Remembering Kishore Kumar On His 13th Death Anniversary

Whether singing or composing or acting, Kishore was pre-eminently Kishore, while now looking Fred Astaire, now Frank Sinatra, now Gene Kelly, now Bing Crosby. If a valid comparison is to be drawn in this direction, Kishore Kumar is best envisioned as the Danny Kaye of our cinema. For all that, Kishore only reminded you of […]

Whether singing or composing or acting, Kishore was pre-eminently Kishore, while now looking Fred Astaire, now Frank Sinatra, now Gene Kelly, now Bing Crosby.

If a valid comparison is to be drawn in this direction, Kishore Kumar is best envisioned as the Danny Kaye of our cinema.

For all that, Kishore only reminded you of the art of each one of the above great singer-actors.

Even in so reminding us of them, Kishore was but putting on an act — and hugely enjoying doing so — while remaining, recognisably, Kishore Kumar and no one else.

IT might have taken Kishore Kumar no fewer than 23 years to reach the top; but, once there, he stayed put for the 17 years he lived after Aradhana (1970).

And, no matter how much of an icon R D Burman be in your eyes vis-à-vis Kishore, disabuse your minds of this notion that Pancham did the music of Aradhana.

Nothing of the kind — Sachin Dev-Burman allowed no one, just no one, to influence him in fashioning the tune.

Pancham therefore merely ‘executed’ the tunes of S D Burman, for Kishore, in Aradhana — something that was no more than RD’s job as Dada’s chief assistant.

We do Pancham no justice as a composer in his own ‘light’, his father even less justice as the fountainhead, when we attribute the one’s work to the other.

Each was a stalwart composer in his own idiom, each composed in a style that was distinctively his own.

IN fact, it was from papa Burman that Pancham learnt the art of extracting the best out of Kishore.

I recall, Pancham it was who generally carried Dada’s spool-tape of the tune to Kishore’s home.

S D Burman’s technique was to send the spool-tape of the song to Kishore well in advance.

In his own impish way, Dada had discovered that, once he let Kishore have this tune in hand early, this singer had the amazing knack of ‘acting out’ the entire number in the privacy of his room — before turning up for the first rehearsal.

Pancham himself adopted the same technique in drawing the very best out of Kishore.

Where Dada Burman was divided in his loyalties between Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar, for Pancham, there existed but one male singer — Kishore Kumar.

“There’s no singer like Kishore,” Pancham told me, “if you send the tape of the song to him even two days before the recording.”

“Kishore wants this tape in advance, because he doesn’t just sing a song; he feels it; savours it; experiences it; before entering the music room to record it.”

“My best songs for Kishore,” went on Pancham, “have been done this way.”

“So strikingly different, in fact, was the result when I managed to send the tape to Kishore, two days in advance, that I could, here, offhand reel off the songs done this way, for me, by this my pet performer.”

“I sent the tape of the tune beforehand to Kishore and he came up with O maanjhee re (in Khushboo); Zindagee ke safar mein (in Aap Ki Kasam); Raat kalee ek khwab mein aayee (in Budha Mil Gaya); Musafir hoon yaaron (in Parichay); Diye jalte hain (in Namak
Haraam); and Meree bheegee bheegee see (in Anamika).”

“Plus, in my breakthrough film, Hare Rama Hare Krishna — as a composer with a style all my own — Kishore came up, so notably, with Dekho o deewanon.”

“This without mentioning Kishore’s artistry in my other two breakthrough films: Amar Prem and Kati Patang,” added Pancham.

“In fact, it was with these two films that I truly discerned how much sending the tape, in advance, to Kishore meant — as he gave matchless results in such songs of mine as Yeh kya hua and Kuchch to log kahege; Yeh jo mohabbat hai and Pyaar deewana hota hai, not forgetting Yeh shaam mastanee.”

R D Burman was not a music-maker given to self-praise — he was, in truth, a composer with no ‘sense of achievement’ whatsoever.

Yet the gleam in his eye was there to see, as he narrated the tale of how he came to acquire such a special tuning with Kishore.

But, then, Pancham functioned in times when there was a spool-tape ready to hand to be despatched to Kishore.

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33 Blog Comments to “Remembering Kishore Kumar On His 13th Death Anniversary”

  1. Subir says:

    Mr binu nair..kishore da is best.he lives ou
    r plz don.t coment like a cow.

