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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. t k nandi says:

    individual’s favorit varies,but shewag’s favorit song is mukesh’s'”chand si mehbooba” as shown in tv,he sang it too.but how much musical knowledge he got is not known.but d music directors n othe r knowledgeble personsagree dat rafisaab is d best.

  2. Kishorefan says:

    t k nandi – 3746

    Virender sehwag, cricketer, who scored highest one day international score, in an interview said that his favourite is kishore kumar ; thrilling to know how the younger generation respects kishore kumar : many young celebrities are fans of kishore kumar apart from millions…….

    Point 14 of this link refers to that

  3. Ahamed Kutty says:

    on 31st july this year there was a special programme about
    rafi saab by veteran mannada in fm rainbow channel,bangalore
    from 2 pm to 3 pm.mannada was narrating so many things about
    rafi saab.when he was telling about the song “yeh duniya yeh
    mehfil” he started is in the first time i was hearing
    a programme like this in which a co-singer of rafi saab is
    expalining about him and crying.from my eyes also tears come up.

    on the same day at 9 pm there was a programme in the vividh
    bharati “aaj ke fankaar” anchord by mamta was a special
    programme on rafi saab.she was telling “the heros who were lucky
    who could move their lips according to the songs of rafi saab and the
    lyricist and mds were lucky who could work with rafi saab and the
    luckiest are the public who could hear the golden voice of rafi saab.

  4. t k nandi says:

    reg post 3730&3734,dis 2 inform dat kk also ruined d chance of a bengalee gent with a kk like voice.reg less no of award winning u may pl read “rise n rise of mr” in rafi wikepedia.the bengalee gent’s interview i hv seen in tv.

  5. Binu Nair says:

    Yes.. rafi sahib lovers are attending the concert at Shanmukananda hall in the evening of 24th, in mumbai, doing a art show of Mohd Rafi with legends and cutting the birthday cake tooo.

    all over the world, mohd rafi lovers will have the musical concerts ( about 12000 concerts ), get to gethers etc….

    thanks musharraf for writing in in Post no 3744.

  6. Musharraf says:

    Dear friends,

    Rafi Sahab’s 87th Birthday is due on 24th December. I am sure Binu Nairji shall come up with something for the Rafians.


  7. Ahamed Kutty says:

    i believe your knowledge about national awards for rafi saab
    is very poor.the film fare award for rafi saab in the film was
    not for the song “dhil ke jaroke” it was for the song “main
    gaaoom tum so jaao”.rafi saab got national award for the song
    “dhil ke jaroke” and the 3rd song is “baabul ki duaayen lethi
    jaa” from the film “neel kamal” music by ravi saab.

    i do not have any insecure feeling since i am sure no other
    singer – male or female is having the sincere fan following
    like rafi saab.

    please try to enquire with somebody who have knowledge
    about music and awards.

  8. Abhishek says:

    post 3736 – ahmed kutty

    Dil ke jharoke mein song won the best filmfare award in 1968, to the extent I know, not a national award. Kya hua tera waada won national award in 1978, (the film was in 77), I think vishal is correct ??

    3739 ahmed kutty again – an insecurity feeling giving post by you. No body has pointed a finger at rafi for you to come with K J Yesudas’s liking or views on rafi. Agreed, KJY has won max. national awards and next in line is spb – I think vishal has responded that in his post on spb and kjy winning national awards and no body disputed that.

  9. Vishal says:

    Kutty ji

    I have not talked anything about kjy’s views on rafi. I was just mentioning that the list of national awards (which details clearly awards year by year and song for various artists) shows only one award for rafi. I request you to please correct me if I am wrong, by mentioning the year and song in which national awards are given for other songs of rafi. That is all.

    Here is another link : go to male playback singers : check mohd rafi – here also same information is displayed.

  10. Ahamed Kutty says:


    the information which you have showed in the wikipedia
    is is a clear thing that some of the media trying
    to sideline rafi saab.

    the evil things they are spreading about rafi saab is the
    energy for the rafians like us to project rafi saab as
    no.1 and for that we are forgetting our everything even
    our beloved ones.the singer kjy who got 7 national award
    himself told a singer like rafi saab will not come again
    and who is a cause of livelyhood for hundreds of people
    by singing his songs.moreover he is treating rafi saab
    as his “maanasik guru”.

  11. Vishal says:

    Ahmed Kutty ji

    Only one national award for rafi is found in the list of national awards. You may please correct me, if I am again wrong.

