The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore

by Arghya Dutta Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali […]

by Arghya Dutta

Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali to patriotic and to ghazals, Kishore had shown his tremendous variety in his god-given voice each and every time he had stood behind the microphone.

Here we discuss, yet another interesting genre of songs from Kishoreda – devotional songs – where he, as always, did tremendous perfection in singing, although he remained underrated always.


Kishoreda’s first true devotional song was “Leela Aparampar prabhuji teri leela aparampar” which he sang in the movie, Humsafar(1953). The song was composed by the maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan sahib. The song requires extensive voice modulation and Kishore sang the song with great feeling. The antara where he goes up with “ O neele ambar pe basaria, teri jay jaykaar…,” the feeling touches hearts.

Next came the classic “Haal tujhe apni duniya ka nazar to aata hoga” from Asha(1957). Composed by one of Kishore’s earliest admirers, C Ramchandra, the song is different, as now, Kishore is complaining to the Almighty for all the misdoingd on planet earth. His voice carries the grief and complaint and very “open throated”.. with “ Maalik tu bhi isko banaake ab pachhtata hoga…” truly depicts a person’s disappointment which he keeps in front of the god,,,

One of my most favourite devotional song from Kishore was in Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein(1964)- a song which he himself composed and sang alongwith Manna De. The song “O jag ke rakhwale humein tujh bin kaun sambhaale” is very soulful and touches heart immediately with the divine tune.. Manna starts the song with chorus and Kishore enters very late and immediately leaves a heavy impact with “Kiya sab kuchh tere hawaale, o jag ke rakhwale”.. Manna reportedly praised Kishore openly for the composition as well as the rendition… Shows again, the genius of that man- Kishore Kumar!

Kishore sang many devotional songs in the 70s, when he was on the top spot in playback singing. Chhoti Bahu(1971) saw Kishore rendering “Hey re kanhaiya, kisko kahega tu maiyya..” composed by his long time associates Kalyanji-Anandji.. The song depicts the dilemma of young Kanhaiyya, as he was born in Devki’s house but brought up in Yashda’s home and finding it difficult whom he should call “his actual mother”.. “Jisme tujhko janam diya ya jisne tujhko pala…”, very simple lyrics and simple tune and Kishore’s “open voice” makes this song very close to heart..

Ram ka naam badnaam na karo..” is perhaps the most popular devotional song of Kishore which he sang in Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) under Rahul Dev Burman. Youth getting astray are motivated by Kishore with the “tyaag” and “dharma” of Rama and Krishna here with a voice “pioneering” and “comforting”.. The feelings which he brings here also makes the song memorable and timeless. “Ram ko samjho, Krishna ko jaano, neend se jaago o mastano..”, Kishore calls the youth to follow the “true path”of Almighty to come out of darkness.

Mere Jeevan Sathi(1972) is mainly rememberd for the romantic songs of Kishore for Rajesh Khanna, but the song “Aao kanhai mere dham” is very special for those who love Bhajans.. The true passion and anxiety of a bhakt for not getting the darshan of Lord Krishna, is reflected in the anxious voice of Kishore “dekho ho gayi shaam”… Composed by Rahul Dev Burman- a truly sublime bhajan for Kishore..

Naya Din Nayi Raat(1974) saw this time Laxmikant Pyarelal turning to Kishore for a nice melodious and simple Krishna vandana in terms of “Krishna Krishna bolo Krishna…”, influenced by Bengali kirtan- with proficient usage of the instrument “khol”. The song was sung very melodiously by the two legends- Kishore and Lata and is even popular to this day!

In 1974, the newcomer music director Rajesh Roshan handed Kishoreda a very high pitch beautiful devotional number “Jai Bholenath Jai Ho Prabhu” in the movie “Kunwara Baap” where Kishore sang as many as 4 songs … Although, the song might not have left too much of an impact as a “devotional song” in the mind of the audience, it is very much a memorable and a very melodious song of Kishore and Lata..

But the best was yet to come!! Laxmi-Pyare turned again to Kishore with “Prem ka rog laga mujhe yeh”- a classic devotional song on a semi-classical note in Do Premee(1980)! All the three antaras were different from one another and the note changes were complex!! With lot of vigour in his voice, Kishore sang like a truly “magan” bhakta in “Yeh kaanton ke haar hai saare , murari..” This song is still a showcase of Kishore’s multi layered voice!!

The next considerable devotional song was “Bhole O Bhole” from Yarana(1981) composed by Rajesh Roshan, may not be called a “true devotional song” in a proper sense, but had the essence of a troubled mind addressing the God.

The last significant bhajan by Kishore was in Swami Dada(1982) for Rahul Dev Burman with “Ek roop kayin naam man mandir tera dham..”.. Again a simple tune sang with lot of emotions… But bhajans were scarce those days in Hindi Cinema, and this song remained the “swan song” for Kishore as far as devotional songs are concerned…

In 1986, recovering a heart attack, Kishore recorded his last Rabindrasangeet album (Bangla) with music arrangement of his another true admirer- Hemant Kumar.. The typical low note devotional Rabindrasangeet “ Klanti aamaar khama koro prabhu…” (Please forgive my tireness, O Lord..), according to me, is the best devotional song of Kishore …

A man of many moods, Kishore truly proved his versatility in all genres of singing.. Although, his devotional songs cannot fall in the same category of “Man tarapat hari darshan” or “Sukh ke sab saathi”, but the glimpse of his great talent cannot be overlooked in all the devotional songs he had sung!! A truly “divine” voice!

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468 Blog Comments to “The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore”

  1. vitthal says:

    Paramjeet ji,

    Videos are not so easily available for tamil and kannada, but after difficulty some songs I have got for ghantasala songs.

    Two tamil songs

    Kannada song

    Arghya ji,

    Telugu song : could you point similar song (with light changes) in hindi cinema (it is by rafi in hindi)

  2. Vitthal says:

    and here is the solo one of the maestro, as referred in my previous post, sudi galilona – music directed by shankar jai kishan

  3. Vitthal says:

    Dear Satyansh ji, & Raj ji,

    Thanks for the views on Bommanu chesi…

    Dear Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji, Satyansh ji & others,

    After a long time, as I was busy. Well, Shankar Jai kishan, reckoned as one of the greatest music directors in hindi cinema, have composed a music for one telugu film “Jeevitha Chakram” in 1971. Ghantasala, P Suseela, and Sarada (hindi singer) were the main singers in this film. Shankar Jai Kishan had asked them to come to Mumbai for recording songs. I have heard this narration from a aged man who knew facts of those days.

    Ghantasala, being from a orthodox background, went to mumbai in dhoti and shirt (white) as most southern singers in those days had this culture. He used to always sit on the ground for practising music and as usual he sat in one corner in the recording studio. The musical troop of shankar jai kishan and the music directors themselves saw this man and wondered who this man could be and who is sitting in the corner. After a few minutes the producer of the film entered the studio and one of the members in the troop asked the producer that why that dhoti clad man has entered this studio. The producer replied, he is Padmashri Ghantasala, the “famous singer” of the south. The troop members laughed and whispered among themselves and said “dhoti man – he does not look like a singer” – This producer is calling him a famous singer. The producer just replied calmly – let the recording be over – you will know who is what.

    The first song in the film to be rendered was Sudigalilona deepam – solo sung by ghantasala, composed by shankar jai kishan (the standard of the song, composition wise, plainly speaking is only average as compared to other numbers of this music duo, of course some high pitch is there)

    Ghantasala stood before the mike and as he sung the first line, of the song, a high pitch line, the mike suddenly went off. Everybody was confused, after some time they noticed a snag in the mike and replaced the fuse connecting the mike by putting a stronger wire. The song started with a high pitch, a tragic number, and was recorded only in one take.

