Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Tribute To Shankar

– by : Gopal Shroti.

It was the same Sunday, date 26th of April, 1987, the Great Shankar left this mortal world unsung…whose songs the world sang for 6 decades and still heard throughout India, it was only yesterday, in a marriage reception, the guitar went on “Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nissar, kissi ka dard mil sake to le udhar” and “Ruk jaa raat thehr jaa re chanda, beete na milan ki bela, aaj chandni ki nagari mein armanon ka mela”…..and I added, “Mela ye do dinon ka, Do dinon ki hai bahar, Samay ki behti dhar karti jaati hai pukar, Pukar…..Mehman kab ruke hain kaise roke jayenge….Savere wali gaadi se chale jayenge……..” And he went by the morning train on 26th April, 1987…..Nobody to accompany…But alone…The industry and close friends were sleeping, and till the sun came up. It was all over, his mausical body turned into the flames….Till this time the family members saw the worst face of film world, so they kept silent….Otherwise in a small town, hundreds of telephones ring even for anordinary person…But Shankar was no ordinary man….He knew better to go alone, but not with the traitor in filmdom where nobody is anybody…..

Jaishardashankar

When he entered the industry, it was “BARSAAT” of melodious tunes…And I felt from the core of my heart, if God could be kind enough to shower the “BARSAAT”(rains) ON 26th April,1987….Anyhow the “BARSAAT” will continue till the melody and rhythm in the Hindi film songs rules…And I hope it will rule because no music director or film industry of today has the capability and devotion to create that era when melody ruled.
Manna Dey attributed his success to Shankar’s tunes, Rajendra Kumar was obligatory to Shankar for his “Silver Jubilee Kumar” image and Raj Kapoor loved both Shankar and Jaikishan, and on his death bed in Delhi after receiving the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, was asked by a jounalist whether he can recreate the dream Ssequence of “Awara.” He replied with tears in his eyes, “Mujhe mere Shankar Jaikishan and Shailendra la do, main phir se dream sequence bana doonga”….What better tribute can there to Shankar by his mentor, friend frien who had them in his mind at the time of his death?
Where will be the repetition of that era with films like , Barsaat, Awara, Kali Ghata, Mayur Pankh, Poonam, Rajhath, Aah, Daag,Yehudi, Anari, Ujala, Basant Bahar, Humrahi, Aas Ka Panchi, Sasural, Chhoti Bahen, Main Nashe Mein Hoon, Shri 420, Kanhaiya, Dil Apna Preet Parayi, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Professor, Junglee, Prince, Rajkumar, Beti Bete, Dil Ek Mandir, Hariyalyi Aur Raasta, Love In Tokyo, An Evening In Paris, Raat Aur Din, Around The World, Mere Huzoor, Brahmachari, Mera Naam Joker, Sanyasi and count till it comes 112 films in two decades and 1000s of songs echoing & will continue to echo in the atmosphere and in hearts of people, through radios and thousands of cultural and social programmes, orchestras throughout India. There is lot to be written on Shankar, who played almost every instruments and within minutes the tunes were ready for us.
I remember 1954, 55 and later when the films were booked by the cinema owners by the names of Shankar Jaikishan, and not by heroes orheroines….Their nameswere the guarantee for the success of the films…Bakaul Hasrat Jaipuri:
“Jab yeh suna hai main ke Shankar chala gaya, mujhe yakeen nahin aaya ke dilbar chala gaya; Doobi hui hai sog mein ab meri zindagi, voh musiki ka ek samander chala Ggaya.
From SJ fans, my humble tribute to the Great Maste Shankarji: Jehan bhi raho aabad raho, sangeet se sabka dil behlate raho. Ek mehfil yehan thi, ek mehfil vahan bhi jame……..

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Shankar, The Magnanimous Maestro

By

Lakshmi Kanta Tummala

Lakshmi Kanta Tummala

Maestro Shankarsingh Ramsingh Thantri was born in Hyderabad into a Telugu family on October 15, 1922. His father was Ramsingh and mother, Ellamma. He was the elder brother of twin sisters, Gangamma and Gowramma. Gangamma had no children of her own and Gowramma had two daughters, Janaki and Rani. Janaki and her younger sister Rani are married to Anella brothers and live in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, respectively. Janaki has two daughters and four sons, Rani a daughter and son.

