Monthly Archives: June 2011

SHANKER-JAIKISHAN : An Indian Musical Secular face & The Emperor of Film Fare

—-Rajeev Shrivastav
There was the time when Film Fare awards had the same reputation as the OSCAR is known even today in Hollywood. The golden two decades 6th (1951 to 19 60) & 7th (1961 to 1970) of Hindi film music has no match even today for its excellence melodies. The three main areas of cine music the lyrics, composition and the singing had the superb matching which has taken most of the film songs in to the timeless zone. It is a known fact that under only SJ compositions, the Hindi cine music first ever scored twice the world wide fame and popularity. This was the period when the music lovers in abroad were not familiar with Hindi language and with the Indian conventional folk, traditional values and culture. Today because of huge numbers of NRIs people do understand Hindi but those days people in USSR, USA, South Africa and in the south-east Asia, middle east with out knowing the Hindi language had extreme attraction for Hindi film songs. The seeds were put by none other than great SJ. Through the title songs from the movie ‘Awara’ (1951) and ‘Shree 420’ (1955) SJ created the magic with the wonderful & simple lyrics by poet Shailendra and the first time covering notes in the high octave singer Mukesh had rendered the enchanting rendition. This is the record popularity in the history of Indian film music world wide still awaited to be broken. SJ compositions with Indian classical and folk base had the melodies which get musically enhanced by western musical instruments so effectively and powerfully that a history was crafted by it self. Even today, the western musicians by listening SJ tunes wonders that how the complete orchestra was managed in Indian style. Yes, this was the Indianisation of western instruments. In his life time itself SJ became the Institution. The establish music director Naushad was literally scared with SJ’s immense talent and popularity. It is believed that Naushad gave the complete shape to Mohd Rafi but I firmly say with my research study and analysis that it was SJ who gave a progressive look to Rafi. The Yahoo style in the film ‘Junglee’ (1961) was the real turning point in Rafi’s singing career followed by the songs in the movies ‘Sasural’, ‘Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, ‘Professor’, ‘Asli Naqli’, Dil Ek Mandir’, ‘Ayi Milan Ki Bela’, ‘Arzoo’ and many others. Similarly when Kishore Kumar appeared like full moon in the sky of Indian film music with the songs from ‘Aradhana’, it was SJ who had used his yodeling style in the song ‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana…’(film: Andaz – 1971) so differently which took Kishore to a magical evergreen fort. Female voices other than Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle SJ has used the inner talent and special voice culture of Suman Kalyanpur, Mubarak Begum and Sharda so beautifully which are still known for their best rendition. Hemant Kumar, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey’s best songs are covered under SJ composition and the less known singer Subir Sen is today remembered for his songs in the film ‘Aas Ka Panchi’ (1961) with SJ only. Now, come and see the Film Fare award tradition. In the history of Film Fare award till today you will find very few occasion when a single film has been adjudged the award in all three area such as in lyric writing, composition and singing. This was started first time with SJ only. In the year 1959, first time film fare best music director’s award was given to SJ for the film ‘Anari’, best lyricist award to Shailendra and best singer award was given to Mukesh for the song ‘Sab kuch seekha humne na seekhi hoshiyaari…’ for the same single film. In the film ‘Suraj’(1966) best music award was given to SJ, best lyric writer was Hasrat Jaipuri and Mohd Rafi was given the best singer award for the same film. Again in the film ‘Brahamchari’ (1968) all three music awards were given to SJ, Shailendra and Mohd Rafi. In the year 1970 the film was ‘Pehchan’ and with SJ lyricist Varma Malik and singer Mukesh were given the film fare awards. Last time the same trio was awarded for the film ‘Be-Imaan’ (1972), SJ, Varma Malik & Mukesh. Total five times, a record in film fare award’s history, in the all three music department had been adjudged the best awards for single film. On individual capacity SJ had more film fare awards too but winning awards for a single film for five times is a record till date. Now, I am coming to a very important and unique factor of great Shanker-Jaikishan, of course based on my research thesis. Do you know who had been the most secular music director in the Indian film industry? Far away from any Group, camp, category or religion. The one and only Shanker-Jaikishan. Just after 1950, a very different approaches and changes were noticed in Hindi film music. The formation of different music groups were not the bad thing but ultimately this made harm to the music industry as the intention behind was not fair. Naushad prominently started taking Rafi instead of Mukesh as his main singer, Sachin Dev Burman went for Kishore Kumar and SJ? Being a team member to RK camp he never goes for Mukesh alone. SJ has got the maximum numbers of variety singers under his music direction in compare to all other composers of his time. Today the established facts discloses many such cases where any music critic or even ordinary music lover can find out by seeing the nature of songs that any particular singer would have rendered a single particular song in a more impressive manner. This fact was also known to the then music directors but the camp & group politics could not made this possible. This was not with SJ. Other than Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar SJ had taken Mukesh only when it was essential. General perception is that the SJ has tuned maximum numbers with Mukesh but this is not the truth. Kalyanji-Anandji and Luxmikant-Pyarelal has used Mukesh more than SJ. Yes, it is an all together different issue that how and why Mukesh numbers are more popular with each and every music directors even if they have used him occasionally. SJ had full faith in their own talent and also they were expert in choosing the singers in such a manner that it could further enhance the total value of the song. This honest and high attitude mannerism of SJ has given them special upper edge and a secular face compare to other music directors. In present time the compositions of SJ still haunting world wide, his power of music and wonderful melodies has kept the flag on the top. All these good things about the legends does not stop here only. Many facts and new areas are still to be discussed. Wait, till we meet next time.