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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. 1901
    Srivas Says:

    Khan saab,

    I am aware that you got vexed with the comparative intentions. If people like you leave, I think there is no purpose in continuing, unless something musically is discussed. Till such time, I shall also follow suit. Thank you for your posts all these days and for your views on music and specially on ghantasala.

  2. 1902
    Srivas Says:

    Bhattacharya – 1889

    Sorry, I missed your post, before closing I thought I could put some point for your post. The song dar de dil, of rafi sahab, is not sung in one note – we are not sure what the writer meant by dar de dil in one note. Perhaps the writer might have wanted to say that all the paras of the song start on the first note in that particular octave, that might be the intention of the author, which he has not conveyed it properly. But I do not think, as the author mentions that singing dar de dil brings special qualities in rafi, I do not know, as personally I feel, dar de dil is just a ordinary song for a singer like rafi.

  3. 1903
    Srivas Says:

    Bhattacharya ji, contd..

    Yes, kishore can take high pitches, as he had a thick voice which could render high pitches like rafi. Kishore was indeed “special” in yodelling genres and in indian playback singing I have not heard any singer who could create attraction in such yodelling ones similar to kishore. That was a different genre of commercialised version of playback singing, which generally does not go well with “especially” classical musicians (exceptions are there, very few have appreciated it, but on general terms I have expressed the view). From traditional view of music, such genres are not taken into account for reckoning the specialisation in indian music. On similar lines, even rock n rolls – another genre also belongs to the same category – though accomplished playback singers have sung this genre, but strictly and traditionally, generally such kind of genres are not reckoned while analysing the various gharanas of indian traditional music and classical skills of a singer. Thus, if a playback singer has rendered exceptionally well any such genres, from a traditional musical point of view, it has not got much importance, though from the commercialised version, it might have been appreciated. Hope, I have cleared your doubts.

    Khan sahab’s last post is a very great one on music – specially on changing the voice technique and technical ability – Ghantasala undoubtedly was master and supreme in that.

  4. 1904
    Srivas Says:

    Common man 1887 – post only for you

    Just wanted to tell one point. Ghantasala was peerless and incomparable & without replication and this is for you to understand and take it any away as your ‘intelligence permits”. Nothing needs to be presented to prove this point. The singer even today (nearly 4 decades after his demise) not only enjoys immense fan following in millions from common people, but is equally admired even by reputed classical musicians. Even, when he made a foreign tour, in the united kingdom, he was mentioned peerless specially in terms of his majestic and authoritative voice. I have not been able to provide links of some padyams in really tough ragas, all these days, if your hear those renditions, you will know what a singer he was and it is a fact that there is no replication for him in playback singing.

  5. 1905
    Srivas Says:

    Final point common man to my previous post

    Do you know and appreciate that a rendition/song in telugu industry, irrespective of who was the music director, was always sung in the manner in which ghantasala sang (and not as per music directors manner, he only used to give the tune and rest was left to the singer) i.e. in the industry the singer dictated in absolute terms in all areas of singing. That was his status as there was no necessity to tell the singer how a song should come out in “perfection”. Each and his every rendition is as melodious as the other and perfect beyond replication. I repeat one straight statement of SPB made in a press conference long back : Any rendition, to be perfect, has to be sung in the manner and way in which ghantasala sang, and it has to be sung only in that way without any exception. This was his statement.

    Regarding your statement to khan sahab on a fun genre, I would like to tell you, that relangi, the greatest comedian of andhra and first padmashri award winner in India, in 1954 – ghantasala was the peerless comedian singer for this greatest comedian in telugu – please just do not draw conclusions about fun based songs as you like without knowing the facts.

    The above views are for your knowing please and are related to the talents/qualities of the singer and has nothing to do with his contribution in any industry. You will appreciate that I have not made any comparison with anybody, as I generally do not do that.

    Thanks and best wishes to all.

  6. 1906
    Khan Says:

    1885, Srivas sahab, – Before closing, I just wanted to reply to you, as I missed your post,

    I heard the ghantasala sahab songs in your post – Marvellous renditions, it is the perfection par excellence – nothing more to add.

    Common man sahab – nothing to comment on your post, as that does not speak anything with proper evidence and support and no musician will ever agree for that. Just hear songs in post 1885 – see how the ghantasala sahab’s voice as well as expressions change in all the songs (though all are based in a single rag) – that should be the answer for you, if you are able to understand, otherwise my request is to kindly learn music and further discuss.

  7. 1907
    common_man Says:

    “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.”

    >>>i’m a simple man and this is way over my head but i don’t care

    “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.”

    >>>i wouldn’t try to generalize this…

    “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. ”

    >>>Kishore had several songs high in the Binaca Geet Mala in the 50s and 60s so he did get recognition. However, I agree with you and Rafi wins easily, especially in the 60s, for both quality and quantity.

    “Even in kishore’s popularity days in 70’s , rafi had a considerable and significant influence on bollywood”

    >>Absolutely! Kishore could not have carried the 70s by himself. The 70s without Rafi would be HFM with only one leg. some of the best and critical songs for heroes like Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, etc. were rendered by the inimitable Rafi.

    w”hereas the same was not with kishore in 50’s and 60’s.”

