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The combination of Mohammad Rafi, Laxmikant Pyarellal and Dharmender stormed bollywood films of 60s and 70s

By Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi and Dharamendra

Mohd Rafi and Dharamendra

The combination of Mohammad Rafi, Laxmikant Pyarellal and Dharmender stormed bollywood films of 1960s and 1970s. When LP emerged in the musical arena with Parasmani and Dosti, bollywood music was being dominated by Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, Roshanlal Nagrath, OP Nayyar, Madanmohan Kohli and other big composers who created history. The stars of the golden age were associated with the big composers, for example Raj Kapoor was associated with Shankar Jaikishan, Dilip Kumar with Naushad Ali, to name a few. So Laxmikant Pyarellal required an upcoming star with whom they could create partnership. Dharmender was one of those stars.

Mohammad Rafi sang the maximum number of songs in the career of Dharmender. The majority of them were composed by Laxmikant Pyarellal. In Aye Din Bahar Ke in 1966, all the songs of Mohammad Rafi in the film became smash hits including “khudaya khair”, “mere dushman”, etc. In 1969, Dharmender’s film Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke had hits after hits of Mohammad Rafi including “aya sawan jhoom ke”, “majhi chal”, “bura mat suno”, “yeh shama to jali”, etc. Rafi, LP and Dharmender created storm with the film Mere Humdum Mere Dost in 1968. All the songs were melodious and romantic including “na ja kahin ab na ja”, “hui sham unka khayal”, “chalkaye jam”, etc.

Dharmender’s film Izzat in 1968 also had the great compositions of LP. Rafi and Lata’s duet song “yeh dil tum bin kahin lagta nahin hum kya Karen” had ghazal andaz. In the film Jeevan Mrityu released in 1970, Rafi’s song “jhilmil sitaron ka” became a big hit. In the 1970s, the magic combination continued. In the Dharmender film Man Ki Ankhen, all the songs of Rafi including “jala diya”, “dil kahen ruk ja re ruk ja” created storm in bollywood.

In Dharmender’s film Loafer in 1973, Rafi’s song “aaj mausam bara beimaan hai” became very popular. Anand Bakshi wrote majority of songs of LP and Rafi combination. In the film Mera Gaon Mera Desh, duet song of Rafi and Lata “kuch keheta yeh sawan” became big hit. In 1975, Rafi’s song “mai jat yaamla pagla deewana” became a cult song. LP Rafi and Dharmender created magic again. In Dharamveer in 1977, LP’s song sung by Rafi titled “o meri mehbooba” and “are maine tujhko chaha” became successful. Jeetender appeared with Dharmender in the film. Very significantly Rafi song “tu meri aas paas hai” became successful in the 1980s. Rafi sang the last song in his life in Aas Paas under the composition of Laxmikant Pyarellal.

One article is too little to mention the performance of LP and Dharmender combination. LP even composed music in other films like Satyakam, Sharafat, etc. In the major compositions of LP the love for Mohammad Rafi was reflected always. Rafi could almost imitate the voice presence of Dharmender in his songs. The films and the songs of Dharmender Rafi and LP combination should be publicized and preserved.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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34 Blog Comments to “The combination of Mohammad Rafi, Laxmikant Pyarellal and Dharmender stormed bollywood films of 60s and 70s”

  1. Thanks Binuje, I did not see this page since January 2013. Have seen it today. And will get in touch with you. Thanks to Souvikji too.

  2. Even after what I said about the great composers LP before 2 years, I do salute them for supporting Md Rafi sahab dauntlessly in the mid and late seventies, and helped him immensely to regain his lost no. position to Kishoreji once again in the late 1970s

  3. Laxmikand – Payerelal did continue with Md Rafi even in the 1970s, when the chips were down for the great singer, and almost divided their songs for KK and Md Rafi for different heroes, but they did not stuck to Md Rafi alone, like they did in their early days in the 60s, when the rose to the ladder of fame, and Md Rafi was their main singer.

