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Milestone Songs of Rafi

This article is written by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Till Mohammed Rafiji emerged, most of the earlier Singers were flat singers without much variation. After Rafi saab came on screen, the importance of diction, variation in voice for different actors, raising and lowering of voice, putting feeling into each word, etc. were noticed. As one of Rafi hero, Biswajeet opined that acting for Rafi songs was very easy, as Rafi took care of all the acting in his song putting feelings into the lyrics and the actor was just required to lip-sync.

Mohammed Rafi Saab has sung nearly 5000 songs and in fact, most of the songs can be considered as a Milestone in the history of Indian Film Music. Still, there are certain songs of Rafiji, which established the ‘Singer of the millennium’ as the most versatile singer as well as paved the way for similar songs in other movies. Some of these songs became rage of the Nation when they were released and were on the lips of the Nation. Personally I consider all these songs as ‘Milestone songs of Rafiji’.

The first song of any singer is a big milestone in the career of the person and by this stretch, “Soniye Heeriye” from the 1940 movie ‘Gul Baloch’ is the first landmark in Rafi’s career. The first Hindi song of Rafi “Hindusthan Ke Hum Hain” in the movie ‘Pehle Aap’  and songs of  ‘Gaon Ki Gori’ released in 1944 introduced Rafiji to Hindi film music.

Similarly the song “Yahan Badla” from ‘Jugnu’ released in 1947 was perhaps the first major song in which the then great singer Noorjahan sang with Rafi. This perhaps was the first major duet of Rafi which became a big hit. “Tera Khilona Toota Balak” from the 1946 movie ‘Anmol Ghadi’ was the first solo of Rafi and hence, this song was a landmark in his career.

So far, the above songs were all first songs in those categories where Rafi had started showing his prowess, but the best was yet to come. Well, people were just coming out of the Saigal – Pankaj Mallick – KC Dey – Noorjehan era and Singers like Rafi, Lata, Mukesh, Talat, Hemant, Mannadey were just emerging. Came 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, Rajendra Krishna wrote the lyrics and Rafi reached every Indian house hold with “Bapu Ki Amar Kahani”. This song, few months after our Independence with people still high with their patriotism, established Rafi as a leading Singer of patriotic songs. The song was followed by a great number in Dilip Kumar starrer ‘Shaheed’ – “Watan Ki Raah Me”. 1948 ‘Mela’ song “Ye Zindagi Ke Mele” also helped Rafi to croon for the reigning star of that period Dilip Kumar. Rafi had heavy competition from Talat for play back to Dilip Kumar and by such wonderful songs became the voice of the thespian subsequently. The combo of Rafi, Dilip, Shakeel and Naushad gave memorable music in later days.

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The year 1948 also saw Rafi’s first major serious pathos filled hit “Is Dilke Tukde Hazar Huye” from ‘Pyaar Ki Jeet’ picturised on Rehmaan. Subsequent years, Rafi came out with many such songs for heroes like Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Bharat Bhushan, Sunil Dutt, etc.

Perhaps the first major hit melodious romantic solo number from Rafi was “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” from ‘Dulari’ released in 1949, which proved Rafi’s credentials as ‘Singer par excellence’ of soft romantic numbers. No wonder later Rafi gave us many such wonderful numbers for various actors like Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Biswajeet, Joy Mukherjee, etc. The film ‘Dulari’ also perhaps gave the first hit Rafi-Lata duet “Raat Rangeeli Mast Nazare”, their first hit song in their journey of 450 odd duets.

The 1950 movie ‘Daastan’ had a peppy number “Tarari Tarari Tarari” a duet incidentally picturised on Raj Kapoor. This song perhaps proved that Rafiji could even carry out pop / western numbers with equal ease which subsequently he proved again in numbers from movie like Aansoon, Naya Daur, Leader, Love In Simla, Mr. X, Gumnaam and a host of other movies with two pop non filmy English numbers “ The she I love is a beautiful” and “All though we hail from” based on the two hit Hindi numbers “Hum Kale Hain To” and “Baharon Phool Barsao”.

