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 Blog Comments to “An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..”

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  1. Bhattacharya says:

    Musharaff sahah

    Aape comments ko amara dhanyavad hai, krupaya sweekar karein.

    janab Dr. Chandrasekhar saab,

    You have given link to very beautiful songs of ghantashala ji,

    The first song though a smaller one is very mesmerising – ghantashala ji ne kamal kar diya gane me – unka classical skills or voice bahut hi adbhut hai – just class apart from others – Madhuban mein radhika nache re of rafi ji, “cannnot be compared in any way to the song of ghantashala ji” which is just class apart.

    Second song ‘priytama’ bahug madhur aawaz display kiya ghantashala ji ne, taan rendering was very great and beautiful in the end.

    Balarykar ji,

    Thanks for your response, hope we expect to see some good beautiful article on kishore kumar shortly from you.

  2. vikram says:

    Music lovers of all great singers

    The period from 40’s-60’s was a golden period in INDIAN PLAYBACK SINGING – without any special emphasis on any language. The environment was such that at that time no modern influence, western culture popularity or music etc. had any influence on the indian music. As such our traditional yet strong and melliflous music was the base for playback singing. Be it any language whether hindi, telugu, tamil, bengali etc. etc. all had a strong base of indian classical music , some of the practitioners who utilised their god gifted talents into playback singing. With such environment and strict values as well as training in those days from the indian music angle vis-a-vis its traditional influence and practises in music naturally artists had a stricter control and practise on art forms and the result we had seen – the indian playback singing industry had seen great artists in that period who could cast a very great influence being exercised on generations & the influence continues.

    After the above period slowly in 70’s and then 80’s western influence starting casting its shadow and we know short cut methods and dilutions started taking place and by 90’s and today the songs are such that many of the songs are not heard properly, only music is heard – that has become the trend, nevertheless the greatness and influence of old songs from the so called golden period continue to dominate even today – many programmes in all languages (in television shows now a days) all old songs are sung by 5 year children to old age people. This is a cherising feature for those great artists who made indian playback singing memorable.

  3. KADU says:

    I think Shabbir kumar , Anwar & Munna Aziz are greatest singer in the Industry.

  4. Raj says:

    2092 – Kishore fan ji and Dr. Chandrasekhar ji – 2094,

    “Is there any telugu semiclassical song by ghantasala which has the style of madhuban me radhika – I mean to say not so tougher or in the class/league like siva sankari or rasika raja – but in the level of madhuban me radhika.”

    What real great songs – ghantasala is just awesome in those numbers chandrasekhar ji. The song ni madhu murali sounds somewhat similar to madhuban mein radhika of hindi – but on technical beauty is far ahead than the hindi number – ghantasala “alone” perhaps could sing the song with such beauty. Individually, hindi song of rafi is nice to be heard, but if put up for comparison with ghantasala’s version (of course the tunes are different though in like rag), the hindi number sees a lower grading.

  5. Bhushan says:

    Dr. chandrasekhar garu – post 2094

    Rafi ji’s song Madhuban mein radhika nache re and Ghantasala’s song nee madhu murali gaana leela (which you shared) – both are composed in “Hamir Kalyani raga” – rafi struggles (slows down) in madhuban – concentrating carefully more on notes so that ability should not be loosened – the song needs more strength from raga angle which hamir kalyani should display- I think Manna de would have created a stronger effect- Ghantasala just plays with the song in nee madhu murali and the raga hamir kalyani which becomes glorified in his voice – The raga rendition as compared to rafi’s song is exactly at a double speed in end in ghantasala’s song – telugu song starting at a similar speed similar to madhuban mein radhika, as the song closes – double speed and strength is assumed finally ending at a middle note in the higher final octave – great composition by S Rajeswara rao in Hamir Kalyani.

    Priyatama radhika rave – the second song is in kalyani raga – melodiously composed as well as sung, & in which ghantasala was a specialist as it was his favourite raga.

  6. Kishorefan says:

    Dr. Chandrasekhar ji, – greetings from a kishore lover here, pl. welcome.

    I have heard the ghantasala songs posted by you – I am not that expert in knowing the rag in which madhuban me radhika is composed so I could not identify whether that song and the song of ghantasala both are in similar rag or not – however, as a lay man, I find a little similarity – i think I have heard this one earlier – this is a very awesome song – ghantasala was just amazing in speed as well as ability – good song.

    The second one “priyatama radhika” a beautiful melody number – the sound quality/recording needs improvement, perhaps the site is like that ? – I enjoyed the song – the taans at the end are great, as usual for a ghantasala song. This song also was not shared earlier here.

    Dr ji, I have not heard any playback singer who could match ghantasala’s speed and strength in such type of songs – indeed awesome.

    Thanks for the songs.

  7. Dr. Chandrasekhar says:

    Dear Kishore fan, Bhattacharya, Raj, Murthy, Musharaff ji, and all others,

    Kishore kumar lovers are surely better analysts – their posts confirm that they have indeed great sense of musical analysis like kishore kumar himself – another popular great in hindi film playback singing. Their views on ghantasala itself stands tetimony to that.

    Kishore fan ji

    You have mentioned

    “Is there any telugu semiclassical song by ghantasala which has the style of madhuban me radhika – I mean to say not so tougher or in the class/league like siva sankari or rasika raja – but in the level of madhuban me radhika.”

    In the level of madhubam me radhika, there are plenty of songs, and I think this song of ghantasala is composed in the like raga in which maduban me radhika of rafi is composed, this is the song

    This is another melodious semi classical number

  8. Murthy says:

    Musharaff ji

    Thank you sir for the post. The sharabi song was liked by our other friends too in this forum earlier.

    Ramireddy ji- post 2090

    “Ghantasala is the greatest Indian singer to date where as Rafi is the most popular Indian singer”.

    CORRECT. To some extent popularity wise kishore kumar also has got importance. But talent and voice/achievements wise, what ghantasala achieved has not been achieved by anybody in indian cinema. He laid an environment which echoes like a temple bell for a long time after it is rung.

    “Ghantasala is not popular than SPB or even SONU NIGAM, It doesnt mean he is not class above them. He is undoubtedly and undisputedly the greatest Indian singer to date.”

    Today he might not be as popular as SPB or Sonu Nigam, (this is other than south, whereas being current singers SPB and Sonu nigam are known to north people as well) – but ghantasala’s popularity factor after 37 years of his demise is still unmatched. In his times, he was quite popular even among singers from hindi circles. Nevertheless, even today in A P – ghantasala’s popularity is unmatched. He alone remains the amara gayaka of telugu film industry.

    I have heard from people hailiing from Andhra saying that people in their village do not know who is mohd rafi – should rafi fans be under impression that rafi is known to everybody is a sheer mistake – sure, rafi is just more popular so is kishore kumar.

