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Rafi versus Kishore- The Rivalry That Never Was

By: Jagat Kant Choudhary

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

It was inevitable. The Comparison. With two phenomenal singers like Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar dividing the lion’s share of the male playback music industry between themselves, it was only a matter of time before the big question would crop up- who is the better singer?

The huge fan following, bordering on reverence for the two singers coupled with the alleged preferences of certain music directors for one over the other, often triggered this question. However and fortunately so, while the fans swore by their respective idols, and still do, there has never been a clear polarization either in the fan following or the music industry as a whole.

Both were geniuses and produced one hit after the other. A listener could not completely side with one, without sacrificing gems of songs produced by the other. On the other hand a music director or a music company could fully side with either of them only at his or its own peril.

Rafi and Kishore share the microphone:

For all the debate that went around in the outside world, the relationship between Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar was amazingly healthy at professional level. In an era where some of the biggest stars of the film industry were hesitating or even refusing to stand in the same frame with each other, the Rafi-Kishore duo never hesitated to share the mike with each other.

The song “Bane chahhe dushman zamana hamara, salamat rahe dostana hamara” from the film Dostana in the year 1980, turned out to be a great hit. The song provided the film script with a perfect background to weave a story of fallout between the on screen characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shartughan Sinha.

Earlier in 1975 Rafi and Kishore produced the boyish and pacy duet “Chal Shuru Ho Ja…Sa Re Ga Ma” in the film “ Chupke Chupke”. The song was picturised beautifully by Hrishikesh Mukherjee on Amitabh and Dharmendra. The same stars were a hit together once again in Ram Balram in 1980, with the song “Ek rasta Aha Aha”, sung by Kishore and Rafi.

The K.L.Saigal influence

If there was one most important similarity between the two great singers, it was the fact that both were originals to the core. During the four decade long career neither singer was ever accused of imitation, nor did they ever cross into each other’s territories. This did not mean that they were never influenced by any singer, contemporary or otherwise. Like most singers of that time, this duo was also greatly influenced by the legendary Kundan Lal Saigal, who had already passed away by the time the two came to terms with the microphone.

While Mohd Rafi considered himself fortunate to sing just a couple of lines with Saigal, Kishore Kumar referred to Saigal as ‘guruji’ and would never sing his songs. Rafi for one, had a voice of his own and the little influence that Saigal had on him, showed only in the first few songs that he recorded. Very soon he would break away from the mould and take playback singing to a higher octave.

Kishore was younger of the two, born on 4th August, 1929 almost 5 years after Mohd Rafi. He, however, started his career as an actor in 1946, almost at the same time as Mohd Rafi launched his singing career. By the time Kishore Kumar recorded his first song in 1948 for Ziddi, Mohd Rafi had already established himself as an upcoming singer of great merit.

The maverick that he was, Kishore Kumar dabbled between singing, acting, writing and producing films and yet managed to keep himself aloft as a singer of great caliber and promise. Kishore Kumar tasted early success with “Qusoor Aapka” in 1951 with S.D.Burman. The song was a hit and was marked with the characteristic ” He He, Aha Aha, Ho Ho” that was to later become the Kishore Kumar trademark.

The Popularity Charts: Together on Top:

At a time when the radio was the king of entertainment, Radio Ceylon came up with the first ever countdown show of Hindi film songs titled  “Binaca Geetmala” with Ameen Sayani as the first and the most popular ‘Radio Jockey’ ever in India. The methodology of selecting the songs was quite transparent in the sense that the programme would take into consideration the sale of records of the song and also the number of requests by ‘listener clubs’ or the ‘shrota sanghs’. And week after week ,close to a million people would sit around their radio sets even as Ameen Sayani would take off with his customary “behnon aur bhaiyon….” No doubt, Binaca Geetmala was a pioneer in ranking the popular Hindi songs and therefore the popularity of the singers as well.

Between 1954 and 1976 a string of  Rafi/Kishore songs (solo/duet)  topped the charts.

Year Song Singer
1956 Aye dil hai mushkil Mohd Rafi
1957 Zara samne to aao chhaliye Mohd Rafi
1959 Haal kaisa hai janab ka Kishore Kumar
1960 Zindgi bhar nahi bhoolegi Mohd Rafi
1961 Teri pyari pyari surat ko Mohd Rafi
1962 Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par Mohd Rafi
1963 Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padega Mohd Rafi & Lata
1966 Baharon phool barsao Mohd Rafi
1971 Zindagi ek safar hai suhana Kishore Kumar
1974 Mera jiwan kora kagaz Kishore Kumar
1979 Khaike paan banaraswala Kishore Kumar
1980 Dafliwale dafli baja Mohd Rafi & Lata

If popular choice was any indication, the playback industry was ruled by these two prolific singers throughout the sixties and the seventies. Mohd Rafi stood the podium 8 times against the 4 by Kishore Kumar.

When it came to awards, and there were only a few in those times, the Filmfare Awards was the most coveted. It was instituted by the Filmfare magazine and had a mix of popular and critical flavor in it.

The category for Filmfare best male playback singer was introduced only in 1959 and upto 1968 it used to be a single award for both male and female singers.

Year Song Film Singer
1960 Chaudhvin ka chand ho Chaudhvin ka chand Mohd Rafi
1961 Teri pyari pyari surat Sasural Mohd Rafi
1964 Chahoonga main tujhe Dosti Mohd Rafi
1966 Baharon phool barsao Suraj Mohd Rafi
1968 Dil ke jharokhe mein Brahmchari Mohd Rafi
1969 Roop tera mastana Aradhana Kishore Kumar
1975 Dil aisa Kisine mera toda Amanush Kishore Kumar
1977 Kya hua tera vaada Hum kisi se kam nahin Mohd Rafi
1978 Khaike paan banaraswala Don Kishore Kumar
1980 Hazar Rahen mud ke dekhi Thodi si Bewafai Kishore Kumar
1983 Pag ghungroo baandh Namak Halal Kishore Kumar
1984 Hamein aur jeene ki Agar tum na hote Kishore Kumar
1985 Manzile apni jagah Sharabi Kishore Kumar
1986 Sagar kinare dil ye pukare Sagar Kishore Kumar

Again, between 1960 and 1980, Rafi bagged 6 awards against 4 by Kishore. In fact such was the rate at which Mohd Rafi was producing hits, that his own songs competed with each other at many annual awards.

Besides, with the exception of probably ‘Sagar Kinare’, the award winning songs between 1981 and 1985 were pedestrian by Kishore Kumar’s standards. Clearly the golden era of Hindi music was behind KK and in a world without Mukesh and Mohd Rafi, there was virtually no competition worth its name for Kishore Kumar to deal with.

Different Personalities:

At personal level, the two singers were very different people if not exactly the opposite. Kishore Kumar had the reputation of doing the unthinkable. He would tease a journalist by talking to the trees and plants, drive to a producer’s house and then shout at the top of his voice for the money that was due to him. He would invite a producer to have a chat with him inside a cupboard and then lock him inside because the producer had something to do with his income tax mess. In effect, he was such a busy man that one wondered as to how on earth he got the time to record those wonderful songs.

Kishore Kumar married four times and each one had a story of its own. Despite his so called miser and eccentric ways, the industry never doubted his tremendous potential to create hits out of the ordinary and to create master pieces out of the seriously good stuff. As many were the stories about him, name, fame and money came in equally good measure and Kishore lived life the way he liked and on his own terms.

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi in contrast, was all dedicated to his singing career. Life for him was limited, from home to the studios and back to home. He had an impeccable reputation in the industry and people swore by his name. He was known to sing for a token amount of one rupee for the producers who could not afford to pay his fees. Rafi was a happily married man with beautiful children in whose company he spent all the time outside of the studios.

As One King Treats The Other:

If Rafi and Kishore were the Lions of the music industry, they behaved like ones. Not only they respected each other but also never crossed into each others’ territory. Both were versatile and there were no limitations to their range and ability. While the producers and music directors did have their preferences for a particular singer, neither of them was ever accused of lobbying with them for work. Far from the one-upmanship norm of the industry, Kishore Kumar invited Mohd Rafi to sing for his directorial venture “Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi” and Rafi reciprocated the fraternal gesture by charging just a token rupee for the two songs that he sang for the film.

Interestingly, Mohd Rafi sang many songs for Kishore Kumar the actor. One of the most popular of these was the song Ajab hai dastaan teri aye zindgi from the film ‘Shararat’ wherein the music was scored by Shankar Jaikishan. The song which had two versions in the film became a huge hit and it once again underscored the superb control that Rafi had when he suddenly moved from the low to the high pitch.