Though Rafi had started emerging as a versatile singer, still, it seems Rafi was disappointed that his songs did not become big hits like that of Talat, Mukesh, etc. Came 1952, Vijay Bhat made ‘Baiju Bawra’, an out and out musical about the story of a Singer Baiju during the period of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The hero was Bharat Bhushan and the heroine Meena Kumari, both comparative new comers. Naushad, the Music Director entrusted almost all the songs of this movie to Rafi and told him that he would become the craze of the nation after this movie. The movie had all types of songs, classical, bhazan, romantic, serious, duets, etc. Though all the songs in the movie were good and also big hits, still the song “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” caught the imagination of the nation. Till then with the earlier Singers, the Music Directors had to limit the range up to certain level, because of the limitations of the Singers, but Rafi showed that his voice could go much farther and higher than the earlier ranges and also could be steady at very high pitch. The climax of the song “O Duniya Ke Rakhawale” established Rafi as perhaps the only Singer who could go higher and higher. It also proved Rafi’s credentials for classical singing. After this song, there was no looking back for Rafi. The film also established Rafi as the main playback Singer for Naushad, who in later years gave hits after hits with Rafi. How true was Naushad, after this movie Rafi became the voice of the nation.

Rafi and Asha have given more than 700 melodious and soulful duets, but their first major hit was “Nannhe Munnhe Bacche Teri” from ‘Boot Polish’ released in 1954. Though both had sung together earlier, but this song perhaps established them as leading duet singers and no wonder that this pair has sung the maximum number of duets in the history of Hindi film industry.

“Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar” from ‘CID’ released in 1955 was the song which established Rafi – OP Nayyar combination. Though both of them had worked together earlier in movies like ‘Aar Paar’ and ‘Mr. & Mrs. 55’, still ‘CID’ was the movie which heralded the era of soft romantic songs of OPN with Rafi and Asha as the main Singers. In the next 10 years, we had this dream team in movies like Naya Daur, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hun, Ye Raat Phir Na Aayegi, Mere Sanam, Humsaya, Kashmir Ki Kali, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Mohabbat Zindagi Hai, Sawan Ki Ghata, Phagoon, etc. etc.

Shankar Jaikishan in those days were at their peek, especially for RK Films. Raj Kapoor always had either Mannadey or Mukesh as his main playback Singer, though he always had at-least one song of Rafi in all his movies starting from Barsaat, Awaara, Boot Polish, Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker, etc. But it was “Ramaiyya Vastavayya” from ‘Shree 420’ released in 1955 which became a super hit song and perhaps established the Rafi-SJ combination on a long run. Subsequently, under SJ, Rafi gave hit after hits for heroes like Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, etc. In fact, in the sixties Rafi was the main singer for SJ churning out hit after hits.

SD Burman was one Prince of Music Directors who specialized in folk tunes. He gave many hit songs with other Singers like Hemant, Talat, Kishore, etc. But the film ‘Pyaasa’ released in 1957 established the combination of Rafi and SDB on a firm footing. Though the film had wonderful music and hit songs, still the song “Ye Mehlo Ye Takto” was a class apart. A sort of revolutionary song, it was a difficult song to sing as the Singer had to bring out the disgust of the Poet towards the Society, had to build up the tempo and go full blast during the climax ‘Jalado Jalado’. Perhaps, only Rafi could have done full justice to this song, which to start with was almost in whispers but later towards the end, was full throated. This song heralded the beginning of Rafi and SDB combo which gave hit movies like Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Talaash, Guide, Insaan Jaag Utha, Teen Deviyan, Aradhana, Jiddi, Kaise Kahun, etc. for the next one and a half decade.

The 1960 movie ‘Lal Quila’ established Rafi as a class Gazal singer as well, with two major hits of Bhahadur Sha Jafar’s gazals “Na Kisiki Aankh Ka Noor Hun” and “Lagta Nahin Hai Dil Mera”, throwing a real challenge to Gazal King Talat Mehammod. Significantly, both these gazals did not have any major musical instruments in the back-ground and it was only the voice of Rafi which carried them. Well, it may be a coincidence that Talat’s decline commenced from this period.

The film ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ released in 1960 had catchy tunes by Roshan especially the romantic tile song “Zindagi Bhar Nahin”, but it also had the mother of all qawalis “Na To Caravan Ki Talaash Hai” sung by both Rafi and Mannadey apart from Asha Bhonsle. In fact, Rafi enters midway and Mannadey has admitted that when Rafi entered the song, he was so much engrossed in the singing of Rafi that he forgot that he was also part of the recording. Qawalis as compared to other songs were not that popular in Films but Rafi, Mannna and Asha gave some unforgettable filmy qawalis in movies like Qawali Ki Raat, Palki, Bahu Begum, Mahal, Amar Akbar Antony, Hum Kisise Kam Nahin, Zanjeer, etc. and in fact were instrumental in popularizing qawalis in movies.

