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True Voice – Mohd Rafi

The following article was brought to my notice when Sharad posted it on MAS. The article has been trimmed down a bit keeping afloat Rafi details. However, anyone interested can go visit the source at

I am Swaminatha Iyer and I am 78 years old. I hail from Tiruchi and I am a part of music associations in Tiruchi, M’as as well as in West Bengal and Maharashtra.

I think it is wrong to condemn music or artists on either side of Vindhyas. Our Indian music is one of the few which has not been cleaned off by the western music though there has always been a influence. It speaks a lot of the richness of our music. Sometime back director of MTV had said that MTV westernized the music wherever it went but in India , MTV had to be Indianized for it to be accepted. A lot of this credit goes to the Indian film music.

I have been fortunate to have close personal association with Rafi, Sirkali, TMS, Dr. BMK, Kishore, SPB & KJY, PS, Mannadey and the one and only Lata Mangeshkar.

Comparisons are bound to come, but almost every artist or I have met considers Lata to be beyond comparison. Her talents are beyond anyone’s reach. Even Sirkazi used to talk of her singing like a die-hard fan as do countless others.

Now coming to the Rafi-SPB discussion. It might be difficult to convince an South Indian to believe Rafi is the better and at the same time Rafi crowd will never believe any other male singer comes anywhere nearer. There is one more mobile crowd, which is well conversant with Hindi and some south Indian language. Majority of them tilt to either Rafi or Kishore.

During one of my stays in M’as I had stayed with SPB. While talking of true voices he said, I don’t feel like half a singer when listening to Rafi. True voice is not a tech term but many in circle use it. Perfect example would be lata, but to understand consider our own PS who within her range is superb. People who do not have such true voices can never do justice to original. They generally underplay many parts of the song or fake it with bass/superficial singing. True voices make people like Sirkazi, Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, Lata… Inimitable. However since Sirkazi and Nusrat did not have the filmy voices their “real” following is limited to their local arena.

In addition to the true voice if the singer has a very good voice then in “most” cases he/she can better songs of others. It is this combination which makes Rafi stand out among the other male singers. There are many here who seem to have mistaken notions on a good bass and also on high pitch.

Bryan Adams does not require a monster bass in “Summer of 69” to sound real manly. It is the punch which gives that feel and that is decided only by the comfort level in most ranges (that is by what your throat can support). This you CAN never disguise with bass. Since people have talked about lack of manly voice viz. a viz. Rafi it was necessary to bring this point out. I have had the fortune of listening to most singers in studio and some times without a mike, practicing with MD’s.When Lata or Rafi do, the level is so high that people hesitate to even hum. It felt silly to sing in their presence (and it feels silly when someone says his voice isn’t manly).

In RD’s tribute when SPB sang “Aaja Aaja mein hoon” or “Chaand mera dil” it sounded only sweet and lacked punch if you compare with Rafi’s original.

Yesu once told me God has been partial to Rafi. He said “god gift term anavasyamaa romba common aa ippo use aardu”.. but idu Rafi kee thaan 100% porundu”. This person could sing “as intricately as a lady without sounding thin”, “cover any mood”, “versatility odey perfect example Rafi”. Yesu said most important is the comfort level over ranges which makes you feel God has been partial to Rafi. (But Of course in Rafi’s early career (1950’s) the voice was relatively feeble).

To people exposed to Rafi’s talent, these or any amount of praise can only seem less. I just wish he was alive and you people could get a live chance to hear him. Probably you can get hold of the DD album for the Geet Gaata Chal series where the first four episodes were dedicated to Rafi. Rafi is on camera singing “O Duniya Ke Rakwaaley” and many other songs. If you see and hear the last part you will realize why SPB said “impossible”. I think particularly those people who have talked about scales w.r.t Rafi should see this album. Its a known fact in industry that Rafi ruled high pitch and there is no male singer better in switching notes so easily. There are artists who can go beyond but then they sound strained or they don’t have pleasant voices when they venture into those territories.

Many singers of today are his compulsive followers. But they end up inheriting only part of his quality. Md. Aziz ended up with a sad voice. Mahendra Kapoor with a thick nasal voice. Anwar with a nasal voice. Sonu Nigam with a feminine voice. Rafi neither had a soft voice nor a heavy (bass) voice he had a good voice. Importantly did not strain at high notes, and voice if at all only became better at higher notes. If you see him singing it will remind you of Janaki. However diff the song is or the note is he will be smiling and singing. It is unthinkable that he cannot sing something.

There seems to be lot of talk about “Shankara Bharanamo” song. SPB has sung many a great numbers and things being said about this song in this forum are rather amusing, particularly b’cos 3 out of 4 people who can be called as singers will be able sing it and at least one out of 10 will sing it with the same effect. There are lot of other songs of SPB where this great singer has played with songs in total control. You will find most south Indian singers who have had a good exposure say that it is beneficial to learn Hindustani as it gives better breath control and improves expression.