    “Rafi himself made the statement I can never sing like Ghantasala.”

    AGAIN CORRECT – this was at the time of suvarna sundari song. Even Music director Adinarayana Rao is understood to have told rafi the same thing.

    There was a lengthy article from a magazine “great andhra”- in 2006 wherein the said article on music made a reference to ghantasala in indian/telugu music and a conclusion was made regarding playback singers from indian music and analysed that going by music rules and analysis, SAIGAL JI from Hindi music and GHANTASALA from telugu music are the only ones who is admired very greatly by music analysts (in addition to general public) The article mentions also rafi as a very great singer in hindi cinema like ghantasala of telugu, but places ghantasala a clear few notches above rafi as a singer and musician in terms of achievements/influence on music in indian cinema. The entire article is in telugu, so I am not giving the attachment here. Hope music lovers admire that. Ghantasala stands as the greatest ever till known singers in the country.

  9. Kishorefan says:

    Musharaff ji,

    thanks a lot for your post. Your kind remarks should provide an enlightenment to “so called rafi fans” who think otherwise. We have immense respect for rafi fans like you. Thank you very much for your views on Kishore kumar – who attained a very famous status by his natural talent, though not much qualified in music. Please kindly have a look at divine music of devotional kishore blog here and when you refer earlier posts, you can find many rabindra sangeeth songs of kishore shared in this forum and discussed by various music lovers earlier.

    Ramireddy & Siva Ji – post 2090 & 91

    “Siva Sankari” is the greatest/toughest ever film song ever heard by me – and ghantasala is undoubtedly greatest ever in rendering such songs – another song was discussed here “Rasika raja” of ghantasala of similar style – I have never heard any playback singer in india even attempting such type of songs -specially in films. Ghantasala’s voice control and range is hard to match by anybody – no doubt about it.

    Rafi did attempt some classical songs, madhuban me radhika nache re, man mora bawra, rani rupmati songs etc. but they just fall flat before ghantasala’s versions. The hindi songs are not even half of power when compared to the telugu film classical songs by ghantasala. Even music directors of telugu film word deserves compliments for that. Manna dey ji is few notches better than rafi ji when comes to classical style songs but manna did not have the beauty of rafi’s or kishore’s voice nor of ghantasala’s (voice) strength and beauty.

    Is there any telugu semiclassical song by ghantasala which has the style of madhuban me radhika – I mean to say not so tougher or in the class/league like siva sankari or rasika raja – but in the level of madhuban me radhika. The song madhuban me radhika has been nicely composed by naushad ji – the music is great, rafi ji certainly meets a little expectations in the song, though not outstanding, he created a good attraction in hindi.

    Siva ji, rafi lovers never discuss about songs which are tougher or greater than rafi songs – you know the reason better than me. We generally laugh at posts by none other than Shri binu nair ji and some other esteemed rafi fans such as dhaniram ji (who simply avoids questions because he does not know the answers to them, rather he does not have answers for them) – when they make only statements such as no body can sing better than rafi but they never become ready to discuss on songs like siva sankari or rasika raja.

    Raj – 2070

    Why laila majnu song of rafi – even dhaniram ji once stated that Subah Na Aai Shaam Na Aai is the toughest ever song – he never replied to subsequent posts put up by a ghantasala fan (Mr. Singh in rafi forum) – Esteemed dhaniram ji vanished from the scene – he knew that he had no answer. This esteemed personality had commented on Saigal ji like anything, when questioned by saigal fans he again vanished.

    Mr. Murthy, – 2079

    The last song of ghantasala shared by you “evarivo neev evarivo” was a beautiful melody, this I have heard first time in this forum (other songs have been shared earlier) – I think there is a hindi song matching the tune of telugu song, probably by hemant kumar, I am not able to recollect properly.

  10. siva says:

    Listen it and Judge for yourself, Have you heard any other singer showing such control and such command. See how the song attain it’s peak as it go on. Unbeleivable control.

    Though i like many other latest songs in Hindi and Telugu. I have to say this is the best i have ever heard. Waiting for a song to dominate this not by music but by sheer vocal talent. Is it possible?

  11. ramireddy says:

    To make a judgement on two we need to be good on both grounds.As a Hyderabadi I know Hindi as much as telugu.Its been part of my life for the past 55 years.

    Ghanatasala is the greatest Indian singer to date where as Rafi is the most popular Indian singer.

    The problem with Indians is they back their loved ones so much whether its cricket team, fav actor, fav singer what ever they will ignore the truth in the process of supporting their favourites.

    Ok i will make it clear.

    Ghantasala is not popular than SPB or even SONU NIGAM, It doesnt mean he is not class above them. He is undoubtedly and undisputedly the greatest Indian singer to date.

    If Rafi born as telugu speaking person and never sung hindi songs you don’t know his class no matter how good he is, same with Ghantasala. Its as simple as that.

    In a musical concert held in 1982 I heard a classical singer saying if anybody who makes an attempt to sing the song of “sivasankari” not better than ghantasala, far by least some where close to what ghantasala have produced will surely be a great singer and will surely be recognised by everyone.He is by far the greatest.Rafi himself made the statement I can never sing like Ghantasala.

    I heard Sonu nigam made an intersting point in some Tv show.Each and everyone have their choice of favourite songs it doesn’t mean they are the best songs. It takes some doing to be the best.

    Maybe the singers know what they are upto.

  12. Musharraf says:

    Dear Murthyji, Rafifanji and Kishorefanji,

    Thank you very much for your nice response to my post and sorry for my late response since I was a bit busy. Murthyji I have listened to all those songs of ghantasala that have referred to in your post. Real good songs. I wish I could understand Telegu. That would have enabled me to understand the underlying message of the song too. I have enjoyed the numbers thoroughly. I liked specially the “Sharabi” song. Rafifanji, many thanks for your very indepth and a balanced post 2080. Kishorefanji, thank you for your comments too. As regards Kishorekumar I would like to say that I am a great admirer of Kishore too.He was a natural talent and was one of the outstanding playback singers of India. What a marvellous voice he possessed. Whatever he sang sounded so sweet in my ears. “Yeh jo mohabbat hai”, “Yeh dil na ho to bechara”, “Mere mehboob qayamat hogi” are some of my most favorite songs of Kishore. Kishore also sang many beautiful Bengali songs in Kolkata Film world that are so popular in Bengal. Further I like his “Rabindra Sangeet”(Songs of the great Nobel Laureate Bengali poet Rabidranath Tagore which are really mind blowing.

  13. Balarykar says:

    @Kishorefan ji:
    Thanks for the return welcome!

    To be honest, though I have returned after a long break, I have not missed much. The debate has been the same old what we have gone through over the years. Same bashing, same rebutting, etc. Its a promise from my end that there will be a proper “Kishore da” article from my in the first week of July. The reason for the delay is I am genuinely busy with some work till May end, and want to do one month research on Kishore da.