  4. Binu Nair says:

    hi Santanu ji…

    I read your comments numbering 29 and 30…

    It ‘s really from the heart – must say.

    my email id is or

    Will be pleased to interact with you.

    from the rafi foundation…

  5. Santanu Banerji says:

    I would like to make a point on Jae-Bee’s heat-touching reaction. Let’s not be too emotional to envisage that, had Shammi continued as a hero in the 70s, he might renounce Md Rafi.Shammi’s latter comments on his idol singer speaks for itself. But let’s not forget that, great musicians like Roshan and Jaikishan passed away in 60s and 70s, we missed MM since mid 70s, Ravi & Naushadji were left with no assignment at that time and at the same time and KA, who were not consistent in terms of using Md Rafi since late 60s, completely sided with kishore since the RD wave. But I wonder, what about the producers and directors of the 50 and 60s, who rose to tremendous fortune with Md Rafi in those days finally succumbed to the desires of the heroes and music directors totally ? How could it be possible? Moreover, I believe, they might not be as conversant with music as they were aware of making good masala movies in Mumbai. However, during RD’s era, I believe, quality of songs declined in terms of nuances and depth if compared with songs composed in the 1960s. However, I feel if opinions of all music experts of these days are gathered together, I have no doubt that majority of them would prefer the depth and range of Md Rafi to KIshore or any other male singer till date. But no such expert opinion poll is conducted these days ( I am not unaware of the Out Look song polls ), if that is made, it would provide better insights to music lovers to realize the sublime elements of great singer like Md Rafi sahab.

  6. Santanu Banjerjee says:

    Thanks to Souvikji and Binu Nairji for their very good article and posting. The point I would like to raise here is the gruesome fact that Laxmy-Payare, who rose to awesome fame by the end of the 60s with almost the sole help of the voice of Md Rafi, deliberately switched over to the voice of Kishoreji after 1972 on umpteen occasion, even for Dharmendar’s voice. No doubt, they continued with Md Rafi in the wake of the Kishore wave orchestrated by RD Burman and others, but they hardly depended on Md Rafi, the way they did it in the 1960s. They never shown total reverence to Md Rafi sahab, like Madanmohan, who on being insisted to take Kishore as the principle voice in Laila Majnu, refused vehemently and stuck with the best male voice of India. Moreover, I feel perplexed to gather the fact that even Biswajit ( who is a deep admirer of Md Rafi till today, and made a programme on Md Rafi’s memory in Cacutta in 2010 )was compelled to sing in Kishore kumar’s voice. I still feel perturbed to accept and understand, how Rajeshji and RD’s unflinching choice for kishore could create the Kishore wave from 72 to 76 ? I feel other causes were embeded behind the eclipse of this great singer during those days, if so, what were the other factors? Did Md Rafi’s voice lost some of its heavenly jingle during the early 70s? Even SD Burman who totally preferred Md Rafi to anybody else throughout the 60s became so much obedient to the dictate of his son RD !! It looks so much astounding now in the Youtube era, because now one can listen to great Md Rafi and Lataji along with Kishore kumar to judge immaculately why Md Rafi & Lataji are far ahead of Kishoreji in their voice timbre. I would urge upon you to make a discussion on posting on this subject. Lastly, I would thank Binu Nayarji for Heading the Md Rafi foundation, and would be pleased to get in touch with him through e-mail

  7. M. Haroon says:

    Even though Rafi’s last song sung was for Dharmendra’s film, @Aas Paas. There were many films after where Rafi had songs released. Such as Baghawat (which had Mere Mehboob Tujhe Salaam & Nagin Sa Roop Hai Tera). There was also Teesri Aankh (Kya Jalwa Kya Nazara, Eid Ke Din Gale Mil, and my favourite one from this Salaam Salaam Main Aa Gaya). Even Ther film Daavedar which was later renamed to Mera Karam Mera Dharam had a good Rafi song, Apne Dil Mein Josh Hai.

