Adinarayan Rao, keeping in view ghantasala’s advise chose to get it recorded by rafi, and had changed the raga effects in terms of notes etc. to make them simple at some places to make easier for rafi to sing, as compared to the telugu version. The raga in this song in telugu version is much tougher as compared to its hindi counterpart. It is said that even lata mangeshkar found rafi ji struggling and had even expressed a desire to sing the song with ghantasala.

  12. 1862
    Srivas Says:

    contd… dhaniram ji

    There is just a four line sanskrit sloka in suvarna sundari film ” Lakshmim Ksheera Samudra Raja Tanayam”, even this sloka ghantasala did not render in hindi, but since it was a sanskrit rendition (not hindi), the said rendition of ghantasala sung in telugu film was retained in the hindi suvarna sundari. Ghantasala even did not sing this four line sanskrit sloka in hindi again , which he could just conveniently do it, so it can be clearly known why he chose not to sing kuhu kuhu in hindi.

  13. 1863
    Khan Says:

    Dhaniram sahab, post 1855

    You were stating that ” My humble opinion is that in Rafi, Kishore and Mukesh, Hindi Film Music had three talents like which the nation didn’t possess”.

    What about lata mangeshkar and talat mehmood sahab? Saigal sahab had a deep voice capable of creating special efffects for certain types of songs, for which in our view, even rafi sahab was not suitable.

    Next, chal ud ja re panchi, I have heard both the versions, ghantasala sahab has a clear edge over rafi sahab in all areas of the song. I do not want to put much into it. There is difference in terms of depth and free flow of voice with ease on the notes, between both renditions as well in terms of musical depth and technicalities, specially the taan wise. etc. ghantasala sahab stands clearly superior – the kalyan raga song is nicely composed and the flow of voice over both the octaves, ghantasala sahab has a clear edge over rafi sahab. Both the voices are melodious in this song, but on musical terms the telugu rendition is a superior rendition.

  14. 1864
    Khan Says:


    a small change dhaniram sahab in my previous post : the song chal ud ja re panchi, in it has to the maximum extent the shades of kalyan raga, and in the first para an experimental note is beautifully mixed up by the music director, to give a special effect to the song. People with music knowledge can clearly catch this in the song. The ending swars in the high pitch taan enveloping around 5th and 6th notes in the final octave is a point worth mentioning.

  15. 1865
    Kishorefan Says:

    Welcome dhaniram bhai,

    I think by far a better post than your previous posts. You acknowledge kishore kumar’s talent in your posts – that’s nice, you have started learning things – just kidding.

    What about saigal ji in hindi – the foundational singer of hindi films, Have you forgotten him. You had made some chilly comments about saigal earlier, of course I do not have much to say on that count, but what happened to rafi for a full 5 to 6 years after saigal had passed away. Where was rafi, he could not get the recognition until baiju bawra in 1952. People just could not adjust with rafi after saigal passed away. Saigal’s influence was such that just people did not want to listen to any singer after his death, leave rafi. If rafi was so much capable, why he could not immediately fill up the gap created by saigal ? For a full five years after saigal ji’s departure, no significant influence has been created by rafi until naushad created baiju bawra compositions – the classical style which again was the main area of music which saigal ji is specially admired for.


    “If Ghantasala were a North Indian trained in Hindustani classical music, I am afraid his voice wouldn’t have found favour with the North Indian audiences. It is surprising that Ghantasalaji didn’t sing a single song for Hindi films.One or two that are mentioned are not memorable while some other South Indian singers have done so well.”

    This is a superficial conclusion. Would rafi would have been able to find flavour if he was trained in south indian music. In fact, on the other hand , I think, ghantasala was trained in hindusthani music as well, as I read the posts. Without singing any hindi song itself, ghantasala has found favour with many of the rafi fans as well as kishore fans – How could you conclude your views in the above para – certainly off the track, in my view. In true voice col. itself, currently, even many rafians have greatly appreciated ghantasala. What are the one or two which are not memorable – could you kindly clarify ? I do not think ghantasala has sung even a single hindi song.

    Chal ud ja re panchi, I have heard both the versions, technically ghantasala song appears superior to hindi version. Of course, both were well rendered. The ending taan, in my view, ghantasala rendered beautifully than rafi, absolutely no doubt. I hence would not agree with your view that rafi’s song was much much better. Kuhu kuhu song, rafi comes no where near ghantasala, and there need not be any further discussion on that.

  16. 1866
    sastry Says:

    Dhaniram ji

    What is your knowledge about ghantasala ? Could you kindly confirm ? My sincere advise is kindly, please again kindly not to to make comments in those areas where your knowledge is purely limited. There was no need for you to mention ghantasala in your post without having adequate knowledge about him. There is ancient knowledge called parakaya pravesha, meaning to know the realities by entering into another body. It would have been really nice if you are blessed with that knowledge so that you can enter into the telugu body to know the truth and facts. I think you have got it, what I wanted to say.

  17. 1867
    common_man Says:

    hi kishorefan,

    kishore’s singing in “ek chatur naar” was comedy not classical. i have never made a big deal about kishore vs rafi regarding classical songs so i won’t pursue this further. kishore was called for this song because (1) he was rdb’s favorite (2) he was the star of the movie (3) he was better suited for this kind of comedy than rafi imo. it’s a nice comedy song in an excellent album. i think kishore is favored in the song for his comedy & personality more than anything else. as a side note, rafi may have recorded a song for padosan that is not released. the details are murky so i don’t want to speculate.

    salamat rahe dostana hamara? i agree to disagree. rafi is peerless in this song. kishore is excellent too. rafi’s voice & expression of emotions behind individual syllables are out of the world. you talk about punch? rafi’s tonal quality & clarity are excellent in this song. this is my single, personal favorite song of all time and probably the song that i have listened to the most number of times. outstanding duet.

  18. 1868
    Murthy Says:


    Chal ud ja re panchi, in my view, telugu version has got more punch than the hindi version, to me, ghantasala version is superior. Rafi had sung it also well, but in totality, to me, telugu version is superior. In 50’s and 60’s in similar songs of rafi and ghantasala, there is no question of surpassing ghantasala. Due to difficult health conditions, after 1968 or so for ghantasala, if any similar songs are there of rafi and ghantasala, in such songs there might be some difference from hindi music point of view and not from southern music point of view.