    @Bhatacharya ji: With all fairness, I did not want to speak about the events of SPB fans or SPB. I wanted to share the magnanimity of Manna De sir.

    And yes, I still miss Arghya, Surajit Bose, et al as I missed you and Kishore fan. Also Anil Cherian and good friends from

  14. Kishorefan says:

    Balarykar ji, – Welcome after a long break

    These days our friends are missed here. You too posted after a long time. At 92, Manna de ji wanted to perform – quite interesting. Good to note some activity on music in your area. Keep it up.

  15. Bhattacharya says:

    2085 – Balarykar ji,

    Thanks for the reply. I think that is a good cause. Good wishes for such events.

  16. Balarykar says:

    @Bhattacharya: My mistake (I had a haunch that I may not have conveyed the matter clearly). During the annual meet, we wanted to start a new practice of SPB honoring legends for their contribution to the industry. So, I approached Manna De ji to be the first person to be honored on this occasion. Manna De sir did not like the idea and declined our proposal. What I wanted to convey was the fact that Manna De sir was open to perform a concert towards raising funds for charity work. This at the age of 92 was something amazing. However, we felt that Manna De ji being very very senior veteran, it is not appropriate that we take his services for SPB fans charitable trust.

    That symbol was of “smile” expressing respect and not a potshot. I hope this clarifies. Thanks.

  17. Bhattacharya says:

    2083 – Balarykar ji,

    Honestly, I could not grasp what you wanted to convey. Could you clarify that ? Is it just a joke or real issue (regarding manna dey – because you put the symbol there) ?

  18. Balarykar says:

    A small incident with a gentle-legend.

    It was in January month this year that we were planning to do something special for the SPB Annual Fans Meeting at Bangalore. We wanted to take this opportunity to honor a legend by SPB himself during this meeting. I got the contact number of the legend and called him. Following is the more or less conversation that I had with him.

    Balarykar (BK): Good evening sir.
    Gentle-legend (GL): Good evening, may I know who is at the other end?
    BK: Its BK, and I am calling with regards to a SPB Annual Fans meet to be held on 6 Feb.
    GL: What do you do in this meeting?
    BK: Sir, in general in this meeting, we do some activities related to charity. We find some deserving NGO’s, Ashramas, etc. Find their requirement, and from the funds of the charity, we get the necessary things as required by them.
    GL: Good.
    BK: Sir, this time we want to introduce a new concept, and as a person who has served the industry so long, we want to felicitate you.
    GL: See, if you are raising a charity, I will have to perform, and I always bring my own troupe with me.
    BK: Sir, we can’t think of asking you to perform in a SPB event. We want SPB himself to felicitate you.
    GL: I don’t believe in these felicitations. If I don’t perform, I don’t believe in what you are saying.
    BK: But sir….
    GL: Sorry, I don’t buy that.

    Saying this the legend banged the phone. This legend was 92 years old, and it would be a blasphemy for myself (and the SPB fans) to ask him perform a concert for the charity event. But he stood his ground and principles and just banged down the phone. It is important to note that the legend was not doing great health either. Friends, this legend is none other that Manna De 🙂

    I feel those 3 minutes of conversing with him were some of the best musical moments in my life. Wish he is doing great health now. Thanks for the reading.

  19. Kishorefan says:

    Musharaff ji – 2077 & 78

    A good post by a rafi lover like you – I appreciate the purity of your statements. Regarding your observations in post 2078, I think the answer is in the affirmative i.e yes as per the discussion we had earlier in this forum. Similar issues cropped up and variety of genres were discussed by our friends.

    What do you say about kishore kumar, musharaff ji ? It is nice to have discussion with music lovers like you.

  20. Rafifan1 says:

    Kishore fan ji – post 2076

    My similar respects to you for your post. I agree that we are nobody to comment on great legends who have created such environment that we are able to enjoy the results of that contribution for decades after the legends leaving the world.

  21. Rafifan1 says:

    Dear Musharaff ji,

    Thanks for your nice post. It appears like a soft breeze after some hot nasty comments.

    By the way, I just wanted to share with you about ghantasala, to the extent of my knowledge, which I have never written earlier like this, But since you were mentioning about ghantasala, I just wanted to put some points (my close friends are telugu people) I agree with you about ghantasala’s mastery in his renditions. So was rafi in hindi, so was ghantasala in telugu, in terms of versatality, achievements (other than classical I am talking) – You can hardly find a genre which rafi had never attempted (even classical though not sophisticated or specialised such as ghantasala) – similar was ghantasala in telugu – he has sung in all moods and was equally versatile across all genres – This I have been given to understand by telugu music lovers and in fact I also noticed the same. One should note that, He was the numero one playback singer having sung to all major actors of telugu industry for nearly 3 decades. The platforms were different, both the industries were unique, as somebody refers here such as padyams you might also have heard, which are unique only to telugu industry – they are certainly a difficult and specialised genre, which even trained classical musicians cannot attempt as I have been told and in which ghantasala was so expert that none other could match him in that area – even so called greats k j yesudas, balamuralikrishna, spb etc. just fall flat before him in those areas. And hundreds of padyams find place in telugu films in 50’s and 60’s. So the telugu industry was a different unique industry. Hindi industry was different.

    Analysts thus put, both were fully fit for their respective industries to the core perfection, which has been found to be hard to be replaced. it is just like a comparison with one emperor with another emperor or with one elephant with another elephant. Both have specialised strengths surpassing each other at certain level (as playback singers if studied from their respective industries – & on classical lines/strength/as a musician, ghantasala was certainly superior among all playback singers of india in his times) – in my view, Rafi would never have succeeded in telugu industry similar to ghantasala, and reverse too hold might good (except in classical renditions) due to hindi language issues – however this stands only as a probable situation as such thing never materialised. The single fact that ghantasala kept all other playback singers at bay for nearly 30 years itself confirms his status as a versatile genius there, as a playback as well as classical specialist in telugu film playback singing.

