29 May 2013

His Master's Voice-56

Jency Anthony is a popular South Indian film playback singer who has worked with the film composers like Ilayaraaja in Tamil films.

She is married to Mr.Gregory Thomas, a reputed businessman. They have two children, namely Nithin (son/elder) and Nubiya (daughter/younger). She hails from a well reputed family of musicians and hence music came into her life at a very young age. She was introduced to the Tamil movie industry in the song Vaanathu Poonkili in the movie Thiripurasundari scored by Ilayaraja. Her songs that followed were in many blockbuster movies like Mullum Malarum, Priya.

2010 September Srikanth Deva read one of the Jency interview and decided to give the talented singer a break in one of the movies that he was composing for. This gesture has come as a benediction for Jency. John Mahendran, son of legendary director Mahendran is directing this film.

After the song recording was over, both director and music director were heard saying that even after all these years Jency's voice had not aged. The movie name is Saravedi in which Jeevan acting along with Poonam bajwa

His Master's Voice-55

Jagjit Singh, born Jagmohan Singh (8 February 1941 – 10 October 2011), was a prominent Indian Ghazal singer, songwriter and musician. Known as the "Ghazal King", he gained acclaim together with his wife, another renowned Indian ghazal singer Chitra Singh in the 1970s and 1980s. Their combination album comprising music from the films, Arth and Saath Saath is the HMV's largest selling combination album of all time. Sajda (An Offering, 1991), Jagjit Singh's magnum opus double album with Lata Mangeshkar holds the same record in non-film category.[citation needed] He sang in numerous languages. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 2003.

Singh is credited for the revival and popularity of ghazal, an Indian classical art form, by choosing poetry that was relevant to the masses and composing them in a way that laid more emphasis on the meaning of words and melody evoked by them. In terms of Indian Classical music, his style of composing and Gayaki (singing) is considered as Bol-pradhan, one that lays emphasis on words. He highlighted this in his music for films such as Prem Geet (1981), Arth and Saath Saath (1982), and TV serials Mirza Ghalib (1988) and Kahkashan (1991). Jagjit Singh is considered to be the most successful ghazal singer and composer of all time in terms of critical acclaim and commercial success. With a career spanning five decades and a repertoire comprising over 80 albums, the range and breadth of his work has been regarded as genre-defining. He is the only composer and singer to have composed and recorded songs written by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee — also a critically acclaimed poet — in two albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).

Singh's 1987 album, Beyond Time, was the first digitally recorded release in India. He was regarded as one of India's most influential artists. With sitar legend Ravi Shankar and other leading figures of Indian classical music and literature, Singh voiced his concerns over politicisation of arts and culture in India and lack of support experienced by the practitioners of India's traditional art forms, particularly folk artists and musicians. He lent active support to several philanthropic endeavors such as the library at St. Mary's School, Mumbai, Bombay Hospital, CRY, Save the Children and ALMA.

Jagjit Singh was born on 8 February 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner princely state (now in Rajasthan), India. His birth name was Jagmohan but this was changed to Jagjit after his parents sought the advice of a member of the Sikh Namdhari sect. His parents were Sikh — Amar Singh and Bachan Kaur — and had several other children, with sources variously reporting the number between six and eleven. Educated initially at Khalsa High School and Sri Ganganagar Government College, Singh obtained an arts degree from DAV College at Jalandhar and then a post-graduate degree in history from Kurukshetra University in Haryana. Throughout this time, and as a consequence of a natural talent that was spotted by his father, Singh learned music in Sikh temples and from musicians such as Pandit Chaganlal Sharma and Ustad Jamaal Khan, both of whom were trained in classical Indian music. He performed on radio and on stage, as well as composing some material, although he subsequently claimed that his father, who was a government employee, had hoped that he would become an engineer. On another occasion his memory was that his father aspired for him to become a bureaucrat and that his siblings were encouraged musically.

In March 1965, and without the knowledge of his family, Singh moved to Mumbai, where there were many opportunities for music artists because of the Bollywood film industry. He obtained work initially as a singer of advertising jingles and later progressed to playback singing. In the same year he persuaded the record company HMV to produce an EP; he also altered his Sikh image by abandoning his turban, shaving and cutting his hair. His first film role was in Dharati Na Chhoru, a Gujarati production by Suresh Amin.

Singh was still struggling to make a living in 1967 when he met the Bengali-born Chitra Dutta. She divorced her husband and married Singh in December 1969. Following the birth of their son, Vivek, the couple performed as a singing duo but it was not until the 1976 release of the album The Unforgettable that they found significant, and surprising, success. In the interval, the primary difficulty for them had been that the ghazal music genre was dominated by Muslim artists and especially those from Pakistan. The Unforgettable, which was the couple's first LP, was an unconventional recording and it turned them into stars. The song "Baat Niklegi" from the album achieved great popularity for the Singhs. The Independent described it in 2011 as "ground-breaking ... it became a transformative, before-and-after milestone in the history of Indian popular and ghazal music. It remains that." Using modern arrangements, it consists of ten tracks that include two on which they sang as a duo and the remainder equally split between Jagjit and Chitra singing the lead. The Independent further noted that "This format of solo and duet performances from the first commercially successful husband-and-wife team in Indian popular music proved astonishingly successful. Jagjit explained that "I was determined to polish up the genre and make it more acceptable to modern tastes, so chose simple poems and set them to simple tunes. I also introduced western instrumentation to make them livelier." Thereafter, the couple worked both on solo and joint musical projects and performed concerts worldwide. There was success from involvement with the film industry and they amassed considerable wealth, while Jagjit became known as "the Ghazal king".

Jagjit Singh's work in film encompassed playback singing for productions such as Arth, Saath Saath and Premgeet. He composed all of the songs for the latter, as well as for the TV serial Mirza Ghalib that was based on the life of the eponymous poet, Mirza Ghalib.  Among their subsequent duo recordings of the 1970s were Shiv Kumar Batalvi – Birha da Sultan (1978), Live in Concert at Wembley (1979) and Come Alive (1979). Of those released in the 1980s, Ecstasies (1984) has been described as "one of their finest". The joint projects ceased in 1990 when their 18-year-old son, Vivek, was killed in a road accident. Chitra felt unable to sing following these events. Monica, Chitra's daughter from her first marriage, committed suicide in 2009.

Although Jagjit continued to work and to have success after Chitra withdrew from public life he, too, was affected by the death of Vivek. The Guardian notes that he "suffered from deep depression and his anguish was often evident in his live performances." Aside from occupying himself with solo projects, which he performed in several languages, he collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar on an album titled Sajda, an Urdu word meaning "prostration". On 10 May 2007, in the presence of numerous political and diplomatic luminaries at an event held in the Central Hall of the Parliament of India, Jagjit Singh rendered Bahadur Shah Zafar's famous ghazal Lagta nahin hai dil mera to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Google India honoured Jagjit Singh with a doodle on his 72nd birthday on 8 February 2013.

A biography of Singh, entitled Beyond Time based on about 40 hours of interviews with him, was released in 2012. It was transcribed and edited by Ashrani Mathur . Singh toured the UK in 2011 and was due to perform with Ghulam Ali in Mumbai but suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on 23 September 2011. He was in a coma for over two weeks and died on 10 October 2011 at Lilavati Hospital, in Mumbai. He was cremated the following day at Chandanwadi Crematorium in Mumbai. A number of tributes have been paid to Singh after his death, and some tried to cash in on his popularity, which was criticised by his wife.

27 May 2013

His Master's Voice-54

Reshma, SI, is a renowned folk singer of Pakistan, who is also very popular in India.
Reshma was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan to a Banjara (Gypsy) family around 1947. Her father Haji Mamad Mushtaq was a camel and horse trader from Malashi. She belonged to a tribe which had converted to Islam. Her tribe migrated to Karachi shortly after the Partition of India. She did not receive any formal education and spent much of her childhood singing at the mazars (shrines) of the mystic saints of Sindh.

When she was twelve years old, she was spotted singing at Shahbaaz Qalandar's shrine by a television and radio producer, who arranged for her to make a recording of "Laal Meri" on Pakistan radio. She became an instant hit and since that day, Reshma has been one of the most popular folk singers of Pakistan, appearing on television in the 1960s, recording songs for both the Pakistani and Indian film industry, and performing at home and abroad. Some of her famous numbers are "Dama Dam Mast Kalandar", "Hai O Rabba nahion lagda dil mera", "Sun charkhe di mithi mithi cook mahiya meinu yaad aunda", "Wey main chori chori", "Ankhiyan no rehen de ankhyan de kol kol".

The last was used by Raj Kapoor in Bobby, "Ankhyon ko rehne de ankhyon ke aas pass", sung by Lata. Her fame had crossed the border, thanks to pirated tapes. She was able to perform live in India much later, during the 1980s when India and Pakistan allowed exchange of artists. Subhash Ghai used her voice to great effect in the film Hero, which featured one of her most famous songs, "Lambi Judai". During her career she was invited to meet Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

She still loves going to the mazars, where several of her pirs (holy men) reside. She has been visiting Pir Mushtaq Hussain, Pir Shafqat Hussain in Okara for the last twenty-five years. She also visits the mazar of Shahbaz Qallander. She once said in an interview, "I was born in a family of saudagars in Rajasthan in a small settlement called Bikaner. I don't know the year I was born but I was told that I was brought to Pakistan when I was a few months old in 1947. My family would take camels from Bikaner and sell them in other areas, and bring back goats and cows from elsewhere to sell at home. I belong to a huge clan of gypsies. We were forever travelling around. Though a lot of us have now settled and taken up permanent residences in Lahore and Karachi, whenever we feel restless we pack our bags and move on.