    I also read in a newspaper that rafi had stated that chal ud ja re panchi telugu version is nicely rendered than his hindi version and he was not satisifed with his rendering vs. ghantasala’s rendition. I hope dhaniram ji gives importance to this main point.

    Suvarna sundari – Why did adinarayana rao chose to retain the sanskrit sloka of ghantasala – “lakshmim” in hindi film. Mr. Rao knew very well that rafi cannot be close to ghantasala’s sanskrit version, that is why he chose to retain it as is. Sanskrit is a different language, so here comes the moot question : whether ghantasala or rafi. Ghantasala was obviously preferred by Mr. Rao, though not sung again by ghantasala in hindi, but the sankrit version of the sloka sung in telugu by ghantasala was retained in hindi by Mr. Rao, – What do you say Dhaniram Ji ? Why was rafi not preferred to sing the sloka which I think is only 4 lines ? For the kuhu kuhu song, due to language issues, ghantasala might not have sung the song, but on the whole ghantasala has a clear edge in the song than rafi. I think ghantasala did not have time to even sing the sanskrit sloka again in hindi, obviously Mr. Rao chose to retain the telugu version of ghantasala in hindi film.

    “Ghantasala not preferred by northern audiences”, but I think the facts are totally different from your view. Even many rafians have acknowledged his superiority in different genres – reference true voice, recently as well, including Mr. Haldar ji recently. In which world you are roaming dhaniram Ji ? Have you seen these facts.

  19. 1869
    Murthy Says:

    Dhaniram ji, contd…

    “it is surprising that Ghantasalaji didn’t sing a single song for Hindi films”

    Why so ? Have you thought over it. So without hearing him in hindi, you cannot certainly arrive at imaginable conclusions. But certainly rafi had rendered some little songs in telugu, and you know better than me and other ghantasala fans as well, who was better there. So what is the conclusion ? You have the answer. Lols. Its obviously ghantasala.

  20. 1870
    Murthy Says:

    1833 – Rafi Fan ji,


    “It’s like hiring a high school math teacher. The “base” is that the candidate knows math very well. Candidate A has no high school education of math but connects well with students. Candidate B has a master’s degree in math and connects well with students. Candidate C has a PhD in math but doesn’t connect as well with students. Who do you take? A is out because she doesn’t have the basic proficiency. B & C clearly have the “base” requirement but there’s little benefit of a PhD over a master’s for high school math. So you take candidate B who has other qualities that become more important after the required proficiency. Now if this were an academic position at a university, candidate C would be best. Of course this is just an analogy and the candidates do not refer to the singers themselves for Ghantasala connected extremely well with his listeners.”

    ONLY A SMALL ADDITION to your above para, specially last 2 lines to complete the para i.e. “Candidate D has a PhD in maths and connects extremely well with students” and this applies to the last 2 lines in your above para absolutely. That’s the conclusion.

  21. 1871
    Srivas Says:

    Dear Khan ji,

    Specially for you the link below – the two great classical icons (lions) of indian classical music – Dr. Balamuralikrishna – carnatic and Pandit bhimsen joshi – Hindusthani – a duet classical rendition – two classical greats on common platform.

    Concert in the yamuna kalyani raga rendition and Pandit bhimsen joshi wonderfully creates the Carnatic style effect while maintaining his hindusthani specialisation. Really a treat to the ears and eyes, both respecting each other in the end.


    The strength and speciality of indian classical music can be seen from the bewildering performance of the classical legends.

  22. 1872
    Bhattacharya Says:

    Dhaniram ji,

    I have heard chal ud ja re panchi – both telugu and hindi versions – rafi and ghantasala. Rafi is no where near ghantasala. Rafi simply has no control in the ending taan in the song similar to ghantasala, whereas ghantasala has a nice balance and control, ghantasala’s voice has more depth and punch than rafi which just slips in the song. ghantasala’s control on the song is easily more than rafi.

    I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings, but really I did not find rafi interesting in the song as the way I felt with ghantasala.

    Here is the ghantasala version of the telugu song


    He is simply in a different league.

    And here is the rafi version – just sang without much punch or depth as compared to telugu rendition.


    One common thing in both of them is both could sing high pitch in the end, with ghantasala having more control on the song.

  23. 1873
    Murthy Says:

    Srivasji – 1856

    What a post ? Thank you for your post to Mr. Dhaniram – that should set the things right.

    Sir, Kalyani raga was ghantasala’s favourite raga and his specialisation in this raga was simply in a different league. So any song or composition in this raga, I think, no body can come close to ghantasala. There was another song in this raga, shared by sastry ji here – rave na cheliya – simply outstanding and genuinely melodious.

    Khan sahab, kishorefan, Bhattacharya, – thanks for your posts as well.

    Not only you all, even rafi sahab himself admitted that chal ud ja re panchi is better sung by ghantasala than himself.

    Dhaniram ji – A small advise as a friend. I could understand that you might be hurt seeing all this but see anybody has to call a spade a spade, simply the truth cannot be changed. See the facts with a open mind, and you cannot see the truth if you have a biased and partial feeling towards an artist. For e.g. had you known telugu language, you will know how perfectly the expressions ghantasala has poured in chal ud ja re panchi song, keeping in meaning of the song. Rafi was simply not in that league as well. Srivas ji was correct, ghantasala’s voice is more melodious than rafi.

  24. 1874
    khan Says:

    Srivas sahab – 1866

    Thank you very very much for the link – That was really very very great – the two great icons of Indian classical music, – Dr. Balamuralikrishna sahab and Pt. Bhimsen joshi sahab – their singing is like veena and sitar joining together to pour music. Srivas sahab, really blessed are people who can really know the great and secret knowledge of classical music – the only thing which can create pure peace of mind for any soul at all times.

    Yaman kalyan rendition by the giants – no comments – because no comments can be there for these giants. Whatever they sing is correct and no questions on that.

    Pandit sahab renders the Mangaladayi – manasuku hai – perfectly, this is a telugu wording, I have been told, – pandit sahab hailed from the south, hence has a good grasp on southern accent as well. The blending of taans by pandit sahab is great – this is speciality in hindusthani music. You can see this type of taan in one film song by Pandit sahab and Manna de Sahab in film basant bahar – ketaki gulab juhi. Dr. Murali sahab is murali sahab only – the murali effect is murali effect.