    Further, i was told by a musician friend of mine, regarding speciality of ghantasala’s voice – which no playback singer in those days in india had that speciality (I had to agree for this) – That is it was a music instrumental voice – to be more clear – if you see instruments when played at a high pitch, the sound becomes sharper, thinner yet stronger as compared to the middle pitch where depth and strength is more. Ghantasala’s voice also becomes exactly like the instrument when it goes to high pitch, becoming sharper, changing the appearance without losing the strength and depth and in middle and lower pitches it became deep and stronger like the instrument. That was one of his specialities adding strength for a great musician . other singers voice is same in high pitch, it does not become sharper (including rafi ji or yesudas ji – they are strong there but the required change in voice culture as happens in type of change in instruments cannot be found – this is not a defect, but only an observation – perhaps I think this is where Mr. khan in post 1897 has relevance and other musicians here for praising ghantasala more) I was also told by one telugu friend that doctors wanted to perform an operation on throat of ghantasala after his death, for making an analysis for his vocal chords which could create such charm among musical circles, for which permission was not granted (this is a point told by one telugu friend which i cannot vouchsafe for its authenticity) So, on balance, there is no comparison to him in his area, no other singer could match him in his times. This is similar to status of mohd. rafi ji’s period in 50’s and 60’s in hindi – and verily I have listened with my own ears the statements of some telugu people, who are hardcore rafi fans and friends of mine – stating that ghantasala is the mohd. rafi of the south (not to be misinterpreted for showing superiority issue here) – It means as was rafi for hindi, so was ghantasala for the south. The industries might be unique in different styles where one cannot match another, but overall status is they are hard to be replaced. I think you understand what i say.

  22. Murthy says:

    Musharaff ji

    I had seen your appreciation and analysis earlier in mohd on ghantasala songs shared by vitthal ji there. I just wanted to share some of his songs for your listening. Hope you will enjoy them.

    Softness of voice – romantic number

    frustration, agony and peak Emotions

    A meodious bold and patriotic song

    A tragedy sharabi number

    Melodious romantic number

    Solo melody romantic

  23. Musharraf says:

    Post.2077. continued.

    but the question is could ghantasala with his strong voice structure that was perfectly suited for classical singing produce the same softness effect if he sang songs like “Aise to na dekho”, the same romantic effect of “Teri pyari pyari surat”, the frustration and agony of “Duniya ke rakhwale”, the boldness and patriotism that rafi displayed in “Kar chale hum fida jan tan sathion” etc and many songs? I have my doubts. many singers have sung rafi’s songs including the distinguished Sonu Nigham but were far from reaching Raf’s standard. To sing Rafi’s number is one thing but to sing that in equal plane with rafi is completely another thing.
    Next, I have gone through the post of 1897 of Mr.Khan. He has discussed the voice range of Ghantasala purely in terms of classical rendition describing his capability to change his voice according to the nature of that particular Raga. But I see Rafi’s voice range in another perspective. Rafi had the voice range which gave him the unique capacity to sing all types of songs with equal precision and skill without branding him in any particular genre or style.
    Actually, range, voice quality, octave etc can be discussed to understand the capacity of a particular singer in terms of the areas in which he sings but the real comparison between singers are the products, i.e. the songs. In sanskrit there is a shloka. ” Briksha phalena parichayate”(The fruits are the introducer of the Tree).
    So let us enjoy the artistry of these great two musical lumineries and make our own comparisons and derive at our individual subjective conclusions. Actually there is no scope to arrive at an objective comparison since both the singers did not sing under the same platform.
    Both Rafi and Ghantasala excelled in their individual domains and were second to none. we are proud of both of them.

  24. Musharraf says:

    Dear Rafifanji, Kishorefanji, Gokuldasji and other distinguished music lovers,
    I had been observing this interesting debate regarding Rafi and ghantasala for quite sometime. The debate has been more or less healthy except for some stray comments that we may not take very seriously. If you may permit I may post some of my views on the topic.
    Kishorefanji, your post 2064. You stated that Ghantasala could sing tough numbers that rafi would not attempt to sing but ghantasala could easily sing the songs that rafi had sung. Agreed. But there is an underlying very important point that we are missing. Ghantasala was a classical singer while rafi was not. Therefore the classical numbers which definitely do not fall within the scope of non-classical singers will not be attempted by them. Therefore it is no wonder if Rafi could not sing “Shiva Shankari” or “Shyamala Dandekam” types of songs. On the other hand it is trus that Ghantasala would be able to sing Rafis songs

  25. Kishorefan says:

    Rafifan1 ji – 2075

    Our pranams and respects to music lovers like you, I find you different from others. Pl. never mind, our comments are directed only towards “those rafi fans” whom Mr. Bhattacharya refers to in his post 2074.

    Bhattacharya ji – Correct, I am with you.

  26. Rafifan1 says:

    Dear ghantasala fans and music lovers including kishore fan ji and others,

    I strongly condemn the posts 2418 and 2419 of Mr. Bharat shah bhosan & Mr. Dilip kumar IN TRUE VOICE COL. ON MOHDRAFI.COM – They are not knowing what they are talking. I appreciate the dignity of ghantasala fans by responding patiently and in a dignified way truly expected as music lovers. Never mind dear music lovers, no true music lover and rafi fan is going to tolerate such posts. I know many of our telugu friends here did not respond to the said posts because they know they are foolish posts and they have maintained dignity (IN THAT SITE) .


    Dilip kumar and bharat shah

    Rafi and ghantasala respected each other in a way no body expected. You both are not even eligible to talk either of rafi or of ghantasala, the great legends of indian music. As man mouji ji says, it is better you just skip away from this site and do not create disturbances here.

    Kishore fan ji = no true music lover supports such comments, But I felt sad for a comment on legendary ghantasala, which I strongly condemn, as I condemned comments on kishore kumar and saigal earlier. Sometimes some people are like that, they do not know what they are talking, as happened very recently. This is only to create rift among music lovers, and one should be beware of such people.

  27. Bhattacharya says:

    Kishore fan ji

    It has become a routine thing for “such rafi fans” to make such degrading comments. Esteemed gokuldas ji has vanished from this site after seeing the truth now, which we were talking all these days.


    It is better not to make comments on “pagals” who do not know what they are talking. Not all rafi fans, but few rafi fans who claim they love rafi, make comments and they definitely need some treatment. Where is so called Mr. binu nair – leader of rafi foundation ? Oh forgot, even he had made such comments earlier, I forgot kishore fan ji – it is like referring a case to another person who too requires treatment.

  28. Kishorefan says:

    Gokuldas ji,

    One esteemed rafi fan had earlier mentioned that kishore’s voice sounded like phati hui tyre – what kind of comments are these ? What respect do rafi fans give towards other legends ? Why did you not respond immediately to such comments in other site ? You come running for supporting rafi when somebody states that some singer is superior to rafi, my belief has been confirmed that you too belong to the same funny clan of rafi fans. Pl continue.

  29. Kishorefan says:

    Dear friends and music lovers – GOKULDAS JI ESPECIALLY FOR REFERENCE.


    Bharat Shah Bhosan Says:

    April 9th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
    Ghantasla is known by telugu speaking people only, He is not such a great singer like Rafi Sahab, Talt Mehmood or Kishore Kumar. He sounded like a Pathha Huwa Dhool.