In October 2002 Reshma performed at the Brunei Gallery in London to a packed fall of Pakistani expatriates her daughter Khadija and Umayr also performed. In 2004 she recorded "Ashkan Di Gali Vich Mukaam De Gaya", which was used in the Bollywood film Woh Tera Naam Tha, and was also a hit record in India. In January 2006 she was one of the passengers on the inaugural Lahore-Amritsar bus, the first such service linking both parts of the Punjab since 1947. The bus had 26 passengers in total of whom 15 were Pakistani officials, and Reshma had booked seven seats for herself and her family.

Reshma was diagnosed with cancer in the 1980s and more recently her health deteriorated, leading President Pervez Musharraf to come to her aid, giving her one million Rupees to help pay off a bank loan, as well as putting her on a secured assistance of 10,000 rupees per month. He also helped her secure a plot of land for herself, but that did not go through due to the change in government. On Hum TV, in Karachi, Pakistan, Reshma made it a point to let the audience know how unhappy she was with them, because she was forgotten. She also pointed out at the Zardari government for stopping her social assistance paycheck. She also mentioned that when she was in India, the officials asked her to stay there for good, as she was born in Rajasthan, but she returned to Pakistan. Her daughter Shazia Reshma sings with her mother sometimes on talk shows or events. Reshma can't sing much as her voice has been lost due to her illnesses. She can't pronounce words that well, and thus requires the help of her daughter to clear her singing.

Her current residence is in the area of Icchra in Lahore Pakistan. She is a vegetarian. Her younger sister Kaneez Reshma is also a professional singer. Her Health has deteriorated to such an extent that she was hospitalised in Lahore Pakistan in Doctors Hospital on 6th April 2013, the caretaker government has elected to pay all her medical expenses. The previous government under the presidency of Asif Zardari had never paid heed for her medical care. Superstars like Punjabi Rapper Bohemia also expressed his sorrow for Reshma via facebook post.

His Master's Voice-53

Jolly Mukherjee is an Indian singer/songwriter. Known as India's "King of Strings", Mukherjee specializes in the music of Bollywood, or the Indian film industry. He started his career as a backup singer for commercials, then moving on to writing music for airline on-flight introductions, where he sometimes wrote for British Airways. His roots include a mixture of Hindustani classical music and Western music.

He is known for working with the Madras Cinematic Orchestra, where he combines percussion sampled from Bombay (such as the pakhavaj) with strings from Madras. His latest album, Fusebox, included remixes from State of Bengal and Badmarsh & Shri, from which the remixed version of "Bhatiyali" achieved success. He is famous in Bangladesh for providing playback for veteran actor Dipjol. One of his famous song in Dhallywood is Ki batti lagaili (ore o mainka). He provided the string arrangements for the Icelandic performer Björk's song "Verandi".

He is presently participating in Jjhoom India, a reality show on Sahara One, teamed up with Shama Sikander. Recent projects include Detective Naani (film directed and co-produced by Romilla Mukherjee). He is the Music Director and Producer for the same.

His Master's Voice-52

Usha Uthup (born November 8, 1947) is a popular Indian pop, jazz and playback singer. She is well known for popular hits in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Usha was born in Mumbai, in a Tamil Brahmin family of Vaidyanath Someshwar Sami that hailed from Madras (now Chennai), in Tamil Nadu in 1947. When she was in school she was thrown out of music class because she didn't fit in with a voice like hers. But her music teacher recognized that she had some music in her and would give her clappers or triangles to play. Even though she was not formally trained in music, she grew up in an atmosphere of music. Her parents used to listen to a wide range from Western classical to Hindustani and Carnatic including Kishori Amonkar and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan on radio and she used to join them. She used to enjoy listening to Radio Ceylon.

Her next door neighbour was S.M.A. Pathan, who was then the deputy commissioner of police. His daughter, Jamila, inspired Usha to learn Hindi, wear salwar kameez and take up Indian classical music. This fusion approach helped her to pioneer her unique brand of Indian pop in the 1970s. She is married to Mr Jani Uthup from Kottayam, Kerala. She is presently a resident of Kolkata, West Bengal. Her first public singing occurred when she was nine. Her sisters who were already exploring a music career, took her to the most popular radio announcer in India that time called Ameen Sayani who gave her an opportunity to sing on the Ovaltine Music Hour in Radio Ceylon. She sang a number called "Mockingbird Hill". After that, several appearances followed through her teenage years.

Uthup started singing in a small nightclub in Chennai called as Nine Gems in the basement of the erstwhile Safire theater complex on Mount Road, when she was 20, wearing a saree and leg callipers. Her performance was so well received that the owner of the nightclub asked her to stay on for a week. After her first night club gig, she began singing in Calcutta at night clubs such as "Trincas". She met her future husband Uthup in Trincas. At about the same time, she also sang at "Talk of the Town", now known as "Not Just Jazz By The Bay" in Bombay (now Mumbai). After Trincas, her next engagement took her to Delhi where she sang at the Oberoi hotels. By happenstance, a film crew belonging to Navketan unit including Shashi Kapoor visited the nightclub and they offered her a chance to sing movie playback. As a result, she started her Bollywood career with Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Originally, she was supposed to sing Dum Maro Dum along with Asha Bhosle. However, as a result of internal politicking on the part of other singers, she lost that chance but ended up singing an English verse.

In 1968, she recorded covers of two pop songs in English, "Jambalaya" and The Kingston Trio's "Greenback Dollar", on an EP, Love Story, and "Scotch and Soda", another Kingston Trio song, which sold very well in the Indian market. She also spent some time in London during this early period. She was a frequent visitor to Vernon Corea's BBC office at the Langham in London and was interviewed on London Sounds Eastern on BBC Radio London. Usha visited Nairobi as part of an Indian festival. She was so popular that she was invited to stay on. Singing and quite often nationalistic songs in Swahili made her extremely popular and the then President Jomo Kenyatta made her an Honorary Citizen of Kenya. She sang the famous song "Malaika" (angel) with Fadhili Williams who was the original singer. She produced a record "live in Nairobi" with a local band Fellini Five.

Uthup sang several songs in the 1970s and 1980s for music directors R D Burman and Bappi Lahiri. She also reprised some of R.D. Burman songs that were sung by others such as Mehbooba Mehbooba and Dum Maro Dum and popularised them to a distinct end. Uthup sang in Chris Perry's Konkani album Chris Perry Presents Usha – 'Meu Amor' . She appeared as a judge on a singing reality show Bharat Ki Shaan: Singing Star – Season 2 (2012), aired on DD National channel, along with Ismail Darbar. She is the judge in the Season 3 of the show as well. She also appeared as a chief guest for Marathi singing reality show 'Gaurav Maharashtracha' on ETV Marathi. She entertained the audience with Marathi songs.

In addition, she has also sung as a playback singer for the following Bollywood movies: Dhol (2007), June R (2005), Joggers' Park (2003), Jajantaram Mamantaram (2003), Ek Tha Raja (1996), Dushman Devta (1991), Bhavani Junction (1985), Hum Paanch (1980), and Purab Aur Pachhim (1970) among others. She is a stage performer and gave performances all over the world and is known for her lively stage presence. She has been felicitated with several awards over the years, some of which include Rajiv Gandhi Purashkar for National Integration for quality music, Mahila Shiromani Purashkar for international peace, and Channel [V] award for outstanding achievement.

She recorded her first album with Luis Banks for which she was paid Rs. 3500. Since then, she has recorded numerous albums. Usha's Hindi version of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", titled "Chhupke Kaon Aya", can be found on the album Tom Middleton – The Trip (2004). A cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is on another Tom Middleton album, Cosmosonica – Tom Middleton Presents Crazy Covers Vol. 1 (2005). She recorded a song called "Rhythm and Blues" with the Indian rock band Parikrama which appeared on Channel V on April 23, 2007.

Uthup is also an actress, often singing and acting in India's signature musical films. In 2006, she acted in the Malayalam movie Pothan Vava as Kurisuveettil Mariamma. She made a cameo appearance in the movie Bombay To Goa with Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha in 1972. In 2007, she appeared in Bow Barracks Forever directed by Anjun Dutt as herself. Again in 2007, she appeared in Hattrick music video as herself. She appeared in disguise on Indian Idol 1 and 2. She was one of the co-judges of the 2007 and 2008 & Idea Star Singer Season V (2010) the most rated south Indian reality show as well music oriented reality shows in Malayalam.

She has a minor role in the 2010 Tamil movie Manmadan Ambu, as the mother of Madhavan. She also acted in Vishal Bhardwaj's 7 Khoon Maaf as a maid. She has also sang a song in the film which released on February 18, 2011. In 2012, she has starred in a Kannada film Parie which is slated for the late April release. Usha's trademark is her massive bindi and flowers that she wears in her hair, as well as her Kancheepuram saris that she adhere. She is married to Jani Chacko Uthup who is originally from Manganam, Kottayam, and was formerly married to the late Ramu Iyer. They have a daughter Anjali and a son Sunny, named after the song, "Sunny". She currently lives in Kolkata with her husband. She is considered an icon of modern Kolkata and is an active social presence in the city life in this city of joy.

His Master's Voice-51

Talat Aziz (born 11th Nov, 1956) is a popular ghazal singer from Hyderabad, India. Born in Hyderabad, India to Abdul Azeem Khan and Sajida Abid, a famous Urdu writer and poet. He went to Hyderabad Public School till the 12th standard when he finished his ISC and then joined The Indian Institute of Management and Commerce for his B'Com(Hons) Course.

His family loved fine arts and used to organize Mehfils in their house, inviting artists and poets like Jagjit Singh, Jan Nisaar Akhtar the father of the famous writer Javed Akhtar to name a few. This greatly influenced him and started learning music from an early age. He is Sania Mirza's uncle.