Rafi was not only able to glide over a song, the important thing was that he could express each word/sound when singing. It is one thing to hold your breath, start and reach a crescendo (high note), as like in “Shankara”, “Anbey (Yennai kaan villaye)” it is different ballgame if you have to do it from low notes or suddenly switch notes. With practice the former can be done, latter requires a special gift. Rafi had a natural ability to do the latter. In “Tum joh mil gaye ho” there is such a transition in the “karwaan mil gaya” part. I have never seen anyone do justice to most of his songs in my life time. In “parda hai parda” quawaali the similar part is “kar doon to, Akbar mera naam”. In fact most of his songs will have these specialty as it was his natural ability to sing freely in a wide range at the same time giving that extra expression.

Whereas SPB takes us to heavens with “Idu oru pon maali”,”Ilaya nila” “bisiladarenu”(kannada), when he sings Rafi’s song it lacks the punch or expression, though it has the bass. But at least most agree that SPB does some justice to original, whereas most others murder the original.

One trivial point I would like to add is that singing in Hindi is harder. There are more “JHA”,”CHA”,”HA”,”THA”, “KHA”,”JA”,”FA”. These take away the breath faster. The more expressive you are the more air you are using up. Just singing from Nabhi will not help, your throat also needs to do a lot, for singing in Hindi, Bengali etc. SPB makes you fall in love with his south Indian songs but same cannot be said about his Hindi songs. If you just glide through words having these sounds, you will never be expressive. Doing this as well as reaching high notes is not easy. Rafi had this gift and that’s why it is difficult to imagine anyone else in his shoes. Song “Chalkaaye jaam” has so much expression that it is unthinkable how anyone can sing it. When Rafi switches to a high note with “Mitwaa” in the song “Chaahunga mein tughey” you cannot replicate it with bass. Most others will sound as if they are shouting in such cases. That man’s throat had the ability to freely sing at such levels.

Versatility is not just the ability to sing in various styles, more important is how good you are singing in those styles. You have lot of Ghazal singers today but when Rafi sings a Ghazal you will sit up and take notice. You don’t have to be part of the Ghazal listeners crowd. This is one important aspect. Whatever style you sing you should be able to pull the common man to listen and not just a particular crowd. Pick “parda hai parda” or any qawalli and it will stand tall among other qawalli’s.

Variety is amazing :

songs of Guru Dutt’s Khagaz key phool or songs like abhi naa jao chod key, Aaja teri yaad aayi, Aaj kal mein dhal gaya, Aaj kal terey merey pyaar, Aasmaan sey aaya farishta, Dil ney pyaar kiya hai, Deewana mujh saa nahi, Din dhal jaaye, Duniya paagal hai, Jaane walon jara, Dil joh na kaha saka, Dil key jharokon mein, Dil kaa bhavar, Chalkey teri aakkhon sey, Kar chaley hum fida, khilona jaan kar tum, Woh jab yaad aay, Woh hain jara khafa, Vaadian mera daaman, Pathar key sanam, Chaand mera dil, Main zindagi kaa saath, Mainey poocha chaand sey, sun sun jaalima, Koi jab raah na paay, hum to chaley pardes, badan pey sitaarey, laal chadi maidaan, Tum jo mil gaye, O meri shaahey, Sau baar janam lengey, Tum mujhey yoon bhula, Tumney mujhey dekha, Terey merey sapney, Tumny pukaara hum chaley aay

Name a situation/mood and Rafi’s song will be there on the top.


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3,776 Blog Comments to “True Voice – Mohd Rafi”

  1. ali says:

    I don’t like to use any bad word on Kishore da because he was a mohd rafi fan and a mohd rafi friend.Take about from Mohd Rafi list Madan Mohan,Naushand,Ravi,SD Burman,OPN,Shammi Kapoor,Dilip Kumar,Raj Kumar,Lata,Asha and many more but still you will find mohd rafi 100’s songs super hit without these names but others ,After one it is two and before one is zero so what do you like your singer before or after one because one is only mohd Rafi as said by many who know what is music not me or you dear kk fa

  2. Ganesh says:

    I thought we had Rafi and Kishore fans in this forum. I’m sorry to say this…but after going through the recent spate of emails in this thread, the work “fanatics” seems to be more appropriate. We need not agree to each other’s opinion but throwing abuses like “feminine voice” or “coarse voice” or “old bhains” is something that only fanatics can use against each other.

    Btw, my posts seem be under a moderation status for quite some time…looks like the moderator is doing some great research on my posts. I simply feel that there is some bias going on here based on the content of my post. A moderator should ideally be monitoring the language and not the viewpoint. Looks like what is happening here is the other way around as abusive emails are being gladly allowed to flow through without hinderance.

  3. Hans says:

    my above post is in reply to 3671 (of kishorefan) and not 3670.

  4. Hans says:


    bhains to bade kaam ki cheej hoti hai, logon ko doodh pilati hai, uske gobar ke uple bante hain aur khaad banti hai, yahan tak ki boodhi hone par uske shareer ka ang-ang kaam ata hai. par chhachhundar ka kya kiya jaye. ek to wo bina matlab idhar-udhar ghumta rahta hai, uspar wo jahan jata hai badboo failata hai. wo itna badboodar hota hai ki agar doodh (chahe bhains ka ho ya gai ka) ke paas se gujar jata hai to wo doodh fat jata hai.

