Tag Archives: Shankar jaikishan

Shankar Jaikishan: The magical Duo

This feature is taken from internet, that is why the blogger has not even touched misspelled words nor agree/disagree with the views shared by its writer.

Shankar Jaikishan were among the greatest musicians to have graced Hindi cinema – they were exceedingly popular and 75 per cent of their films were musical hits

Distributors play a very critical role in the film industry. There were no distributors when the first feature film, Raja Harishchandra, was released in 1913. With the advent of talkies in 1931 when Ardeshair Irani’s, Alam Ara was released, distributors became a vital force. They decided to sell the film on the basis of studios or banners. Even though films started selling in the name of actors, the films of the 1950s and 60s were sold in the name of a music duo. This magical duo was Shankar Jaikishan.

Shankar Jaikishan started their career with Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre. In 1949, Raj Kapoor (Prithviraj Kapoor’s eldest son) acted in Mehboob Khan’s magnum opus Andaz with Nargis and Dilip Kumar. He was impressed by Naushad’s music in the film. Andaz was a musical jubilee hit. Raj Kapoor had decided to have music like Andaz in his next film Barsaat, the same year. Ram Ganguly was its composer. Soon, differences between Raj Kapoor and Ganguly developed and Shankar Jaikishan were brought in.

Barsaat had Lata Mangeshkar, who was trying hard to establish herself as a playback singer. Shankar had heard her earlier and brought her to give playback in Barsaat. Lata sang all the eleven numbers of Barsaat, nine solos and two duets with Mukesh. For the first time, Lata gave playback for Nargis, Nimmi and Bimla. Barsaat was a blockbuster. Its music stirred the nation. Shankar Jaikishan scaled the dizzy heights with their maiden film.

Shankar Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra and Lata became the permanent team of R K Films. Barsaat’s music became a trendsetter. It is often said that Shankar Jaikishan gave their best to R K Films. They remained loyal to Raj Kapoor and indebted to too as he had given them their maiden break. Between 1951 and 52, Shankar Jaikishan also gave scintillating music in films outside R K Films.

Their third film was Bhagwan Das Verma’s Badal (1951) starring Prem Nath, Madhubala. Who can forget the compositions of the duo, Main rahi bhatakne wala hoon (Mukesh) Unse pyaar ho gaya dil mere kho gaya (Lata) and Dulcet duet Ae dil na mujhse chhipa kya hua (Lata/Mukesh). In the same year, Kishore Shahu’s Kali Ghata was released and the duo showed their versatility with Dil mein tu mere dil mein tu, Humse na puchho koi pyaar kya hai, Maine kya kiya sitam unke sitam ne loot liya, Ille bel laa illaa din hain pyare pyare and a romantic duet Ho madhur Milan hai sajna. The film did average business at the box office but was remembered for its hit numbers.

Shankar Jaikishan were very particular and never compromised with their singers. They gave an opportunity to C H Aatma in Dalsukh Pancholi’s Nagina. C H Aatma sang hit iconic numbers in typical K L Saigal style, Rooo main sagar ke kinare and Dil beqraar hai mera, Ek sitara hai aakash mein, Lata also sang her unforgettable sad number Tune hi mere zakhm-e-Jigar ko chhoo liya.

Seeing their popularity, legendary Amiya Chakraborty signed Shankar Jaikishan for his super hit film Daag (1952), starring Dilip Kumar, Nimmi. Shankar Jaikishan took Talat Mehmood for the first time to do playback for Dilip Kumar. They made three versions of their evergreen number Ae mere dil kahi aur chal in happy and sad versions in Talat’s voice and also in Lata’s voice.

In 1953, Raj Kapoor made a film on a Tuberculosis patient, Aah, which was directed by Raja Nawathe along with Nargis and Pran. Unlike Awara and Barsaat, the film didn’t do well at the box office. Even the re-edited version with a new end failed to impress.