  12. Bhushan says:

    Dear ahmed kutty sahab,

    Rafi ji winning 3 national awards – information is not verifiable from wikipedia encyclopaedia – only one national award information is there. Perhaps this fact should be brought out there. (rafi only one national award is there in list of national awards announced)

    I am surprised to see getting spb a national award for sankarabharanam song in 1980 – none other than carnatic music giant M Balamuralikrishna has criticised spb for not bringing out the essence of sankarabharanam raga in the film sankarabharanam – myself being trained in carnatic music – i am really surprised to see this information (seen it for the first time) I do not know how the song om kara naadanu from sankarabharanam film (composed in sankarabharanam raga to be true, but really not effective in spb voice from classical raga attributes) could be selected for national award – a big surprise for me. SPB though was not upto mark in this song, had a better contribution in some other songs of sankarabharanam film – for instance ragam taanam pallavi, sankara song and broche varevura – one of these songs could have been considered for national award.

  13. Bhushan says:

    Mr. Vishal

    Regarding SPB and awards – SPB got padmasri in 2001, P suseela who is a clear greater artist had none at that time despite contributing for 4 decades, I think this might be a political recommendation which the talented p suseela could not afford/make it. PS who was among the first to bag national awards among female singers 70’s from south could get first padma award only in 2008, a pity to note.

  14. Ahamed Kutty says:

    rafi saab had bagged three national awards.the songs
    are : baabul ki duaayen leti jaa
    : dil ke jaroke main
    : kyaa huaa tera waada

    from the comments it is clear these people have not
    much knowledge about rafi saab and his songs.

  15. Balarykar says:

    I will agree first that you have been sane and it is a promise that this will be a last post on clarification regarding SPB, no matter what dirt Rajagopal will throw.
    Disclaimer: I am too much of SPB fan to say that I will be impartial. Though there was a time when I would listen to Rafi, Ghantasala, PBS, KK, KJY, et. al., it has been several years that I do not intently play a record other than SPB.

    General points:
    SPB+KJY have dominated almost equal years, if not more, as Rafi+Ghantasala. It is a joke that just because they came later stage, they can’t be legends/greats. Ok, let us forget National awards for a moment, but together they have swept every award worthwhile what a singer should have achieved. Something as similar as that the earlier pair did.

    My general observation with Ghantasala fans is that some, not all, do not hesitate to declare that Rafi was displaced by KK, but Ghantasala was not in tamil and kannada. I know that TMS was Ghantasala school and all, but the problem is not even with this. How can one say using quantitative things that Rafi was displaced whereas Ghantasala was not?

    “i think it will be wrong to discuss about spb and ghantasala in mohd rafi site – we need to respect the great rafi sahab, specially, when decent discussion is going
    on in this site, without pointing any finger at other singers (excepting the great kk in recent posts for which i think kk fans may respond ?)”
    In this thread, SPB coming is more relevant than Ghantasala. Late Iyer’s post, which is the basis of this thread, is half sense, and half not. Any way, I came because fingers were pointed out at SPB. I am not new to this thread and neither to both KK+Rafi forums. I had heated arguments with Dhaniram at yoodleeyoo. Earlier, I had posted many times here with my real name “Prabhanjan”.

    “and regarding spb playing politics, one glaring example, you can refer kishore kumar site where one mr. rajagopal narrates his own experiences, how his chances of becoming playback singer were spoiled by none other than spb in film world – a straight evidence.”
    Is this not one of the biggest joke ever told? Do you seriously think Rajagopal was such a great singer who was much much better than SPB? What kind of evidence is this? Using politics to scuttle others chances is a crime and punishable. Are you telling me that SPB was punished by some law of court? Let me straight out this very clearly. I was very active at yoodleeyoo when Rajgopal posted this nonsense there. He says that SPB played politics and spoiled his career, and also tried to stab Ghantasala, etc. If this is true, trust me, SPB may be demon, but Ghantasala would have certainly supported Rajgopal and not SPB. Was SPB the dictatorial chief-minister of Andra to control entire telugu film industry? You know who won the battles and war between Alka Yagnik and Anuradha Paudwal. The latter had backing of a powerful music company in t-series and there were no signs of Alka for 3 years. Real talented that she was, alka yagnik finally prevailed. Trust me, i never like alka’s voice, but i respect her. Thus, if at all rajgopal was the better, he would have eventually dumped spb.

    As a telugu person, you must know that actor Krishna promoted another singer during his problems with spb during the early 80’s in movies like “naa pere prabhanjanam”. where is that singer today? even at 65, spb is asked to render the toughest songs in kannada, telugu, and tamil. why are they not considering rajgopal? you may not agree, but fact is rajgopal is just a case of sour grapes.

    “i have even confirmation from people who have met ghantasala and who himself is confirmed to have stated about spb’s behaviour right from his entry into films in late 60?s, still you know it was ghantasala who supported spb, despite his behaviour.”
    again, as i said earlier, i am sure ghantasala would have supported rajgopal and not spb. please do not underestimate ghantasala. we all know who won between ghantasala and NTR.