Talat Aziz took his initial training in music from Kirana Gharana. He was trained primarily by Ustad Samad Khan and later by Ustad Fayaz Ahmed who were famous classical music singers. After the initial training, Talat decided to learn music from music maestro Mehdi Hassan. On many occasions, like on a concert tour of the US and Canada in 1986 he shared the same stage with him on concerts in India and abroad. His first major performance was in Hyderabad at a place called King Kothi. He sang before a crowd of over 5,000. He sung Kaise Sukoon Paoon and some ghazals by noted shaayars of Hyderabad. Though he was nervous at his first performance in front of audience yet he performed well.

After his graduation he moved to Bombay in 1976 on a suggestion from Jagjit Singh. He also trained under classical music Ustad Samaad Khan and Faiyaz Ahmed Khan, and for his ghazal training he became a disciple of Mehdi Hassan in 1978. With the help of Jagjit he released his first album in 1979, Jagjit Singh Presents Talat Aziz. But for several years he was to struggle for a living. Talat also sang some ghazals in films like Umrao Jaan and Bazaar, which were super-hit. Talat has also composed music for TV serials and has also acted in several of them. He composed music for teleserials to name a few like Deewar, Baaz, Adhikaar, Ghutan, Sailaab, Aashirwaad and the magnum opus, Noorjehan. His acting was appreciated in serials like Sahil, Manzil, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee and Noorjehan a TV serial written by Nida Fazli. Talat released many albums like Jagjit Singh presents Talat Aziz, Talat Aziz live,Images A team Come True Lehren, Ehsaas, Suroor, Saughaat,Tasavvur, Manzil, Storms, Dhadkan, Shahkaar, Mehboob,Khubsoorat,Irshaad, Khushnuma, to name a few with his latest offering in 2009 Caravan e Ghazal in which Sonu Niigaam also participated in a duet 'Qurbaton mein bhi' a ghazal written by Ahmed Faraaz.

The singer was the ghazal artiste to release a ghazal music video of Tasavvur, in 1987 when a video album was not even thought of .He is often seen on the small screen in various roles as a music judge. However, his fans would love to see him on the silver screen too. He worked in a film in 1990. It was Mahesh Bhatt's `Dhun' opposite Sangeeta Bijlani. The film never got released for various reasons but the music was released by HMV in 1991 and was a great hit of that time featuring tracks like ' Main Aatma tu Parmaatma' a bhajan sung as a duet with none another than Mehdi Hassan and Talat and other tracks like 'Yaad aane waale' Laagi prem dhun laagi' which became a rage with the young crowd

The advent of the ghazal as a popular genre began in the late seventies and became a rage in the 80" when artists like Talat Aziz used to sell out albums in the hundreds of thousands of units. Begum Akhtar had her following of ghazal lovers. Then came Mehdi Hassan's, Ghulam Ali who was equally well known.On this side of the border, the Indian couple Jagjit and Chitra Singh, the ghazal exponents did live shows and sang at private mehfils. During that period Sanjeev Kohli,son of Madan Mohan, discovered a singer called Talat Aziz, who was young, good-looking, malleable and above all, he had a good voice. Jagjit Singh had already heard Talat sing at a Mehfil in Hyderabad, so he agreed to compose his first album.In 1979 his first album titled "Jagjit Singh presents Talat Aziz" came out which was phenomenal success thus gave him a launch pad for his meteoric rise. Then came the classic ghazal ' zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein " from Umrao Jaan composed by Khayyam the ghazal from Bazaar ' Phir chidi raat baat phoolon ki' a duet with none other than the legend Lata Mangeshkar and the iconic nazm 'Aaina mujh se meri' from Mahesh Bhatt's film Daddy.

Talat Aziz has been singing in concerts for over three decades and has traveled the globe with his sell out performances . He completed his 25 Years Silver Anniversary with the launch of a special audio and video album in 2004 at the NCPA Mumbai where the veritable who's who of the music industry were present and the ones like Mehdi Hasan and Lata Mangeshkar who could not make it sent in their messages on video and a special documentary on his life was screened. This was released by Universal Music India as a special commemorative DVD with the audio cd pack of two released by Times Music.

Since then he has many albums . He is equally versatile while singing a popular sufi number like "Damadam mast Kalandar" or the soul stirring rendition of "Aaina Mujhse Meri" from the film Daddy. Between 1979 and 1984 he was the top artist recording for Music India Company. In 1984, he joined HMV, the giant recording company.He also worked with Venus Records for a brief period and then released albums with Universal Music India and the latest with Saregama Music.

22 May 2013

His Master's Voice-50

Hemlata (Born 16 August 1954 in Hyderabad, India) has been one of the most famous and successful leading playback singer in Bollywood since the late 1970s. She is classically trained and has a unique style of singing which makes her stand apart from other playback singers of her era. She had established herself on her unique exquisite voice quality that she delivered in various Indian Films, Concerts, T.V. Serials, Music Albums and gave many unforgettable songs like "Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se", "Le To Aaye Ho Hame Sapno Ke", "Tu Is Tarah Se Meri Zindagi Mein", "Kaun Disha Leke Chala Re". Her magnificent velvety voice rich in emotion and expression has reached to millions of music lovers, touching their souls as she has recorded more than 5000 songs and has sung in more than 38 Regional, National and International languages including Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Marwari, Brij Bhasha, Gujarati, Marathi, Sindhi, Oriya, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Konkani, Goanese, Dogri, Multani, Saraiki, Garhwali, Bundeli, Nepali, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit, Prakrit, English, French, Mauritius, African, Italian, Zulu, Dutch, Hindi, etc.

She was nominated for Filmfare Best Female Playback Award five times in the period of 1977–1981 & won once for Chitchor in 1977 for her classical rendition of "Tu Jo Mere Sur Mein" which was duet with Dr. K. J. Yesudas, composed by Ravindra Jain. In her career, She worked with vorious renowned music composers, Including S. D. Burman, Madan Mohan, N. Dutta, Salil Chowdhury, Chitragupta, Khayyam, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Raj Kamal, majority with Usha Khanna and Ravindra Jain.

She has sung with most of the leading male and female playback singers of her times like Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, K. J. Yesudas, Suresh Wadkar, Shailendra Singh, Jaspal Singh, Shabbir Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Chandrani Mukherjee, Alka Yagnik, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurthy and several others. She became the screen voice of some of the famous Bollywood actresses like Nutan, Shabana Azmi, Rekha, Hema Malini, Rameshwari, Yogita Bali, Ranjeeta, Sarika, Madhuri Dixit.

Hemlata was born on 16 August, in Hyderabad, India. Her maiden name being 'Lata Bhatt'. Her childhood passed in Calcutta. Hemlata has been in the Bollywood Industry since the age of 13 years. Hemlata came from an orthodox Marwari Brahmin family. Her grandfather late Zorawar Bhatt, belonged to a village Sehla of District Churu in Rajasthan. He was the guru and spiritual master of Maharaja of that region. Lately he settled at Calcutta for the purpose of business.

Her father late Pandit Jaichand Bhatt, who became an Internationally acclaimed Singer, Performer, Musician & Teacher in the field of classical & folk music. He learned music against the family tradition. He regarded as a sole representative of illustrious Kirana Gharana of Lahore and himself a disciple of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan. Among the many well-known disciples of Pt. Jaichand Bhatt were Pt. Budhaditya Mukherjee (of Bengal), A. L. Chatterjee (Serampore), Gopal Mallick (Calcutta based music director), Ravindra Jain (most notable music director). Hemlata loved singing since childhood but her father did not get encouraged her as he didnot want to let the Hemlata in the field of music. He was steeped in orthodox culture and was totally against her learning music. Because of her father's opposition she did not expressed her feelling to learn singing. She sang hiddenly in Pooja Pandal but, destiny had it that she would become a singer.

It was around the time Hemlata was 7, Gopal Mallick, disciple of her father, used to be on the organising committees of several big concerts and conferences who recognised her singing talent and gave her an opportunity to perform live before large audience for very big musical concert organised by him at Rabindra Stadium of Calcutta where all time greatest singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Subir Sen, Hemant Kumar, Sandhya Mukherjee, Aarti Mukherjee were to perform. He had espacially invited his Guru Pt. Jaichand Bhatt by persuading him to attend the concert as he wished that Guruji also know the hidden talent of his daughter. Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Hemant Kumar all regaled the audience with their numbers. Lata Mangeshkar was to arrive late. Gopal Mallik took the opportunity and introduced little Lata as a 'Baby Lata' on stage. Maestro V. Balsara was conducting the orchestra. They asked her what she was going to sing. "Jago Mohan Pyare", she said. They refused to play it as Lataji herself was going to sing it. However, with hesitation they finally agreed to accompany her. “As she sang the first word Jago in a prolonged aalap the whole audience roared in appreciation. She finished the song but couldn’t leave the stage as the audience demanded 'once more'. And she had to sing the song four times and the appreciation didn’t stop at that—they kept on requesting more songs, she sang 12 other songs including 'Saat Bhaai Champa Jaago Re', in Bengali. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy announced Gold Medal for 'Baby Lata'.

After that her father also agreed and realised that he had no right to choke the talent of Hemlata and decided to bring her to Bombay. In between, before her family left for Bombay that Ravindra Jain, came to Culcutta for higher education in music, who used to regularly visit their home to learn music from his Guru Pt. Jaichand Bhatt, Hemlata was just 12 at that time, after taking lesson, he played his own compositions in Bengali on the harmonium and little Hemlata used to sing them. Hemlata's mother Ambica Bhatt also encouraged her. It was in late 1966, that her family came to Bombay, where they resided at Girgaon in southern Bombay, India. While in Bombay they visited Ustad Alla Rakha khan, under his lots of moral support, her family shifted to residence in Mahim, Bombay. Next, they visited Ustad Rais Khan, from him she learned Ghazal singing. Next, her father brought her to met Producer/Director P. L. Santoshi, with introduction letter from his Jabalpur's friend Barrister V. D. Bhargava. Santoshiji offered to gave her break for one of his forthcoming film.