When Rafi heard the song “Dukhi man mere sun mera kahna” he is said to have congratulated Kishore Kumar for doing such a fine job. Kishore Kumar was equally candid when it came to accepting his competitor’s prowess. On a number of occasions he is said to have remarked that only Rafi could sing the song. For instance, he sang all the songs for the film ‘Hathi Mere Sathi’, but when the climax song “nafrat ki duniya ko” came up for recording, Kishore Kumar put his hands up. “ Only Mohd Rafi and nobody else can sing this song”. So the song went to Rafi and it turned out to be the outstanding song of the film. In fact it was this climax song that gave the story line a meaning and offered Rajesh Khanna the opportunity to test his histrionics. The gentleman Mohd Rafi on his part, did not bother to know as to why only one song was given to him.

Rafi, the Yodeler

Kishore Kumar was a natural yodeler, having picked up the art as a growing-up boy, by listening to the Austrian records owned by his brother Anup Kumar. When he entered the arena of playback singing the music directors were quick to discover his potential and utilized it to the hilt. Kishore yodeled in the song “Piya Piya Piya Mora Jiya Pukare”  from “Baap Re Baap(1955)” under music director O.P.Nayyar and then in a number of songs from his home production” Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958), under S.D.Burman. Kishore went overboard with his yodeling in another of his home production Jhumroo (1961), for which he was the lyricist and music director and his fans loved it.

By this time he was established as the official yodeler of Bollywood not only because he was very good at it but because in most cases the songs were picturised on himself and he had no problems giving perfect lip service to his own songs, both comical and romantic. It is unlikely that any other established actor would have risked this much of yodeling lest he got typed. But Kishore was Kishore and he did what he liked.

Yet again, and as it would come as a surprise to many, if there was any competition to Kishore Kumar at yodeling, it was from Mohd Rafi. Mohd Rafi exhibited his yodeling skill in a playful song “unse rippy tippy ho gayee” with Geeta Dutt in “Agra Road” (1957). He then yodeled in a style of his own in few films including “hello sweety seventeen” (1959) with Asha Bhosle in the film Doctro Z.

If yodeling was an art, Rafi had a perfect hold on it. Take for instance the 1962 film “Reporter Raju” produced by Homi Wadia and music scored by S.Mohinder. The young khan, Feroze does a la-Shammi Kapoor as he jumps all over the heroine wooing her with the beautifully sung “Chale ho kahan kaho kuchh to meri jaan kaho”. Many more songs of Rafi in the same mood would follow in the next two decades but this was a very special song. Rafi does a wonderful yodeling in the song and when he ends the song with the yodel he sounds exactly like Kishore Kumar. The natural ease with which Rafi has yodeled in this song is marvellous.

It is strange indeed, that Rafi did not choose to yodel in more of his songs which had plenty of scope and situation to do so. Whether it was his own decision or the restraint put by the music directors, his fans definitely were deprived of a very interesting facet of this endlessly versatile singer. Or was it the “territory” that he willingly left for the others to explore and benefit from? The inimitable Rafi had a hundred different shades to add to the colour of his songs and yodeling was only one such shade which he used with brevity.

With Rafi opting not to, Kishore made yodeling his second nature and his fans loved it. Through the sixties and the seventies, Kishore Kumar moderated his yodeling and the actual “Yudl – Ay – EEE – Ooooo” was often replaced by yodeling of the lyrics itself. The result was magical and the fans were eating out of his hand. The yodeling start to the song ‘Ye dil, na hotaa bechara‘ from Jewel Thief (1967) ” gave Dev Anand just the right mood to create a perfect net for his lady love who drives the car slow enough to let him catch up with her, even as he merrily walks through the song.

Kitne Sapne Kitne Arman“, ‘Chala Jata Hoon‘ from Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972), and  ‘Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana‘ from Andaz (1971) gave Rajesh Khanna the perfect platform to generate a mass hysteria that swept the country and crowned him the first super star of Bollywood.

If Rafi gave up some ground to Kishore Kumar in yodeling, he more than made up else where. Quawwali for instance was Mohd Rafi’s forte. Rafi teamed up with his contemporaries like Manna Dey, to create the unforgettable “Na to Karwan ki Talash Hai”. And then came the ultimate grosser of all times “ Parda Hai Parda Hai” from Amar Akbar Anthony. From the word go, Rafi is all magic in this quawwali and the energetic and dashing Rishi Kapoor takes it to greater heights with his splendid performance on screen. No wonder when mid way through the song, Amitabh Bachchan pulls out  currency notes from under his jacket, many in the audience in cinema halls are said to have followed suit. Despite the presence of two other stalwarts like Kishore Kumar and Mukesh in the film, ‘Akbar’ walked away with most memorable song of the film.

The Charismatic Duo:

Kishore Kumar was a complete entertainer. He had a persona that the media loved to write about. He was a hit with his stage shows, not just for his songs but for his witty manners and the way he interacted with the audience. Rafi too drew huge crowds wherever he went. Only in his case, the greater reason for which people flocked from all over the place was slightly different. They came to ‘see’ him and to believe for themselves, that a man with the voice of God, actually existed on this earth!!!

Sri Pervez, the son-in-law of Mohd Rafi Sahab, narrated an interesting incident that occurred at a stage show of Rafi in Lucknow in the late sixties. Rafi was put up in the Clarke hotel there and when he came on stage, the crowd went berserk. One song after the other, and yet the appetite of the crowd was only growing. By the time the show came to an end the police had to resort to a mild lathi charge. Despite the lathi charge, however, the fans somehow managed to come up to the stage and mobbed a bewildered Mohd. Rafi. Suddenly a number of hands lifted Rafi in the air and for a while he literally floated in the air from one set of hands into another set of hands and he virtually went out of the hands of the organizers !

Fraternity wins over Competition:

The blank faced Kishore Kumar at the funeral of Mohd Rafi said the story of a lifetime bonding between the two legends of the music industry. For the pen crazy media that often mocked at his miser ways, Kishore Kumar was magnanimous with words when he paid tribute to his fellow singer. “ Rafi Sahab was a great singer. I stood no competition with him, he was a much better artiste than me. I sing in a couple of ways but he used to sing in hundreds of ways, that is why he will always be with us”.

His own sky high reputation as one of the best singers in the industry not withstanding, it needed a lot of courage to say what Kishore Kumar said. His words reflected the genuine appreciation that one great artiste had for another, irrespective of the portrayal by the media and the fans.

In the so called lean phase of Mohd Rafi during the early seventies and when much was being seen into his non-existing rivalry with Kishore Kumar, the father-son duo of Kishore and Amit were on a singing tour to London. Incidentally, Mohd Rafi was also in London at that time with his son who used to live there. Rafi invited Kishore and Amit to his house there and served them an exotic home made dinner. Throughout the evening Rafi and Kishore sang and recalled their initial days in the industry. Two of the best singers and two of the most wonderful human beings had crossed close to three decades in the music industry in admiration of each other.

The seventies belonged to Kishore just the way the 50s and 60s belonged to Rafi. But the Hindi Film Industry has always had room for more than one, even if the top slot has often been restricted. So when Rafi was on top there still were equally great names like Mukesh, Talat, Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor contributing handsomely to the rich oeuvre of Hindi film music. The same was true when Kishore Kumar hit it big time in the 70s.

There is an interesting story that the industry people have to say and which scoffs at all the stories about so called rivalry between the two giants of playback singing. During the 70s when Kishore was going great guns, emergency was clamped in the country and unfortunately he fell out with the powers that be on the issue of stage performances. As a result, Kishore Kumar was banned at the Radio and Doordarshan and not only Kishore but the producers and music directors were also hurt very badly.

At the same time, the stars were turning favourable for Rafi and he started giving hits. As an exemplary gesture, Rafi offered to take the cause of Kishore Kumar to the powers at the centre and even offered to do stage shows on his behalf. The Industry was stunned. Rafi was asked as to why was he doing such a thing, when suddenly the wave was going in his favour. The innocent and gentle soul that he was, Rafi is supposed to have said “ he (KIshore) is a fellow singer, it is his profession to sing and so why should he be punished for no fault of his “

And just because for a while, one of them was singing a few songs less than the other, some people unhesitatingly chose to give it the name of rivalry.

Competition yes, and it ought to be, in order to bring out the best, even if the names in question are as big as Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

Rivalry, NO WAY, NEVER.

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148 Blog Comments to “Rafi versus Kishore- The Rivalry That Never Was”

  1. Zafar Ahmad says:

    No doubt the Rafi Sahib is one of the greatest in singer in the history of sub-continent so far. I believe that no one born in the comming era and compete this singer.