    After the recording, the troop members who had earlier whispered, fell at the feet of the maestro, and asked for forgiveness – their tone was sir, we have not seen a singer in our life – recording a song in one take, this is the first time we have seen such a singer, that too singing a composition of shankarjai kishan for the first time.

    Of course, in my view, the song is nothing for ghantasala, it was just a left hand game for him. A man who rendered “siva sankari, Syamala Dandakam, Rasika Raja” – all in one takes, the jeevitha chakram song was nothing for him.

    Shankar jai kishan – both remarked “bahut accha hai sir”.

    There is another song in the film by ghantasala and sarada in the film – composed by shankar jai kishan. This is attractive (in composition) as compared to the solo song of ghantasala in jeevitha chakram. Here is the link for the duet.

    How, comfortably he renders the song. (this is in 1971, by which time his health was not upto the mark, naturally, as compared to earlier 60’s the voice has changed a bit)

    Satyansh ji,

    The “Syamala Dandakam” was recorded only in one take like siva sankari. Ghantasala told the music director that he is going to sing the song only once and that had to be recorded only in that way. The music director, P Nageshwara rao, (who was siva sankari composer as well) said, I thought that ghantasala would really faint after singing the devotional number, as a true devotee faints with ecstasy and devotion when he sings in praise of god, such were his expressions and range in that rendition, which he sang only once and got it recorded.

    A new news:

    The scientists and doctors wanted to conduct a experimental research on the voice box of ghantasala after his passing away in 1974, for conducting research on how such specialised skills and melody could emanate from vocal chords of the singer. But on religious grounds (since he was a orthodox brahmin) this was not allowed.

    Another landmark for current generations.

    Similar to Mughal e azam – which was remade in colour, the evergreen classical film “mayabazar” (1957) of telugu is released in A P yesterday remade in colour, cinema scope and digital sound. The film is music directed by ghantasala and his songs are evergreen for all ages from the film. The film is running house full even today and tickets are not available. In fact, I had shared a comedy song from this film “sundari nee vanti” some time back in these columns on the advise of Shri Paramjeet ji.

    Prabhanjan ji,

    Do not take any issues seriously, all of us have passed through many such phases. It was only SPB who shone like another light in telugu industry after the “colossus”. Kindly continue to entertain with your posts. In the other thread, you had written a mail to SPB for some clarifications, which in my view is strictly not necessary. Your clarifications are much much enough to know the facts. I agree with almost all your points, there is no dispute in that.


  4. arghya says:

    Dear Kishore Kumar lovers,

    Kishoreda- The Legend, the Government recognized foundation on Kishore Kumar, is launching a website on Kishoreji called The website will be on air on 3rd of February, 2010. Check that out for many new and innovative features on the greatest playback singer ever.

    There is also a Press Conference cum Media Briefing about the organization and its mega-activities this year on 21st of February at the Press Club, Kolkata.

    People interested to be a part of this International Organization, may please contact me for membership procedure and details.

    VP-Kishore Da, The Legend.

  5. Paramjeet says:

    Satyansh bhai..

    Mannaji na keval ek mahan gayak hai balki ek mahan insaan bhi hai,. Vinamra aur saral. Lata, Rafi, Kishore, Pancham, Naushad, sabhiki unhone dil khol ke taarif ki hai.

    Tragedy gaane mere liye waise gaane hai jin mein insaan apni bhavukta vyakt karta hai. Wahan pe woh kisi shaks ko kosta hai ya apne naseeb ko ya halaat ko. Usmein majboori bhi jhalakti hai jo udaas gaano mein nahi hoti. Aese gaane 50s aur 60s mein zyada bante the. Mujhe aese gaano mein pasand hai:

    1. O Duniya ke rakhwale
    2. Tum na jaane kis jahan mein kho gaye
    3. Mohabbat ki jhooti kahani pe roye
    4. Tu auron ki kyun ho gayi(bahut mushkil gaana hai)
    5. Patthar ke sanam(ek dum Rafiji ki awaaz pe fit baithta hai yeh geet)
    6. Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala
    7. Barbaad e mohabbat ki dua leti jaa
    8. Tumhe yaad karte karte jayenge rain saare
    9. Yeh dard bhara afsana sun le anjaan zamana
    10. Chahunga main tujhe saanjh savere

    Ab aap bhi apne favourite udaasi gaane aur tragedy gaane bataye…..

    Vitthal bhai,

    kaha kho gaye aap??? Humein aur bhi sundar gaane bataiye.. Ghantashalaji ke kuchh Tamil ya Kannada gaane share kijiye humare saath.. Maine suna hai ke Telugu xhhodke, in dono bhashaon mein bhi unhone kamaal kiya hua hai.. Thoda bataiye krupaya…

  6. Raj says:

    392 – vitthal ji,

    Wow, I am moved to tears with the ghantasala song – bommanu chesi pranamu posi. Really vitthal ji, What a emotion, what a expression, voice range and pitch. There is no shouting at all, it is so natural and perfect. The high pitch in ” sokana sandrana muncheveu le” takes somewhere into deep depths. Really amazing. Thanks for the excellent song sir. A beautiful musical composition i.e tragic one. It is one of the rarest of rarest gems I have heard till today.

  7. satyansh says:

    Paramjeet ji,
    Yeh ek link hai jisme Manna Dey ne Sonu ke baare mein kaha ki uska “Deewana Tera” geet sunkar veh bhi uske deewane ho gaye. Phir kuch aisa kaha ki “Mere baare mein kya kahun jo bhi toota-phoota gaata ho, aap log sunte hai, mere liye bahut hai”. Yeh link khud dekh lijiye, maine apni Post 387 aur iss post mein shayad translation mein kuch galat likh diya ho. Phir unhone Rafi ki bhi bahut tareef ki. Unke bhaav ko samajhna zaroori hai, woh zyadatar sabhi ki prashansa karte hain. –

    Aapke gaanon ki list bahut acchi hai. Talat ke acche geet pick kiye. “Saathi Na Koi Manzil” Rafi ke behatareen geeton mein se hai. Bahut hi madhur dhun hai aur Rafi ki awaaz iss geet ko jachti hai. Iss gaane ke andaaz par gaur karenge to aapko aur kuch gaane yaad aayenge. Kishore ki sad songs ki pakad to lajawaab thi. Udaasi zyada generic term hoti hai aur usme logon ki definition kaafi hadd tak overlap karti hai, par tragedy ki paribhasha logon par nirbhar karti hai aur alag ho sakti hai. To kripaya apne nazariye mein tragedy ke gaanon ke kuch examples dijiye.

    Vithal ji, I liked the pathos in Ghantasala’s voice in the song you shared. Didn’t understand the lyrics, but he did convey the sadness through his voice. Kishore, Mukesh, Hemant, etc. were masters at this. Ghantasala seems to be a man of many talents – singing classical/semi-classical, comedy, serious, etc. songs exceptionally well.

    Prabhanjan, To your post in the other thread – please do continue sharing SPB’s gems as well. I listen to the songs you post and am getting to learn about SPB as an artist.

  8. vitthal says:

    Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji, & satyansh ji,

    A beautiful, tragic, touching song of ghantasala for your views. (Pl. state something on the emotions and pitch)

    The shankar jai kishan vs. ghantasala, i will do it, as I am searching some video songs in relation to the same.