    Another comment by another rafi fan in 2619 post there states that in 1969 ghantasala gave a television interview stating that rafi is superior – TELEVISON DID NOT EXIST AT ALL IN 1969 – WHAT LIES ARE SPOKEN BY THESE KIND OF RAFI FANS ? I PITY GOKULDAS JI FOR HIS DREAMS ON RAFI FANS RESPECTS TOWARDS GREAT LEGENDS – RAFI JI MIGHT BE A WORRIED LOT THESE DAYS DUE TO THESE KIND OF FOLLOWERS.

  30. Ahamed Kutty says:

    why i choose rafi saab as the best:
    01) he is the singer of singers – that is from mahendra kapoor,
    talat mehmood,yesudas,spb,udith narayan,sonu nigham and
    so many other up coming singers.

    02) he is singing in such a way that cannot be sung by anyone.
    according to the body language and accent of the heros – shammi
    kapoor,rajendra kumar,devanand,dharmendra,jitendra,raj kumar,
    and even for johny walker in different give depth,high pitch,
    sweetness,accoding to the situation and if anybody try all these at
    a time and sing – sure he will fell down unconciously.

    03) he lead a very diesent life – a worshipful personality.

    04) the same songs sung by rafi saab and lataji,rafi saab’s songs
    became superhits.(mere mehaboob tuje,teri ankhon ke siva,
    pardesiyon se na akhiyaa milaana,jab jab bahaar aaye,dil jo na
    kah sakaa,ssajan saajan pukaaroom etc.)

    05) rafi saab can sing any type of songs – patriotic songs(kar chale
    hum fiza) high pitch songs (oh duniyaa ke rakwaale,zindaabaad
    zindaabaad yeh mohabhat) qawwali ( pardha he pardha,yeh maanaa
    meri jaan and so many)melody songs (thousands) classical (madhuban
    me raadhika nachere,raadhee ke too ne and so many)birth day
    songs (baar baar dhin yeh aaye,yeh nanne se farishtey etc.)
    marriage songs (aaj mere yaar ki shaadhee hai),bajans (hari om,
    man re tu kaah na).in short rai saab’s songs are there for any

    06) eventhough he is number one singer of india for so many reasons
    his grave in juhu khabaristaan(in mumbai) does not have even his
    name on it – just like an ordinary persons grave!

    07)his live programmes.especially he sung “oh duniyaa ke rakwaale”
    in royal albert hall,london.the way he sung,the terrible applause by
    the audience,the end of the song – no other singer can sing in such
    a way as just like a heavy rain with thunderstorm.

    08) as yesudasji told he is the cause of livelyhood for thousands
    by singing his songs.

    09) he bagged padmashree award,three national awards and six
    film fare awards.

    10)the only singer who worked with almost all music direcotrs of his

    11) the only singer who sung for three generations of a family.
    prithwiraaj kapoor,raaj kapoor and rishi kappoor.

    12) rafi saab sung for kk for few films.

  31. Raj says:

    Kishore fan ji, bhattacharya ji,

    I could not forget the days regarding the funny discussion of one esteemed rafi fan wherein he categorically argued that the song “Likh Kar Tera Naam Zameen Par” by rafi from laila majnu is greater that the song “siva sankari” of ghantasala, which is arguably as well as inarguably the greatest ever filmy classical number in film songs. No music lover could stop just laughing at the funny comparison (subsequent posts response was sufficient enough for the esteemed rafi fan to keep quiet). Going by your reference to your posts of earlier days (where we had enjoyed a beautiful music discussion on songs of telugu, tamil and bengali languages), this incident had come to my mind.

  32. raj says:

    Gokuldas ji,

    You were mentioning about SPB praising rafi – regarding this i request you to have a look at post 1656 in this blog by Mr. V Rajagopal – some live facts are stated there.

  33. Raj says:

    Hi gokuldas kumar ji,

    Whenever a new rafi fan comes and puts up some points (which are actually already discussed long back), it will be difficult to respond again and again and again and again and again. My sincere advise would be to please refer many interesting posts earlier vide which complete answers lie to points in your posts. In fact, more detailed analysis and other very interesting matters also you will find in many of the previous posts. If you try reading the posts word by word, it will take minimum 15-30 days to respond.

    You also are following the same trend. You have not responded to kishore fan’s reply to your post on rafi’s range and post 1897 by Mr. khan ji in this regard. What is this to be taken ? Sheer escapism from the facts or what. Next, you know you cannot dispute the facts put up by kishore fan on kishore and ghantasala, as they can be well confirmed from wikipedia, encyclopaedia and no lies are written.

    And regarding ahamad kutty ji’s observations, the same has nothing to do with our discussion, as Yesudas has got no importance in hindi film singing similar to rafi or kishore, so no point in discussing about yesudas for hindi film playback singing. Ghantasala’s reference for comparison too came due to some silly comments of rafi fans such as rafi was greatest in india (which should have been strictly restricted to HFM) as kishore fan ji said here, otherwise such comparison would not have come. You can have a discussion on comparing rafi with yesudas or kishore with yesudas, but when discussing about hindi film songs, unless some common songs exist between rafi, kishore, yesudas (like the ones existed between rafi and ghantasala) or even if rafi or kishore has sung in malayalam, then only some comparison can be made between them, this is my view. Anyhow, we have our deep respects to shri K J Yesudas ji, as he was a great singer down the south in the 70’s and 80’s in malayalam language and is a famous singer there.

  34. Raghavan says:

    2065 – Ahamed kutty

    Jayachandran and sree kumar equally are great singers in malayalam industry. Yesudas is not without any opponent (like ghantasala during his entire reign) – many singers count jayachandran as the best singer born in kerala even than yesudas, Sree kumar is also equally talented. Similarly, in tamil, t m sounderrajan too had other singers namely sirkazhi govindarajan, lokanathan, p b sreenivas, even spb in late 70’s apart from the great ghantasala earlier (who even music directed many tamil films as well). Gaana gandharva title is given to all famous singers, even now a days every one other singer is enjoying that. Earlier days the term was restricted only to singers in the range of ghantasala. Even spb is now called gaana gandharva by many of his fans. Similarly in hindi there is kishore kumar for rafi (the divide among fans can be clearly seen for all the singers mentioned above) – but to my knowledge there is no division in telugu industry – ghantasala was numero one without any opponent during his entire career. In kerala, many of the music lovers rate jayachandran with a clean voice, and I have heard even that yesudas voice, though classically effective, does not have the “paripurna madhurya” – and in my view only two voices in indian film playback singing had that quality – one was rafi and another was ghantasala. Ghantasala’s voice was more deep and stronger than rafi apart from being melodious, this made the difference. Yesudas does have the depth and strength but the madhurya effect is somewhat lesser in his voice.

