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Shankar Jaikishan – Interview (1957)

Courtesy : http://cineplot.com/shankar-jaikishan-interview-1957/

A Decade of Hits

WHAT makes a song last? It is almost ten years since we began composing songs for films—all kinds of songs for all kinds of films. Even this year—the year in which we have won the “Filmfare” Award for the Best Music Direction—we have composed strikingly different types of scores, ranging from “Seema” and “Chori Chori” to “Shree 420” and “Basant Bahar”.

In this long period the overall impression we have gained of the taste of picturegoers is that only an Indian song can survive on Indian soil.

We do not propagate any antagonism against the integration of Indian and foreign music. What we are opposed to is the wholesale plagiarism of foreign musical compositions.

How long does it take to compose a song ? We, on our part, take anything from a week to a year. To illustrate the labor involved we would cite the example of the musical score of the now famous dream sequence of “Awaara”.

Nobody had thought of a dream sequence for this film. The situation required two songs, “Tere bina aag ye chandni” and “Ghar aaya mera pardesi”, each of which was composed independently of the other. One day we were sitting in Raj Kapoor’s office—we had no separate music-room in those days. It was a friendly gathering. Suddenly we began making “ghost sounds” for sheer fun—shrill screams, yells and weird cries! Now an idea struck Raj.

“Why not make it a part of the music ?” Raj Kapoor exclaimed. There and then we decided to have a dream sequence, and link the two songs by a third one.

“There will be three songs,” Raj said. “A girl calling her lover, the boy caught in the grip of evil, and the final song of reunion.”

That very evening Raj brought Nargis to listen to those weird sounds we had made, and we all decided to have one full reel of musical sequence—what eventually turned out to be the longest musical sequence in Indian films.

The recording began at 9 a.m. and went on to become the most memorable one of our lives. We were all working ourselves up into a state of frenzy. Raj flitted from one end of the music-theatre to the other, inspiring one and all with his zeal. Day turned into night but all of us went on—musicians, singers, sound recordists, and Raj himself. Midnight struck—we were still at it.

From “Barsaat” to “Chori Chori” our story has been linked with the story of Indian film making. It has been an exciting time for both of us.

Once, Shanker visited the H.M.V . Gramophone Company and heard a song sung by a little-known singer. He was so impressed that he asked Raj Kapoor to get her to sing just one song of “Barsaat” instead of any of the established singers. Afterwards she sang all the songs of “Barsaat”. Her name is Lata Mangeshkar.

When we began composing tunes for “Barsaat” we used to play them to Raj Kapoor. So impressed was he with them that he was determined to use them in the film. But he said, “I cannot promise to announce your names as music directors since I have already signed up someone else.”

Still, we continued because of our love for the work. We were surprised and elated when, towards the completion of the film, Raj told us that we would after all get official billing as the music directors of “Barsaat.”

He had confidence in our work and his confidence was vindicated by the sensational success the songs achieved.

The days when we were recording the song “Ay Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal” for “Daag” also come to mind. The financier heard the song and was so disappointed that he told the distributor, “It is a most disappointing song. No one is going to like it. If I had known that the picture had such poor music, I would never have financed it!” Little did he know then that the song was going to become a best-seller.

We feel that while retaining the basic form of Indian music, one can always experiment with new instruments, Indian or foreign, to widen the scope of film music.

The use of the accordion in “Mera Juta Hai Japani” and of the trumpet in “Mur Mur Ke Na Dekh” (both from “Shree 420”) illustrate this point. However, what is essential is the basic Indian melody. Thus even in the puppet song of “Chori Chori,” there are “alaaps” and “taans.” For that matter, the entire music score of “Chori Chori” is based on familiar Indian “raags” and folk melodies.

On the day Amiya Chakrabarty died he discussed with us the songs of “Kath Putli”. The first line of a song we recorded for the film after Amiya’s death is “Manzil Wohi Hai Pyaar Ki, Rahi Badal Gaye” (“The path of love is the same, only the travelers have changed”.) Amiya Chakrabarty took a keen interest in our work.

Of the many scores composed by us, we would particularly like to refer to four songs: “Ay Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal”, “Awaara Hun”, “Mera Juta Hai Japani”, and “Ichak dana Bichak dana”. While the first became widely popular in India, the other three also won recognition abroad. We are told that “Awaara Hun” has been translated into many languages and is today sung and played in almost every part of the world. Its success has confirmed our belief that Indian film music can be appreciated abroad if we refuse to imitate foreign tunes.

