You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / Maestro SDBurman, Evergreen Dev Anand & All Time Great Rafi Sahab & Hidden Truths

Maestro SDBurman, Evergreen Dev Anand & All Time Great Rafi Sahab & Hidden Truths

By Vijay Bavdekar

Mohd Rafi and Dev Anand

Mohd Rafi and Dev Anand

In one Musical programme Burmanda honoured Rafi as “All Time Great“. It was always said that Kishore was Burmanda’s first choice for Dev Anand, also it is an open truth that Burmanda had a special feeling for Kishore, rather Kishore was his weak point, and so he created special tunes for him which were picturised on Dev Anand. Though Kishore was projected as Dev’s voice, in my opinion facts are somewhat different. So without prejudice, let us have a flashback.

Burmanda — Dev Ananad–Kishore combination–Few examples are as below.

Kishore,who started career from “Ziddi” (M D Khemchand Prakash-1948), sang for Dev under Burmanda’s music for the first time in 1951 and the song was- “Dil ye kya cheej hai” (Baazi), and thereafter he continued upto 60-70 deacade just as…”De bhi chuke hum dil nazrana” (with Geeta Dutt-Jaal) “Dukhi man mere“,”Aye meri topi palat ke aa“and “Wo dekhen to unki inayat“-with Asha-(Fantoosh), “Jeevan ke safar me raahi” (Munimjee) ,”Mana janabne pukara nahi“,”Hay hay hay ye nigahen” & “Jamana kya kahega“-with Asha,”(Paying Guest) Hum hai raahi Pyaarke” & “Aankhome kya jee“-with Asha, “(Nau do gyarah),”Oonche sur me gaye jaa“-(House no.44) “Khwaab ho tum ya“,”Are yaar meri“–with Asha, “Likha hai teri aankhonme” & “oof kitni thandi hai meri” -both with Lata (All from Teen Deviyan),”Gata rahe mera dil“-with Lata (Guide),”Ye dil na hota bechara” & “Aasman ke neeche“-with Lata-(Jewel Thief) ,”Phoolonke rangse” (Prem Pujari) and lastly “Dil aaj shayar hai gum aaj nagma hai“-(gambler).

No doubt these songs were great hits once upon a time, but I feel, they lack some variety and exact vocal expressions which Dev Anand shew on his chocolate face.You will find this, with something more in SD–DEV–RAFI–melodious & more romantic combination.”Haath kangan ko aarsi kya,” think over the songlist below.

Thummak thummak chali kahan“(Ek ke Baad Ek), and more songs form this film,”Chale gaye hum bekhudime” & “Achhaji mai haari chalo maan jaao na“-with Asha-(Kala Pani) “Khoya Khoya chaand “,”Apni to har aah ek toofan hai” & “Rimzim ke Tarane leke aayi Barsaat“-with Asha (All from Kala Bazaar), “Diwana mastana hua dil“-with Asha, & “Saathi na koi manzil” (Both from Bambai ka babu),”O aaja panchhi akela hai“, “Kalike roopme chali ho dhoopme” – (Both from Nau do gyarah),”Dilka bhanwar kare pukar“,”tu kahan ye bata“,”sunle tu dilki sada” & “Dekho rootha na karo” (All from Tere gharke saamne),”Aise to na dekho” & “kahin bekhayaal ho kar” (both from Teen Deviyan),”Kyaa se kyaa ho gaya“,”tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai” & “Din dhal jaye haye“All from Guide), “Chupkese mile pyaase pyaase “-with Geeta Dutt and “mera man tera pyaasa” from gambler (last song of Rafi for Dev and SD).

If you carefully watch the videos of above songs, you will find that the lips movement and expressions given on face by Dev Anand, perfectly matches the Rafi’s throw of words.It is an established truth that Rafi had a peerless skill to twist his voice according to the Hero, so he did perfectly for Dev Anand also emerging Dev’s image more romantic. Burmanda once agreed that he tried Talat, Manna Dey and Hemant Kumar for Dev Anand, but Rafi was perfect match for Dev Anand. So the statement “Rafi was second choice of Burmanda” looks hard to digest.

Friends, if you look back to the Golden Era of Hindi film music, you will find that other music directors kept Kishore away & preferred Rafi for Dev Anand. Let us have a few examples. Rafi sang for Dev Anand  (One year before than Kishore ) “Sawan ki gahatao dheere dheere aanaAage Badho with Khursheed–Sudhir Phadake-1947) and continued from 50-51 to 60-70 decade as below.

