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Why So?

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

Mohd RafiWhenever I listen to certain songs of yesteryears, I am always baffled by the choice of Singers for the particular song where the actors are required to act songs in an unfamiliar voice or without their usual singers. Of course, I am referring to songs mostly from pre-70s especially sixties as post-70, it became a fad for all the heroes to have KK singing for them and in fiftees, almost all Heroes had two or three Singers singing for them. When I listen to the melodious Rafi – Lata duet “Tum Hi Tum Ho Mere Jeevan Me” (Ek Dil Sau Afsane), I wonder what made SJ to select Rafi in place of Mukesh or even Mannadey, two best known play back singers for Raj Kapoor. Similarly, Rafi’s song in Mera Naam Joker.

True, RK had always had at least one song of Rafi in all his movies commencing with Barsaat, followed by Aawara, Shree 420, Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Boot Polish, Jagte Raho and Sangam, except Jis Desh Main Ganga Behti Hai. But all these songs were picturised on other actors but not on RK. But the Joker song was on RK. Already RK had two singers in this movie, Mukesh and Mannadey. Perhaps, SJ felt that this difficult song can be sung only by Rafi. May be RK also wanted at least one Rafi song in his magnum opus like most of his other movies and as the other three heroes in the movie (MK, Dharmendra and RK) did not have any songs, perhaps he himself sang Rafi number also. “Baazi Kisine Pyaar Ki” (Nazrana) also was on RK, perhaps due to MD Ravi, a Rafi Bhakt. Of course, the old Dastaan also had all Rafi songs like “Tarararam Tarararam”, etc.

I also cannot understand why Mahendra Kapoor was used in Dastaan and Gopi and KK in Sagina for a Rafi hero like Dilip Kumar. No doubt, songs of Gopi were hits, but for the best song it had to be Rafi – “Sukhake Sab Saathi”. Similarly, in Dastaan, Rafi had to come for the theme song “Na Tu Zamin Ke Liye”, so beautifully rendered. But SDB choosing KK for DK in Sagina was a big let down or was it the handiwork of his assistant RDB. The songs of Sagina are one of the worst for both SDB as well as DK movies.

Dev Anand having ignored Rafi in the seventies, turning to him for “Logon Ka Dil” (Man Pasand) was a pleasant surprise, perhaps the MD wanted Rafi or Dev also wanted to go back to Rafi with this song as Rafi was reemerging by that time and KK could not sustain the youthful image of Dev so assiduously built during the sixties. Alas, Dev could not have more of Rafi as Rafi almost immediately departed.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi with Manoj Kumar and Sathya Sai Baba

Manoj Kumar always wanted either Mukesh or Mahendra in almost all his movies from mid-sixties onwards, though Rafi was his play back singer in his earlier movies like Shaheed, Naqli Nawab, Apna Banake Dekho, Saajan, Gumnaam, Bedaag, Do Badan, etc. In fact, MK wanted Mahendra instead of Talat in the male duet “Kaisi Hasin Aaj” in Aadmi. But for Sai Baba, he chose Rafi to be his Singer, may be because, Rafi also was a Sai Baba Bhakt and went visiting Sai Baba during Baba’s visit to Mumbai. Another MK song sung by MR was for the movie “Poonam Ki Raat”, the beautiful solo “Dil Tadape Tadapaye”, where as all other songs in this movie were sung by Mukesh with music by Salil Chaudhury, reportedly a not so Rafi enthusiast. But if you listen to the song carefully, especially the lines “Kisko Sada Dun” in the second Antara, perhaps you get an inkling of the reason.

In “Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya”, all songs on Dharmendra were by Rafi, but for the qawali “Humne Jalwa Dikhaya To” the MD Sonik Omi chose Mannadey. In Devar and Poornima also, the MDs chose Mukesh instead of Rafi, reasons unknown. Also in “Meri Sarkar” duet (from Shikar), SJ used Mahendra instead of Rafi though Rafi had sung the solo “Tumhare Pyaar Me Hum” in the same movie.

Shammi Kapoor was a Rafi hero, which was established in the late fiftees itself though Mannada used to sing few songs for Shammi now and then. But “Teri Adaon Par” and “Ae Dil” (Bluff Master) had Mukesh and Hemant crooning for SK. Later, songs of Parvarish and Zameer also had Shailendra Singh and Mahendra Kapoor singing for ageing Shammi, though Rafi was very much available. In fact, in the Parvarish song, Rafi gave voice for Vinod Khanna in the same song.

An out and out Rafi hero like Rajendra Kumar also had KK in “Tum Ko Bhi To” (Aap Aaye Bahar Aayi), when all other songs were sung by Rafi. Perhaps RK wanted to test KK’s voice on him, as KK was the leading singer then, but very wisely returned to Rafi in all his later movies except for “Maduban Khushboo Deta Hai” (Sajan Bina Suhagan) which was sung so beautifully by Yesudass. Of course, Saathi had Mukesh singing for RK but that was mainly due to the Producer Director A. Subba Rao much against the wishes of the MD Naushad who wanted Rafi. Similarly why Subeer Sen was chosen for the title song of Aas Ka Panchi as well as Lata duet “Dheere Chalao Jara” and Mukesh for “Tum Rooti Raho”, only SJ could have answered or perhaps, we can ask Mr. Raju Bharatan. Zindagi Lori “Muskura Ladle Muskura” sung by Mannadey so beautifully was another such unique song as all other songs in the movie were sung by Rafi. Similarly, Ganwar had Rafi as the main playback singer, but the song “Aao Mere Sathiyon” was by Mahendra Kapoor, may be because it was a patriotic song, which in those days MK used to sing regularly especially in Manoj’s movies.

Sunil Dutt also had various Singers throughout his career, but maximum songs were that of Rafiji. But why Mukesh was chosen in “Milan” that too when the MD were Rafi Bhakts LP, is hard to fathom. But of course, it should be admitted that Mukesh sang superbly in this movie.

Shashi Kapoor, another Rafi hero had Mukesh in that wonderful duet “Hum Safar Ab Yeh Safar Kat Jayega” in JUARI and MK in WAQT duet “Din Hai Baharke”, perhaps as the movie was from BR Camp.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

Sometimes, I wonder how it would have been if Rafi had given his voice to Bharat Bhooshan in “Tum Bin Jaun Kahan” in “Pyaar Ka Mausam” as MR was the voice of BB in most of his hit movies.

Biswajeet became a popular actor only because of Rafi songs, but he also joined the group in the early seventies by opting for KK in “Mai Sundar Hun”. Of course, the film though was a commercial success mainly due to Mehamood but Biswajeet faded away.

Another Rafi hero Joy Mukherjee, in movies “Jee Chahta Hai” and “Ishara” had Rafi as the main playback singer, but two solos “Hum Chod Chale Hain” in the former and “Chal Mere Dil” in the latter were by Mukesh, reason again unknown, but it should be admitted that both these songs of Mukesh were good and quite popular songs.

Rajesh Khanna had Rafi and Mukesh to start with in movies but come seventies, he switched over to KK completely. Still, in “Shehajada” he had two Rafi songs, solo “Tere Attaru” and Lata duet “Kahe Ko Bulaya” that too under music direction of RDB. Why RDB chose Rafi instead of KK for these two songs, but these songs were good as well as hits.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

Jeetendra another Rafi hero had Mukesh in “Dharti Kahe Pukarke”, though Rafi sang that beautiful title song in the back-ground. Similarly in VISHWAS, Jeetu had Mukesh and Manhar, but no doubt, all the songs in this movie were excellent with music by KA. But if closely observed, it can be noticed that KA did not use Rafi much for Jeetendra examples being Vishwas, Kathputli (except the duet “Ek Baar Puchun”), Parivaar (MK), etc. Similarly Sanjay had Mukesh in “Beti” when all his other movies during that period had Rafi crooning for him.

The most astonishing selection was that of Rafi for Kishore Kumar himself, as KK himself was a great singer. Of course, we all know that OPN wanted Rafi to sing “Man Mora Bawra” in Ragini as the song was semi classical and OPN felt only Rafi could do justice to the song, but why Rafi was chosen to give voice to KK for the other 10 songs or so for different movies is not known.

When songs of Rafi’s heroes were given to other Singers, perhaps Rafi was busy with his foreign tours or even may be had ‘cold’. And when Rafi sang for heroes usually having other Singers, may be the MDs felt Rafi could do justice to that particular song better than others. However the real story may be more interesting.

Whatever may be the case, we can be sure that if Rafi had been used instead of the other Singers in the songs mentioned above, the songs would have fared equally better as all these songs were so simple and uncomplicated that Rafi would have sung them even in his sleep.

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52 Blog Comments to “Why So?”

  1. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 49: KK as a singer was okay, but Rafi Saheb was far ahead of him, world knows.

