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Shammi Kapoor, Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi

This article is written by Mr. Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat, Jaikishan

Mohd Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat, Jaikishan

When Shammi Kapoor was informed about Rafi’s death in 1980, he was told by the informer that he had lost his own voice. In other words it was said that Rafi’s voice had reached the soul of Shammi Kapoor, whose success in bollywood films was largely dependent on the golden voice of Rafi. Shankar Jaikishan had contributed in around 22 films of Shammi Kapoor and without the magical duo Rafi’s combination with Shammi Kapoor would not have fulfilled the popular demands of the musical audience.

If SJ’s composition for Raj Kapoor mark the music catered to the masses, the composition for Rajender Kumar mark the sophisticated tunes catered towards the cultured audience, the compositions for Shammi Kapoor mark the westernized andaz addressed for the young generations. Shammi Kapoor brought the rock and roll andaz of Hollywood films in hindi films, and SJ and Rafi combined together to bring the energetic andaz of Shammi Kapoor who was considered to be a rebel star in the 60s. In fact his style was imitated by Joy Mukherjee and Biswajeet who were also blessed with melodious songs sung by Rafi in the 60s.

SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi combined together to give superhit songs in the film Junglee, including “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar”, “meri yaar shabba khair”, “chahe koi mujhe jungle kahen”, etc. Saira Banu made her debut opposite Shammi Kapoor and the Subodh Mukherjee film became a trend setter for other directors of producers of the 60s.

Mohd Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat, Jaikishan

Mohd Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat, Jaikishan

SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi created the same magic in the film Janwar. Songs like “tumse achha kaun hai”, “lal chari maidan khari” became superhit along with romantic performance of Rajashree in the film. SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi combination in the film Raj Kumar was equally sublime with songs like “hum hai rajkumar”, “tumne pukara aur hum chale ayen”, “tumne kisiki jaan ko”, to name a few. Sadhna was sublime along with Shammi Kapoor in the film.

SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi created magic again in the film An Evening in Paris. All the songs of the film became super hit including “aji aisa mauka”, “aasman se aya farishta”, “raat ke humsafar”, “akele akele kahan ja rahe ho”, “mera dil hai tera”, “diwane ka naam to pucho”, to name a few. The foreign locations of Paris were as majestic as the European music of SJ and modernized performance of Sharmila Tagore in the film.

The brilliant combination of SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi again created magic in the film Brahmchari. All the songs in the film including “dil ke jharoke me”, “chakke pe chakka”, “mai gavun tum so jayo”, “aajkal tere mere pyar ke charche” created storm in bollywood films. Shammi Kapoor won the filmfare for best actor for his performance in Brahmchari, and Shankar Jaikishan won the film fare for best music director for the same film, while Rafi won the filmfare for best singer for singing the song of the same film. Again Rajashree was sublime in the film.

SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi were equally brilliant in the film Prince where Vaijayantimala acted opposite Shammi Kapoor. Rafi’s songs “muqabla hum se na karo” was as hit as “badan pe sitaren lapete hue”. The same combination came up with brilliant songs in the film Laat Sahab. The songs “sawerewali gari se chale jayenge” and “aye chaand zara chup ja” became superhit. Nutan contributed well opposite Shammi Kapoor.

The magic combination of SJ, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi contributed even in GP Sippy film, Andaz. All the songs of Rafi like “dil use do jo jaan deden”, “hai na bolo bolo”, “re mamma re mammare” became superhit. Hema Malini performed for the first time opposite Shammi Kapoor. The brilliant combination of SJ, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Shammi Kapoor and Rafi ended with sad demise of Jaikishan in 1971.

Articles after articles can be devoted on the magic combination who even created magic in other films like Tumse Accha Kaun Hai, Jawan Muhobbat, etc. Critics argue that OP Nayyar and Ravi also contributed in Shammi Kapoor’s films, but their music was also influenced by Shankar Jaikishan’s tunes. The films and the songs of Shammi Kapoor, Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi should be preserved for the future generations.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article
Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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21 Blog Comments to “Shammi Kapoor, Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi”

  1. Chalam says:

    Very well Written. Fully agree with your sentiments regardinfg SJ Shammi & Rafi. We can never get that type of songs and atmospher in films any more. We are lucky to be of that generation when we enjoyed such good music. You should watch Concerts on ” Timeless Shanker Jaikishan Foundation” – Ahmedabad. Seen Part 1 & 2 they are very well presented, Kudos to the Organisers. Will love to attend when the next Concert happens. From Australia

  2. Superb article souvikji. Yes true shammi kapoor was shocked to hear the sad demise of rafisahab. Rafisahab’s songs made shammi kapoor a grt8 hero of that era with the combination with shankar jaikishan. Its like rajkapoor lost his voice Mukesh, Shammi Kapoor lost Mohdrafis voice. its a coincidence.