In the same year, Shankar Jaikishan gave music in seven films – Aas, Aurat, Boot Polish, Mayur Pankh, Naya Ghar, Patita and Shikast. They gave enchanting melodies in these films. Zulm ki nagri mein (Lata) in Aas, Naino se nain hue chaar, Aa sun le mere dil ki pukaar, Dard-E-jigar thaher zara and Bewafa ne de diya ghum zindgani loot li (Lata) in Aurat.

Shankar Jaikishan composed a variety of songs in R K’s Boot Polish, Nanhe munhe bachche teri mutthi mein kaya hai (Asha/Rafi, chorus) Chali kaun si desh gujriya tu saj dhaj ke (Asha/Talat), a light number Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarwa (Manna De) and the title song Thehr zara o jane wale babu (Asha/Manna Dey/Madhubala Jhavri). There was also Ja re ja ranjo ghum ke andhere tu jaa (Lata) in Naya Ghar.

They gave all-time great numbers in Patita – Kisi ne apna bana ke mujhko, Mitti se khelte ho bar bar kis liye (Lata), Andhe jahan ke andhe rasre, Tujhe apne pass bulati hai teri duniya and Hain sabse madhur wo geet (Talat) and evergreen melodious romantic duets in Lata and Hemant’s voice Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum. Shikast too had classical-based numbers in Raag Chandrakaush, Jab jab phool khile tujhe yaad kiya humne (Talat/Lata) and Sapno ki suhani duniya ko (Talat).

Surprisingly, in 1954, only two of their films released – Pooja and Badshah. Both the films flopped but Shankar Jaikishan gave immortal the romantic duet, set in Raag Bheem Palasi, Aa neel gagan tale pyaar hum karein (Lata/Hemant) in Badshah.

In 1955, they came back with their magical touch in Amiya Chakarverti’s Seema starring Balraj Sahni, Nutan and Shobha Khote. Their glorious gems were in their favorite Bhairvi, Suno chhoti se gudiya ki lambi kahani which starts with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s Sarod, and the enthralling melodies Baat baat pe rutho na, Manmohna bade jhuthe (Lata). Manna Dey’s all-time great Tu pyaar ka sagar hai and Rafi’s heart rendering Kahan ja raha hai tu ae jane wale and Hume bhi de do sahara (Rafi/Chorus) in Qawwali style.

Shankar Jaikishan, besides Raj Kapoor, worked with almost all major directors. They were in a position to dictate their own terms. They even declined the offers made by B R Chopra and V Shantaram. They did films of all genres and periods.

Shankar Jaikishan ruled the industry for more than two decades. They were at their best in creativity and versatility. If they were responsible for getting their first FilmFare Award for Sab kuch sikha humne (Mukesh) in Anari (1959) though Mukesh was their favorite, they got best of Rafi in Chahe mujhe koi jangli kahe, Ahsan tera hoga mujh par in Junglee. Ae gulbadan in Professor, Tumse se accha kaun hai in Janwar, Yaad na jaye bite dino ki in Dil Ek Mandir and Dil ke jharokhe mein in Brahmchari. After Dil Ek Mandir they started working separately, but they kept their credit intact.

Jaikishan gave scintillating melodies in Arzoo. After completing the music for Ramanand Sagar, Jaikishan left for London. When Sagar wanted to add one Qawwali, Jaikishan recommended Shankar’s name. Similarly, all songs of Teesri Kasam were recorded by Shankar.

When Jaikishan was asked to score the background music of Teesri Kasam, he realised after listening to the song that it lacked the touch of Shankar Jaikishan and suggested Shailendra, who was the producer and lyricist of the film, to include two more songs and composed two numbers penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, Mare gaye gulpham and Duniya banana wale. Though the film didn’t do well initially, it later became a Bollywood milestone.

In the 1970s, film music was changing very fast. The golden days for the trio of Dilip, Raj and Dev were over. Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were also fading out. The new generation of Rajesh Khanna, Jitendra and Amitabh Bachchan had taken over. Rajesh Khanna preferred R D Burman but he appeared in a guest appearance and sang his iconic number in Kishore’s voice Zindgi ek safar hai suhana which was Jaikishan’s last song.

