Source: CC.Lehigh.EDU ! netnews.CC.Lehigh. EDU!netnews. upenn.edu! dsinc! spool.mu.edu !howland.reston.ans.net !swrinde !news.dell.com !tadpole.com !uunet !boulder!spot.Colorado.EDU!parrikarFrom: parrikar@spot.Colorado.EDU (Rajan Purshottam Parrikar) Newsgroups: rec.music.indian.misc
Subject: From the KK-Klan Headquarters Date: 28 Sep 1994 05:46:28 GMT Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder Lines: 210
Message-ID: <36avvk$r1i@CUBoulder.Colorado.EDU> NNTP-Posting-Host:spot.colorado.edu Namashkaar.
Here is yetanudder piece on Kishore Kumar, in commemoration of The One and Only’s seventh death anniversary which falls on October 13.
He doesn’t smoke. He doesn’t drink. He has no friends and never socializes. And there’s one thing he treasures more than money. His solitude. That’s Kishore Kumar for you, the man with the golden voice, who has reigned over the world of popular music for almost two decades now.
A madcap genius, fiercely committed to the bizarre and the outrageous, he has over the years nurtured carefully his image as a strange, unpredictable man who defies definition. At the same time he has sung and danced his way into the hearts of millions of Indians who swear by him. So the film industry, always a worshipper of success, has chased him with money and accolades. In the hope of taming him, as it has always tamed the talented. But, to Kishore Kumar, this has meant nothing. He has wallowed in solitude, yodelling at the moon. He has married four of the most interesting women in the industry and picked up more money than you and I can ever dream of. And, what is perhaps most important, done it without compromising anything whatsoever. On his own terms. Always.
At his peak, when for almost a decade he was number one to number ten, all rolled into one, and there was no one to be seen anywhere around, he would be running from one recording studio to the next. Singing sometimes four to five songs a day. And charging exactly one rupee less than Lata Mangeshkar – in deference to her seniority. What precisely does that mean in terms of actual figures? Well, if rumours are to be believed – and usually reliable industry sources – every song recorded would make him Rs. 15000 richer. Multiply that by several songs a day, and a reign over almost two decades, and you have Fort Knox at Juhu.
Not bad for a man who never had any formal training in music nor a guru. Who still can’t read notations and cannot name more than three classical Indian singers without prompting. He has only four idols in life. K.L. Saigal; Marlon Brando; Boris Karloff; and Topol of Fiddler on the Roof fame. All over his house you will see their giant-sized photo- graphs and posters framed. And, if you share his enthusiasm for them, he might just condescend to give you the time of day. Otherwise you might never get to see the man – so ferociously does he preserve his privacy. Interviews are out. Visitors rarely get past the front gate.
Kishore Kumar Ganguly, for that is his full name, arrived in Bombay in the late forties, in the hope of meeting K.L. Saigal, his childhood idol. But peculiar circumstances – and the fact that his eldest brother Ashok Kumar was already a hit hero of those days – forced him into bit roles as an actor. He hated acting but was too scared to tell his elder brother that. So singing got pushed into the background and he started to make a living as an actor.