We are sure that symbols of encouragement, like the “Filmfare” Award, will continue to inspire music directors to bring to the screen original and popular compositions (This interview was conducted in 1957).

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SJ’s remarkable talent in background music and their great professionalism.

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When Lata Mangeshkar saved a song and the day

Still from the movie
Still from the movie
Lekh Tandon’s historical biopic ‘Amrapali’ (1966) was India’s official entry for the 39th Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category. It didn’t go far because, as its 84-year-old director explains, Indian cinema didn’t have any standing in the world arena then. But years later, his costume designer, Bhanu Athaiya, became the first Indian to win an Oscar, sharing the award with John Mollo for another biopic, ‘Gandhi’ (1982).Back in the ’60s, to ensure that Vyjayanthimala looked the part of a royal courtesan from 500 BC who later becomes a disciple of Buddha, Bhanu visited the Ajanta caves to find references in the frescoes. While art director M R Acharekar found his inspiration in a centuries-old stone temple in Mysore.

“Raj Kapoor had planned a film on Ajanta and Achrekar saab had made 125 designs for him. Experts in London agreed they could be replicated and we replicated some of them,” says Tandon who himself took his album of stills to Yogesh Mishra, an authority on Amrapali, who reassured him that this was how Vaishali and its locals would have looked when Magadh Emperor Ajatshatru waged war, first to further his ambitions and then for the woman he loved. “Those war sequences were filmed by Dwarka Divechi at Saharanpur, with the army supplying the horses and soldiers. Many were actually wounded and one horse had to be shot. It frightened me to see jawans and horses tumbling to the ground,” adds Tandon.

He also recalls the first song that almost didn’t happen because when Raj Kapoor learnt on the morning of the recording that Shankar-Jaikishen had given ‘Kaate na kate raina’ to Tandon, he refused to part with it saying he had decided to use it in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1972). Cancelling the recording would be an inauspicious start so Lata Mangeshkhar urged the composers for an alternative. They had one mukhda, ‘Jao re jogi tum jao re, yeh hai premiyon ki nagri, yahaan prem hi hai puja’. “Lataji called for a harmonium and sat down with Shankar-Jaikishan to set it to tune while Shailendra was sent off to write the antaras,” says Tandon.

“Shailendra returned to Mahalaxmi Studio after a few hours saying he could come up with just three antaras instead of the usual five. Lataji assured him they were enough and Amrapali got its first song in the shortest time possible,” reveals Tandon.

Courtesy :

Vintage Tidbits – Shanker with Abdul Qadir – Spin Symphony (1987)

Courtesy : http://cineplot.com/vintage-tidbits-shanker-with-abdul-qadir-spin-symphony-1987/ 

Music director Shanker with Pakistani spin bowler - Abdul Qadir.

The late music director Shanker achieved all his goals in life. But a creative man never rests on his laurels. And if he is a professional, then he is forever looking for something new, a challenge. Among the few things Shanker had in mind was composing music on the bowling action of that magical Pakistani spin bowler, Abdul Qadir. He met the ace legspinner when he had come down to the Cricket Club of India for net practice at the start of the Pakistan tour, in early January, 1987. Qadir, who is fond of music, had heard all about Shanker. It was at the CCI that Shanker told Qadir of his desire to compose music on his opening bowling action which resembles the actions of the conductor of an orchestra. Qadir told the veteran to come down to Pakistan anytime and that could be arranged. And then, turning to me, he said -Don’t just keep clicking away at me, inki be tasweer kheenchiye.” That I readily did but I look back on it today with sadness, for the main thing remained unfinished… Shanker’s musical score on Qadir’s bowling action. Really, the one that got away… Pradeep Vijayakar – June – 1987

(Note – This picture was taken in January 1987 – and Shanker died 3 months later on April 26, 1987 at the age of 64).