    Gone are the the days of melodious music and such melodious singers also. I listen to new tracks however end up going back to the classics, especially by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

  8. Jae-Bee says:

    post-26 Nairjee, good luck for what? and there is no contest over here, just simple observations. fyi not only I am a die-hard rafian i am a fan of sj, lp, opn, sdb, rdb and all the great mds of golden era. not only that the great shammi is my idol. but the fact remains that shammijee remembered his friend from sachhai and rbd from teesri manzil but forgot rafi sahab during manoranjan. and not only lp but i would use the same yard stick for naushad in saathi. the only big time md that stood to his ground was madan mohanjee and to some extend ravi and sonik-omi, usha khanna also stayed with rafi sahab, but both of them never got big banners. the only actor that stayed with rafi sahab was raaj kumar, but he didn’t get many movies in mid 70’s. so the bottom line is, this is not filmy duniya it is filmoney duniya. when money talks, friends walk. Ironically kishoreda knew this very well.

  9. Binu Nair says:

    good luck – to your views. No Contest. Jay-Bee.

    Just wish to Say You Are Wide Off the Mark as far as SJ is concerned.

    By the same yard stick LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL used Mukesh for movies like Milan & Dharti Kare Pukar Ke. What does it Mean to you?

    Meantime, I expect SJ fans to reply to your point of view.

  10. Jae-Bee says:

    Post No.24, Binu Nairjee, it is possible to be shanker-jaikishen. In dharamjee’s earlier career it was mukesh, hemant etc., but after rafi sahab was established by md’s and dharamjee himself. it was sj and opn who gave songs to mahendra and kk for dharam. Most people don’t realize that it was sj who paved the road of sucess for kk than the burmans. For rajesh the super hit from Andaz. Giving all the songs to kk for new comer a Kapoor (randhir) swithing to kk from rafi in movie for Biswajeet as well as Mehmood. I bet if Shammi’s career had prolonged a couple of more years they would have had kk singing for him too, they tried a background song on shammi by kk in one of shammi’s last movies as a hero. To me it is wrong to blame bengalis in general when earlier rafi bhakts shyed away from him during kk’s peak years.

  11. Binu Nair says:

    Dharmendra reaches for a Song Picturisation. He hears the song. Then, refuses to Shoot.

    Says : ” I always have Mohd Rafi as my Voice. I wll Not take any other Voice. ”

    Well , the music composer for a change ‘was’ Not R.D.Burman or S.D.Burman . Neither Kalyanji Anandji.

    Any Guesses.

  12. krishna says:

    Mohammad rafi jaisa singer is duniya me koi nahi hai

  13. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Ahamadji,
    Thanks for the beautiful reply. Yes Rafisahab sang the song “john jani janardan” which was picturised on Amitabh Bacchan in the film Naseeb. But yes, Dharmender, Shammi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and many legendary stars came in that song and it was a great gesture of Manmohan Desai to bring the stars together.
    Thanks for the comments once again.
    Souvik Chatterji

  14. Ahamed Kutty says:

    dear souvikji,
    my humble choice is rafi saab-dharamji combinaton.

    there is a song “chanda mama se pyaara mera maama”
    rafi sab usha mangeshkar duet.i don’t know the name of
    the film.i heard this song a number of times.i think this
    song picturised on dharamji.while listening the song i used
    to close my eyes and i feel the action of dharamji.

    there is another interesting song of lp in the film “Naseeb”
    “john jaani janardhan” and the picturisation had given a
    very nice situation by bringing all stars including the
    veteran raj kapoorji.i feel all actors came infront of rafi
    saab while seeing the scene.

  15. M.Zaman says:

    indeed it’s good artical and informative.
    M. Zaman

  16. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Binuji,
    Thanks for the comments. In the late 1960s, Laxmikant Pyarellal had to face the musical giants Shankar Jaikishan, OP Nayyar, Roshanlal Nagrath, so his combination with Rafi and Dharmender did not get the publicity they required. But good music was created in the films Mere Hum Mere Dost, Aye Din Bahar Ke, Aya Sawan Jhumke.
    But by 1970s, every music lover started identifying Laxmikant Pyarellal as strong composer and the combination of Rafi Dharmender and LP flourished. All the songs in the 1970s became super hit in films like Loafer, Izzat, Jeevan Mrityu, Pratigya, etc. The list can go on.
    Laxmikant Pyarellal composed the maximum number of songs for Dharmender, Jeetender and Rishi Kapoor. In all their films Mohammad Rafi contributed the most.