    >>>It’s impossible to put a price on a gem like “Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi”…one song like this is worth 500 mediocre or average songs…but I do agree that Rafi had greater contribution to HFM even in the 70s than Kishore in the 50s…if someone disagrees…I won’t argue it as I can sympathize…

    “So overall analysis, the edge tilts in favour of rafi.”

    >>>I agree

  8. 1908
    Bhushan Says:

    Common man 1887

    If you have no objection, I would like to introduce myself as pure ghantasala fan, of course having immense regard for other singers as well. I am really surprised and felt very happy to see that the great and incomparable ghantasala being discussed in this kishore forum – so many posts are there and my full regards and appreciations whosever has participated and enjoyed the southern film music contribution – specially khan, arghya, paramjeet and others. My full regards to them. I am sure 100% that you have not heard ghantasala properly. It is immaterial in which industry an artist is placed. The inborn gifted talent always remains same. I do not know whether any ghantasala fan has shared one divine secret in any of the forums. In one of his articles ghantasala himself says that in the year 1944, when he was without food, one night he slept in a mahakali temple praying that if by tomorrow, you do not show me the way for life, that would be the end of my life. The next day, ghantasala was met by the great lyricist samudrala raghavacharya of the telugu industry and he took him to a marriage function and introduced him to a producer there and got booked for a film swargaseema in 1944. After that there was no looking back, the entire course of the music history of the telugu industry was changed for the next 30 years and which remained incomparable. Ghantasala mentioned that the divine mother has blessed me with what I am today. Common man, ghantasala was blessed with the divine grace of the divine mother which gave him that status. It was due to the divine grace that ghantasala achieved a status with which none can be compared. Now you can understand what the talent which is blessed by divine grace will be. Can it have any comparison ? Just know this secret and you will know the truth. I just tell this point to anybody who argues over ghantasala. He is always the greatest since he was blessed by the divine grace of the divine mother.

  9. 1909
    Lal Says:

    It is better if people stop comparisons between various “legends” and appreciate their songs. How long these comparative sessions will continue ? Any amount of discussions cannot change the contributions/achievements/status of the legends. I do not know why so many comparisons are being made for legends who were all great in one way or the other in their own areas as artists. Specially, this common man seems to be a common man with less patience, he says rafi is the king of the ocean and ghantasala fans extend their views to the ocean. Common man, is there only one ocean, can’t there be another ocean. These kind of views come only from rafi fans like you. OK going by your own words, michael jackson is considered the king of music in west, what will you say if a michael jackson fan comes and says that rafi was admired only in his pond and never try to exend his status to that of ocean of jackson, Where are you then ? As one hears whatever little the ghantasala songs have been presented in this forum, he appears to be definitely superior than rafi as a singer, I do not know what do you mean by technical ability. If that is not there one cannot be a singer at all in music. I have nothing more to say.

  10. 1910
    Musiclover Says:

    SPB had once stated that it is really difficult to sing like mukesh of hindi – Mukesh speciality was in many of his songs a plain strength was his speciality, which many singers did not had. Mukesh voice was melodious and his contribution has a different appeal in hindi cinema, Many of his songs belonging to the raj kapoor era have received good popularity. Another notable singer was Mahendra kapoor who had a sincere expression in his many of this songs. The Mahabharat television serial the title song etc. for which mahendra kapoor was famous. These singers are very less remembered in hindi film world but their contribution can never be forgotten. They have their own role in hindi films. Even saigal of the hindi film world who is called as the foundational father of the hindi fim singing is not known and remembered by many. Perhaps saigal songs have not been well preserved using the current technology ?

  11. 1911
    xxx Says:

    Ahmed kutty,

    There is no purpose in writing same story again and again in the form of articles repetitively. In rafi forum, always same story continues. Rafi sang that song very well, this song very well, sang under so and so music director with such and such singer, always same type articles and no new charm and immediately for such article some die hard rafi fans immediately respond – wah bhai, kya article hai, rafi ji ko yad dilaya – same dabba always article wise and fan wise, nothing new. Kishore fans are much much matured than rafi fans – they are silent because they know what is kishore – the everlasting charming singer of bollywood.

    Kishore fans – This is the popularity voting site. Please vote regularly and see kishore is shown at his place.


    From the southern singers – ghantasala occupies the top position – best wishes for ghantasala fans. He is a marvellous singer.

  12. 1912
    Dhani Ram Says:

    I have some questions to ask in utter humility as it is only on this site I hear talk of some of the virtues of KK which are hardly ever mentioned in the wider world.

    !. If Kishore had such a classically toned voice,why wasn’t it even remotely
    utilised for singing classical songs in films?

    2.KK wasn’t MDs choice even for songs with classical base.Bhajan,ghazals,qawwalis,thumri,serious folk,almost nothing worth speaking in KK’s voice.

    3.There are three devotional songs sung by Rafi belonging to three different religious traditions:Sikhism,Hinduism and Islam.The songs respectively are:1.Nanak morei pyare karam karo humko bhi bula lo Nanakane; 2. Bhgwan ka mandir hai yeh insaaf ka ghar hai;3. Parwar deegaar-e-aalam teira hai sahara,teire siva jahan mein koi naheen hamara(nobody but only Rafi could have sung the last one with touching devotion,pathos and melody).Please cite from KK to parallel this range in devotional music which has classical base.