  2. anil says:

    one should not rtead too much about rafi giving playback to kishore. beacuse in all those movings the topmost hit song is sung by kishore himself (like rangloi sajao etc). onle man mora bawara nayyar ysed rafi for kishore to teach kishore a lesson as he used many antics at recording . unless the comoser is determined he would not a make a tune which does not suit aqctor’s throat. also politics is having role here. it was very clear that kishore was the only possible threat to rafi. Music composers like op nayyar and lata had made statements that if kishore takes playback singing hev will make chutti the leading palyback singers here!
    however it is excess to say all songs could be sung by kishore and equallly wrong to say all songs could be by rafi the songs ‘yeh jeevan hai”, “aaanewala pal”, “kab tak andhere ” are unimagibnable in the voice of rafi.
    Moreover in the very same year 1969 when sdb used kishore for aradhana sdb tried to kill all politics by using Maana dey’s palyback to kishorte for all songs in the movie which he acted! I think now every politics is crystal clear!

  3. Raajkumar Akela says:

    My dear friends !
    Today is 31st July…an inauspicious day for all the music lovers.
    Today, in 1980, we lost our beloved singer Padmashree Mohammad
    Rafi Sahab. He was not less than an angel.
    Let us remember him on this day and pray for his divine soul !
    May God bless his soul eternal peace in the heaven !!!
    -Raajkumar Akela

    ज़मी से फलक तक सभी आँख नम है
    सभी के दिलों मे बसा एक गम है
    कहाँ खो गया वो सुरों का सिकंदर
    बिना जिसके संगीत का सूर एक कम है

    -राजकुमार “अकेला”

  4. It is fact that MAIN PILLAR of hindi film music was Mohammed Rafi, the legend, and all others were supporting to this big shamiyana. Mohammed Rafi was a special gift from GOD to film industry as a whole, nothing comes in way how others think and what fact is. If anybody is there who can be just nearer to rafisaabs position, that is LATAJI nobody else. The concept of proper playback singing in film industry lived with the help of RAFI and LATA, others were follower of them. After the death of Rafisaab all music directors, actors, producers seems to be confused and heldpless and the result is todays trend of music which is far behind to become popular and catchy at first instance. I sincerely regret that RAFIsaab is not properly honoured at proper platform due to negligence of somebody due to unknown reason. However, there is no need of comparing Rafisaab with anybody for any reason. I simply salute RAFIsaab with all regards, I am grateful to almighty that we are blessed with beautiful songs rendered by RAFIsaab which are part of our life. I also pray the almighty to let RAFIsaab emerge on this earth again with his new Avtaar and new Karishma.

  5. Binu Nair says:

    mr.farid …. post 42….. Jo rafi saaheb ka madhur aawaaz liya woh composer or producer – aage hi badha hai. yes, some times producer or the actor have a say – no two opinions on it.

    but, jo rafi saaheb ko choda usse industry bhool gaya. look what happended to maestro op nayyar after he stopped using rafi’s voice over a genuine late arrival issue and ego problems.

    binu nair, mumbai.

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  7. SANJAY ARORA says:

    ref 42,mr farid.raviji could not have made that remark,that he got less work,not only raviji,but all his contemprory music director`s favourite & only male singer was rafi saab,if that had been the case,this would have been choroused by other mds also

  8. Binu Nair says:

    re: post 41 narayan ji, ur statements compel me to write about a great singer who took l & p to the top slot in hfm. but, when laxmikant died, the relationship had soured for they dared to take other singers for their tunes and movies in the eighties. they had to take other singers as the singer was touring for months and they had about seventy percent of the hindi movies.

    when this singer was asked by a journo about the contribution of laxmikant when he expired ; out came the callous reply : “I have not worked much with this composer and i think u are at the wrong address”.
    I will not name the singer for obvious reasons, mr.narayan. i will add that only rafi saaheb stood his ground in this industry as he had enough talents to beat any competition of the day.

    binu nair.

  9. Farid says:

    Dear Mr Guru Murthy
    I know you have lot of knowledge on indian film music since you have written so many articles on the this subject.
    How true is it that the music director has the final say in who does the playback for songs in the film, music director or the people who have finance the film?
    Two years ago I saw an interview on one of the Asian channels in the UK.
    Ravi the music director was taking about his career in the Indian film industry.
    He said “His preference for Rafi singing the songs above any other singer resulted in him getting little work from Indian film producers.”
    According to Ravi for film Waqt there was rift between the producer of the film and Rafi.
    The producer said “Rafi won’t sings for us” Ravi told the producer
    “I will persuade Rafi to sing for you” which resulted in Rafi singing
    the song “Waqt kay din aur Raat”
    Its so long since I seen the film or played the record but that is
    only song I remember from that film as usual Rafi sang it so
    So I think whoever finances the film dictates who writes the
    lyrics.who scores the music and who does playback for male
    and female actors/actress.
    If I was finanacing the film this would have been my choice of singers

    Male Female

    1st Choice Rafi Lata

    2nd choice Mukesh Suman Kalyanpur

    3rd choice Manna dey Asha

    4th choice Mahendra Kapoor Shamshad Begum

    5th choice Hemant Kumar

    6th choice Talat Mahmood

    If non of the above artist were available I would have avoided songs in the film.