Rafi had been the main Singer for Shammi Kapoor singing some wonderful romantic numbers as well as foot tapping songs. But “Yahoo” of ‘Junglee’ in 1961 established a new trend of songs which were full throated and high pitch. In fact, the Yahoo type of image and songs became a permanent feature in most of Shammi films as well as in movies of other heroes like Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, etc. in movies like Waris (Ek Bechara), Farz (Mast Baharonka), Jigri Dost (Phool Hai), Pyaar Hi Pyaar (title song), Jab Jab Phool Khile (Oye Humko), Love In Tokyo (title song), etc.

The 1964 movie ‘Dosti’ made LP the Rafi Bhakts which remained till Rafi departed. Though Rafi had sung couple of very good and hit songs for LP earlier, still this film with perhaps “Chahunga Main Tuzhe” made LP to fully depend on Rafi for all their movies. The movie firmly established LP as one of the leading music directors of the time and Rafi-LP combo gave innumerable number of hits for the next 15 years. In fact, the mutual dependence was so strong that even during the so called lean period of Rafi during the early seventies, it was LP along with Madan Mohan and Usha Khanna who still came out with wonderful Rafi hits.

The sixties also gave three more wonderful romantic solos, “Chaudavin Ka Chaand Ho” (1960), “Teri Pyaari Pyaari Soorat Ko” from SASURAL (1961) and “Tere Mere Sapne” from GUIDE (1965). Though by then Rafi had clearly established his numeruno position for romantic numbers, still these three romantic songs became a big craze in the sixties.

‘Laila Majnu’ in 1976, though a patch on the earlier contribution of MM and Rafi combo, still perhaps re-established Rafi as the leading Singer. All the songs were hits. Rafi solos became big hits after a long time. After this movie, Rafi came back with a bang with hit songs in Dharam Veer, Shaan, Amar Akbar Antony, Sargam, Asha, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Abdullah, Sajan Ki Saheli, etc. and showed that when it came to Hindi film music he is the KING.  In fact, the movie also firmly established Rafi as the play back Singer of Rishi Kapoor, who had earlier tried with Shailendra Singh and KK. But the song “Kya Hua Tera Vada” picturised on Tariq in ‘Hum Kisise Kum Nahin’ (1977) was a big hit and earned Rafi many awards like Film Fare, National, etc. as well as became the top most hit song of the year. This song though not a class song but still has to be counted for it firmly re-established Rafi at the VERY TOP.

In fact, most of the songs listed above from movies like Sasural, Chaudavin Ka Chand, Dosti, Hum Kisise Kam Nahin, etc. won Rafi Saab awards, which in fact I would rather consider that these awards became prestigious after bestowing the same on Rafi Saab.

Similarly non Filmy Bhazans like “Tere Bharose He Nandalala” and “Paun Padun Tore Shyam” with music by Khayyam are two of the most popular Rafi Bhazans even today. Regarding non-filmy Gazals, Rafi Saab is still perhaps one of the most popular Gazal singers apart from Talat Mehamood and Jasjit Singh.

Rafi Fans may differ by the choice of songs listed above and may like to add / delete, but there is little doubt that the above songs proved the versatility of the Singer in singing different types of songs like classical, patriotic, bhazan, gazal, yahoo, pop / western, romantic, qawali, etc. and established a trend in Hindi film music. No wonder, all these songs are remembered even today and are trend setters. Any song we listen today perhaps can be traced back to one of Rafiji’s earlier songs. Rafiji’s songs have become bench-marks for any Singer.

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48 Blog Comments to “Milestone Songs of Rafi”

  1. Suresh says:

    Great article. Your article took me through the time period and touched every song foe every mood. I wanted to add three of my all time favorite songs of Raffi saab with three different music directors. First with SJ from the movie Seema, Jabh bhi ye dil udaas hota hai, secong with Madan Mohan ji from the movie Hanst Zakhm, tum jo mil gaye ho and the third with Naushad saab from the movie Mere mahboob the title song, mere mahboob tujhe. I believe these are thre of the most romantic songs one can sing……with very different compositions, but with one constant the greatest singer of all times, Mohd Raffi saab

  2. harish sethiya says:

    he was and will remain the king of playback singing.

  3. Sabahat says:

    ok 4900 is that including Rafi Sahab’s non-film Rafi Sahab has sung Punjabi,tamil,Bhajans,Naats,Naatya Qawalies ..the number goes mucj more then what u have mentioned here sir…..