    4.As for Ghantasalaji,let us acknowledge hiim as Telugu star.Our Ghantasala fan friends are very sensitive about him.They would like him to be declared the best singer in the subcontinent.But in my humble opinon that is simply not true and Ghantasala was absolutely no match for Rafi.Had he confidence enough in his talents he would have ventured out into the wider arena to test his mettle but he didn’t.Frankly speaking,nobody knows Ghatasala in North India.Why would a hugely talented person accept a life of obscurity if he was so great as to surpass all the HFM singers who were mesmerising the entire country and audiences abroad also.Interestingly one of the fans of Mukesh was President Nasser of Egypt.Let me clarify.Every singer who has some talent wanted to try his luck in HMF for wider publicity.Yesudas etc are examples.As per Ghantasala fans he was above everybody.He could then have easily swept HMF also.But no such thing happened and Ghantasala remained confined to his native language,more or less.The fact is that non-Ghanatasala fans like me are not impressed by the quality of his voice,whatever be his technical prowess.

    I have rasied the above questions in utter honesty.My purpose is not to tread upon anybody’s sensitive corns.I shall be grateful for an honest response.

  13. 1913
    commonman2 Says:

    kishore fan

    Both kishore kumar and ghantasala had a free flowing and strong voice. Due to the technical expertise ghantasala appears more sophisticated and attractive in terms of command over notes and music, where kishore has no chance before ghantasala. Barring the technical expertise, as you said we can find similarities in both the voices in terms of attraction and expression. I think both of these voices are stronger than mohd rafi. Even K J Yesudas voice appears stronger than rafi. Rafi’s voice is equally pleasant to hear. Each singer had their own accomplishments – enjoy the good music created by all.

  14. 1914
    commonman2 Says:


    Ketaki gulab juhi – one of the great songs in hfm classical style, manna de has rendered beautifully. Despite such talent, manna was not as successful as rafi and kishore kumar in hfm. Even luck plays a major role in the life of an individual. Both Mannna and mahendra kapoor were talented singers as well.

    The songs of ghantasala – nice to hear and i stand by my previous post on the same.

  15. 1915
    Bhattacharya Says:

    Of late, we have been missing the posts of our esteemed friends, Arghya ji, paramjeet ji, Satyansh ji etc. who had put up some beautiful posts on kishore kumar. I hope they will be back sooner or later

  16. 1916

    Please refer post 1886
    Dear Mr.Santhosh shuklaji,
    your views are 100% correct.kishore kumarji had sung very limited
    types of songs only .some medias and some jelousy people tried to
    sideline rafi saab.but rafi saab could survive because of the quality
    of his divine voice and his divine personality.I am his fan since i was
    13 years old.i could get his autographed photograph with letter
    in May 1980 just two months before his death (31st july 1980)
    I am still keeping it as a very precious gift.i have put rafi saab’s name
    for my son.i am from kerala and and in our state so many die hard
    fans of rafi saab is there.rafi saab did not sing a single song in our
    malayalam language and in kerala only 5% of the population
    understand hindi or urdu.so it is a wonder how people are becoming
    rafi saab’s fans.i used to tell to my friends it is the 8th wonder of the
    world.even illiterate people are die hard fans.one porter in alapuzha
    constructed a concrete bus shed in the memory of rafi saab.he even
    conducting rafi nights on ever 31st july with his hard earned money
    and by borrowing money from others!

  17. 1917
    Priya Sanyal Says:

    Khaniji, accept my greetings to u. Lets dive in the divinity of our music.What does it matter if we fall from differnt banks and mine is rafi sahab. wish u ur dreams for ur contributions here.i wish u don`t make it ur last post plz stay with us now n then,for the shake of ur love to the legends.we rafians also love Kishore da and good words written for him some witted person like u.

    let me make few points here. yes Rafi sahab was embodiment of melody.The song teri bindiya re in 70s was composed by kishore da forum`s fav dada burman.The epilogue in the film was that Bachhanji was inferior in singing than jaya ji in the role. Rafi sahab is so perfect in high notes(just recall melodious dekho rutha na karo duet of these two greats,when rafi saab sing teri khusboo..) yet, they made no modulation for rafi saab in the song as it was the demand of scene in film.While, Lataji was given very high notes.
    recently on her B`day lataji revealed that she made some part of the rehearshal of this song in absence of rafi sahab (without Rafi saab knowing it)with burman da.It was against duet norms of that time for both the singer used to do jugalbandi in one strech. At the time of recording Lataji sang differently than what she rehearshaled with rafi sahab. Rafi sahab got surrprised and little betrayed for he was not taken in confidence, any other singer would have quitted but rafi sahab resumed and sang in low notes with no modulation…..when song released it became one of all time best duet and interestingly a rafi song!just like the song chalo didldar chalo, where rafi sahab only sings one line chalo dildar chalo,and whole movie including other songs have Lataji but rafi impact is tremendous on Pakiza! such was Charisma of rafi sahab with melody!

    so,there is nothing wrong if u think him soft but now remember , ye duniya agar mil jaye of Pyasa,and o duniya ke rakhwale of Baiju Bawra and again yeh duniya ye mehfil, kya hua tera wada, songs of laila majnu, for jeetendra and shammi ji etc and endless such songs where no one can call him soft…

    now when u call all Rafi sahab`s song sounds same, Rehman answers this that its not same but rcognisation,saying , “‘It is like a personal signature. Take Mohammed Rafi, for example. He might sing in different raga, but no matter what he sings, you know that this is a Rafi song””

  18. 1918
    N Prabhakar Says:

    Dear Khan Saheb,
    Many books were published on Ghantasala Mastaru since his demise in 1974. We are brining another book on him. We would likte to post your analysis on golden voice of mastaru in our book. Please post you mail ID to my mail ID prabhayen@yahoo.com for further correspondence.