Husnalal Bhagatram- “Chhotasa fasana hai tere mere pyaarka” (with Lata –Birha ki Raat) & “O sanam, sanam sanam (Rafi-Sureiya-Film Sanam) , & more films. C.Ramchandra-”Dekh hame aawaaj na dena” (Rafi-Asha–Amardeep),”Duniya kya hai” (Sarhad) and more films. Chic Chocolete-”Aisa kya kusur kiya“(Rafi-Lata –Naadan) OPNayyar–”Aankho hi aankhonme“(Rafi –Geeta-CID),”Raat sard sard hai”(Jali note,–All rafi songs of this film are enchanting), Salil Chaudhari – Koi soneke dilwala (Maya), Shankar Jaikishan- teri julfonse judaai to nahi (Jab pyar kisisse hota hai)-”Dheere dheere chal“(Rafi-Lata-Love Marriage), “Aap naraz khuda khair karen”(Pyar Muhabbat)and more films, Jaidev-”Mai zindagika saath” and more (Hum dono), MadanMohan-”Sawan ke mahineme ek aagsi seeneme”and classic ”Mujhe le chalo aaj phir us galime” -(Sharabi) etc. etc.

One interesting thing is that Rafi was Burmanda’s first choice for other Heros, e.g.”Duniya me meri aaj andhera hi andhera” (Do Bhai-Rajan Haksar-1947-Rafi’s first song for Burmanda) “,”Mujhe preet nagariya jana hai“(Ek nazar with lata-Actors- Rehman-Nalini Jaywant-1951),”Panghatpe dekho bhai aayi milan ki bela-( Naujawan-With Geeta Dutt-for Premnath-Nalini Jaywant) ,thereafter,  ”Ye duniya agar mil bhee jaye to kya hai“, “Sar jo tera chakraye” (Pyasa-Gurudatt–Johny Walker & “Dekhi Jamaneki yaari” (Kagaz ke phool) “Badla jamana baba“- (Miss India– I S Johar ),”Zindagi to zoomle jara” (Biswajeet-Kaise kahoon), “Jaanu kya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya (Ziddi–Joy Mukherje),”Dilme ek jaane tamannane jagah paayi hai” -(Shashi Kapoor-Benzeer) ,”Chaandsa mukhada kyun sharmaya“ (Sunil Dutt-Insaan jaag utha), “Naache man mora magan” (Ashok Kumar-Meri soorat teri aankhen),”Mai kal fir milungi“-With Lata (For Manoj Kumar-Dr.Vidya) & “Ye dil diwana hai (Dharmendra-Ishq par jor nahin), “Palkonke peechhese kya tumne“ (Rajendra Kumar-Talash) etc. etc.

But it is beyond our imagination that why Burmanda made an failure attempt by giving playback of Kishore to Dilip Kumar in “Sageena”? One more interesting truth. Look at the ”Trend setter-Singer ” equations,”Dilip-Rafi, Dev-Kishore and Raj-Mukesh”. Rafi sang most of the songs for Dilip Kumar, Rafi has an almost equal share with Kishore for Dev Anand and off course Mukesh sang major number of songs for Raj Kapoor, but Rafi also gave playback to Raj Kapoor for 31 songs.

Friends, thoughts expressed above are my personal,music lovers have right to differ. Thanks Friends.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

26 Blog Comments to “Maestro SDBurman, Evergreen Dev Anand & All Time Great Rafi Sahab & Hidden Truths”

  1. pramod aparajit says:

    Yes, your observation is correct.further i will like to add that rafisab had the ability adjust his voice with the actor voice. on hearing the song first time we can imagine which actor is singing this song in film.

  2. Raj says:

    I think it is wrong to state Kishore was Burmanda’s first choice. Kishore did become his first choice after Aradhana. However prior to 1969, Raffisaab was his first choice for all heros, including Dev saab. The songs you have listed, proves it. Example, Guide, Devsaab’s home production, all songs, except one he chose Raffi. Same for Tere Ghar Ke Saamne. The variety Raffi saab could sing, Kishore was no way near. And any music director who was versatile enough to compose range of songs, could not do without Raffi saab.