Jaikishan scummed to cirrhosis on September 1971.

In spite of differences, this was a big blow to Shankar. He didn’t take any assignment for a long period and as a result, he lost many films. Even his mentor Raj Kapoor replaced him with Laximikant Pyarelal in Bobby. Shankar’s last notable film was Sanyasi. Shankar died on April 26, 1987.

During their reign, they were also accused of plagiarism. They had copied music from Egyptian, Arabian, Italian and even tunes of Gypsy music but one thing in their defense was that they Indianised the music so well that it appeared original. They revolutionised the concept of an orchestra. They were responsible for popularising film music. 75 per cent of their films were resounding hits and many celebrated golden and silver jubilees.

They were winners of nine Filmfare Awards for Chori Chori (1956), Anari (1959), Dil Apna Aur Preet Prayee (1960), Professor (1962), Suraj (1966), Brahmchari (1968), Pahchan (1970), Mera Naam Joker (1971) and Baiman (1972). They were also recipients of Cine Goers Association Award, Bombay Film Journalist Award and Sur Singar Sansad. They were conferred the Padma Shree in 1968.

Today Shankar and Jaikishan are not amidst us but their rich legacy of music will keep them alive in memories of music lovers for many years to come.

‘Chalat Musafir Moh Liya Re’ is not traditional folk tune

Contrary to the general assumption that “Chalat Musafir Moh Liya Rem Pinjare Wali Muniya” written by Shailendra and composed by Shankar Jaikishan for film TEESRI KASAM is a folk song or based on fold tune, IT IS NOT A TRADITIONAL FOLK TUNE.

Image result for chalat musafir moh liya re

It is magic of Shailendra’s pen and baton of music directors duo Shanker Jaikishen’s thought to give a tune and structure to the lyric that not only general people and music lovers, but musicologists too started believing that it must be based on some folk music or tune.

Image result for chalat musafir moh liya re
Image result for chalat musafir moh liya re
चलत मुसाफिर मोह लिया रे पिंजड़े वाली मुनिया
चलत मुसाफिर मोह लिया रे पिंजड़े वाली मुनिया
उड़ उड़ बैठी हलवैया दोकनिया
उड़ उड़ बैठी हलवैया दोकनिया
हे रामा उड़ उड़ बैठी हलवैया दोकनिया
अरे उड़ उड़ बैठी हलवैया दोकनिया
बर्फी के सब रस ले लिया रे पिंजड़े वाली मुनिया
बर्फी के सब रस ले लिया रे पिंजड़े वाली
मुनिया बर्फी के सब रस ले लिया रे पिंजड़े वाली मुनिया

हे हे हे हे …. हे रामा
उड़ उड़ बैठी बजजवा दोकनिया
उड़ उड़ बैठी बजजवा दोकनिया
आहा उड़ उड़ बैठी बजजवा दोकनिया
अरे कपड़ा के सब रस ले लिया रे…………

उड़ उड़ बैठी पनवड़िया दोकनिया
उड़ उड़ बैठी पनवड़िया दोकनिया
हे रामा उड़ उड़ बैठी पनवड़िया दोकनिया
अरे बीड़ा के सब रस ले लिया रे……..

Rafisahab through the lens of a musician.

by

Ashok Jagtap (musician in Bollywood)