  2. Fazal Ahmad says:

    Dear musiclovers,
    All gentlemen on this thread who are reading me, I want to bring something to light. You must have noticed that the kind of songs and music that are being made today. Its a shame. Quality music is dissapearing.
    I think the only way we can help improve the quality of music today is to educate our children with good quality songs. We should expose them to the khazana of music that our predecessors legends have left us with . I have noticed that youth today does not even know about legends like Rafi saab, Kishoreda and Mannadey. I mean, literally young generation doesnt even know the “names” of our legends. Infact, they find it old-fashioned when an old melody is played in front of them. Why? Thats because they have never been taught about these legends by their parents. Its very shameful.

    I think the only way is to expose our children with this quality music at an early age, so that they develop an interest and love for these legends. Its then that they would be able to understand that whats quality music.
    I hope all of you gentlemen here are with me for this cause. If we want to preserve our music and prevent it from getting effected by westernization then, we all need to do our duty and propagate this into the life of today`s generation.

    Thanks and Adaab!
    Fazal

  3. t k nandi says:

    post 87 & other kk vakt posts. i agree totally dat kk is d greatest singer,but its seen dat even 5 yrs old r singing kk’s any song ezyly.saw shaan’s comment dat kk’s song ezy 2 sing but he’shesitant 2 sing mr’s song becos of mr’srange & skill.seen binod rathor’s comment on zee tv saregama dat he was a big fan of kk but now he is listening mr’s songs;’saat suro se kaise khele jate hai” o sikh rahi hai.i hope no more comments rnecessary.

  4. Hans says:

    you wrote
    “KK too was highly professional”

    by professional if you mean money-minded or mercenary then certainly kk was professional. but, otherwise he was far from that. he had no dedication to his work. just like his mentor rdb, they both combined to destroy hfm. they had a deep-rooted sense of casualness. consequently, very few of their songs had any quality. but, in case some looked melodious, that too was just limited to mukhdas, because they would run out of patience by the time mukhda was completed. this was the most unprofessional pair hfm had known till then.

    “rafi sang too many songs and many are so similar. KK sang fewer songs but there was variety”

    yes you are right, the songs of rafi were similar because there was quality and only quality. kk’s songs varied as they were ok, average, bad, more bad, worse and trash.

    just saying that does not make sense and you have to give examples. if kk had variety or quality, his plight would have been better.

    “KK could also sing Bhajans and Quwalis but Rafi dominated this area.”

    that way every street urchin can sing any type of songs, but how well he can sing is the question. good mds looked for quality and they went for rafi and that is why he dominated this area like any other area.

    “there were only around 10 songs KK sang for Salil which were highly difficult for Rafi to sing. What more can we say about KK. Just listen to all the Salil songs KK sang and you will know what I am talking about.”

    i had given some facts in reply to your ‘guzar jayen din’ rhetoric. you want others to listen to these songs, have you ever listened to them yourself. then can you list the ‘around 10 songs kk sang for Salil’ and how did you test that they were difficult for rafi.

  5. Hans says:

    shikore [post 85]

    you have not replied to my post, most probably because all your theories have been deflated. nevertheless, i would still go on to deflate your other baseless stories.

    you wrote
    “I am sure if KK was not busy with his acting career, he would have been the chosen singer by all the composers who used Rafi during this time.”

    this has been another mindless and baseless theory propagated by kk fans just to defend his failure to make it to the higher grade for 23 years. facts tell us otherwise. besides roles in two films as child artist in 1935 & 36 he started with small roles from 1946. in 8 years upto 1953 he did minor roles in 10 films and they were all ‘b’ or ‘c’ grade films which take either years or just a few days to complete. this is the status of his being awfully busy in acting in his initial years.

    during this 8 year period he sang 71 songs as per his database. of these 20 were from his films, 13 were recorded by sdb and the remaining 38 by other mds. so it is clear that he was initially tried by various mds, but was found deficient.

    from 1954 his acting carrier took a different turn. though he was still in b and c grade films yet he got some lead roles and some supporting roles. 1954 to 58 was his busiest period. he got 31 films in this 5 year period. but that cannot be also said to be awfully busy, because small roles in such films dont take much of your time and people have done 20 to 30 films a year without feeling fully occupied.

    on the song front, in 1954 he got 20 songs out of which 10 were for his own films 3 from sdb and the rest 7 from other mds. here his small honeymoon with other mds ended and he was not offered songs from this time onwards upto 1965 by mds other than sdb. though other mds recorded songs for kks films and they were all awfully busy mds yet they did not find him fit enough for other films.

    now everybody knows that rafi playbacked for 11 songs of kk. but, very few people know that kk had to face the ignominy of being playbacked by batish. this happened in 1956 film bhagambhag [md – op nayyar] produced by bhagwan and in which kk had a big supporting role, though the hero was bhagwan himself. in this film out of the 10 songs kk got only 2 duets with rafi and 3 other songs were picturised on kk of which two were sung by rafi and one by batish. the one sung by batish was a semi-classical type duet in which rafi was singing for bhagwan. so kk was not considered fit enough for this and batish was brought in.

    can there be any other proof of kks status in those times. this was the same op nayyar who got rafi for ‘man mora bawra’ in ragini in 1958. for this though some kk fans spread canards that op punished kk for being late. some also spread canards that kk initially protested rafi’s singing of this song but later when he listened to rafi’s recording he agreed. i am telling this to expose these canards and also to show that he was in no position either in 56 or 58 to dominate recordings or refuse other singers to playback for him. what to talk of rafi, even batish had sung for him in 1956.

    in the light of these facts it is for you to show how kk was awfully busy in acting. though none of kk fans have categorically claimed that kk refused other mds to sing songs due to this nor has kk himself claimed this.

    i will continue with other points in my later posts.

  6. Imran says:

    Mr Bhagchandani,

    You assume that Rafi sahib would have dominated the 1980’s but can never present it as a fact because he had passed on by then thus indeed this view it’s an ASSUMPTION of your imagination!.

    Pug ghungaroo bandh can be partly described as a qawwali…here lies the genius of Kishoreda that he could sing songs that have no official title ie “bhajan, qawwal etc….

    He was a creator forever experimenting where as MR was rather predictable.

  7. Imran says:

    Post 87,

    There is nothing self-contradictory about respect an artist who one is not a fan off!

    Kishoreda wasn’t a man much interested in singing religious songs as he once himself commented in an old interview. Rather he was an entertainer and did a great job off it!

    I do consider many of his songs to be “classical” but then we’d disagree on what this term means! For me and million’s of others Kishoreda was indeed the best and always will be!

  8. Ruchir says:

    both r great singers. But the unique ability of Rafi to match the voice of the actor on the screen is seen in nobody to that extent. He would always ask abt who was the actor & accordingly modify his voice & style of singing.
    besides he was the only singer with such a high pitch voice as in ‘O duniya ke rakhwale’ & many other songs without sounding shrill or harsh. His voice had the unique softness which kk didn’t have. He was also agood human being

  9. Makarand Saraf says:

    Dear All Kishore Fans who are contributing on this forum -A BIG THANKS TO YOU.It shows that you do not have anything worthwhile to write on your so called ‘Better Singer than Rafi”-Mr.Kishore Kumar.You have time and again showed us and proved to us beyond doubt that there actually is nothing home to write about Kishore -The No.of articles on both these forums is a testimony to that and the Kishore forum is inactive since December 2010, so yes you all were expected here with your hate phrases on our beloved Rafi-we know very well that it is the only thing that you can do very well but without a final result which can prove ur genius’ supremacy.

    Anyways i am posting here a copy of the comment that i had posted on your forum in response to Neel’s article regarding Kishore’s ghazals on 30th May 2011, i got a response to it on June 9th 2011.He has no doubt tried very hard to prove his masters supremacy over rafi saab and thats where you all lose the plot- you know in your hearts that what we are trying to say cannot be proved and its a fact that your guru did not have the ” Vocal Efficiency” of rafi that’s why you have to try all the harder to prove your point.Neel states names of films in which KK has done playback during the days when only Dev anand considered him for playback-and the list is so short that it cathe numbers can be counted on the fingers of your hands.Thats one point for his so called greatness,next he talks about Naushad and Salilda regretting not gving enough songs to KK in 50s and 60s-Now where else can you get such so called facts other than on the KK forum.So here is the comment i posted to Neels article-let us see what these KK ,fans who are out of jobs on their Home Turf , have to say in reply to my comment.As a final word yes there can be no rivalry between Rafi and KK -Well Rightly said rivalry is only among equals -You cannot compare a Torch (Kishore) with the Sun(Rafi Saab) .Period.