  4. Rajesh Mehta says:

    rafi sahab ko bharat ratna kab milega ?

    aap aur hum kya kewal rafi song hi sunte rahenge ya kuchh aur bhi karenge, iss mahaan gayak ke liye?

    utho. jago, rafi sahab ko bharat ratna dilwawo…………jaldi, ab intezar nahi hota..

    jo kabil na the bharat ratna ke aaj unke pass bharat ratna hain, jo kabil hain bharat ratna ke unke pass aaj kuchh nahi…..kuchh to karo !!!!!!

  5. Rajesh Mehta says:

    rafi sahab khuda to nahi, lekin khuda ki kasam kisi khuda se kam bhi nahi.

    1. hosh ke sahil pe mujhko ab na aane dijiye………

    2. maine sau baar khayalo ke banaye khake……….

  6. Rajesh says:

    Mohd. Rafi, a name of God of Singers. I am a great fan of Mohd. Rafi. I love all songs sung by Mohd. Rafi. There is a attraction/deepest intention in rafi’s songs.
    When I was near about 15 yrs. I lesten rafi on Radio, I impressed from the voice of rafi. Since then, I started listening of rafi’s songs.

  7. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    Jawaid Bhai,

    With due respect to your sentiments, let me clarify that all the Rafi records have been meticulosuly counted and arrived at a figure of 4900 odd songs, which has been accepted by historians of hindi film music. For your information, Guiness Book has deleted both these records of Rafiji and Lataji of having sung more than 25000 songs. Please understand that I am not trying to prove anything here but only stating a fact. In fact, I am also a great fan of Rafi Saab and that is the reason, I am a regular contributor in this web site.

  8. JAWAID NASEEM says:

    with apology i must ask you that being an ardent lover of rafi sb. you have tried to uplift his name and his greatness or have tried to keep your words on the top priority? we love to listen about the greatness of rafi sb. irrespect to the fact that how many numbers he has sung, the numbers may vary from 5,000 to 25,000 or 26,000 to 28,000, the numbers of the songs do not make him “great”, what makes him greatest is his performance, command, soulful voice, dignity, humanity and some undisclosed qualities.
    never mind if he has sung only 500 songs but is it resistable ???? everybody either he is a fan or follower or a foe of this great legend will admit that every song rendered by him is a milestone itself. only 5 songs are more than enough to remember this all time great singer. Analysing him is not fair with some hard to accept words, no record as yet mention Asha ji as a singer with most numbers sung. Do you think the peoples and the research team of Guiness Book of world record are stupid enough to print some reluctant material without a prior authenticity???
    non availability of records do not disqualify his great work, he his holding the hearts of millions….. if not some of the records.. including the maximum numbers sung(as per your words).
    jawaid naseem

  9. M. Arshi says:

    Dear All…..

    Can u PPl Give me a Unique Website/Link/collection having All or Max no. of Rafi Saab’s Audio/Video Songzz…..

    I m also a singer with many National Level prizes in Vocal. I m a grat fan & follower of Rafi Saab.

    If u want to share it with me only…..Kindly mail me at

    I would be grateful…..

  10. Musharraf says:

    Rafi Saab is undoubtedly the greatest playback singer this sub-continent had ever produced. He surpassed everyone. From sad songs to cheerful songs, from romantic songs to patriotic songs, from light songs to classical songs, there is not an area that Rafi Saab had left untouched. Manna Dey, another versatile singer in an interview with a Bengali magazine “Shananda” once told about Mohd. Rafi, “Such a big artist was neither born since the last 100 years, nor will be born in the coming 100 years”.

    May God grant Rafi Saab eternal peace.

  11. Anil Cherian says:

    Hi all:
    I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this one but would like to proceed since this song has been mentioned:
    Here’s Mannada’s version of ‘jinhe naaz hain..”
    And here’s Rafisahab’s version:
    The clips demonstrates what sets Rafisahab apart from the rest; even from a singer as great as Mannada. Superbly as Mannada sings it, he is outside the scene, outside the actor, outside the situation. Rafisahab, on the other hand, simply sinks into it all… The same scenario, by the way, occurs with many (not all) of the tandem songs sung by both Rafi sahab and Lataji.