    ‘saanp-chhachhundar jaisi sthiti’ ki kahawat to suni hogi. agar uska matlab na pata ho to main batata hoon. saanp chhachhundar ko chuhe ke dhoke men moonh men to le leta hai par uski badboo ke karan use khana nahin chahta par wo use chhod bhi nahin sakta kyonki saanp kisi cheej ko moonh men lekar wapas nahin nikal sakta. ab hamare moderator ji ki bhi wohi halat hai. wo tum jaise chhachhundaron ko badboo failate dekhkar nikalna to chahte hain par wo apni ‘sabko apni baat kahne ki azadi dene ki adat’ ke karan nikal bhi nahin sakte.

    par rafi fans ko koi khatra nahin hai wo badboo aur khushboo men fark karna jante hain aur tum jaison ki badboodar baton ko chhodkar rafi ji ke shandaar aur charon aur mehak failane wale sundar ganon se apna jeewan mehkate rahenge.

  5. Hans says:

    bhattacharya – 3670

    mera to pata nahin kya hoga tumhara to abhi se bura haal hai. jyada gulami achhi nahin hoti dimagi sehat ke liye. tum soch rahe ho jaise tumhare poorwajon ke badi umra men sare ang sad-gal gaye the waise hi sab ke badi umra men ho jate hain. aisa nahin hai. main tumhare jaiso ka baja bajane ke liye kafi tandoorust hoon. tumhari kharab dimagi halat ka main saboot bhi deta hoon.

    you told me in your post 3640 that “Mr, Hans, whoever has written about kishore’s popularity they were all young people in age in 70?s , in large numbers they were in their 30?s in their age and hence their rememberance cannot be faulted.” in that post you were advocating that those in 30s in the 1970s have good memories. but, now you are challenging my memory who was in his late teens in the early 1970s. this is the evidence of your state of mind which has become distorted due to excessive ghulami.

  6. H.P. says:

    Post 3680, 3681
    You folks have to live with a bitter truth that kishorekumar had a hoarse voice. I really feel very sorry for people who can not recognize this. Listen to Mere naina sawan bhado and compare with female version (even though there is no comparision). Absolutely pathetic….Enjoy the hoarse voice and stay out of this site

  7. Ali Rashid says:

    Hans-ji – post 3678

    Thanks for the nice analysis.

    There is no denying that Rafi played an integral part in Rajesh Khanna’s stardom.

    Here is an excerpt from an article by Rajiv Vijayakar:

    “But Burman’s own final breakthrough happened because Laxmikant-Pyarelal turned down The Train as they were overloaded with films then. This 1970 movie was to do for RD what his earlier sustained excellent work in Teesri Manzil, Padosan and other films could not, simply because it was a massive hit and featured the new Phenomenon that was Rajesh Khanna”

    With reference to post 3682, after 1971, apart from Humshakal, Rafi sang for Rajesh Khanna in the following films, Shehzada (1972), Bundalbaaz (1976), Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladoun (1976), Suraag (1980), and Dharam Kanta (1982). There was also a Rafi song filmed in the background on Rajesh Khanna, entitled “Chal chal aage nikal” from Chakravyuha (1979). There is also a background piece sung by Rafi and filmed on Rajesh Khanna from Amar Deep (1979).

  8. sunil kumar says:

    Let us not quarrel this is no issue. There is and was comparison between Rafi & Kishore. Songs which Rafi sung Kishore can never even think of singing.
    As far as contribution is concerned My dear Rafi saheb has contributed so much to the country, society and Indian music where is Kishore. He came into picture only after 1969 before that where was he. Let me tell u I still remember 1962 & 1965 wars . Rafi saheb himself went up to Laddakh for morale boosting of our Jawans. where as Kishore ( I am sorry to say ) always thought of money only he would never do anything free of cost.
    That is what he was famous for. His songs were even banned from AIR because he refused to sing free of cost in a govt organised function.
    Rafi saheb patriotic songs
    Kar chale hum fida jan o tan sathiyon
    EK hai apni zameen Ek Hai apna watan – I sang this song on 26th Jan in our school. Such was Rafi saheb singing in this song those who have heard it will agree it almost makes you fight for the nation.
    Jahan Dal-2 par sone kichidiyan karti hain basera
    Ab koi Gulshan na Ujde ab watan azad hai.
    These were not just songs my dear they were national anthems.
    Take bhajans “O duniya ke rakhwale”, “man tarpart hari darshan ko aaj” both in baiju bawra Could you imagine Kishore singing Man Tarpat Hari Darshan ko aaj. To sing such songs pure Diction is required. classical singing is required .I do not want to denigrate anyone because i say kishore was also a great singer a great personality but Rafi was the greatest ever born singer who could touch your heart straightaway.