    Thanks for providing us an insight into the ‘Ghazals ‘ sung by Kishore Kumar.You started this article on the note of sharing the ‘Genres’ which are famous for not being able to be sung by Kishore but you end up only focusing on the ‘Ghazals’ ,maybe you will post some other articles to prove your point.Or maybe you will not be able to because you will not find any quawwalis ( please do not tell me that ‘wada tera wada’ is a quawwali- its only having the theka and the picturisation of a quawwwali),any religious songs,any bhajans and classical songs.
    You mention that Kishore was the most versatile of singers in the hindi film industry!!!! -and he could not sing all the above mentioned genres of songs-more better all music directors of the golden period of hindi film music did not find him worthy of even thinking about him for singing all these type of songs as well as the type of songs that you consider were his “Domain”-the funny songs.They chose him to sing these funny songs only when he himself was in front of the camera-no playback mate-so no singing for others.
    This was the scene for 23 long years 1946- 1969 with all music directors-A Very Versatile Singer Indeed!!!! Your knowledge about the Aradhana songs is like half-baked cakes -SD fell ill critically during the making of Aradhana and thus RD came into the picture-subsequently Kishore entered the scene,the Rafi songs were already recorded earlier.You mention the use of Kishore by LP -yes LP did use Kishore but he used him as a weapon against RD -Removing a thorn with a thorn.Kishore got the choicest of songs from LP and the most different ,imaginative and creative songs which actually showed Kishore as a far better singer than he actually was-But still all Kishore fans are only Dumbstuck about Kishore songs with RD,in fact RD lost out to LP bcos of his overdependency on KK.And yes if you have got ur facts right you will not find any worthy songs from LP with Kishore except the songs from Karz.
    You say this in you article as a matter of Pride “Only one minor hitch I can think of and that is no fault of KK. It’s been said before that whenever KK felt uncomfortable with a particular word(s) in a song or if he didn’t understand it, he would ask for it to be changed so he could convey the lyrics with the right emotion”.

    If this is true and we all know that it is 100 percent true (He lost out the Title song of Ek Mahal Ho sapnon ka to Rafi -cos the Producer of the film and Not the “Music director” of the film found him incapable of being able to render the song as needed with the emotional content and the singing intricacies) ,still according to you and so many countless others like you-”He is the Most Versatile”-but needs a little bit of toning down here and there to suit his singing capabilities.Isnt that what you want to convey?

    Better luck to you for your next articles.Hope you find something worthy to write next time.All the Best.

  10. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Post 87:

    Hum kahen to wo assumption hai, aap kahen to sach hai. Wah Imran Bhai, what an argument. Anyway, the article of Telegraph was not the opinion of the writer, he just brought out the facts. The fact was that by 1980 Rafi was back at top as is evident from the number of hits he gave in 1979-80 (highlighted in the article).

    In my earlier post I did say that Kishore’s voice had something distinct, the songs you mentioned (Pag ghunghuroo bandh etc.) are great.. Kishore specials. But he had limitations. And you have to see the overall picture. You have see the total gamut of songs in the entire career of both the singers. How can a singer who has no noteworthy contribution (of songs) in ghazals, qawalis, bhajans, semi classical genres be called better than the one who has many many gems in not only in above cited genres but in almost all.

    Your statement “I don’t find Rafi sahib’s voice to be distinctive whatsoever yet respect to him for singing great songs” is self-contradictory.

    Thank You,

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  11. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Shikore Shumar (Post 85):

    If you find that all that I wrote in my earlier post as ‘without clue’ and confusing then the problem is entirely with your ‘understanding abilities’. But one point I would like to make: Your statement that music directors did not give many songs to Kishore Kumar due to his pre-occupation with his acting assignments is factually incorrect. It is the other way round. He took up acting assignments because he was not being offered songs. Understood? Get your facts right. Do you mean to say that mastroes like Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan, Laxmi Kant Pyare Lal etc. were stupid not to have discovered the talents of Kishore Kumar?

    All other distortions you have written in your post are not worth responding to.

    As usual you have made some sweeping statements without an iota of logic. Till date you have not addressed any point that have raised in my various posts.

    But I did not know that your lack of understanding and confusion is so deep rooted in your psyche that you will even distorted my name. This is highly objectionable. Learn to address people in public forums.

    Thank You,

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  12. the comparision between mohd rafi and kishore kumar is not practically possible and one should not attempt and waste time in this..enjoy songs of both the great singers with love and by admitting the fact that rafi is no 1 to 10 and all othe singers including kk etc follow after that..kk himself was honest in admitting the fact that rafi is much better than him and is”the best”–the reason being that he himself took rafi’s playback, had he himself been so versatile , he would not have–but no, kishore kumar was an honest music lover who understood the music and knew his limitations very well unlike the one who distorts the name of kishore kumar and uses it as his own name,looks like a joker- writes just for getting kick out of it..

  13. Ali says:

    Mohd rafi was there from 1940’s to till date, you said that kk was at the top from 1970 to 1977,but there real think is that rd was using kk more than mohd rafi but in 1977 rd back again to mohd rafi and his last film he used mohd rafi more than kk(shaan) kk never was at the top mukesh ji got awards in 1970’s and he gave play back to big B,kk never made a superstar but many superstars said they are because of mohd rafi,opn is one of the top music director in bollywood without using lata ji,naushand is also without using kk(only one kk song) when kk actors used mohd rafi voice the song was super hit but when mohd rafi actors used kk voice they lost there place…..
    In list of votes there are 82 people from Indian music just count the votes for all 81 and mohd rafi alone we will find that mohd rafi got more than all together …

  14. Imran says:

    Post 83,

    It’s a mere assumption for you to suggest that Rafi would have dominated the 80’s where as i insist that from the early 70’s onwards until Kishoreda’s death he was the main man regardless of Rafi’s absence or not! This is not to discredit MR for i agree that in movies such as “Amer Akber Anthony” and “Hum Kisi Se Kum Nehin” to name just two he did deliver the goods, tu is thara meri zindagi mein shamil hai from “aap tho aise na thay” is another latter year Rafi gem….

    Kishoreda did have limitations in the sense that he couldn’t perform raag yet being a genius we see how versatile he was and open to experimenting, the disco qawwali pugh ghungaroo bandh from “namak halaal” could only be delivered by the great kk and no one else.

    Without the contribution of Kishoreda through songs like”kora kagaz hai yeh mun mera” one rajesh khanna would never have been the great 1970’s superstar but just another face, prior to him dev anand similarly benefitted. I don’t find Rafi sahib’s voice to be distinctive whatsoever yet respect to him for singing great songs!

    The article from the telegraph that you have posted is simply the view of the writer not divine revelation that we are compelled to accept!. I can easily insist in a newpaper that the planet is square, it wouldn’t make it a fact!

  15. arun says:

    he is a god for me

  16. Shikore Shumar says:

    Imran, looks like you are in the firing line now. Bhagoo is back in action with his long, confusing and totally Rafi biased writings. He has no clue what he is talking about and is just focusing all his energies on how great Rafi is. He should realise there are other better singers too like Kishore and should appreciate his songs too. All this RDB, SDB preferring KK is nonsense. These composers were highly professional and they knew KK knew the pulse of the audience and KK had the knack of suiting all the hero’s on the screen. I am sure if KK was not busy with his acting career, he would have been the chosen singer by all the composers who used Rafi during this time.KK too was highly professional. It is quality and not quantity of songs. Rafi sang too many songs and many are so similar. KK sang fewer songs but there was variety. KK could also sing Bhajans and Quwalis but Rafi dominated this area. Kishore sang his best with a tough composer like Salil Choudhary who initlally did not consider Kishore for his songs but eventually had to concede due to the brilliance of the way Kishore sang his songs. There were only around 10 songs KK sang for Salil which were highly difficult for Rafi to sing. What more can we say about KK. Just listen to all the Salil songs KK sang and you will know what I am talking about.

  17. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Forgot to mention that the article of Telegraph, Kolkata whose excerpts I copy-pasted in my last post was published sometime in 2005.

  18. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Imran (Post 79):

    Your reply is as evasive as is expected of a mis-informed and ignorant Kishore fan.