Photo Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala
Photo Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala

On completion of his 10th grade education, with his great interest in fine arts, Shankar went on to learn the tabla and classical dance, both with a high degree of excellence. Raja Dhanrajgir of Hyderabad encouraged Shankar to accompany dancers Hemavathi and Satyanarayana on a national tour. It ended at Mumbai in 1945 where he found a job at the famous Prithvi Theatres founded by the well known stage and screen actor Prithviraj Kapoor who was the father of the Raj Kapoor, working as a staff musician playing tabla and acting cameo roles. Shankar was also looking for assignments to compose music for movies and met Jaikishan at a director’s office, also waiting to be interviewed for employment. Shankar found him a Jaikishan a job at the Prithvi Theatres, as a harmonium player. They struck an immediate friendship that lasted all through their lives.

Shankar once had an opportunity to accompany Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on the Sarod as the scheduled tabla player failed to show up. He was asked to play a five minute tabla solo. The audience was greatly impressed and this was the momentous beginning of his stellar career as a great composer. While working at Prithvi Theatres, Raj Kapoor, who was making his second movie, Barsaat, gave Shankar an opportunity to compose music for the film. Shankar readily accepted with a condition that Jaikishan be his music partner, to which RK agreed. Thus, started their joint career and the birth of the Shankar Jaikishan banner that brought them closer to form a unique relationship that was stronger than any. Shankar was like a brother, parent, adviser, business and professional partner and well wisher to Jaikishan who always looked up to him with utmost love, regard and respect.

With his music partner, Shankar created and rewrote the history of Hindi film music that changed the role of music in movies. Against all odds, he gave a boost to Lata’s career by having her sing ten of the eleven songs filmed on three female characters in their very first movie, thus establishing her career and Lata never looked back! SJ’s very first venture, Barsaat broke all norms in composing music. Their history making debut set a record that has yet to be broken. The record industry realised that film music has become a major component in movie business. In Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi in Mumbai, Shankar Jaikishan composed music in every genre possible: classical, semi-classical, dance music, ghazals, bhajans, folk, qawwalis, romantic, sad (touch of pathos), marching tunes, national, patriotic, street songs, chorus, Western style, cabaret songs, Arabian, Latin American, jazz, rock, pop, etc. They even recorded private albums of which, Raaga Jazz Style and the theme for The Everest are well known. Being proud of his heritage, Shankar introduced Telugu words in his songs that became instant winners. With their immense talent and innovation, the SJ banner flew high earning them domestic and international fame and name.

Being philanthrophic in nature, Shankar took time off from his very busy schedule to contribute to national causes. In 1970, along with his partner Jaikishan, he arranged a Shankar Jaikishan Nite at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The gala evening, organized by Raj Kapoor, raised more than fourteen crores for the Indian Naval Officers. The Indian government showed its appreciation by bestowing the Padmashree on Shankar Jaikishan. When Shankar was first given the news that the government was going to decorate him with the national award, Shankar insisted that he would accept it if Jaikishan be included. That’s how great his value for friendship was!

Shankar held high moral values. He gave importance to honesty, gratitude and loyalty. Having been given his first break into movies as a full fledged composers, Shankar felt gratitude towards RK all his life. Even when Lata Mangeshkar would not work with him for an extended period, he never held it against her. He was never one to harbor grudges against anyone. Shankar scored music for his friend, actor/producer/director, Chandrashekhar for his movie Street Singer under the psuedonym Suraj so as to not deny any remuneration for his partner Jaikishan. He also composed music for his one time domestic helper, producer/lyricist Sudhakar Sharma for his movie Gori at a nominal fee of Re.1. Shankar never demanded a fee for his compositions and was very cooperative with his producers. Whatever high remuneration the SJ banner received was generously paid to their orchestra. Being a man of high work ethics and a thorough professional, his work was always delivered in a timely fashion that was appreciated by all producers.

The special friendship that Shankar Jaikishan had and their immense success in their profession was the envy of all in the industry that led to a lot of fictitious stories spread about a rift between the two. Non of this could change the strong bond that held them through all their lives. Shankar was shattered after losing his close friend Shailendra and his partner Jaikishan. After Jaikishan’s passing, Shankar offered unconditional moral support to his family.

Just as he was about to gather his spirits and carry on with his work under the banner he had created with Jaikishan, he was let down by many of his close friends and associates. Despite all the negativity happening in his professional life, Shankar forged on ahead with his head held high and remained in the business till his last breath. Never did he utter a word against his detractors or disloyal friends. Although his so called “friends” might have deserted him at the time of his need for moral support, his true and ardent fans will always remember him and his music forever. A consummate musician, he spent a major portion of his life devoted and dedicated to music which gave him the utmost happiness, peace and solace.

It seems like Shankar was born into this world to create great music that offered immense pleasure to millions of fans worldwide, but exited a loner with a heavy heart. An unsung hero was he. His mortal body might have left us years ago, but his spirit lingers on with those who love him. RIP.