  35. Bhattacharya says:

    Dear Gokuldas kumar

    If not jokes, what are they ? I request you to please go through many previous posts, wherein all the points you have raised have been discussed at length and are self explanatory. Kishore fan ji has repeated the same. You are perhaps new to this site, and we can understand that a new entrant (specially rafi fan) naturally displays such irritation on seeing the facts about rafi. So we do not blame you, but it would have been better if you had read the many posts earlier on music, singers, contributions, achievements etc. etc. You may also note that there had been a lengthy discussion between music lovers on ghantasala, the telugu legend, so it will be a surprise if you want to tell something about ghantasala here, as that has already been discussed (please refer previous posts in this blog as well as blog – divine voice of devotional kishore) In my view, ghantasala is clearly greater than rafi and I would not like to put much on that point and I would request you to please refer earlier posts in this regard, as replying to your points would simply be a repetition of earlier analysis. I have never seen kishore fans or ghantasala fans or fans of other singers (except rafi) use cheap words (like some rafi fans do) against legends. Even saigal ji was not spared here, for your information. So on balance and dignity, the fans of other singers outclass the fans of rafi as well. You may be a good man with some balanced thought on music, and all rafi fans are not so, pl. read previous posts, you will know the facts.

  36. Ahamed Kutty says:

    as far as kerala is concerned yesudasji is the
    “gaana gandharvan” and we believe a singer
    like him will come to earth once in thousand
    years.the gandharva nadham what he is having
    is a rare one and he treat rafi saab as his manasik
    guru.the songs sung by him in malayalam “aayiram
    padhasarangal kilungi” ” thaamasamenthe varuvaan”
    are some of the jewels of malayalam film songs and
    it will last at the end of the universe.a state in where
    such a singer is living without any opponent rafi
    saab became a part of the music lovers without
    singing a single song in that language.that is
    purely because of the divine sound and the
    worshipful personality of rafi saab which
    nobody can even dream of it.

  37. Kishorefan says:

    Post 2062

    Gokuldas ji, you are forcing me to write again the essence of many posts which have been written and discussed earlier in this forum. I will try to put in a nutshell the essence of all such posts as brief as possible – you will then know what is meant by joke.

    “They would still acknowledge their talents, while they express their conviction that Rafi is the best.”

    Oh, why it should not be the same otherwise i.e fans of other singers also acknowledge talent of rafi, while expressing their conviction that their singers are the best – Can’t it be ?

    Next, you have clearly not catched properly the essence of my post 2060. Rafi fan1 ji in his next post is more matured on his analysis – you can have a look at that. We had pretty long discussion on ghantasala in this forum.

    Next, bringing K J yesudas is irrelevant, as he was not a contemporary singer either to rafi or ghantasala (who were contemporaries) – K J Yesudas was famous in malayalam in 70’s and 80’s (if my knowledge goes correctly) – where as the 50’s and 60’s belonged to others and as i understand from my telugu friends the most dominant playback singer in the south was ghantasala in 50’s and 60’s who sang in all the four languages in the south, but no singer from other languages (tamil, kannada and malayalam) could get even few songs in telugu as long as ghantasala was there. This is what the difference made for ghantasala as a singer and hence one of the major factors for the comparison with rafi only when such comments as I mentioned in my post 2060 were made. No kishore fan has ever made any comparison between kishore and ghantasala as orbits of both did not intersect any where (no common songs between both as for rafi and ghantasala), further when kishore rose to fame in 70’s the genius ghantasala has left the world. And my dear gokuldas ji, for your kind information, just listen same songs sung by rafi and ghantasala (many posts have appeared here and in rafi forum) – ghantasala has a clear edge over rafi – Moreover, songs of ghantasala are much tougher than rafi songs – very clearly. Ghantasala can sing rafi songs very easily but rafi cannot sing or attempt some of ghantasala’s songs as easily as ghantasala did. It does not matter whether yesudas treats rafi as his guru or spb calls him his idol. You hear with your ears impartially and then decide what is the truth. You will be surprised to note how a kishore fan like me has written like that – this is what we have discussed (with our telugu friends here in this forum long back -there was a special discussion on ghantasala with kishore fans – see devotional kishore blog) and the same thing I have reproduced here again. And you might be aware our friends who were trained musicians such as surajit bose ji, khan ji, srivas ji and others have rated ghantasala higher than rafi in no uncertain terms. If is for you to take in the way you think.

    There is a lot of difference between great, greater and greatest. To qualify for the last word, the artist should be multiple versatile and perfect to the core/specialist in maximum possible areas. I do not find such quality in rafi – as you yourself mention in one of the posts, for instance, rafi was no match for ghantasala in the classical area – where is the question of greatest here ? Already one major area there is a failure . That too a major area – classical singing, the mother of playback singing is a really major area for an artist to be recognised as a complete singer – Well, use the word great or greater but do not touch the word greatest – this is where the problem started (pl. refer my earlier post). You can’t call rafi as a complete singer due to the reason stated above. Whereas to argue in favour of ghantasala he was class apart as a classical singer, a versatile playback singer (his undisputed dominance for 3 decades in telugu industry is well known) and as a music director for more than 100 films in south (as somebody says here) – these are versatile talents capable enough to recognise him as a complete singer and great musician as well – rafi had only one quality among the qualities mentioned above for ghantasala i.e. only a great playback singer in hindi film world (that too only in 50’s and upto 69 after which kishore created storm which is known to all). And moreover I understand from telugu friends that there are some tough genres such as padyams etc. in telugu films, wherein ghantasala was supreme and peerless and even no spb, yesudas or p b sreenivas or other singers of the south come even nearer to him in those genres. See these are the areas which require highlighting and which place one as a complete singer/musician.

    Hope gokuldas ji, your points are clarified.

    And regarding rafi fans, I need not tell you, how degrading and nonsense words have been used by some rafi fans for other singers, including saigal and other greats – I hope you will not have any words for such rafi fans – you can see this blog some earlier posts where such issues have been discussed thread bare, you will feel ashamed to read such posts of such rafi fans.

  38. Prasanna Kumar says:

    Dear friends
    I am from Kerala born and brought up in Karnataka having friends and relatives in Tamilnadu, Andhrapradesh and Maharasthra etc. From child hood I am a keen music follower and music lover who can sing a bit.

    My preference was hindi songs though I used to sing Kannada, Malayalam and telugu songs in some gatherings and get-together.

    In my opinion, based on my small experience in singing, I feel it is much more easy to sing Kishore, Mukesh and Hemath Kumar. Though I like Rafi, I fear to sing Rafi because no songs of his are very easy as they have very minute to huge “things” in them and some of the nuances are not easy to grasp for an amateur singer like me. Hence, I normally sing Mukesh or Kishore

    Kishore no doubt is a talented and gifted singer, but if one considers the range and versatility, Rafi is above Kishore. Having said that, I really do not feel Kishore, Mannadey, Hemanth Kumar, Mukesh etc are inferior. But, if some one analyse in an unbiased manner, Rafi certainly stands above these.