    Such was the impact of Rafi saheb & contribution to indian music those who came on the scene after his demise were all inspired by him only. all the new singers who came after Rafi shabbir kumar , Mohd aziz ,Anwar & Sonu Nigam all have openly said that Rafi was their God.They learnt singing only from him.
    He was a Gharana himself an institution by himself.I am a very small person to say for anybody I am only saying what others legends have said. Take only living legend we have Manna Dey who said ” God was very partial to Mohd. rafi that is why we could not compete with him”. In the same prog. he said ” all those who male singers who come for singing look upon Rafi as an icon and idolize him and all females singers look upon Lataji as icon ‘. Only Living legend Lataji said on 31st July 2011 “You cannot get a singer Like Rafi again”. “It was my hon our to have sung maximum no of duets with him” .

    It ends all here nothing more to write you cannot add anything more after what Lataji has said. What i can say i am just a very small fan/Bhakt of rafi saheb

  9. Ahamed Kutty says:

    if we see the unnecessary comments by some of the kk fans,
    even decent people will use harsh words.the very purpose of
    this divine site is to promote rafi saab and his naturally
    his fans will tell about him and his evergreen songs.this creating
    unhappiness among kk fans which leads to comment about other
    innocent great musicians who was not a threat to rafi saab.

    october 13th was the death anniversary of is hard these
    so called kk fans even did not put a single article or a comment
    on is difficult to give a correct word for that. it is pity – it
    is shame – it is pathetic.

    so many rafians are keeping quiet to keep this divine site in a
    decent way and do not think that we will always keep our mouth short these kk fans are the only reason to make the
    comments by rafians in a bad way.this can be seen in the
    comments of other articles appearing in this site as no comment
    is there against any singer unnecessarily.

  10. Sandeepshrivastav says:

    Mr. Andrea Correa ; I do not know who Mr. Kishore fan is and for me to support him – for your information. I am just commenting on the way posts are moving. I felt yours and your friend Mr. hans presentation did not appear to be correct, that is all. And if you read carefully, I have clearly stated the reasoning (how things have moved in previous posts ) for my post in my immediate previous post. Hope you undertand it properly.

  11. andrea correa says:

    how dare you interested and partial people “wrote thrash” about legend mohd rafi herein?

    dont try to be a commentator and a judge at the same time. tell your semi-lunatic uninvited kk fan to behave………..and you do not have to take sides as we know of your bias – clearly… pOst 3684………

  12. Sandeepshrivastav says:

    Mr. Andrea Correa, From 3654 posts I have seen the discussions are dignified between ganesh, bhattacharya, kishore fan etc. Mr. Hans has posted some wrong language, (despite Mr. Vishal’s decent presentation) misinterpreting latas tribute on ghantasala (ignoring some important facts) which were neatly pointed out by bhattacharya. Mr. hans created complication, and though ghantasala has nothing do with rafi (as both orbits were different), I do not agree with Mr. Hans views on ghantasala (though I am not a exclusive ghantasala fan) – ghantasala was certainly unique and needs to be respected among the greatest ever artists born as playback singers of the country. I do not want to say much more on this, as I had already said about this earlier. Regarding kishore kumar, again you have used a wrong word against the legend, I observe it is first rafi fans who provoke and get the response. If rafi fans are decent, I have observed, no fan of other singer points finger at them, rather they do not even participate in discussions here, only if rafi fans are decent. Retaliation comes only when irritating language is used.

  13. andrea correa says:

    one rougue kishore fan has the guts to change his name and write in disguise using many names . that kk lovers cannot write is a fact – therefore their site lies vacant.
    this kk fan must write about the hoarse voice of his guru and how many songs were spoilt sending mentor rdb in to hibernation and loneliness and out of the market.

    mr sandeep: (3681) ;your semi-lunatic and illiterate kk fan will get his dues for his trash everytime he raises a stink here about mohd rafi or his lovers.

    if this behroopiya – name changing rogue has such great ears then he must start at home and analyse the voice of his parents and family members and analyse – they are of which gender rather than coming here and writing crap about our legends.

    that he is mad and illiterate is known to many here. keep him in check. it will be good for you and the record of your favourite singer in the long run.

  14. Hans says:

    ganesh – 3652

    you wrote:

    “Rafi had an edge over Kishore in Do Raaste and Mehboob ki Mehendi and sang in ‘The train’ and ‘Doli’. But that’s where it ended”

    i know you are a rafi fan, but if in this matter (raf-kk vis-a-vis rajesh khanna) your above quote sums up rafi’s contribution then i am afraid your knowledge is very deficient. i have already listed many films other than those you mentioned. besides that doli was released before aradhana. as per you rafi sang only in mkm and the train other than aradhana and do raaste. for your info kk did not have any song in doli or the train. in mkm he had only one song as against 4 by rafi. to my knowledge rafi had a song in anuraag on vinod mehra and he had a song in humshakl (1974). there might be some other songs too which i am not aware.

    after 1971 rafi had only one song in humshakl which was picturised on khanna. so from 1972 onwards when rafi’s stint with khanna ended he was finished as a hero.

    you also said that kk “was the No 1 singer from 1972 till the day he died, in terms of popularity, except for the year 1980”. if you say so, then what is the meaning of ‘in terms of popularity’ as per you. rafi had more hits than kk in almost every year of 70s and his hits had a longer life than kk whose hits were mostly forgotten in 3 to 6 months. nobody from kk fan side is ready to give the list of kk hits in those years for comparison. the major reason for that is the same i.e. most of them were forgotten soon and these fans are younger and do not know which songs had become hits then. most of us rafians have been taken in by their relentless propaganda that kk ruled those years and they have never shown us the evidence.

