Udhaar Ki Aawaaz – When Kishore Kumar borrowed the voice of Mohd. Rafi (& more such gems)

Posted: August 2, 2010 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, music, songs & videos
Tags: , , , , , ,

He is the final word on everything thats bollywood. (No, he is not some Trade Analyst )And specially so, if its hindi film music. At least for us, we don’t know anyone who knows hindi cinema and its music so well. Pavan Jha is our bolly-pedia! He recently uploaded a brilliant video on youtube (scroll down) and we asked him if he can write a post for us. Between his almost 24 hrs work schedule, he managed to take some time out. Go, enjoy and enlighten yourself.

Since the advent of playback singing in Indian films in late 30s, many playback singers have attained legendary stature for their singing and have connected with film buffs and music lovers through their voice. They became the voice of the On-screen characters in songs, yet created their own space and fan fare, and eventually the “Voice” became their identity.

Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey to name a few legendary playback singers, created a separate space for film music beyond the cinematic context. The Voice became “Them”. They created such a strong impact that the record companies, who earlier used to print On-screen characters’ names on the released records, instead of giving credit to the singer, had to make way for the singers’ name with the song instead of the character name.

The likes of Lata, Asha, Rafi, Kishore connected more strongly and had longer and stronger relationship with the fans through their voices than Dev, Dilip or Raj Kapur for that matter. The playback singers played a major success in establishing an actor through super hit songs and shared a special bond with the actors, and were sometimes considered as “The voice” for the actor.

But being a MayaNagari, the filmdom has seen many unusual happenings! Can you imagine Kishore Kumar, the on-screen actor, had to borrow someone else’s voice despite being a major Voice and leading singer!

The first part of following video presentation features a few of some unusual and interesting instances where the singer as on-screen actor has borrowed some other play back singer ‘s voice rather than singing them-self.

The second part of presentation features another interesting aspects of the singers, who were not actors but sometimes appeared on screen in songs. Check it out.

As you might have observed many of the featured instances are of actor Kishore Kumar, borrowing voices of other singers, namely Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey and SD Batish in different songs. This can surely sprung a surprise in viewers mind……why so?

As far as the instances of Ameerbai Karnataki (Kaliyon me raam – Pavanputra Hanuman) and GM Durrani (Unke khayal aaye to – Laal Patthar) are concerned, it can be easily understood that when they were doing these respective roles, they had already left singing and started appearing as guest artist at an old age.

Still GM Durrani needs a very special mention.. When Rafi saab was struggling to make a mark and was not a known singer (early to mid 40s), GM Durrani was at peak of his career as a singer. It is documented that GM Durrani was Rafi saab’s idol at that time , and Rafi saab used to follow his style (as KL Saigal was Idol for Kishore and Mukesh in the beginning of their career). So this song (Unke Khayaal Aaye) becomes a significant one considering the fact, a legendary singer is giving playback for his own idol in singing.

Coming back to strange cases of Kishore Kumar, there are different stories with every instance. Like for Ragini’s Man Mora Baawara, OP Nayyar saab has said in one of the interviews that the song had classical flavor and he needed a voice with knowledge of classical singing, so he opted for Mohammad Rafi. Reportedly Kishoreda was not happy of this choice, but couldn’t do much about it due to professional commitments.

As far as Shararat songs are concerned, it is reported that initially Bharat Bhushan was suppose to have those songs picturised on him and the songs were already recorded when Kishore replaced him for the songs.

Karodpati also has an interesting anecdote…..Kishore had some issue of payments with the producers so he declared he wont record the songs for the film, just to create a panic. The director was really worried as he had to shoot that song in the ongoing schedule. The music directors intervened and suggested that they could get this song recorded by Manna Dey. The same day Manna dey received a phone call from Kishore da’s home. His mother requested that Shankar-Jaikishan would come with an offer to sing for Kishore,  so please do not accept the other offer. But Manna Dey had very good relations with Shankar-Jaikishan, so he could not say no and recorded the song.. Later Kishore’s issue was resolved with the producer but the song was retained.

Bhaagam Bhaag song (Aankho ko mila yaar se) where on screen Kishore was picturised with two different voices of Manna Dey and SD Batish was clearly an example of mis-direction during song picturisation.

Whatever may be the reasons, these instances have given us many unusual cinematic moments to cherish.. Lets enjoy!

  1. Peeyush Sharma says:

    Shararat case was a little different. It was Kishore’s double role. In one role Kishore sings in Kishore’s voice, but for his second role where he is Raj Kumar’s younger brother, he was made to use Rafi as to differentiate in two characters, particularly for heroine Meena Kumari, who was first Kishore’s lover. But married to Raj Kumar now.

  2. Surendra Bhimani says:

    The write-up here says, among other things, “… The playback singers played a major success in establishing an actor through super hit songs …”

    This, in my opinion, is not necessarily true. Just take the case of Dilip Kumar. Is there any reason to believe that he attained the heights that he did merely on the strength of the songs he sang on the screen, and that his acting prowess had nothing to do with it? It is, of course, true that the songs of most of his films, especially in the late forties, the fifties and the sixties were, for the most part, very popular and enjoyable. But, even in films such as “Jogan,” “Amar,” and “Mughal-e-Azam,” where Dilip Kumar had no songs to sing, his acting stands out nonetheless.

    Songs have their own place in the commercial Hindi cinema, but the acting ability of the stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand (these three are mentioned in this write-up) should not be and cannot be underestimated, with or without the songs.

  3. Atanu Mukherjee says:

    Some more information on ‘Udhar ki awaz’. The legendary singer Hemant Kumar also sang for Kishore Kumar in the Bengali film ‘Dustu Projapati’. Also Rafi sang for Kishore in the film ‘Pyar Deewana (1972) when Kishore Kumar was the most popular singer in the hindi film industry and formed a superhit pair with Rajesh Khanna.

  4. mphamedparvez says:

    dear friends,kindly visit our beloved rafi saab”s blog,total over 500 pages are there,kindly visit this link,take care


  5. Dr. Alok Mukherjee says:

    The Great Kishore Kumar ji was main Lead hero in so many hit films but as compares to him other singers seen in part 2 wear never became main lead hero in films. So There is no comparison between great Kishore Kumar Ji & Others.
    He is greatest singer Ever then Otheres..

  6. Jay says:

    Kishore was the best playback singer we have ever had. Period!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Was not there a song in “Haye Mera Dil” (1968) also? Manna Dey sang for Usha Khanna; picturised on KK.

  8. Anonymous says:

    In an interview SJ said shararat song was not Kishore da’s cup of tea…Rafi sahab at many occassions sang those songs which kishore da refused to sing because of his incapability .

  9. Pavan, even Asha Bhosle appeared on screen lip syncing her own song “Layi Kahan Ae Zindagi” in Taxie Taxie 1977. Music was composed by her son Hemant Bhosle. In the later part, Lata Mangeshkar gives playback to Zahira. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMakSbL9qUI

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think no comparison between rafi and kishore kishore kumar was a good singer but rafi sb ki awaz to kisi human being ki shayad ho hi nahi sakti woh bhagwan ki awaz the unki tarif qaynat me koi kar hi nahi sakta har tarif kam hai dr mukherji is a bengali and kishore kumar also mai chleng se kah sakta hoon koi bengali duniya me sabse pahle bengal aur bengali ko pasand karta hai inki pasand ganguli not tendulkar mithun not amitabh kolkatta not mumbai howra bridge not tajmahal chorangi not marine drive rosogulla not aflatoon mamta not soniya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.