In a of rank newcomer, Hemlata received invitation from the music director Naushad Ali, who asked her to sing and was very impressed by hearing her voice that she was singing a non-filmic composition then impressed Naushad Ali, had promised Hemlata that he would gave her an opportunity to sing in his films but advised her to wait till her voice matured, then Hemlata signed 5 years contract with Naushad Ali. She began her formal training of playback singing under Naushad Ali. On those days, Hemlata was in news as she was introduced by Naushad Ali, in the world of pyayback singing. For the reason of that, she got several offers from other well known music directors. In consequence of contract limitation she declined them and, waited long for her career's first song but, that moment couldnot happened. Then some of her wellwisher advised her that if she continued contract till the end then, after 5 years when she would cameback to industry nobody help her as she already discourared all and she might not to be get any chance of singing. After this advise, she discontinued the contract and started working with other music directors.

On very first day, she received invitation from music director Roshan through whom she did her first ever concert 'Roshan Night' at the Shanmukhananda Hall, Bombay, India, in 1967. In which her performance was highly appreciated by wide range of audience and all the Bollywood celebrities who were present in the concert including C. Ramchandra, Madan Mohan, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Manna Dey, Mohammad Rafi and several others. Since then, she never looked back.
In the same week, she recorded her first ever song 'Tu Khamosh Main Purjosh' under composition of Usha Khanna for movie 'Roop Rupaiya' coincidentally, the director of this movie was P. L. Santoshiji one of the most respected person to whom she met and received the offer of singing when she came to Bombay. On the same day, she also recorded 'Le Chal Mere Jeevan Saathi' under composition of 'Kalyanji-Anandji' for movie 'Vishwas' she sang this song along with her most favourite singer Mukesh. However, her first released song was 'Dus Paise Mein Raam Le Lo ' from the movie 'Ek Phool Ek Bhool (1968)' again it was the composition of Usha Khanna.

At age of 14, she got an opportunity to record one Ghazals 'EP' under the auspice of music director Khayyam. From there-on, she sang many songs including ' "Pagh Mein Ghunghroo Chhanke" composed by S. D. Burman for movie Jyoti (1969), then "Dil Karne Laga Hai Pyar" along with Mohammad Rafi composed by Usha Khanna for movie Nateeja (1969), "Chanda Ko Dhoodhne Sabhi Taare Nikal Pade" along with Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for movie Jeene Ki Raah (1969), "Aaya Re Khilone Wala" along with Mohammad Rafi composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for movie Bachpan (1970), "Aisa Banoonga Actor Main Yaro" composed by Kalyanji-Anandji for movie Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani (1970), "Soyi Ja Tara" composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for movie Mastana (1970), "Taare Kitne Neel Gagan Pe" along with Mohammad Rafi composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for movie Aap Aaye Bahar Aayee (1971), "Mehboob Ki Mehndi Hathon Mein" along with Lata Mangeshkar composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for movie Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971).

During the late 1970s, she toured India's border posts, entertaining soldiers with Sunil Dutt's & Nargis Dutt's Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe. In 1970, Polydor, The German-based music company, that entering the market, to compiteting it, HMV issued the first-ever cover versions in Hindi film music history with parallel to the Polydor's original soundtracks of movies The Train, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Sachaa Jhutha, Johny Mera Naam, Ek Nazar, Ek Bar Mooskura Do and Jawani Diwani in voices of Hemlata, Anwar and their ilk.

In early 1970s, Ravindra Jain came to Bombay to try his luck. Before arrival of Ravindra Jain she already sang more or less 100/150 songs. Initially, Ravindra Jain used her voice for his debut movie "Kanch Aur Heera (1972)" then for "Rakh Aur Chingari (1974)", "Geet Gata Chal (1975)", "Salaakhen (1975)" and for "Tapasya (1975)", which not have blazed the charts. However, Hemlata gained recognisation when Ravindra Jain gave her a break for movie Fakira (1976) for song 'Sun Ke Teri Pukar'. Popurality of this song proved to be a turning point in her career. Her career hit the big league while in the same year, Ravindra Jain used her voice for Rajshri Banner's movie 'Chitchor' which fetched her coveted Filmfare Award. There-after, Hemlata had established herself on her unique voice quality that she delivered in various movies of Rajshri Productions in 1980s and 1990s, including Paheli (1977), Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaye (1977), Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978), Sunayana (1979), Naiyya (1979), Gopal Krishna (1979), Raadha Aur Seeta (1979), Maan Abhiman (1980), Nadiya Ke Paar (1982), Abodh (1984), Babul (1986).

In association with Ravindra Jain, she had worked on many other songs . Among them is "Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se". According to the Binaca Geet Mala (a radio show that used to compile records of album sales), it was became the number one song in the year 1978. Hemlata was also nominated for Filmfare award for the best female playback singer for this song. It has received millions of views on YouTube. She is the only Indian playback singer who has recorded maximum number of Hindi songs with living legend Dr. K. J. Yesudas.

In 1990s, Doordarshan had invited her to perform 'Tista Nadi Si Tu Chanchala' along with K. J. Yesudas and 'Saath Jo Tera Yun Paya' for herself under the composition of Ravindra Jain which both songs were frequently broadcasted on Doordarshan as a "filler" in between programmes, especially in the evenings. Apart from Ravindra Jain camps, she sang some awesome songs for various music composers includes : "Koi Humein Basale Apne Dilon Jigar Mein", "Hum Unki Aarzoo Mein Kuch Aise Kho Gaye Hain" from Noor-E-Elahi (1976) composed by Babloo Dhiraj, "Wafa Jo Na Ki To Jafa Bhi Na Kije" from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978) composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, "Bheega Bheega Mausam Aaya" from Bhayanak (1979) composed by Usha Khanna, "Tu Is Tarah Se Meri Zindagi Mein Saamil Hai" from Aap To Aise Na The (1980) composed by Usha Khanna, "Bhari Barsat Mein Dil Jalaya", "Ab Wafa Ka Naam Na Le Koi" from Oh Bewafa (1980), composed by Vedpal Verma, "Chhodke Sharafat Bandh Liye Ghungroo" from Haqdaar (1981) composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, "Tujhako Furasat Se Vidhaata Ne Racha" from Aarohi (1982) along with Mukesh composed by Anand Sagar Kiran, "Ghungaru Bandhe Jab See Maine", "Man Vinha Ke Swar Jab Gunjhe " from Kaise Kaise Log (1983) composed by Padamshree, "Mere Shareek-E-Safar Ab Tera Khuda Hafiz" for movie 'Wali-E-Azam (1985) along with Talat Mehmood composed by Chitragupt, "Mujhko Raahon Pe Tum Chhodkar" from Besahaara (1986) composed by Usha Khanna, "Shor Hai Gali Gali Mein Jawan Ho Gayi" from Dozakh (1987) composed by Ganesh Sharma, "Main Ho Gayee Deewani" from Kasam Suhaag Ki (1989) composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, "Meri Khushi Ko Loota Nazar Se Ghira Diya" from Rajoo Dada (1992) composed by Usha Khanna.

In collaboration with Ravindra Jain, she has widely sang for most mythological movies and many notable devotional albums such as " Mastakabhishek (1982) ", as well as "Jai Bahubali", "Sahaja Dhara' for Sahaja Yoga Meditation and "Aqeeda" and has also rendered the Ramayan Chaupaiyan, Kabir Doha, Sanskrit Bhaktamar Stotra, Sunder Kand and various devotional songs. In addition to this, She has lent her voice for Ramanand Sagar's epics T.V. Serial Ramayan (She also appeared herself in one episode to perform traditional Meera Bhajan "Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo"), as well as Uttar Ramayan (Luv Kush) and Shri Krishna throughout the series. She also rendered the Italian song O Sole Mio for online freemeditation.

She had also done some original creative and innovative research work in 14 different basic folksongs of India in their original and dialect form. She has also given live concerts all over the world for more than 34 times except China, Portugal. She accompanied many Live Concerts with Legends like Mohammad Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor. Lately, she had been doing a lot of charity shows, in India and abroad. “She had performed along with Ataullah Khan for a charity show in London in aid of Imran Khan’s cancer hospital. This was the first effort from an Indian singer for Pakistan. On a trip to London, Hemlata recorded two albums with Ataullah Khan. The first one titled, "Sarhadein" and the second one, "Atta and Hemlata" which has ghazals and geets. Then, she also recorded one POP album titled "Ishq" which featuring a fusion of Hindi and Punjabi folk. Regarding these three albums, only "Sarhadein" was released by Tips other two albums haven't released yet.

All about the same time, when she happened to sing the song 'Sanwal Sanwal' from Hero Hindustani. Hemlata claimed that Ataullah Khan and she gave this song to Anu Malik. “It is a folk song which had recorded in London and it is a rage there. But here, when the rights were sold to T-Series, the company dubbed her song in someone else's voice. She was the only indian film playback singer who has started a musical academy in a country like America and her Academy is promoting spreading and broadcasting the typical Indian classical and folk music as well as Gurmat Sangeet from Hollywood Los Angeles to the entire world. She was the only one Bollywood singer, who has been selected by the world community of Sikhs and the government of Punjab as well as the Holy Akal Takht to perform Gurmat Sangeet live composed in original Ragas for the celebration of 300 years of Sikh Khalsa Panth at Shri Anandpur Sahib Akal Takht on 13 April 1999 "Kini Tera Ant Na Paya" was the only one album of Sikh Sangeet which was especially in her voice and inaugurated by the honourable Chief Minister of Punjab Shri Prakash Singh Badal and attended and blessed by our honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji. In November 2010, she was in news for filing FIR against the mother in law of Sonali Bendre for cheating Hemlata in a case of selling a bungalow in Lokhandwala,for Rs.25 million.