  19. 1919
    Suneel Says:

    Kishore Kumar is the greatest singer ever on earth.
    No need to compare the incomparable Kishore da to other singers.

  20. 1920
    Suneel G Says:

    Kishore da sang with his ‘aatma’ and thats the reason his songs were so soulful. A deep voice and yet so sweet and honey coated with a vast range of wmotions. In the early part of his career Kishore sahab concentrated on acting singing an occassional song for SD Burman. Here I would like to point out to the group baazi in the Hindi film industry in the 1950s and 60s.Naushad,
    OP Nayar, Shankar Jaikishan , LP, Ravi, never assigned songs to Kishore sahab. Only SD burman persisted with Kishore da as he had immense faith in Kisjore K the god gifted singer. Just hear the songs of Guide, Teen Deviyaan, etc. But it was with Aradhana in 1969 that the Kishore wave came in and dethroned Rafi sahab forever resulting in frustration and less and less songs for him. From 1969 to 1987 till his sad demise Kishore da was the only singer whose songs could guarantee success for a film. He was the Number 1 to 10 singer. the others followed after that. When God wishes to crown a a great talent like Kishore da than no mortals be it rafi or Mukesh or Manna day or naushad can come in between his success.
    And did God give Rafi a license to be the number One singer for ever?? All that changed in 1969 with the Kishore Kumar wave. Can anyone Yodell like Kishore da. He Yodelled in the entire Mere Jeevan saathi song ‘ Oh mere dil ke chain….” And even his yodelling was so much in tune and Sur.
    Thank you God for giving us a singer like Kishore Kumar and make life worth living for us.

    Suneel G

  21. 1921
    Chinmay Says:

    Hi…i m a rafi fan n kishore fan also but guys i think these sites in memory of the legends r to connect people n enjoy the gr8 songs n not for comparing them.n i m sure for one thing that none of us is so great to compare them.so dont try to degrade any of them.

  22. 1922
    Hari Anant Says:

    When Rafi saab sings solo version like “mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam…, Ehsan tera hoga mujh par…..,teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein…, the sweetness of his voice is acknowledged, Lata’s versions get no where nearer to his. Rafi sang from core of his heart- all romantic songs that he play backed for dilip kumar, dev anand, rajendra kumar, johney walker, shammi kapoor, joy mukherjee and the likes, it is not rafi but the actor is symbolizes as singer. In contrast, Kishore Kumar always maintained his identity even giving play back. imagine when dev anand potrays ‘ dil dhal jaye raat na jaye or tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain, dil ka bhanwar kare pukar, khoya khoya chand etc. can we isolate him from Rafi saab? The list is endless. Kishor’s rendering was throatical more, and not from heart. Anyway, difference of opinion is always there in a democratic set up.

  23. 1923
    Shekhar Says:

    was just sifting through some info about criticisms for Rafi Saab(though I am a Rafi fan) where I stumbled on this site. I’ve seen some comments on both of these two stalwarts in question which I honestly wouldn’t agree with, its a matter of personal opinion though. I see that this site is for Kishore Sir but heard so many praises(also) for Rafi Saab. They should be best left alone since I don’t think any of us ‘re capable of criticizing them or deciding who’s the best. Rafi was a trained person whose singing exuded his personality and the kind of person he was, I once heard in an Amin Sayani interview where it was said that his voice was a spitting image of his heart. I even read someone say on this forum that Rafi was not that good in hindustani classical songs(duh!) I agree not as good as Manna Dey sir, but Rafi, come on, have some respect people. Kishore sir, I heard, slapped a fan who came up to him and said that ” apne rafi ki chhutti kar di”, I don’t know what really happened, but if it is true then who the heck are we to say that there was even a rivalry within the two. This incident only shows the kind of respect Kishore sir had for Rafi. Hail Rafi and Kishore. By the way if classically speaking ever heard the Great Great Bhimsen Joshi rendition of Raag Darbaari. Check it out. Awe inspiring.

  24. 1924
    N Prabhakar Says:

    Though it is out of scope of this discussion boards, please clarify whether Vaijayanthimala the actresss sang any Songs in Hindi?

  25. 1925
    Anirban Saha Says:

    I read here a guy named”Dhani Ram”who had asked that’If Kishore had such a classical toned voice,why wasn’t it even remotedly utilised for singing classical songs in films!Is it..??Well..Mr”Dhani Ram”..Do you know that classical is such a cultural part of the music which neither gives pleasure to mind nor it reaches in to the bottom of the heart of audience if a playback singer choose it professionally to be sing in commercial films! i’m not belongs to any musical background,still as much as i can tell that, if a playback singer starts to sing classical songs incessantly in commercial films, it won’t be acceptable by the audience.Anyways, i shall give you an example.Did you seen the film’Mehbooba’,a hit movie of ‘1970’s’!!On that film there was a song called”Gori tori Pahejaniya”,a almost hi-tecq classical no..sang by”Manna Dey”!(who is still known to be a great playback classicalist).Undoubtedly the song was sung with different mood and extreme talent by him But in the same film a song called”Mere naina sawan bhado”sang by”Kishore kumar”which was sung with something beyond comprehension and won the mind of the people of every category. As i’ve heard that”Kishore kumar”was suggested by a ‘Ustad’ to never go for the classical music professionally by listening his flexible profound voice,Whether it might get affected with hoarseness.I evemore agree that “Md Rafi”was such a singer of euphonic voice who ever born in Bollywood film industry and sang numberless melodious songs,even more than”Kishoe kumar”.And offcourse it is a matter of personal choice.Still,it is not my or your comment that”Kishore kumar”has been considered as a ‘Ever verstile’ singer in “Bollywood”very earlier.What should i say about his versatility…?? I can only say that a person who sang”Ina meena deeka”,”Main hoon jhum jhum jhum jhumroo” the same person sang the “Tagore” songs in a serious mood called”Bidhir badhon katbe tumi” and “Chol re chol sobe bharot o sontan”(Revolutionary songs)without background music in the film ‘Ghore Baire’of “Satyajit Ray”.
    And what is left about his classical songs, Ghazals, Qawalis,regional songs!
    Let me tell everyone whether they are “Kishore Kumar”or”Md Rafi’s” fans that this totally’UNTRAINED’singer gave alms of some classical songs like,”Savere ka suraj tumhare liye”,”Aap ke anurodh pe”,”Panthi hoon main”,”Humari zid hai ke”(rare).In bengali like,”Hey Priyotama”,”Amar moner aye”,”Amar dip nebhano Raat”etc..Ghazals like,”Aj tu gair sahi”, Chandi raat mein”,”Kabhi bekasi ne mara”.Qawalis like,”Haal kya hai dilo ka”,”Agar leta hoon tera naam”etc.. Regional songs he sang in,”Punjabi, Marathi,Telegu, Oriya, Assamese, Gujrati,Malayalam”Even one song in ‘English’which is totally unreleased.There is a bengali audio drama called “Rakhal chandro Matal” where he acted of eight character alone. And it is needless to say about his popullarity..”Rare songs website by ‘Sanjeev Tiwari’!,(songs.kishorekumar.org) Book has been published,”The genius with many faces”, ‘K’ for ‘Kishore’ program organined by Sony entertainment!,Oftenly magazines comes out!Some of his unreleased and rare songs sold at the maximum price of Rs five thousand each!!

  26. 1926
    Anirban Saha Says:

    I never read such astonishing comment about”Kishore kumar”that his rendering was throatial more,not from his heart!!says by”Hari anant”.So you meant “Mr Anant”,”Hume tumse pyar kitna”,”Main sahyer badnam”,”Zindegi ka safar”,”Aye tum yaad mujhe”,”O sathi re”these all songs are sung in throtical more…??(Arrey boss!it is a kind of voice which bothers no Generation,Our grand children will listen even in same manner like today’s”I always agree that “Md Rafi”was the origin of Bollyood playback songs”But If i say, Ever since”Md Rafi” cried rather than giving an expression of pathosness in many of his sad songs!I know you won’t agree since you are the”Md Rafi’s”fan.But It is the fact.It is not your fault,that you cannot feel “Kishore kumar’s” expressive & profound voice!.It s your Unluck!In this world there are some people exists who Denay the view of “Taj Mahal”!rather than they much more appretiate an ordinary building!(Truth & fact).Do you no “Mr Anant”,in present days “Kishore kumar”is no-more a singer!He is like a”SUBJECT”!!!And offcousre it is not my personal opinion.If you are wide awake about the world of entertainment, then i’m sure you should know this.

  27. 1927
    Hari Says:

    Mohd Rafi and Kishore are great singers. Rafi can’t sing like Kishore and vice versa.

    As far as the comparison for the greatest goes, I am inclined to Rafi Saab as I am a hardcore fan of his voice.

    Kishoreda’s voice had energy to carry the people along with his songs…

    BUT, please don’t call anyone the greatest singer in INDIA….as people always will have preferences to the voices and styles which they grew up listening to..

    Rafi Sahab, Lataji, KJY, SPB, Kishoreda are gems of India…

  28. 1928
    Kumar K Says:

    I am not sure how many of you know that Kishoreda vowed not to sing for anyone else except Dev Anand and himself. That could have been one of the reasons why Kishoreda did not have many songs (in 50’s & early 60’s) unlike Rafi saab. However the vow was broken on the insistence of SD Burman in 1969 for the movie Aradhana. Post that I think it was just Kishoreda allover the place…..as he started singing for Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Amitabh, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and the list goes on till his demise in 1987. It was a wave that swept everyone in the industry off their floor and no one could escape that….sadly Rafi saab also had to lie low for a long time. All I want to convey is that both Kishoreda and Rafi saab were great in their own era and each had a share of their best times….initially Rafi saab and later Kishoreda. But after Kishoreda…the void could never be filled again. Let’s celebrate in the songs they sang and enjoy the rest of our lives listening to their melodious voices than trying to prove who is great. Cheers

