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About Rafi

For those people, who don’t know Mohd Rafi, I Quote that he is the only legendary singer in Indian Film Music. Following is about his life, his birth, his singing career etc..,

Mohd RafiRafi was born on 24th December 1924 in Kotla Sultan Singh, Amritsar, in a middle class Muslim family. His elder brother, Janab Hamid Sahab, was the first to take notice of the divine gift in Rafi’s voice. He decided to concentrate all his efforts in providing all the support needed by his brother to make it big in the music world.

At the age of seven, Rafi learnt Hindustani Classical music under the renowned Ustaad Bade Gulam Ali Khan and Vahida Khan.

Rafi along with his harmonium
time, Mohd Rafi has sung more than 26,000 superhit songs.

Mohd Rafi started his career at the age of 20, with a punjabi song, Soniye Hiriye, teri yaad ne bahut sataya for the movie Gul Baloch, which was released on 28th February, 1944. The producer was Sham Sunderji, who was very much impressed by Rafi’s style of singing and did not think twice on booking Rafi for all his future films. Rafi performing Live In 1944, Rafi was very famous as a singer. Many of his songs were sung by youths and school-going kids. Rafi was invited by Nasir, a well-known actor of those times to Bombay. From this point, there was no turning back. Rafi sang for Shamji Sundarji’s production Gaon Ki Gori. This movie was also a great hit. With this hit, Rafi was called Play Back Singer. He was famous and settled play back singer around 1948.

K.L.Saigal & Pandit Paulsikar had no words for Rafi’s praise. When Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, Rafi sang a song Suno Suno Ay Duniya Walon, Bapu ki Yeh Amar kahani written by Rajinder Krishan and music by Hunslal Bhagatram, which touched everyone and was a great hit.

Whenever there used be a fusion of Naushad’s music, Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrics and Rafi’s voice, that number would become super-duper hit. These three were quite a team then. Their songs were being heard in all corner of the streets. In fact, those songs are still equally melodious now. Rafi receiving Award from President Sanjiva Reddy Rafi had several opportunities to sing in public. The range of Rafi’s voice was very very high. This is noticeable from the number O Duniya Ke Rakhwale from the movie Baiju Bawara. Naushad was very impressed by Rafi’s performance.

Rafi Sahab receiving the National Rajat Kamal Award from President Sanjiva Reddy for his song ‘Kya Hua Tera Vaada’ in the film ‘Hum Kissise Kum Nahin’ in 1977. Rafi singing in NepalRafi could sing any type of song. Let it be pop, qawali, bhajan, gazal, romantic, rock’n'roll, light music, slow numbers, sad song, parody, fast numbers…, anything he was remarkeable. He was the first to fit into the playback singer role in a convincing way. His voice enhanced the brilliance of actors like Dilip Kumar. We could feel Guru Dutt’s heart beat when he sang Badi Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari.

Rafi Sahab was honored by the Indian
Government in 1965 with the prestigious PadmaShree Award. Here he is seen with President
Zakhir Hussain at the award ceremony in New Delhi.

Rafi Sahab with President Zakir Hussain With the start of the famous Binaca Geet Mala in 1952, the program aired the immortal songs of the film Baiju Bawra and this really launched Rafi as a popular singer for all ages. Thousands of request for Rafi’s songs poured into Sri Lanka Radio. If he stylised his voice for the Dev Anand’s mannerisms, he took the job of instilling emotions in deadpans Suhani Raat Dal Chukhi in Dulari. Rafi......a simple man It would not be an exaggeration to say that actors like Shammi Kapoor owe their career to this little man with the Voice of God.

No singer at that time or even now in this era, can match Rafi. Rafi’s singing style was so simple, that nobody could imitate it. Even if they tried, they were not successful. His verstality was very different and way too impressive. His contemporaries were either ineffective in this front or were unwilling to compromize.

Rafi with Amit KumarAll this was about his singing carreer. But as a person, he was much more. Rafi did not imitate any one nor did he stop any one from imitating him. Where there was cut-throat pressure, Rafi was always totally with himself. Through out his carreer Rafi has not been accused of anything. Nor did he stop any new singer from taking his position. He was such a whole-hearted person, who would agree to sing for producers who could’nt afford him in return to nothing. Listening to Rafi is like rowing down a river in a moonlit night.

So, when your eyes
focus and your finger points to the Rafi album displayed on the colorful rack aligned
along with Dhamakas and remixes, understand that it is nothing unnatural, just the triumph
of voice over noise.

Rafi with his SitarNow, Rafi is not amongst us, but that divine voice and soul will never fade from this earth. He was, and remains, a major force in film music, the music of love, despair, hope, humor…etc. Rafi’s voice had the healing capability. His music is as calm, as raging, as deep, as beautiful. It is the manifestation of the goodness and the divine.



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