Mohammed Rafi : Everyone’s Voice
This article is written by Rajiv Vijayakar for screen india (http://www.screenindia.com/20010803/mcover1.html)
Mohammed Rafiâ€™s most extraordinary quality was the almost miraculous way in which his voice seemed to fit every actor who expressed diverse emotions through his songs.
Even stars personally-inclined or commercially-identified with other singers, like Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan â€” never sounded vocally incongruous when Rafiâ€™s voice was employed for them.
The icons of romance, the sultans of action, the czars of comedy, the emperors of emotions, parents, priests, buffoons or blackguards, Rafi suited them all.
On the legendâ€™s 21st death anniversary, which was observed on July 31, Screen examines his vocal ties with 21 stars, listed in alphabetical orderâ€¦
Signature tune: â€˜Patta pattaâ€¦â€™ (Ek Nazar)
Last film: Desh Premee (1982)
Bachchanâ€™s superstardom was dominated by Kishore, and yet Rafi did get to sing a host of lovelies for AB like â€˜Tumse door rehkeâ€¦â€™ (Adalat), â€˜Oonchi oonchi baaton seâ€¦â€™, (Mr Natwarlal), â€˜Mere dost qissaâ€¦â€™ (Dostana), â€˜Teri bindiya reâ€¦â€™ (Abhimaan), the title track of Desh Premee and the many songs of Suhaag and Naseeb. Incidentally, Rafi was the first voice of Bachchanâ€™s career in Pyar Ki Kahani. And careful listening of the postâ€” Zanjeer Rafi numbers for him reveal a subtle, edgy and bottled-up modulation to them, as different from Rafiâ€™s full-throated singing for others.
Signature tune: â€˜O duniya ke rakhwaleâ€¦â€™ (Baiju Bawra)
Last film: Taqdeer (1967)
Bharat Bhushan personified saintly or melancholic love. And Rafi was at his spiritual best in timeless numbers in Baiju Bawra, Basant Bahar, Samrat Chandragupta, Barsaat Ki Raat and many other films.
Signature tune: â€˜Nazar na lag jaayeâ€¦â€™ (Night In London)
Last film: Kehte Hain Mujhko Raja (1976)
All the top chocolate heroes of the 60s and 70s were primarily â€˜Rafi-iansâ€™. In their candy-floss films or tear-jerkers, they usually had a variety of songs, from light duets to ghazals and from chhed-chaad numbers to those lamenting over the heroineâ€™s bewafai. And Biswajeet, always lucky in getting great songs, got his cream with Rafi under a host of composers in Mere Sanam, Sagaai, Shehnai, Do Dil, Night In London, Jaal, Aasra, Pyar Ka Sapna, April Fool and many more.
Signature tune: â€˜Khoya khoya chandâ€¦â€™ (Kala Bazaar)
Last film: Manpasand (1980)
Like it or not, Dev Anand made most of his early musical reputation on Rafiâ€™s very vocal support. It was Rafi more than Kishore who represented the young, suave, debonair Dev with his sexy puff. In fact, S.D.Burman developed a unique crooning style for Rafi especially for Dev Anand in songs like â€˜Aise to na dekhoâ€¦â€™ (Teen Deviyan) and â€˜Dil ka bhanwar kare pukarâ€¦â€™ (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne), and also in Guide, Jewel Thief, Kala Pani, Kala Bazaar, Gambler and Baat Ek Raat Ki.
When Shankar-Jaikishan composed for Dev, it was Rafi all the way in hits like Asli Naqli and Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai. Other composers followed in C.I.D, Hum Dono and many others, with Laxmikant-Pyarelal (Jaaneman) and Kalyanji-Anandji (Mahal) choosing Rafi in the qawwalis they composed for him.
Signature tune: â€˜Main jat yamlaâ€¦â€™ (Pratiggya)
Last film: Mera Karam Mera Dharam (1987)
â€˜Toughâ€™ times came in for Hindi cinema when Dharmendra brought his unique blend of muscle and gentleness. Rafi sat on â€˜garam-Dharamâ€™ like the proverbial glove, elevating the comedy (â€˜Sa re ga maâ€¦â€™/Chupke Chupke), the passion (â€˜Aaj mausam bada beimaan hainâ€¦â€™/Loafer) and the machismo (â€˜Arey maine tujhko chahaâ€¦â€™/Dharam-Veer).
Signature tune: â€˜Madhuban mein Radhikaâ€¦â€™ (Kohinoor)
Last film: Kranti (1981)
Dilip Kumar minus Rafi is about as imaginable as Hindi films minus songs. The devotional â€˜Sukh ke sab saathiâ€¦â€™ (Gopi), the effervescent â€˜Maang ke saath tumharaâ€¦â€™ (Naya Daur), the plaintive â€˜Toote hue khwabon neâ€¦â€™ (Madhumati) and the classical â€˜Saawan aaye ya na aayeâ€¦â€™ (Dil Diya Dard Liya), Rafi was perfect for every genre of song that went on the man who ruled the screen for two decades.