  29. 1929
    a c tuli Says:

    There should not be any comparison between singers, especially Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi. Both of them were great in their own way. But then some fundamental truths have to be taken into consideration. Kishore Kumar, as we know, was not just a singer but also an actor. He started acting in films, or putting in cameo appearances in the films of the late 40s and early 50s, and also playbacked for other actors. But for a long time music directors did not take him seriously. He was considered good for light, breezy songs. It was Rafi who was considered a master singer who could sing every kind of song.
    Kishore Kumar’s meteoric rise as a playback singer began in 1969 when he sang the songs of ‘Aradhana’. The film was a superhit and Rajesh Khanna began to consder Kishore Kumar as his lucky mascot. Thereafter he made a rule that only Kishore Kumar would playback for him
    But when all is said and done, it cannot be denied that Kishore Kumar’s voice lacked the range that Rafi was capabale of. Can anyone imagine Kishore Kumar singing ‘O duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhare mere nale’, or ‘Insaaf ka mandir hai yeh bhagwan ka ghar hai, and such other songs set in the higher octaves?
    But then there are people who argue that range is not what makes a singer great. K. L. Saigal had a limited range, but as a singer he is bound to be considered one of the greatest one of all times. It was because there was something in his voice which no other singer could ever hope to achieve. We cannot imagine any other playback singer attempting ‘Babul mora nahiyar chhuto jai’ in a better way than Saigal. Then, the non-film ghazals he sang are simply beyond the scope of any singer, past or present.
    To conclude, I would like to say that I both Kishore Kumar and Rafi are great, and therefore we should not make comparisons.

  30. 1930
    Ravi Says:

    Two voices which have always mesmerized me are that of Rafi saab and Ghantasala,it is purely a treat to listen to them.
    Rafi had rendered his golden voice to all the music directors of his time without any exception(probably only singer to do so)He sang with all his co- singers both male and female( Known and unknown singers)
    Rafi had wide range as he could sing any song without missing its flavor,wether it was clasical,folk,patriotic,Keertan or bhajan you name it.
    I feel this kind of versatility was not there in any singer except for Mannaday who could also sing with ease.

    It is our good fortune that we are in that era of Rafi,Kishor,Mukesh,Ghantasala and still we are hunting for a voice which can fill that void left by the greats Rafi,Kishor & Mukesh.
    In south at least voices of SPB & Yesudas could partially fill the vaccum
    left by Ghantasala.

    In the end as Chinmay rightly said we cannot compare them,we can only relish what they have given to us.

  31. 1931
    Musharraf Says:

    Anirban Saha, Post 1920. i have heard Kishore Kumars Tagore songs. They were really beautiful. But I was thrilled when I heard K.L. Saigal’s Tagore songs. I think no one can sing “Ami tomaye joto shunieye chchilem gaan” better than K.L.Saigal, not even Debabrata or Hemanta.

  32. 1932
    Kumar K Says:

    If Kishoreda cannot sing ‘O duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhare mere nale’, or ‘Insaaf ka mandir hai yeh bhagwan ka ghar hai, or if one thinks so. I challange if someone could sing ‘Kitne Atal The Tere Iraade’ ‘Log Kehte hain main sharaabi hoon’ ‘Chingari Koi Bhdake’ and loads of other high and low pitch songs with the same rendition and feel. Kishoreda was not a trained singer at all and most of others including Rafisab were highly trained in classical so their singing was more like following conventions of classical singing that any one could do after learning for few years. On the contrary Kishoreda had his own inimitabls style that could never be imitated or matched by any other singer as he was very unconventional and just followed his heart in singing any song. In fact who could mix yodeleying with songs in such a beautiful manner that it feels to be a part of the song….one and only Kishoreda could dare do that and do it with utmost conviction. In the end I would like to say that a Geniuses are not trained….they are just born to show what they are. And Kishoreda was a brilliant Genius who had the versatility that none had or will ever have in generations to come. He is always imitated……but never equalled.

  33. 1933
    murali Says:

    May please write any name except SPB because it is not befitting here with great songsters

  34. 1934
    V Kumar Says:

    1907 – Mr. Dhaniram

    Your post is simply absurd, absurd, absurd. Rafi’s talents are purely limited. Both kishore and ghantasala were quite ahead of rafi, one was a gem without training and other was a gem with training, they were two different gems. For your kind information rafi was no match for ghantasala, not even close if we listen to similar songs sung by both of them. Just see one post of Mr. Surajit bose in the divine voice of devotional kishore here, limitations of rafi from classical view has been brought out, you were pointing out at kishore’s classical skills – what is the use, if perfection is not there, despite being trained as highlighted in that post on limitations of rafi. Just go to ghantasala songs for classical perfection of filmy songs my dear dhaniram, you will know what is beauty of classical film songs. The mangeshkar sisters are good classical performers in hindi.

    Mr. Murali – Yes SPB cannot fit in the list of greats, agreed.

  35. 1935
    balarykar Says:

    “May please write any name except SPB because it is not befitting here with great songsters ”
    I will write here SPB is one of the greatest singer that the country has ever produced.