    “i do not deny about spb’s talent, but the facts regarding politics speak otherwise. coming to spb’s talent, though good, can you think he can be placed even nearer to ghantasala from any angle : either as a singer, voice range, music direction, technical talent etc. – no chance in any way and no other than spb himself confirms this many times as you know.”
    except classical songs, i don’t think there is any serious problem with spb. spb’s music direction is ordinary to say the least. but there is one talent of spb which i am sure would not have been easily surpased. it is regarding hosting the tv show. ok may think i am joking here, but let us face the fact. except amitabh bachan, all movie stalwarts have failed royally at television. i can confidently say that of all ghantasala, rafi, kk, mukesh, lata, asha, susheela, janaki, kjy, et. al., only one or maximum 2 of them would have as much success as spb has with “paadutha teeyaga” and “ede tumba haduvenu”. in kannada, “ede tumba haduvenu” is running more than 12 years, and is among all time top 5 television success stories. you may think i am trying to create a controversary, but i am being just honest here.

    one final thing about spb and politics. do you know the other common thing among susheela, janaki, KJY, L.R. Eshwari, chitra, tms, et. al.? not one of them can speak the rest south indian language fluently other than their mother tongue. i don’t know if ghantsala could speak fluently kannada and tamil. But spb is too good in speaking tamil and kannada. that is the reason he is loved so much by kannada and tamil people. do you honestly think that a scheming politician would have this finese where none of other apolitical greats did not bothered to learn the language where they got so much of popularity, love, recognition, etc.

    “anyhow, i just want to close this and i think, from my experience goes in music world, only two singers in film playback singing in the country are capable of being remembered for generations after their demise : one is undoubtedly mohd rafi and the other is ghantasala in telugu film world and no other singer in any other film industry can create the magical influence which ghantasala and rafi had created. they both were matchless.”
    I seriously disagree with your observation. you may like rafi and ghantasala as much as you can. what you are saying may be true about a casual listener. no good music lover worth of his gramaphone plates, cassettes, radio, cds will vouch for such a careless statement of yours. much to you dismay, i must say that malayalees can never forget kjy’s contributions. its just impossible! spb can never ever be forgotten in kannada and tamil. and though i am sure of telugu too, that is not my point. what spb and kjy have done in the four languages is almost equal of what rafi+ghantasala did in hindi and telugu. btw, do you think kannadigas, tamilians, and malayalees will switch to hindi and telugu just because of rafi+ghantasala. you are certainly living in a delusional world. trust me, at least in kannada, people rarely ever listen to ghantasala kannada song. in tamil it is spb+tms with more edge for spb. kjy and spb did much much more in hindi than what rafi ever did in a language out of hindi.

    “if they were there for sure ghantasala and rafi would have bagged maximum of these awards (than other singers) for their magical contribution to film world in their respective fields. so spb or k j yesudas or others getting national awards in 70?s and 80?s (when except spb and kjy no other prominent singer was there to compete for national award) never cuts any ice and cannot be of any relevance (except for giving satisfaction to spb and kjy fans) – this is my view.”
    This is again a delusion my friend. Consider the common period 1970-1978. Here KJY takes 3 and Rafi 1. My only point here is that you can’t be sure that if all the 4 existed at the same time, you can be sure of SPB+KJY remaining at 0. Though I concede without any argument that rafi deserved at least 10, and kk at least 2. my only point is spb and kjy fans are neither deaf, nor are they nasal listeners. Let us leave all this quantitative things. do you seriously believe that spb does not deserve 6 national awards?

    ” and even the great actor nt rama rao, asked only rafi to sing (when he had a dispute with ghantasala in 1969) as ntr thought that next to ghantasala, perhaps only rafi is the singer who can be admired by telugu people, of course rafi’s songs have not created any effect in telugu like his hindi songs that is a different issue. and admirations to rafi sahab, he refused to sing in telugu out of extreme respect for ghantasala”
    Now, there is a problem here, isn’t that so? to be honest, ntr was completely wrong here. if you go through the 60’s, you will easily find the PBS has so many beautiful songs in telugu itself, and probably even a deaf and dumb guy could say that PBS would have sung them better than Rafi, those telugu songs. now, ntr later turned out to be a politician too. i would seriously give no credibility to ntr using rafi card to triumph over ghantasala when pbs was available.

    I am sure that i will have support of at least one person, anil cherian, that kjy would not lose much even if ghantasala+rafi era matched his period. i understand fans not liking KK+SPB, but KJY too? this really beats logic.

  16. Vishal says:

    Abhishek – just saw your post.

    Agreed, talking on ghantasala and rafi is just like talking about 2 big oceans and ultimately even out of arguments one has to enjoy the depth of those oceans. That is what I conclude.

    Rafi, and national awards, true one should admire rafi had bagged national award in 1978, I think, ( I may be corrected if I am wrong) – even in his last stages, rafi had got that – that is really admirable. However, what I meant was rafi was different in 50’s and 60’s as compared to 70’s. If national awards were there in 50’s and 60’s rafi would have probably bagged it every year – such was his prowess in hindi film world, and so was ghantasala in telugu film world at that time. So my feeling is if national awards were there in 50’s and 60’s both ghantasala and rafi would have bagged them like anything.