    Thanks a lot again for the link.

  25. 1875
    Rafifan1 Says:

    1856 – Srivas ji,

    I appreciate your post (as Mr Khan’s as well) . You are a qualified musician, hence, it is very difficult for me to put technical points to you as my knowledge is very limited on that front. Certainly, ghantasala was great in chal ud ja re panchi (I do not agree as well with dhaniram ji that rafi’s version was .. better) – but even rafi ji’s song was soulful, in my view. Technically, ghantasala is definitely ahead than rafi by virtue of his expertise, and going by this, always ghantasala will be technically ahead in any song, but certainly common people would appreciate more of filmy songs. I do not mean that ghantasala was not a filmy man. What I mean that – What is special in ghantasala was, I could appreciate that, he was the “filmy playback man with classical edge/touch” – this was his speciality. He fully explored and utilised his technical expertise in each of his film songs, thus giving them that “filmy effect with the classical touch always visible in clarity”. That made his songs very attractive among all sections of people.

    Similarly, rafi had the importance on more filmy touch visible in full clarity in all his songs, which made his songs very attractive among even common people.

  26. 1876
    common_man Says:

    hi murthy,

    i wrote that ghantasala connects well with “his listeners”. in that line i was referring to primarily the telegu audience. i honestly don’t think that ghantasala would reach the same success as rafi with the hfm audience for hindi film songs. “tumne mujhe dekha” is a rd-rafi song that ghantasala could sing in his sleep but his voice, while appealing, would not have as much appeal to the hfm audience as rafi’s voice did. let’s clarify. on an absolute scale, ghantasala would be excellent. in fact, if he sang that in the telegu industry, it’d be a big hit. but as soon as we start comparing him to rafi then we begin to see *comparative* shortcomings (in this case for ghantasala but before we’ve seen it for rafi). i have gathered this from observing ghantasala’s vocal textures in the 50+ songs that have been shared with me. you can say hfm or rafi fans are biased but this is not an uncommon conclusion. if you don’t like these comparisons then avoid comparing him to rafi take comfort in knowing that ghantasala was supreme, peerless, and a gift from god in his telegu industry. for hindi film songs (what matter to me the most), ghantasala’s voice did not match up to rafi’s and that would be a big disadvantage. ghantasala would have suffered the same fate as the immensely talented manna dey.

    as i said, songs like “sau saal pehle” or “tumne mujhe dekha” are songs that a lot of people could sing but rafi was selected for these because of his inimitable, supreme voice. rafi’s voice was just right – not too light but not too heavy. his voice was very rich and versatile from soft songs to resonont, powerful songs. it had a velvet smooth quality that we see only in a handful of singers like yesudas or a prime kishore kumar or spb. it had that trademark sweetness. he could modulate his versatile and pleasant voice just right for precise, individual syllables to suit the mood or the scene. we know that common characteristics in youthful voices vs older voices. rafi’s voice was vibrant and youthful. ghantasala’s voice no doubt exhibits *some* of these qualities but overall not to the same extent as rafi’s. among ghantasala, kishore kumar, talat mehmood, manna dey, hemant kumar, mukesh, rafi was the most well rounded singer. he possessed a combination of some of the best traits seen in th other singers. this has been discussed in detail by sudip in prior posts of this discussion. you would need all six singers to sing mohammed rafi’s solos! he was far superior to ghantasala for the hfm.

    if rafi humbly praised ghantasala’s rendition, i would take it as a kind compliment but not as an absolute fact that can be broadened to an entire rafi-ghantasala discussion. i feel like i have said everything i had to say about the rafi-ghantasala discussion. my intent was not to “win” an argument or prove someone wrong or change minds but merely to express my views. i agree to disagree.

    rafi’s tumne mujhe dekha…


  27. 1877
    Srivas Says:

    Khan ji,

    Thanks for your post. They are giants of classical music.

    Just, I was listening to this soulful song by Mohd. Rafi ji, – Man re, very well nicely sung, music directed by Roshan.


    Songs of these type and specially the middle octave range and slow type renditions – rafi stands special on his own.

  28. 1878
    Srivas Says:


    Rafi’s expressions and control on notes in this rendition man re – shades of kalyani raga shines – this kind of command is absent in his chal ud ra je panchi song, khan ji,

    Could you kindly highlight some of hindi songs by rafi in Malkauns rag – The hindolam of carnatic. The rag enveloping only 5 notes in itself is one of the great ragas of both forms of music.

  29. 1879
    Dhani Ram Says:

    I am grateful to Khan Sahib,Sivas ji and all others for their well-argued comments on my post.After all Rafi,Ghantasala,Mukesh and others are all great singers and have large fan following.The fans of each singer are likely to project their idol to be the best.Who will follow someone whom he doesn’t regard as the best.Our comments are not just about the worth of the singers we admire but also a statement about what we are.

    1. I am afraid I am not going to act upon Sastryji’s advice.He wants me to shut up.Now I love Rafi and so far no criticism of his on this forum or elsewhere has diminished in the least my enjoyment of his songs.On the other hand,through discussions on this forum,which have sometimes been acrimonious,I have come to know of Ghantasalaji and though I still consider Rafi a better singer overall,I have begun to appreciate Ghantasala much more than I did in the beginning.So Sastryji,while nobody loses anything,we can gain quite a lot through such discussions.Why should we feel insecure when we are sure about the virtues of the singer we admire?I know what I love Rafi for,why should any ill-informed attack on him shake me? And if the criticism is genuine and well-informed I must give it a deep thought.Many of the participants like Khan Sahib,Sivas,Satyansh,Bhattacharyaji,Paramjitji are men of deep knowledge and their views should be respected while reserving the right disagree with them.

    Khan Sahib and others,I shall give a deep thought to your very solid arguments.Mahendra Kapoor in several interviews had said that he liked Rafi’s voice and remained his admirer all his life.So one may just like a voice.Technicalities aside,Rafi’s voice appeals to me much more than Ghantasala’s.Now in a way this no argument to contend for someone’s superiority.But my point is that when a voice,which is the most important single ingredient of popular singing,has the widest appeal of all across many regions and languages,shouldn’t that voice be regarded as the best? However,I appreciate and respect your arguments and am not challenging them.I am just suggesting that there is another way of looking at it also.