As her father was a renowned Hindustani classical Khayal singer she got an oppirtunity to meet Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Allah Rakha and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. She is related to the accomplished classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj as who is the uncle of her cousins, Jatin Pandit, Lalit Pandit, Sulakshana Pandit and Vijeta Pandit. Hemlata has three brothers Vinod Bhatt, Gopal Bhatt and Rishabh Bhatt. She married with Actor Yogesh Bali who worked as a child artist, his performance was appreciated for award winning movie Jawab Aayega (1968). He died on 25 January 1988. Her mather-in-law Haridarshan Kaur (Biba Bali), actress Geeta Bali's (Shammi Kapoor's wife) elder sister who worked as a Producer in partnership with Guru Dutt. This partnership produced several films like Baaz, Suhag Raat, Raag Rang. Her sister-in-law Yogita Bali who also became a famous Actress. Hemlata only has one son named Aditya Bali, Like other star children whose passion is also acting and ready to face the cameras.

His Master's Voice-49

Rajkumar Bharathi is the great grandson of the Great Renaissance poet, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, a poet laurete par excellence. Mahakavi Bharathi had a tremendous liking for singing and probably that wish, the Almighty granted in the form of his great grandson. His mother, Smt.Lalitha Bharathi, initiated Rajkumar into music at a tender age of 5. later on, the great musician Sri.Valliyur Gurumurthi, the stalwart Dr.Balamuralikrishna and the musical maestro T.V.Gopalakrishnan, groomed him.

As a youngster, Rajkumar has won innumerable awards and prizes in various competitions conducted by various premier Music Institutions. Awards include Inter Collegiate festivals, All India level competitions conducted by All India Radio, The Music Academy, Indian Fine Arts, Tamil Isai Sangam among others. Rajkumar graduated as an Electronics and telecommunications engineer from the prestigious Guindy College of Engineering, Chennai, but turned to music as a full time career after a short stint as an engineer.

He has been giving Classical Carnatic music concerts all over India and abroad. He has traveled widely to USA, Canada, U.K. Gulf countries, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Rajkumar has many cassettes and CDs to his credit, which has won him many acclaim. He has had the unique opportunity of rendering all the 18 chapters of “Srimad Bhagavd Gita’, in 4 volumes produced by Ramakrishna Math.

Impelled by an urge for genuine music, Rajkumar endeavours to achieve musical versatility. - He was a member of the “Madras Youth Choir”, of the late music director Mr.M.B.Srinivasan. He has sung in films – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tulu and was the leading Indian singer along with Sharon Rose the widely respected Black American singer in the adventurous venture, the Asian Mafia – a daring interplay between Indian and Pop style singers. many of his kannada film songs includes compositions of music director Vijayabaskar which were used for great director Puttanna Kanagal's movies. such as "MANASA SAROVARA" "AMRUTHAGHALIGE". These songs still get count in all time hit list among Kannada film by fans.

Rajkumar does teaching workshops every summer for the London based Carnatic music students and has performed Jugalbandi concerts with Sri.Ramesh Narayan, Sri.Parameshwar Hegde and Sri.Sanjeev Abyangar. He also has performed in the prestigious Canadian `India Festival’ to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Indian Independence, in 1997.

He has won many awards like ‘Outstanding Young Person Award’, by the Rotary Club of South Madras.‘Sangeetha Gana Sudha Nidhi’ by Thyagaraja Samithi, Anantapur. ‘Sangeetha Sudhakara’, by his Holiness Sri Sringeri Sankaracharya, Sringeri Math. Asthana Vidwan of Shri Datta Peetham, Mysore and Sri Sringeri Math, Sringeri. `Gana Kala Bharathi’ by Hindu American Temple and Cultural Centre, NJ, USA. `Outstanding Young Musician Award’ by Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer trust, Madras. `Kalki Award’ for Young Musician, given by the Kalki Magazine, Madras. `Central Excise Award for Young Achiever’ by the Central Excise Department, Government of India. `Sahitya Priya’ Award given for clear diction and soulful singing, by Jankalyan Trust, Madras.

Rajkumar has donned the role of composer and music director and has been involved in composing music for Audio CD’s, thematic presentations, dance ballets and also for fusion projects. He also has composed many Varnams, Thillanas and Padams especially for dance projects. As the great grand-son of the Poet Bharathi, he has tuned many of Bharathis lesser known compositions and presented them in the Clssical Carnatic forums. Nominated for the prestigious Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Composing Music for “Creation Myth”, a dance ballet for the UCLA Centre for Performing Arts (University of California, LA, USA) in 1995.

He has composed the title music and the background music for the teleserial `Ramana Oli’ depicting the life history of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi. This was telecast in the Indian TV Channel for about 14 weeks. 

21 May 2013

His Master's Voice-48

Mubarak Begum (Devanagari: मुबारक बेगम, born 1940, Sujangarh, Churu, Rajasthan) is an Indian Ghazal and playback singer.  Begum was born in Ahmedabad (Rajasthan) and moved to Mumbai in anticipation of making it as a singer. Mohay Aane Lagi Angrayee, was the first song she recorded for the film “Aiye”, which also a duet with Lata. Several songs and several films came and went but nothing spectacular came along. Her singing career leveraged heavily on Kamal Amrohi’s film “Daera” in which she sang seven songs, some of which became popular. “Devta Tum Ho Mera Sahara” probably got the most recognition. Again the film did not do well at the box-office and this affected her struggling singing career appreciably, despite being gifted with a unique and soulful voice and rendering style. Around the same time, SD Burman recorded Woh Na Ayenge Palat Kar for Devdas, which was received very well. Bimal Roy’s Madhumati was released in 1958 and is still remembered 50 years later for its splendid musical score by Salil Chowdhry and Mubarak Begum’s “Hum Haal-e-dil Sunaenge” was one of the many hits in this very popular film.

This was followed by a string of hits in the early 60s. The haunting and soulful rendering of “Kabhee tanhiyon mein yun, hamari yaad ayegi” is timeless. It is said that the director of that film Kidar Sharma sat and listened to the entire song in the recording room with his eyes closed and opened then well after the recording was over. He said he was spellbound and there are thousands who would share those sentiments even today. Another unforgettable song of that time was “Mujhko apne gale laga lo ae mere hamrahi”, a duet with Rafi in the film Hamrahi, superbly composed by Shanker-Jaikishan. Kuch Ajnabi se Aap Hein, Kuch ajnabi se Hum composed by Khayyam to Sahir’s lyrics in Shagoon is very lilting, Bemurawwat Bewafa in Sushila, Shama Gul Kar Ke Na Ja were other gems of that era, which people hum even today. One of my personal favorites is Nigahon se Dil Mein Chale Ayye Ga from Hameer Hath. Try listening to this with the lights low (preferably all dark) and consider whether any singer can come even close to replicating this rendering. There is a female duet with Asha Bhosle titled Humen Dil De Deke Sawtan Ghar Jana, with a very unusual style.

She has recorded songs for almost all major composers like Shankar-Jaikishan, SD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Kalyanji-Anandji, Khayyam, Naushad and Madan Mohan. However, despite her immense skills of voice modulation, she was unable to hit big time. The hits were many but the opportunities were still not enough. Consequently, despite being a singing phenomena she was unable to reach the heights she truly deserved. It would not be wrong to say that it was truly Bollywood’s loss due to its cruel internal politics and vested interests of the more influential female singers. Her wings were clipped just when she was ready to reach for the stars.

She started her career with light music recitals with All India Radio, the Indian government radio. Her career as a playback singer with Hindi film industry started when she got a break in the movie Aaiye with the song "Mohe Aane Lagi Angrayi, Aja Aja Balam" for composer Shaukat Dehlvi. She also sang a duet with the then upcoming Lata Mangeshkar.

Another major hit in her career was the song "Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Yun" for composer Snehal Bhatkar in Kidar Sharma's film Hamaari Yaad Aayegi which is, till this day, regarded as a classic rendition.

"Neend Ud Jaaye Teri Chain se Sone Wale" (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon), "Kabhi Tanhaiyon men Hamari Yaad Aaegi" (Hamari Yaad Aaegi), "Be-murawwat be-wafa begana-e dil aap hain" (Susheela 1966), "Aye Dil Bata' (Khooni Khazana), "Kuchh Ajnabi se aap hain", "Mujh ko Apne Gale Lagalo" (Hamrahi), "Ayji ayji yaad rakhna sanam" (Daku Mansoor), "Shama Gul Karke Na Ja", "Saawariya Teri Yaad Mein", "Humein Dum Daike" are her best numbers ever.

Today, Mubarak Begum is barely alive and lives in Mumbai’s Jogeshwari neighbourhood, in her twilight years, with nothing to look forward to. I say barely because despite being in her late 70s and with multiple health issues herself, she is having a hard time keeping her head above water with little or no income and is additionally saddled with the responsibility of taking care of her 40 year old daughter Shafaq Bano, who is bedridden and suffers from advance stage Parkinson’s Disease. She would have been in even deeper waters, had it not been for poet Javed Akhtar and the late Sunil Dutt, who by their efforts made a strong case and managed to secure a Government flat for her to have a roof on her head. It must only be the inner strength and her endurance which she possesses, that has provided her the sustenance to survive such a turbulent life.

Dear all, I feel that instead of just feeling sorry for her present conditions we should come together to do some hand-holding for her and help in whatever way we can. Having been caught between a rock and a hard place for her basic survival, she has kept her pride on the shelf and openly expressed her cry for help. I have her address and bank account details. Please send her directly whatever financial assistance comes to your mind.