  17. Abhishek says:

    Vishal ji

    I agree with your points. But I have also come across very few category of telugu people, of course who can be counted on fingers, who admire rafi as the greatest singer when talked about ghantasala , but even those few people when questioned about padyams, sanskrit shlokas, technical rigorous songs etc. put up a blank face without any answer. So, finally I agree with your points on rafi & ghantasala ultimately, they will be remembered for long.

    No comparison of spb with supreme ghantasala even in dreams , and there cannot be comparison between both and the spb fan balarykar ji himself agrees with that. I have seen spb fans and kishore fans have immense respect for ghantasala and rafi respectively, but not vice versa – what could be the reason ?

    National awards – they were very well there in 70’s – why rafi could not bag national award (except one) –

  18. Ahamed Kutty says:

    The dirty people who are trying to play communalism
    should be kicked out.when rafi saab died in 1980 i
    had read some where rafi saab did not visit pakistan
    for a musical programme.

    when rafi sab had a live programme in calicut (kerala)
    the first song he sung was “madhubhan me raadhika
    nachere”.after the programme press asked rafi saab
    about this that even though rafi saab is a muslim why
    the first song he chosen is a song related to “bhagwaan
    krishna”.rafi saab’s answer was simple “we should respect
    each and every religion”.

  19. Vishal says:

    Balarykar – another point as you say about ghantasala’s superiority, yes no telugu man compares any singer with ghantasala, even many ghantasala fans even do not agree of even the great rafi being nearer to him in any way (as can be seen from the arguments) – nevertheless I have seen from telugu people themselves stating that if a possible comparison needs to be made with ghantasala, who was incomparable, it can be only with mohd rafi and no body else and even the great actor NT rama rao, asked only rafi to sing (when he had a dispute with ghantasala in 1969) as NTR thought that next to ghantasala, perhaps only rafi is the singer who can be admired by telugu people, of course rafi’s songs have not created any effect in telugu like his hindi songs that is a different issue. And admirations to rafi sahab, he refused to sing in telugu out of extreme respect for ghantasala, who advised him to sing and gave tips to rafi to sing telugu songs. That was about ghantasala and rafi who were great fans of each other. (though their orbits were entirely different – they were two incomparable legends — generations will remember them – never any doubt)

  20. Vishal says:

    @ balarykar – one more point.

    To my knowledge, National awards were not there in 50’s and 60’s – if they were there for sure ghantasala and rafi would have bagged maximum of these awards (than other singers) for their magical contribution to film world in their respective fields. So spb or k j yesudas or others getting national awards in 70’s and 80’s (when except spb and kjy no other prominent singer was there to compete for national award) never cuts any ice and cannot be of any relevance (except for giving satisfaction to spb and kjy fans) – this is my view.

  21. Vishal says:

    3707 @ Balarykar

    I think it will be wrong to discuss about spb and ghantasala in mohd rafi site – we need to respect the great rafi sahab, specially, when decent discussion is going on in this site, without pointing any finger at other singers (excepting the great KK in recent posts for which I think KK fans may respond ?) Anyhow, since you have made a post, I state that SPB was never a contemporary to ghantasala, he was much junior to ghantasala (though he might have recorded very few songs during the ghantasala reign) and spb rose to prominence only in late 70’s and 80’s when ghantasala was not there (same in tamil and kannada too) thus, spb cannot be compared to ghantasala. Nevertheless you agree about ghantasala’s superiority by light years in telugu film, though again SPB was not contemporary to ghantasala even in telugu film world. And regarding SPB playing politics, one glaring example, you can refer kishore kumar site where one Mr. Rajagopal narrates his own experiences, how his chances of becoming playback singer were spoiled by none other than SPB in film world – a straight evidence. I have even confirmation from people who have met ghantasala and who himself is confirmed to have stated about spb’s behaviour right from his entry into films in late 60’s, still you know it was ghantasala who supported spb, despite his behaviour. I do not deny about spb’s talent, but the facts regarding politics speak otherwise. Coming to SPB’s talent, though good, can you think he can be placed even nearer to ghantasala from any angle : either as a singer, voice range, music direction, technical talent etc. – no chance in any way and no other than SPB himself confirms this many times as you know. Anyhow, I just want to close this and I think, from my experience goes in music world, only two singers in film playback singing in the country are capable of being remembered for generations after their demise : one is undoubtedly mohd rafi and the other is ghantasala in telugu film world and no other singer in any other film industry can create the magical influence which ghantasala and rafi had created. They both were matchless.

  22. lightmusiclover says:

    Rafi’s voice close to its best in a ’80s song- resounding yet smooth and sweet.