  10. Narayan says:

    Dear Rafi fans.
    Yes we all tend to be greedy like all crazy fans. But thankful to Rafi sahab and his associates to give us abundant treasure of gems the evergreen songs perhaps it will take more than one birth to analyse and listen to them all…
    We should be thankful to the golden era of the 50s,60s,…. which was totaly dominated by Rafi sahab, Lataji followed in a distance by others.
    Gurmurty sir,
    For Milan an LP music Mukesh was preferred due to insistance of Lataji as there was a royalty issue and Mukeshji was going thru a lean patch..
    For Gopi KA the MD is always a great supporter of MK took him in all the male songs except the one which matters the most SUKH KE SAB SAATHI…………
    How Lataji lost to Suman,Asha in many films of SJ,KA,LP,MM and many others
    in abundance. Fortunately for Rafi Bakths the corresponding loss was meagre

  11. Binu Nair says:

    July 14th our own madan mohan saahebs 33rd death anniversary. we, at rafi foundation on saturdays live musical on july 12th in mumbai s naushad hall tributed madan mohan ji with five of his great solos sung by rafi saaheb played and two minute silence observed – in memory of all our legends.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai. cell : 9833 250 701

  12. shashank says:

    Dear Fans,

    Today in FM-100.7, there was a birth anniversary tribute to music director Roshan where the RJ told that Lalji Bahadur was an assistant director under roshanji where he played many instruments in those days and also sang in a chorus with mohdrafisahab.

  13. Binu Nair says:

    post 35 myk : there shoud never be a discussion on who is the greatest singer : number one.

    two : let’s all enjoy the the great melodies of legends of hfm headed by rafi saaheb.

    three : wherever possible , have music sessions of rafi songs (big and small) like many centres are doing now and show to the world and the younger generation, the melody of rafi saaheb songs and

    write letters to the editors/electronic media to honour rafi saaheb with the bharat ratna award this year and also to start a music channnel solely devoted to classical music, semi-classical music and hfm from the golden era.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai.

  14. SHABIR says:


  15. M. Rehman says:

    Mhod. Raifi remains all time greatest singer among the other legends be cause of:

    1. When we chose any Rafi song from any of his album it is very hard to determine which song is better then which. The fact is that his all songs that we listen even in these days we find are the best and all of his songs are equal popular.

    2. I think it makes clear when LATA JI said that Rafi song has the kind of power which compelled many people who never listened or liked film songs became RAFI follower.
    This comments reflects that RAFI voice was super natatural or we can say miracle of GOD which normal human being can not have except GOD’s willing.

    3. Mahendra Kapoor hims self said in an TV interview that he is nothing without MOHD. RAFI. He ows all his career to him and he and his whole family is gratfull to RAFI to give him opportunity to become a singer…

  16. myk says:

    Singer Minoo Purshottam recently revealed on TV Asia’s “Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon” that Kishore was a fantastic harmonium player, and that Kishore used to say:

    “I will never be able to sing like Mohd. Rafi”.

    When Kishore and virtually every other musician, singer, lyricist etc. all hail Rafi as the greatest, why is there even the issue of a debate over who the greatest male playback singer is ?. Furthermore, besides the words of all these personalities, it is anyways clear who is the best.

  17. unknow says:

    Dear fans,
    who can named the hit films as music from 1970 to 1980 without Mohd Rafi songs in the that flim.i don’t think there be ten flims hit by music from 1970 to 1980 without Mohd Rafi.
    Who was romantic heroes in 1960’s with Mohd rafi voice and in 1970’s they became action heroes if am not wrong without Mohd rafi voice …………….

  18. The Music Director of “Kuhu Kuhu” was a Southerner, Mr. Adinarayanarao, who used Carnatic style for this song, which is different from the Hindustahni style. This song is also there in Tamil sung by Southern Singers. Both the songs are equally good and there is no doubt that both Rafi and Lata have done full justice to this Carnatik song. In fact, as for as my memory goes, no other Hindi singer has tried a full fledged Carnatic song apart from Rafi and Lata.

  19. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Re. Post # 14 & 21: Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya…. song was equally sung well by Rafi Saheb and Lata. This lady cannot surpass Rafi Saheb in singing.

  20. shashank says:

    Post No 23, Mr.Viky is really correct tht kk didnt want to be an actor, he wanted to become a singer and he himself told in the interview also. The point is kk became a well known singer after the film “Aaradhana” became a hit for Rajesh Khanna. At tht time Mohdrafi went to Haj in their holy place. So, kk became a new playback singer in the film industry. but kk and mohdrafi was too good friends, in kk’s emergency problm, rafisahab helped to lift the ban for kk.

