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Rafi and Johnny Walker

By Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi and Johnny Walker

Mohd Rafi and Johnny Walker

Rafi had a huge contribution in the success of Johnny Walker, the elegant comedian of the 50s and 60s. Most of the songs sung by Rafi for Johnny Walker were hits and caught public attention. Rafi even imitated the style of dialogue delivery of Johnny Walker. Johnny Walker acted both in lead roles in notable films as well as supporting roles in hit films of stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Dev Anand, and others and the different composers who composed music in those films including OP Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan, SD Burman, Salil Choudhury, Ravi, Naushad, Dattaram, Laxmikant Pyarellal and others composed catchy songs of Rafi which were picturised on the legendary comedian.

The songs in the film CID, composed by OP Nayyar, including “ai dil mushkil jeena yahan”, picturised on Johnny Walker were melodious. OP Nayyar’s composition for Johnny Walker in the film Aar Paar titled “are na na na na nana touba touba” was also equally hilarious and melodious. Rafi imitated the dialogue throwing style of Johnny Walker in the film in style. The song in the film Mr. and Mrs. 55, composed by OP Nayyar and picturised on Johnny Walker, including “jane kahan mera jigar gaya ji” became extremely popular. The song was as popular as some other of the songs of Rafi like “dil par hua aisa jaadoo”. The other songs were picturised on the hero of the film Guru Dutt. Rafi’s song in Raj Kapoor’s film Chori Chori composed by Shankar Jaikishan was also hit titled “all line clear”.

Johnny Walker became an indispensable part of the films of Guru Dutt and used to get important roles in the films of Guru Dutt. In the film Pyaasa, Rafi’s song “tel malish” picturised on Johnny Walker became landmark hit. SD Burman, the composer of the song modified his style of composition to suit the song of Rafi in the film. In the film Ustadon Ke Ustad, Rafi sang a very peppy number for Johnny Walker titled “maine kaha tha aana Sunday ko”, composed by music director Ravi. In Dilip Kumar’s Madhumati, Rafi’s song for Johnny Walker titled “jangal me mor nacha kisi ne na dekha” became super hit. Salil Choudhury, the brilliant composer composed the songs of the film and received the filmfare award for the best composer in the year 1959. The song “mai bombai ka babu” from the film Naya Daur was also successful. OP Nayyar’s composition for Rafi suited the style of acting of Johnny Walker and impressed the viewers.

Mohd Rafi and Johnny Walker

Mohd Rafi and Johnny Walker

The other songs of Rafi which became successful include “gareeb janke”, from the film Chu Mantar, where Johnny Walker played the leading role. Even the songs in the film Chaudavi Ka Chaand, composed by Ravi became extremely successful. Johnny Walker’s songs  in the same film “mera yaar bana hai dulha” and “yeh duniya gol hai” became extremely successful. Rafi’s song “nashe me hum nashe me tum” in Johnny Walker’s film Black Cat also became extremely popular. In the film Johnny Walker, there were few hit numbers composed by OP Nayyar for Rafi including “bekithiyaar hoke pyaar”, “bachke balam chal”, “mooh se mat”. Some of these songs were duets and Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle also sung well.

In the film Baharen Phir Bhi Ayegi, Rafi’s song for Johnny Walker titled “suno suno Miss Chatterjee” became extremely popular. OP Nayyar’s background beat was very melodious. Laxmikant Pyarellal composed very melodious songs for Johnny Walker and Biswajeet in the film Night in London. Most of the songs became super hit.

Johnny Walker was probably the only comedian who had given lips in so many hit songs of Rafi, even considering Manna Dey’s songs for Mehmood. The list of films where Rafi had sung for Johny Walker can go on and cannot be covered in one article.

The songs and the films should be restored and preserved.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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19 Blog Comments to “Rafi and Johnny Walker”

  1. Dr George P U says:

    Just hear the song. ” jungle mem mor nache “. and a music lover will ascertain that no one in the playback arena can modulate the words as our Rafi Saheb has done . Dr George P U

  2. Dr George P U says:

    The only singer in Hindi screen who sings for screen images in their ow n voice. In other words by hearing a song we can easily identify the actor who gives lip movements on screen. Dr George P U

  3. Dr George P U says:

    Mohamed Rafi. the one and only singer of India can never be replaced for next 100 years. Dr George P U.

  4. shammi says:

    A good article, and I can honestly say that I can’t picturise any other singer having the ability and talent and making the effort in going to the lengths that Mohd Rafi saheb did with matching his voice to the actors. Yet another example of the great man’s versatility. That’s the reason why the film directors in those days gave Johnny Walker a big slot in their films and gave him a musical number to do because they knew with Mohd Rafi providing the playback singing the song would be a success, how many comedians now or then were given that opportunity?

  5. Afsar Hussain says:

    A song “O dil walo matwalo,hum se shaadi karwa lo” is a memorable comedy song.I like it.

  6. naveed khan says:

    na funkar koi teri baad aaya, mohd rafi tu bohat yaad aaya.