  9. vitthal says:

    Satyansh ji, -387

    I fully subscribe to your views, You have analysed things perfectly. Crossing generation & other barriers, even today ranging in millions, from children to aged people to influential people to common man (the current numerous t v programmes on singing and music competitions are evidence for this) are influenced by ghantasala, and in any music programme, as stated above, numerous ghantasala songs are sung. That itself proves your statement “har aayu par chap hai”. This is the position after 35 years of his passing away.

    That is the strength of “true music” satyansh ji.

    Can we think of any other singers of today, being able to cast such influence even when they are active i.e now (many current songs of them also people are not listening) or at least imagine to have such influence for future decades. A big doubt for sure.

    Same is the case for hindi singers too, most popular being mohd rafi, kishore, lata to name than others.

  10. vitthal says:

    Satyansh ji, Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji, kishore fan ji & others

    In my next post, I will narrate a beautiful and exciting incident between ghantasala & Shankar Jai kishan, the reputed hindi music directors who music directed a telugu film “jeevitha Chakram” in 1971.

  11. kishorefan says:

    Arghya & paramjeet bhai,

    4th August 1929 – Kishore kumar’s birthday.

    4th December 1922 – Ghantasala’s birthday.

    I was told that the number 4 in numerology is found in popular artist’s life. The versatile contribution of both is fairly known.

  12. Paramjeet says:

    satyanshji 387 aur vitthalji 386

    Pehle to aap dono aur Arghya bhai, Srivasji aur anya sabhi Kishoreji ke fans mera pranam sweekar karein.. Is forum mein jo discussions ho rahe hai, main yeh bolna chahunga weh bahut hi uchha koti(high standard) ke hai.. Sirf knowledge sharing ki baat hi nahi, ek dusre ke prati sanman, anya gayakon ke prati sanman aur antatah sabhi gayakon ke fans ko utsaah paradan karna apne apne Guru ke upar ke upar likhne ke liye- yeh forum kaafi lokpriyata prapt kiya hai in dinon mein aur kain jagahon pe maine is forum pe aur ismein hui baaton pe logon ko charcha karte dekha hai…

    Mujhe mannaji ki sonu wali baat pata nahi thi… Dhanyavaad aap ka. Rochak tippani hai magar Mannaji sabhi ko achha hi bolte hai, boora kisiko nahi..
    Mujhe udaas gaano mein yeh gaane bahut pasand hai:
    * badi sooni sooni hai
    * shaam e gham ki qasam
    * o majhi re apna kinara
    * jin raaton ki bhor nahi hai
    * tum bin jeevan kaisa jeevan
    * saathi na koi manzil diya hai na koi mehfil
    * jaye to jaye kahan
    * kahi door jab din dhal jaye
    *woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi
    * teri duniya mein jeene se to behetar hai

    Waise udaasi bhare geet aur tragedy bhare geet do alag alag hai mere liye.. 🙂

    Dhanyavaad itne vistaar se Ghantashalaji ke upar alokpaat karne ke liye.. Zaroor humein aur bhi gaane sunaaiye.. Sirf Ghantashalaji hi kyun, anya gayakon ke bhi… Humein bhasha shayad samajh mein nahi aayegi, magar sangeet ki paribhasha to har jagah ek hi hai.. Jaise Majrooh Sultanpuriji ko ek baar ek patrakaar ne poochha tha ‘ apne itne saare MDs ke saath kaam kiye, kaun aapki lekh ko sabse zyada samajh paye dhun banate waqt?’ to Majrooh sahab bole ‘ Sachin Dev Burman’. Patrakar ashcharya chakit hoke bole ‘ magar unko to theek se Hindi bhi nahi aati thi!!’ to majrooh sahab hanske bole ‘ yes, but he knew poetry and poetry has one universal language’….

    Thanks khemchandji ke upar likhne ke liye.. Ho sakta hai hum log is site pe har hafte 4-5 naye naye unnecessary articles na likhte ho, magar hamare forums mein jo aese aese posts aate hai woh koi bhi article se zyada gyan vardhak hai..

    Srivastava ji,
    Aap sahi hai.. Yeh forum ek bahut hi lokpriya forum hone ja raha hai.. Aap ne sahi kaha jaise Kishoreji 70s aur 80s mein top the waise hi Rafiji 50s aur 60s mein.. Waise Kishoreji ne bhi 50s, 60s mein behetareen gaane gaye hai aur Rafiji ne 70s mein.. Aur Mannaji, Hemantji, Talatsahab, Mukeshji, Mahendra Kapoorji sabhi bahut oonche star ke gayak the.. Aese gayak baar baar janam nahi lete.

  13. satyansh says:

    Paramjeet ji,
    Ghantasala jaisa pratibhashali gayak to shayad hi kissi bhi industry mein janma ho. Meri soch hai ki yadi usse hindi ke sandarbh mein dekhen utna aadar keval Saigal ko diya jata hai. Saigal ne gaane adhik na gaaye hon, parantu veh hindi chalchitra mein sangeet ke arambhik aur mahatvapurna anuvadak the. Nirasha iss baat ki hai ki bahudha yuva peedhi ne Saigal ko ya to suna hi nahi aur suna hai to unke avishkaar ko theek se samjha nahi. Yeh sochkar apne ko santvana deta hoon ki log phir bhi Saigal ke naam ko mahatvapurna samajhte hain. Isme bahut bada shreya jata hai Lata, Kishore, Rafi, aadi-ityadi ko kyonki inn sabhi logon ne Saigal ko apna guru bataya. Ghantasala ko to Telugu yuva bhi kaafi pasand karte hain. Mai dekhta hoon ki har aayoo varg par Ghantasala ki chaap hai aur yeh Ghantasala ki pratibha hai. Vithal ji, iss vishay par aap kripaya gyaan den. Ghantasala ke yogdaan ki ek aur visheshta hai ki veh keval gunotkarsh varg mein hi prasidh nahi the, balki veh aampasandi bhi the aur unka prabhav jan sadharan par bhi tha. Ispar bhi mai Vithal ji se kuch tipaniyan karne ka anurodh karta hoon.

    Anil ne Ghantasala aur Manna Dey ke beech baat aampasandi ki nahi balki shastriya sangeet ki pakad ke baare mein ki hogi. Hum aap kaun hote hain inn logon par tipaniyan karne waale. Mai dono ko iss sandarbh mein barabari ka samjhta hoon aur mai bhi aap hi ki tarah iss tulna mein nahi padhna chahunga. Yeh baat badh kar Hindustani aur Carnatic ki ho sakti hai aur mai iss vishay par baat karne ke yogya nahi hoon. Apne star par sangeet ki baat hum karte rahenge aur ek dusre se issi tarah gyaan prapt karenge.

    Aapne gaane ke bhaav ko darshane se sambandhit jo baat kahi usse mai sampurnatah sehmat hoon. Anya gayak to mahaan the/hain hi, par Manna De ke pyaar bhare gaane bhi kitne sundar hain – “Kaun Aaya Mere” keval ek udaharan hai. Kis mithas se unhone uss geet mein prem bhara hai. Maine haal hi mein yeh samjha hai ki logon ne Manna Dey aur Lata ke kai purane geet sune hi nahi. Udaas gaanon mein bhi mujhe “Poocho Na Kaise” aur “Dukhi Mann Mere” bahut pasand hai. Saath mein Mukesh ke bhi kai geet hain. Kishore darshanik gaanon ko jis star par lekar gaye uski barabari aaj tak koi nahi kar saka. Rafi ke namra, madhur aur nasheele gaanon ka kya kehna.