  21. shashank says:

    mr vknayyar, Post no 19, “falak pe jitne sitare hain wo bhi sharmayen”, u are right and the musicdirector is Shankar Jaikishan. The film was “Mere Huzoor”. all the songs are superb. The actual song is “Gum uthane ke liye mein tho jeeye jaunga”.

  22. Anil Cherian says:

    Posts #18, 21:
    i never said rafisahab sang the song badly.. only that he wasn’t too comfortable singing it. Does he sound as smooth and relaxed in this song as he does in ‘Madhuban mein raadhika….’ or ‘Duniya ke rakhwale….’? He’s technically alright here but as we all know, rafisahab is much more than technical perfection.

  23. Mehboob says:

    Ref post 23:

    i am pleased that you have acknowledge that KK was not the best singer of all times unlike other KK fans. however, i beg to differ that KK is the most popular singer of all time. Rafi is the best and the most popular singer of all time. His songs even now sell more than any other singer.
    Rafi sahab is in the premier league of his own followed Lata and Asha in the next league and than the rest of the singers in the lower league.
    Rafi is uncomparable.

  24. rafian1 says:

    “Rajesh Khanna was lucky for us and we were lucky for him too. From the 1969 Do Raaste to the 1986 Amrit, we gave hits together both as films and as music scores. We used so many singers for him – Rafisaab, Mukeshji, Mahendra Kapoor, Amit Kumar and Mohammed Aziz among them – but he would always request us to fit in Kishore Kumar wherever possible. I recall how Kishoreda was very reluctant to sing Waada tera waada in Dushmun and was insisting we get Rafi for it. We surrounded Kishoreda and Rajesh Khanna winked at Laxmi(kant) and me and told Kishoreda that in that case we would scrap the song. And he immediately changed his mind!

    This is extracted from Pyarelal remembering Rajesh Khanna(Screen Weekly).So here we can see
    most of the times it was the actors who called the shots.My respect for KK goes up and for Rajesh Khanna goes down after reading this.

    I would like to mention that Rajesh Khanna never got a better song than the ‘koi nazrana leke’ song(Aan milo sajna).When Rafi saab sings ‘Saari baatem ruk gayi hain sub ki aankhein chuk gayi hain’ .Ho.I just can not explain the beauty of that moment and I felt how Rafi saab suited Rajesh Khanna.

  25. Binu Nair says:

    post 23 vicky ji: u are right. yes KK wanted to become a singer only then an actor but elder brother ashok kumar simply would not agree. and kishore had no other option but to act and since he was not interested in acting he did funny things on the sets.
    ashok kumar was far more practical and knew that kishore stood no chance in playback singing – as per the musical times prevailing then. what i mean is where does kishore kumar stand when even for kk songs, composers were rooting – only for the institution named mohammad rafi

    binu nair…. rafi foundation.. mumbai..

  26. Binu Nair says:

    Post 14: i would accept ur views re : kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya – to some extent. we had taken this song in a grand musical and this number came out very well, sung by aparna ji and kakaji naushad. one of the days we will post the song herein. but, let me confirm that lata has pulled it off – indeed very well. it’s a classic and rafi too is not far behind.

    binu nair, mumbai.

  27. Binu Nair says:

    “aan milo sajna” also had a rafi-lata duet : rang rang ke phool khile………….
    oh, ab aan milo sajna, aan miloooooooooo, aan milo sajna, beautifully picturised on rajesh khanna and mumtaz in one of the lush green farms of some country-side.
    these songs were tasteful rafi nuggets during 72-76 season. then, came emergency, kk was banned by sanjay gandhi over the official media like vivid bharati – and all rafi loyalists like madan mohan, usha khanna, l & P along with small time composers shamji ghansham ji and others giving quality and top of the charts songs to the king and thereby rafi saaheb staging the biggest and only comeback to his original throne of number one in hindustani playback singing.

    binu nair. rafi foundation, mumbai.

  28. vicky says:


    sry to interrupt n divert this topic from its main point(referring to post no 5) but u r grossly mistaken whn u say tht kk wanted to be an actor its a well known fact tht kk always wanted to be a singer so much so tht he hated his popularity as an actor and wud do strange things to ward off the producers who came to sign him for their movies, he almost left the film industry in the 60s but somehow carried on to bcome one of the legends of playback singing n definitely the most popular singer of all times(not the best though) ..!!