Mubarak Begum
Savings Banks Account No 10279255298
State Bank of India, Jogeshwari (W), Branch # 26793293
Mumbai 400102 INDIA

20 May 2013

His Master's Voice-47

Suresh Ishwar Wadkar (Marathi: सुरेश ईश्वर वाडकर, born 1954) is an Indian playback singer. He performs in both Hindi and Marathi films.He has sung songs in some Bhojpuri films and in Konkani. Suresh Wadkar was born in Kolhapur at post Dindnerli Tal. Karvir, India, in Maratha family. At the age of 8, he began acquiring basic music education from Jialal Vasant. He soon impressed his guru with the quality of his voice. He began performing at a very early age.

Back in 1968, when Suresh Wadkar was barely 13, Acharya Jialal Vasant entrusted him with a student to initiate in Tory to teach before you appear for your graduation in music through Prayag Sangit Samiti, because there “Prabhakar” certificate is equivalent to B. Ed. and it authorizes you to teach professionally. Guruji made every child studying for Senior Diploma, to sit in the class of 1st year with an experienced teacher and learn the process of “teaching”. Suresh successfully completed his “Prabhakar” and joined “Arya Vidya Mandir, Mumbai as a music teacher. A lot of famous “stars” of today had the opportunity to learn from him.

Acharya Jialal Vasant, announced during his felicitation function organized by his students on May 1985. He said, “We continuously talk about the benefits one enjoys when one is blessed with a good Guru. But let me tell you, that every Guru looks for at least one student, who can take his torch forward. I have been, I must say, very fortunate to get ‘the’ student; I have always looked for in Suresh. I am fully confident that he will leave no stone unturned to accomplish what I desire the most – to attain excellence both as a singer & a teacher. I feel that my mission is fulfilled. He has a music school in Mumbai, India (www.ajivasan.com) and New Jersey/New York, USA (www.sureshwadkarmusic.com) where methodical training is given to students. Suresh Wadkar added a new chapter in his Music life when he started the First Online Music teaching school "SWAMA" (Suresh Wadkar Ajivasan Music Academy) under Ace Open University.

Though groomed for Indian classical music, he entered the Sur-Singar competition in 1976. Wadkar won the competition which was judged by composers from the Indian film industry including Jaidev. Jaidev later offered him the song "Seene Mein Jalan" in the film Gaman (released in 1978). He also performed in the film Paheli (released 1977). At the time, Lata Mangeshkar was so impressed with his voice that she strongly recommended him to film personalities including Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Khayyam and Kalyanji-Anandji. Laxmikant-Pyarelal, impressed with his voice, soon recorded a duet with Lata "Chal Chameli Bagh Mein" for Krodhi (released in 1981). Soon after, he was given the opportunity to perform for songs in Hum Paanch, Pyaasa Sawan ("Megha re Megha Re") and above all, his turning point in films - Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog (released in 1982).

Wadkar also produced the film Tanman.com. He was a judge on the Indian TV singing show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs International and at the 2005 Sanjeet Awards. Suresh Wadkar has for the first time sung a song in the upcoming Tamil film Kanden Kadhalai. This film is an adaptation of the Hindi Blockbuster Jab We Met. The song is a ghazal type song called "Naan Mozhi Arindhaen". He has sung numerous devotional songs in various languages. In 1996, Wadkar sang Channeache Rati among several other songs in Rajendra Talak's Konkani album Daryachya Deger with Asha Bhosle.

Suresh Wadkar has worked with some of the top class Marathi music directors like Pt.Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Sudhir Phadke, Shrinivas Khale, Shridhar Phadke, Vasant Desai, Ashok Patki, Anil-Arun etc. Some of his notable marathi songs are:
Dayaghana with pt.Hridaynath Mangeshkar
Kaal dehasi ala khau with Shrinivas Khale
tula pahile mi with Shridhar Phadke
Pahile Na Mi Tulahjh

Suresh Wadkar often performs with other artistes such as Zakir Hussain, Shrinivas Khale, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, and Kavita Krishnamurthy for numerous stage performances. Wadkar is married to classical singer Padma. He has two daughters, Ananya and Gia. In 1976, Wadkar won the Madan Mohan Best Male Singer Award at the Sur-Singar competition. He is also a recipient of the 2004 Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar instituted by Madhya Pradesh government.[6] He also won the 2007 Maharashtra Pride Award which is given by the government of Maharashtra to citizens of note. In 2011, he won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Hey Bhaskara Kshitijavari Ya" from the Marathi film Mee Sindhutai Sapkal. Suresh Wadkar has sung for a variety of composers in the Indian film industry.

ಭಟ್ಟ ಹೋದ ಭಟ್ಟಂಗಿಗಳ್ಯಾವಾಗ?

"ಸುವರ್ಣ"ಕ್ಕನ ಅಂಗಳಕ್ಕೆ ೨೪*೭ ಅಂಟಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದ "ವಿ"ಚಿತ್ರ ಶನಿ ತೊಲಗಿದೆ ಅನ್ನುವ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಬಲ್ಲ ಮೂಲಗಳಿಂದ ಬಂದಿದೆ. ಆ ಅಡ್ಡ ಕಸುಬಿಯನ್ನ ಸದ್ಯ "ಕಪ್ರ"ದ ಹೆಪ್ರನನ್ನಾಗಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಉಳಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಲಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಹಾಗೂ ಇದು ಖಚಿತಗೊಂಡಿದೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೂ "ಸುವರ್ಣ"ದಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಡಿ ಎಬ್ಬಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಮಂಗನಾಥ್ "ಭಾರ"ದ್ವಜ್ ಹಾಗೂ ತಂಡ ಪಕ್ಷಾಂತರ ಮಾಡಿ ಆದ ಆಪರೇಷನ್ ನಂತರ "ಟಿವಿ ಒಂಬತ್ತರ" ಪಾಲಾಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ. "ಜನಶ್ರಿ"ಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಅನಂತ್ ಚಿನಿವಾರ್ ತಂಡ "ಸುವರ್ಣ"ದ ಯಜಮಾನಿಕೆ ವಹಿಸುವುದು ಬಹುತೇಕ ಅಂತಿಮವಾಗಿದೆ.

ಸದ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ "ಕನ್ನಡಪ್ರಭ"ಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಎಲ್ಲೂ ಸಲ್ಲದ ಅದೇ ಶನಿ ಅಂಟಿಕೊಂಡಿರಲಿದೆ. ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡಂತೆ ನಡೆದರೆ ಶೀಘ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದಲೂ ಆ ಗಡವನನ್ನ "ಗೌರವಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ" ಒದ್ದು ಓಡಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ ಎನ್ನುವ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯಿದೆ. ಇತ್ತ ಕನ್ನಡಪ್ರಭದಿಂದಲೂ ಗಡಿಪಾರಾಗುವ ಭೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಭಟ್ಟ ವಿಜಯವಾಣಿಯ ಸಂಪಾದಕತ್ವಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಲಾಬಿ ನಡೆಸುತ್ತಿರೋದು ಕೂಡ ಖಚಿತವಾಗಿದೆ. ಆ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗೆ ಒಂದು ಘನತೆ ಗೌರವ ತಂದುಕೊಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಸಂಪಾದಕರಾದ ತಿಮ್ಮಪ್ಪ ಭಟ್ಟರಿಗೆ ಇದರಿಂದ ವಂಚನೆಯಾಗುವ-ಅನ್ಯಾಯವಾಗುವ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟ ಸೂಚನೆಗಳು ಗೋಚರಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಮಾತ್ರ ಅಘಾತಕಾರಿ ಅಂಶ.

19 May 2013

His Master's Voice-46

Aarti Mukherji is a Bengali playback singer who has also sung in Hindi films such as Geet Gata Chal, Tapasya, Manokamana and Masoom. Arati Mukhopadhyay was trained in Indian Classical Music from a young age. She sang primarily for Bengali films.

Aarti Mukherji (also known as Aarti Mukherjee or Arati Mukhopadhyay) is from West Bengal who has also sung in Hindi films such as Geet Gata Chal (1975), Tapasya (1976), Manokamana and Masoom (1983). unfortunately there is no more information recorded about Arthi. but never the less her melodious numbers will always eco in her fans heart.

Arati Mukhopadhyay was trained in Indian Classical Music from a young age. She sang primarily for Bengali films. She also has a number of famous non-film songs to her credit. She lent her voice to a number of Hindi compositions as well.

She won the National Film Award as well as Filmfare Award as Best Female Playback Singer Award for the song "Do naina" in Shekhar Kapur's Masoom.

His Master's Voice-45

Shabbir Kumar is an Indian Playback Singer. He was a leading Hindi Cinema playback singer in 1980s. Shabbir Kumar whose real name is Shabbir Shaikh was born in Vadodara, Gujarat. He started his music career with the stage show Ek Shaam Rafi Ke Naam, a tribute to Mohammed Rafi. Shabbir claims that when he attended Rafi's funeral in 1980, his watch fell into Rafi's open grave. He interpreted the incident as a divine message that he was to be Rafi's successor.

Music director Usha Khanna gave Shabbir Kumar a break in the film Tajurba (1981). Shabbir got a major break, when the director Manmohan Desai, who was looking for a Rafi substitute, noticed him recommended him to music director duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P). Within a few days, L-P gave Shabbir Kumar songs in the film Coolie, which was released in 1983. Shabbir's first released film with L-P was Main Intequam Loonga.

Shabbir Kumar was first noted for a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Shaam Hai Ye Kuch Khoyi Khoyi from Prem Tapasya (1983). Music director Anu Malik got him to sing for Rajiv Kapoor in his debut film Ek Jaan Hain Hum (1983). Shabbir Kumar was acknowledged as a leading playback singer with the film Betaab. Music director Rahul Dev Burman got him to sing all the five songs for Sunny Deol. Also, in 1983, Coolie was released, in which L-P had given him all the seven songs, six for Amitabh Bachchan, and one for Rishi Kapoor.

In the 1980s, Shabbir Kumar sang for all the leading music directors including Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Rahul Dev Burman, Chitragupt, Kalyanji-Anandji, Rajesh Roshan, Usha Khanna, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik, Ravindra Jain, Raamlaxman, O.P.Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan, Nadeem Shravan, Anand Milind, Jatin-Lalit, Uttam Singh. He did playback singing for leading actors such as Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachhan, Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Raj Babbar, Govinda, Chunky Pandey, Sanjay Dutt, Kumar Gaurav, Kamal Hassan, Rajnikant, Anil kapoor, Sunny Deol, Rajiv Kapoor and Akshay Kumar. Recently he sang for Ismail Darbar, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and A.R. Rahman.

His last Hit songs were Gori Hai Kalaiyan from Aaj Ka Arjun (1990) and Sochna Kya from Ghayal (1990). Shabbir then started concentrating on stage shows. He sang for many films and private albums in the year 2000, few hits were Ghaath (2000), Awara Paagal Deewana (2002), and Aan: Men at Work (2004), Recently Shabbir Kumar sang for Akshay Kumar in the movie Housefull (2010) which is a comeback for this legendary singer.

He has sung in different languages like Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Gujrati, Hariyanvi, Oriya, Malayalam and English. He is Awarded with 34 Gold Discs, 16 Platinum, 1 Kohinoor Disc and also received number of other awards. Received award as "The Best Playback Singer" in Dubai, U.A.E. "Mohammad Rafi Award" in Bombay first time ever in India, "Kalaa Ratan Award" from Honourable President of India Shri Giani Zail Singh as Best Playback Singer. His Contributions to Music industry over 1 thousand songs and more than 200 Films in his portfolio. He has performed several live concerts in UAE, Europe, South Africa, United States of America, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and many other places.

18 May 2013

His Master's Voice-44

Chitra Singh (née Dutta) is a renowned Indian Ghazal singer. She was married to Jagjit Singh, a prominent Ghazal singer who died on October 10 2011. They formed a highly popular duet team and are considered pioneers of modern Ghazal singing. Chitra Dutta was born in a Bengali family. She had no formal musical training, but had strong roots of music in her family. She learned much of her music by listening to her mother's music teacher.

Chitra Singh met Jagjit Singh in Mumbai (then known as Bombay), India, in the late 1960s, and they started a musical career together by singing jingles for various advertisements. Their career took off with the launching of The Unforgettables, an album with several firsts to its credit. Their public singing before large audiences revolutionized ghazal singing. Until then, ghazal singing had been confined to musical performances ("mehfils") before small audiences consisting primarily of the elite in the society.

The duo composed and sang songs for Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali albums. They contributed to devotional music by releasing albums which included Krishna, Chirag, Hey Ram, and Shabads. Krishna is one of the largest-selling titles in its category. Chitra has sung popular Bengali songs which are still popular in West Bengal and Bangladesh. "Ki Dile Amai Tumi?" (What have you given me?), "Bujhini To Ami" (I didn't understand), "Duti Mon Ar Nei Dujonar" (Two hearts are one), "Amar Chokher Joler Majhe" (In my tears) are some of her great Bengali songs.

After the death of their son, Vivek, in a car accident in Bombay, Chitra stopped singing and retreated from the limelight. (She has been learning and working on different forms of spirituality, and practices spiritual healing therapies.) Some of Singh's memorable songs include "Yeh Tera Ghar, Yeh Mera Ghar", "Tum Aao To Sahi", "Woh Nahin Milta Mujhe", "Saare Badan Ka Khoon", and "Mitti Da Bawa". Singh's voice is, was and will be for ghazals, producing soulful gems like "Lab-e-Khamosh Se" (album Beyond Time). Her clear, touching and high-pitched voice provided a perfect blend with Jagjit's deep baritone and smooth voice. Their duets created an extraordinary effect in songs like "Ishq Mein Ghairat-e-jazbaat Ne", "Aaye Hain Samjhane Log", and "Uski Hasrat Hai Jise Dile Se Mita Bhi Na Sakoon". Her voice also had a special dimension within the gamut of ghazal singing, so that in the case of "darbari mehfil" ghazals (as in "Dil-e-Nadaan Tujhe", "Dil He To Hai", and "Har Ek Baat Pe Kehteh Ho" from the album, "Mirza Ghalib") she was almost unparalleled.

She had a daughter, Monica (from her previous marriage) who committed suicide in 2009. Jagjit and Chitra's only son Vivek died in an accident in July 1990. Chitra stopped singing after this.

His Master's Voice-43

Aemala Manmatharaju Rajah (Tamil: ஏ. எம். ராஜா; Kannada: ಏ ಎಂ ರಾಜ; Telugu: ఏ. ఎం. రాజా;Malayalam: എ.എം.രാജ) (July 1, 1929 – April 8, 1989) was a South Indian playback singer-music composer popular in the 1950s and the early 1960s in South India. He was popularly known as A. M. Rajah or Rajah. His songs were featured in numerous Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films in the 1950s, early 1960s and early 1970s. He also composed music for several films.

A. M. Rajah was born on 1 July 1929 in Ramachandrapuram, Chittoor District in present day Andhra Pradesh to Manmadharaju and Lakshmamma. His father died when he was three months old and then the family moved to Renukapuram and Madras (Chennai) later. His tertiary education was at Pachaiyappa's College from where he graduated with a B.A. Degree. By this time, Rajah was an accomplished piano player and had won several prizes in singing competitions. He was well versed in Carnatic Music and Western Classical Music. He was also highly influenced by the Hindi and Gazal music and was the only answer from the South to North Indian singers like Talat Mehmood, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi and Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay.

During his University days, Rajah wrote, composed and sang two songs in his mother tongue, Telugu, with the instrumental support of the music director K. V. Mahadevan for HMV which were broadcast by All India Radio. Gemini Studios boss S. S. Vasan listened to these songs and, impressed, booked him for his next film, Samsaram (1951) with the approval of his music director, Emani Sankara Sastry, and also his good friend Kalki Krishnamurthy. By this time Rajah was also already recording songs for the films Rajambal (for R. S. Manohar, incidentally his senior in the University ) with P. Leela and Kumari (for M. G. Ramachandran) with Jikki for music composers M. S. Gnanamani and K. V. Mahadevan respectively. Rajah, with instant popularity after the Samsaram songs came on the air, went on to sing in various languages, including Hindi and was the uncrowned prince of the South in the early and mid-1950s.[citation needed].He was equally successful in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada films.

His first Telugu film was Adarsam (1952). He also acted and sang in the Telugu film Pakkinti Ammayi (1953) directed by Chittajalu Pullayya. with music by G.Aswathama.He also appeared in Devadas, but in a small role. His first song in Malayalam was for film Lokaneethi (1952), music director being the composer V. Dakshinamoorthy.He sang for almost all the South Indian film music composers of the 1950s. A.M.Rajah was the first male playback singer from the South to have recorded songs for a Hindi film in Bombay (Bahut Din Huye in 1952) whereas M. S. Subbulakshmi was the first South Indian singer (cum actress) to record songs for a Hindi film (Meera in 1947). However,when Gemini's Tamil film Chandralekha (1948) was dubbed in Hindi, T.A.Mothi, then an up-and-coming singer,sang in Hindi too.In 1953, Rajah and Jikki were hand picked by Shankar Jaikishan and Raj Kapoor for the multi-lingual film Aah and invited to Bombay to sing for the Telugu ( Prema Lekhulu ) and Tamil ( Avan ) versions which were also big hits like the originals with Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar.Rajah-Jikki reigned as the most popular pair in the Tamil films in the 50's.

Rajah also sang in few Sinhala films produced in Chennai and Sri Lanka with Jikki and K. Jamuna Rani and his songs are still fondly remembered there. Many of his solo songs and duets with all the leading female playback singers of that era were big hits.P.Susheela was introduced by Pendyala Nageswara Rao in the film ‘’Petra Thai’’ (1952) in a duet with Rajah. In playback, what Mukesh was for Raj Kapoor, Rajah was for Gemini Ganesan. Rajah also sang many songs for Sivaji Ganesan and lent his voice to M. G. Ramachandran as well. Similarly, he sang for N.T.Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Kongara Jaggayya in several Telugu films and for Sathyan and Prem Nazir in many Malayalm films. Kannada film industry was not very developed in the 50’s, most films being dubbed versions of Tamil and Telugu films.However, Rajah sang for the leading Kannada actors like Raj Kumar, Udaykumar and Kalyan Kumar in the 50’s.His voice was found to suit these actors when they were young.

A. M. Rajah's exit from the film world remained always a controversial one because he had a large passionate fan base then and for several more decades as pointed out by famous film magazines like Pesum Padam and the Radio Ceylon. Rajah fell out with number of music composers and developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. His ways were rather direct and he had his own strong opinions about how songs must be composed and sung. His original promoter, K. V. Mahadevan, was the first to openly drop him after recording the song "Kayile Inippathenna, Kaniyanal Kasappathenna" (1958) which was followed by an heated argument at the sets of Manamulla Maru Tharam. It was also known in the cinema circles that M. S. Viswanathan always resisted using Rajah in his films after their first and last collaboration in Genova. By this time,he already suffered the same fate in the Telugu film world too. The film critics at this stage noted that he was his own worst enemy.