    Phir aapne devdoot ki jo baat kahi woh bhi achook hai. Manna De ne to yeh bhi kaha ki Sonu Nigam ne jo “Deewana Tera” geet gaaya woh unhe sunkar yeh laga ki veh to kabhi isse nahi gaa sakte. Phir unhone kaha “Apne baare mein kya kahun, maine to jo gaana tha gaa diya”. Itni vinamrata dekh kar bhi log samajh nahi pate aur ajeeb si baatein karte rehte hain. Aap to jaante hi hain. Iss samay aapke das pasandeeda udaasi bhare geeton ke baare mein likhen.

    Iss samay apni pasand ke kuch udaas gaane yaad aa rahe hain – “Poocho Na Kaise”, “Dukhi Mann Mere”, “Dil Jalta Hai”, “Dekhi Zamane Ki”, “Badi Sooni Sooni Hai”, “Mai To Ek Khwaab Hoon”, “Jaane Woh Kaise”, … Yeh to bahut zyada likhna padega – bas karta hoon.

    Vithal ji,
    The article on Ghantasala was good reading. The genius deserves it.

  14. Vitthal says:

    Paramjeet ji – 385 – HATS OFF TO YOUR POST

    Similar to Arghya ji, I convey my highest regards to your true “musical comments on legends – as they are”

    I will be happy to share with you & arghya ji as well, if it is OK with you, on southern music “outstanding contributions and its legends”. It would be according to your wish as you say i.e either here or at our e – mails, (as I think this might not be the right forum for other issues)

    Paramjeet ji – You are cent percent correct.

    Manna ji did great despite fierce competition.

    Virtually, all existing singers had to pack off from chennai (madras those days) when ghantasala took charge as playback singer. The monopoly status as “unchallenged colossus” continued until his death, in telugu singing, whereas in tamil and kannada, (50’s it was same status) he reduced his contribution “voluntarily” on account of health grounds from mid-60’s when TMS sounderrajan in tamil (introduced by ghantasala himself) and P B Srinivas in Kannada followed as successors to ghantasala in those fields. Even in telugu in earlier 70’s, for some films, ghantasala was not available on health grounds and producers literally used to wait for months to get the song recorded by him only, despite SPB, Ramakrishna, P B Srinivas, A M Raja, K J Yesudas, M S Rama Rao being available. Such was his mesmerising spell. In earlier 70’s even one tamil song, as one mr. raghavan ji states here, Mutthuka Mutthaga….. which K V Mahadevan ji music directed, got that sung only by ghantasala, K V Mahadevan stated that only ghantasala can do justice to that, (Sounderrajan had become famous in tamil by then).

    Arghya ji – 382

    Thanks for sharing information on the legend – khemchand prakash ji – many interesting points. I believe he was the father of hindi music compo-sers (sitions).

    Sandeep Shrivastav & Raj ji,

    Thanks for your views on post 381 of mine.

    380- Satyansh ji,

    It would be interesting to discuss on “classical songs in indian playback singing” as you said, may be either here or at your site. – Paramjeet ji, I am sure, would play a great role in that topic, along with Arghya ji.
    It is better Surajit bose ji, Srivas Ji, Khan ji, & Lalith ji, also join for the same.

    Also immense thanks and regards to “kishorefan ji” views as well, & I have seen his “nice” responses to Mr. Haldar & Mr. Bhagchandani ji posts in the other thread here (feud between rafi and kishore article)

  15. paramjeet says:

    satyansh bhai,

    Aapne jo vichaar diya hai Punjabi pe, woh sahi mein ghazab ka hai.. In fact, aap ko, Jalandhar ki Punjabi aur Faridkot ki Punjabi mein bhi antar dikhega..

    Kisine Manna De aur Ghantashala ki baat chhedi hai classical pe.. Hum kis tarah se in do gayakon ki baat kare? Ek samajhnewali baat yahan pe yeh hai Satyansh bhai, Manna ji ko Hindi mein jo competition mila woh Ghantashalaji ko Telugu mein nahi mila. 2 arth nikalte hai:
    1. Hindi filmon ke gayak itne pratibhavaan the ke unhone Mannaji jaise competant log ko bhi challenge diye.
    2. Ghantashalaji itne pratibhavaan the ke unke aage ek bhi Telugu gayak nahi chale.

    Aap chahe jaise bhi jis kisi bhi arth ko lo, dono taraf se hi yeh do mahan gayakon ko ki pratibha ko hi darshayega…

    Aasaan nahi hai Kishore, Rafi aur Mukesh jaise gayakon(jo ke ek hi samay pe aaye the) ke saath takkar dena.. Aur teenon ke teenon(khaas kar Kishore aur Mukesh)- technical training mein unse peechhe ho magar filmy awaaz aur natural talent se bhare ho..

    Maine yeh suna hai ke Ghantashalaji aane ke baad kaafi saare singers ke career khatm ho gaye the. Kya bolenge is cheez ko? kitna dum hona chahiye ek bande mein sabki chhutti karne ke liye??

    Main personally samajhta hoon ke jo variety Mannaji ne Bollywood mein darshaye hai woh lajawab hai.. Alag tarah ke gaane bahuton ne gaaye hai(genres ki baat kar raha hoon), magar gaane ke andar ghoosna aur sahi mood ko pakad ke sahi expressions deke gaane ko jagrut karna 2 hi logon ko aata tha- kishore kumar aur manna de.. Main kya bolna chahta hoon woh agar log samajh gaye na, Satyansh bhai, to iske aage koi baat nahi chalti..

    Aur log kya kisi ko devdoot bana rahe hai Satyansh bhai?? Jo aadmi, itna mahan gayak, bol sakta hai ke ‘meri awaaz Lata(chad gaya papi bichhua), kishore(ek chatur naar) aur rafi(na caravan ki talaash hai) ke saamne kuchh nahi’- aese aadmi ki vinamrata ke saamne aur koi devdoot khada ho sakta hai kya?? Khaas kar aese devdoot jisne shayad hi kabhi apne co-singers ki dil khol ke taarif kiya ho(na ke diplomatic comments maar ke)

    Main kain dafaa yeh baat bol chuka hoon, magar apne mujhe bhavuk kar diya to maine bol diya yahan pe..

  16. sandeep shrivastav says:

    Kishore lovers

    Rafi did exercise tremendous influence in 50’s and 60’s whereas kishore did it in 70’s & 80’s. No amount of arguments can remove this truth. It is waste to argue on some biased comments of some fans. Both had their own unique contributions to bollywood.

    Vitthal, -381

    A great article in Hindu on Shri Ghantasala ji. I have heard him earlier, mainly courtesy rafi forum. He is really a great talent, it appeared as if he were for real. I am really out of the world when I hear him. It is nice to learn that the songs of outstanding genius, shri ghantasala ji, is being shared here also along with other southern singers. Keep it up Mr. Vitthal.

    There are many nice discussions being followed here compared to the other rafi forum, keep it up music lovers.


    Nice article by you on kishore, I appreciate the same. Very few people, like you can pen such articles on kishore kumar.

    The posts of Srivas, Lalith, Vitthal have made interesting reading.

    Happy new year to all.

  17. Raj says:

    Vitthal ji – 381

    Nice article, I loved it. He had saintly qualities as well (last line confirms that in the article) the article too is unparallelled similar to his unparallelled contribution. Thanks

  18. arghya says:

    Vitthalji 381.
    Thanks so very much for that link. It is so beautiful to know a temple coming up for this genius singer in AP. Lots of interesting trivias there. Thanks so very much.