  15. Sandeepshrivastav says:

    Mr. andrea correa : 3679

    Mind your language, I do not know whether your parents have taught you to talk like that. You call kishore kumar’s voice as hoarse voice, You people will never know how to talk. Remember, it is always rafi fans who use wrong languages and other words (as can be proved from numerous previous posts) provoking other fans (who are actually extremely patient and dignified) to retaliate after losing their patience. I agree with kishore fan, you should correct yourselves and your fellow friends before advising others.

  16. Kishorefan says:

    Mr. Correa,

    My culture does not permit me to comment on anyone’s parents, so I respect your parents and would not like to talk anything on them. I do not know about your culture, (of course it is visible similar to some other foolish rafi fans including Mr. old bhains here) you seem to talk anything. Next, your blood pressure seems to be raising when I called rafi’s voice as feminine , why so ? Then what about you calling kishore kumar’s voice as hoarse voice, is it correct ? You people can talk all senseless and brainless points, when pointed out, why are you raising. It is you who should check up your mind first rather than commenting on others.

  17. andrea correa says:

    “paagal shor fan…..” aap yahan masti kar rahe hai and our group is tracing you out and have reported you for using and writing herein under fake names with all the proof of this and other sites.

    You have asked for trouble shor fan.

    now , tell me what voice do u have? masculine or feminine or of an eunech… what voice does your mom has: masculine or feminine. and what type your dad?

    what voice your hoarse voiced singer have u think shor fan ????

    Pls comment as u are an expert on all this as u think. we would like to know more about you – and know that we will trace u out – you behroopia mental fraudster.

  18. Ganesh says:

    “it was kk’s propaganda which led to producers and mds confining khanna to kk and which eventually led to to early demise of khanna’s career, because his image was of a romantic hero and he needed somebody like rafi to support him” – So you are suggesting that Kishore ended Rajesh Khanna’s career???? I thought that was someone else.

    I will be interested to know who buys into this sort of an assessment. Just curious.

    I don’t think anyone denies the role of Rafi or Mukesh in Rajesh Khanna’s career…placing this above Kishore is what the argument is all about. Maybe a list of the hits sung by Rafi and Kishore for Rajesh Khanna during the 1969-1974 period can be good way to go.

  19. Hans says:

    ali rashid ji – 3651

    i had given my reasons in that post itself, but i will try to supplement it. as i said do raaste was a bigger hit than aradhana and rafi’s songs were bigger hits. this is clear from the subsequent graph of khanna’s career. he produced most of his hits with mumtaz though he paired with sharmila in almost an equal number of films.

    as a consequence of the double success, the demand for listening to songs of earlier films increased. songs like ‘aur kuchh der thahar’, ‘akele hain’, ‘zamane ne mare’, ‘sajna sath nibhana’ and ‘danton tale dabakar honth’ became more popular in farmaishi programs, which was the only way for common people to listen to their favourite songs. in 1970 also rafi sang in ‘aan milo sajana’ which was a hit, the train and sachcha jhutha. in 1971 he playbacked in maryada (for raj kumar), hathi mere sathi, mehboob ki mehndi and chhoti bahu.

    in this initial period of rajesh khanna mukesh sang 5 hit songs jis gali men (kati patang), kahin door jab and maine tere liye (anand), juban pe dard bhari (maryada) and jo tumko ho pasand (safar on feroz khan) and manna dey sang zindagi kaisi hai (anand). so rajesh khanna did not root for kk and kk’s role was much less than what is propagated. it was kk’s propaganda which led to producers and mds confining khanna to kk and which eventually led to to early demise of khanna’s career, because his image was of a romantic hero and he needed somebody like rafi to support him.

    in the success of a hero the initial impact is the most important and that was what i was emphasising in my earlier post. i hope i have made myself clear.

  20. Raghavan says:

    Rafi was distinguished in hindi and ghantasala in south, and a musical king in telugu film world (tamil cinema in 50’s ghantasala had a great influence, and in kannada upto mid 60’s as well – he was even MD for many movies in these languages as well). Both were unique, though on technical terms ghantasala had a edge over rafi, otherwise in other terms both are quite great, perhaps the greatest ever playback singers born in indian playback singing, even if compared to their female counterparts namely lata mangeshkar and p suseela.

  21. Singh says:

    Ganesh and others including kishore fans and others

    I have stopped posting comments long back on this site due to this unending comparison. Let me put up some points which you may take or not. I remember making these points earlier too.

