This is an e-mail which I got from a visitor on my youtube channel.
I found it useful to share with all my fellow SJ fans.
Shri R.Nanjappa ji writes :
“Dear Pandey Ji,
Thank you for your email of this morning.
I have since reread your comments on my response to the YT feature of 5 Jan 2015 closely.
I want to share two further thoughts with you.
There are two distinct worlds in SJ’s music: one for RK films, one out side the RK fold. People usually praise the association of RK and the SJ quartet of S-J, Shailendra and Hasrat, along with Mukesh and Lata. But I feel this is overdone. RK did launch SJ as MDs and supported them by making them his paid employees. But he also severely limited the scope of their genius by forcing them to conform to his own formula of music in his films. In RK films, SJ’s music was popular but lacked depth, except in flashes. They composed music for just 9 films for RK – two of which failed at box office, though for non-musical reasons, and one achieved just average success. Among them, Aah had perhaps the best ever music of SJ for RK- with soulful renderings by Mukesh and Lata. Boot Polish too had a very lively score, though it was a later addition, the film having been completed as a realistic film in the style of a Vittorio de Sica, without songs. The whole music was composed and recorded within 25 days!
But to an objective observer, it is too obvious that SJ work outside RK fold is much more, tremendous and of far higher quality. [ up to 1971- Jai’s demise.] This is primarily because they enjoyed total creative freedom outside RK shadow. I feel the RK-SJ association is hyper hyped.
Lata Mangeshkar once said that whoever might have been credited as MD for RK films, the real music director was RK himself- the others merely executed RK’s ideas. There is some truth here, but not whole truth. [Lata is usually not wholly reliable. She distorts matters.] SJ composed many tunes which RK had taped and stocked. It is these he used till Ram Teri Ganga Maili. RK was unfair that he did not acknowledge SJ’s contribution openly.
Lata also had a direct hand in denying Shankar re-entry to RK fold. Lata had fallen out with RK and Shanker over the song Main kya karun Ram for Sangam. But later RK reconciled with Lata, but when Bobby was to be made, Lata said she would not sing for Shanker and she insisted that Shanker should be sacked, and brought in LP. RK just yielded. But RK told LP that they were to be just arrangers, as the tunes were already ready- made by SJ. Thus, RK, Lata -all conspired against the great Shanker, when he was already down without Jai. Such is the wretched filmy world. Jahan Rishte na honge jhoot ke- runs one song in Patita– composed by SJ, written by Shailendra, and sung by Talat. What an irony in real life!
Lata had another grudge against Shanker – that he promoted Sharda. Some may dispute the quality of Sharda’s voice. But how and why? In comparison with whom? Whose voice is perfect, ever? Each singer has a distinct voice and it suits some actors and situations more than others- this is the MD’s choice, and people are the ultimate judge. Can Lata ever sing an ‘Aayiye Meherban’, Raat Akeli hai, Aye dil mujhe bata de, Poocho na hamen hum unke liye,Jaane kya tune kahi, Aage bhi jaane na tu, Kya ho phir jo din rangeela ho. etc?
Lata had prevented the rise of many other female singers. I will give one telling example, not widely known. When some Hindi films were dubbed in Tamil, Tamil artistes used to sing the Tamil version songs. When Aah was dubbed as Avan in Tamil, A.M.Rajah and Jikki sang the songs of Mukesh and Lata. These became quite popular, which Lata did not like. When Uran Khatola was dubbed into Tamil, Bala Saraswati Devi, a gentle and cultured Telugu and Tamil knowing lady of some aristocratic background with a sweet voice was selected by Naushad to record the Tamil songs. She was called to Bombay, was rehearsed by Naushad and one song was even recorded. Lata came to know about it, she ran a furious tantrum; even Naushad was unnerved, and quietly replaced the poor Bala Saraswati Devi, and recorded the Tamil songs in Lata’s voice. Now, Lata cannot pronounce any south Indian language properly, and the Tamil songs she sang in the Tamil version of Uran Khatola ( named Vaana Ratham) sound so ridiculous. But such are her ways. It is Lata who prevented Shanker from entering RK fold again. I feel RK was wretched in thus deserting and destroying Shanker, who is acknowledged as a great composer by all knowledgeable insiders, after extracting so much work from him in advance. [Lata similarly destroyed C.R. SDB also yielded to her. Such were her tactics- I call it “Latagiri”.]
Is RK deserting Shanker important? Yes, however talented a composer, he needs steady support to maintain and nurse his creative talents, without worry. See how SDB was supported by Nav Ketan for long, Ravi was supported by some big producers, while Madan Mohan lacked consistent support from any big banner. Thus when Shanker was down on luck, support from RK would have helped his market. But then, it is a mystery why almost all his films failed after the death of Jai, though everyone concedes that Shanker was the more complete musician between the two?
There is another aspect about which I will write separately.