SHANKAR SINGH RAGHUVANSHI: A MAESTRO AND MAN OF HONOUR

by  Dharma Kirthi

Dharma Kirthi

Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi was born on the 15the October in 1922, in Hyderabad, and grew up with two passions. Wrestling and music. Shankar was basically a very committed person, by nature, and was very simple in his life style, one single passion, which drove his entire life. After his initial, days at Hyderabad, he reached Mumbai,where he meets PrithvI Raj Kapoor and is employed with PrithvI Theatres as a musician.
Initially he was a rhythm specialist, tabla and dholak ; but his urge for music; his inclination and ability to learn different instruments made him, a master of music. As his life began, and evolved with what ever happened in his life, as if some supreme power was writing his “life’s script”. And when your life’s script is written by that supreme “writer” , the there is no looking back.

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His first movie, Barsat, with RK banner, was a real blockbuster in every sense of the term. Barsat has 11 songs, 7 of which were composed in Bhairavi raga, and another initiative was having Lata Mangeshkar, a fairly up and coming singer, then, to sing 10 songs, for all the characters; Nimmi, Nargis and Cuckoo..This trend was unheard of But then Shankar was not meant to do the usual, he was born to break the trends and stereo types.
Barsat was followed by Awara , Badal, Nagina and Kalighata in 1951. What a score, Awara was India’s first major International Hit, reaching USSR, and other Eastern European Countries and the title song Awara Hun becoming a cult song, till date. Awara also had the first 3-in-1 song, dream sequence ; tere bina aag yeh chandini, ye nahi hai nahi hai zindagi and ghar aaya mera pardesi..which remains matchless for its musical excellence.

Badal, Nagina and Kalighata were movies outside RK banner, and each one had some superb numbers. Badal began the new association with the great film maker Amiya Chakravorty, which lasted very long, and gave some exceptional music.

I feel, I should take a look at SJ’s association with various film makers and actors, and see how they contributed in the journey of their which lasted for more than 3 decades..

I would begin with RK films which gave them the break and the association lasted for 2 decades, till Kal aaj Aur Kal. SJ -RK worked in Barsat, Awara, Aah, Shree 420, Boot Polish, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, Mera Nam Joker and Kal aaj aur Kal. This journey was very fruitful and gave some outstanding melodies. But, they got their first Filmfare Award for this banner in their near last movie Mera naam Joker. Among these movies, it is difficult to pick one over the other, to be better, than other, each move was a masterpiece. Sangam, and Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti were really phenomenal in their variety and intensity.

This association was followed by Amiya Chakravorti”s association; which gave some really immortal movies. Badal, Daag, Katputhli, Patita, Badshah and Seema . this association gave really great music. Katputhli in my opinion was the best, and so was Daag which was Dilip Kumar and SJ’s first movie.

Then I would talk about Hrishikesh Mukherjee, though he was not a producer but was a SJ loyalist and gave some superb musicals. Aashiq, Anari and Asli Naqli . Each of these movies was a musical block busters.

Sohanlal Kanwar; was another film maker who was a big SJ loyalist. His friendship and loyalty is miles ahead of Raj Kapoor, who did not hesitate to drop them as a hot potato, at the first sign of distress; though it was his failure, than SJ’s. Sohanlal Kanwar, worked with SJ in Pehchan, Beimaan, Sanyaasi, Seema, Paapi Pet Ka Sawal..and may be any other lesser known one. Pehchan and Beimaan gave them a Filmfare Award. Sanyaasi was a big musical blockbuster.

Here on wards I would discuss about SJ’s contribution and combination with actors, then After Raj Kapoor, comes Shammi Kapoor, and Rajendra Kumar. These three actors account for more than majority of super hits from their studios. Shammi and SJ gave the following hits.. begining from Ujala in 1959 to Chote Sarkar in 1970s, which was Shammi’s last major movie as a hero. Ujala, Junglee , Janwar, Boy Friend, Sinagpore ,Dil Tera Deewana, Rajkumar, Budatameez, Professor, An Evening In Paris, Brahmachari, Prince, Tumse Accha Kaun hai, Jane Anjane and Chote Sarkar. Brahmachari gave them their Filmfare award as best actor for Shammi and Best Music for SJ.

This was followed by Rajendra Kumar, who actually built his career and rode his success on a vehicle named SJ. Aas Ka Panchi began their journey and they gave, Sasural, Zindagi, Sasural, Suraj, Humarahi, Aman, Aarzoo, Ayi Milan ki Bela, Dharti and Aan Baan. Aarzoo and Suraj gave them their best musical score winning them their best successes.