    Ghantasala is popular only in southern cinema, and more so in telugu cinema. It is a fact that there will not be a singer like ghantasala in telugu cinema, hardcore rafi fans may think whatever they can think. But remember that the unique identity which telugu playback singing industry has got is only due to ghantasala and that too in a unparalleled way which continues and cannot be replaced. Ghantasala’s influence on telugu cinema is profound and remains unparalleled. He ruled the industry like a “colossus” – no other singer could stand before him for nearly 3 decades. The southern film industry rose to musical fame only due to ghantasala, this fact rafi fans cannot know and no other singer from the south was as responsible for the rise of southern film music industry in 50’s and 60’s as was ghantasala. The lata’s tribute was just a link which also talks about unparalleled contribution of ghantasala to music, which Mr. Ganesh and Mr. Hans are ignoring. Ghantasala had a melodious voice and range which could span all the three octaves in music with ease, and the google wikepedia states that ghantasala alone possesed that range of voice among playback singers. That was ghantasala.

    As many of my old rafian friends including Mr. haldar ji, know that I am a man settled in hyderabad for the past nearly 40 years, I could know about the importance of telugu playback singing. No amount of comments by any rafi fans can counter the fact that ghantasala is an unparalleled singer, never any doubt about it. His influence on the telugu people remains unparalleled even to this day, I know this fact. And I have never seen any true ghantasala fan comparing any singer with him, because i have seen, very hardcore ghantasala fans never accept anybody as greater than him. See the influence.

    Next, same with rafi in hindi film industry there is no comparison to him. Singer like rafi, perhaps, will be difficult to find again in playback singing. And in popularity, never any doubt, rafi is the foremost among all singers of india. Rafi’s name comes first among popular singers, of course to some extent kishore kumar as well, but rafi’s influence is unmatched, making as the greatest among hindi playback singers. It is perhaps difficult to find a rendition which has not been attempted and rendered by rafi right from classical to rock and roll songs. Again same, similar to ghantasala, very hardcore rafi fans also will not believe that rafi can be surpassed, despite the fact that kishore too was a lead singer along with rafi in 70’s (of course that can be taken as a lean phase for rafi) but what I am talking is of rafi in 50’s and 60’s where his contribution remains unparalleled and which has been definitely not replaced till this day.

    So it is to be clearly noted by all that in 50’s and 60’s as rafi’s influence was tremendous in bollywood : in south ghantasala’s influence was similar. Both were incomparable legends and no comparison should be made between the legends. The influence they have cast on respective music lovers in their areas, is certainly profound and cannot be matched by any other singer, though it needs to be agreed that rafi’s area of popularity was large as compared to ghantasala. It is like comparing the north pole and south pole. Hope music lovers understand that and stop unethical comparisons, which no true music lover will appreciate.

  22. Ganesh says:

    Just browsed through Lata’s tribute to Ghantasala. Not sure if the Ghantasala fans can be actually thrilled by this one. She terms him as “one of the greatest singers” of “Telugu” cinema. I am sure the Ghantasala’s fans are attempting to compare him with Rafi as a singer so this isn’t very flattering in that respect.

  23. Ganesh says:


    Thanks for the statistics. It is true that M Rafi made his comeback in a big way in 1977. However, it is very tough to assess that it changed the game. It did impact the proceedings, but Kishore had it big in 1978. 1979 was the year when the real impact was felt. If Kishore had fizzled out by 1978, then we can make a point in Rafi’s favor. I think it would be best to term it as status quo for Kishore during that period, even if things started looking up for Rafi post 1976.


  24. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Bhattachrya ji/ Kishorefan ji,

    So you are back. Back with your dubious agenda. Before making ridiculous statements like “he (Mohd. Rafi) was neither a multifaceted talent nor his contribution was unparalleled as kishore overtook him…”. (and in the process declaring Kishore as multi faceted), please list three songs each of following genres sung by Kishore Kumar as per the indicated benchmark:

    (1) Classical-based (benchmark: Madhuban mein radhika nashe re).
    (2) Patriotic songsn (benchmark: Kar chale hum fida jano tan sathiyo..)
    (3) Ghazals (Benchmark: Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon…)
    (4) Qawalis (Benchmark: Na to carvan ki talash hai…)
    (5) Bhajans (Benchmark: Man tadpat hari darshan ko hari darshan..)

    I am sure you can not list. Hope now you understand why you need to keep your vomit-emitting mouth shut.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  25. Kishorefan says:

    Mr. Hans, I am not weeping on you, just trying to correct things which you have forgotten in your college days. actually you are weeping on ghantasala and kishore fans, unable to convince them with your lies.

  26. Kishorefan says:

    Mr. correa, do not call you and your friend as rafi fans, why you people tell lies again and again. You never support rafi’s views, now even lata’s words have been wrongly interpreted by this MMr. hans to which bhattacharya ji had taken a dig in 3670. Mr. hans does not know even basics, he says rafi was lead singer in 69-74, for which Mr. Musharaff took a exception to him. What are you talking Mr. correa, just correct your people first. As bhatt ji said I think Mr.hans memory has also failed now (as he says we was young in 70-74)

  27. andrea correa says:

    Behroopiya Kishore fan : mr hans has duly exposed you and your various names under which u write “thrash”.
    You are therefore duly perturbed over it. and also that your singer with the hoarse and nasal voice does’nt have intelligent people as fans. hence u have to come here under many names and write your thrash here. if u are a decent man and your family is decent – then ask your parents whether what you are doing is decent and proper. we will wait and wath you unwanted bhains.

    we rafi saaheb fans including mr hans know how to deal with “bugs” like you mr Kishore fan.

