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Mohammed Rafi sang more than 150 songs for Rajender Kumar

By Dr. Souvik Chatterji

Mohammed Rafi Saab with Rajendra Kumar

Mohammed Rafi Saab with Rajendra Kumar

There can be a big debate which actor did benefit the most out of Mohammed Rafi’s singing Dilip Kumar or Rajendra Kumar. Mohammad Rafi, the eternal singer had sung more than 150 songs for Jubilee Kumar Rajendra Kumar. Superstar Rajendra Kumar had a deadly combination with Mohammad Rafi and Shankar Jaikishan. Whenever the three combined together they created history.

In Dil Ek Mandir, Rafi’s song “jahan koi nahi” and “yaad na jaye” were created in two different moods. Both the compositions of Shankar Jaikishan were marvelous. Rafi was as outstanding as Rajendra Kumar. The film was released in 1963.

Rajendra Kumar became Jubilee Kumar for having all his films doing business of more than 25 weeks between 1963 and 1966. Shankar Jaikishan was the leading composer composing majority of his songs. In the film Ayee Milan Ki Bela, released in 1964, all the songs sung by Rafi and picturized on Rajendra Kumar became smash hits like “main pyar ka diwana”, “aha aye Milan ki bela”, “to bura maan gaye”, “tum kamsin ho nadaan ho”, to name a few. In the same year, Rajendra Kumar’s Sangam had a masterpiece of Shankar Jaikishan namely “yeh mera prem patra padkar”. The song became the greatest hit of 1964.

The film Zindagi was also released in 1964. Shankar Jaikishan’s brilliant composition for Rafi namely “pehle mile the sapno me” mesmerized the viewers.

In 1965, Shankar Jaikishan created magic in Rajendra Kumar’s film Aarzoo. All the songs of Rafi touched the souls of the audience including “chalke teri aankhon se”, “aji humse bachkar kahan jaiyega”, “ai phoolon ki raani”, “aye nargise mastana”, to name a few. The exotic locations of Kashmir, the brilliant costumes of Rajendra Kumar and Sadhna, elegant singing of Rafi and brilliance of Shankar Jaikishan created magic.

The deadly combination continued in the film Suraj in 1966. All the songs of Mohammed Rafi became smash hits like “baharon phool barsao”, “gustakhi maaf”, “kaise samjhaun”, “itna hai tujh se pyar mujhe”, to name a few. Rafi was brilliant in the duet songs as well where Suman Kalyanpur complemented Rafi.

In 1967 and 1968, Rajendra Kumar’s films Aman and Jhuk Gaya Aasman became hit due to the brilliant music of Shankar Jaikishan. Rafi’s songs in these films like “surahidar gardan”, “aaj ki raat”, “o priya”, “sachcha hai gar pyaarr mera sanam”, “kahan chal diye” stormed bollywood.

Shankar Jaikishan composed music in the other films of Rajendra Kumar as well including Aas Ka Panchhi, where the title song was sung by Subir Sen, Dharti; where Rafi’s song “khuda bhi aasman se” became smash hit, etc. Rafi contributed in other films Rajendra Kumar also where Shankar Jaikishan composed music including Shatranj. The songs and the films should be regularly telecast in the private channels to reach the excellent music to the younger generations.

A big section of music lovers agree that had Jaikishan not died in 1971, Rafi’s dominance in bollywood music not suffered at all. In fact SJ’s tunes were brilliant and were specifically catered towards the likings of common mass. They were not that technical which could not reach the audience. Besides SJ gave tunes in around 10 films per years all along the 50s and 60s, the era when Rafi was unbeatable. RD Burman’s domination in the 70s would have got very strong resistance had Jaikishan survived few years more. The immortal lyrics of Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri also ended with the sad expiry of Jaikishan in 1971.

In the case of Naushad, his gharana was so classically oriented, that his composition for an actor had changed the destiny of the actor. Although Naushad and Mohammed Rafi‘s combination was associated mainly with respect to Tragedy King Dilip Kumar, he preserved a huge treasure of music for Rajendra Kumar as well.