    Thank you very much for realizing that infusing sense in a biased Kishore fan is equal to delivering a tedious lecture, but trust me I have no qualms in taking that path. Also it was nice to know that you are aware of the fact that Rafi sahib worked with many other music directors. I wish you use this knowledge more creatively and objectively (rather than resort into an ill-conceived rhetoric) and analyze as to why Rafi saab in his prime time gave us such diverse gems in all possible genres of film music that one can think of than any other singer? Why Kishore could not sustain his dominance beyond 6-7 years (from 1970-1977)? Rafi had been unchallenged for nearly 20 years. Not only that he came back with a bang in 1977 and was on his way to the position he actually belonged: No.1. In this regard let me copy-paste below an excerpt of an article published in ‘The Telegraph’ Kolkota:

    “…… and finally, in 1977, Rafi proved once again that (he was) Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin. In the film, all four songs sung by Rafi became superhits: the title qawaali, Kya hua tera vaada (which fetched him the Filmfare Award after a break of nine long years), Chaand mera dil and Yeh ladka haaye Allah.
    The year also saw the rage of Laila Majnu (in which he sang all the songs of rising star Rishi Kapoor, too) under the baton of Madan Mohan and Jaidev; and the third and second ranking in Binaca Geet Mala finals that year were: Meri Mehbooba (Dharamveer; Laxmikant-Pyarelal) and Pardah hai pardah (Amar Akbar Anthony; Laxmikant-Pyarelal.) In 1978, LP’s Apnapan got Rafi a Filmfare nomination though eventually the song landed up with a lyric award (Anand Bakshi) instead ? Aadmi musaafir hai. And now look at 1979-80! Just when Rafi had made a complete comeback he had gone! Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave him all seven songs in Sargam (four solos, three duets with Lata) and walked away with the best music award, all seven being top of the pops. They gave him four out of six in Suhaag (the other two being Asha) and they have been raging through the Binaca Geet Mala. They gave him five out of six (the other being Lata) in Aasha and did well enough.”

    Needless to say that writer of above piece is far more knowledgeable than you. So it can safely be said that your contention that Kishore was gradually taking over in late seventies is not correct. It is the opposite that is true: that Rafi was gradually taking over and by 1980 he was almost there. As far as Kishore dominance in eighties is concerned, it was obvious, with Rafi gone, with no competition, that was bound to happen. That is why I consider 80s dominance of Kishore out of this scope of discussion. So in real sense Kishore dominated the scene for only 6 to 7 years. And that credit certainly goes to him. To upstage a giant like Rafi is an achievement no one (no Rafi fan) has ever denied.

    It is to be admitted that Kishore’s voice had something special, a natural flair and spontaneity, but at the same time it had limitations. Once his entire range was fully used by R.D Burman, the creativity and growth factors suffered. R.D. Burman also had to go back to Rafi. In fact R.D Burman under-utilized his immense talent by over-depending on Kishore. In the process during the Kishore-era, many genres like bhajans, qawalis, patriotic songs etc. were on the verge of being ‘extinct’ as non of these genres were Kishore’s home-ground.

    And finally.. coming to your point of ‘who is more popular?’, I think you have been suitably replied in Post 80 by Mr. Ahamad Kutty.

    Thanks,

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  19. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Ref.79
    kk slapped the gentleman who tried to insult rafi saab.that
    slapping is meant for people like you.

    as far as voting is concerned,”the most loved people of the
    world” in musicians category,rafi saab got more than 1,13,000
    votes compared to kk’s less than 20,000 votes.

    in the web site of kk, one gentleman was commenting as one
    kk fan is doing good in rafi saab’s site,so we all should visit
    there and support him! what a shame?you people do not have
    any other thing to do?at least to write some good things about
    kk instead of writing foolishness?

  20. Imran says:

    Post 77,

    As i have stated that people’s taste changes with generations and yes the Rafi v Kishore comparison is indeed similar to the Dilip/Amitabh one in the sense that they have both dominated the movie industry so get over your self-righteous attitude though i realise that Rafi fans suffer from a superiority complex.

    Morever, i have not claimed to be an expert on Indian music so again you’re jumping to childish conclusions, emotions acting without the benefit’s of intellect!. I am fully aware of the fact that Rafi sahib worked with many other music directors so you need not deliver long and tedious lectures on this issue, the fundamental point is that Kishoreda has million’s of fans that your likes have difficulty in accepting because in your mind MR should never be challenged, please get over your MR bias!

    You obviously have not heard of the word “image” like Amitabh has a reputation of making action movies yet has worked in social ones too! A policeman has the image of protecting the public yet there are many corrupt ones, similarly Kishoreji has an image of singing pacy pop songs and Rafi sahib sad ones though both have performed otherwise too.

    Rafi sahib did perform well in the late 70’s but was gradually being taken over by Kishoreda, the maestro! It would be wonderful if we could have a vote on the subject to settle it for once and all, ask the current generation which one they prefer and you should receive and accurate response.

  21. Ahamed Kutty says:

    we should be thankful to the music directors and singers
    who brought back the golden era of hfm after 1987.though
    the rdb era had given some changes in the taste of music,
    it could not last for a long time as music lovers could not
    tolerate the western and speed music.as far as indian music
    is concerned it has a deep root and nothing can beat it.

    we are happy that music lovers again stood for melodies
    and still it is continueing and it will last for ever through
    dedicated musicians.after 3o years of the sad demise of
    rafi saab people like him and his music because of the
    unforgetable songs he rendered whoever try to sideline
    him.

  22. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Imran (Post 77):

    Drawing parallel between Rafi vs. Kishore comparison to Dilip vs. Amitabh is out of context and totally misplaced. And more laughable was your contention that it was only Rafi-Naushad team that dominated in fifties and sixties. This one statement exposes the extent of knowledge (or lack of it) that you possess about Hindi film music. Let me enlighten you that teams of Rafi-Roshan, Rafi-Madan Mohan, Rafi-O.P. Nayyar, Rafi-Ravi, Rafi-Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi-Laxmi Kant Pyare Lal, Rafi-Chtragupta, even Rafi-S.D. Burman (to name a few) were as prevalent and hit as Rafi-Naushad in fifties and sixties.

    You say “we didn’t want any more sad yet beautiful songs like “yeh duniya yeh mehfil” instead fast and fresh tracks like “zindagi ek safar hai suhana” that would make us feel happy and energized”. By saying so you are stereotyping not only Rafi saab but also Kishore Kumar. Rafi has innumerable number of masti songs to his credit. He was the king of Rock and roll. Please listen to all such songs and try to see a complete picture. In you post itself you have mentioned the ‘yahoo’ song. That is just one of many. Similarly Kishore has many brilliant sad songs to his credit. So to identify Kishore with fast tracks and Rafi with sad songs is display of ignorance.

    Infact it was Rafi who monopolized the term ‘versatility’. His ability to capture the mood of the song, to fill it with the right expressions and emotions, adapt to almost all possible genres that one can think of (be it bhajan, ghazal, qawali, romantic, patriotic or any other type of song) ensured a perfect result.

    Meanwhile I would like to repeat my query I raised in post 40 of this thread. Please go through the list of 5 Rafi songs that I have written in that post and tell me equivalent songs of Kishore. You can take your time. Because I know that the exercise is tough.

    If in reply you are going to say that ‘those’ type of songs were out of ‘fashion’ in seventies and eighties, then only thing that can be concluded is that your interest and knowledge of music is ‘superficial’.

    As far as your ‘firm belief’ (that even if Rafi sahib had lived until the mid 90’s he would not have been able to reverse the trend as his “yahoo” days were history) is concerned, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that Rafi had already made a stunning comeback in 1977, and by 1979-80 he had maximum number of hits among all male playback singers. Leave aside nineties, had Rafi saab lived for another 4-5 years, he would have decisively settled this issue. The momentum was with him. That is ‘my’ firm belief.

    Lastly, one request: do not call Rafi fans arrogant. I don’t want to elaborate on it further at this point of time. Let me leave it at that.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  23. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Now it is a joke if you need to read something about KK you
    have to visit the site of Rafi saab.after the death of kk it is
    seen that the style of songs again changed for good music
    as singers like Udhit Narayan,Kumar saanu,Mohamed Aziz,
    Sonu Nigam came with very good melodies.I think Kumar
    saanu has a better voice than Kk as far as melody is
    concerned.

  24. Ahamed Kutty says:

    It is a fact RDB had given more chances to KK than Rafi Saab
    during 70s and was interesting to note that Rafi Saab bagged
    National Award and Filmfare Award for the same song ‘Kyaa
    huwaa teraa waadaa” for which the MD was RDB.Even after the
    death of Rafi Saab KK had enough chances to have good songs
    but the limitations of his capabilities make him to sing songs
    like “saagar kinaare” and other songs.I think he is the cause of
    RDB’s failure in his last days as MD Anu Malik was once saying
    he had seen RDB in a desperate manner to ask for a work.

    We have seen MD LP had brought Rafi Saab for the song “Pardhaa
    he Pardha” for the film “Amar Akber Antoney” as KK cannot sing
    such a song.