    You can not imagine any other singers singing
    1. Madhu ban me radika nache re
    2. Jahan dhal dhal par sone ki
    3. Ae dunyan, E mehfil
    4. Door reh kar na karo bath kareeb a jao

    Music is divine and only a handful in the world are gifted with this ability. It should be for our enjoyment and mental peace. Let the gifted people sing and we enjoy as per our choice.

    Finally, in my view, Rafi is Rafi, Kishore is Kishore, Mukesh is Mukesh, Hemath Kumar is Hemanth Kumar, SPB is SPB, P.B.Sreenivas is P.B.Sreenivas etc.

  39. Gokuldas kumar.m says:

    Dear Mr.kishorefan & Mr.Murthy, 2050 & 2060

    for your information, I am not from North. I am a south Indian, a Kerallite having been exposed to the singers in all south Indian languages apart from Hindi. yesudas is worshipped as ‘Gana gandharva’ by all Malayalees in Kerala , particularly of my age group( I am 56 years), who have witnessed his phenomenal rise during the sixties. Like Ghantasala in Telugu, he is extremely talented in carnatic classical music and also gifted with an extremely mellifluous/melodious voice ( His songs in Hindi namely, gori thera gaav bada pyara, Aaj se pahle aaj se zyada, jab deep jale aana etc have been huge hits all over India during the seventies. ) Yet, being a Kerallite itself and being convinced about his talents, there are thousands of yesudas fans like me In Kerala who would still rate Muhammad Rafi cumulatively a greater singer, though Yesudas definitly has an edge in classical rendering. That is after a neutral and unbiased study of these two great singers’ cumulative talents.(Why, yesudas himself treats Rafi as his Guru)
    So my point is that there have been a lot and a lot of Rafi fans who could rise beyond regional/parochial bias and evaluate a singer. And lastly, a true Rafi fan would never disrespect any of those other great singers( already mentioned in my previous columns) hailing from malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi. They would still acknowledge their talents, while they express their conviction that Rafi is the best.
    And Mr. Kishorefan, please refrain from making comments such as ‘same old jokes’ and ” this issue has been already settled” etc ( 2051). no true music lover can be a “joker” and it is preposterous to rate his views as mere “jokes”. also if the issue has been already settled by you, this debate would not have continued!!!

  40. Rafifan1 says:

    Dear gokuldas ji, Murthy ji, Kishore fan and all other music lovers

    Artistic comparisons in my opinion should be resorted to in a honourable way rather than for achieving subjective views, which unfortunately have been the case in many posts – it may be for any singer. Moreover, in my personal opinion, the subject matter/discussion in many cases have been centered and focussed around 3 singers in large number of posts viz.,. rafi, kishore and ghantasala (though this legendary musician is not relevant for the hindi music field) and all these singers has such fan following even after decades of their demise, which in fact confirms the effect they have created on their respective masses and music lovers. Some of the facts revolving around these great artists might be off the track too, as decades have passed since their reign in their respective areas and it may be really difficult to vouchsafe such facts, but & nevertheless the impact created by them continues – even today. This should be a great thing for true music lovers. My conclusion would be straight and I hope every music lover is going to agree with me -Rafi and kishore were two gems who left a impact lasting for generations and similarly for ghantasala fans especially – ghantasala exactly belonged to the incomparable & legendary league of playback singers in telugu/south and the impact created by him is irreplaceable there and I really admire his undisputed reign of nearly 30 years without competition, as Mr. Murthy says here (which wikipedia on ghantasala confirms) – Yes, I believe such long dominant monopoly rule no other playback singer had in indian playback singing. The numerous posts that have been discussed in this forum as well as rafi forum and the fan following these great artists enjoy confirms this fact.

    My appreciations for Musharaff ji, an admirer of rafi like me, who had well balanced his views on rafi, kishore and ghantasala.

    Cheers to all and let us hope the place where rafi and kishore have created impact will see a great feat – capable enough to create impact for long like our great artists – i.e WORLD CUP FOR INDIA TOMORROW.

  41. Kishorefan says:

    Gokuldas ji – post 2057

    Some points are of good relevance in your post for e.g. – all are class singers. That should be the way for discussion.

    Why the problem started for comparing singers ? Because statements like rafi is greatest in indian playback singing (not to be confused with hindi playback singing) – This is the main reason. Please do not think that fans of other singers are fools, (and rafi fans are intelligent) – they have sensibly and intelligently argued from the area of indian playback singing only when such foolish statements that rafi is the greatest of all etc. are made. OK make statement such as rafi is great in hindi – I am sure no fan of other language singer (except hindi) would object – but the problem created by rafi fans in this site as well as in rafi’s site was beyond tolerance such as rafi is greatest in india – all things pushing beyond tolerance levels – rafi fans should be squarely blamed for bringing the situation to this extent of arguments.


  42. Murthy says:

    gokuldas ji –

    one final point – what rafi fans say about rafi is definitely true to a fair extent – in the hindi playback singing field – not to confuse it with indian playback singing. Similarly, assuming that as a rafi fan, thinking that ghantasala fan’s views can be simliarly applied only to telugu/southern industry – in such case one has to analyse purely from the musical angle for comparison – ghantasala clearly leads, he was a accomplished playback singer, accomplished classical musician, accomplished music director – all the areas it was a enviable success – for his entire life of 3 decades which made the “best playback singer” award go to him for every year for entire 3 decades (wikipedia on ghantasala – reference)


  43. Murthy says:

    Dear gokuldas ji

    That’s where you are – going by your analysis one can safely conclude that anybody who has a clear command of language of the singers mentioned above – i.e. to say, music lovers having good command over both hindi and telugu or telugu and tamil or hindi and tamil etc.etc. would be clearly able to judge more accurately who is the better singer in terms of expressions whether in romantic songs or other style of singing MORE THAN the music lovers having command only over one language which certainly gives scope for appreciating singer in that particular language ONLY as compared to other language singer. This is the point, music lovers having command over both hindi and telugu are certainly better judges to decide who is great and better, as compared to music lovers having command only over one language. I hope you got the point.

    “Rafi stands out because he could do justice to all types of songs”

    A hindi man says that for rafi and a telugu man says similarly for ghantasala, – a person with excellent command over both hindi and telugu will definitely tilt more towards ghantasala only – sure and on absolute certain terms a perfect musician will rate ghantasala higher – as has been done by reputed musicians.

    The greatest astonishing point is that telugu people commenting on rafi have fairly a very good knowledge of rafi ji’s songs, but surprisingly hindi people, who really does not have a fair grasp of songs of ghantasala and his achievements/status (which no other indian playback singer had – one such instance was 3 decades monopoly rule in a very challenging industry) draw immature conclusions – how far this is fair ? I am sure no telugu man would have ever commented on rafi, if he had no fair knowledge on rafi before commenting on him. I do not find any playback singer in India, except ghantasala, who had the success rate of a undisputed dominant playback singer for nearly 30 years – when viewed from the eyes of a pure classical musician as well the common man – to both of them his achievements were a feast for generations and which continues.