  17. Ali says:

    In 1970 s they tried there best to reply Mohd rafi but they failed ,all mohd rafi stars who became super star in 1960 s they used Kishore da in 1970 s and we know what happened to them even superstar like Dilip Ji failed, Actor like Dharamendra ji who was a romantic hero in 1960 s became a action hero withoout Mohd Rafi voice…
    God made one earth and one voice and that is only Mohd Rafi……….

  18. salimk says:

    Santosh bhai

    kk has sung it well but if Rafisaab had sung it, it would be something out of the world, Kk’s voice is too coarse for a delicate song like this Like you said, it does not matter. Rafisaab has sung so many great songs that can never be matched ever by anyone.

    Post 16. RD Burman also made kk sing for Biswajit, Joy Mukerjee and SD Burman went a step too far in asking kk to sing for Dilip Kumar.

    Every effort was made to side line Rafisaab but it all failed.

  19. Binu Nair says:

    Dharmendra always wanted mohd rafi as his singing voice. but,

    r.d. burman and s. d. burman did try to plant Kishore’s voice on sanjeev kumar, shashi kapoor and dharmendra but it was always going to be a futile exercise as Kishore kumar could rarely ‘modulate’ his voice for the stars.
    The experiment more or less failed since sdb’s health was failing fast and r.d.b after a thunderous assault – going swiftly ‘downhill’ during the seventies.

    That left lot of room for laxmikant-pyarelal and their favourite singer mohammad rafi to bring in ‘new’ tunes and musical style with the able help of good lyrics from anand bakshi.

    this trio dominated the late seventies and even rishi kapoor after wavering for some time found it better to take the services of mohd rafi saaheb who had earlier sung for his grandfather, father and uncles.

    a nice write-up and good photograph of your s on the cover. keep writing dear and we are always there to add our comments.

    from the rafi foundation…

    cell : 0 9833 250 701

  20. Sumit Jangid says:

    hello frnds plz like Rafi saab’s page on fb

  21. Sumit Jangid says:

    sabse pahele to main admin. ka salute karta hu ki usne the great angel voice Mohd Rafi Saab ki site banai or unke bare me information dete hai…
    agar koi mere se puche ki tumhara fev. song konsa hai main unko yahi reply karta hu ki Rafi Saab ka gaaya hua ek ek song mera fev. hai. aisa koi song hai hi ni hai jo mera fev. ni ho..i love u rafi saab…thax admin plz give me ur mail id

  22. santosh says:

    Dear Salimbhai,

    I listened to the song from deedar e yaar .I was hearing it after a long long time.I would say kk has sung it well,but the romance, the innocence and mainly the muslim atmosphere (culture , the feel) is missing surely,It sounds like a song picturised not in a traditional muslim family.Rafi saab surely would have taken it to new height.I wonder why lp chose kishore .Just listen only to the audio and u will never realise the situation correctly.Anyway bygone is bygone no one can change it.LP were great , and so was rafi saab.

  23. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Khwajasahab,
    Thanks a lot for giving an extensive list of Rafi Roshan combination. I had written 2 article on Rafi and Roshanlal Nagrath. One was dedicated to Pradeep Kumar as most of Roshanlal Nagrath’s successful songs were in his films. Each of your songs were masterpieces. Rafi’s songs in those films had remained immortal.
    Souvik Chatterji

  24. Sal Rafi says:

    Good article.
    Post 6. Salim you are right, sarakti made a ordinary song which you wouldn’t listen a second time. Thanks for uploading the Akhri Dao beauties. Aisana ho has been not listened for long time and listening it now is breeze. Thanks for refreshing my memories.

  25. khaja Aliuddin MD says:

    Janab Souvik Sahab, Adab,
    Very informative writing. congratulations!
    Janab Vinod Sahab, here is Rafi and Roshan’s combo. If I miss any movie and song, please forgive me.
    Zameen bhi vahi hai vahi hai aasmaan – Chandni Chowk
    Khali jeben hon kadki ho – Chora Chori
    Yeh jo nazren jhukaye jate hain – Do Roti
    Aji maine poocha, o ji maine maine poocha aap ko huzoor kya hua – Maine Jeena Seekh liya
    Tum ek baar mohabbat ka imtihaan to lo – Baabar – a killer number of Rafi Sahab
    Four popular melodies of – Barsaat ki Raat
    Ab kiya misaal doon mai tumhare shabab ki- Another romantic number of Rafi Sahab for the film Aarati
    Three beautiful songs from the movie Vallah Kiya Baat Hai
    Sharaab ka sahara leke bhi bahel saka na mera jee – Commercial Pilot officer
    Jo baat tujh me hai , teri tasveer me nahin – Taj Mahal, who will forget the melodies of this movie, particularly the famous duet of Rafi and Lata.
    Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare, a classical song of rafi sahab – Chitralekha
    Two songs from the movie – Dooj ka Chand
    Zindagi ke mod par jo koyi raasta mila – Bedaagh
    Saanchi tumhari preet ho Raam – Bedaagh
    Three melodius songs from the movie – Bheegi Raat
    Three hit numbers with beautiful lyrics by Neeraj – Nai Umar ki Nai Fasal
    Jaata hun mai mujhe ab na bulana – Daadi Maa
    Kaajal vale nain milake kardala bechain – Devar
    Log kahte hain ke tumse kinara karlen with beautiful lyrics by Saahir – Bahu Begum. In the same movie another hit number, penned by Saahir, Ham intezar karenge qyamat tak.
    Mile na phool to kanton se dosti karli, beautifully written by Kaifi Aazmi – Anokhi Raat.

    In 1977, Rafi Sahab sang for Roshan’s son Rajesh Roshan in the movie, Inkaar, in 1978 Swarg Narak, Aag hai llagi hui, then in 1980 for Dev Anand’s movie Manpasand, Daaton kavale datun ( Last of Rafi Sahab for Dev Anand ), then in 1980 again two songs for Unees Bees, then in 1981 two songs for the movie Shaaqa, then in 1981, for the movie Yaarana, picturized on Amjad Khan and lastly in 1984 for the movie Yaadon ki Zanjeer, picturized on Sunil Dutt.

    With regards to all Rafi Lovers,

    A die-hard pur-sitar of Rafi Sahab,
    Long live Rafi sahab, Shab Bakhair,

    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  26. sundeep pahwa says:

    tks sauvikji for reminding all the great association of LP/DHARMENDER
    with Rafi saheb, another milestone song of the trio was Kaise jeete hain
    bhala from the Dulal guha directed Dost 1974 which had a meaning
    towards life why only Dharmender rafi saheb was instrumental in
    the rise of all major hero’s during 50.60. and 70.s i doubt if any
    singer can match it sundeep pahwa

  27. Prince Lalit says:

    Nice article Mr. Souvik. Its very true that Rafi Sahab sang all the songs very nicely for all the actors . Rafi Sahab was Gem. But the harmony of Rafi Sahab + Dharmendra + Laxmi Pyare is really fantastic.
    You mentioned most of the songs of these stars in your list but there are two another songs I would like to highlight is from film “Baghawat”. There were 2 songs of Rafi Sahab in this movie & picturised on Dharmendra & music was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. One was solo song of Rafi Sahab — “Nagin Sa Roop Hai Tera Main Banke Prem Sapera……..” and other was Rafi Sahab’s duet with Asha Bhonsle — “Mere Mehboob Tujhe Salam…” Both songs were melodious & superb.
    But very well done Mr. Souvik, I like your article & Rafi Sahab & Dharmendra’s photo also.