  3. vijay bavdekar says:

    IRFAN BHAI…..I AM REALLY SURPRISED TO READ THE INCIDENTS QUOTED BY YOU…I WAS IN MUMBAI FOR 4 YEARS…MYSELF AND ABOUT 100 HINDI FILM MUSIC LOVERS WERE MEETING EVERY FORTNIGHT TO DISCUSS THE VARIOUS ”KISSAS” OF MUSIC WORLD..NOTED FILM CRITIC ISAAC MUJAWAR WAS ALSO ONE OF US…BUT ABOVE INCIDENTS NEVER CAME UP AS ”TODAY’S TOPIC”…ANYWAY GIVING CREDIT TO KISHOR FOR ”HUMMING SOUND”OF ”DILKA BHANVAR KARE PUKAR”SEEMS TO BE A POOR JOKE OR LACK OF KNOWLWDGE AS YOU SAY..BUT DEV SAHAB CAN’T SAY THAT….SECONDLY DILIP-NAUSHAD-RAFI TRIO WAS LIKE A ”ATUT JOD”OF FEVICOL..I DON’T THINK BY SUCH MINOR MISUNDERSTANDINGS COULD MAKE THEIR RELATIONS STRAINED…..THERE MUST BE OTHER REASON OR FORCING OF SDB FOR KISHOR’S VOICE TO WHICH DILIPSAHAB MUST HAVE FALLEN PREY LOOKING TO OLD AGE OF SDB…I HAVE ALREADY SAID THAT KISHORE WAS WEAK POINT OF SDB..OTHERWISE HE COULD HAVE TRIED MAHENDRA KAPOOR AS KALYANJI ANANDJI DID SUCCESSFULLY IN ”GOPI”…..ANOTHER THING..KISHOR SANG ONLY ONE SONG UNDER NAUSHAD..THAT WAS DUET WITH ASHA..HALLO KYA BAAT HAI….IN SUNAHARA SANSAR…THNANKS IRFANBHAI.

  4. Mohammed Irfan says:

    A nice article with many detailed info.Regarding Dev Anand’s preference of Kishore Kumar over Rafi saab , I would like to reiterate what he said in an interview when asked which was his favorite song and he had said ‘Dil ka bhanvar kare pukar’ was his favorite and he loved the “KISHORE” made the humming sound.I guess it must have been the reporter’s lack of knowledge or else DevAnand saab must have truly realised that his favorites were none other than gems by Rafisaab.

    Regarding the Sageena song, it was less of SDB’s choice but more of Rafisaab ‘s decision not to sing for Dilip Kumar .The reason behind this was mistreatment meted out to him by Dilip Kumar. Dilip Kumar once invited only Naushad to travel in his car to a function where Rafisaab was due to perform, with Dilip and Naushad presiding over it. This offended Rafisaab, who refused to sing for Dilip Kumar which ultimately became Kishore’s gain as he ironically sang ‘Saala mai to Saahab ban gaya’ for the King Of Hindi Film Industry. However always willing to mend fences things were sorted out Rafi saab and Dilip Kumar and we were fortunate to have him sing in Bairag and Kranti. A small thoght – Who knows had not this incident taken place would Kishore have got another chance to playback for DilipKumar just as he never got to sing for Naushad.

  5. Ahamed Kutty says:

    When we hear the songs of Dev Saab sung by Rafi Saab
    we feel Dev Saab very young and at the same time if we
    hear the songs of KK sung for him we feel he is very old.

    Rafi Saab keeps all actors young with his golden voice.
    Recently I got CDs of Rafi Saab’s songs from Shirish
    Kulkarniji,Mumbai and in that I could hear a song which
    was unheard.The song is “Dil ki kalee yu hi sadaa”
    from the film “Inkaar”. When we hear this song we feel
    Rafi Saab’s voice suitable for actors like Sharuk Khan,
    Salman Khan,Aamir Khan Ritik Roshan and even for
    Ranveer Kapoor.

  6. Ashok Parekha says:

    a very well researched article, indeed!

  7. All superhit songs for Dev saab in his prime youth sung by great and only one our beloved rafi saab. Rafi saab was unmatched.
    regards,
    Birendra Singh Bisht

  8. bimanbaruah says:

    Respected Vijay Ji
    Great article with some rare information.Though there is always a debate in the world of Hindi Cinema, about voice of Dev Anand, either Mohammed Rafi or Kishore Kumar. But Dev Anand’s evergreen debonair lover boy emage is owed to Rafi Sahab for his magical singing in films like Love Marriage, Kala Bazaar, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Tere Ghar Ki Samne and Guide. Moreover, sole Rafi number in films like Jewel Thief, Mahal and Gambler supersedes all the Kishore numbers. Rafi Sahab was the key voice for Dev Anand in films; either it was under Dev’s own banner Navketan from NAU DO GYARAH (1957) to JANEMAN (1976) or under outside banner from AMAR DEEP (1958) to MAN PASAND (1980).