    Khan Sahib,the thrust of my main argument in the previous post was to point out anomalies in Hindi Film Music.I think I should have taken up chal ud ja re in another post.So it has led to some miscommunication.I didn’t mean that Talat was not a great singer.In fact I have described Talat’s exit as the blackest day.I have only said that only three voices of Rafi,Mukesh and Kishore ruled the roost and therefore in popular imagination they would be regarded as the best.As for me,Talat is any day a better singer than Kishore,that is to say,I enjoy listening to Talat much more than Kishore.Lata I left out because I was discussing only male singers.

  30. 1880
    Anil Says:

    It is a good effort from SPB in ‘ee kadalum..’. Some minor accent issues, otherwise everything is spot on. He conveys the feel very well in a language which I don’t think he knew well enough. To me, there is a bit of the vintage South film music singers and a piece of Rafi in this song; Is it just me?
    BTW, how many Malayalam songs have Balu sir sung? I reckon it would be about 50.

  31. 1881
    abhishek dwivedi Says:

    the evrything above described is crrect…in my famiky i m a big fan of kishore da while my respected big brthr is of rafi da.
    as i think ..rafi is a great singer bt noone ca put kishore da below rafi…
    in the sng main thing is the feeling of song….dat is is d soul of song ..and kishore da song has the largest feelings in his songs…..several times i saw ppl weeping while listening d songs of kishore da…
    both of them are great …….v shud not compare them…
    bt really i love kishore da vry mch…dis tym i hv tears in my eyes dat ..god shud keep sm ppl always alive….like kishore da….miss u so mch
    i m waiting d moment and the great god will send another kishore da…

  32. 1882
    sagar Says:

    well i feel that it was a publice percept tion that there was feud between rafi and kihore there are many songs they have sung togther suhc as quurbani title song. janu meri jaan from shaan ekrasta from ram balaram i think there is diffrence between professional and presonal feud and we should understand it properly

  33. 1883

    dear friends,
    i have doubt this site meant for kishore kumar or gantasala.
    please bring some good songs of kishore kumar to project him
    as number one singer or bring some good article on him.if you
    people nothing to say please keep quite.it is a tragedy that to
    bring somebody else to defend somebody.gold will be gold even
    after centuries.

  34. 1884
    Khan Says:

    1872 – Srivas sahab,

    Man re by rafi sahab is a good rendition. The medium octave command of rafi sahab, perhaps, is very difficult to be surpassed easily by anyone in HFM. Roshan sahab is a good music director and the song man re is a experimental one laying focus on more expression display in the song, which rafi sahab beautifully displays. No doubt, rafi sahab is one of the best in such medium octave ranges.

    Dhaniram sahab,

    Your points are well noted and nothing personal against you. But, as a musician, sure, in my view, if you compare ghantasala sahab and rafi sahab, the former has a clear edge than rafi & all others. Music means not only melodious voice, my dear dhaniram sahab, but a combination of many other factors – an expert musician can clearly catch the strengths of an artist -this is not to state that other artist is being criticised or shown in a poorer way, but calling only a spade a spade and nothing else. I have seen numerous people not liking rafi sahab but liking kishore kumar sahab and talat sahab, this is not to say rafi sahab is not a great singer, but the facts have to be accepted. You have indicated a comparison between manna dey sahab and ghantasala sahab in HFM in a way, which I do not agree. Ghantasala sahab voice is melodious like rafi sahab & particularly more stronger, wider capable of rendering high pitches in uniformity without any strain and deeper than both rafi sahab & manna dey sahab’s voices, even the former has more greater control on notes than manna dey sahab and rafi sahab , capable of bringing experimental sounds in ragas, which places him above the hindi film singers. The telugu legends VOICE RANGE is god gifted, rare to find.

    Rafi fan sahab and dhaniram sahab and ghantasala sahab fans as well

    Both were from different fields and virtually badshah’s in their areas. So comparison is possible in only one way. Ghantasala sahab singing in HFM – I will put it in a different way for rafi fans who frequently bring up this issue. Just think, ghantasala sahab with his same talent is born in bollywood as a hindi man, for sure, he would have ruled – there is absolutely no doubt. Don’t put ghantasala sahab as a telugu man trying in hindi singing and try to project rafi sahab’s superiority, in which case, there is a scope for argument over rafi sahab’s role in telugu music, where a rafi lover is surely going to fail. Similarly, it may be argued that rafi sahab should not be compared in southern music as a hindi singer, but why cannot one think if rafi sahab was born as a southern singer, what would have been his contribution ?

  35. 1885
    Khan Says:

    Srivas sahab

    Malkauns rag of hindusthani music or hindola raga of carnatic, yes the 5 notes raga is a very popular raga among the classical based ragas and has been widely used by many music directors. It is one of the favourite ragas of many music directors and many nice compositions have been made in this raga. This raga is even liked and loved by many classical musicians.

    Here is a song of Mohd. Rafi sahab – composed and sung in the rag malkauns of hindusthani – a semiclassical effect song. (The song should have been more effectively sung going by the attributes of the malkauns rag, nevertheless you will appreciate it)

    Ankhiyan Sang Ankhiyan Laagi from film BADA AADMI


    As you have rightly quoted, Mann tarpat from Baiju Bawra, yes is another composition, in the malkauns raga, beautifully tuned by naushad sahab, – it was not a fast paced rendition but a medium paced similar to the effects of the song “man re” of rafi sahab having shades of Kalyan rag. As already stated in the “medium paced slow renditions” rafi sahab was a class of his own and both Man re song and man tarpat can be classified in that class and rafi sahab could really excel in those renditions.

    Could you share a song of Ghantasala sahab in malkauns rag – I just wanted to hear his display of the malkauns effects in his voice.

    Dhaniram sahab

    There is a version of chal ud ja re panchi by talat sahab as well, Have you heard it. The hindi version was first sung by talat sahab and it was OK but rafi sahab was preferred for the song, sure rafi sahab had rendered it better than talat sahab.

