Anmol Ghadi was a 1946 Hindi film directed by the legendary Mehboob Khan, starring Surendra, Suraiya and Noor Jehan. The film, with 12 songs, was a musical hit and is still remembered for its music by Naushad. The film became the highest grossing film at the Indian box office in 1946. Today’s younger generation of movie buffs may not know that Noor Jehan was a huge star as a singer-actress in pre-independence India, until she moved on and settled in Pakistan. She even starred with the then rising star Dilip Kumar in Jugnu (1947).
Noor Jehan – Aaja Meri Mohabbat Ke Sahare :
Noor Jehan & Surendra – Awaj De Kahan Hai :
Noor Jehan – Jawan Hai Mohabbat :
Noor Jehan – Mere Bachpan Ke Saathi :
Suraiya – Socha Tha Kya, Kya Ho Gaya :
Shamshad Begum & Zohrabai Ambalawali – Uran Khatole Pe :
Parul Ghosh was an eminent playback singer of Hindi and Bengali movies of the 1940s. She is best remembered for the song Papiha Re, composed by her brother Anil Biswas for the film Kismat (1943). In her early career she was associated with New Theatres, Calcutta. She was married to the eminent flautist Pannalal Ghosh. Parul married Pannalal Ghosh around 1925 when he was 14 and she just 9 years old. She is often credited as the first playback singer of Hindi films for singing as early as in 1935 for Dhoop Chhaon. Her musical prowess is evident from the fact that even Lata Mangeshkar paid tribute to her in her Shraddhanjali series by singing Papiha Re.
Parul Ghosh – Papiha Re (Kismat 1943) :
Parul Ghosh – Mere Chhote Se Man Mein (Basant 1942) :
Those were pre-Mangeshkar days of playback singing. Female singers like Parul Ghosh, Khursheed, Rajkumari, Shamshad Begum, Uma Devi (who later became famous as comedienne Tun Tun), Suraiya, Noor Jehan (until she left India and settled in Pakistan), Zohrabai Ambalawali and Amirbai Karnataki ruled the roost. The advent of the Mangeshkar sisters, however, changed the playback singing scenario altogether. Here in this series of brief posts I take up some of these marvellous singers, both male and female, of that bygone era. These are randomly picked songs and are not presented in a particular order.
Amirbai Karnataki – Maar Katari Mar Jana (Shehnai 1943) :
Amirbai Karnataki – Mora Dheere Se Ghoonghat (Bhartruhari 1945) :
Zohrabai Ambalawali – More Saiyanji Ne Bheji (Pahele Aap 1944) :
Zohrabai Ambalawali – Mori Bali Umariya (Nateeja 1948) :
Dhoop Chhaon was a 1935 Hindi movie directed by Nitin Bose. It was the first Hindi film to use playback singing. Before this, film makers did not use playback singers and the original actors and actresses sang their own songs. Curiously, actors were chosen specifically for their singing abilities. Nitin Bose came up with the idea of playback singing and he discussed this with music director R C Boral and his brother Mukul Bose, who was also the sound recordist in New Theatres, Calcutta. And it worked in a big way. From then on, the system of playback singing was introduced in Indian films.
K L Saigal – Andhe Ki Lathi :
K C Dey – Baba Man Ki Ankhen Khol :
K C Dey – Teri Gathri Mein Laga Chor :
Pahadi Sanyal & Uma Shashi – Mere Prem Ki Naiya :
Pahadi Sanyal and Uma Shashi were also the main actors in the film.
Legendary singer, C H Atma made his debut in 1945. He stepped into the world of popular Hindustani music armed with a rich, baritone voice that bore distinct resemblance to the voice of his idol K L Saigal. His film songs were as popular as his non-film Geets and Ghazals. Though C H Atma’s precise crystal-clear rendering was a salute to Saigal’s style, he on his own, succeeded in gathering a strong and ardent band of fans who loved his voice in both his film and non-film repertoires. In fact, C H Atma was perhaps one of the very few singers whose career as a film and non-film singer flourished simultaneously.
C H Atma – Aaye Sakhi Na Balama (Non-Film) :
C H Atma – Main Nashe Mein Hoon (Non-Film) :
C H Atma – Main Ghee Ka Diya Jalaoon (Non-Film) :
C H Atma – Sawan Ki Badli (Non-Film) :
C H Atma – Manzil To Hai Badi Door (Bhai Saheb 1954) :