Vyjayantimala, is one actress with whom, SJ gave some exceptional music begining from Patrani, Rajhat, Katputhli; Rangoli, New Delhi, Sangam, Zindagi, Aas Ka Panchi, Chotisi Mulaqat, Prince , Pyar Hi Pyar, Amrapali.. How many hits did these two gave .. superb.. Katputhli, Amrapali, Sangam, Suraj, Patrani, Rajhat, and how many more.

Shankar, to me was the real force behind building this brand, SJ, as he was the senior Partner, as Jai was only 17 when Barsat, began and Shankar was already thick into fim music as he was already an assistant to Husn Lal Bhagatram and Ramm Ganguli, before Barsat. His mastery on various instruments and genres, and his knowledge of dance gave him an edge over many other contemporaries

He was a true MAN, never let his friends down, stood upto his friends, and more than 100%committed to his craft, and profession. He never said a word aganst his detractors never a word against any betrayors. His words would have shattered many lifes and reputations like that of the reigning playback singer or the big showman, who chickened out when it mattered the most. he rose like a collossus in the face of all minnows around him.

In my book Shankar is the Mozart of Hindi film Music who built a new Empire for himself and lived like one all his life. His style and class, shattered many a repuatations and created a new style through clones like Kalyanji Ananadji and Lakshmikant Pyarelal..As they say Plagiarism is the best complement.
Shankar, stands out as the BIG Hear ted Composer, who had no parallel, will never have one. RIP Shankarji.. You are immortal in your fans hearts. Your second innings is yet to begin.

Rarest gift to SJ fans

Today (26-04-2015) on Shankerji’s 28th Death Anniversary rarest gift to SJ fans

Revered father of the great Shankar ji Sri Ramsingh Thantri,   PHOTO Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala
Revered father of the great Shankar ji
Sri Ramsingh Thantri,
PHOTO
Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala

A Tribute To Shankar
Gopal Shroti

It was the same Sunday, date 26th of April, 1987, the Great Shankar left this mortal world unsung…whose songs the world sang for 6 decades and still heard throughout India, it was only yesterday, in a marriage reception, the guitar went on “Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nissar, kissi ka dard mil sake to le udhar” and “Ruk jaa raat thehr jaa re chanda, beete na milan ki bela, aaj chandni ki nagari mein armanon ka mela”…..and I added, “Mela ye do dinon ka, Do dinon ki hai bahar, Samay ki behti dhar karti jaati hai pukar, Pukar…..Mehman kab ruke hain kaise roke jayenge….Savere wali gaadi se chale jayenge……..” And he went by the morning train on 26th April, 1987…..Nobody to accompany…But alone…The industry and close friends were sleeping, and till the sun came up. It was all over, his mausical body turned into the flames….Till this time the family members saw the worst face of film world, so they kept silent….Otherwise in a small town, hundreds of telephones ring even for anordinary person…But Shankar was no ordinary man….He knew better to go alone, but not with the traitor in filmdom where nobody is anybody…..

When he entered the industry, it was “BARSAAT” of melodious tunes…And I felt from the core of my heart, if God could be kind enough to shower the “BARSAAT”(rains) ON 26th April,1987….Anyhow the “BARSAAT” will continue till the melody and rhythm in the Hindi film songs rules…And I hope it will rule because no music director or film industry of today has the capability and devotion to create that era when melody ruled.
Manna Dey attributed his success to Shankar’s tunes, Rajendra Kumar was obligatory to Shankar for his “Silver Jubilee Kumar” image and Raj Kapoor loved both Shankar and Jaikishan, and on his death bed in Delhi after receiving the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, was asked by a jounalist whether he can recreate the dream Ssequence of “Awara.” He replied with tears in his eyes, “Mujhe mere Shankar Jaikishan and Shailendra la do, main phir se dream sequence bana doonga”….What better tribute can there to Shankar by his mentor, friend frien who had them in his mind at the time of his death?
Where will be the repetition of that era with films like , Barsaat, Awara, Kali Ghata, Mayur Pankh, Poonam, Rajhath, Aah, Daag,Yehudi, Anari, Ujala, Basant Bahar, Humrahi, Aas Ka Panchi, Sasural, Chhoti Bahen, Main Nashe Mein Hoon, Shri 420, Kanhaiya, Dil Apna Preet Parayi, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Professor, Junglee, Prince, Rajkumar, Beti Bete, Dil Ek Mandir, Hariyalyi Aur Raasta, Love In Tokyo, An Evening In Paris, Raat Aur Din, Around The World, Mere Huzoor, Brahmachari, Mera Naam Joker, Sanyasi and count till it comes 112 films in two decades and 1000s of songs echoing & will continue to echo in the atmosphere and in hearts of people, through radios and thousands of cultural and social programmes, orchestras throughout India. There is lot to be written on Shankar, who played almost every instruments and within minutes the tunes were ready for us.
I remember 1954, 55 and later when the films were booked by the cinema owners by the names of Shankar Jaikishan, and not by heroes orheroines….Their nameswere the guarantee for the success of the films…Bakaul Hasrat Jaipuri:
“Jab yeh suna hai main ke Shankar chala gaya, mujhe yakeen nahin aaya ke dilbar chala gaya; Doobi hui hai sog mein ab meri zindagi, voh musiki ka ek samander chala Ggaya.
From SJ fans, my humble tribute to the Great Maste Shankarji: Jehan bhi raho aabad raho, sangeet se sabka dil behlate raho. Ek mehfil yehan thi, ek mehfil vahan bhi jame……..