However, he continued to sing for Malayala films longer where particularly G. Devarajan was able to coax Rajah to sing from time to time.Rajah however continued to reside in Chennai.It is noteworthy that G. Devarajan mentioned in his book that not only Rajah was an excellent melodious singer, but also of a straight forward character often misunderstood.Most composers called him an arrogant cynic. But Rajah still remained a big name because his songs continued to be popular for many decades and he continued his music by regularly having stage shows in India as well as overseas whilst carrying on his tourist car business. He made a comeback in the 1970s through composers V.Kumar and Sankar Ganesh, and the songs were amongst the hits of the respective years.Composer Sathyam brought him back to sing a duet with P. Susheela for the Telugu film Puttinellu Mettinellu (1973), which was also a hit.But,his return did not last long even though the songs were popular probably for the same reasons as before.

S. V. Venkatraman, G. Ramanathan, S. Rajeswara Rao, C. N. Pandurangan, R. Sudharsanam, S. M. Subbaiah Naidu, C. R. Subburaman, G. Govindarajulu Naidu, S. Dakshinamurthi, Pasupuleti Ramesh Naidu, Adepalli Rama Rao, Emani Sankara Sastry, Master Venu, K. Raghavan, P. S. Diwakar, K. Vara Prasada Rao, T. A. Kalyanam, M. S. Gnanamani, Pendyala Nageswara Rao, M.K. Athmanathan, K. V. Mahadevan, G. Aswathama, V. Dakshinamoorthy, T. G. Lingappa, P. Adinarayana Rao, T. R. Papa, T. V. Raju, C. S. Jayaraman, Ghantasala, Vedha, R.Govardhanam, M. S. Viswanathan, T. K. Ramamoorthy, V. Kumar, Rajan-Nagendra, Devarajan, M. Ranga Rao, Vijaya Bhaskar, Baburaj, K. G. Moorthy, R. K. Shekhar, Brother Lakshmanan, Job Master, Jeevan and Hindi film music composers, Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, C. Ramchandra and S. N. Tripathi are the few music composers he sang for.

He successfully paired with Jikki, P. Leela, Kaviyoor Revamma and P. Suseela producing good number of hit songs. Others were P. A. Periyanayaki, M. L. Vasanthakumari, Rao Balasaraswathi Devi, Radha Jayalakshmi, A. P. Komala, K. Jamuna Rani, Santha P. Nair, T. V. Rathinam, M. S. Rajeswari, K. Rani, P. Andal, Rohini, Swarnalatha, Sarojini, S. Janaki, B. Vasantha, Madhuri, L. R. Eswari and actresses U. R. Jeevarathinam, P. Bhanumathi and S. Varalakshmi.

He was booked early in his cinema life as one of the music composers (others being T. A. Kalyanam and M. S. Gnanamani) for F. Nagoor's Genova (1952), an M.G.R starrer, but he passed on this opportunity to M. S. Viswanathan (his first film). Rajah however sang all the songs in this film. A. M. Rajah's debut as music composer was for the Telugu film Shobha (1958) starring N.T.Rama Rao and Anjali Devi and directed by Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao.It was C.V.Sridhar who gave his friend the second break to be a music director, fulfilling his promise that the day he directed his first film, Rajah would be its music director. The Film was Kalyana Parisu (1959) with Gemini Ganesan and B.Saroja Devi in the lead. Rajah received the Madras Film Fans Association award of Best Music Director in 1959 for this film.In the same year he composed music for Anbukkor Anni directed by T. R. Raghunath. Sridhar and Rajah thereafter combined for films Vidivelli produced by Sivaji Ganesan under his banner Prabhuram Pictures and Then Nilavu produced by Sridhar under his own banner Chitrallaya. They fell out after the film was completed and Rajah refused to do the background music, but eventually did under pressure from mutual friends. Sridhar, however, went back to Rajah for Nenjil Or Alayam(1962), but Rajah refused. He then composed music for Adiperukku (1962) directed by K. Shankar. Thus ended Rajah's active film career which witnessed a meteoric rise and then an abrupt end after just 10 years. All his films as music composer were musical hits with Kalyana Parisu and Then Nilavu joining the list of all time greats.

Rajah gave a major break to S. Janaki in the film " Then Nilavu" with two beautiful duets to sing with him and that too singing for Vyjayanthimala. In the 1970s, he composed music for films Amma Enna Stree(Malayalam-1970), Veetu Mapillai (Tamil-1973) and Enakkoru Magan Pirappan (Tamil-1975). He married G. Krishnaveni (popularly known as Jikki), who reigned together with P. Leela as the top two female playback singers in the South during the early fifties. It is said that he met her on the sets of Samsaram and Kumari (1951) and proposed to her on the sets of Maheswari (1954) after they sang the duet Azhagu Nilavin Bavaniyile. They had four daughters and two sons. He had traveled extensively abroad. A. M. Rajah died on April 7, 1989 at the age of almost 60 in an unfortunate train accident when he tripped and fell into the tracks while boarding a moving train.

17 May 2013

His Master's Voice-42

Gauhar Jaan (Hindi: गौहर जान; 26 June 1873–17 January 1930) was an Indian singer and dancer (or tawaif) from Calcutta. She was one of the first performers to record music on 78 rpm records in India, and released by Gramophone Company of India. Gauhar Jaan was born as Angelina Yeoward in on 26 June 1873 in Azamgarh, of Armenian descent. Her father, William Robert Yeoward, worked as an engineer in a dry ice factory, and married her mother, Victoria Hemmings, in 1872. Victoria, an Indian by birth, had been trained in music and dance.

In 1879 the marriage ended, causing hardships to both mother and daughter, who later migrated to Banaras in 1881, with a Muslim nobleman, 'Khursheed', who appreciated Victoria's music more than her husband. Later, Victoria, converted to Islam and changed Angelina's name to 'Gauhar Jaan' and hers to 'Malka Jaan'. In time, Victoria (now 'Malka Jaan') became an accomplished singer, Kathak dancer and a courtesan in Banaras, and made a name for herself, as Badi Malka Jan; she was called Badi (elder) because at that time three other Malka Jans were famous: Malka Jan of Agra, Malka Jan of Mulk Pukhraj and Malka Jan of Chulbuli, and she was the eldest among them.

Finally, Malka Jaan moved back to Calcutta in 1883, and established herself in the courts of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, who had settled at Matiaburj (Garden Reach), near Kolkata and within three years purchased a building at 24 Chitpore Road (now Rabindra Sarani), for Rs.40,000. It is here that young Gauhar started her training, she learnt pure and light classical Hindustani vocal music from, Kale Khan of Patiala, ‘Kalu Ustad’, Ustad Vazir Khan of Rampur and Ustad Ali Baksh (founding members of Patiala Gharana) and Kathak from legendary Brindadin Maharaj (granduncle of Birju Maharaj), Dhrupad dhamar from Srijanbai, and Bengali Keertan from Charan Das. Soon she also started writing and composing ghazals under the pen-name ‘Hamdam’ and became proficient in Rabindra Sangeet.

Gauhar Jaan gave her maiden performance at the royal courts of Darbhanga Raj in 1887 and was appointed as court musician, after receiving extensive dance and music training from a professional dancer at Banaras. Gauhar Jan started performing in Calcutta in 1896 and was called the 'first dancing girl' in her records. Gauhar Jaan first visited Madras in 1910, for a concert in the Victoria Public Hall, and soon her Hindustani and Urdu songs were published in a Tamil music book. In December, 1911, she was famously invited to perform at the coronation of King George V at Delhi Durbar, where she sang a duet, Ye Hai Tajposhi Ka Jalsa, Mubarak Ho Mubarak Ho, with Jankibai of Allahabad. It is said that, Begum Akhtar in her early days wanted to pursue a career in Hindi films, but after listening to the singing of Gauhar and her mother, she gave up the idea completely and devoted herself to learning Hindustani classical music, in fact, her first teacher was Ustad Imdad Khan, who accompanied the mother-daughter duo on sarangi.

Eventually, in her final days, she moved to Mysore, at the invitation of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV of Mysore, and on August 1, 1928, she was appointed as a 'Palace musician', though she died within 18 months, on January 17, 1930 in Mysore. In her lifetime, she recorded more than 600 records from 1902 to 1920, in more than ten languages, including Bengali, Hindustani, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Arabic, Persian, Pushto, French, and English. She would round off her performances for a record by announcing 'My name is Gohar Jan'. She popularised light Hindustani classical music with her thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, bhajan, tarana renditions, and also mastered the technique of condensing performing the elaborate melody Hindustani classical style to just three and a half minutes for a record. Her most famous song are, thumri sung in Bhairavi is Mora nahak laye gavanava, jabse gaye mori sud huna live, Ras ke bhare Tore Nain, Mere dard-e-jigar and Bhajans like, Radhey Krishna Bol Mukhse.

India's first disc had Gauhar Jaan, singing a khayal in Raag Jogiya, recorded on November 2, 1902, by Fred Gaisberg, an assistant to Emile Berliner, the father of Gramophone record, who left America to become the first recording engineer with the Gramophone Company, London. The recording was done in a makeshift recording studio in two large rooms of a hotel in Kolkata, and at the end of the trial recording Gauhar Jaan announced - “My name is Gauhar Jaan“. Gauhar Jaan agreed to do the recording session for a princely sum of 3,000 rupees. By 1903, her records started appearing in Indian markets and were in great demand. Saregama India (formerly the Gramophone Co. of India Ltd. or His Master's Voice (HMV)), is planning to re-release the milestone recordings of Gauhar Jaan, after retrieving them from Gramophone Company’s London archives, and restoring them to their original glory. Her songs are also part of the 'Vintage Music From India' (1996) audio album, and her image forms its cover.