Mere Mehboob, stands out as probably one of the greatest creations of Naushad ever in the history of bollywood music. All the songs of Rafi for Rajendra Kumar, including “mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam“, “tumse izhaar-e-haal kar baithe“, “ay husn zara jaag tujhe ishq jagaye” had revealed the royal elite culture of Aligarh and Lucknow in the form of shayari and ghazals. Rajendra Kumar and Sadhna were at their best in the film.Naushad and Rafi were sublime in Rajendra Kumar’s film Palki. The song “dil-e-betaab ko seene se lagana hoga” shows the class of Naushad.

Although Naushad utilized Mohammed Rafi to perfection in Rajendra Kumar’s Ganwar, he used Mukesh in major songs of the film Saathi due to pressure of the producer and director.

Rafi and Rajendra Kumar were blessed with the immortal creations of Shankar Jaikishan and Naushad in the 60s and the films and the songs should be preserved as rich assets of the nation which can be cherished for generations after.

Souvik Chatterji

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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25 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi sang more than 150 songs for Rajender Kumar”

  1. Tajir Husain,Mangalpur Varanasi says:

    Rafi sahab was the one of the most biggest singer in the world.And rajendra Kumar was a superstar.

  2. arun muke says:

    It’s true that rajendra Kumar became popular because of rafi and Shankar jaikishan.as such he was ordinary actor

  3. rafi saab is the king of Bollywood and best singer in the world

  4. manjit says:

    wau…really old is gold..md raffi saab is really great man….and song is awesom..

  5. bhalchandra shewale says:

    Mohammad rafi was the unique singer.and listening his songs makes the listener stressless and gives the heart full pleasure….

  6. Ashok Parekha says:

    Nice article indeed Souvikji. Matter of fact, Rajendrakumar’s debue film (as a hero) Vachan too had Rafisaab’s playback to him by. Besides, SJ and Naushadsaab, other MDs like Ravi used Rafisaab’s voice for Rajendra Kumar (Vachan, Gehra Daag, Gharana etc.), Madan Mohan (Khazanchi), Chitragupta (MaaBaap, Patang- need to confirm whether any Rafisaab’s song for Rajendra Kumar in this film). Laxmikant Pyarelal gave music in number of movies in which Rafisaab sang for Rajendra Kumar.

    When we are talking of Rajendra Kumar – Rafisaab association, I may mention Rajendra Kumar’s only Gujarati movie ‘Mehndi Rang Lagyo’ with Usha Kiran were as his heroine. Music of this hit movie was given by Avinash Vyasji, the father figure in Gujarti movies and Sugam Sangeet. Rafisaab landed his voice for Rajendra Kumar in famous duet, “Nain Chakchur Chhe Man Atur Chee Have Shu Rahi Gayu Baki Kaho Manjur Chhe” of this film.

    Regards
    Ashok Parekh

  7. salim k says:

    Rajendra Kumar said that Rafi Sahab was the Tansen of our era. All songs sung by the emperor for Rajendra Kumar are legendry.

    I like to point out 3 songs that dont get much mention and these 3 songs like many other Rafisaab songs are a lesson for other singers as to how a song must be sung.

    1. Daaman mein aag laga baithe hum pyar me dhoka kha baite
    2. Duniya Sharabai, duniya sharabi. kaun nahin pita
    3. Tere nain nashe de pyale

  8. salim k says:

    Rajendra Kumar said that Rafi Sahab was the Tansen of our era. All songs sung by the emperor for Rajendra Kumar are legendry.

    I like to point out 3 songs that dont get much mention and these 3 songs like many other Rafisaab songs are a lesson for other singers as to how a song must be sung.

    1. Daaman mein aag laga baithe hum pyar me dhoka kha baite
    2. Duniya Sharabai, duniya sharabi. kaun nahin pita
    3. Tere nain nashe de payel.

