Melodious voice

Thirty-three years have passed since this day (July 31, 1980) deprived us of a unique voice that enchanted millions of Hindi film music lovers for years.

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Published: Tue 30 Jul 2013, 10:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

It was the legendary unmatched singer Mohammed Rafi. He was not only a great singer but a kind-hearted human being as well. Rafi gave some needy composers a helping hand by not charging them a single penny. He worked with almost all the music directors in his glorious singing career.

However, prominent among them were Shankar-Jaikishan, O. P Nayyar, Naushad, S. D Burman, Ravi and Laxmikant-Pyarelal who skillfully used Rafi’s voice for the leading men like Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra and Sanjiv Kumar.

Rafi lent his voice for singer Kishor Kumar in Ragini and Shararat.

He had the remarkable feat of singing for the three generations of Kapoor clan — Prithviraj, Raj and Rishi.

The void created by his death is difficult to fill.

Anil R Torne, by email

• It is 33 years since the demise of the legendary singing icon Mohammad Rafi.

In that time, the world — and the music industry — has undergone such rapid changes, the metamorphosis is amazing.

Many singers have parodied the crooner, and left unceremoniously (Shabbir Kumar, Mohammad Aziz, Anwar and even Sonu Nigam) — those who lip-synched him have departed, the Dev Anands and the Shammis, but the evergreen, crystal clear voice of perhaps India’s greatest talent still reverberates.

The new sounds are punctuated by the loudness of a Pritam and Vishal Dhadlani compo, some even trying classical stuff harking back to the days when Shankar Jaikishen ruled the airwaves — then latterly Laxmikant Pyarelal.

But essentially, pristine Indian music, with the veena, shehnai and the dholak are part of musical lore — of an era when customary wasn’t resplendent and vulgar, but elegantly beautiful — when scripts embodied life in it’s raw regalia, and acting was of a calibre that is the envy of today’s crore-pity (pun unintended) stars.

Indian music (and cinema) should attribute much of its glory years to the likes of Rafi, Lata, Kishore, Mukesh and the countless stars whose sheer presence ushered in the aura that the current generation enjoys.

AR Modak, by email

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