  9. shammi says:

    The only reason Dev Anand expressed his preferance of Kishore Kumar over the great Mohd Rafi was not because Kishore was a better singing choice for him than Mohd rafi but because he was a close friend of Ashok Kumar who was Kishore’s brother. This is so unfair as by far Mohd Rafi was a better choice for him in every way as his voice and mannerism suited him most, this unfortunately is another example of dirty politics coming into play.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The reason why Dev Anand expressed preferance of Kishore Kumar over the great Mohd Rafi was not because Kishore was a better singer for him but because he felt compelled to as he was a close friend of Kishore’s brother Ashok Kumar. This is so unfair because by far the best songs that were picturised on him was sung by no other than the great Mohd Rafi. This is just another example of dirty politics coming into play.

  11. salim k says:

    SD burman was a good music director whose songs became great when Rafi sahab beautified them with his unmatched singing.

    Dev Anand made a massive mistake by switching off exclusively to Kishore and paid the penalty of one flop movie after another and most of his songs in 70′s were nothing compared to his songs in 60′s which Rafisahab sang for him.

    The bias against Rafi sahab reached to its ludicrous best when Kishore did playback for Dilip Kumar in Sagina, surely that was beyond a joke and a clear proof how dark and corrupt the industry was getting and the quality of sonbs from mid 70 onwards is a reflection of the mediocrity and degradation of HFM with just one shinning star in all this dark mess and that shinning star is the one and only Mohammed Rafi.

  12. Santhanakrishnan says:

    There is no comparison that we can have for Mohammed Rafi. The amount of data provided shows that Rafi was the preferred voice of the Music Directors and producers.
    Rafiji could sing song for different occasions, different moods and expressions. If at all there are any type of songs that Kishore excelled, it was those masti bhari types where Dev saab got some good songs from Kishore. Rafi sang those type of songs on Shammi Kapoor and may not be much for Dev.
    Qualitatively, Rafi excelled in his expressing the intent of the song fully when he sang romantic or sad songs. His utterances of the words were unique, in forceful or husky voice. That is why probably he was preferred over many other singers for many of the heroes.

  13. ZTEK-7 says:

    I never knew until now Rafi sung for Dev one year before Kishore did in Ziddi in 1948.
    Watching an interview with Dev in his later years, the interviewer felt Rafi had really emulated Dev’s personality on screen but Dev said Kishore emulated him rather than Rafi. Dev also said when Kishore sung well, that he sung the best. Of course when Kishore da sung well he was brilliant !!!!! but I personally felt hearing what Dev said was a touch of favouritism for Kishore over Rafi.
    I cannot understand why Dev would say this when his most memorable songs were sung by Rafi sahab. I personally felt Rafi emulated Dev better especially in the black & white era of music.
    Dev probably thought switching to Kishore especially in the 70′s, he was changing with the times like with Rajesh Khanna. Unlike with Rajesh Khanna who did have a successful combination with Kishore da and also with the backing of RD Burman with many of Rajesh’s superhit songs. Dev did not really have the same matching success with Kishore in the 70′s as he did with Rafi sahab.
    So the interviewer was totally correct in saying she felt Rafi had really emulated him better. I’m sure the majority would agree that Dev’s true voice was really Rafi sahab. When there is a tribute to Dev in these award show events, you will hear Rafi’s voice more than Kishore’s when it comes to Dev’s songs.

  14. Adarsh Kumar Mudgil says:

    I was a die hard fan of Kishore Kumar during my early life. But for the last 10 years or so I realise how incorrect I was. The melodious voice of Rafi Saheb is unparralled. No one is even nearer to him. Kishore kumar, no doubt,
    was the only genious Film Industry has seen so far, but he was no match for the Greatest Singer Rafi Saheb.

  15. vijay bavdekar says:

    Dear Shardool..thanks for the correction..i don’t know how i made mistake…by the way i am uploading daily one ”rare and melodious ”duet of Rafi-Asha on”Tributes to a true maestro group”,today i have uploaded 27th duet in this series..if possible have a look.

  16. Ali says:

    God made one Sun and one Mohd Rafi…….Mohd Rafi is number one, before one it is zero and after one it is two……….