    “Mr. Murali – Yes SPB cannot fit in the list of greats, agreed. ”
    I don’t agree.

  36. 1936
    Kumar K Says:

    I would like to draw the attention of all who believe that SPB does not make it to the great singers list to the songs that he belted out for the movies like Shankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Siri Vennela, Swathi Kiranam, Swarna Kamalam etc. His calibre as a singer is well acknowledged by some of the legendary composers of our times….like Illayaraja, KV Mahadevan and others. While we are trying to lift some of the great singers, we should not do so at the cost of other singers. Agreed there’s no comparison with Ghantasalgaru in classical form, but the range and versatility that SPB has should be respected as well. We all love listening to good songs, admire the greats that rendered them.

  37. 1937
    Bhushan Says:

    Balarykar and kumar

    Well, SPB has rendered certain good renditions under the music direction of reputed music directors such as illayaraja etc. True, but there are many other singers who can easily sing SPB songs. Clear difference between his predecessor (ghantasala) is that it is not easy to sing on the scale or range or beauty of ghantasala for/by any other singer, specially with reference to ghantasala songs, but the same does not apply to spb’s songs, many other singers could have sung spb songs quite comfortably. There is a vast difference between both the singers. Not only that I am sure SPB cannot go to top high pitches comfortably as ghantasala did or even rafi did in hindi.
    No offence meant to SPB – sagara sangamam, sirivennala – swathi kiranam yes – nice songs, but not at all tough and could have been rendered by many others. By the way, could you clarify whether SPB had ever attempted siva sankari of ghantasala (just for information) There lies the difference where the degree of greatness differs. I heard that spb did a lot of politics to maintain his position, might be he was apprehensive that even many others could sing the songs beautifully, but the case was not same with his predecessor in the telugu industry.

  38. 1938
    murali Says:

    SPB doesn’t fit here – is said here for his sheer arrogance type of comments and boasting himself while enacting a judge role in one of the Tele programs ( one of them being a recent program with Sekhar kammula in paduta teeyaga). Such comments would drive many people away from him. You would not find any notable singer in such a poor light in any programs though miles ahead of him in caliber. After such a silly comment he would come up with a word of praise of Ghantasala or another person as a re conciliatory measure to cover up his image. No doubt he had some notable songs to his credit – it is something else whether it stands against some immortal songs of others – but he should not over run his due. It is good luck that Rafi Kishore Ghantasala Mukesh Yesudas have not seen this over exposure on TV for decades there by not committing any silly comments. But there were no such reports against their names. I can only hope and request him to refine his wordings in public appearance else one would be away from a great program like paduta teeyaga. If not for the comments, he is a great compere than a singer. Good Luck to SPB and his fans. It is my honest opinion and no biased feeling.

  39. 1939
    Varma Says:

    I agree with Mr. Kumar, though SPB cannot be compared with ghantasala in any form, yet he has his immense contribution to the telugu industry. After ghantasala, it was SPB who had ruled the industry for the next 2 decades. If ghantasala was a popular music director himself having worked with greats such as rajeswara rao, pendyala, t v raju etc. SPB also composed music for some/few films and had worked with greats such as illayaraja, a r rehman etc. in the current generation. SPB was as well the lead singer for many of the leading heroes of his times, as ghantasala was for NTR, ANR etc. SPB’s contribution not only to the telugu industry, but even for tamil industry cannot be forgotten. As rafi for hindi and ghantasala for south in the 50’s and 60’s were famous , so were kishore kumar and SPB for hindi and south respectively in the 70’s and 80’s. It does not matter whether SPB has achieved such status by virtue of playing politics or otherwise, but one has to remember that SPB’s contribution cannot be forgotten and as Sri Balarykar says here, in the 80’s SPB was one of the greats produced by the indian film industry. He is like the kishore kumar of the south.

  40. 1940
    Mohan Says:

    Murali and Kumar

    SPB did influence the telugu and tamil industry. But on language front, SPB too is not fully perfect pronounciation wise, more so when the language command and pronounciation of ghantasala is taken note of. However, with the exclusion of ghantasala in telugu and mohd rafi in hindi, SPB is somewhat better than other singers in terms of analysing a song and catching the song in a better way. SPB too stands a famous singer in the 70’s and 80’s, though from 90’s onwards, he has started losing sheen slowly. Now he is much engaged in TV programmes , one such popular show has been Paaduta teeyaga. As was kishore kumar for hindi, SPB is also equally regarded with such pomp in the southern industry. In fact, it is even said that SPB used to imitate kishore kumar in some part of his career as a singer.

  41. 1941
    rakesh Says:

    kishor was god of singing no one can close to them compare to rafi kishor is far far better it is like comperison of sun &lamp rafi was a boaring singer & average singer compare to god kishor there are many rafi but there is only kishor the greaat.

  42. 1942
    murthy2010 Says:

    dear mr varma – post 1934

    “It does not matter whether SPB has achieved such status by virtue of playing politics or otherwise”

    what do you mean by this? your above comment means to me that there is no difference between genuine talent and the duplicate one. please clarify. regards.