  28. Kishorefan says:

    Mr. Correa, Before telling us, please tell your people how to talk, specially your old man I referred to here, he speaks all lies claiming as rafi fan. Next, again before telling me, you please be contended about your singer, who has also achieved some fame among some people as singer with ‘feminine touch’ : including this article wherein such point comes to reference in a way.

  29. andrea correa says:

    this kishore worm who has many names is again here using words like ol bhains to rafi saaheb lovers.

    i need to ask this behrupia – how many name his parents have and how many does he have – in total.

    after accounting for it – he may come here to write on music and his pet singer with the hoarse voice.

    he is proving to be the “bigger bhains” and he should be suitably driven “away” with a lathi in hand – from this music site.

  30. Kishorefan says:

    Bhattacharya ji, leave that old bhains hans to his fate. He is confused and not knowing what he is writing always contradicting his own facts. You are correct : in hindi kishore was multifaceted talent not rafi.

  31. Bhattacharya says:

    3667 – Hans

    Vishal meant singing in hindi film, not in hindi. You conveniently avoided lata’s statement on ghantashala as a multifaceted talent with unparalleled contribution to music. Rafi can never achieve such status as he was neither a multifaceted talent nor his contribution was unparalleled as kishore overtook him. I thought you have taken leave of your senses, now even you eyes not seem to be working properly because you are not able to read properly and analyse things properly, confirming failure of your mind as well. I hope your end is near as slowly one by one your organs seem to be failing, old man.

  32. Vishal says:

    3664 Mr Murthy – SPB : some people cannot come up unless they play politics because they are short of original talent. People with original talents such as ghantasala, rafi, kishore etc. need not play politics and I think they did not. But I do not know why the gifted/talented/respected lata had to resort to some childish activities.

  33. Vishal says:

    Dear kishore fan, my link was only response to Mr. ali’s view about lata’s praise on rafi. Ganesh and others, I too heard about lata mangeshkar’s acts regarding vani jairam. Comparatively, our great p susheela is very down to earth, in one of her recent interviews she openly stated that despite 2 days continuous rehearsals she could not sing a song as per the expectations of music director and she cried in the studio. Ultimately, the MD was not satisfied with p susheela and the song was recorded only to the dissatisfaction of music director. I heard from many people that rafi ji in hindi was another simple and nice man. Very few people can be found like that.

  34. Hans says:

    vishal -3649 & 50

    you wrote in 3649 that ghantasala did not sing the shloka in hindi. how can a sanskrit shloka be sung in hindi. and the shloka has been rendered (to call it singing is to ridicule singing). if you want to know how a sanskrit shloka can be sung go and listen to the song ‘jahan daal daal par sone ki chidiya karti hai basera’. in that song rafi sings ‘ guroor brahma guroor vishnu guroor deva maheshwara’. listen to that for leaning singing sanskrit shlokas. ghantasala’s rendering is just horrible. and it is a relief that it is followed by rafi’s ‘badi der bhayi nandlala’.

    in 3650 you have tried to make much of what lata has said in the routine tribute which she must have given when people sought the tribute for the website. such language is commonly used for the tributes. the point to note is that she calls ghantasala just one of the greatest singers of telugu cinema. not even greatest and only telugu cinema and no word about his classical skills and none about his singing in other languages. as md she just tells that he gave memorable music without any superlatives. sorry about puncturing your balloon.

    whateven she has said about rafi is on her own volition and not in reply to somebody going and begging, which was the case for ghantasala.

  35. Hans says:

    bhattacharya – 3640

    you wrote:

    “3627 Mr, Hans, whoever has written about kishore’s popularity they were all young people in age in 70?s , in large numbers they were in their 30?s in their age and hence their rememberance cannot be faulted.”

    as always you dont know what you are writing. nobody has talked about who wrote what. musharrafji wanted me to know facts from people who were young in 70s, if i was not born then. i told him i was in college in 70 to 74 and the matter ended there. you have poked your nose without understanding the matter.

    kishorefan – 3642

    why are you always weeping about me. gs fans were lying and when i referred to the headnote of ghantasala website and exposed their lies and challenged them to bring their facts they ran away. but you are still massaging them (there) just like a true ghulam. anybody who wants can see what i wrote and what they wrote. your duty as a true ghulam is to serve your akaa.

    so far as what musharrafji has written is concerned, all of your problems will be solved if you believe what he has said. he deems rafi as the best singer ever born. aur jo musharrafji aur mere beech men chal raha hai usmen tum kyon bhadwagiri kar rahe ho. hum apne apne vicharon par kayam rahte hue bhi ek doosre ki izzat karna jante hain kyonke ham dono rafi fan hain.

  36. lightmusiclover says:

    I would think Rafi started his come back trail in ’76 and caught up with Kishore by ’77. In fact Rafi had a greater say in the super hit movies of ’77 and ’79. Please see the links below:
    Rafi’s presence is more in the big hits.