  17. salim K says:

    Dev Anand was once asked which singer made a difference in his career and he said Kishore Kumar then he said ” he sang many great songs for me like
    Sawan Ke Mahine Mein mein, Din Dhak Jaye, Mein Zindagi Ka Saath from Hum Dono, Dil Ka Bhawar Kare Pukar, Mera Man tera pyasa”

    i rest my case ( all songs he mentioned are sung by the greatest singer of all times, Rafi sahab”

    To be honest Dev Anand was lucky like many other heroes that Rafi Sahab sang for him. Ironically when Dev Anand became old and some naive person put in his mind that because Kishore was singing for Rajesh Khanna, his voice would made him look young. I dont know if that was actually achieved but stats show 99% movies of deva nand that did not have Rafi sahab songs were super flops.

  18. salim K says:

    Dev Anand was once asked which singer made a difference in his career and he said Kishore Kumar the he said ” he sang many great songs for me like
    Sawan Ke Mahine Mein mein, Din Dhak Jaye, Mein Zindagi Ka Saath from Hum Dono, Dil Ka Bhawar Kare Pukar”

    i rest my case ( all songs he mentioned are sing by the greatest singer of all times, Rafi”

  19. shammi says:

    I have to say I agree with the article, and even though both Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi sang for Dev Anand the most memorable and most loved songs are most definitely sung by Mohd Rafi but once again I also agree with the comments left behind that Mohd Rafi is in a league of his own and can’t and shouldn’t be compared to anyone because there is no-one like him, he is the best.

  20. u.k.achan says:

    personally,I feel there is no comparison to Rafi Saab.He is the ONLY one.Whenever he was not taken as playback,we have lost another superb Gem of a song………pronunciation,diction,range,depth and sustainability.

  21. Chitta Ranjan Deka says:

    Very good article by Vijay Bavdekar. I am in agreement with the author. In fact I always felt that Rafi Saab had some of his best songs for Dev Ananad, like Hum bekhudi mein and many others which are immortal and shall always remain all time best Hindi hilm songs. So at times one gets a feeling is it fair to say that he was not the first choice voice for Dev Anand. Anyway music lovers will always cherish the Rafi-Dev Anand songs composed by S D Burman !

  22. K P Hassan says:

    Dear Vijay Bavdekar,

    As you pointed out, Rafi Sahab’s voice was perfect match for Dev Sahab than Kishore Da. From the black & white films of Dev Sahab, we can see that all the songs sung by Rafi Sahab were super hits and all these songs are still very popular among us all. Further I want to mention here that Rafi is Rafi, and he cannot be compared with anybody. It is true that the God’s voice that contributed by Rafi Sahab for many new comers (music directors & actors) helped them to get recognise their name in the Bollywood and got fame later on. Rafi Sahab had no any ego problems. He was ready to sing for all characters in a film whether they are acting as a beggar or villain. Apart from his singing talent, he was a good human being comparable to God.

  23. Shardool says:

    Dear Bavdekar, It is a very pretty article you have penned on the Great Giant of a
    Singer, the One & Only Rafi Sahib. It is indeed always a pleasure to read such articles which are written with utmost reverence …. & sincere love for this Angel among human beings, the inimitable Rafi Sahib.
    One little correction though …. the song Rim Jhim ke Taraane Lekay Aayee Barsaat is a duet of Rafi Sahib and the genius Geeta Dutt in her mellifluous voice creating an aura of sheer magic and passions !
    Well done, Bavdekar Babu …… keep up the love for Rafi Sahib !

  24. SalRafi says:

    Interesting write up. Thank you. I agree with R L Arora’s view though. Rafi Saab is incomparable. So it injustice to compare him with anyone else.

  25. r l arora says:

    Dear Vijay Bavdekar

    It would be unfair to compare our beloved Rafi Saab’s talent in singing with anyother playback singer, whether male or female . Rafi Saab’s voice was unique.

    Rafi Saab had the unparallel quality of singing all types of songs while other singers had limitations.

    I therefore rate Rafi Saab as the supremo in singing in Bollywood.

    thanks and kind regards,
    r l arora

  26. b.r.sarvankar says:

    Dear Vijay Bavdekar
    I have same feeling like you. In spite you have written
    which was in my mind. But I have no data which you furnished. Thanks lot.

    Warm regards
    b.r.sarvankar

Post your Comment on Facebook





Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:





Other Writeups


Social Collaboration