    Rafi Saab is the rarest of rare in certain ways are concerned.
    Almost all singers from Bollywood sung in Malayalam language
    except Rafi Saab but even without singing a single song he is
    treated to be a singer of that state as he performed live
    programmes in small towns in addition to big cities.The interesting
    thing is all Bollywood singers songs in Malayalm became superhits
    except the song sung by KK.One more interesting thing is Rafi
    Saab is being treated in kerala in such a way from where a singer
    like Yesudasji hails who got the maximum number of National
    Awards – 7 National Awards (5 for Malayalam 1 for Hindi and 1 for
    Telugu) As far as verslity is concerned nobody male or female
    singer is there to have atleast 40% what Rafi Saab possessed.
    The song “Sarjo tera” sung by him for Johnny Wlaker is enough
    to prove it.To follow the body language and accent of the hero
    and to sing in different style to match the heros not a gimmick.
    That is why the veteran Mannda once told in an interview that he
    will be happy if he could achieve at least 50% what Rafi Saab
    achieved.
    Above all the divine and decent life for a perfect gentleman how
    it should be had proved by Rafi Saab during his life time.We had
    seen KK was fighting with Midhun Chakraworthy for the cause
    of a lady.Also fans of KK had to come to this site since there is
    no activities in KK’s site and as far as the articles are concerned
    it a came a standstill since long back.It clearly shows there is no
    subject to tell about KK.

  25. Imran says:

    Kishoreda may have had the ability to play a certain instrument but unlike Rafi sahib he was not trained to sing by various ustad’s that makes him a natural.

    Comparing the two is similar to debating over Dilip Kumar versus Amitabh Bachchan, both ruled Bollywood for decades yet an honest analysis would suggest that Amitji has greater staying power partly due to being more versatile were as Dilip sahib was often stereotyped for mostly larger then life roles!. Similarly, Rafi and Naushad ruled the roost in the late 50’s & 60’s singing many great songs for Dilip Kumar in particular, later he sang for the likes of Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor leading to the early 70’s when gradually the mood of the public was changing!

    We didn’t want any more sad yet beautiful songs like “yeh duniya yeh mehfil” instead fast and fresh tracks like “zindagi ek safar hai suhana” that would make us feel happy and energised. Kishoreda realised that there was a vaccum to be filled to cater for the younger generation so together with Rajesh Khanna and RD Burman dominated the charts from that period. It is my firm belief that even if Rafi sahib had lived until the mid 90’s he would not have been able to reverse the trend as his “yahoo” days were history.

    Later Kishoreda mainly became the voice of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor’s pop songs, inferior artists of the time like Muhammad Aziz, Suresh Wadkar and the terrible Bappi Lahiri were never going to provide any competition for the great one!. It’s a story of generations with Rafi fan’s who are often so arrogant unable to accept that time had changed and that nothing lasts forever. KK and MR both had the ability to sing various types of songs from qawwali’s and bhajan’s to rock and pop music however being a product from the mid 70’s i can relate much more to Kishoreda’s music then Rafi sahib’s.

  26. Hans says:

    7. i agree with you on this one. kks voice quality was as bad in the golden era, as it was in the 70s and 80s and will always remain the same – that means equal for any era. and rafi doesnot need insomnia-prone people like you for appreciation of his voice quality.

    8 .here also you have told the truth. rafi has followers in every town and village who try to sing his songs and emulate him and that shows his popularity. why you are so depressed that you say there are no kk clones (meaning followers). he has followers though not in the same number as rafi. your prophecy may come true in a few years when nobody would remember kk’s singing except some insomnia-ridden people like you.

    9. kk was not a trained singer is the biggest canard spread by kk apologists who try to show him superior to rafi and this has been believed by rafi fans. kk received more training than rafi. i have the song of kk ‘koi hamdam na raha’ ( this is not gala-fadu, so you may not like it ) which was introduced by the great ashok kumar and he told a story that ‘kishore ka gala bachpan men chhil gaya tha aur bahut kharab ho gaya jo lagatar riyaz karne se kafi samay baad theek hua’. i have also watched an interview of anoop kumar on dd long time back, where he said that ashok kumar tried to teach music to anoop and kk both and employed many teachers and was very strict in this regard. kk received training but not the fruit of it because he was never sincere in anything. you may have heard the saying ‘kitna hi kumkum se poojo kaajal sindur nahin hote’. while rafi learned too much from too little training, kk could not. rafi has the magnanimity to acknowledge the persons from whom he learned, but kk never acknowledged his gurus.

    10. This ‘guzar jayen din’ and salil praise for kk is the latest fad of kk fans. but, they speak without knowing facts. out of the 25 songs composed for kk by salil, 13 are from the films in which kk acted. salil came in contact with kk in 1955 and composed for 3 of his films between 1955 and 1962. yet, after discovering such a super talent in 1955 he did not give him any song in other films till 1971 and even after his so called great rendition of ‘guzar jayen din’ he forgot kk for the film rajnigandha which immediately followed annadata and also in many other films. After annadata he gave him just 4 songs 2 in jeevan jyoti in 1976 and then 2 in aakhri badla released in 1989.

    secondly, here you are saying that the song appears simple but is complicated, which means you are praising kk for singing a complicated song. on the other hand when rafi fans tell you that rafi sang difficult and complicated songs, you say rafi was trying to show he was a trained and better singer.

    11. your statement “But in terms of public entertainment, fan following, mass hysteria there is no Indian Singer apart from Kishore. This is what makes a True Legend” is an admission on your part that you seek legend status for kk not on the base of quality, but on sympathetic grounds due basically to his popular appeal.

    12. you say that all the talk of rafi’s technical singing and highly trained does not make him a legend. technical singing, highly trained etc. are phrases coined by blockheads like you to bring kk in contention. no rafi fan has claimed that rafi was highly trained or a technical singer. and nobody needs your recognition of rafi as legend.

    finally, to sum up, there is evidence of rafi singing a song which kk could not and also a number of songs of kk sung by rafi. but, there was no song which could not be sung by rafi and kk sang it. kk’s singing needed support of studio environment and back up of a lot of music. watch the live rendition of ‘mere sapnon ki rani’ which was the most important song of his career and compare it with his recorded version. on the other hand, rafi sang ‘suhani raat dhal chuki’ even after 25-30 years in concerts with the same authority.
    rafi’s singing abilities raised the composing level of mds, while kk sought to bring their level down, which was not acceptable to the golden age mds who had better singers than kk available.

    Rafi was far ahead of all other singers, while kk trailed all other contemporary singers during golden age. and when kk reigned it was the end of hfm. need i say anything more.

  27. Hans says:

    though some time has passed since shikore’s comments were posted by his accompalice chandrasekhar, and i had not replied fully because i did not think it necessary at that time, though i had posted some comments of kk fan in their site. but since the appearance of shikore himself and his boasting a la his idol kk, i thought i should post a proper reply.

    firstly, i may make it clear from the outset that i believe in calling a spade a spade and am not one of those rafi fans who either out of modesty or for appearing balanced or diplomatic call kk also a great singer. though i listen to his good songs, yet to me, he was just a good singer. i fail to understand how a singer who could not produce songs worth remembering even equal to hemant kumar, who recorded about 1/10th of the songs recorded by him can be termed as great.

    now, i will try to give a point-wise reply to shikore.

    1. i dont know what is unusual style of singing unless he was singing with a voice emanating from some other orifice than the throat and what is unusual style of acting unless he was acting with a nakab always on. if you mean unique by that, then also everybody else had his unique style those days. kk’s acting and comedy was cheap, to say the least. but, i know there have been a lot of liking for cheapness in this country, which has increased with time. the comment about ridicules and teasing is filmy in character and you have made to gain sympathy.
    kk got work in films quite easily, because of Ashok Kumar but, he made a mess of it. his fans lay emphasis on his songs being fun-filled, but how many are remembered. rafi sang more than 100 class songs for various comedians. neither kk is remembered for his quality comic roles or for quality songs. this should have been one style of singing where he should have dominated rafi. see the live concert where kk sang ‘mere sapnon ki rani’. there also his fans were shouting for ‘ina meena deeka’. the level of most of kk fans is so low that they always shout for ‘ina meena’ and ‘cat maine billi’ type of songs. perhaps rafi fans apprecite kk more than his own fans.