  23. PARESH DUBEY says:

    Mere Pyar mein tujhe kya mila -Tere dil ka phool na khil saka-is written by
    Kaifi Azmi,Music by Great Madan is SUHAGAN.Many Rafi songs
    have pathos.I can not mention ALL the songs here ,list will be too long .

  24. gokuldas kumar.m says:

    who else in the world can sing the Rafi song, mere pyar mein tuje kya mila ( Fillm, kagaz ke phool)? In such a Velvety gliding voice full of pathos!

  25. sunil kumar says:

    Dear sir, You are absolutely true that kk recorded 3 songs songs in Rafi saheb’s voice shows his respect for rafi saheb otherwise why would a singer accept any other singer’s voice unless and until he is sure that that singer is better than him.

    It was Indian public who choose Rafi saheb as singer of the millennium in 2001 that too after Rafi saheb had left us 20 years ago then.So many singers cane and went away since then but rafi saheb remained peoples first choice.

    Despite all living legends like Manna dey and Lata ji saying it all leaves no one to argue. In Zee TV SA RE GA MA Prog where in SONU NIGAM was the host Manna Dey Said ” GOD was partial to rafi saheb that is why no singer could not compete with him “. He also added that all the new male singers who want be singers have Rafi sahib in their mind and all the female singers look upon Lata ji for inspiration. No one can replace these two legends RAFi saheb & Lata JI.
    Lataji on 31st July 2011 wrote on her twitter “You cannot get a singer like RAfi again “. “It was my honour to have sung maximum no of songs with him”. LATAJI considering it as her honour we are left with no argument. All KK fans must first know whatever they write on their forum should not hurt others feeling. First you have to be a great human being than only you can be a great artist that is what Rafi ji taught us .

  26. Binu Nair says:

    Post 3719 written by the rafi foundation in response to the defamatory piece written by KK fan is under moderation.

    this is to inform Post No 3717 and 3718, respected rafi sahib lovers sunil kumar and khaja aliuddin m d –

    let me remind the venomonous kk fan that there is one great singer who regarded mohd rafi as the ultimate singing sensation, one who recorded three songs in rafi’s voice and also acted for eleven songs on screen with the playbacked voice of mohd rafi.

    he is none other than another legend of our times – kishore kumar sahib.

    from the rafi foundation, mumbai
    cell : 9833 250 701

  27. Ali says:

    God made one sun for this earth and one mohd rafi,before mohd rafi it is zero and after him it is two..said about mohd rafi voice ‘voice of god’

  28. Zaheendanish says:

    post 3715

    you wrote: sir, Recently I saw a post in KK forum where it was said that Rafi fans are either Muslims or Pakistanis. I have strongly condemned it.

    Can you provide me the thread name and post number in KK forum, as I want to witness by myself that post. Even the bitterest enemy would not utter such words against anybody. who’s that person wrote such words against our Farisha ~ Rafi Saab.

  29. jasbir singh says:

    post 3719,during interview in august,2011,while paying tribute to great mohd rafi,by vividh bharati fm service,veteran music director ravi told that title song duet of film ‘ek mahal ho sapnon ka’ was initially recorded in the voices of latajee n kishoreda..the film director felt melody n sweetness are missing…ravi was asked to record again in the voices of rafisaab-latajee……that shows rafi lata duets are the most melodious,sweet and perfectly matched in everyway..remains listeners’ delight…..rafi could sing every type of song through his most flexible voice……

  30. Ali says:

    I think we should not use word of Pakistani or Muslim because this is not the topic,mohd rafi loved by all he was a great human,in 1970’s in media every one wrote about Bollywood what ever he know or don’t ,as music director Ravi some one asked mohd rafi which song you was not able to sing and it sang by kishore da, mohd rafi answered as Ravi said, there is song under Ravi music where kishore was not able to sing it and I did.
    Kishore da was a good singer also he loved by many all over the world,Indian football team love many many but that not mean they are better than Argentina football team,
    Enjoy good music and try to be good human as mohd rafi

  31. Binu Nair says:

    yes. i do share the sentiments expressed by our friend Sunil Kumar. Its unfortunate to say baseless, mean and false things about any one in a public forum.

    we will take it up but pls give more details of it on my mail :

    Point noted mr Khaja Aliuddin sahib.

    mohd rafi lovers are peaceloving, moderate, literate and intelligent. same goes for our kishore kumar lovers excepting a “few” mindless ones who have been given wide room in this forum too.

    any criticism of mohd rafi by mindless minority fall flat on the ground as kk himself regarded rafi sahib like millions of music lovers – as the ultimate in playback singing.

    kk himself acted in eleven songs play backed by mohd rafi . further, he recorded three songs . in the voice of mohd rafi.

    i salute kk for being a true musician.

    and may i tell fans that “music has no religion”. it has only a class of its own. further, it does’nt have any language barrier tooo.

    so, lets all enjoy the music that enters our heart and be happy.