I came to Mumbai to try my luck in the industry.One of my friend introduced me to Bal Parte.Actually his name was Jaikumar but he was popularly known as Bal Parte.
Parte was assistant to Kalyanji Anandji and Usha Khanna.One day, he called me to his music room at warli and gave me some notations to play.He liked my playing and promised me to call for K.A.Recording.He kept his word.
I had hardly played two three recordings when this incident happened.
It was K.A.’s recording at film centre.I thought as usual I will play with orchestra but Parteji called me aside and asked me if I can play song with artist, as regular song violinist Narvekarji was not coming due to health problem.Parteji knew that I learned Indian as well western notation.To play song violin one has to have knowledge of classical music.I said I can try.
I took my violin and went to singers cabin.
After some time Rafisahab came followed by Ashaji.It was for the first time i saw both the legends.I said ” Namaste ” to both but inwardly I was nervous.Kalyanjibhai explained them the tune.I checked my notations.Within half an hour both the artists were ready and all of us went to the centre of the hall for rehearsal with full orchestra.Parte and Frank farnand were counducting the orchestra.Babla was looking after rhythm section.When rehearsal was over, artists wore headphones and went in the cabin.They were given placing.I too wore headphone and full mike rehearsal started.So far it was going well.
After some time Anandjibhai came out of the recording room and said, he found the song dull.He told the singers”Let us make the key half note high if both of you are comfortable.”
Inwardly I become more nervous as I was not accustomed to such a sudden change.When reharsal started,I was fumbling with notes.What I was playing went directly in singers earphones.Ashaji stopped singing and told some one”Bal la bolv”(call Bal).Parteji came promptly.She said “where is Narvekarji?”He tu konala pakdun anle aahe ?”Where did you get this guy? Her words entered my ears like hot lead. I become totally numb.Rafisahab told her that he is new and we would manage.After some time when Ashaji went out of the cabin to talk to someone,Rafisahab came near me.He put his hand on my back and said”koi baat nahi.Iska dimag jaldi garam hota hai.”Some how the recording was over.
This is how I met Rafisahab for the time.This small incident tells a lot about Rafisahab’s nature.I will never forget this incident but it was blessings in disguise.
I started practicing more and more. Six hours a day.For years I continued practiceing.
Years went by.Slowly I established myself.
Started playing with almost all music directors.
My first love was to play with orchestra but when need arised ,I played songs too.On many occasions I have to play with Ashaji.There was no Trace of past incident.She was comfortable with me.She would chat with me freely.
I played many songs with Rafisahab too. Anil Mohile who later became arranger used to play song violin with me.Together we both played many songs with different singers. Rafisahab,Lataji,Ashaji,all of them had amazing memory. It would take hardly half an hour for them to pick up the song. Most of the songs would be recorded within four hours. As the recording techniques developed, it increased the time required for recording instead of reducing it.
Rafisahab was a perfect gentleman. I’ve never seen him getting angry or being rude to anybody. Ashaji was exactly the opposite. If not in mood, she would make life miserable for the music directors or whoever in the range. I had seen her leaving the sets and music directors running after her. She is very out spoken but her anger would not last long. On the contrary Rafisahab never got angry. No matter how many retake’s he had to give he would sing till the music director was fully satisfied.
Only once he lost his cool at the recording of
Khayyamsahab.Khayyamsahab has habit of taking many retakes.He is never satisfied easily but that particular day after many retakes he was still not getting satisfied.He made Rafisahab sing more than 32 times.Everybody was tired.Rafisahab’s face was turning red but see his decency.Another person at his place would have walked out but he sangtill Khayyamsahab was satisfied.When Khayyamsahab came out of the recording room,he told him not to call himAgain and he never sang with Khayyamsahab again.
I remember him coming in his green fiat. Later he used chevrolet models. His brother in law Zahir would always accompany him. He was kind of his secretary. He was very friendly with us.He told us many unknown facts of Rafisahab’s greatness in his personal life. Rafisahab financially helped many needy musicians, singers even music directors who were old and out of work. For some ‘Lifafa’ would be ready and reach that person every month so he does not have to come to collect it. He did it all of this very secretly.We came to know about is only because of zahir. For the poor he was a ‘Masiha.
Once a musician who used to play with him wanted to buy a property.He set his eyes on one particular property which he liked very much but he has hardly twenty-five percent of the saving with him.He told his difficulty to his friend who advised him to approach Rafisahab.He was hesitant as the amount was not small but his friend convinced him to try.He went to Rafisahab’s house.He told him the reason.Without asking a single question Rafisahab went inside and came back with bundle of notes.That musician cried.In due course of time he returned the amount but it takes golden heart to help others.
Memory is like a small child walking on a sea-shore. You never know which pebble he will pick and treasure for the rest of his life. I also have some pebbles that I have stored .Today is Rafisahab,s death anniversary so i want to share these incidents with you which happened long time ago.
Actualy I am not an eye witness to the incidents but i got first hand information from my musician friends who always accompanied Rafisahab. Even in his famous world tour also he accompanied him. A regular player in film industry too. Before we go on with the incident, let me tell you about Narayan Naidu, a fine tabla player. I remember him for one more reason and cant resist the temptation to tell you about it.
He was staying at the distance of hardly five minutes from the place where I used to stay. Every Gokul Astami he used to call his musician friends to his house for Jagran. There would be a vocal as well as instrumental program till dawn. Many musicians from film industry used to attend every year.Kalyanjibhai’s assistant Bal Parte also used to come every year.
At four o clock or five o clock all would be served with rice and sambar. 
To come back to the point Rafisahab’s program was at Gandhi Nagar Gruh, Vadodara.
In those days record dance by female dancer was a must. A dancer named Sheela Ramani who acted or better to say danced in few films and was famous. Due to some reason she could not come for the program and the ticket holder created a ruckus when they got to know this. Even few chairs were broken. Police were called. Before the situation could go out of hand, the organizers agreed to return the money to those who want to return the tickets. He was so nervous that he asked Rafi sahab to announce the same.
The curtain opened and Rafi sahab appeared on the stage and announced that whoever wants thair money back can have them and program will continue without dancer. But nobody returned the tickets. as the program started,everybody forgot about dancer and the program passed on peacefully.
Buji lord is good friend of mine.He is a very good drumer and vibraphone player.Buji’s father was a great persecutionist.His late brother Kercy Lord was a accomplished arranger who worked with Naushad,Madanmohan and many other music directors.Rafisahab was so close to Lord’s family that he even attended Buji’s marriage.He told me about West Indies tour which was held in year 1966.
Rafisahab was accompanied by Enoc Danial, Narayan Naidu,guitarist Dilip Naik and Abdul Karim.Female singer was Minoo Purshottam.In those days she was famous stage artist.Later Dilip Naik got married to her.
People were crazy for Rafisahab.For hours they would wait out side the hotel to just see him.Buji said he was surprised to see public response. All shows were housefull.He said,
Once the organizer tried to accommodate musicians in different low budget hotel.When Rafisahab came to know,he told the organizer that his musicians should get the same treatment and if he has any problem,he would not mind shifting to the hotel where his musicians were accommodated.
There was some type of gossip with almost all top singers but not Rafisahab.In my long carrier in film industry I never heard any body speaking against him.He was ajatshatru (person without enemy).He was not in a rat race for money.
I will tell you another small incident.