    Coming to kishore sahab and talat sahab, it least matters which singer you prefer more. I would, as a musician, advise all fans of all singers (specially rafians) that one’s preference or liking for one singer cannot be taken as a conclusion to prove such singer’s superiority. After all such preference is only one’s liking and that cannot be a judgement. As I mentioned in my previous post, not only melodious voice (there are scores of people who are having very melodious voices) is the criteria to assess a singers capability and voice range – there are other numerous factors which have to be counted for a “perfect voice from the qualities that are prescribed by the music rules” and a voice which fulfils all the qualities prescribed by such music rules has to be definitely accepted as the perfect voice. This is what has to be remembered by any one who wants to make a judgement.

    Surajit bose sahab, a classical musician, in these columns has put up such qualities for such perfect voice and this is what we have also been saying, not only us, any musician will put only such facts. Srivas ji, a practitioner of carnatic music, had been putting up such points.

    I have seen scores of people claiming kishore sahab as the better singer than rafi sahab, a fact which has to be accepted in a way, because it is a known fact that kishore sahab had won a considerable popularity than rafi sahab over a period of time. It is a different matter how kishore sahab has achieved such popularity or by singing what type of songs but the fact that kishore sahab is admired by long list of music lovers (surprisingly by even classical musicans despite kishore sahab not rendering any great classical numbers) is enough to admire and accept the contribution and achievement of kishore sahab. Of course, going by the pure music rules I place rafi sahab as “greater” than kishore sahab and sure, even other musicians will agree with that. Might be, as a musician, I might not support the commercialised version of success of kishore ji, and this should not be taken in any way as a reverse comment on kishore sahab by any of his lovers, and I hope kishore lovers are matured enough to understand our views correctly, as we had already mentioned about kishore sahab’s success and achievement factor which cannot be ignored and has to be accepted even by classical musicians.

    I am surprised at the view of one Kishore fan sahab here, who mentions many times in his post that kishore sahab had a voice nearer to the texture of ghantasala sahab and if kishore sahab had excelled in classical numbers he would have literally been similar to ghantasala sahab and ruled the bollywood industry like a storm.

    I am really surprised at such conclusion by a non musician and I think I have to support that, Yes kishore fan sahab, kishore sahab had a depth and strength in his voice which was very well “fit” for rendering even tough classical renditons – his voice was gifted for him. And he would have been surely more effective than rafi sahab in the classical range, if he was “well trained and made a constant practise in that area”. You are correct in your view and I have to agree with that. But we always put and appreciate that despite kishore sahab’s very limited contribution to the classical arena, he has ruled the bollywood like a storm – this was his achievement, perhaps which no other singer in HFM had achieved or could achieve in HFM in future.

  36. 1886
    Ali Says:

    Dear Sagar
    qurbani title song not sang by mohd rafi it was sang by Anwar and KK…Please listen to star news program on Kk site no one speak about KK singing!!!!!!!!?????
    yes film Ram balram was Mohd rafi and KK and if you check at mohd rafi..
    most people don’t know is the the singer…….
    Dear abhishek as u said kishore da song has the largest feelings in his songs and I say Mohd rafi but we have to ask who worked with both..
    OPN worked with both he said only about mohd rafi Madan Mohan the same LP the same……….

  37. 1887
    Kishorefan Says:

    1878 – Ahmed kutty ji,

    People like you are opportunistic preachers. Kindly do not try to act smart. You are finding a way to defend and protect yourself by requesting people to say something great about kishore (he is already great). Seeing rafi fans at receiving end, rafi fans like you change posts often to suit your convenience.

    Ahmed kutty ji, – the following is your wonderful post earlier. An indirect plain criticism of kishore kumar. Now you are changing sides. What you have to say on this ?



    November 23rd, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    when the songs of “aradhana”become superhits,one of the
    companions of kk told that “kishoreda ne rafi saab ko chutti
    kar dhiya” and the same time kishoreda slapped the guy
    and told him “what you know about music?i am a fan of
    rafi saab”.
    i think this slapping by kishoreda is meant for each and
    everybody who are trying to defame rafi ssab.
    it is an interesting thing that during 70s panchamda had
    given more chances to kishoreda than rafi saab and
    it is rafi saab who got national award and filmfare award
    for the same song “kya hua tera waadaa” for which the
    music director was panchamda himself!
    as far versatality is concerned no singer is near to rafi
    saab.it is difficult ot believe that rafi saab sings “oh duniya
    ke rakwaale” as well as “sar jo tera jukrayaa” for johny
    it is difficult to maintain a decent life especilly if we are
    in the field of art.rafi saab lead a decent life without
    quarrelling for ladies or for money.

    as far as fans are concerned nobody is there to match
    rafi saab as his fans are treating him more than their
    family members.eventhough the media had tried to
    sideline rafi saab, the die hard fans of rafi saab are
    trying their level best to keep alive rafi saab and his
    songs.some of his fans even say after the basic needs of
    human being such as food,clothing and shelter,rafi saab’s
    somgs are a must.some fans says during their last breath
    they want to hear the songs of rafi saab!
    where we can see such a passion,such an affection,such a
    dedication even forgetting their everything for the cause
    of rafi saab.i think the motivation for “rafians” are from the
    “diehard critics of rafi saab”.


  38. 1888
    Anil Says:

    Khan sahab,May I ask a favour from you. You’ve mentioned *Of course, going by the pure music rules I place rafi sahab as “greater” than kishore sahab and sure, even other musicians will agree with that*. Can you please elaborate it? If this is not the right platform, would you do it in ‘mohdrafi.com’?

  39. 1889
    Kishorefan Says:

    Khan saab,

    I am extremely thankful to have received your appreciations. You have proved that kishore’s voice was gifted and was “fit” for rendering even tough classical renditions. This is what surajit bhai and others have also been telling since long. One Mr. lalith ji had also put up similar arguments earlier.