    Satyansh 380.
    Music Directors were the heart of a song. You, Me and all know this very well. I have never seen anyone fighting as vigorously for his favourite MD as he does for his favourite singer(perhaps, with an exception to R D Burman and A R Rehman).. That is because people are more attached to the deliverer of the end product- which in music, is singer and the song.

    No discussion on film music be completed without mentioning the pioneer of music direction in films- Khemchand Prakash(1908-1950)- who was a true melody maker, deep classical knowledge and quite an advanced orchestration as compared to his contemporaries. KP shot to fame with Tansen(1944) with Kundan Lal Saigal’s “Diya jalaao jagmag jagmag” and Khurshid Begum’s “Ghata ghanghor shor machaye shor”.. Khemchandji continued to give lovely music in coming years with Kundan Lal Saigal- “Hum apna unhe bana na sake”, Aamirbai Karnataki-“Chanda des piya ke jaa”, Talat Mehmood and Geeta Dutt- “Armaan bhare dil ki lagan”.

    Khemchandji was the real “talent hunter” of those days in the film industry. It is not surprising to know, three biggest playback singing legends of Bollywood- Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle- all were groomed and given crucial breaks by Khemchandji(used tobe called “guruji” by all three of them). When other people used to play safe, Khemchandji explored newer talent and gave Lata her first solo hit- “Chanda re ja re ja re”, Kishore’s first solo- “Marne ki duayein kyun maangoo” and Asha’s first Hindi film duet-“Aati hai yaad humko”(which also happens to be India’s first yoodelling song- yet another facet of KP’s innovation and trend adaptibility).

    Khemchandji used western orchestration as a pathbreaker. He and later C Ramchandra were the only MDs in the 40s who adapted Western Music Style so beautifully.

    Before his untimely death, Khemchandji gave us a musical extravaganza with Lata Mangeshkar and Rajkumari- “Mahal”. The haunting “Aayega aanewala”(Lata) to “Chhan chhan ghungarwa baaje”(Rajkumari)- Mahal was a runaway hit and made waves everywhere. With around half a dozen films in hand, Khemchandji demised at a tender age of 43, and the industry lost a jewel forever.

    Listening to KP closely, one gets a feeling, he would also have played a big innings like S D Burman, due to his adaptibility, simple and melodious tunes and willingness to explore newer things.

    Khemchandji had created a school of his own and maestros like Naushad and Anil Biswas used to consider him as their gurus. A hard Saigal lover- Khemchandji, had a very special chemistry with K L Saigal. And his proteges also were all from Saigalian school only.. :).. It is said that R C Boral- another leading MD of 30s and 40s, used to consider Khemchandji as the best amongst them. And also said KP was much ahead of time and the gap he had created to be huge.

    Just as you mentioned about MDs, I thought of putting down something about this marvellous composer, Khemchand Prakash.

  19. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji, Paramjeetji, Satyansh ji, Kishore fan ji and others.

    Kindly see the following link please. i wanted this to share “SPECIALLY” with all of you.

  20. satyansh says:

    Vithal ji [Post 339 / 356 / 378],

    I might have missed a few posts here and am catching up. I do check this site to read interesting inputs from all of you. I would write more at some point of time, maybe soon. It would be very hard to justice to songs of that (as mentioned in your posts) calibre in an essay, however, a collection of songs would be useful for music lovers. Of course, I thoroughly enjoy reading Srivas ji’s posts. Yes, the entire series was a result of the stuff being said on I never saw any sort of formal rating criteria being formalized so I decided to write what I have learnt to be important.

    Arghya [Post 332],

    This is soo old, I think you must have forgotten your own post by now :). Sure, I was not pointing out anything you said. It was just general conversation. Punjabi accents differ depending on where they are from. I know it is the same for other languages – Telugu for example; I’ve heard people in Vizag speak differently from people in another regions. Similarly, a Ludhianvi speaks differently than an Amritsari who speaks differently from a Malwai. In general, people who grow up speaking Punjabi do tend to say “ppae” (stressing on the p) instead of “bhai”. That is more Punjabi than Hindi. BTW, while I don’t its origins, to the best of my knowledge, “Khaab” is now an excepted word in Hindi. “Khwaab” is Urdu. Nowadays people tend to say something in between the two and that is what is weird – I don’t know how to write that word in English alphabets. It is neither “Khaab” nor “Khwaab”. “fir” instead of “phir” has become commonplace. “fir” is excepted lingo as well and has only recently been pointed out by people on TV.

    In Hindi for example, people from MP and UP speak in different accents. I’m not sure if you have heard people talk about “khadi” Hindi – I’ve heard some interesting conversations between friends, always made us smile with funny interpretations of the same word/sentence in different contexts. I’ll narrate a recent unrelated incident about interpretations and cross-references of words between English and Hindi – we were doing a “What personality type are you?” questionaire. It matches up peoples’ personalities to birds. A friend Lou matched up to an owl. Greek and Roman mythology consider owls to be magical and wise. Before that in ancient India, owl was considered wise and helpful. I informed him that today in India, owls are called ullu (read ulLou, because Lou is pronounced Loo :)) and are considered stupid or foolish (NOTE: this guy is very intelligent). The irony is that I’ve heard that the change in the perception of the owl from wise to foolish likely came from the Britishers as in the middle ages, Europe started viewing the owl as a foolish creature that partakes in eerie things. Now that the Brits have left, if somebody calls one an “ullu”, they should thank them for being called wise :).

    You have pointed interesting aspects of pronunciations of Bengalis. I was not familiar with those – especially the “s” and the “w”.

    Regarding breathing techniques, are you talking on the lines we spoke about on the phone a while back? :). I am not sure how to write it on a forum, since the sincerity of the tone often gets lost in a post. I want to avoid controversy and would rather keep this discussion offline only. I’d say that all the legendary singers had exemplary breathing patterns during the song. Proper breathing techniques do help the person sing longer. We are lucky that the trained Manna Dey, Lata and Asha are still with us. It should be noted that all these great singers are / were human and while they were far better than most of the HFM singers today, credit also goes to the MDs of that time who were instrumental in creating compositions based on the singer. I’d love to see some of you guys talk about the MDs.

  21. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji,

    For your enjoyment / your views on these 2 songs (romantic) – GS voice with soft velvet touch (you will get similar to rafi’s top romantic songs feeling)

  22. Vitthal says:

    Satyansh ji,

    Today I saw to your website – Could get some nice articles and discussions.

    The article on “Ek chatur Naar” was interesting. Interestingly, Srivas Ji had written a post here in the song, I hope you might have read it. Rafi vs kishore articles, I think are as as a result of the discussions in rafi forum – got it.

  23. vitthal says:

    Arghya ji, – immediate previous post 375 of mine is addressed to you, by mistake it is stated as anil ji. sorry for the mistake.

  24. Vitthal says:

    Contd.. arghya ji,

    So kishore knows music. Why people say, he was not trained. So ghantasala is correct in his statement that people having technical bent of mind only can render notes clearly and i feel kishore belonged to that class going by your post.

  25. Vitthal says:

    Anil Ji,

    OK remark was only for the song. I could not catch your liking for the music less effect, it was a rare thing. Rather, my mention was mixed with the kishore’s number which surajit ji had given in his previous post, at which I was mesmerised. So, the intention was purely that I was just caught between both the songs and the number given by surajit had enveloped my mind. So keeping that nice song (given by surajit ji) of kishore in mind, I mentioned OK for khushi do ghadi. I hope you got it.