  3. Mahmood Hafeez says:

    many thing are taken for granted,like Shammi kaoor’s film means Rafi’song and yes ,,as many people said ,masti ,,shararat,and chulbulapan,,It was best combination for people to see Shammiji’s film and enjoy the Rafi’s song,,,,,,, good one to read

  4. sabnavees says:

    ref post -14

    santosh ji,

    I am sorry saw your messahe just now. I was mistaken, i thought you belong to hyderabad whom i know personally.

    nice that we became friends. my no – 09949509592. by the way you play which musical instrument? i play both harmonica & key board.

    about narayan sahab he is a gentleman, very soft spoken. he has introduced me to so many fans of rafi sahab. we can get very good tips from him regarding organising any programme.

    most probably i will be coming to hyderabad in next month, it all depends upon the arrival of another friend from delhi. i will meet you at ahmedabad personally.

    keep on posting your comments in this beautiful forum of our guruji. my self & narayan sahab always address rafi sahab as ‘ guruji ‘

  5. MUKESH KHANNA says:


  6. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear all,

    Thanks for the responses. I agree with Sudershanjiy , that I missed Professor, where the songs “ae gulbadan”, “awaz deke”, etc., were landmark hits.
    Regarding “yeh duniya usi ki”, the song was composed by OP Nayyar for Rafi in the film Kashmir Ki Kali, not Shankar Jaikishan.

    In fact viewers sometimes are surprised to see Rafi imitating the aggressive style of Shammi Kapoor based on the rock and roll andaz of Alvis and other Hollywood Actors. By nature Rafi was soft spoken gentleman, but Shankar Jaikishan exploited the loud bisterous style of the gentleman to suit the rebel image of Shammi Kapoor.

    The songs in Tumse Accha Kaun Hai, Jawan Muhabbat, Pagla Kahin Ka, Boy Friend, were equally brilliant.

    The songs have become immortal over period of time.

    Souvik Chatterji

  7. Ashok Parekh says:

    ref: post-7

    ‘hai duniya uski zamana usi ka’ is nayyarsaab’s composition (kashmir ki kali) and not SJ’s. this reminds me another aspect of rafisaab-shammisaab’s association producing real gems in hindustani film music. nayyarsaab produced gem of music for shammi kapoor’s ‘tum sa nahin dekha’ which incidentally proved milestone in shammi kapoor’s career as his real era in hindustani films started with this film. later on, nayyarsaab gave music in ‘kashmir ki kali’ which was also a run away hit musically and on the box office. even so, no other film was made wherein shammiji and nayyarsaab were together. likewise, the case with ravisaab and r.d.burman who gave china town (overall hit), pyar kiya to darna kya (musically hit – who can forget ‘jane bahar husna tera bemisaal hai’) and ‘teesri manzil’ (no comments needed for this film) respectively but these pairs of shammiji-raviji, shammiji-r.d.burman never repeated again to produce the magic of their earlier association. wish someone can throw more light on this this observation of mine.
    as regards sk-sj-mr films, let me remind another film which is so far missed out from all the discussion. ‘sachhai’ was another film wherein ‘ai dost mere maine duniya dekhi hai’ song sung by rafisaab with mannadey and picturised on shammi kapoor and sanjeev kumar was also a hit song.

  8. santosh says:

    Hi Sabnavees,

    Thanks for the comments.I am from Ahmedabad.Where are you from.I know Mr.Narayanan Sir from Banglore personally .I had met him when he had come to Ahmedabad.Pl let me know about yourself so that we can be in touch and get to know each other through our dear rafi saab.My mobile no is 9374813604.And Narayan sir Thanks for the regular updates through SMS.My heartiest thanks to you for sending SMSs whenever new articles appear.

  9. biman baruah says:

    respected souvik ji
    great write-up on great combinations of sj-mr-sk. the songs of this combinations are still popular & evergreen. rafi saheb was the voice of zanny shammi kapoor from Jeevan Jyoti ( 1954 ) to Shalimaar (1977) and shammi kapoor’s yahoo image fully owed to rafi saheb and shammi kapoor himself remarked “shammi kapoor is incomplete without mohd. rafi”

    in fact i am also a great fan of this combinations. i would like to add some more films of this combinations : ujjala,boy freind, singapore, dil tera deewana, professor, budtameez, tumse achaa kaun hai, laat saheb, jawan mohhbbat, pagla kahin ka, chote sarkar & jane anjane . in ujjala manna dey was the voice of shammi kapoor. if am not wrong initially shammi kapoor was not happy when rdb was singed for teesri manzil, then producer nasir hussain approched sj, but they were through gentleman, so not agree to do a film for which another md was already singed. it was a golden change for rd and film’s music was became super duper hit.

    lastly i would like to remember the song of this combinations from pagla kahin ka: “tum mujhe yoon bhula na pawaogee, jab sunogee geet mere sang sang tum gungunaoogee”

    with warm regards to all rafi fans

    biman, sivasagar,assam.