    Saab, many of these musician fans have time and again mentioned that one has to struggle to replicate kishore kumar songs. Even as a artist, coming to the versatality range, there is no one who can equal kishore kumar in hindi film world. The noteworthy feature of kishore singing is his well balanced voice in all his songs which makes one to clearly catch the nice control which kishore displays in all his songs. Being a comedian himself he very well knew how to bring the comedy effect in his songs beautifully & his philosophical songs continue to guide people for generations. Coming to talat mehmood ji, he was a mostly successful singer in the 50’s & kishore was not much popular during the era of talat. Though kishore had a significant contribution in chalti kanam gadi etc. in 1958 etc. the era mostly belonged to rafi, talat etc. But the 60’s slowly started for a change in the hindi film cinema shifting the focus to commercialised version of film music, rock and rolls and other experimental genres and by late 60’s and afterwards, it was mostly the era of kishore kumar. Talat ji was not successful in adapting to the change and this beautiful singer had to give away to the change. Nevertheless, talat was a great singer and his great songs are remembered even today and sold in good volumes. And in 70’s there has been no other singer who could be as successful as kishore kumar. Coming to rafi vs kishore, as surajit ji puts it in other blog, it is just like comparing sunil gavaskar vs vivian richards.

    And coming to the southern film music, yes as you said ghantasala ji stands tall and his talents are indeed peerless and supreme. The wiki encyclopaedia quotes ghantasala ji as the man gifted with the most majestic voice (which you have also quoted in your posts) and holds his contribution and talent in very high esteem and as incomparable.

    Khan ji, just see even if you see both hindi film world and southern music, even today much discussions are made about yesteryear singers and their peerless contribution. I have never seen any current generation singer enjoying such popularity/discussions in any of the websites of any current generation singer.

  40. 1890
    Srivas Says:

    Khan sahab,

    Thanks for the rafi ji song from bada aadmi. Yes, going by the attributes of the hindola raga, much needs to be contributed.

    As per your request, a duet song from ghantasala (the video quality and sound/uploading quality is not upto the mark – however, you can catch the attributes of the raga)


    And these two solos by G in the hindola raga, for you.



    The following song by lata mangeshkar in the Mohana raga or Bhoop raga of hindusthani.

    Pankh Hote Re Ud Aati Re – Sehra [1963]


    The Mohana raga the first note sa if you convert the same into Ma and play the further notes of the raga , it will become hindola raga, thus if you hear the same sa with effect of the ma note you will note the hindola swara effects.

    Any inputs on pahadi raga vs. rafi and kishore songs.

    Also few points on ketaki gulab juhi by manna dey and pandit bhimsen joshi.

  41. 1891
    santosh shukla Says:

    there must not be debat over two because kishor was never parallel to rafi sahab..less knowing audiance may like kishor but rafi was real verstile..kishor sung limited type of song but rumored as verstile..did he sing gazal like ..kabhi khud pe kabhi halat pe…or..classical as man tarpat hari darsan ko aaj…or..patriotic like …ab tumhare hawle watan…&..apni azadi ko…or quawalli like…ye mana mery ja…&…parda hai parda..&..chandi ka badan…or marriage song like babul ke duayen….&..aaj mere yaar…&…mera yaar bana hai dulha..or devotionl song as ganga tera pani..badi der bhayi..jai raghunandan….kishor never orked much with great naushad…madan mohan…chitrgupta…sriramchandra…sanker jaikisan..ravi and roshan but rafi was loved by all…kishor da was only suitable for devanand..rajes khanna…&..amitabh…but rafi was fit for all including devanand…dlip..sunl..dharam…rajendra..jitendra..and all…so i thing comparison must stopd…only mannada was at his level but sweetness was missing in his viice…mannada confess himself that rafi wab best playback singer ever produced by film industry…..

  42. 1892
    common_man Says:

    hi mr. khan,

    you wrote: “just think, ghantasala sahab with his same talent is born in bollywood as a hindi man, for sure, he would have ruled – there is absolutely no doubt.”

    as i have mentioned before, even under the above circumstances, ghantasala’s voice could not compete with rafi’s filmy and mellifluous voice in the hindi film industry. be glad that ghantsala was limited to singing only in the telegu industry. ghantasala would have never been able to capture rafi’s magic in films like sangam or guide. o sure, he could technically sing the songs from those films in his sleep but he couldn’t match rafi’s voice quality which made tremendous difference in hfm. try telling shammi kapoor, dharmendra, or rajendra kumar to take ghantasla instead of rafi – they’d laugh at you! ghantasala would get the same treatment as manna dey. voice counts for something.

    you have asked about rafi in the telegu industry.

    telegu industry and hindi industry, despite thier similarities have a lot of differences and so they are like apples and oranges. so it would be unfair for me to say that the apple is better than the orange. but the hindi film industry was more “advantageous” as you got a national audience, national medium, and a large, national pool of talent to work with. in this regard, it was the “best” imo. since rafi was very successful in the “best” industry, he should stick with hfm at all times imo. this is not to dodge what i have acknowledge many times, that rafi was not best suited for the telegu industry which ghantasala reigned supreme.

    but ghantasala was lucky to be born a telegu man. if he was born a hindi man, it would have been unfortunate because his voice would not even remotely sell like rafi’s. you should be happy you didn’t have to see this. oh and about kishore kumar’s surge in popularity – we’ve addressed this in detail in prior posts. but i assure you, only a man of rafi’s enormous talent & saintliness could have resurged in the 70s. ghantasala would not have had a chance in the 70s in the face of the kishore kumar wave.

    ghantasala reigned supreme in his pond and so his fans like to hypothetically extend that to the ocean. it doesn’t work that way. rafi *is* king of the ocean. he the mount everest of singing. the best. the greatest. the singer who encompassed some of the best traits of the other singers.

    mr khan, here’s a fun favorite rafi song of mine. please do share with me a ghantasala song as fun as this.


  43. 1893

    Refer post 1882

    my post 1583 read by few kishorefans and some of them appreciated
    me for a wonderful post.

    Still i request you kishoreans to say something about kishore kumar
    and about his music which can be better than any other singer.i still
    believe it is a tragedy who cannot say anything about his idol since
    i believe there is no subject to tell.that is why there is no article in
    this site about kishore kumar after 4th august 2009.

  44. 1894
    Bhattacharya Says:

    Khan ji and Sri vas ji

    Adarniya Sangeetkaron ko hamara pranam – The above article in one para says dar de dil from film karz is sung in one note by rafi. May I request you kindly to enlighten what it exactly means ?

    Paramjeet, my friend, has earlier was sharing that it is exactly not clear what the author meant by one note.

    Could you kindly put some facts on kishore ji’s talent in yodelling genres ?