  43. 1943
    M S Adam Says:

    While I am a great fan of both rafi and Kishore , I think the debate ends with the fact that Rafi sang playback for Kishore and there is no getting away from that. Lataji herself has said rafi was india’s greatest playback singer and she worked with them both. In a recent tribute to rafi , Lataji said “”Rafi bhaiya was not only India’s greatest playback singer but also a wonderful person. I am yet to come across another artist so modest, dignified and unassuming. The blessings of Goddess Saraswati were with him and this was responsible to a great extent for his iconic success and he believed in true sadhna.”

    “He was one singer whose vocal range could outclass any other singer, whether it was me, Asha, Mannada or Kishore bhaiya.”

    “It is very wrong to say that Kishore Kumar overtook Rafi bhaiya in the early 1970s.Kishore was no doubt at his peak, but Rafi bhaiya was equally effective with Tere naam ka diwana, Gulabi aankhen, Yeh duniya yeh mehfil and Tum jo mil gaye ho. Even Kishore bhaiya never felt he was ahead of Rafi.”

  44. 1944
    common_man Says:

    “Clear difference between his predecessor (ghantasala) is that it is not easy to sing on the scale or range or beauty of ghantasala for/by any other singer, specially with reference to ghantasala songs, but the same does not apply to spb’s songs, many other singers could have sung spb songs quite comfortably.”

    lol, proved my point once again. all you can talk about is “how hard” a song is to sing yet are completely ignorant of the artistic aspect of singing. others singers can technically sing spb’s songs but few can match his mellifluous voice & profound, natural expressions of emotions. this is why spb sang them and not someone else (yes i’ve heard the conspiracy theories).

    “By the way, could you clarify whether SPB had ever attempted siva sankari of ghantasala”

    rofl, talking about the same song again and again and again…siva sanakari…has ghantasala sang only siva sankari and kuhu kuhu? that’s what one would think listening to you.

  45. 1945
    debasis Says:

    I enjoy hearing Kishore and Rafi, i was looking for a site that gives details about Kishore and a friend asked me to come here but I am hurt to see that this site is more about insulting Rafi than about celebrating Kishore.
    What a tragedy that these so called fans of Kishore are the ones that are ruining the memory of Kishore.

  46. 1946
    common_man Says:

    “While I am a great fan of both rafi and Kishore , I think the debate ends with the fact that Rafi sang playback for Kishore and there is no getting away from that.”

    Although I too consider Rafi to be clearly the greatest, I don’t agree with the above reasoning. Kishore could have sang “Apni Adat” in his sleep. The fact that he lip synced to Rafi’s song shows the respect that he had for Rafi. I appreciate it.

    “Lataji herself has said rafi was india’s greatest playback singer and she worked with them both.”

    I don’t take the personal opinions of dignitaries too seriously. This was a tribute. I’m sure that on Kishore’s birthday she, as a formality, would say something equally hyperbolic. Opinions are different from first hand accounts IMO.

    “He was one singer whose vocal range could outclass any other singer, whether it was me, Asha, Mannada or Kishore bhaiya.”

    Not a big deal.

    “It is very wrong to say that Kishore Kumar overtook Rafi bhaiya in the early 1970s.Kishore was no doubt at his peak, but Rafi bhaiya was equally effective with Tere naam ka diwana, Gulabi aankhen, Yeh duniya yeh mehfil and Tum jo mil gaye ho. Even Kishore bhaiya never felt he was ahead of Rafi.”

    Agree 100%

  47. 1947
    Bhushan Says:

    1939 – common man

    It appears good to discuss with you. As per your request please refer to my post 2275 in true voice col. of rafi forum. Hope that is what you were requesting for. I am again copying the link for your information here.


  48. 1948
    Prasad Sarma Says:

    SP Bala Subramanyam as a singer may be great because he has sung more than 30,000 songs till A.R.Rehaman’s jamana commenced. But as a human being he is very much disgraceful. It is Super Star Krishna who gave him the status of a singer for Heros. It was Krishna alone who encouraged him throughout in his tough days. But SPB had no gratitude towards his saviour. Later when became singer for other stars like NTR, ANR and Sobhan Babu, he totally neglected Krishna and stopped singing for him for some time. Most disgraceful human being. But on platforms he preaches several “subhashithams” which he never follows.

  49. 1949
    somnath Says:

    Why get involved in this meaningless controversy? Enjoy listening to the songs of Kishore and Rafi in accordance with our mood. During festive occasions and when one is romantically charged listen to Kishore and at all other times listen to Rafi. Both are legends in their own right. There are lots of singers who can imitate both Kishofre and Rafi. No one came from any other planet. Both were great and we can see greater singers in the days to come.

  50. 1950
    Fan of Kishoreda Anand Says:

    Hi to every fan of Great Singer kishore da , I think no one can match the voice he have ,,, the greatness in his sound quality,,, and the way he sung every songs is different from each others is the great quality of great singer kishore da ,,,, He sing every mood of song ,,,,, every song of kishore da just we hear and hear and hear,,,,, its like new every time we hear,,,, Just I say that he is the God of singing………
    And now I heard that a tribute to Kishore da means A Movie was going to be made of Kishore da life……… I’m so excited for the movie ,,, You Cant believe how eagerly i’m waiting for the release of the movie.

    kishore da you are a great singer ,,, always you will be in our Hearts…

    Thanks from my heart for the Creative Teams going to be made such a great movie of such a great Legend.

    We Love you KISHORE DA……….

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