  2. Hello friends,
    I read the all comments, and do agree with all but I would answer one guy named “Unknown1” who answered to “Chirag patel” that Md. rafi is the only king and Lata tai is the queen of indian music, if we take out “RD Burman da” and “Yoodle” from the kishore da’s singing he is nothing……..hmmmmm so said man u don’t know what exactly the music is…..I tell u If we take out these both things from his singing still he is one of the best singer of the indian music era…, u would say HOW????? so I answer u KK has given a lot of best songs with LP and SD…..And if we talk about the classical or formal training of music, I tell u that kishore da sung the song “MERE NAINA SAWAN BHADO” which is based on “RAAG SHIVRANJNI”, and kishore da sung that song without learning that RAAG. he sung that song only with the help of his LISTENING POWER. So, my friend music doesn’t depend on training, it depends on TALENT. and why would I take out YOODLE from his singing???? can u tell me a single name from the list of indian or pakistani singers who is able to yoodle a 50% of Kishore da. Sorry to say but if I say like u, that if we take out classical training from Rafi saab he is nothing. So my friend we can’t take out the things from best ones, b’coz that special things make them special…sachin is known for his batting, so would u say that if batting is taken out from him, he is nothing????? lolzzz how childish hehehehe:)
    MY KISHORE DA never learnt much classical music still he was able to sing any classical or semi-classical song.
    “Unknown” said that “NAUSHAD SAAB” preferred “Rafi” b’coz he said that he is nothing without him or his music is 50% without rafi…..he didn’t recognize “KISHORE DA’s” voice……hmmmmmmmmmmmmm OKAYY I do agree with u man. 🙂 but it doesn’t mean that “Kishore da” was unable to sing that songs which have been sung by “Rafi saab”. “Naushad saab” chose “Rafi Saab” b’coz he liked him, he preferred him…..OKAY? but it doesn’t mean that he thought that “Kishore da” is nothing lolzzz. Do u know man “Naushad Saab” belongs to “Lucknow” he learned the music in a particular manner, he got the training with perfection, so he wanted a singer who had practiced like him…..and kishore da did not take any formal training as all know….. 🙂 So, my friend that was just a game of PREFERENCE……
    Kishore Da was a versatile and personna personality, he was a singer, actor, producer, director, lyricist, music director….and ofcourse a man who never believed in pessimism.

  3. Rajdeep says:

    Kishore da is the best. He is evergreen singer and actor. We all love him. Although kishore da is star along with rafi saheb n mukhesh ji. Kishore da magical voice touches our hearts.

  4. rishu says:

    kisore da was a great singer and a wonderful composer. i really miss u kishore da . in now a days, no one singer are standing in front of you.

  5. harilal vishwakarma says:

    i really miss u kishore da. i had definitky some relatios with u in previous life


  7. Rohit says:

    There was no 1 like Kishore Kumar,not even in this century
    He was the great singer.

  8. veeru says:

    dear friends , lets do not fight over the grea singers. the fact is that rafi & kishore both knew each other very well & had deep regards for each other. admit it or not there was a different degree of personality in kishoreji’s songs. his expression & improvisation in play-back song were optimum as he himself was a very high clas talented actor. if you listen to his various songs, you would find that his voice range covered almost two and a half octave , that is awesome. he was truly a son of god. artist like kishore happen once in 700-800 years.

  9. Viswanath S says:

    Haal tujhe apnee…was from the film Aasha; Teri duniya mein jeene se (House no.44) was sung by Hemant Kumar and in Madbhare Nain the song “Pehli na doosri ….ends in Intezaam”

  10. binu nair says:

    more are born just once in many centuries my dear friends.
    Don’t search talents and legends outside our coountry my friends,
    they are just around us – at our backyard.
    Open ur eyes and ears and enjoy their works – before scouting
    for talents and legends outside India and other fields.
    More, saighal and rafi had hearts of pure gold in every day real
    life .

    Binu nair Mumbai..

  11. Sudheer Mahavadi says:

    i dont understand that please

  12. Sudheer Mahavadi says:

    Pepole like Kishore Kumar, Viv Richards, Mohd Ali and Gavaskar and Tendulkar are born once in life time. I am sure if all top singers who passed away would be alive still and gave a programme together – undoubtedly Kishore Kumar would have excelled all – for the simple reason that the kind of life he brings to each and every song is incredible. Only some songs are popular of other singers but in this genius’ case every song is a subject. The whole life we can discuss.

  13. suvojit basu says:

    The Everlasting Voice still reverberating.. leaving beautiful ripples and memories that last with us forever. A powerhouse of talent in multitude.. be it singing, acting, composing or writing beautiful lyrics….Kishoreda continues to live in his reverberating voice.

  14. sony says:

    Kishore kumar was legendary ,come on Amit there is still time lft to achieve success like dad

  15. sanjeev kumar says:

    Have you noticed how Fresh kishore’s songs feel even today ! And what energy he breathed into songs. I recently bought JawaniDiwani, HareRamaHareKrishna & YaadonKiBaarat tapes and my kids (age-8 & 5) sure seems to appreciate his voice.

  16. Vimal Jeet Verma says:

    Kishore Da is great…He is our HERO NO-1 Foreever

  17. Vimal Jeet Verma says:

    Kishore Da is evergreen.I worship him everyday,day by day.