    Many rafi fans claim that rafi was good in high pitches and yes indeed it is true. I believe that kishore can also sing high pitches, musicians saab, jara enlighten kijiyega please. This conclusion of mine is due to the texture of voice which kishore had.

  45. 1895
    Rafifan1 Says:

    1883 – anil

    I hope you do not mind if I reply to your question. I think Khan ji had already replied to your question in his earlier post. Going by the pure music rules rafi is greater, what I mean is that without compromising/sacrificing the basic shastriya essence of music (without shifting to commercial style) doing full justice to filmy songs. In my view, perhaps this is generally possible only for people trained in shastriya sangeet. Rafi ji was trained in hindusthani sangeet and this might be the intention for rafi being called as greater.

    Kishore fan – rafi and kishore being compared akin to sunil gavaskar vs. vivian richards.

    I do not subscribe frankly to this view. My personal view on this is only one point. I am sure rafi could have sung kishore’s songs of 70’s as well, but could you confirm whether kishore would have been able to sing rafi’s songs of 50’s and 60’s. There lies the answer. So such comparison cannot be relied upon. How much recognition did kishore had in 50’s and 60’s and how much recognition rafi had in 70’s will confirm who was greater. Even in kishore’s popularity days in 70’s , rafi had a considerable and significant influence on bollywood whereas the same was not with kishore in 50’s and 60’s. So overall analysis, the edge tilts in favour of rafi.


  46. 1896
    sudheer Says:


    Mohd rafi vs. kishore kumar is equal to viv richards vs. sunil gavaskar. To some extent it is correct as Viv Richards had a greater contribution than sunil gavaskar who mainly had achievements in his test career which have been also surpassed currently. I think the better combination would be don bradman vs sunil gavaskar (rafi vs kishore)

  47. 1897
    Khan Says:

    Music lovers,

    I just want to put up a last post and take leave. I am extremely thankful to all the persons who have shown keen interest in knowing about music and respecting my posts all these days and who have discussed about various issues pertaining to music and various singers etc. etc. I am also extremely happy to note about many musicians who have contributed well here, such as surajit bose sahab, srivas sahab etc. and my best wishes to them always.

    Anil sahab – 1883,

    My same post, if you carefully read, would provide reply to your question and I need not repeat that. And I hope the following para will keep at rest all your doubts about a perfect voice as per music rules.

    Kishore fan sahab,

    Yes, i agree with your points, which I too had incidentally mentioned in my previous posts, if you carefully read, you will get that. All the best to you.

    Perfect voice, music rules and technical ability

    One point has to be always remembered (which musicians easily know) that as various songs depending upon the situations etc. in films require different type of expressions etc. for creating perfection for such song, so also different ragas require different type of voice expression and change in voice culture, this is called as change in voice technique. All the ragas should not be sung in one voice (which many singers mostly and generally do). There are ragas which require display of soft, sweet, velvet voice and ragas which require display of hard and rough voice, ragas which require majestic and resonating voice display, dynamism etc. and depending upon the various ragas the voice culture has to undergo a change along with the expressions. Even Mohd. rafi sahab’s voice is mostly uniform and of same type in all his songs. Even the ragas which require rough voice and hard voice to be used, rafi sahab displays his soft voice only because his voice belonged to that type. That is why many music directors, depending upon the compositions and various ragas, prefer various singers depending upon their voice culture. This is the main reason for preferring various types of singers by various music directors for various types of songs and ragas. This is where I find the difference between ghantasala sahab and other singers. Ghantasala sahab exactly changes his voice culture in various of his songs and he undoubtedly had the perfect expression display both in expressions and change in voice culture exactly fitting the raga which is being rendered. This is what is called as perfect technical ability. He sounds sweet wherever it is required and only to the extent it is required, nothing more, nothing less. (his rendition of the bhoop and kalyan ragas is indeed exactly sweet and the rendition in bhimpalas and sohani ragas is indeed dynamic and majestic – a perfection par excellence) That is INDEED a god gifted voice. Similar thing applies to other things i.e. expression and change in voice culture (and this is one of the main area where rafi sahab falls back behind ghantasala sahab). That is the highest quality as per pure music rule. A perfect musician, will thus, obviously prefer ghantasala sahab over rafi sahab and other playback singers.

    I have seen many people who say they like only sweet voices which sound melodious in general, in my view, it is clear such people really do not have the proper taste of music, as it is to be known that sweet voice has to be used only for certain sweet rags such as bhoop, bhilawal thaat, kalyan etc. etc. If any singer uses sweet voice for a rag which requires angry mood expressions, then certainly the singer is off the track and he is simply out as per music rules. That is the main reason why many people do like different types of songs and some songs which are actually not at all liked by them. Whereas a perfect musician likes all the songs, since he sees the perfect music factor in such songs and he will really appreciate them (liking is different) if they are sung in perfection as per pure music rule and which is possible only for : one a singer with gifted voice culture which should be adept in changing in voice technique depending upon the rags and two is : he should be perfectly trained from the musical angle, so that technical ability can be perfectly displayed in the rags.

    That is why for certain rags, only some singers are suitable, and accordingly depending upon the various types of compositions and songs, various singers are explored. Even many compositions by music directors are composed keeping in view the singer’s ability, voice culture and range in mind.

    And a real surprise for me with regard to both rafi sahab and kishore sahab is that Most and many of the songs of both rafi sahab and kishore sahab have been sung in rags which have been repeatedly used many times, the pahadi rag being frequently used specifically for kishore sahab. I do not know why many compositions are made so many times repeatedly in similar rags, (darbari kannad being one of them along with malkauns rag) and I have never come across both these singers rendering any tough and beautiful/challenging compositon in the Bhilawal thaat or the shankarabharanam of carnatic, (which is the king of the ragas) which at one time Srivas sahab had shared a excellent melody of ghantasala sahab in that rag. That remains a everlasting question mark on the ability to render the toughest renditions in yet beautiful & kingly rags for/from the accomplished singers of the hindi cinema from the golden age of the hindi playback singing ?

    Thanks and best wishes to all.