    Morevoer, a clear thing is that rafi has sung few songs in telugu – so a telugu man can clearly distinguish between ghantasala and rafi – who is better and greater. Ghantasala has not sung in hindi – so definitely there is a scope for erring conclusion to say regarding his songs in hindi and comparing with rafi – which is not correct as is being done by some rafi fans.

  44. gokuldas kumar.m says:

    Dear mr.murthy,
    Whether it is SPB or any other music lover, one gains more and more knowledge about a particular singer’ singing prowess as he matures.. i have seen, when people age and mature, they gain a much better analytical power about the dynamics of singing. As a young man, one would have been a fan of a particular singer, But as he ages and matures, he realises more about singing and comes to rate a certain other singer superior. This happens to many of us and this could have happened to SPB also. It is whimsical for any one to attribute such motives – as you have mentioned- to a great all rounder like SPB. I myself have watched an interview where SPB goes about analysing Rafi’s style of singing, his range etc and concludes that Rafi is ultimate in singing! let us rise above all bias of region, religion, language etc before assessing an artist, Because they are all special creations of god and we have to acknowledge that.
    Mr.Murthy,no Rafi fan, which I am also, would wish to rate lowly of Ghantasala or for that matter any other great singers of his times from Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam . Rafi, Latha, Asha, Mannadey, Kishore Kumar, mukesh, Talat, Mahendra kapoor, hemanth kumar from hindi, TMS, PBS from Tamil, Yesudas from Malayalam, Ghantasala from Telugu were all class singers which illuminated the Indian film play back singing from fifties to seventies by a strange coincidence so much so that we all have inherited for generations after generations a huge mine of musical gems in all Indian languages.
    But one can still compare all these singers by giving them marks to their talents in singing a wide variety of songs. for instance, sorrowful, philosophical, romantic, fast numbers, western styled tunes, classical, and so on. A certain singer may excel in a certain style but may not impress in certain other styles. one may be very good in rendering in classical songs, but may not impress while singing romantic numbers. singers like Mukesh, Talat , Hemanth from Hindi were all acknowledged greats in their own limited style but lacked range. Mannadey was extremely talented like Ghantasala in classical rendering, But he could not reach any where near Rafi or even Kishore Kumar in singing romantic numbers. Kishore Kumar though gifted with a powerful heavy voice and could sing joshila phurthila songs very well ( enriched by his yodelling etc), he could never match high pitched rendition of Rafi ( The reason why Rafi was invited to sing nafrath ki duniya ko in hathi mere saathi, where all other songs went to Kishore kumar should speak volume about Rafi’s range, which no music director can ignore. So, when we take into consideration the cumulative talents of each of these contemporay singers mentioned above, Rafi stands out because he could do justice to all types of songs. That is why all Rafi fans say Rafi is Rafi!

  45. murthy2010 says:

    dear all music lovers,

    i advise all of you especially the rafi fans not to get carried away by the comments of spb on rafi because we, the telugu people, know much better than you all about spb and his personality. during his early days of entering the telugu films, ghantasala was the idol of worship for spb who never missed any opportunity to praise ghantasala to the skies. after ghantasala passed away in 1974, spb openly declared that he admires all indian film singers except ghantasala whom he not only admires but also adores. he used to say that there can never be a singer like ghantasala in india either in the past or in future. in fact, no other indian film singer to date has won so much applause from any other indian film singer except ghantasala from spb. but, later,spb found rafi much easier than ghantasala to imitate and follow and he did that while singing. and after gaining some popularity, he stopped talking about ghantasala except on demand and started praising rafi more than ghantasala, and much worse,in one of the recent tv programmes, he indirectly hinted that he sings better than rafi. today, spb praises rafi because spb was born in telugu and had he been born in hindi then today he would have been talking and praising ghantasala. now it is for the rafi fans to read between the lines and understand. regards.

  46. Murthy says:

    2050 – Bhushan ji,

    A small addition, it was not three occasions, but four occasions wherein rafi acknowledged the facts which you have stated, The fourth one was in 1975 (this was after passing away of ghantasala) in a concert at orissa – this information is from post 11 of the blog “devotional rafi” in rafi ji’s site.

  47. Murthy says:

    Anurag – 2042

    Just read encyclopaedia on ghantasala for his versatility – pl. do not make comments with zero knowledge.

  48. Murthy says:

    2037 – Srini

    Pl. do not twist the facts.

    Prati ratri vasanta ratri – ghantasala’s version/bit was okayed in only one take – It was SPB who took many takes. This is the fact, please do not tell lies – This was confirmed by SPB himself in a programme. The actual fact was that ghantasala suffered from cough in that particular song and while recording, at some point, cough was the problem and the song was re-recorded, when without cough problem ghantasala completed his bit, his bit was okayed, but SPB had to struggle – this was the fact.

  49. Bhushan says:

    Gokuldas kumar ji

    Please do not kindly comment on SPB’s comments, as I feel the Telugu people’s knowledge on SPB is miles ahead of Hindi people. Catching one isolated point and rubbing it again and again is a sheer ignorance. By the way, everybody knows that SPB entered playback singing field and learnt singing songs, by hearing ghantasala songs and after getting inspired by him and not by Rafi. There is a plenty of mystery in SPB’s comments, – there are many comments of SPB which people are not aware, and I do not want to disclose them here.

    Next, why repeat again and again SPB comments on rafi, what about his comments on ghantasala ? Can you confirm did rafi ever receive praise from ghantasala at any point of time – to my knowledge – NEVER, but it has been the other way round – rafi indeed acknowledged ghantasala as superior, not once, but on three occasions, one was when rafi rehearsed numerous times the song kuhu kuhu number, second was when he heard chal ud ja re panchi of telugu version and the third was when rafi sang telugu songs for Bhale tammudu film in telugu in 1969 , after meeting and obtaining the advise of ghantasala in singing the telugu songs. Are you aware of these facts ?. All these three occasions, rafi had categorically stated that ghantasala was far superior to him in singing. In kuhu kuhu rafi even made a statement that I can never sing like ghantasala, rafi went even to that extent. People forget these, because decades have passed for these facts, some 2 years back SPB comments are caught and are discussed – really surprising.

    Next, why ghantasala, carnatic singers k j yesudas or balamuralikrishna can sing any type of hindi songs, But sure, many of these carnatic singers songs , rafi cannot even attempt. Where is the question of rafi’s superiority?

  50. Kishorefan says:

    Post 2044 – gokuldas ji

    “Rafi had a far better range than other singers.”

    and regarding your last para –



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