Tribute by GREAT SJ to the true VIJETA of HIMALAYAS

by

Rajesh Kumar Sinha

Rajesh Kumar Sinha

Today (14/4/2015) is the Golden Jubilee Celebration of an ALL INDIAN EVEREST EXPEDITION .MAJ H P S AHLUWLIA a member the team made a famous documentary on the EVEREST. One of the BEST documentaries ,as I read more often in magazines,though I am not fortunate enough to watch this documentary. Sometimes in 80s I read an article in HINDI magazine “DHARMYUG” well documented by MAJ AHLUWALIA himself. As he recounted “they had run short of funds for completing this documentary. They wanted a good background music would do justice to this beautiful movie.BUT NO MONEY,they went after many music directors to score the music ,but everybody refused when money matters came up.Then someone suggested to meet SJ then the busiest in the field. AHLUWALIA met Shankerji n narrated his story. He readily agreed .”. MAJ AHLUWALIA was amazed to witness the 75 pieces orchestra used by the TRUE EMPERORS OF HINDI MUSIC .this was a tribute by GREAT SJ to the true VIJETA of HIMALAYAS.

Shankar ji’s family members got traced

Dear SJ fans,

You will be delighted to know that we have been able to trace out whereabouts of family of Shanker ji (of Shanker-Jaikishen) in Hyderabad when Shankar Jaikishan Fans Association International at Hyderabad founded by Lakshmi Kanta Tummala and friends organized a musical tribute programme named Shankar Jaikishan ke Sangeet ka Jashn in the city. Lakshmi ji took time to meet the family at their place. And there several myths of Shankerji’s origin and birthplace will be cleared in later phase.  Here is a copy of one post by Lakshmi ji on SJ group on facebook.

Lakshmi Kanta Tummala

Dear SJ buddies,
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Sri. Shankar’s niece Smt. Janaki Anella and her family. This very simple and modest family share their high moral values with their late ancestor who led an exemplary life. They expressed their love and admiration for their famous relative who was the most loving, generous and kind person around. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone and every one in need. RIP Shankar.

Seen in the picture (from left) are: Smt. Janaki’s son-in-law S. Ashok Kumar, his wife Uma, Smt. Janaki, yours truly, Daughter Sangeeta Selden and son Shankar.

Shanker family

SJ created a new syntax and grammar for Hindi Film Music

SJ created a new syntax and grammar for Hindi Film Music. Before them, music was linear and 2 dimensional..the lyrics and singer, music only to punctuate the lyrics and singer.

They added the third dimension, music, orchestra as an embedded ingredient of the song. The prelude or M-zero..as they call it, followed by counter melody and very emphatic interludes…this made, songs feel wholesome, complete.

Photo Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala
Photo Courtesy : Lakshmi Kanta Tummala


Think of songs like Awara hun, aye mere dil kahin aur chal, you can’t hum them without playing the counter pieces…
Can one think of a song like Aa ab laut chale without all that orchestra, chorus..
Songs like, dil ke jharoke me, ajeeb dastan Hai yeh, O mahbooba…etc cannot be imagined without chorus…
They broke every stereotype, using waltz rhythm for a lullaby…door ke o chanda..and a shivaranjini raag for a happy romantic songs..baharon phool barsao..you name it they tried…and delivered hits…
Their scores in Basant Bahar, Amrapali and many such movies were top draw..always..matchless..
Thier botton line was ”popular appeal” for all their compositions…all their songs stood that test, always..thats all…nothing more nothing less…

input by Dharma Kirthi