  48. 1898
    kishorefan Says:

    common man 1887

    I was laughing at your post. You have not at all understood Khan sahabs post earlier. Please read his post 1892 (latest) which contains replies to all your questions. He had mentioned that if ghantasala was born as hindi singer, means all his expressions, voice display and all other qualities would have been totally different so as to meet the requirements of the industry. What Khan saab meant was the singer had such kind of talent which could create the highest impact depending upon the industry i.e in whichever industry he is born he is capable of overtaking anybody in that particular industry. This is what he meant and not your understanding of comparison keeping rafi in mind. Manna dey is no where close to ghantasala or his voice culture or range. The southern singer’s voice is very melodious and strong/attractive than manna dey – whose voice is lighter and pales before the former one, as khan saab says. As such there is a lot of difference between ghantasala and manna dey. Hence your view of comparison between dey and ghantasala is a laughable version. Coming to kishore wave, I had echoed many times kishore was the only singer who had a texture of voice closer to ghantasala, and it is difficult to say anything about the 70’s situation unless really both were in the same industry (ghantasala to be born there) so such imagination is waste. Technically qualification and talent/display wise, honesty i will give credit to ghantasala than kishore as well, as that has to be accepted even my me as a kishore fan. Going by rafi and ghantasala from your posts, I just wanted to tell you that rafi had not sung the real tough songs which ghantasala had sung in multiples, which simply places ghantasala in a different league and rafi does not match upto ghantasala in any way in such tough songs (mostly filmy and not only classical- there is no point of comparing rafi in classical, as not only ghantasala even many other surpass rafi in that particular area). There is no point in comparing ghantasala and rafi as the former is clearly in a superior league both talent as well as qualification wise, as compared to the latter and this is “absolute truth”. Rafi fans might have their own preferences, but that does not matter in any way and that cannot be the truth. Even your rafi sahab will not have agreed to your views.

    And going purely by Khan saabs views I would also think (to enlighten you on kishore’s wave) that you should think again that whether would there have been a chance for a wave to be arisen at all, if a singer of ghantasala’s capability was there in the field. Rafi’s talents were purely limited, as khan saab says, so many singers could easily compete with him and due to his limited talents the kishore wave could easily arise and kishore wave was such that people sidelined rafi. Then where is rafi’s supremacy etc. which you were mentioning. As khan saab says, many singers had sung many songs depending upon the ragas and voice culture requirements. So rafi was not a monopoly, though he had a larger influence in the 60’s. But ghantasala was a monopoly in his field and industry (due to his talent). He made all singers vanish as long as he was alive literally for a period close to 30 years (a mount everest feat indeed). Rafi had not created such scenario. Kitna dam hona chayiye waise monopoly situation create karne ke liye tees saal tak. Thus, he was much talented and qualified than rafi my dear common man. So any comparison with him for rafi would fall flat. His status is much supreme as compared to rafi’s status.

    Now, tell me what is mount everest feat for rafi, who had to bend before the kishore kumar’s wave, then what would you tell for kishore kumar in his wave period. Common man, I thought going by your previous posts, you belong to a neutral clan but your latest post confirms that you are a disguised rafi fan just waiting for a opportunity to just brush up your false claims of rafi’s supremacy (as many biased rafi fans believe) at the opportune moment. Rafi fans like you, when start opposing views against musicians themselves, confirm that you are losing your patience, with the fear of losing rafi’s status to well established arguments (as happened with surajit bose ji earlier – he had echoed similar views earlier – bose bhai too had clearly stated many times – both manna dey and rafi no where come near ghantasala who is far superior to both the hindi singers), just try to respect musicians and if you have courage, reply practically to the points raised by khan saab in his latest post and also srivas ji, surajit bose bhai, lalith bhai and others who have put up valid musical points. Simply do not say rafi supreme, rafi mount everest, as those statements are baseless. If you are not able to practically argue, my request would be kindly to stop posting such biased facts about rafi’s supremacy. Many times kishore fans have raised about yodelling talents of kishore with rafi fans. What happened, I need not tell. No reply from any rafi fans, but only one reply rafi unsurpassable and mount everest….. I do not know what these terms really mean when a singer like kishore had created a wave, (as you yourself say) which dethroned rafi.

  49. 1899
    Bhattacharya Says:

    Common_man -1887

    “rafi *is* king of the ocean. he the mount everest of singing. the best. the greatest. the singer who encompassed some of the best traits of the other singers”

    The rafi fan in you has come out again. Then perhaps no other singer would have been necessary to sing any song in hindi. He is the king – But I do not know why many people call manna dey as ahead of rafi in technical songs and why kishore dethroned the so called king of the ocean. The king could not sing many tough songs in the range and likes of ghantasala and still he is the mount everest. Common man – are you out of your mind ? i can show you many people who prefer kishore over rafi, the so called king of ocean – which ocean ? (there are many oceans in the world – in that way ghantasala too was the king of his ocean – you have used the word pond for which you have to apologise, mind you) In one post Mr. Khan says that there are scores of people having melodious voices who have not gained recognition and a person is really great if he is great from both technical ability as well as melodious voice factor. Melodious voice can be possessed by many but not technical ability. In this combination Mr. Khan had rated ghantasala as superior who had combination of both. Rafi was not perfect in combination of both. How could you call him superior ? Jara please apply some common sense. Even if you rate him greater in HFM, kishore is there to take care. Eithere way rafi loses. Kya bath kar rahe ho. Please mention your name as I have doubts that you are the same rafi fan who created furore here earlier and now writing in disguised name.

    Straight question on your post to Mr. Khan : As a musician, Would you rate rafi greater than ghantasala ? Would rafi himself agree with that ? I think even K J Yesudas of the south, as a musician, ranks above rafi in terms of technical ability. O dear common man, in your own language and interpretation, I would like to plainly hear from you whether a post graduate is superior or a graduate is superior. There lies the answer for your post.

  50. 1900
    Murthy Says:

    Common man 1887

    Ghantasala vs rafi – both were established playback singers, but if any comparison has to be made it can be only Arjuna vs karna in the Mahabharata. Both were great warriors. Arjuna was ahead of karna as he had the pasupata astra, which is the majestic technical ability for ghantasala. Remaining areas, there industries were different, so each was great in his own way. But overall conclusion, the pasupata astra factor wins. The issue closes there.

    It is sad to note that khan sahab has closed his posts now, and many earlier good writers have also left ?

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