    By the way, Srivas ji has posted one great melodious song of ghantasala in the other thread here, which I wanted to share with you here. The song starts from 1:06 and is a devotional song. The song is from sankarabharanam raga which srivas ji refers as the king of ragas.

  26. arghya says:

    Vitthalji, 372/373.

    Yes, indeed surprising so many common tunes exist between Bengali and Telugu. The Bengali tune in discussion here was composed by Hemant Kumar only in 1955 for a mega hit Uttam Kumar-Suchitra Sen starrer movie “Shap Mochan”.. So, it came around 9 years before the Telugu one from Dr. Chakravarthy.

    Regarding Kishore’s musical knowledge, it is a recorded fact by Ashok Kumar’s daughter (in a recent interview on Kishorda’s 80th birthday) and Anup Kumar also, “KISHORE WAS A MARVELLOUS PIANO PLAYER.” In private, he used to play tunes of Bech, Mozart, Chopin etc. in front of his other family members. A photograph in Derek Bose’s “Method in Madness” also portrays Kishore playing on a piano. Now, who knows from where he learnt to play that.. He could play harmonium effortlessly.. Some close associates of Amit Kumar confirms to have heard of some personal videos where Kishore was singing bandishes of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahab ditto! Call it the eccentricity of this man or whatever, the same stuff he did not try out in recording rooms.. But those small nuances in so many so called “non classical” numbers, if observed minutely, makes it very clear this man knew music and of course, classical Hindustani Music.. Apart from Saigal, as confirmed by Amit Kumar, he used to spend days together insider his room, listening to Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahab.

    Now, what would you call this? Definitely, he came to this industry as a untrained.. But I dont think he remained untrained forever.. His lessons were,however, not from direct sources(what we call “taalim”)..He kept on learning from different singers throughout his career, from their singing, listening to them hours together. Listen to his own composition on Raag Purvi” Aamar deep nebhaano raat”-

    I was surprised in fact that you found “Khushi do ghadi ki” as OK. Many of Kishore’s song had that BARE VOICED impact, which was utilized unmatchedly by many people.. Kishore as a MD was one of them. I can hardly remember any other singer, who from time after time(like Kishore) used to experiment with his voice with no-musical scores.

  27. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji,

    Could you kindly confirm the doubt in post 366 – regarding Kishore Kumar’s knowledge in music.

  28. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji,

    Great, indeed surprise. Though the first line tune is same in both songs, the remaining song differs. Hemant kumar has rendered it nicely. The expressions too were nice.

    I feel you would have certainly caught the perfection in a more better way in the telugu number, if you had got the knowledge of the language. The expressions are so perfect that hardly anybody can replicate according to SPB for this song, which is incidentally one of his favourites and one of great hits of ghantasala. But, in my view, frankly, the telugu song in terms of composition – notes wise (all the paras) are tougher than the bengali version. As you said, the melody is unique in the song. Thanks for your views.

    Nice to learn some similar tunes exist in telugu as well as bengali songs. The telugu song is from film Dr Chakravarthy – 1964. When was the bengali song composed Arghya ji ? Which was first composed ?

    Coming to kishore kumar’s number it was OK. I wanted to appreciate the kishore song provided by Surajit Bose ji in his post 363 here, an attractive rendering by kishore, hope it will be great if you could provide/help me with the entire song for hearing please.

  29. arghya says:


    Post 367.

    I listened to Manasuna manasai and I have a surprise for you regarding this song..

    Here is the surprise 🙂

    Tell me which version you liked better.. I find both the versions equally attractive with a slight edge to the Bong one because I could understand the poetry there and the Telugu one I could understand only the melody.. Also, Hemant Kumar is my favourite when it comes to melancholic songs expressing in a gentlemanish way..

    So nice of you for sharing these gems with us here.

    Now, please share your feedbcak about this Guru song. Composed by him only and sung by him. Notice the orchestration(or the lack of it). Any special marks for the experimentation? 🙂

  30. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji & paramjeet ji and others.

    Reference my previous posts.

    I think I am posting too much of songs. Are you OK and comfortable with my posts and sharing of songs. Kindly advise, if I am being overactive, because I always feel happy to completely respect the sentiments of all individuals and never mean to hurt anyone. I hope you got my message sir’s. If it is uncomfortable, I will change accordingly pl.

  31. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji,

    The para written in my previous posts on composition by S Rajeswara Rao, melancholy song applies to Manasuna manasai. I should have mentioned “the following song” in the para, which I incidentally missed. Sorry.

  32. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji,

    The outstanding song I wanted to share with you was manasuna manasai, to be more clear. I felt I should write this, because I thought I was not clear in my previous post pl.

  33. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji , Paramjeet ji and all other friends,

    Some outstanding musical gems for listening please.

    Here are three songs of P suseela – outstanding


    Sakhiya …..

    Chandana charchita (melodious song)

    Following is a song by ghantasala (beautiful sharper voice of 50’s arghya ji)

    And I was longing to share this outstanding song of ghantasala with you Arghya ji. Even SPB even today greatly maintains that this song cannot be sung better by anyone and even the music cannot be better composed by any music director (music direction is by S Rajeswara Rao of the south)

    A melancholy – beautiful song (similar to the likes of rafi’s numbers mere mehaboob of naushad …..) kindly carefully hear the music and full song with full attention pl. – a real great gem.

    Manasuna manasai…..

    For your esteemed musical views Arghya ji and Paramjeet ji.

  34. Vitthal says:

    Srivas ji, – 365

    I have seen the “Paaduta Teeyaga” programme of SPB on 21/12/2009 on ETV telugu and yes, I too felt uncomfortable on the comments made by SPB. In fact, SPB quoted that so great singer rafi rendering the “sankara” song might not have achieved the recognition it ihas achieved in telugu by SPB. I think, if I am not wrong, SPB did not mention Ghantasala here with reference to the song (he mentioned only rafi), though he & Viswanath subsequently jointly quoted that the popularity wise, the song would not have achieved prominence similar to SPB, if the same was sung by ghantasala or rafi.

    Of course, both SPB and Sri Viswanath, as you said, speedily closed the issue by stating that both ghantasala and rafi were “Aradhya daivalu” (gods whom we worship) and again Sri Viswanath quoting that after hearing Ghantasala he cannot hear SPB.

    Srivas ji, it is a totally irrelevant issue, I think, again as you said, may raise controversies, as was happening in rafi forum here i.e if rafi had sung those songs and now similarly if ghantasala had sung those songs and likewise. I think these kind of discussions are totally unwarranted (specially when discussion is with reference to incomparable legends), even by popular singers.

    My personal views (only for sharing with you)

    But frankly & to me again personally Srivasji, WITH THE HIGHEST DUE RESPECTS TO ALL OTHER LEGENDS/PLAYBACK SINGERS, I maintain that I prefer Mohd. rafi in hindi and of course, Ghantasala even more than rafi. I am of the firm view that these too can never be surpassed (specially ghantasala who was without any competition as long as he lived) if you decide taking into account the “total talent & unique contribution ” of these legends. Even SPB and others agree to this and some isolated statements made out of over enthusiasm or anxiety does not prove anything. These are my pure personal views Srivas ji.

    I would equally love hearing some of famous P B Srinivas songs in the south and now even Kishore kumar, after some nice discussions in this revered forum of kishore with our many esteemed friends here. By the way, P Suseela is also another singer, whom I admire a lot (in some songs even more than the nightingale – lata of hindi)

    Paramjeet ji,

    I agree with Srivas ji on padosan song. Ek Chatur naar, both Manna and Kishore were nice in their own ways.