  18. cool_peen says:

    kishore daa never dies he lived in our memories forever.may god bless his soul.he is one of the best singer,actor or i’ll say an complete artiste The Hindi cinema ever had.

  19. KKKLAN says:

    Kishore kumar is the greatest singer,much much greater than Rafi,Mukesh,Lata or Asha.He is also the greatest comic hero and all-rounder in Indian films.

  20. Unkown1 says:

    Dear KKKLAN ,
    please say one thing King or greates as actor or singer?!!!!If actor?do u know there are Dilip Kummar,Raj Kapoor,Den Anand,Bachchan and Many more.If singer?!! Do u know there are Mohd rafi,Lata,Asha,Manny Dey and many more.

  21. KKKLAN says:


  22. Unkown1 says:

    Dear Mukesh,
    Thanks u look Mohd Rafi fan not KK or when u listen to Mohd rafi songs u think that KK(jat yamala singed by Mohd Rafi.Dharmendra said Mohd Rafi is the best for him.
    As u said he(KK) is the most versatile singer indian music industry !!!Do u know what it mean versatile singer?how songs baagan KK singed and how songs for 15 aug?!!

    Dear KKKLAN ,Do u know what deos the King mean?If u know u will never say that KK is the King

  23. KKKLAN says:


  24. Mukesh says:

    There is no doubt about legacy of Rafi and Mukesh, but no doubt that Kishore stands tall in that list. He sang endless numbers of entertaining songs with variety of comedy, emotions, sentiments. In my view he is the most versatile singer indian music industry has ever seen. His emotional songs for Sanjeev kumar in Aandhi and funny songs for Dharmendra like jat yamala proves it all. He was greatest of all.

  25. Unkown1 says:

    Dear Chirag Patel ,
    As u said If with out any training he could create such a magic and leave such impact on his fans – think what would have happen if he had the training ,If u want speak about the king in the singing there is only one king Mohd Rafi and one Queen Lata as I think and many,Take out RD and yoodle from from KK he is no nothing as a singer,I don’t think that Yoodle is singing.he(KK)was a good actor and singer but no thing like a magic.

  26. Chirag Patel says:

    There is no question or doubt that Kishore Kumar is The King. If with out any training he could create such a magic and leave such impact on his fans – think what would have happen if he had the training – I love his voice with Rafi Saab and with Mukesh ji – No question – those are the Trinity of Indian Film Industry as singers – but over all Kishore Kumar was the one who won hearts and souls of people in India and around the world. He was truely a GENIUS! My life long regret is – I couldnt compose a song with him nor sing a song with him!!!

  27. Unkown says:

    It is painful for us that we lost the great Ustaad Bismillah Khan ,May God rest his soul

  28. Unkown says:

    dear Rafik,
    Naushand Ali is one of the best you have in India as I think,Do u thank that Naushand Ali didn’t recognize KK voice,I think u r wrong 100% because the male singer Naushand used that was Mohd Rafi and he said about mohd rafi that his music is 50% without Mohd Rafi,The songs which singed by Mohd Rafi under Naushand music do u think that any singer can sing that songs betters as did Mohd rafi?!!!
    Naushand said that KK is a good singer,

  29. Rafik says:

    yeah that’s kishore kumar. a singer without peer, voice with absolute originality.
    we admire you kishore and we will. I remember the songs: koi hota jisko apna, badi
    sooni sooni hai, chingadi koi bhadke. Naushad Ali ji didn’t recognize his voice as he
    didn’t Lata ji’s. But finally Kishore Kumar showed his skills and hats off to those composers
    who at least heard him and then india produced this immortal talent.

    master article, thanks raji ji

  30. Messi says:

    Wonderful article Raju Bharathan, well written.

    So many new things to new, many facts about their lives and lifestyles.
    Thank you very much for giving us such opportunities.

  31. Just one correction:

    Kishore Kumar’s strength lay in the fact that he had, all along, been the voice of the evergreen Dev Anand (Teree duniya mein jeene se, in House No 44).

    It was Hemant Kumar who sang that song not Kishore Kumar.


  32. unkown says:

    Dear Admin,
    Is it RD or SD site?what said it make that Rd and Sd who made kk,As I know kk had best songs with LP than SD or RD.
    why when we speak about KK we should put SD and Rd name?Do u think that KK is nothing without SD OR RD?
    KK gave many hit songs to Rajesh Khanna and Bachchan but they never said that KK songs made them super star,KK singed for many actors but why when we speak about KK we speak about Rajesh Khanna and Bachchan?!!
    I think we should show kk as a actor or one man show,I don’t think that kk was on the top as a singer because when you say that kk was at top I think that we Mohd Rafi fans or Mukesh fans or manny dey fansd don’t agree.
    no one can be like KK as all in one also on one can be like Mohd Rafi as a singer it is true as i think

  33. Ali Baluch says:

    Happy Birthday Kishore Da

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