  12. narayan says:

    Yes Umaji Adaab Rafi !
    fully agree with ur views…
    Rafi sahab’s songs can be categorised into 2 parts one we may call it bread n butter song for the masses like…. Yahoo chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe, lalchadi maidanmein khadi, taarif karoon kya unki, chaudavin ka chand, baharon phool barsavo, kya hua ter vaada etc etc which come under popular category that most of the bollywood music fans of all generations can easily associate with…
    The other part is Classic Golden Rafi sahab songs which only retro music lover knows like for example ;
    Hum aur tum yeh shama
    tukde hai dil ke
    Kahin ek masoom si ladki
    Ek haseen shaam ko
    janebahaar husn tera bemisaal hai
    bahosho from Night inLondon
    Yaa dile diwana ruk jaathi
    etc etc and many more which Classic Rafi sahab lover knows and enjoys to the maximum…
    Infact in our Baar Baar Rafi the fan Club , Bangalore we are planning to have a program ” Rare Soft Romantic Classic Vintage Rafi – we remember ” for which we need inputs from all Rafi Bakts…

  13. binu nair says:

    RE . AWARDS: ITs better to be QUALIFIED FOR AN AWARD, but not get it —- than “getting” an award, not really qualified for.

    there are many in the industry who pay and get the awards – only to get more work and more moolah . (cash).

    they are the “banias” who are at work not real artists. its a long, very long list.

    mohd rafi was never in this league and it’s a proud moment for all of rafi lovers to claim this.

    binu nair, mumbai

  14. Anil Cherian says:

    Wonderful article, Guru Murthy sir. Please accept my compliments; waiting for more and more from you. It is a pleasure, reading your articles.

  15. uma sharma says:

    I shall collect the wonderful mesmerisng Rafi songs which no Rafi fan ever mentions.I am talking about his soft numbers . WAIT FOR MY POST

  16. Musharraf says:

    The song that I love most in the film “Dil dia dard liya” is ” Dilruba maine tere pyar mein kya kya na kiya, dil dia dard liya”. There is yet a marvellous duet in the film sung by Rafi Sahab with Ashaji. “Sawan aye ya na aye, jia jab jhume sawan hai”.

  17. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    I fully agree “Guzaren Hai” along with “Mere Dushman Tu Meri” are two wonderful songs, where unusually ‘Nafrat” is the main theme. In fact I have written an article on this topic “Nafrat in Rafi songs” some time back in the same web site. I have discussed both these songs in the article.

  18. Nasreen says:

    What about the songs from Dil Diya Dard Liya and Aadmi? “Guzre hain aaj ishq mein” and “koi sagar dil ko behlaata nahin”. If you listen to them attentively, you will hear the expression Rafi saab has put in. In Koi Sagar his voice is so sad and Dilip did a marvellous performance too, ‘Aaj puraani raahon se’ is also great. Well, I could go on and on, but it is impossible to do justice with words to the talent and genius of this great being that was Rafi Saab.

  19. A S MURTY says:

    Guruji, you come up trumps every time with a newer article on a newer topic. i read the article on the first day it appeared on these pages but could not post my comments earlier. but having read all the comments upto now, i realize that all has not been said on this wonderful topic that you have touched upon. i understand how difficult it must have been to leave out so many other songs that too classify to be milestones and in your subsequent comments too you have acknowledged that and also mentioned that almost all the songs of rafi sahab can be considered as ‘milestone songs’. how true. but then there are songs which can be the turning points in the ways songs were recorded, the way the lyrics were written and also those which drove the story writers and the songs that you have mentioned absorb all these qualities. also, they were indeed the feathers in rafi sahab’s shining cap and one possibly cannot include the thousands of other songs which are gems by all standards only because they may not have been immensely as popular too. your analysis of the number of songs of rafi sahab and that of other rafi bhakts too is again praiseworthy. like reading your articles, you know, so keep pouring them out.

  20. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Dear Guru Murthy ji,
    Once again a great article from your side. A very well conceived and beautifully composed article! Many many congratulations for the same.

    Ref. posts 23 & 24,
    A very good idea of renaming “Mount Everest peak” as “Muhammad Rafi peak”, but there is a discrepancy. Mount Everest has been conquered by many mountaineers, but no one has reached the peak of Rafi Sahab.

    Thanks and best regards.


  21. Musharraf says:

    Wonderful article. There is yet one song which I think has missed the attention of many. That is “Taqdeer ka fasana jaakar kise sunayen, is dil mein jal rahe hain armano ki chitaen” from the film “Sehra” This is one of the suberb sad songs of Rafi Sahab.

  22. Narayan says:

    Adaab Rafi !
    Guruji well written and analysed article true a mile stone in the career of Rafi saab..