Signature tune: â€˜Yeh mahalon yeh takhtonâ€¦â€™ (Pyaasa)
Last film: Suhagan and Saanjh Aur Savera
The man who made a business to look at life tangentially was a Rafi-bhakt all the way. Even when he did not act in his own films (C.I.D., Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi) he gave Rafi classics. And for himself, Rafi was his prime choice for masterpieces like â€˜Yeh mahalon yeh takhtonâ€¦â€™ (Pyaasa), â€˜Chaudhvin ka chand hoâ€¦â€™ (Chaudhvin Ka Chand), â€˜Jaane kahan mera jigarâ€¦â€™ (Mr & Mrs 55) and â€˜Tu mere saamne haiâ€¦â€™ (Suhagan).
Signature tune: â€˜Badi mastani hai meri mehboobaâ€¦â€™ (Jeene Ki Raah)
Last film: Madadgaar (1987)
Jumping Jack Jeetu and Rafi formed a perfect combination. In the more musical phase of Jeetuâ€™s acrobatic romance, we had Rafi delights galore in Farz, Jigri Dost, Himmat, Humjoli, Roop Tera Mastana, Caravan, Waris, Aulad and Yaar Mera along with more sober songs in films like Mere Huzoor and Jeene Ki Raah. Post-1972, Kishore dominated, and yet Rafi did get to sing â€˜Aisa na ho keâ€¦ (Aakhri Dao), â€˜Badi door se chalkar aaye haiâ€¦â€™ (Jay-Vejay), â€˜Pal do pal ka saath hamaraâ€¦â€™ (The Burning Train) and the songs of Aasha.
Signature tune: â€˜Sar jo tera chakraayeâ€¦â€™ (Pyaasa)
Last film: Night In London (1967)
Despite the occasional song by another singer, Johnnyâ€™s oeuvre was lorded by Rafi, through classics like â€˜Sar jo tera chakraayeâ€¦â€™ (Pyaasa), â€˜Suno suno Miss Chaterjeeâ€¦â€™ (Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi), â€˜Yeh hai Bombai meri jaanâ€¦â€™ (C.I.D.) and â€˜Main Bambai ka babuâ€¦â€™ (Naya Daur). As someone aptly put it, â€œRafi would sound more like Johnny Walker than Johnny Walker himself!â€
Signature tune: â€˜Dil ki awaz bhi sunâ€¦â€™ (Humsaya)
Last films: Aag Aur Daagh and Ummeed (1971)
Rafiâ€™s voice was a â€˜joyâ€™ in this actorâ€™s breezy songs in Humsaaya, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Love In Tokyo, Shagird, Aao Pyar Karen, Ek Kali Muskayee, Ziddi, Love In Simla and Ishara.
Signature tune: â€˜Hum kaale hain toâ€¦â€™ (Gumnaam)
Last film: Ek Baap Chhe Bete (1978)
Though Manna Dey dominated the â€˜Comedy Kingâ€™, Rafi had memorabilia like Sanjh Aur Savera (â€˜Ajhu na aayeâ€¦â€™), Gumnaam (â€˜Hum kaale hain toâ€¦â€™), Sadhu Aur Shaitan (â€˜Mehbooba mehboobaâ€¦â€™ and â€˜Kabhi aage kabhi peecheâ€¦â€™), Parvarish (â€˜Mama ho mamaâ€¦â€™) and some other films.
Signature tune: â€˜Jo waada kiyaâ€¦â€™ (Taj Mahal)
Last film: Noorjehan (1967)
Regal, aristocratic, poetic â€” that was Pradeep Kumar, the man who made a career out of wooden histrionics. And Rafi provided all the magnificent expression in his career in timeless marvels like â€˜Jo waada kiyaâ€¦â€™ (Taj Mahal), â€˜Ab kya misaal doonâ€¦â€™ (Aarti), â€˜Dil jo na keh sakaâ€¦â€™ (Bheegi Raat), â€˜Hum intezaar karengeâ€¦â€™ (Bahu Begum).
Signature tune: â€˜Chhoo lene do nazukâ€¦â€™ (Kaajal)
Last film: Chambal Ki Kasam (1980)
The eccentric Jaani found Rafi at his throat in dozens of films. â€˜Chhoo lene do nazuk honthon koâ€¦â€™ (Kaajal) set the pattern for many future hits in films like Heer Ranjha, Vaasna, Neel Kamal, Pakeezah, Chambal Ki Kasam.
Signature tune: â€˜Baharon phool barsaoâ€¦ (Suraj)
Last film: Saajan Ki Saheli (1981)
The Jubilee Kumarâ€™s long relationship with Rafi was replete with dozens of Rafi memorabilia, mainly under composers Shankar-Jaikishan, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Naushad. One of the most tuneful singer-star associations of Hindi films, the team gave us musical brilliance in films like Dil Ek Mandir, Sasural, Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, Suraj, Anjaana, Mere Mehboob, Palki, Geet, Goonj Uthi Shehnai, Talash and Sangam.