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Music director Srikant Telang was my close friend.Both of us were staying in same building. He gave music in five to six small budget films.It was his wish to record at least one song by Rafisahab.His budget was so small that it was impossible to call Rafisahab for singing.
Amar Haldipurkar was his arrenger.He said”let us aproch Rafisahab.No harm in trying”.When reached there ,his brother in law zahir opened the door.He was the one who looked after financial affair of Rafisahab.Srikant told him about limited budget.He said “look.Rafisahab charges fifteen thousands but since I know you all,I will settle for thirteen thousand”In those days this amount was not small.Srikant’s face fell. Luckily same time Rafisahab came in the hall.Zahir told him about thirteen thousands.Looking at Srikants face he said ok ! How much you can afford?With great difficulty Srikant said”Sir my total budget is seven thousands.That including studio..Musicians charges etc.I can afford only two thousand.Rafisahab immediately said OK.Dont worry about money.Asked Zahir to write down date in diary.This was nature of Rafisahab.
This was not new for Rafisahab.Years ago same thing happened with Lakshmikant Pyarelal.Only difference was he returned the money and asked to share them among themselve.
You will be surprised to know that in those dayes some top singers were getting very good payment but still they charged hundred rupees extra for petrol and driver.
When Lataji was fighting for royalty,she was expecting Rafisahab to tow in her line but rafisahab flatly refused.She stopped singing with him.
After the release of film Aradhana,it was lean period for him.Actualy Rafisahab was supposed to sing all song of Aradhana.He sang first two songs but then senior Burmanda fell ill and R.D.took over.He wanted fresh voice and rest is history.
During that period he sang many beautiful songs with other singers .
Nearly two year after Rafisahab’s death, there was a recording at Bombay lab in Dadar. Music director was Roshan. He was not the famous music director Roshan but a messenger who worked with music director Ravi. He was giving music for the first movie he got. The song was being recorded at Bombay labs – As we were waiting for the rehearsal to start,
And then Rafi sahab entered. All were shocked and there was pin drop silence. It was only after he came close that we realised that he must be Rafisahab’s brother and later it was confirmed. Until then we had no idea that Rafi sahab had a brother. Though they were not identical twins, he looked like Rafisahab. Later he sang few songs with some small time music directors but none of them released.
Today after so many years Rafisahab is still in the heart of people.He was a great artist and great human being.
Day after tomorrow on 31July all over the world his death aniversary will be observed but I am posting my tribut today on occasion of my birthday.
I am not a professional writer so there are bound to be some mistakes but I have tried to write it honestly.