  29. A S MURTY says:

    ref several posts on the song from “aan milo sajna” – “falak se todkar dekho, sitare log laye hain, magar main woh nahi laya jo saare log laye hain, koi nazarana lekar aaya hun mein diwana tere liye, aaj chhalka hai khushiyon se dilka paimana tere liye”. the song has been very romantically and poetically rendered by rafi sahab. while other songs in the same were by kk, lp chose rafi sahab for this party song and rafi sahab suited rajesh khanna to the hilt. good to see comments by s. chandar from hyderabad too on this forum. rafi sahab went on to record several songs for rajesh khanna including in the film ‘araadhna’ which brought kk to the centre stage.

  30. santosh says:

    Dear Mr.Cherian,

    I agree with your comment on the song Kuhu Kuhu bole koyaliya.Everytime I listen to this song I feel bad because lata has sung it better than rafi saab, whereas in all the other duets it is the otherway round.Still rafi saab has sung it well and not as bad as you point out.The sharpness which is required in classical songs is missing.May be rafi saab’s voice broadened when he sung in high notes makes you feel like this.

    I would like our knowledgeble friends to discuss this point.

  31. Taz says:

    I always wondered how would the songs of Coolie (1983), Betaab (1983), Mard (1985), Pyar Jhukta Nahin (1985), Pyar Kiya hai Pyar Karenge (1987), Ajooba (1990) and many others would have sounded if our beloved Mohammed Rafi saab had rendered them with his graceful and divine voice.

    They would have perfectly matched the actors personality and character in the songs in the above mentioned films. But still his followers sang the songs from this films.

    I believe Mohammed Rafi saab was the voice of all the actors, comedians and tragedians of the 1960’s. Even in the seventies, Mohammed Rafi saab’s songs for Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi kapoor, Shashi kapoor were more beautiful and melodious than Kishore Kumars.

    Don’t forget, Mohammed Rafi saab also sang for upcoming heroes of the 1980’s such as Mithun Chakraborty (Khwab, hamse badkar kaun), Anil Kapoor (Rachna), Naseeruddin Shah, Deepak Parashar, Mazhar Khan and even Govinda!!

    If God or Bhagwan was to come down to earth, I believe he would come in the voice of Mohammed Rafi!!!

  32. vknayyar says:

    may i correct mr.HV guru murthyji (comment no.3) above. the song “falak pe jitne sitare hain wo bhi sharmayen” was neither from “do raste” or “aaj milo sajna” sung for rajesh khanna; it was from “mere hazoor” and sung by rafiji for jitendra.

  33. Cherianji, Post 14. I beg to differ. “Kuhu Kuhu” is one of the best classical songs based on Carnatik music in the hindi film industry and one of the best classical song of both Rafi and Lata. I am sure Mannada also would have sung well but Rafi and Lata were just “SUPERB”.

  34. unknow says:

    Mohd Rafi singed 16 songs for Mr Bachchan and most of songs are super hit and most songs singed by Mohd Rafi for Rajesh Khanna are super hit,I don’t know why people said Rajesh and Mr Bachchan was KK actors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

  35. Binu Nair says:

    post 7……..very apt analysis. rafi’s absence from the scene and the wave of change brought kk to the top. but could he hold on to the top? the industry then brought in yesudas too in the seventies but only a big spark was seen.

    after the haj and a good period of rest and world tours rafi was back again to the place he belonged to : de numero uno spot. this is the only and the biggest comeback in hindustani music industry.

    binu nair. mumbai

  36. shashank says:

    Nice article gurumurthyji. the fact is all singers are unique in their style and as well as all music composers were unique. But leaving behind Salil chowdhury and OPNayyar for their mistakes not takng rafisahab was very bad and they had lost their chances in the film industry. Salil chowdhury took mukesh and opnayyar took mahendra kapoor. But the fact is all singers respected rafisahab as a no.1 singer in their era. That is the real legends. Everywhere their is politics not in the industry in all. So, Kishorekumar himself said tht rafisahab was a great playback singer than me. then wht else the industry needed. He sang every type of songs and music directors took all the chances they wanted from rafisahab without hesitant. All the film industry respects rafisahab now also.

  37. Anil Cherian says:

    Gurumurthy sir:
    The song ‘mere dost qissa…’ (picturised on the big B) was given to Rafisahab because the vocal range was beyond the capability of KK. The ‘nafrat ki duniya…..’ song was also beyond KK’s reach (because of the sustained high pitch). Anyway both these songs are composed by L-P who always preferred Rafisahab (though they did a good ‘balancing act’).
    Coming to the ’60s songs, I believe the MDs were trying to be fair with every singer (rightly so), there were personal preferences (especially by producers) and then there was this Rafi-Lata rift. Otherwise Rafisahab would have been given almost all the songs since almost all the heroes of this decade were Rafi-heroes and they would have liked all the songs to be in the ‘baadshah’s ‘ voice.
    There is one song which I feel should have gone to Mannada (instead of Rafisahab)- it is ‘kuhoo kuhoo bole koyaliya…..’. This is one song in which Rafisahab is not fully in his cool, relaxed self.

