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Why So?

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

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

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

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

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

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi with Manoj Kumar and Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

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

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

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

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

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

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

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

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

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

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52 Blog Comments to “Why So?”

  1. vishnu says:

    Rafi was very best among all the singers from that period because he was the man with lovely voice and his phonetics.

  2. Savita Garcia says:

    Once again,,,,,,,I`ve always wonder why kishore kumar slapped his own fan,,,,this only because such a rediculus thought of a few who are addicted of jelousy,,,,,,,,Mr anil has used the same word “”chhuti of Rafi””” that one of the kishore kumar fan used in front of Kishore kumar saying,,”””aapne to rafi ki chhuti kad di”””,,Kishore kumar called that person and slapped that man saying,,”stupid if I can sing a song in one way rafi sahab can sing the same song in many way””””,,,,even after that slap these mindless comment would never stop,,,,as its meant to create hatred in rafi fan for kishore kumar as well,,,,but we love Rafi sahab,,a massiha of love,,so we love all even kishore kumar as well,now I can say I like kishore kumar more than these deseased so called kishore fans who r diseased of jelousy!!!!

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