    the rafi foundation,

  32. Khaja Aliuddin, MD says:

    Janab Sunil Kumar Sahab,
    I totally agree with you. This kind of remarks should not be entertained. Mr. Binu from the rafi foundation, mumbai, should do a strong protest on behalf of all rafi lovers. Binuji we rafi lovers are with you.
    With regards,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  33. sunil kumar says:

    But sir, we cannot let it go that way . we must write officially to the site to remove such a post which can create strife in two communities. Any site should not allow such a comment on its website Rafi foundation must write and send a
    formal protest letter on behalf of all the Rafi Lovers. They must follow the ethics
    and code of conduct . This is not acceptable and I have posted a strong worded comment and asked them to remove it . I will not rest till it is removed . I am sure our site follows that code of conduct and removes any remarks which is personal in nature and is below the level of acceptance in a civilized society.

  34. Binu Nair says:

    Post 3715…

    sunil kumar:

    yes these kishore fans (few) cannot stand the popularity of our “emperor of singing – mohd rafi saheb.”

    three words will suffice for them : Utmost jealousy tribe.

    they behave like the pakistani terrorists/extremists. most often. please leave them to their fate . they will wither away…………..

    and, the soulful songs of our legends will live for generations to gether.

    binu nair

    from the rafi foundation, mumbai

  35. sunil kumar says:

    Recently I saw a post in KK forum where it was said that Rafi fans are either Muslims or Pakistanis. I have strongly condemned it . It is not only an undignified statement but against all those who love Rafi but i consider it as an anti national statement Rafi did not represented any religion he represented entire India. I have asked for an apology from the person and website because it has not removed such a post. It shows their how their mentality is. I have never criticized any KK lover or called him so and so. It is against our ethics. I give equal respect to his views. But all of us must put pressure on the site to remove such an post and apologies to all Rafians. It is an insult to Indian public who have voted Rafi as the singer of the Millennium.

  36. Musharraf says:


    my post 3713 was in response to your post 3711. i also appreciate your post 3677. Rafi was incomparable in singing songs of different genres as showed in your list that proves how multifaceted he was in singing. Kishore off-course had acting talents which had nothing to do with singing.


  37. Musharraf says:


    Very well summed up. Your views echo my thoughts. Undoubtedly Mohammed Rafi is the greatest play back singer of all times amongst all, whether dead or alive.


  38. sunil says:

    I am sorry to lean from my dear friend Hans that KK has taken over rafi.
    Pls remember what i am stating is not what somebody is saying these are hard facts.
    1. 1947-70 Rafi was on top where as KK was not even to be noticed.
    2. 1976-1980 Rafi came back very strongly and again became No1. singer.
    3. As far as awards are concerned Rafi won maximum nos. of awards when KK was alive whereas kk won maximum awards after rafi’s demise.
    4. How can anyone compare these 2 when rafi has given playback for kk It means Music directors did not considered him to be a better singer.
    5. Rafi saheb has given so much to the Indian music which is the single most reason to give him Bharat Ratna. He Inspired new generations so much that after his demise we saw entry of new singers who idolised Rafi saheb so much that their entire singing was dedicated to him.

    1 shabbir kumar
    2 Mohd aziz
    3. Anwar
    4. Sonu Nigam

    All of them owe their career to Rafi saheb. sonu atarted his career by singing Rafi songs under the T series Banner . It had been named as “rafi ki Yaadein”.
    Another lesser known singer “Milan Singh ” Dedicated his entire career and life to Rafi saheb and lead a march to install Mohd Rafi chowk at Bandra. In fact She (is female) was a great dedicated Rafi bhakt. Rafi Bhakts or fans have installed rafi saheb in temples Despite he being a Muslim. Music has crossed religious boundaries.They love him adore him and given him status of god.
    This reminds me a qawwali of Rafi saheb ” Khak ko but aur but ko Devta karta hai ishq Inteha yeh hai ki bande ko khuda karta hai Ishq”. It is true for Rafi saheb his fans have made him god that is their Ishq . Long live Rafi saheb, long live his legacy.

  39. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Hans ji, (Post 3709),

    I entirely agree with you on the point of Lata- Asha comparison with Rafi-Kishore situations in 1970s. It could be true that Asha had more songs in this period than Lata (I am just guessing) but still Lata is considered No. 1 by a fair margin. By the same argument Rafi is considered No. 1 considering the overall picture. Hope person(s) named Kishorefan/ Bhattacharya note this for their enlightenment.

    It is true that early seventies was the best period of Kishore. Whether you call him no. 1 (during that period) or not agree with it, is something debatable. But certainly ‘visibilty’ of Kishore was at time high during those 5-6 years.