  9. vijay bavdekar says:

    THNAKS DR.CHATTERJI..I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU,THE NUMBER OF SONGS DOES NOT MATTER,BUT MOSTLY I FIND PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN SUCH STATISTICS..IN ONE STAGE SHOW ON 31ST JULY THE ANCHOR SAID WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE THAT RAFISAHEB HAS SUNG MORE THAN 30000 SONGS AND HIS NAME WAS INCLUDED IN GUINNES BOOK..SO IN THE INTERVAL I MET HIM AND EXPLAINED THE FACTS WITH A REQUEST NOT TO TELL SUCH THINGS WITHOUT SOLID PROOF…PEOPLE STILL DON’T BELIEVE THAT RAFI-ASHA DUET NUMBER IS MORE THAN 800…THEY ALWAYS THINK OF LATA INSTEAD OF ASHA…SO IT HAPPENS..AND BEING A RAFI FAN FROM CHILDHOOD I FEEL HONOURED TO TELL FACTS TO RAFI LOVERS..SECONDLY I DO NOT HESITATE TO MENTION HERE THAT RAFISAHEB’S VOICE BUILT UP THE CAREER OF MANY HEROS…THE NOTED LYRICIST-MUSIC DIRECTOR ONCE MADE A PERFECT COMMENT”RAFI ALWAYS ACTED THROUGH HIS VOICE”..MOST OF THE HEROS TRIED TO MOVE THEIR LIPS ACCORDING TO RAFI’S THROW OF WORDS AND BUT FAILED TO GIVE APPROPREATE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS..EVEN THEN THEY CARRIED ON WITH THE HELP OF RAFI..BUT DEV SAHAB,RAJENDRA KUMAR ,DILIP KUMAR,SHAMMI KAPOOR,SUNIL DUTT, DHARMENDRA,JOHNY WALKER,MEHMOOD ETC ETC SENSED WHAT RAFI ISSINGING AND THEIR MANIFESTATION WAS LIKED BY PEOPLE..I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF COMEDIAN JAGDEEP..IN FILM”JAWANI MASTANI” RAFI SANG ”TUM AISE BASE MORE NAIN KE AB KACHHU SOOZAT NAHI”,COMPOSED BY MUSIC DIRECTOR GANESH..IF POSSIBLE SEE VIDEO OF THIS SONG ..THE WAY JAGDEEP SHEW EXPRESSIONS ON FACE,MOVED LIPS AND ACTED ..SIMPLY MARVELLOUS..IT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF PLAYBACK SINGER-ACTOR UNION.THANKS SIR..WISHING MORE SUCH INTERESTING ARTICLES FROM YOU.

  10. shammi says:

    A great article, there were so many stars who the great Mohd Rafi lent his magical voice to but definitely for me Rajendra Kumar was my personal favourite followed closely by Shammi kapoor, and Dharmendra. There was something special about the way Rajendra kumar wooed and pursued his leading ladies through the lovely songs sang by Rafi saheb. The two were such a great combination and it’s not difficult to see why Rajendra Kumar’s films would be so popular especially when a lot of the films are remembered for their great music content.

  11. vijay bavdekar says:

    ACTUALLY RAFI-RAJENDRA-SJ TRIO STARTED CREATING HISTORY FROM ”SASURAL” 1961….”HUMRAHI”..1963….WHO CAN FORGET TERI PYARI PYARI SURAT KO……EK SAWAL MAI KARUN EK SAWAL TUM KARO… AND OTHERS FROM SASURAL..AND ..YE AANSU MERE DILKI JUBAN HAI…..WO CHALE ZATAK KE DAAMAN….DIL TU BHEE GA PYAR ME MUSKURA…MUJHKO APNE GALE LAGALO FROM HAMRAHI….RAFI-RAJENDRA COMBINATION WAS JUST LIKE ”DO JUSM MAGAR EK JAAN HAI HUM.