  23. binu nair says:

    Moderator Sir : Since there are always New Visitors to this great site, it’s felt that a caption “Great Write-ups” to be provided with articles – at the right hand topics side.

    good that controversial topics are being kept out. please keep also “out” proxy writers who come around to the site.

    binu nair, mumbai

  24. santosh says:

    Dear Binuji,

    You are right that our rafi saab is as tall as mount everest.But you are mistaken that Mount Everest is so so so ……………. tall that one cannot see it when standing on sealevel.Similarly this partisan music industry, so called great singeers etc are on sea level and are unable to see mount rafi saab peak.

  25. binu nair says:

    VOCAL RANGE OF RAFI : MY GOOD FRIEND a first class magistrate and ardent rafi lover, telephoned me recently and said :

    Since no one has attained the vocal range of mohd rafi in music so far, the
    “mount everest peak” must be renamed as mohd rafi peak.

    i love rafi lovers for such imagination about mohd rafi saaheb.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  26. Prince Lalit Bhambhani says:

    Dear Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy,

    You have written a very nice article . Thanks . Rafi Sahab really was a benchmark for any singer . U wrote that ” Mohammed Rafi Saab has sung nearly 5000 songs ” but it is not true . The fact is that he has sung more than 25,000 songs in his life . Please do correction in ur article . His voice was perfectly suitable for any actor in the film either for a Hero or Commedian or any side character . He was a very great Singer & great Person in his life .
    According to Naushad — ” Kehta hai koi dil gaya dilbar chala gaya , Sahil pukarta hai samandar chala gaya , lekin jo baat sach hai woh kehta nahin koi , duniya se mausiki ka payamwar chala gaya ” . Rafi Sahab is Immortal .

    Prince Lalit Bhambhani
    Atlanta , Georgia ( U.S.A.)

  27. binu nair says:

    Re: post 2 of mr Prabhakar rao : Rafi fans must assemble at a common place say New Delhi at the Red Fort once every year and ask the govt. to honour mohd rafi and give him the place deserved by him in our history.

    50, 000 fans may not turn out in new delhi, but a few hundred – for the cause of golden era music and mohd rafi – would be worth it. it will the beginning of a musical celebration of sorts.


    one of mohd rafi’s most versatile song tuned by op nayyar :

    Phir miloge kabhi is baat ka waada karlo : from Yeh raat phir na aayegi : listen to this in solitude, u will be lifted to another world.

    binu nair

  28. Muhammad Kashif Khan says:

    Wonderful article. I think this is the best article I have ever read about Muhammad Rafi Sahib to whom I respectfully call “BAPU JEE”. He was genious in his voice.

  29. Priya Sanyal says:

    Why`s format is so much changed now,,,its like home to me n many like me,,,,earlier only 10 post used to appear,,,,that was much convenient to relate with every p[ost,,but now,,,all the comment -post apeears in a article,,and its impossible to relate with article and response….and also site has got much slower for other articles from archive…plz someone suggest…

    Anyway,,sory for being out of context but its indeed an article that I had been waiting for such a long to read and Mr Murthy has done justice with his homage to rafi sahab……..

  30. vinatha rao says:

    Hi Gurumurthy,

    I must say,this was a very well researched article and got to know more about the great singer.

  31. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    I can fully understand your predicament as a true Rafi Bhakt, you do not perhaps want to leave out any of Rafiji’s songs. I also experienced the same problem and had a tough time leaving out so many songs.

  32. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    Rafi Bhakts,

    Very interesting comments. With hindsight, I should have definitely added “Madhuban Me Radhika”. Any how, Rafiji’s songs were such that all his songs could be countted as mile stone songs, as each song had its own KHOOBI.

  33. Anmol Singh says:

    Hello Guru Murthy Ji,

    Great Article !!!

    I would like to add a few land mark songs from the 70s.