    In this regard I would also like to draw your attention to my post no. 3617. I have highlighted similar facts. I would like to copy-paste some portion of that post for your reference:

    …….”It is fact that kishore could not sustain his no. 1 position beyond 5 or 6 years. Rafi was unchallenged for more than 20 continuous years in an era of, what anu malik calls as, ‘spring of hindi film music’ (50s and 60s) and also made a late-seventies come back. Kishore’s no.1 position in 80s has to be kept out of the scope of this discussion as his challenger rafi had passed away. So between 1950 and 1980, 24 years belonged to rafi and 6 years to kishore. So bringing kishore on the same platform as rafi saab is out of place………. “

    Above almost conforms to your post, Hans ji.

    Incidentally my post no. 3677 seems to have missed everyone, as it remained under moderation for about 8 days, and when finally it appeared the posts had proceeded to next page and it appeared on earlier page. Anyway, as expected, there is no response to that from our ‘guests’ of the KK site.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  40. Hans says:

    ganesh – 3661(contd)

    but in rafi’s case the scenario changes. kk is declared to have overtaken him just on the basis of recording some songs more than rafi and some even declare kk as number one. the fact that kk was nowhere near being even no 2 from 1946 to 1970 is conveniently ignored. see my post 3151 where i gave kk-rafi figures for 1970 to 1980. for these 11 years (post aradhana and do raaste) kk recorded just about 100 odd songs more than rafi. even in total no of songs kk recorded less songs for 1970, 71, 79 and 80. so even in this aspect kk was ahead for just 7 years. for 25 years at a stretch from 1946 to 1970 kk could not even record 50 songs in a year. for these 25 years rafi was not only ahead but ahead in multiples. rafi was ahead in every aspect (number, hits, quality) for 28 years out of 35 and also ahead of kk in hits and quality in remaining 7.

    still he is declared overtaken and lata is not. she is declared to be vary to be overtaken and never really overtaken though asha is always ahead on number of songs and also overtakes lata in hits and quality in 70s. why these double standards.

  41. Hans says:

    ganesh – 3661(contd)

    you wrote:
    “coming to lata, she did get insecure due to this transition in the seventies and felt that the same could happen to her”

    this statement has an underlying statement that says kk had overtaken rafi and lata feared the same for herself. can you suggest the criteria for deciding that kk was number one. is it the total number of songs sung by the two or the number of hits or the quality of songs. there has been a general acceptance even in rafi fans that rafi was overtaken and he later came back, the point of contention has been only when he was overtaken and when he came back.

    in the number of hits and quality rafi was always on top throughout the 70s. if the criteria of total no of songs is taken into view, then lata was never the outright number one. ever since the mid 50s asha recorded more songs than lata, barring an odd year here or there. asha was almost equal to lata in hit songs as well as quality post-royalty issue when various mds started ignoring lata and using asha. in the 70s she was clearly ahead of lata in both number of hits and quality songs. later lata was overtaken by anuradha paudwal and alka yagnik in these aspects. still kk fans and others consider lata to be undisputed number one in female singers. i asked this question in my post 3288 to kishorefan who said the same thing in 3298, though he did not directly answer my question. i also treat lata as number one, but on her overall performance.


  42. Hans says:

    ganesh – 3661

    in your post you came up with the idea of lata nipping in the bud vani and runa. super lier kishorefan paunced on this to refer to the super lie of post 11 of devotional rafi and the great attention seeker muthy2010 came up with a funny name which has never been heard in hfm.

    i agree that she has resorted to such tactics and rafi did not. while what lata was doing was normal for film personalities, rafi’s exemplary behaviour has always given him added respect leading to reverence. but, vani had sung more than 200 songs in more than 80 films and many of the songs were given to her by established mds like madan mohan, jaidev, n datta, sn tripathi, op nayyar, kalyanji anandji and of course vasant desai who gave her the initial break in guddi. even lp, the protege of lata gave her some songs. runa laila was on the other hand more interested in live programmes.

    while lata’s tactics cannot be lauded, it is also true of our film industry that its reporting is funny and they started comparing singers with one hit song to lata and dubbed it as challenge to her crown. this type of leg-pulling of legends has been the hallmark of bollywood reporting leading to birth of luminaries like raju bharatan.

    i will continue with another aspect of your post in my next.

  43. Balarykar 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.
    SPB was short of original talent? The last time I checked SPB is known as SPB only and not as a clone of any other talent. A singer who wins more national award than ghantasala, rafi, kishore put together is short of talent? I guess you may know that to win a national award, one needs to sing at least 10 songs of that merit. The only singer to win the award in four different languages, among males and females, is short of talent?

    The way you put it, and many others here, leaves no doubt for me that you are overplaying the politics card. I would like to declare one thing here in very clear terms. It is undisputed that Ghantasala is light years ahead of every male singer in telugu. However, in kannada and tamil Ghantasala lags by miles in kanada and tamil to SPB. This is the reason of insecurity for the Ghantasala fans. Whereas SPB is the undisputed second in telugu, Ghantasala is nowhere the top 3 in tamil or kannada. And yes, you can live with your million excuses and good luck for that.