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My heartfelt tribute to great singer.

Waqt Ka Sikandar

Waqt Ka Sikandar, Waqt Ka Sikander
This picture had Dharmendra, Rajendra Kumar & Mala Sinha in lead roles. Music director Shankar of Shankar Jaikishan had recorded 3 songs for this film. They are 1) “Dhak-dhak dhadke dil mera dhadke” in the voice of Anuradha Paudwal and Mohd. Aziz, 2) “Haay-Haay main mar gayi Allah” in the voice of Kavitha Krishnamurthy & 3)”Tum to Haseen Ho Phoolon Jaisi” in voice of Shabbir Kumar.. After his untimely death, the recording of 3rd song got untraced and Sharda had to re-record it along with 2 other songs, that is why her name has been mentioned here as the music director. Unfortunately this film could not be released.

The Myths Surrounding Shankar Jaikishan

When anyone reaches the dizzying heights in their career, gain unheard of national and international fame, and win stupendous fan following from the common man to stalwarts in the entertainment and political world like Shankar Jaikishan did, it is but natural for their peers to feel a twinge of jealousy. Their contemporaries and media spun all kinds of fictitious stories about SJ to gain attention. Some in the music industry wanted to dismantle SJ from the “pedestal” their fans put them on and the media wanted to sell their product. The public was so fascinated by the composer duo’s persona and would take anything and everything written about the duo and believe it. SJ were so busy in their work that they hardly ever gave any interviews which would have helped to set the record straight.

It was said that SJ were arrogant and did not spare time to give interviews to the press. This is far from the truth. The reason was that SJ were extremely busy and they hardly ever had the time. Thus, the little time that they had was spent on their personal interests. Shankar, the consummate musician that he was, spent all his spare time composing tunes, learning to play new instruments and meeting with classical musicians who were of great interest to him. Jaikishan, on the other hand, was a social butterfly. With his handsome looks and successful career, he was always surrounded by friends and fans. Being a “party animal,” he was always spotted at social events where he was the center of attraction.

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That Shankar was rude, crude and uncouth cannot be more false. He may not have been highly educated, but he was a man of honor. Being a thorough professional, he always delivered his assignments on time and, thus, could never tolerate tardiness and irresponsibility. He reprimanded those who were not, which left him in their bad books. as mentioned by Manoj Shailendra, son of Shailendra, Shankar always addressed young and old with the suffix “ji” which shows his respect for one and all.

Nothing is as far from truth as Shankar Jaikishan being dropped from movies because of their high remuneration. As their popularity grew, so did their number of assignments. At the top of their career, in 1971, SJ were the busiest in town with nineteen movies on hand and couldn’t take on any more assigments. This was true with producers like Sridhar, L. V. Prasad, P. Gangadhara Rao, S. S. Vasan, T. Prakasa Rao from the south who were actively making movies and very badly wanted SJ to compose music for their upcoming movies. But the composers were so swamped with work that they couldn’t oblige. Movie making is a high risk gambling. Films are financed at twenty five percent interest rate and, as it gets closer to release date, the interest rate sometimes jumped to thirty percent too. With this factor involved, the producers couldn’t afford to wait for SJ to be free to work for their movies. So, they opted for other music directors who were ready to work for them at a fraction of the remuneration and meager orchestra which reflected in their run of the mill work.

Another fallacy about SJ is that, after Jaikishan’s demise, Shankar was a spent force and couldn’t meet the expectations of their producers and fans. The fact is, not only did he complete all the nineteen movies signed for 1971, he even went on to compose music for forty two more movies, single handedly. This is proof that there were many producers who believed in his talent and that the maestro still had the mettle left in him. At the peak of their career, SJ were paid five lakhs for a movie. With Jai’s death, some producers felt that they should cut that amount to half since it was only one composer doing the job. This resulted in a lower budget and fewer musicians to work with in his orchestra which had a negative effect on the compositions. The main reason for the failure of some of SJ’s later movies lies in the mediocre actors, poor story line and screen play.

That Shankar had a fascination for Sharda and preferred her to Lata and, therefore, switched to the former for female songs was never the case. From their very first movie to the last, SJ chose their singers keeping in mind the lyrics and the actor for who the playback was done. There are many movies in which both Lata and Sharda sang as per requirement of the characters. However, Lata felt threatened by Sharda’s popularity and SJ’s support of her which lead to the former holding a grudge against him. She later returned to the SJ camp to sing many more songs. Yet, Shankar maintained the same regard for the singer till his end.

People may have said and done what they wanted to thwart SJ (Shankar)’s career, but they couldn’t erase their fame and name to this day. SJ reign supreme in the hearts of their fans!

By Lakshmi K. Tummala

By Lakshmi K. Tummala

Suraj, the Sensational Super Hit of Shanker Jaikishen

This feature by



Lakshmi K. Tummala

It was one Sunday afternoon, during my school days, that the telephone rang. It was Mr. T. Prakasa Rao, our neighbor in Chennai, my father’s contemporary in the movie industry and a family friend, asking to speak to my father. I told him that he was on location at a hill station, shooting a couple of songs for his upcoming movie. Prakasa Rao uncle, as I called him, told me that we were invited to a private screening of his new movie that evening. I ran to my mother to tell her of the exciting news. But, immediately, I fell into a big dilemma since I had promised to help my friend, Rekha, with a project which was due the next day.

Image result for film Suraj

I called Rekha and told her about the invitation to the movie. She immediately had a solution to my problem which at that time seemed major. She suggested coming over to my home after I returned from the movie. We could then work on the project as long as we can and that she would then take it home and complete it. What a great idea, I thought. But then, I felt very guilty to have her work late into the night to finish the assignment. I told her that and Rekha, being an angel that she is, told me not to worry about it, but to go and enjoy the movie. She knew how much I liked Vyjayanthimala and SJ music. We had already heard the songs of the movie before and loved them a lot. I couldn’t wait to see them in the movie.

We reached the preview theater and were warmly greeted by Prakasa Rao uncle. A few more friends of his had also arrived. Soon the lights were turned off and the movie began. Personally, I never cared much for non-social movies, but then this is not one of them. It had lots of twists and turns which didn’t bother me at all. I only had eyes for my favorite Vyjayanthimala and ears for SJ songs.

I must say that the music in this movie is outstanding. SJ composed a great album. There are seven songs in all with each one being a gem. The two by new singer, Sharda, are by Shailendra and the other five, by Hasrat. SJ covered a wide range of composition styles and achieved great success. Although I heard them before, the songs sounded much better in the preview theater with great acoustics. I thought Vyju looked fabulous, especially in the songs. “Baharon phool barsao…” sounded so very romantic. “Titli udi..” had already taken the country by storm, but I personally liked “Dekho mera dil machal gaya..” better. “Kaise samjhawoon…” in a semi-classical style, by Rafi and Asha, was superb! “Itna hai tumse…” by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur was also very good. Rafi sounds too good in the frolicsome number, “Chehre pe giri zulphein..” and last, but not the least, ” Ek baar ati hai…” with Rafi, Asha and chorus is a very delightful song.

Suraj was a musical treat for me. At the end of the movie, Prakasa Rao uncle asked me how it was. “Uncle, you have a winner” I said. He raised his eyebrows. I told him the movie was very entertaining and the music was sure to win a FF Award for Best Music Director. I went home humming one song after another. Rekha came over. We sat through the night and completed the project. She spent the night with me and we went to school the next morning. Believe it or not, I later saw this movie two more times in the theater which tells something about it. When the FF awards were announced, Prakasa Rao uncle was so happy that he sent a big box of chocolates for me with a note saying, “You were right Papa, we won!” I was very happy to know that the movie won SJ, Hasrat and Rafi, Filmfare Awards for Best Music Director, Lyricist and Singer, respectively. As for me, I had already voted for the music in the affirmative. You go, SJ!

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Lakshmi K. Tummala, author of this feature

Shankar Jaikishan: North meets South

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The South Indian producers and directors have had a long love affair with Shankar Jaikishan music and so did the southern music lovers who enjoyed Hindi music as much as, or even more than, their counterparts from other parts of the country. Many a times, the producers re-produced super hits of the Telugu versions in Hindi with a great success.

AVM Productions made the ever popular Chori Chori (1956) that won SJ their first Filmfare Award for Best Music Director. Another was, Main Sunder Hoon (1971). Producer/director and Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, L. V. Prasad worked with SJ in Chhoti Bahen (1959) under his home banner Prasad Productions. With the super success of Chhoti Bahen, Prasad also made Sasural (1961), Humrahi (1963) and Beti Bete (1964), which all had silver jubilee runs. Sasural won SJ another Filmfare Award. Then came, College Girl (1960) by noted director, T. Prakasa Rao who had a very long association with SJ. He also made Humrahi (Prasad Productions), Suraj (1966), Duniya (1968) and Rivaaj (1972). SJ won a Filmfare Award for their work in Suraj. The very famous producer/director C. Sridhar made Dil Ek Mandir (1963) with SJ music and followed it up with Dharti (1970) and Duniya Kya Jane (1971). B. Ananthaswami’s Screen Gems made Sapnon Ka Saudagar (1968) that launched Hema Malini. B. R. Panthulu made Dil Tera Diwana (1972) for Padmini Pictures. Gemini Pictures made Zindagi (1961) and followed it with Shatranj (1969) in partnership with N. N. Sippy.

SJ worked in Vikram Productions movie Bhai Bahen (1969). K. Shankar made Sachhai (1969) for MCR Pictures’ Pardey Ke Peechhey (1971) and Bandagi (1972) and Chhote Sarkar (1974). Navashakti Productions has SJ compose music for their Telugu movie, Jeevitha Chakram (1971) with the legendary actor turned Chief Minister, N. T. Rama Rao which had a stupendous run. Aankh Micholi 91972) was made by EVR Pictures in Chennai. Last but not the least is Chandrashekhar who made Street Singer (1966) with his dear friend, Shankar composing music under the pseudonym, Suraj.

It should be noted that all the above movie makers had great confidence in the ability and talent of SJ and felt that every rupee paid to them in remuneration would be paid back a hundred fold in returns. Almost all of the above movies enjoyed great success with SJ.

L. V. Prasad was impressed by SJ’s “jiya bekrar hai chhayi bahar hai..” from SJ’s first movie Barsaat (1949). He had the song as an inspiration for a number in his film Samsaram (1950) released the following year. ENJOY!

Seen in the picture below taken at the premier of Suraj are (from left to right): Jaikishan, Krishnamurthy (Producer, Venus Pictures), Vyjayanthimala and Shankar. (Back row): Director T. Prakash Rao, Rajendra Kumar and others.

Image may contain: 9 people, including Dileep J Champaneria, people standing, wedding and suit