  7. Iqbal says:

    A qawalli picturized on Johnny Walker in film Sanjog (1972) with beautiful lyrics song by Rafi sahib was another gem.
    – Ek sa chehre yahan sabko mila karte hain

  8. Harry Khubchandani says:

    Waah Moti Lalwani Saab,
    That was brilliant. I too estimated R.D. Burman to be around that age.
    Your article was wonderful.
    Mohd. Rafi was the perfect singer for actors like
    Johnny Walker, Shammi Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Bharat Bhushan, Chandrashekar.
    I can’t imagine Johnny Walker lip sync any other singer. It
    Just wouldn’t seem right.

  9. vinod mehru says:

    dear sauvik,
    khazana hai rafi saheb aur johney walker saheb ke combo ka, without rafi saheb ke gaane mein johney bhai lagta tha ki lip moment kar rahe hai.
    jeete raho.

  10. K. Ravishankar says:

    I am looking for the songs from the hindi film “JOHNNY WALKER”. Please reply where i can get them for downloading.

  11. girish prahalad says:

    tirchi nazar se yun na dekh from Eh Phool Char Kaante picturised on Johny Walker was a rollicking number

  12. jasbir singh zando says:

    bundle of kudos to mr chatterjee for this indepth writeup on rafisaab-johnywalker association…there was a song in film aadmi aur insaan starring dharmendra,feroze khan,mumtaz with johnny walker in a typical role where he acted on “bina rishwat mile naukri”….

  13. h krishnan says:

    Dear All,
    another memorable number on Johnny walker from film “door ki awaaz” withJoy mukherji in the leas had a song “Ek musafir ko duniya mein kya chahiye…”


  14. Moti Lalwani says:

    Thank you Souvik for interesting article on Rafi and Johny Walker, and their photograph together.

  15. Moti Lalwani says:

    Dear madan pahwaand others,
    The song, ‘sar jo tera chakraye’ from Pyaasa was tuned by SD Burman and not RD Burman. RDB was only 18 when the movie was released in 1957, and 16-17 when the song must have been tuned earlier.
    Sar Mr Abrar Alvi the writer, was the right hand man of Guru Dutt for ten long years. This is what he has said in his authorised biography:

    Guru Dutt chanced to see a maalishwala (masseur). The checked ‘lungi’ (loose garment tied around waist), the jaunty cap, and banian, the paraphernalia of glass bottles of oil . . all of it seemed so right for the characterization. And so the role came to life.
    As did the song ‘Sar jo tera chakraye’. Guru Dutt had picked up a bunch of 78 rpm records of English songs during his visit to England. There was one tune he liked a lot, and he decided to graft it on to Pyaasa. It was from the film Harry Black and the Tiger, which, though Guru Dutt did not know it then, would be released later in India. S. D. Burman, who was composing the music for the film, was asked to copy the song note for note. Of course, Dada Burman was very upset by the instruction. He came to me and said, “What is this that Guru is asking of me, public mujhe marega. Please explain to him, he listens to you, let me put in a little of my own tune into the song . . . change it a bit . . .’
    But Guru was adamant– the tune would have to be copied hundred percent in the mukhda at least. ‘Let him do what he wants in the antara,’ he decreed and Burman Dada had to be content with that.
    However, the music director waved his baton effectively enough to blend the tune with his own melody in such a manner that no one really noticed the surgery, and the song remains a hit even today. ‘In fact, later, when the producer of Harry Black and the Tiger visited India, he heard the song and not only failed to recognize the tune, but commended Dada on it’ Abrar laughs.
    (Source: ‘Ten Years with Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s Journey’ an authorized biography by Sathya Saran, Pages 71 and 72)

  16. ” Johnny Walker was probably the only comedian who had given lips in so many hit songs of Rafi, even considering Manna Dey’s songs for Mehmood. The list of films where Rafi had sung for Johny Walker can go on and cannot be covered in one article.

    The songs and the films should be restored and preserved. ”

    These words written above by you a ” clincher “.

    Your article on the rafi johny walker magic – was very pleasing to read. i truly appreciate your sincere heart which beats for rafi sahab to have picked these great luminaries and showcased their joint efforts – which have become folklore.

    expect more such ” dilsey ” outpourings from you – souvikjee.

    god bless you,

    ramesh narain kurpad

  17. sundeep pahwa says:

    sauvikji a wonderful article on rafi-johny combination,among the MDs
    mentioned by you madan mohans name has not been mentioned
    i can remember a rajender krishan written song composed by the
    ghazal king for the film bombay race course 1966 ‘ le gaya zalim
    ghadi samajh kar mera dhatkta dil sundeep pahwa new delhi

  18. madan gopal says:

    dear souvikji- a film -Mr.Cartoon MA-Johny Walker hero,shyama heroine.Mehmood was another hero in the film. songs – mein mein mein cartoon, baj raha hai bar bar dil ka telephone (solo Rafi), mera dil ghabraye, meri aankh sharmaye, kuch samajh na aaye re, ke tu mera kya lage ( duet with asha ).

    Also, it was recently in news that the song – tel malish,sar jo tera chakraye from Pyaasa was composed by RD Burman.

  19. mohamedparvez says:

    dear souvik ji iam surprised ,i could not find single picture of rafi saab and johnny walker ji together ,there combination can be compared as, shammida rafi saab,both were perfectley matched combination,i would like to inform every body that i have uploaded over 200 rare songs of rafi saab ,in you tube,kindly visit this links,take care

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