    2. this is another argument without head or tail. if a person comes to film industry he has to follow some rules. the only places where he does not have to follow rules is either jungle or his own bathroom. even for singing in the street he has to follow some rules otherwise he would return with sore backside.
    3.these are imaginary words quite unsuited to kk style of singing he alongwith rdb and bappi lahiri would be remembered for digging the grave of hfm.
    4.his voice modulation was so great that he would sing in the same hoarse and gala-fadu and kaan-fodu voice even for anil dhawan and even asrani (remember the bawarchi song). i have not named other actors with soft voices for whom he sang in the same gala-fadu voice.
    5.as per you, to try for quality is wrong and is an effort to show that one is better and to ruin a song is natural singing. on this analogy you would rate biswajeet or pradeep kumar better actors than dilip kumar or sanjeev kumar, because the latter two tried to improve quality of acting and they wanted to show them as better actors. whether it was rafi or kk or mukesh or any other singer they went to films to show their class.
    by comparing them to sachin and dravid you have shown that you are one of those who dont remember what you ate the previous day. sachin uses helmet and gets hit on helmet about half a dozen times in a year. you should know that there were batsmen prior to him who never wore helmet against bowlers who were at least 20kph faster and there was no restriction on bouncers. you will soon forget sachin when he goes out of business and he knows that and is prolonging his career.

    6. as you appear to be lover of gala-fadu songs, i would take that you rate 85% of kk songs as gala-fadu. there also you are wrong because kk had more than 95% of gala-fadu songs. your count of 45% for rafi is also based on an assumption that rafi might have sung 45% gala-fadu songs. i may tell you that he has NIL number of gala-fadu songs. you may find rafi songs boring but tell us what is technical as per your tiny understanding. you say rafi songs are a cure for insomnia. i may tell you that in good old days of golden music insomnia was not known or restricted to just negligible no of persons. actually, this kk kind of music is the reason for the spread of insomnia and you will be better advised to change your preferences before it is too late and you become one like shammi kapoor of film prince.

    to be continued…

  28. Onu says:

    Kishore Kumar is the greatest singer in the same way as RD Burman is the greatest music director.

    /s

  29. Shikore Shumar says:

    Kishore is a genius. Yes he could play the piano quite well. If you see his compositions like “phir suhani shaam dhali” he is playing the piano. Another rare bhajan song with Madhubala ” Baaje Baaje Baajere” we can see KK on the piano.
    He had a uncanny sense of music in spite of the lack of so called training. KK never needed any formal training. He was born with it and was busy training all the singers around him how to sing and eventually ruled the industry for a long time
    He is the only singer who truly entertained us. He used to ask his composers ” can I add some nonsense in this song” and the song turns out to be a block buster. A complete innovator, willing to experiment, understood the pulse of the public and the hero’s in the movie
    Kishore brought glory, entertainment, freshness, innovation, class and popularity to the Indian music which needed this change from all the highly trained singers who could not adapt to the public demands and changes. Without Kishore, I wonder how our Indian Bollywood Music would have shaped up. He is the only successful male singer who could act, sing, compose, direct, write ect…..Even now we only hear re mixes of KK or his songs on TV serials or advertisements or public places. How come we do not hear any of the other singers songs? KK will fit into any era. My dear Rafians, this is the reality. Accept it gracefully

  30. Abhishek says:

    Imran – 67

    I heard kishore kumar was good in playing piano – I remember this having read somewhere, so I think kishore too was trained, might be not to the extent of specialisation, but kishore had a knowledge about music, if we go by this fact.

    Om shanti om was a big hit those days, I remember this song being very famous in early 80’s – Radio used to frequently telecast that song.

  31. Dr. Chandrasekhar says:

    Post 69 – Mr. Vishal

    Good post, nice to read.

  32. Vishal says:

    Shikore shumar

    Thanks for your post 66

    I can understand the facts. As rafi was well popular in 50’s & 60’s than kishore kumar, one can agree with rafi’s influence to that period and one can also agree that songs in that era were great and hence the influence of rafi.

    At the same time, despite the position of 50’s and 60’s one cannot forget that the 70’s and 80’s – the importance of kishore kumar was really tremendous – it was a wave in bollywood and sea change as compared to the earlier two decades. Rafi could never achieve his earlier status in 70’s – if a rafi fan feels offended by this true fact, one cannot do anything except feeling sorry for such fans. As one can notice that kishore fans have always a lot of respect for rafi for his hindi film contribution, it would be great if rafi fans too reciprocate the same feelings and sentiments towards kishore fans as well as fans of other great singers as well, as one has noticed a very lengthy and more or less similar type of debate earlier between rafi and a very accomplished legend of the south.

    I really have appreciations for the author of this article – jagat kant choudhary ji, for his well balanced points on rafi and kishore – two stars of the hindi filmdom from 50’s to 80’s – evergreen.

  33. Shikore Shumar says:

    Totally agree with you, Imran. The Rafian’s have become ruffians and cannot see beyond Rafi. They need to understand what we are talking about by reading all my points again and again till they understand what I have written. They have picked up a couple of points and wasted their energy and time in bagging me. Don’t worry, as you can see I am not offended at all as I continue to write on this forum. These Rafi fans are slowly realizing the truth and hence are finding it hard to cope with the reality. Hence all the hisses and roars before they come to terms. Very typical behaviour

  34. Imran says:

    Thanks for appreciating my comments, Shikore. Indeed, KK was a great singer especially when we consider that unlike Rafi sahib he was not professionally trained in the art.

    There are many songs like “Om Shanti Om” from the movie Karz that only he could have done justice too despite MR having been the more talented of the two!.

    One can argue that MR ‘s Music was more meaningful and philosophical, by contrast many of KK’s songs were fun with hilarious lyrics that i personally enjoyed, his own optimistic and cheerful personality shined through. Often in a track he experimented spontaneously using his own words like “zara imaandari se…baaja…baaja!!” that was a rather unique thing!

    Rafian’s often seem to be easily offended when they see another artist being praised so take it easy for no one is accusing your most beloved for being anything other then a genius!. I’ve often heard even the great MR giving credit to Kishoreji that should be noted by all and sundry!

  35. Shikore Shumar says:

    Thank you Vishal (post 57) for your comments

  36. BALWANTSAQI says:

    TU HINDU BANEGA NA MUSALMAAN BANEGA INSAAN KI AULAAD HAI INSAAN BANEGA.TUNE DHOOL KA PHOOL MAIN YE GAAYA ZAMANE KO SIDHI SADAA RAH DIKHAAI.SADAA AIKTA PER TUNE GEET GAAYE MOHOBBAT KE PAYALE HAMESHAN PILAYE.TU MUSLIM THA LEKIN HQEEQAT MAIN SAQI TUJHE SAB SE PAHLE PASAND THI SACHAAI. NASHA HI NASHA HAI MAIKHANE MAIN DEKHO SABHI MAST BETHE YAHAN PE YE YAARO.RAFI KI DIWANE HUYE SAB NASHEELE JO SAQI NE APNI GAZAL IK SUNAAI.

  37. P. Haldar says:

    For those visitors who harbour doubts about Rafi’s dominance in the industry, I’m quoting from Gregory Booth’s book “Behind the Curtain: Making Music in Mumbai’s Film Studios”:

    “… there begin to appear the musicians – composers and singers— who would become the founding members, so to speak, of the generation that would dominate the Mumbai film-music industry for the next thirty years – playback singers Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh and composer C. Ramchandra… in 1944 and composer S. D. Burman (in addition to Mangeshkar) in 1946. Roughly three decades later, Rafi and Mangeshkar were still the dominant playback singers in Mumbai. Burman died in 1975, as his last films were just being released. Mukesh’s last film song was last released in 1976. Only C. Ramchandra had more or less retired from the film industry.”

  38. BALWANT SAQI says:

    JO WADA KIA WO NIBHANA PADEGA MOHMMAD RAFI TUM KO AANA PADEGA.TERA SAATH DENGE ARE TA QAYAMAT JINHON NE HAI TUM SE MOHABBAT NIBHAAI.KAHAN JAA RAHA HAI TU YE JAANE WAALE ANDHERA HAI MAN MAIN DIYA TO JALA LE.RAFI TUNE LAAKHON DIYE HAIN JALAYE MOHABBAT SE ROSHAN HAMMAIN RAAH DIKHAAI.YOON DHARMA NE GAAYA KISI NE KAHA HAI BURA MAT KAHO TUM BURA MAT SUNO TUM.RAHO MIL KE SAARE YAHAAN PE YE BHAAI KARO NA KISI KI ARE TUM BURAAI.