 

Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (ALL EPISODES)

CourtesyShrikant Deshpande

SHRIKANT DESHPANDE

 

1st Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri

1st Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri

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2nd Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri

3rd Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (2ND EPISODE)

3rd Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (2ND EPISODE)

4TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (2ND EPISODE)

4TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (2ND EPISODE)

5TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (3RD EPISODE)

5TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (3RD EPISODE)

6TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (3RD EPISODE)

6TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (3RD EPISODE)

7TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (4TH EPISODE)

7TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (4TH EPISODE)

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8TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (4TH EPISODE)

9TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (5TH EPISODE)

9TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (5TH EPISODE)

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10TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (5TH EPISODE)

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11TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (6TH EPISODE)

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12TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (6TH EPISODE)

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13TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (7TH EPISODE)

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14TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (7TH EPISODE)

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15TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (8TH EPISODE)

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16TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (8TH EPISODE)

17TH  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (9TH & LAST EPISODE)

17TH Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (9TH & LAST EPISODE)

18TH & FINAL  Page of  Feature  entitled 'Saat Suron Ka Saath' written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (FINAL  & LAST EPISODE)

18TH & FINAL Page of Feature entitled ‘Saat Suron Ka Saath’ written by Harish Tiwary of Madhuri (FINAL & LAST EPISODE)

The Midas composers – Shankar-Jaikishan

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Courtesy : http://www.filmfare.com/features/golden-greats-7358-1.html#descArticle

Golden greats

Filmfare profiles the Midas composers Shankar-Jaikishan

Golden greats

If ever there was a magic baton, then Shankar-Jaikishan surely possessed it, as everything they touched during the heady ’50s and ’60s turned to gold. It’s said they charged more than the leading lights of their films. That distributors picked up projects because their name was associated with it. That films were publicised with them in mind. They won the Filmfare Best Music Award a record nine times, only maestro AR Rahman has beaten them in the modern era. They were giants whose shadows loom large even now, long after they are gone…

Diverse beginnings
Shankarsingh Ramsingh Raghuvanshi was born on October 25, 1922 in Punjab. His father later moved to Andhra Pradesh and young Shanker was exposed to classical dance and music. He was both a trained wrestler and a dancer. He also showed a command over musical instruments and started playing the tabla at temples there. The family later moved to Mumbai, where he formally started learning the tabla under Baba Nasir Khansahib and composer Khawaja Khurshid Anwar. He later joined pioneering composers Husnlal Bhagatram as an assistant. A passion for theatre led him to join Prithiviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi  theatre, where he befriended Raj Kapoor, leading to a lifetime of friendship and collaboration.
On the other hand, Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal  was born on November 4, 1929, in Bansda, Gujarat. He started learning classical music from Sangeet Visharad Wadilalji and later from Prem Shankar Nayak. It’s said his father was a court musician of the ruler of Dharampur. The debonair musician actually wanted to be an actor, which was his prime motivation for moving to Mumbai. He started learning music under Vinayak Tambe and became a trained harmonium player.

Luck by chance
A chance conversation at the office of director Chandravadan Bhatt. acquainted them with each other’s love for music. Prithvi Theatre was searching for a harmonium player and Shankar took Jaikishan under his wings.Soon, both friends were providing music and even acting in plays produced by Prithvi. Raj Kapoor was launching his banner RK Films and made them assistants under Ram Ganguly in Aag (1948). Apparently, he caught Ram red-handed as he was about to sell one of his tunes for Raj’s next venture Barsaat (1949) to some other producer. Raj reportedly fired Ram and offered Shankar the music director’s baton. Shankar pleaded that he’d only join if his friend Jaikishan too was offered the same terms. Barsaat’s superhit music catapulted them as overnight sensations.

Raj Kapoor may have helped in establishing them but it’s wrong to credit him for all their success. They shone even in non RK films like Daag, Basant Bahar,  Amrapali, Asli Naqli, Arzoo, Dil Ek Mandir, Junglee, Love in Tokyo, An Evening in Paris. They enhanced the careers of Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar as well.

Innovative Composers

They took risk with their first film Barsaat itself, taking a new voice, Lata Mangeshkar as the lead singer and making her sing for both the heroines, Nimmi and Nargis. Songs such as Jiya beqarar hai, Hawa mein udta jaaye or Mujhe kisi se pyar ho gaya are still remembered today. With Barsaat mein, they also started the trend of title songs. They had an established pattern for song composition. First would be a long instrumental flourish, where their 60 plus orchestra showcased its virtuosity. Then came the first stanza, where the individual instruments were heard accompanying the singer, then the interlude, where the singer caught his breath and so on to another grand flourish. They introduced the concept of counter melody, which is a sequence of notes being played counter to the main melody of the song, with the help of their arranger Sebastian D’Souza. Dattaram, their dholak player and rhythm arranger, introduced the Dattaram theka (a special rhythm for dholak), which is still being used today. They didn’t just stick to established singers but made sure they found the right voice for the mood. For instance, they used an unknown Subir Sen for Dil mera ek aas ka panchi from Aas Ka Panchi (1960), Suman Kalyanpur for Dil ek mandir hai from Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Manna Dey for Yeh raat bheegi bheegi,  Chori Chori (1956), Asha Bhosle for Mud mudke na dekh from Shri 420 (1955), Mukesh (for Dilip Kumar) in Yeh mera diwanapan hai, Yahudi (1958) and made many more such off kilter choices.