    Arghyaji and paramjeet ji,

    Could you kindly confirm if Kishore Kumar had a minimum training in music? I got this doubt because the notes clarity and presentation by kishore is very attractive even to classical musicians and as I was given to understand by a statement of Ghantasala that technical notes clarity can be presented only by people having knowledge of music. I presume that Kishore had definitely some knowledge in music though he might not have been very well trained. Am I correct in my presumption ?

  35. Srivas says:

    Paramjeet ji – 362

    Padosan – Ek chatur naar – song by Kishore kumar and Manna De – Yes Manna did attempt carnatic style in an attractive way. Frankly speaking, kishore’s rendition was on filmy lines (attractively rendered) rather than on classical effects. I feel since kishore sang for the hero, in the end he was made to have a edge, but on technical lines, manna was surely better, though kishore had a good filmy voice. Kishore’s version was technically easier than the tougher manna’s version and quick/small alaaps (( in carnatic style). In the end, kishore’s swaras, it is clearly known that, only to put up a winning show, that was composed & Manna’s voice was deliberately made to fade (which is not the real case as I could clearly decipher manna’s style) so as to make kishore win (because hero has to win and kishore sang for hero). Kishore was good from filmy side and manna was nice from classical style. Technically speaking manna was good in the song.

    This is the main thing, singers who have classical edge in hindusthani or carnatic, they can certainly show some edge in classical compositions. I think in “Hindi Manna only alone” was capable of doing that.

    Prabhanjan ji & Vitthal ji,

    Just day before yesterday, I saw SPB saying in a TV programme in telugu, that ghantasala and rafi are worshipping gods for him.

    This was in connection with a discussion on “Sankara song from sankarabharanam film ” by SPB (which Mr. Vitthal had posted Here) and SPB, “very reluctantly & hesitatingly” was opining & commenting, that “perhaps” even rafi or ghantasala might not have possibly rendered the “sankara song” as SPB rendered.

    I was stunningly surprised at this observation of SPB & Sri Vishwanath, the producer of classical style movies who was present there, immediately commented that SPB’s intention is that since SPB has first sung the song and which had became famous and since people have closely embraced the song, the same song might not have achieved “such close association again” with people if the same would have sung by rafi or ghantasala who are indeed worshipping gods and a fact which is beyond dispute. Sri Vishwanath immediately closed the issue (perhaps to avoid controversy) by quoting that after hearing ghantasala singing bhagavad geetha, I cannot listen to SPB and immediately wound up the issue.

    Why I discussed/shared the above issue is here because, at times, even popular singers make some comments (which are actually unnecessary) “which have a scope for giving way to controversial issues” and there should not be any surprise (as is happening in some forums) if people with “incomplete knowledge” on music and singers make some immatured comments.

  36. arghya says:

    The video documentory on Kishore Kumar- “Zindagi Ek Safar” is out in the market and is available at all major cities at the leading music outlets. Released by Moser Baer, directed by two times National Award Winning director Sandip Ray, this is a two hour and twenty minutes long documentory, very informative and clearly can be seen as a work of passion. The MRP of DVD is Rs 149/-.

    Request all the Kishore lovers to grab their copies.. It is a very dedicated and well researched work with luminaries like Lataji, Ashaji, Satyajit Ray, RDB, Amitabh, Shahrukh and many many others sharing their thoughts about Kishore.

    Get your copies, friends!

  37. Surajit Bose says:

    Hi Arghya Ji, Paramjeet Ji,

    Do either of you have a complete recording of this awesome song by Kishore da ? I have been looking for this (and other songs from “Suhaana Geet”) for ages. If you do, pls respond to me by email:

    This was from an unreleased movie.

    Keep posting. I enjoyed the debates on this page. I miss Lalit Ji. His points were very good and knowledgeable.

  38. paramjeet says:

    padosan mein manna ji ke gaaye hue classicals pe aap ka khayal kya hai? Kya usmein unhone carnataci style follow kiya tha??

  39. Vitthal says:

    Sri Vas ji & Arghya ji,

    Some nice inputs on Kuhu Kuhu song. In fact, I was given to understand that it was Ghantasala who recommended name of Mohd. Rafi to Adi Narayana Rao for the song in Hindi. Perhaps this was the junctional point where rafi and ghantasala had come into contact with each other. Manna dey was very much there, but rafi was chosen for the song, might be Adi Narayana Rao wanted to work with the topmost preferred singer of hindi 1957 (at that time it was rafi) as he had recorded the telugu number with the topmost singer of the south.

    Sri Vas Ji, – kuhu kuhu discussion is only for the purpose of the song and not for projecting skills or talents of ghantasala, who, as you said, had indeed rendered many tougher compositions. Thanks for the inputs sir.

    Paramjeet ji – Your statements on “classical & classicist approach” are interesting. Yes, there is a lot of difference between the two. We will discuss on the issue at some other time.

  40. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    @Raj:”where is the question of 28000 songs or 30,000 songs as being claimed in some sections. Really false.”
    Lets have a relook. Simple math, nothing else.

    “SPB might have definitely sung more songs because he sang simultaneously in 4 languages,”
    He has dominated in 3 languages and not 4. In fact he has sung more songs in hindi than in Malayalam.
    “might be more than 10,000 songs easily going by the count of number of films.”
    Like Rafi in hindi for a rather more period, SPB has three languages in his kitty, viz., Kannada, Telugu, and Tamil. Just as 5K number is true for Rafi, a minimum of 7K in each language is true for SPB. This itself takes the number to 21K. Also, the number of devotional albums for SPB is way too higher. In each language he has a minimum of 2K which now adds to the number 27K. Note that I am not including the period 1967-1975 and 1995- onwards.

    “For e.g. in case of SPB if you take that SPB has sung an average of 40 songs per month, i.e. yearly 500 and roughly for a period of 30 years it comes to 15,000 might be possible.”
    Its exactly the ” average of 40 songs per month” gives the wrong picture. During 1975-1995, each day he would be singing a minimum of 5 songs per day for 300 days in a year. The rest 65 days were spent with his children who were growing up in US. So 1500*20 = 30000 is the true picture. Even if one assumes 4 songs per day, this number is still 4*300*20 = 24000 songs.
    I have started collecting his songs seriously for the last two years only. Already, the number is at 10000 and we have not even touched the half-way mark. In two more years time, I can give you the entire list of a minimum of 20K.

    P.S: I am not arguing just as a SPB fanatic. Even I had serious doubt over these numbers in the beginning. Its only after serious collection that I am convinced of him having sung not less than 28K in any circumstances.
    Its not a problem if you are not convinced today, but I am sure of convincing you eventually after two-three years 🙂

  41. paramjeet says:

    raj bhai,

    aaj kal kaam thoda zyada pad gaya hai maalik, isi liye.. 🙂
    Waise bahut badiya discussion chalu hai yahan par.. ‘kuhu kuhu ‘ ke saath uske Telugu version ka tulna na kare kyunki jo Telugu gaana hai woh Carnataci music ko dhyan rakhke kiya gaya hai jahan pe notes ko straight hit nahi kiya jaata hai.. Usko Hindi mein conversion karte waqt music director ne us mein Hindustani alankar daalne ka prayatna kiya tha jisse woh rashtriya star par akarshan pa sake..