    – Khilona Jaan Kar – 1970
    – Ye Duniya Ye Mehfil – 1970
    – Mitar Pyaare Nu (Punjabi Devotional) – 1970
    – Nafrat Ki Duniya – 1971
    – Dukh Bhajan Tera Naam (Punjabi Devotional) – 1972
    – Aaj Masum Badaa Baimaan Hai – 1973
    – Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho – 1973
    – Teri Bindiya Re – 1973
    – Teri Galiyon Mein Na Rakhen Ge Kadam – 1974
    – Mein Jat Yamla Pagla Diwana – 1975
    – All Songs of ‘Laila Majnu’ – 1976
    – Kya Hua Tera Wada – 1977
    – Hai Agar Dushman – 1977
    – Parda Hai Parda Hai – 1977
    – Shirdi Wale Sai Baba – 1977
    – Adami Musaafir Hai – 1978
    – Chalo Re Doli Uthayo – 1979
    – All songs of ‘Sargam’- 1979
    – Dard E Dil – 1980
    – Mere Dost Kisaa – 1980
    – Maine Poocha Chand Se – 1980
    – John Jani Janardan – 1981
    – Chal Mere Bhai – 1981
    – Mere Desh Premiyon – 1982
    – Pooch Na Yaar Kya Hua – 1982

  34. Nasreen says:

    I think “Madhuban me radhika naache re” was also a song which could be included with the above as far as sheer classical skill was concerned.

  35. Bina says:

    This is a very well researched and documented article by you, Guruji, of Rafi Saab’s milestones through the entirety of his singing career.

    We got a lot of interesting information reading this article. Thank you for the same..

    Here I would like to mention the names of a few movies with hit songs of Rafi Saab between 1966 and 1980…you may please add/correct as necessary:

    1966 Teesri Manzil, Love In Tokyo, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi, Mera Saaya
    1967 Aamne Saamne, Ram Aur Shyam, Palki, An Evening in Paris
    1968 Neel Kamal, Brahmachari, Aadmi, Ghazal
    1969 Talash, Prince
    1970 Do Raaste, Tum Haseen Main Jawan, Humjoli
    1971 Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Caravan
    1972 Roop Tera Mastana, Pyaar Hi Pyaar
    1973 Loafer
    1974 Thokar
    1975 Mausam
    1976 Laila Majnu
    1977 Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
    1979 Sargam, Jaani Dushman

  36. Kapil says:

    Gurumurty Ji,

    Nice and informative article by you!

    Friends, in late 40’s and early 50’s, Rafi Sahab was used by various greats like HB,S-J, CR(Late 40’s), Hans Raj Behel etc .. But the real “milestone” and “Most Melodious” songs were the ones with Naushad, take a look:

    1. Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki – Dulari(1949)
    2. Is dunia mein aey dil walo, dil ka lagan khel nahi – Dillagi(1949)
    3. Tere Kooche mein armaano ki dunia leke aaya hun – Dillagi(1949)
    4. Ye Zindagi ke mele – Mela (1949)
    5. Raat rangili mast nazare & Mil mil ke gayenge – Dulari(1949) — Superb Duets with Lata!
    6. Aseer-e-Panjaye, ehd-e-Shabab karke mujhe – Deedar(1951)
    7. Meri Kahani bhoolne wale,Tera jahan Abaad rahe – Deedar(1951)
    8. Maan Mera Ehsaan – Aan(1952)
    9. Dil mein chhupa ke pyar ka toofan – Aan(1952)
    10. Mann tarpat hari darshan ko aaj
    11. O dunia ke rakhwale
    12. Tu ganga ki mauj mein, jamuna ka dhara


  37. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    Dear Rafi Bhakts,

    It is true that once both Rafi and Lata claimed that they have sung more than 25000 songs and their names also appeared in Guiness Book of World Records. But subsequently the number of songs were meticulously counted and Rafiji’s number came around 4900 songs, Lataji slightly less than that, KK around 3700 songs and Asha about 7700 songs. Considering 35 years of Rafi Saab’s career and assuming 28000 songs, then it works out to more than 2 songs every day, all 365 days, all 35 years, which is impossible. It has to be considered that,
    1. Rafiji went for more than 30 tours abroad for programs, each time more than 30 days.
    2. Sundays and holidays.
    3. Quantity of Rafiji’s songs in the forties were not that high.
    4. Rafiji also did not sing for about seven months in early seventies.
    5. In the mid seventies, the number of Rafi songs came down drastically.
    6. Also it should be considered that Rafiji would not have recorded any songs on certian days due to personal commitments.

    Infact, the current web site of lists about 3500 songs, but there are books where each song of Rafiji has been listed which gives a figure of around 4900 songs.