  10. sabnavees says:

    ref post – 8

    santosh ji,

    you are absolutely right about the rendition of rafi sahab. his going down the octave & steep rise is absolutely breathtaking. we have to feel the song with our heart.

    what a combination of the melodious voice & saxophone. the superb synchronisation of the natural performance of shammi kapoor ji particulary at the stanza you have mentioned. long back i had down loaded this from youtube & stored in my real player library just to see it & feel the fragrance of melody. great people, great performance to be stored in the heart of a music lover for ever.

  11. sabnavees says:

    The photograph in the article all of them have been identified except the spectacled sahab. I am 100 % sure he is shailendra ji.

    shailendra, hasrat jaipuri, shankar – jaikishen sahabs & finally rafi sahab what an excellent combination. doodh mein shakkar .

    shammi kapoor sahab might be telling, ‘ rafi sahab is ganemein aur thodisi badmashee daal dijiye, kyoon ke yeh ganaa ched chad wali hai ‘

  12. unknow says:

    I think it is so sad that people like SJ side line by media and replaced by RD burman,Offourse RD was great and wil be but i don’t think that can be 50% as SJ(sorry to say that RD fans)
    when ever people speak about Shammi Kapoor films they speak about the great Muisc in his films,and look the greatness of shammi Kapoor when ever he got award he said that I am because of Mohd rafi.
    That is true Mohd Rafi gave super hit songs to actor like Rajesh Khanna who was not in Mohd Rafi camp……

  13. Prakash shah says:

    Dear Souvik,

    fine article,but u could have to mention some most memorable musical songs and title of the films like of this trio.

    1.Dil tera deewana.

    2.Ujjaala and Proffessor of F.c.Mehra’s Eagle films.

    3.Singapore and Pagla kahinka,jawa mahobbat of shakti films.

    4.chhote sarkar.

    5.Budtameez – directed by manmohan desai.

    -Prakash shah

  14. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Rafi Saheb and Shammi Kapoor ji were made for each other.

  15. santosh says:

    Dear All Rafi fans & respected Narayanan sir frm Banglore

    Great Article .One song I would like to remind is Hai Duniya Usiki , Zamana Usi Ka .What a great rendition by our dear rafi saab.In the antra after the line hai sajde ke kabil har woh dewana rafi saab just shoots the roof in high pitch Ke jo ban gaya ho .WOW what a great voice and how quickly he raises his pitch.And the feelings emoted by rafi saab is just too good.I hope someone can write an article on this song.Narayanan sir if you are reading , Pl try and write an article on this song.

  16. pvks raju says:

    Well I am fan of both the legends….. rafi saheb and shammi saheb.
    Each one is inseperable from the other…. If Shammi Saheb is the body then Rafi saheb is the soul…. The songs were all instant hits. I still can recollect my young school days in 60s when all Shammi Saheb songs were featured in Binace Geet Mala on every Wednesday night from 8pm to 9pm on Radio Ceylon compered by Amin Sayani Saheb. The songs were played from stage1 and retired after 16 week sas they reached the top slot with a farewell bigul. Almost all songs by Rafi Saheb composed by SJ and featuring Shammi Saheb were on top. Rafi Saheb mostly ruled the 60s with the top slot in Binaca Geet Mala. Even duds(flops) had lovely songs… Jane Anjane(1971) is one such example. Three songs were instant hits though the film flopped. A Manna Dey classical composition, Rafi Asha duet and a solo by Asha. Andaz(1971) had beautiful songs by Rafi Saheb and Asha ji but KK scored with the peppy rendition of Zindage Ek Safar Hai Suhana… This song appears in the voice of KK, Asha & Rafi Saheb during the course of the film…. but owing to the death of Jaikishan at that time and rising popularity of RK, the KK version with yodelling became a rage with RK’s new style of holding the sun goggles on the mid nose and peeping from the top.