  12. Dr. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Vijayji,
    Thanks for the extensive comments.
    Actually the number that is mentioned in the article, that is more than 150 songs is just a reference showing the major contribution of Rafisahab in Rajender Kumar’s films. Rajender Kumar had acted in around 79 films, and in almost 50 of them Rafisahab did give playback to the Jubileestar.

    More important in the article is the mention relating to the quality of the songs. When the statement had been in terms of the second best quality songs of Rafisahab for Rajender Kumar after tragedy king Dilip Kumar, the emphasis was more on the quality lyrics, outstanding composition and brilliant singing of Rafisahab.

    There had been those actors in bollywood for whom Rafisahab had not sung more than 100 songs like Bharat Bhushan, Pradip Kumar or Guru Dutt, but their case also the quality of the songs of Rafisahab outshine the number of songs he had sung. For example, “chaudavi ka chand ho’ for Guru Dutt can feature in Rafisahab’s best 50 songs he had ever sung. Credit goes to composer Ravi Shankar Sharma as well for composing a landmark tune of that stature. Pradip Kumar’s songs sung by Rafisahab had always been of royal class right from “jo wada kiya ho”, to “dil jo na keh saka”, to “ab kya misaal doon”, to “man re tu kahe na dhir dhare”. Roshanlal Nagrath’s composition were as outstanding as Rafisahab’s singing and the words of Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhiyanvi and others. Rafisahab’s songs for Bharat Bhushan like “zindagi bhar nahi” or “man tarpat” has very high class in musical terms.

    The number of songs Rafisahab had sung for Rajender Kumar does not matter too much. What matters is the quality of those songs, and majority of those songs like “yaad na jaye” or “mere mehboob tujhe” stand out as the best songs composed in India and sung in India in the last 100 years.

  13. Nasreen says:

    Fabulous! Your article and the songs mentioned brought back such memories, golden songs from golden days lost forever. All that remains are memories..

  14. vijay bavdekar says:

    RAFI SAHE’S VOICE WAS LIKE A RAINBOW..HE HAD SPECIAL SHADES FOR DILIPSAHAB,DEV SAGHAB,SHAMMI SAHAB,JOHNY WALKER,BHARAT BHOOSHAN, RAJENDRA KUMAR AND FOR MANY OTHERS….IN OUR SCHOOL – COLLEGE DAYS..WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE MOVIES VERY OFTEN.. SO WHILE LISTENING RADIO CEYLON,BINACA GEETMALA..VIVIDH BHARATI..WE COULD GUESS FOR WHICH HERO RAFISAHEB HAD RENDERED A PARTICULAR SONG…FOR RAFI LOVER’S INFORMATION..I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION HERE POLITELY THAT SHAMMI KAPOOR HAS A MAJOR SHARE OF RAFI SONGS…190…… RAFISAHEB HAS NOT SUNG 25000 SONGS AS MENTIONED BELOW..BUT HAS SUNG 4500–5000 SONGS IN HIS CAREER..APRROVED FIGURE IS 4516..NOW CLIAIMS COMING UP ARE UPTO 5000…RAFI SAHEB GAVE PLAYBACK FOR RAJENDRA KUMAR IN MAA BAAP.-.CHITRGUPT…DUNIYA RANG RANGEELI.-.O P NAYYAR….AKELI MAT JAIYO.-.MADAN MOHAN..GEET…KALYANJEE ANANDJEE…GORA AUR KALA–L P…THE SONG FROM THIS FILM ”TERE NAIN NASHE KE PYALE INHE PIYENGE NASEEBONWALE..CAN BE CONSIDERED AS RARE SONG.

  15. u.k.achan says:

    One should listen carefully to the “Ganwaar” song Duniya Hase Hasti Rahe main
    hoon Ganwaar “;Rafi saab’s rendering is superb as usual and Naushad saab’b use of rhythem is also superb.It is true,rafi saab has given innumerable immortal tunes to both Dilip Kumar and Rajendra Kumar.Guzare hain aaj ishque main us makkam se,Madhuban main radhika nache,Sukh ke sab saathi,Badal gir gir aaye paapi papiha pukare,…the list is endless…long live rafi Saab.