  38. M V Devraj says:

    Hello Guruji:A very fine analysis on Rafisaab’s versatality.Couple of observations from my end.One,Rafisaab’s matchless singing of classical compositions,be it ‘man tadpat’from Baiju Bawra,or ‘madhuban mein Radhika’from Kohinoor or ‘nache man mora magan’ from ‘meri soorat teri aankhein’.The milestone song of ‘man tadpat’ has become a benchmark for ‘malkauns’ raag singing in HFM. Second, Rafisaab’s singing for comedians like Johnny Walker or Mehmood.Rafi for Johnny is an unforgettable combination.Just to give an example,the song ‘jangal mein mor nacha’is a trendsetter and I cannot imagine anyone else singing that song for Johnny Walker in that manner.Thirdly,during the years Lataji was not singing with Rafisaab,Suman Kalyanpur had given some wonderful numbers with Rafisaab.I would imagine,the song ‘ajahoo na aaye baalma’ would be the milestone number.
    All in all, a thought provoking article,Guruji.Thanks.
    M V Devraj

  39. m.s.nadkarni says:

    shri guru murthiji,
    it would have been still wonderful if you had mentioned the following
    songs rendered by rafisaab.1) zindabaad zindabaad from moghal-e-azam
    2) mohabbat jindaa rehti hai from chengiz khan.
    thanks for ur artical.
    m.s.nadkarni./a true rafi fan.

  40. sabnavees says:

    yes gopinath ji you are true. including the orignal recordings, concerts,world tours etc the total number would reach around 26000.

  41. M V Jrishnan says:

    Dear Gurumurthyji,

    Brilliant work! It is extremely informative and well written. I agree with all the milestone songs you have mentioned but would like to add 3 songs which readily comes to mind as super duper hits. Chal Ud ja re panchhi from Bhabhi, Yaad na jaaye from Dil ek mandir and Ye mera prem patra padkar from Sangam. Thank you and eagerly waiting for your next article.

    M V Krishnan

  42. ashish kapoor says:

    Dear guru murthy sir, as usual a very good and informative article by you.
    a non filmy bhajan that comes to my mind is “mein gwalo rakhwalo maiya, makhan nahi churayo” . one has to hear this bhajan to get a feeling of the depth of rafi sahab’s voice. i listen to this bhajan very often and it only increases my desire to hear it again.
    ashish kapoor, , 09212587414, 09810087414

  43. gopinath says:

    You have a very good History of Rafi’s songs and hia singings……..BUT ………….somewhere you mentioned he sang 5000 songs. If I am not mistaken M.Rafi has sung more than 26,000 songs. No need to verify -take it from me.

  44. S kumar says:

    Thanx 4 a gud article on rafi

  45. JAWAID NASEEM says:

    a nice article and informative too for the peoples who know less about Rafi saheb’s work but I think some lines are missing to commemorate the work of Rafi saheb. I have a video of Rafi saheb’s interview saying that he has already sung more than 26,000 thousand of songs,the interview was taken sometimes in 1971, Shahid Bijnori also recommends the same in the programme of Royal Albert Hall. I shall be happy to know the exact or approximate numbers of the songs sung by Rafi saheb in whole.
    He is considered to be the legendry singer with the maximum numbers of songs ever sung by a playback singer, though Asha Bhonsle ji has sung more than 11,000songs according to her statement, should one consider that Asha ji has sung more songs than Rafi sb???

  46. I do agree 100% to your esteemed views sir, but where is proper valuation/ acknowledgement of it by the authorities, by the film industry, by the so called super stars whose names are mentioned above, by the co-artists and above all by the hon. Govt of India.
    In fact phenomenon of various awards is beyond the scope of understanding by a common man/common Rafi fan.
    Sir, I am quite disappointed over the approach of more than 50,000 Rafi fans who could do a magic if they would have decided but not, they are often busy in playing Antakshari and unnecessary comparission of Rafi sahaab with any other singer.
    If we all Rafi fans unite together with only aim to get Rafi sahaab properly honoured, no one would come in the way.
    Doesn’t matter how long we will be busy in appraising Rafi sahaab by writing long long articles, but that is not only work left for us.
    Jaago Rafi fans Jaago. Let us show and prove Rafi sahaab deserves more than what others already grabbed by hook and crook, by side tracking the greatness and ability of Rafi sahaab.
    Surajki kiranoko bade pardese dhakkar nahi rakha ja sakta, Surajke kirnoki Roshani har jagah failnihi chahiye.
    Rafi sahaab zindabad

  47. Sid says:

    Dear Gurumurthy sir,

    You have written a most wonderful article. Rafi Saab’s songs have been, are and always will the benchmark for all singers. Each song was excellent in every aspect, be it diction, feelings, expressions,style,etc. Rafi is immortal.

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