  17. girish prahalad says:

    Souvik ji
    A very nice article regarding the stupendous combination of sj-shammi-rafi. It is a matter of fact that, whenever these titans came together, the movie went to become box-office hits (with some rare exceptions).
    Shammi-Madhubala starrer “Boyfriend” , though not much of a success at the box-office had some very good rafi songs like ” dheere chal dheere chal ae bheegi hawa” and “mujhe apna yaar banalo” (shammi singing atop a train). Both of the songs were fast numbers keeping in tradition with the sj-rafi-shammi combo.
    The same thing might be true of “Budtameez’ which had songs “budtameez kaho” and “dilko na mere tadpao” sung superbly by Rafisaab.
    The BR Panthulu directed movie “Dil Tera Deewana” went on to become one of the biggest hits of 1962. Needless to say, the movie had fantastic rafi songs like “dil tera deewana hai”, ” mujhe kitna pyar hai” ” dhadakne lagta hai mera dil” and above all one of the most beautiful rafi solos for Shammi – “Nazar bachakar chale gaye” ( one of my favourites).
    Shammi-Babita starrer ” Tumse Acha Kaun Hai” has some of the best fast numbers of Rafisaab like ” kis ko pyar karoon” and ” kabhi humne nahin socha tha” in addition to romantic tracks like ” janam janam ka saath” and “rangat teeri surat se”. “Ganga mera maa ka naam” from the same movie is another song that is difficult to categorize.

  18. khaja Aliuddin,MD says:

    Janab Souvik Chatterji Saheb, Salam,
    As usual great narration. Congratulations!
    I will add few more songs of SK,SJK and Rafi Sahab.
    College Girl-Kya haseenon ka dil nahi hota
    College Girl-Three cheers for shaam, hip hip hurray
    Singapur-Dhoka khayegi na yaron ki nazar
    Boy Friend-1)Mujhe apna yaar banalo
    2)Dheere chal dheere chal
    3)Salam aapki meethi nazar
    4)Kyon ji mujhe pahchana
    Dil Tera Deewana-1)Nazar bachake chale gaye wo
    2)Dhadakne lagtha hai yeh dil
    Pagla Kahin Ka-1)Tum mujhe youn bhula na paoge
    2)Aashiq hoon ek mahjabeen ka
    Chote Sarkar-Tere chere me hai jo baath kisi aur me nahi
    Shalimar-Naag devta
    With regards to all Rafi lovers,
    Long live rafi sahab,
    Shab Bakhair,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  19. dear all

    a big sorry, i wanted to mention ‘aye gul-badan’ from professor, but inadvertently i mentioned, ‘ tumse achchha kaun hai’ sorry for that.
    there are few typing mistakes “tere baghair zindagi dard ban ke reh gayee


  20. Dear Souvik,

    you have missed ‘professor’ except one song all songs for shammi kapoor was our adorable Rafi Sahab. I will not forget till my death the song and the prelude and interludes of ‘aawaz deke hume tum bulao’ what an use of sexo there in the songs. ‘main chali main chali, mere peechhey jahaan’ was the classic which sets the mood for peculiar Shankar-jaikishan style and has all the ingredents of their style and when Rafi Sa’b begins from,’sajde mein husn ke…it is listening pleasure and ‘…lo shuri ho gayee……’ here with gayee runs counter music then i can not describe the effect of listening that piece especially ‘….gayee…’ any my friends and ardent fans of Rafi Sa’b and shankar-jaikishan we might have at least once uttered for someone special for us…’tumse achchha kaun hai….. another one great piece of ‘khuli palak mein jhootha gussa, band palak mein pyar….and listen the interlude there.

    today (26th april-2009) is 22nd death anniversary of Shankar ji and i can say him, “tere baghail zindagi dard ban ke reh gayee, aaja ke intezaar mein jaane ko hai bahaar bhi (from non-shammi kapoor film)


  21. Mehtab says:

    All Respected Fans of Rafi Sahib,
    Mr. Souvik Chatterji has written very well about the great Accentor Mohd. Rafi, A Mile-Stone; still a pillar of Bollywood after his death of 29 years, who can’t be forgotten by Humanity. We owe Rafi sahib for the repertory of his immortal songs. His incomparable voice can’t be imitated, though every new singer wants to be like the Great Rafi.
    Here, I would like to remind all of your goodselves that Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chandigarh, will hold the first round of singing competition for Best Singer Award-2009 on May 10, 2009 at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh, at 8.00 am for junior and senior in male and female categories. Male participants will sing Mohd Rafi sahib’s songs and the female Lata or Asha. The awards will be given away by a film personality at the society’s annual function in December. For any information please contact Mr. B.D. Sharma on mobile +91-98147 31112.
    — MEHTAB, Chandigarh…. +91-98157 03226 (

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