  16. Dr. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Makbulji, Kuttysahab, Shekharji, Rangasahab, Aroraji, Abnaveesji, Bimanji, thanks a lot for the comments.

    Rafisahab had the great quality of entering into the skin of the actor for whom he sang the song. Rajender Kumar had a soft, husky voice. Rafisahab in addition to the classical punch that he gave for the songs also confirmed the softness in the songs he had sung for Rajender Kumar. If anyone hears the first line of the song “meherban likhon haseena likhon yaah dilruba likhon” in the film Sangam, he or she will understand that Rafisahab had sung the song for Rajender Kumar. It is very rare quality and gift of God.
    The same Rafisahab whenever he sang any song for Shammi Kapoor, had raised his voice and kept the loud accent intact to show the rock and roll andaz.

    Shankar Jaikishan had composed songs in almost 200 bollywood films. Rafisahab had sung almost 350 songs for Shankar Jaikishan, including solo and duets, and till date the songs had remained immortal. The publicity media should try to reach the evergreen songs to the new generation.

  17. Makbul Vora says:

    I think that Rafi Saab has created history in field of playback singing by giving more then 25,000 songs in his belt & given his voice to huge number of bollywood actor either hero or comedian or any character actor whosoever he may be.

  18. Ahamed Kutty says:

    According to me the songs of Rafi Saab for Rajendra Kumar is the
    best.I wish I could born in North India to hear the voice of Rafi
    Saab,to read more about him to see the films he has his lent
    his voice.I am a humble fan of him since I was 13 years
    (I would be before that age but could hear his song
    only when I was 13)

    Dear Souvik ji, thank you for your efforts.

    Best Wishes,

    Ahamed Kutty

  19. K P Hassan says:

    Dear Souvikji, thanks for your article which en lights the success of yesteryear hero like Rajendra Kumar with the help of Rafi Sahab’s beautiful songs. Yes, it is very true that a number of actors of our film industry got fame and success only with the help of sweet songs of their films which were sung by our great singer Rafi Sahab. As stated by Shri. R L Aroraji, I also eager to hear/read about Rafi Sahab more and more, because I am a mad fan of Rafi Sahab since my childhood.

    One day (before 1970)I was in ques in a barber shop of my native place. My turn came and sat in the barber’s chair. Suddenly I listened a song of Rafi Sahab from a radio of a Restaurant which located opposite of this barber shop. I jumped out from the chair and ran towards the restaurant and listened the song sitting nearby the radio. After hearing the song I came back to barber shop and again stood in ques awaiting my turn. Barber again scolded me, ” TUM PAGAL HO GAYA KYA ? ”

    While jumping out from the chair, the barber asked me, hello where are you going ? It is very funny to say that words of that song was like this – Kahan Chal diye idhar to aao ‘ from the film Jhuk Gaya Asman, a combination of Rafi Sahab-SJ-Rajendra Kumar.

  20. Shekhar Parashar, (Chandigarh) says:

    Beautiful,

    Rafi Sahab ke baare mein koi bhi jaankari hamare liye VERY IMPO.

    THANK YOU SOUVIK CHATTERJI

  21. Thanks Souvik ji for this beautiful article. I had made this request while commenting on the article ‘ Rafi Sahib- Manoj Kumar’ few days back.. The article gives a beautiful commentary of SJ- Rafi- RK and Nauhad- Rafi- RK combination. Apart from these two music directors Rafi- RK combination was there with LP, KA and Ravi to name a few, particularly with LP. The songs of Anjana and Aap Aaaye Bahar Aayee are the best examples of this team. There are many such songs with Ravi and KA as well.. I do not remember Madan Mohan or O P Nayyar being part of Rafi- Rajendra Kumar combination.. Many thanks once again !