    Rafiji ke kaafi saare limitations the jo aapko unki website visit karne se pata nahi chalega.. Wahan pe unko superman project kiya jaata hai(achhi baat hai bhaijaan).. Rafisahab shastriya sangeet ko ‘filmy’ tariqe se gaate the(alankar ke kathinaiyon ko kam karke) aur saral gaano ko ‘shastriya’ tariqe se ( unnecessary harqatein daal ke).. Yeh hi baat Surajit babu aur Satyanshji ne yahan pe kiya tha- jisko bolte hai ‘classicist’ approach and not ‘classical’ approach..

    Jagjit Singh ko gaali dena bahut asaan hai… Aap, main koi bhi de sakta hai, magar unki baaton ka nishkarsh nikalna zaroori hai, usko bina samjhe gaali dena apne aap ko chhota karna hai.. Jo aadmi apni puri zindagi ghazal gaake aur riyaaz karke bitaya hai(Jagjit, Mehedi Hasaan) aur jisko pata hai Ghazal ek aesa kshetra hai jahan par notes pe customization gunaah hai, wahan agar koi ghazal ko apne suvidha anusaar high pitch pe gaa de (film singing ke naam pe) to zahir hai taqleef to hoga hi..

    60 ka dashak kalakaar Kishore ke liye jitna achha tha , professional Kishore ke liye utna hi boora.. 80 ka dashak professional Kishore ke liye zabardast tha magar kalakaar Kishore ke liye kuchh khaas nahi.. 70s mein ek zabardast balance maintained hai kalakaar aur professional Kishore mein…

  42. arghya says:

    Nice to see the posts getting moderated after a long time and a flurry of old mates again coming back.. Vitthalji, Srivasji, Raj, Kishorefan, Shukla De ji, Debjyoti etc.

    Bhattacharyaji and Ashfaq bhai, Welcome to this forum! Yes, of course, Rafi sahab has a huge respect in my mind.. It is only his fanatic fan group with their stale remarks and corrupt mentality sometimes raise my temper 🙂


    I agree with Rafifan here in his last post.. Definitely, Rafi has his own flavour in renditions.. As you rightly put, we love both the versions separately as well.. Rafi was a balance between full orthodox trained and full natural talent with slight tilt towards the previous one in his renditions.. It is to be also noted that in spite of Manna De around that time, Adi Narayan Rao chose Rafi to deliver “Kuhu kuhu” for an encore of Ghantashala- which I think is a big enough certificate for great Rafi.


    Philosophical songs of Kishore are milestones in Hindi film music.. Take out his philosophical songs, you take out the creme-da-le-creme of philosophical songs of Hindi film industry.. I had written an article on Kishore Kumar’s relationship with Gulzar- yet another less discussed association in HFM- which I think should be available here in this site shortly..


    Kishore was very much in the league of playback singers in the 50s and gave many memorable hits with SD, Anil Biswas, Husnlal Bhagatram, Chitragupta, Khemchand Prakash, Salil Chowdhury, OP Nayyar etc. It was from late 50s onwards(much to do with his personal life), that he started losing ground in singing.. His playing truance in rehearsal sessions started climbing(thanks to Madhubala) making SD, OP, SJ etc. getting furious at him.. He lost Kala Pani project from SD, OP and SJ put Rafi to playback for him for his indiscipline.. Things once became hostile, Kishore could not get back the lost ground.. But one good thing happened as Kishore got his lessons in a hard way, so, years later when he got the top spot in singing, he never let loose and held on to the position till his death..

    Salil Chowdhury and Madan Mohan were two people who were very much ahead of their times.. And of course, Panchamda is also there. Here I feel it interesting to discuss some compositional aspects of these great MDs.. as Mr. Raju Bharathan shared with me during a nice musical discussion over phone for 1 hour- there were two separate COMPOSITIONAL SCHOOL which emerged in those golden days of music.. One school which was “methodical and systematic” approached where the composer used to make the tune taking several days and then rehearsing with the singer with several days.. They were quite “dominant MDs” as far as giving liberty to singers while rendering is concerned.. They did not want to deviate from the structure of notes they had put in front of the singer.. Also, they did not appreciate too much with the singer making some changes on his own to the tune while singing.. Naushad was a classic example of this “METHODICAL” school.. If Rajuji is to be believed- even OP Nayyar had that knack of being methodical and systematic..

    Now, a second school emerged as the “Spontaneous and unorthodox” composers set like Salil, C Ramchandra and RD who gave singers all the liberty to do amendments to the tune as per their wish and convenience as far as it was for betterment… Tunes used to come to them suddenly(like during a fag in the rehearsal sessions or driving a car from home etc.) and they wanted the singers to address those with severe sponteinity also.. They were tougher nuts to break as they used to be very demanding in terms of the speed of grasping the song..

    In both these schools of composers, there was one singer- Shri Lata Mangeshkar- who addressed both the sets of composers with equal flair.. In fact, Lata could take the extreme spectrums equally well.. Naushad and C Ramchandra – two extreme ends of spectrum- promoted Lata.. Balanced midway in the spectrum like Madan Mohan, RDB or SDB preferred Lata.. Salil Chowdhury- very much tilted towards the sponteinity bandwidth, preferred Lata.. Only OP did not use Lata, but I think the reasons were more non-musical than musical..

    So, it is many times the approach to composition which the MDs take which sets their singer preference.. I cant say except a few exceptions here and there, any MD was biased for any particular singer.. It is their style, compatibility and approach to music which made them come closer to some singers and stay away from some singers..

  43. Vitthal says:

    Shukla de ji,

    Thanks for your inputs. Kuhu Kuhu song by rafi and lata is “also” a good rendering. I think the song is caught fifty fifty between hindusthani and carnatic styles in hindi, this may be perhaps due to the effort by rafi and lata for trying to adapt to the culture of telugu (carnatic) rendition which is in pure carnatic style. Anyhow, I am with Arghya ji too, I love both the versions individually.

    Kishore fan ji,

    Prabhanjan ji would be the right man to share some of SPB hits here.

    Here is a hit song of SPB in the music direction of Illayaraja here :

  44. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji, paramjeet ji, satyansh ji & kishore fan ji –

    What happened ? The discussions have slowed down.

  45. Vitthal says:

    Arghya ji, paramjeet ji, kishore fan ji,

    Here is kishore kumar singing a gujarati song.

  46. Debjyoti says:

    Arghyada you are lucky to talk with Sabita Chawdhury,Salilda was a legend and mahaguru Kishoreda is the greatest icon in this universe.Rafi and others are far behind.

  47. Bhattacharya G says:

    Arghya Dutta,


    A nice article on kishore kumar’s devotional songs. Kishore Kumar had an attractive voice which was capable of catching the attention of listener. I really appreciate your regard for Mohd. Rafi ji as well, as can be understood clearly from the last para in your article.

    It would be nice to see a article by you on kishore’s philosophical songs, for which kishore is remembered a lot : mainly from amar prem, andaz etc.

  48. kishorefan says:

    Arghya & paramjeet ji,

    1958 – chalti ka naam gaadi – Kishore kumar at the helm. S D Burman composed some nice songs. Paanch Rupaiya 12 Aana…(yodelling) Who said kishore did not exercise influence in 50’s ? Rafi was famous in those days but kishore was at the helm in the film.

  49. kishorefan says:

    Arghya ji,

    Salil and others were nice to hear. You will agree that the great music directors of golden era could compose golden songs in modern era too. E.g. is nothing but 1942 love story songs in the music direction by none other than pancham da.

  50. Raj says:

    Paramjeet ji,

    Where you have vanished ? Aapka humorous posts are being missed here.

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