  44. Hans says:

    ali rashid ji,

    thanks for reminding about rafi’s hits with khanna of later periods. i had forgotten the shehzada song. the later ones i did not look for because after 1974 khanna became almost irrelevent as hero.

    you have referred to an article by vijaykar. it is a news to me that ‘the train’ was such a massive hit. as per my info it did just ordinary business. it was neither a flop nor a hit. i agree that lp were damn busy and gave multiple hits in 1970. but rdb also had another hit kati patang in 1970.

  45. Hans says:

    post 3683 (ganesh)

    “So you are suggesting that Kishore ended Rajesh Khanna’s career???? I thought that was someone else.”

    you are twisting my statements for simplyfying your interpretations. my statement which you have quoted in your post itself would make it clear. rafi began, gave a fillip and sustained careers of many romantic heroes. the impact of ‘ye reshmi zulfen’ was no less than ‘teri pyari pyari’ and ‘baharo phool barsao’ the benchmarks of romantic songs. compare to that kk’s romantic song (turned into a sad song by kk’s rendition) ‘mere deewanepan ki bhi’. rafi sang ‘ye jo chilman hai’ and ‘pasand aa gayi hai’ in the same film.

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

    i am not even interested to know whether your thoughts about the personality who ended his career are taken seriously or not and curiousity is also not my strength. if you are pointing to amitabh, then you should know that he could have displaced him from top but not ended his career, because there is place for more than one person under the sun. when dilip, raj, dev could live side by side then why could not khanna and amitabh do the same. by the way, why did not amitabh end the careers of dharmendra and jitendra.

    “I don’t think anyone denies the role of Rafi or Mukesh in Rajesh Khanna’s career”

    that is your imagination. no kk fan accepts role of rafi or mukesh in khanna’s career. even you were not aware of rafi singing songs for khanna in films other than a few you mentioned and you hardly mentioned mukesh.

    “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.”

    you have unnecessarily clubbed the period 69-74. i have never said that rafi sang for khanna throughout his career. i gave him credit for starting off his career. when he was left alone with kk then began his downslide. yet i would certainly be interested in your list of kk hits for khanna at least upto 1971. i would provide list of rafi’s hits, if you come up with your for kk.

  46. lightmusiclover says:

    Rafi didn’t actually blow Kishore away in’77. Rather he scored over Kishore in terms of hit songs and songs in hit films; that is it. Yes, in ’78 it was Kishore who had the slight edge. So we can sum it up as neck and neck from ’76 to ’78. As you noted correctly, the real tilt in scales was observed in ’79 and continued in ’80.
    We can only guess what would have happened if Rafi lived for another 7 years. Since Laxmi-Pyare were pretty much alone at the top during this period we can assume an extremely fruitful period for Rafi; the duo had started using Rafi even on Amitabh from ’79 in a rather prolific way. But the duo would certainly have relied on Kishore to battle it out with Bappi (as they did in the ’70s to combat RDB). The major deciding factor would have been, to me, the state of Rafi’s voice which had started showing signs of wear and tear.

  47. 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).

  48. Hans says:

    3681 – sandeepshrivastav

    andrea correa has rightly dealt with you arrogant kk fans and gs ghulams. you talk about language. you were the one who talked about feminine voice in the last round of altercations. and see post 2847 & 2848 of the person posting as kishorefan he made unprovoked comments against me and even referred to my parents. he posted that knowledgeable write-up twice in succession such was his frenzy. i had not till then wrote anything about kk or kkfans, though they had appeared in 2824 unnecessarily poking there nose in gs-rafi fans debate. similarly he again commented on me in his post 3642. i still ignored thinking such chhachhundars might exhaust there venom by hitting there fangs on the walls. lekin laton ke bhoot baton se nahin mante.

  49. andrea correa says:

    Kishore lovers good conduct and high morals……………….

    this jealous kishore fan post 3675 and more visit this site in different different names and talk rubbish about mohd rafi sahib – who is revered by millions of music lovers all over the globe.

    they cant stand the popularity of evergreen mohd rafi songs which brings freshness and cheer to the human soul. it sounds as it was just recorded – few days back.

    he castigates mohd rafi lovers for writing about his great songs and his personalities.

    if this guy cares to devote the same time on his master’s site, that place would have gained some respectability and some stature. but his jelousy would’nt permit him to do so. He hardly must be sleeping at all – its felt.

    this guy says he is very cultured and a master in “sound technology”. he calls our masters voice as “feminine” but cant understand that his guru’s had a Hoarse voice from childhood and which he carried forward in to many of his songs.

    this guy further proclaims himself to be culturally decent too. and his few fellow travellers rushes to join him in giving him a cultural certificate.

    shame on you KK lover and your music taste if any.

    i hope good sense will prevail on these KK lovers and that they will devote more time on learning to write on Kishore Kumar and develop the kk site so that their empty minds does’nt become devil’s inn.

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