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

  28. salimk says:

    Laxi Pyare would not get the status they have without the incredible Rafisaab. I however told Pyare bhai that i will never forgive them for not asking Rafisaab to sing :sarakti jaye hai rookh se naqab” from deedar e-yaar, with all due respects, kishore did not do justice to that song, i dont think any singer could beautify the song that Rafisaab could.

    There is a film AAkhri dao made in 75 where Rafisaab sang 2 solos.
    1. aisa na ho ke in wadiyon mein
    2.dekehen kahan par girti hao bijli

    These songs if sung by an other singer would be forgotten on day 1 but the magic of Rafisaab’s singing has made these songs and all his songs as immortal. These 2 songs i have heard more than a thousand times.

    All great LP songs are sung by Rafisaab and the music duo always appreciate this fact.

    Well done souvik bhai for taking the time out to write this.

  29. bimanbaruah says:

    Dearest Souvik Ji

    very good article with nice combinations. Fortunately, Rafi Sahab sang his last song for Dharmendra. In 1970-80s, LP composed his maximum popular songs for Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna in the voice of Rafi Sahab. I would like to mention a very soulful song of this combinations, “Kahaniya Sunati Hai Pawan Aati Jati Hai , Ek Thi Diya Ek Batiya” from Vijay Anand’s RAJPUT which I used to listen regularly. It was one of the best song of Rafi Sahab’s last days. Keep writing
    With best regards
    biman baruah

  30. anil nakra says:

    true good informative article , deep study about new combination ,its true we dont think about this combination
    good very good

  31. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Thanks for the reply Vinodji, Hassanji and Manishji,
    Happy eid and dussehra to everyone.
    In reply to Manishji’s post, yes Madanmohanji composed music in many brilliant films of Dharmender including Aap Ki Parchayiya, Neela Akash, Anpadh, Haqeekat, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, etc. For that matter Shankar Jaikishan composed impressive music in Dharmender’s successful films like Shikar, Pyar Hi Pyar, Yakeen, etc. where Mohammad Rafi created gems.
    Many of these composers died subsequently. Roshanji died in 1967, Jaikishanji died in 1971, Madanmohansahab died in 1975.
    LP sustained for a longer period and composed music in more than 510 films. As Dharmender also ruled bollywood films for more than 30 years, so Rafi, LP and Dharmender combination had really created history.
    Souvik Chatterji

  32. vinod mehru says:

    Dear Sauvik ji,

    Our rafi sahab is always given his performance in a such manner and we always find that his voice is always matching with any artist and we feel that artist himself rendering the song.

    rafi sahab apni awaaz ko is tarah banate hai ki lagta hai ki woh kalakaar khud hi gaa raha hai chahe woh dharam ji ho yaa fir om prakash ji , haan jaisa ki aapne bataya hai ki rafi sahab ki awaaz dhram ji bhi ko bhi achhi lagti hai .

    thanks for your article , one request is there if you give me some information and write up for the combination of rafi sahab and roshan ji.

    u may email me on or call me on 09768245368

    with regards
    vinod mehru

  33. K P Hassan says:

    Really Rafi Saheb was the ‘ANMOL RATNA’ of Golden Era of our film industry, his melodious songs were actually helped our yesteryear heroes like, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Rishi Kappor, especially Shammi Kapoor etc. to get their films a big hit as well as their fame. After the death of Rafi Saheb, a number of singers appeared in the film industry and released thousands of songs, but even today a major portion of real music lovers like the songs of Golden Era of our film industry especially the melodious songs of Legend singer Mohd Rafi Saheb. I am sure that my beloved Rafi Saheb and his songs will remain in the heart of Music Lovers for ever.

  34. manish says:

    true, lp-dharmendra-rafi were like naushad-dilip-rafi..but before lp became popular, it was mostly madanmohan-dharmendra-rafi in movies like haqeeqat, aapki parchhaiyaan, neela akash, dulhan ek raat ki etc..opn also worked in mohabbat zindagi hai and bahaaren phir bhi aayengi.
    i personally like madanmohan and lp songs picturized on rafi a lot, main nigaahen, hui shaam and aaj mausam bada in particular

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