  22. r l arora says:

    Dear Souvik ji
    bundle of thanks for sharing valuable information in respect of immortal and beloved singer Mohd.Rafi Saab having sung 150 songs for jubilee kumar Rajendra Kumar.

    I love to hear/read more and more abount Rafi Saab. I may tell you that I dont like to hear any song where I dont find Rafi Saab’s voice.

    I am senior citizen of 67 years and I hv been listeniing songs of Rafi Saab when i was just 10 years old. 57 years hv passed but i am still thirsty of hearing Rafi Saab’s voice.

    Kindly sharing information about our beloved Rafi Saab.

    thanks once again.

    kinds regards.

    r l arora

  23. sabnavees says:

    Yes souvik, Its rafi sahab who was the SPINE for rajendra Kumar’s success. The romantic numbers of RK are great success & even sought after till now. the number Baharon Phool Barsao is going to be the all time hit so long the YOUTH remain in this universe.

    What to tell about the song Yaad na jaye, beete dinon ki………….. a hauting melody for each & every person who attains old age. This number remains as a WALK STICK for that man.

    Pehele milethey sapnon mein , aur aaj samne aye, hai qurbaan jaoon…….. when I listen to this I miss a heartbeat.

    Kaise samjhaoon , badi naa samajh ho……….. really souvik aapko kaise samjhaoon….

    Am getting more & more emotiional. let me stop here Sauvik.

  24. Dr. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Bimaji, thanks a lot for the extensive comments. One of the important observation about Rajender Kumar’s songs sung by Mohammad Rafi is that the songs had huge class and quality. The lyrics of Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra and also Shakeel Badayani were very meaningful. Songs like “chalke tere ankhonme”, “khuda bhi aasman se”, “surahidaar gardan koel si hi awaaz” still make the music lovers enchanted.
    Other than Tragedy King Dilip Kumar, no other hero than Rajender Kumar had given lips in such quality songs of Mohammad Rafi Sahab which are rich musical assets of India and entire Asia.

  25. bimanbaruah says:

    Souvik Ji
    Good 2 read yr article on Rafi Sahab & Rejendra Kumar, both are most humble and great human being of Indian Cinema. Mohammed Rafi was the largest voice of Rajendra Kumar 1960s and without Rafi Sahab, RK’s film career was meaningless as a romantic hero. Rafi Saheb was the natural voice of Rajendra Kumar and supported his career from his first hit GOONJ UTHI SHEHNAI (1959) to SAAJAN KI SAHELI (1981). Catch of Romantic Rafi gems supported to a great extent making the actors’s six consecutive films hits between 1963 to 1966: Mere Mehboob (1963), Sangam(1964), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964), Zindegi (1964), Arzoo (1965) and Suraj (1966), which felicitated him the label of “Jubilee Hero”.

    Rafi Sahab also got maximum Filmfare Awards for Rajendra Kumar films :won two Filmfare Awards for “Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko Kisi Ki Nazar Na Lagee” from SASURAL (1961) and “Baharon Phool Barsao, Mere Mehboob Aaya Hai” from SURAJ (1966) composed by Shankar-Jaikishan ; also nominated twice for “Husnwale Tera Jawaab Nahin, Koi Tujsa Nahin Hazaroon Mein” from GHARANA (1961) composed by RAVI and “Mere Mehboob, Tujhe Meri Mohabbat Ki Kasam Phir Mujhe Nargisi Aakhon Ka Sahara De De” from MERE MEHBOOB (1963) composed by Naushad.

    I also became an ardent fan of Rafi Sahab for “Baharon Phool Barsao, Mere Mehboob Aaya Hai” at the age of 8 watching Rajendra Kumar’s SURAJ in early 1980s and the film was a memorable film of my Childhood.

    Warm regards to all Rafi Lovers.
    Biman Baruah
    bimanbaruah@yahoo.co.in

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