  38. Binu Nair says:

    post 12 : sorry for the misprint : the song is from aan milo sajna , release year could be 1972 and the era of l & p had begun big time.

    binu nair.

  39. Binu Nair says:

    post 7, 9, 10 : yes i was referring to the song of aan milo sajna. the movie was itself a big hit, rajesh khanna wave hitting everybody and kk songs becoming very popular and myself not yet a rafi fan at age 14. a remark by a relative about rafi saaheb made me sit n think n follow the giant singer.

    i heard this song Koi nazrana leke aaya hoon mai, afsaana tere liye, aaj kal ka hai kushiyan………………. and could’nt help writing but with the wrong movie name. yes, the song is aan mili sajna, hear the silken rafi touch herein.

    thanks alert rafi fans for the prompt correction.

    binu nair, mumbai.

  40. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Mohammed Rafi Saheb was capable of singing any type of songs, maybe it was lack of time or he was not available then. KK sang very badly for Dilip Kumar, hence no music directors then repeat to make sing KK for Dilip Kumar. Rafi Saheb was every hero’s voice.

  41. Krupesh Patel says:

    Falak pe jithne sithare…..koi nazrana song from Aan milo Sajna not from Do Raaste. Producer-Director J. Om prakash fantastic Rafi Fan, I saw his interview on TV. whenever he use LP as MD, Rafi was main singer. In Aap ki kasam JOP choose RDB as MD, no song for rafi.

    Binuji, as per my opinion Rafi Saab best sung for Jitendra in movie Jigari Dost, LP was md.

  42. K.J.Ravi says:

    One small correction in binu nair’s comment: the song is falak se todke sitaren log laaye hain and the film is aan milo sajna. the song falak pe jitne siteren hai is from the film mere huzoor.

  43. AHAMED KUTTY Pazhayannur says:

    The reason for giving some songs to other singers may be
    because of rafi saab’s mentality to help is a fact
    that when kishore kumars’s songs barred to telecast from
    all india radio and doordarshan during emergency,rafi saab
    had taken initiative to revoke the ban.

  44. Jayant Sanyal says:

    Dear Binu nairji, falak pe jitne sitare hai was for the film Mere Huzoor picturised on Jeetendra.

    As regards the absence of the golden voice of Rafi Saab is concerned it could be attributed to the instance of Rafi Sahab “giving up singing” on the comment made by an anynomous person while travelling for Haj, and he had been away from mainstram siniging for 6 long years which gave Kishore Kumar ample time and opportunity to carve out a niche for himself and somewhat overshadow Rafi Sahab for some time (Refer Rafi Sahab biography “Rafi Sahab ki Sur Yatra by Mr. Vinod Viplov).

    Though Rafi Sahab came roaring back with songs like “Khush Rahna mere Yaar” (Rajesh Khanna- Haathi Mere Saathi which had all other songs by Kishore Kumar), and then Teri Galiyon Mein Na Rakhenge Kadam (Hawas), and some other memorable hits like Main Jat Yamla Pagla Deevana(Pratigya) and Yeh Khidki Jo Band Rahti Hai (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki), and the unforgettable quawalli “Parda Hai Parda” (Amar Akbar Anthony), or “Tu is Tarah se Meri Zindagi Mein Shaamil Hai” (Aap Toh Aise Na The)

    Rafi Sahab was indeed the best of the male playback singers, but the “second best ones” also deserved their time in the sun, isn’t it? This is not to undermine the greatness of Mukesh, Mannadey or Kishore Kumar by any means at all. They along with Rafi Sahab were the shining pillars of the Golden Rea of Hindi Film Music.

    As regards why Rafi Sahab was mssing in the songs by Rafi Heroes, these are my own personal views, a rather speculative statement only!, God Only knows the Truth!