Shankar-Jaikishan

(clockwise) With Prithviraj Kapoor, their mentor, With Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, At a recording session and With Indira Gandhi

Different strokes
Jaikishan was the flamboyant, man-about-town who loved to dress in the best suits. He was the soul of the party and loved his scotch. Shankar was reticent, less boisterous and hence wasn’t the public face of the duo. He was said to have a liking for raag Bhairavi while Jaikishan liked to compose in raag Shivranjini. Shankar was said to prefer songs with dance moments while Jaikishan was said to prefer romantic numbers. The duo formed a team with different lyricists as well. Shankar composed Shailendra’s songs and Jaikishan Hasrat Jaipuri’s. Jaikishan was known for his mastery over the background score. From their first film itself, one heard snatches of future compositions in the background score. For instance, the strains of O basanti pawan pagal from Jis Des Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960) were first heard in the background score of Awara (1951). So, for all their differences, one can’t be sure which song was totally Shankar’s or Jaikishan’s.

Rift and rivalry

Thanks to abundance of work as also widening creative differences, they started composing separately from 1960 onwards but didn’t publically break the team. The popular radio programme, Binaca Geet Mala, was the litmus test for a song’s popularity. When Yeh mera prem patra padhkar from Sangam, composed by Jaikishan-Hasrat team got the top spot over Dost dost na raha from the same film, composed by Shankar-Shailendra team, their fragile friendship further deteriorated. People in Shankar’s camp made allegations of sabotage. Shankar’s insistence of using Sharda’s voice instead of Lata’s too came in the way. Things came to such a head that Jaikishan used to have separate recording sessions with Lata, sometimes even with a different set of musicians. Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, their two lyricists became their common link at this point.

Death and decline
On September 12, 1971, Jaikishan passed away due to cirrhosis of liver. Shankar was hurt emotionally but continued to work under the S-J banner. It’s said he even continued to give half of his earnings from each assignment to Jaikishan’s family. RK and other big banners stayed away from Shankar after his partner’s death. There was a steady decline in business, though he continued to do good work. One such example was Sanyasi (1975), where Lata reconciled with him and whose music seemingly heralded the return of S-J’s dominance. However, it didn’t last long. He got work but the films didn’t fare well at the box office. A broken Shankar passed away unsung on April 26, 1987. Only his family attended the funeral. The media, as well as the film industry, got to know about his death only after the cremation… A chapter in the annals of Indian film history was silenced forever…

Shankar-Jaikishan

(clockwise) Stills from Sangam, Boot Polish, Chori Chori and Junglee


Shankar-Jaikishan’s popular hits

Barsaat mein (Barsaat -1949)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Awara hoon (Awara -1951)
Singer: Mukesh

Ae mere dil kahin aur chal (Daag -1952)

Singer: Talat Mehmood

Raja ki aayegi baraat
(Aah -1953)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum (Patita – 1953)

Singers: Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar

Pyar hua iqrar hua hai (Shri 420-1955)

Singers: Manna Dey-Lata Mangeshkar

Sur na saje (Basant Bahar-1956)

Singer: Manna Dey

Yeh mere deewanapan hai (Yahudi -1958)

Singer: Mukesh

Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisar (Anari-1959)
Singer: Mukesh

Bhaiya mere, rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana (Choti Bahen-1959)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Ajeeb dastan hai yeh (Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi -1960)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Yaad na jaaye beete dinon ki (Dil Ek Mandir -1963)

Singer: Mohammed Rafi

Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe (Junglee-1961)
Singer: Mohd Rafi

Paan khaye saiyyan hamaro (Teesri Kasam-1966)
Singer: Asha Bhosle

Ae bhai, zara dekh ke chalo (Mera Naam Joker -1970)

Singer: Manna Dey

Courtesy :

http://www.filmfare.com/features/golden-greats-7358-1.html#descArticle

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