  37. Murthy2010 says:

    dear sri ganesh,

    you can add one more prominent name to the list of victims of lata. that is sri rao balasaraswathi devi whose interview video with sakshi tv is easily available on the net. she gave this interview on 23rd april 2011. great personalities doesnot automatically mean great characters and this applies also to our spb whose political nature is known to every one in telugu and god is there to take care of them.


  38. Kishorefan says:

    Ganesh, post 11 of devotional rafi by Mr. Srinivas may be referred for issue of vani jairam vs lata mangeshkar; you can know more facts.

  39. Kishorefan says:

    Ganesh, you are correct, vani jairam issue is prominent one. I think great talent like lata should not have acted with immaturity with regard to vani jairam. Mr. Vishal : 3650, your link for lata’s praise on ghantasala after 26 years of his death ???: good link but one need not show proof for knowing ghantasala’s greatness – the “sun” need not be proved.

  40. Ganesh says:

    Coming to Lata, she did get insecure due to this transition in the seventies and felt that the same could happen to her. I remember an interview in which she stated that one should never give up the position at the top. There have been various allegations of nipping talent in the bud levelled against her , Vani Jairam and Runa Laila being the prominent ones. I would think something did happen here, the extent may well have been exagerrated.

  41. Bhattacharya says:

    Last line in previous post may be read as :

    which we already know as a fact, even rafi fans too know that.

  42. Bhattacharya says:

    Good ganesh bhai, this is what even Mr. Musharaff, the rafi fan too tried to convey earlier. And kishore fans too. Post 3650 Vishal ji, great to note the link showing lata mangeshkar’s praise on ghantashala ji, which we already know as a fact.

  43. Ganesh says:


    If I have to hail Mohd rafi in all cases by disregarding facts (according to me) and not giving due credit to Kishore that he deserved, then I will feel out of place with myself. My response was an attempt to address post 3651. I would like to think that the folks here are sensible enough to understand where I am coming from. They may or may not agree, and this is fine. But if someone disagrees, it would be more beneficial to bring these out in a more respectable manner. I am getting the feeling that folks are reading a line or two in the beginning, getting the jitters and rushing off to defensive reply.


  44. Kishorefan says:


    You should know that you should support mohd rafi in any case (even if it is not true and does not truly require) to earn respect here. That is what experience says. You have very boldly brought out the facts in your first post, but made u turn only due to the response, i can understand.

  45. Ganesh says:

    Mr Ali,

    Looks like you are all over the place as well. I don’t mind doing home work, although I feel I know what I am talking about. You may want to do some introspection on your analytical skills.


  46. ali says:

    Sir Ganesh, please do some home work. Rajesh Khanna or M rBachchan they became superstars not because of Kishore da but Rajendra Kumar and many more became hit because of Mohd Rafi,when people speak about Shammi Ji they speak about his great music in his films, Kishore da was a good singer that why he got many songs,Kishore da was a mohd Rafi fan, as music director Ravi there are many songs when kishore replied by mohd rafi but there is no song where mohd rafi replied by any,in 1975 when film maker wanted kishore but Madan mohan said i will give music only if the singer is mohd rafi…
    Media got big power,Mohd Rafi is still number one singer he got 70% votes….

  47. Ganesh says:


    With due respect, and I agree with your opinion, your post above is totally irrelevant to what I am saying. I am not comparing them based on the number of heroes each one made.


  48. Binu Nair says:

    How Many heroes did your and mine favourite singer Kishore da make?? ganesha…Post 3653.

    One or two…

    tansen mohd rafi – the singing badshah made hundreds of heores “out of” ordinary mortals.

    pradeep kumar, bharat bhushan, ajit, biswajit, joy mukherji, jagdeep and more to name a few………

    Please do not ever compare our KK and our great mr……………..

    U will reach nowhere friends……………………….

    from the rafi foundation, mumbai

  49. Ganesh says:

    I do not agree that Rafi had a greater share than Kishore in shaping up Rajesh Khanna’s career. It is true that Rafi sang the actor’s first hit in Raaz (Akele Hain) but that movie was a big flop. Rafi also sang in Aradhana but Kishore’s songs were more popular. Rafi had an edge over Kishore in Do Raaste and Mehboob ki Mehendi and sang in ‘The train’ and ‘Doli’. But that’s where it ended. Kishore’s voice suited him a lot more and moved him to a different level of popularity between 1969 and 1972.

    And the fact is that Kishore was the No 1 singer from 1972 till the day he died, in terms of popularity, except for the year 1980. I think Rafi caught up with him in 1979 and had a definite edge in 1980 till he died. This, in spite of the fact that Kishore was the ghost voice of Amitabh during that period. If Rafi had lived longer, Rafi would have most likely taken back the No 1 title from Kishore, given that Rafi started singing for Amitabh as well and Laxmikant Pyarelel ruled the roost in the 80s, till Bappi launched an attack on whatever melody was left in Hindi movies.

  50. Ali Rashid says:


    You wrote:

    “rafi’s share in making rajesh khanna was more than kk and he duly continued singing in his films regularly till 1972”

    Can you please elaborate?. I’m curious to know your views.

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