  45. Anil Cherian says:

    Fully agree with rafian1. Ideally we would like all the good songs of ’60s to have been sung by the ‘baadshah’, but let’s not forget that Mukeshji & co were all very good and gave us some unforgettable numbers. And as rightly remarked they all co-existed beautifully with a “live and let live” motto.
    Having said that, I believe songs like ‘hum tum yug yug se….’ should’ve gone to Rafisahab..
    Binu Sir, ‘falak pe jitne…’ has been picturised on Jeetu.. and I suppose it’s a SJ score… the famous solo from Do raaste happens to be ‘ yeh reshmi zulfein..’ Agree with you that it’s Rafisahab who is primarly instrumental in making Jeetandra the jubilee star that he was. And it’s Rafisahab who sounded best on Jeetu right till his sad demise. Even in the ’80s the Rafi-clones sounded better (than KK) with Jeetu, this is not degrading KK but it’s just that Jeetu’s speaking voice and his features matched more with Rafisahab’s voice. And Rafisahab (as his wont) adapted brilliantly to Jeetendra’s persona.
    Personally speaking, I find Rajesh Khanna’s speaking voice more similar to Rafisahab’s than KK’s but RDB found a way to fixate KK’s voice on the superstar and other MDs followed suit. Whenever Rafisahab sang for Rajesh, he did a marvelous job (can one forget ‘nafrat ki duniya…’ or ‘ye jo chilman….’) and it’s a pity he was not given more opportunities.
    Among all the heroes, only Raj Kapoor (with Mukeshji/Mannada) and Amitabh (with KK) appears better-off with a singer other than Rafisahab and it is irritating (to say the least) when people like Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar and Dharmendra singing in ‘other’ voices.

  46. S.CHANDAR says:

    I have read my dear friend, H.V.Gurumurty’s thought provoking article “Why so?” and am dumbstruck by the knowledge of this man. I used to think I know more about Rafi saab’s songs than others, but now I take my hat off to him. However, I would like to submit my comments to his article.

    If other singers, like KK, Manna Dey, Mukesh, et al had not been chosen to sing those songs, I am sure we would not have enjoyed the songs Rafi saab has sung. Imgaine going to Hotel Paradise in Hyderabad and ordering for your favourite “Hyderabadi Biryani”. It will be served with an assortment of side dishes, but the main course will be biryani. I hope I am able to drive home my point. And surely singers of the calibre of KK, Manna Dey, Mukesh, et al are worth hearing. Even though I am a diehard fan of Rafi Saab, I do enjoy the songs of the above-mentioned singers.

    Regarding selection of singers, I would like to remind Gurumurty that we are living in India where politics, religion, ego and a host of ther problems are the bane of the society. BR Chopra could never think of Rafi Saab singing for his movie after “Waqt”. That was his problem and his loss as well ours. Salil Chaudhary was never at ease with Rafi Saab even though he had him singing for his films. I can go on and on. But, I would only say that the reasons for not using Rafi Saab for their songs was other than the singing abilities of Rafi Saab and most of them were as I have mentioned above.

    Regarding other comments, I would like to submit the following:

    – Rafi Saab being used for KK was due the fact that KK used to think of himself more as an actor, which he desparately wanted to be, rather than a singer. He was not a commercial success in those days, though, according to me his songs of those days are more enjoyable than the ones of the 70’s.

    – In Abhimaan, SD has used Manhar, KK and Rafi Saab for 3 songs picturised on the same hero- Amitabh Bachhan. Reason is personal. But, here I feel that SD had good choice of the singers as was the case with Roshan. Both of them used the best singers for their songs irrespective of the heroes.

    – It was well known, then, that only Rafi Saab’s voice would be used for younger heroes and any other singer would be used for the heroes fathers. Hence, we have Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan for Bharat Bhushan & Rafi Saab for Shashi in “Pyaar ka Mausam”

    – Though Rafi Saab’s voice was youthful, his best songs were picturised on the likes of Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar and Biswajeet, all of whom were not the good-looking heroes of the yesteryears.

    – One last comment. ” Falak pe jitne Sithare” was not from the film “Do Raaste” but from “Aan Milo Sajna”

  47. DEAR RAFIAN 1,



  49. Binu Nair says:

    just hear mohd rafi singing the do raaste song : falak pe jithne sithare for rajesh khanna under l & p and the songs of khilona for sanjeev kumar.
    and the songs of early jeetendra hits like farz, jeene ki raah, humjoli, himmat et all; jeetendra became a jubilee star thanks to the efforts of rafi .
    can someone tell me why the composers “did’nt” use rafi for the seventies songs in which rajesh khanna, sanjeev kumar and jeetendra starred.

    binu nair, mumbai.

  50. rafian1 says:

    Come On Friends.I think We Rafi fans must not be greedy.Even though it will be interesting to imagine how a song would have been if sung by Rafi saab we should not forget that all
    of the MDs and Actors mentioned here were friendly with other Singers too.So I don’t think it is bad to offer songs to other singers though hero is Rafi centric(not forgetting the 70s though).I firmly believe that in 60s Rafi saab was So busy that he himself told the MDs that because of his busy schedule he may not be able to complete the schedule.( As we all know Rafi saab always wanted to help other singers too).Any way what I said is my opinion.

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