  39. BALWANT SAQI says:

    TERE BAAD TUJH KO ZAMANA HAI DHOONDE YE GAANON KA TERE KHAZANA HAI DHOONDE NA AWAAZ KOI LAGI ACHCHI TO MOHAMMAD RAFI PHIR TERI YAAD AAI.KAI LOG CHAHAIN KE FILMAIN BANAAIN TERE NAAM PER MOHAMMAD RAFI SUN. TERI YAAD MAIN DEKH PAHLE YAHAN PE HAI AMITABH NE BHI FILM IK BANAAI.RAFI TUJH PE ITNI FILMAIN BANENGI ZAMANE MAIN JAB TAK YE DUNIYA RAHEGI.WO AWAAZ TERI SABHI SUNNA CHAHAIN TUJHE DHOONDTI DEKH SAARI KHUDAAI.

  40. BALWANTSAQI says:

    RAFI DESH POORA…RAFI DESH POORA KARE YAAD TUJH KO YHAN PE SABHI KO UDAASI HAI CHAAI.IDHAR RO RAHA HAI HERO DEVANAND UDHAR DE RAHA HAI DILIP BHI DUHAAI.TUJHE YAAD KARTA RHEGA ZMANA HZARON BARAS TAT.DILON MAIN SABHI KE YHAN PE KHLEGI HMESHAN HMESHAN TUMHARI ZUDAAI.BARAS TEES TUJH KO GAYE KO HUYE AAZ POORE HMAIN CHODH KAR TU GYA THA YHAN SE.RKHA DIL SE TUJH KO LAGA KE HMESHAN TERI YAAD HAMNE KABHI NA BHULAAI

  41. one thing that is learnt from the forum is that distort the spellings of a great singer , call yourself by that name and then write in a stupid fashion for fun and getting some kick by playing with emotions of rafi fans..even great singer kk would not have approved the style of this gentleman(?) who is criticising just for the sake of criticising.. kishore kumar himself had unconditionally approved of supremacy of rafi–and why wouldn’t he–afterall kk understood the music, he knew rafi’s unlimited range,his pronunciation of hindi,urdu and even sanskrit words, his alaaps,his soulful rendering etc etc..as suggested in one of the posts–the moderator should not allow jokers to be part of this forum–one whose intention is to get some kick, maja lene ke liye jo likhte hain –let such clones be boycotted.

  42. Shikore Shumar says:

    Well written Imran. Clear and succinct. Appreciate your simple views rather than slamming my comments which others on this forum have done so for a while.
    As written before which some don’t believe, I have met MR through his son and my father who was a musician in many SD burman, Naushad, Salil Choudhry songs. MR was a very pleasant man, god fearing, lots of family values and a simple human. His son was just the opposite
    I could never meet KK (as my father said he was very difficult to meet and also very eccentric) But 2 years ago I went to his house through my Bro In Law and met Sumeet. I was able to video shoot KK’s house which I cherish. There were heaps of dogs all over the property which was not well managed. Very sad to see KK’s house in a bad shape. When I went again this January, there is some activity at his house and it looks better.

  43. Imran says:

    They were both great in their own way depending on the generation you were born in! Rafi sahib mostly sang sentimental and/or love songs where as Kishoreji was more into pop music as seen in movies like Aradhana…one “Mere sapno ki raani” comes to mind.

    Rafi sahib’s untimely demise meant that Kishoreji was left unchallenged from the early 80’s to rule the Music scene with an iron fist. If i want to listen to a sentimental, romantic or religious track then Rafi sahib is the one where as Kishoreji is the man for pop or rock songs from the 80’s onwards.

    Allah, Rabb and Ishwar all mean God… similarly Ishq, Prem and Mohabbat all mean love therefore comparing Kishoreji and Rafi sahib would be similar…they only differ on what we personally consider to be the divine force or great music!!

  44. vishal says:

    Kishore kumar is a great singer, otherwise how can he become popular in the 70’s. Agreed, rafi was popular singer in the 60’s but kishore was famous in the 70’s and 80’s. Rafi fans should know this simple fact. Unless kishore fans are convinced, how can they agree rafi is superior in bollywood. I agree with shikore shumar about kishore kumar’s importance in bollywood.

  45. Zaheendanish says:

    post 55:

    There is no need to convince SUN is the brightest star, it is universal truth, in the same manner Rafi is the Legend, that’s it.

    you seems to be a shameless person, go lick all the older threads and the comments therein, that makes you a little shy person before you pass on your filthy comments, keep all those boring and rubbish comments within yourself, do not expose, rafi lovers are peace loving persons and completely immersed in the songs of rafi sahab. go take care of your neighboring KK site which is almost dead a long back being no further fresh write ups and comments. you KK fans have no other job just to visit and pass your timepass useless comments on rafi forum. You are so stinking that no rafi lover want to respond you.

    learn manners how to write a comment on public forum.

    A rafi fan

  46. Shikore Shumar says:

    Nice to hear that I have amused you all. That was the plan, boss. I read all your comments and felt bad as it was so dull and boring. I was able to ignite some fire in you people and got this forum fired up and moreover unite you all to fight me. I am pleased and happy now. Up to now no Rafian has convinced me that Rafi is better than KK. All I have read is comments against me and some feeble comments on Rafi. You guys have convince me. Come on Guys. Give me some solid stats and facts. Till then I will continue to believe that KK is the best Bollywood singer until proven
    How come there are no females on this forum. Looks like only males like Rafi.
    Keep up the spirit and keep the fire burning. Give me a tough fight.
    C ya. Shikore Shumar

  47. Vishakh Vardhan says:

    Shikore,

    Learn to spell my name correctly. And yes, I never compared SRT & KK. I think you read our own post. BTW, do you think are we so dumb that we’ll believe that you went to God’s house??? Stop kidding us….Its a music forum not a comic one.

    You have already amused us a lot by your stupid comments and analysis. I would request the moderator to block this guy from this post. He’s spoiling the environment.

  48. Hans says:

    at least in one thing i agree with shikore that bhagchandani ji should not have provided him with his list of 5 rafi songs, because, as per the famous hindi saying ‘bhains ke aage been bajane ka koyi fayda nahin hota’. the ears of people like shikore have been corrupted by continuous hearing of the hoarsest of songs on high wattage speakers. otherwise also, i will struggle to name 100 best songs of rafi, because there are thousands of rafi gems.

    in another thread mr. haldar referred to a dev anand interview where he was saying kk was his voice, but asked to mention a song he referred to ‘abhi na jao chhodkar’. perhaps that is the plight of kk fans also.

    though chandrasekhar chose to enlighten me about the sentiments of kk fans, which i never needed, but in the process he exposed himself and made clear where his sympathies lie. i visited kk site and found an interesting comment by a kk fan Neel Trivedi in his article ‘kishore kumar’s andaz-e-ghazal’ while discussing the validity of the song ‘sarakati jaye hai’ as a ghazal. the comment is given below : –

    “It’s been said before that whenever KK felt uncomfortable with a particular word(s) in a song or if he didn’t understand it, he would ask for it to be changed so he could convey the lyrics with the right emotion.”

    the above statement is coming from a staundh kk supporter who is trying his best to prove his ordinary songs to be ghazals and is an oft-repeated argument there. so they know that kk cant sing all the bols given to him. that is never the hallmark of a great singer.

    now this great inability which i will call an ability of kk, of not being able to sing the bols or lyrics composed by the mds of the golden age kept him out of the recording rooms of all great mds except sdb. the perfect example of this great ability[?] of kk is the song ‘tu mera copyright’ in film shararat (the song is available on youtube) which was composed and picturised in the typical kk style but there were some difficult words which the md sj wanted to be sung in a style which kk could not deliver and thus kk’s lines were given to our own rafi. there have been discussions about ‘ajab hai dastan teri’ and ‘man mora bawra’ which were serious songs. but this one was in the domain of kk but even this he could not sing.

    that was exactly the reason why kk was not even considered for male duets and qwaalis for which all the famous singers earlier mentioned including balbir were used.

    on the other hand rafi’s great singing abilities allowed the mds to try the most difficult of tunes which they could not try with other singers (and everyone is included here). this has been said and repeated by those mds a number of times.

  49. Shikore Shumar says:

    G’day Mates
    Looks like Dr C has disturbed your wee little party by posting my comments on this forum
    My comments have been taken so seriously that everyone has stopped all their activities and just want to write to me. I have become so famous suddenly. More than KK and Rafi.
    Vishak’s comparison of KK and Sachin tickled me heaps
    Keep this a secret: I have been to Mohammed Rafi’s house many times as his son and I went to the same school and class.
    Yoodleyoo, Bro’s

  50. Ali says:

    Dear shikore,
    It said about bollywood music it born in late 1940’s,was a child in 1950’s,young in 1960″s,old in 1970″s and died in 1980 so what that mean?

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