Signature tune: â€˜Yeh reshmi zulfeinâ€¦â€™ (Do Raaste)
Last films: Suraag and Dharam Kanta (1982)
In the Kishore Kumar wave after Aradhana and Do Raaste, everyone seemed to forget that Rafi had sung two major hits each for the phenomenon in these two films. Rafi also contributed to Rajeshâ€™s hit parade in films like Saccha Jhutha, Doli, Raaz, Aan Milo Sajana, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Choti Bahu, Humshakal and Shehzada.
Signature tune: â€˜Parda hai pardaâ€¦ (Amar Akbar Anthony)
Last film: Deedar-e-Yaar (1982)
Madan Mohan first used Rafi for Rishi Kapoor in Laila Majnu. But it was after Laxmikant-Pyarelalâ€™s Amar Akbar Anthony that Rafi emerged as a perfect-match for Rishi even under R.D.Burman in Hum Kisise Kum Naheen and Zamaane Ko Dikhaana Hai. L-P also delivered the mega-hit Sargam, and the fabulous numbers from Karz, Naseeb, Badaltey Rishtey and Deedaar-e-Yaar.
Signature tune: â€˜Waadiyan mera daamanâ€¦â€™ (Abhilasha)
Last film: Abdullah (1980)
Chocolate romances were also the forte of future TV mogul Sanjay Khan. And Rafi provided due romantic confections in films like Ek Phool Do Mali, Intequam, Abhilasha, Abdullah, Shart, Haseenon Ka Devta, Milan Ki Raat, Woh Din Yaad Karo, Upaasna, Beti and other films.
Signature tune: â€˜Khilona jaan karâ€¦â€™ (Khilona)
Last film: Biwi O Biwi (1981)
â€˜Khilona jaan karâ€¦â€™ and â€˜Khush rahe tu sadaaâ€¦â€™ (Khilona), â€˜Aaya re khilonewalaâ€¦â€™ (Bachpan), â€˜Joode mein gajra mat baandhoâ€¦â€™ (Dhoop Chhaon), â€˜Tere naam ka diwanaâ€¦â€™ (Suraj Aur Chanda), â€˜Tumse kahoon ek baatâ€¦â€™ (Dastak), â€˜Main wohi wohi baatâ€¦â€™ (Naya Din Nayi Raat) apart from the many duets in various films, Rafi has a specially sweet â€˜soloâ€™ relationship with the actor. Maybe both are making sweet music together in another world today.
Signature tune: â€˜Yahoo, chahe koiâ€¦â€™ (Junglee)
Last film: Shalimar (1978)
Shammi Kapoor and Rafi were like two sides of a coin â€” inconceivable without each other. Along with primarily Shankar-Jaikishan, but also many other composers, Rafi and Shammi unleashed an orgy of melody that ranged from the boisterous â€˜Yahooâ€¦â€™ and â€˜Aiyiya karoon main kyaâ€¦â€™ in Junglee to the raag-based â€˜Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paaogeâ€¦â€™ (Pagla Kahin Ka). The banquet spread also encompassed Rajkumar, Janwar, Dil Tera Deewana, Laat Sahab, Brahmchari, An Evening In Paris, Tumse Accha Kaun Hai, Prince, Jawan Mohabbat, Sacchai, Andaz and Jaane Anjaane all under S-J, and China Town, Kashmir Ki Kali, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Dekho Dekho, Bluff Master, Preet Na Jaane Reet and Teesri Manzil with others.
Signature tune: â€˜Pardesiyon se naâ€¦â€™ (Jab Jab Phool Khile)
Last film: Shaan (1980)
Rafi was no less a fixture with Shashi Kapoor as with bade bhai Shammi, even if Kishore Kumar had the edge in the mid-70s due to obvious reasons. Kalyanji-Anandjiâ€™s gossamer melodies from Jab Jab Phool Khile, Aamne Saamne, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Ek Shreeman Ek Shrimati and Raja Saab were supplemented by other composers in Pyar Kiye Jaa, Suhana Safar, Naach Uthe Sansar, Prem Kahani, Kali Ghata, Kanyadaan, Jahan Pyar Miley, Patanga, Chor Machaye Shor, Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare, Shaan, Pyar Ka Mausam, My Love and others.
Signature tune: â€˜Ehsaan mere dil peâ€¦â€™ (Gaban)
Last film: Yaadon Ki Zanjeer (1987)
Sunil Duttâ€™s songs with Rafi included â€˜Aap ke pehluâ€¦ (Mera Saaya), â€˜Rang aur noor kiâ€¦â€™ (Ghazal), â€˜Itni haseen itni jawaan raatâ€¦â€™ (Aaj Aur Kal), â€˜Ehsaan mere dil peâ€¦â€™ (Gaban), and â€˜Yeh khamoshiyaanâ€¦ (Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke).