Street Dancers of Bollywood
Songs Of Yore
by AK
1w ago
Guest article by DP Rangan (An interesting feature of our films is the dances performed in the streets, often by unknown actors. Sometimes the main protagonists also take to dancing and singing in the streets. Naturally a big crowd assembles around them enjoying the performance. These songs generally come at a critical juncture in the film, for relieving the tension, or as a surrogate the inner feelings of shy lovers, or a gangster’s mole distracting the attention of the people for the gang to commit their act. These songs were key for taking the story forward. Often these songs became the hig ..read more
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Book Review: Forgotten Artists of Early Cinema (2)
Songs Of Yore
by AK
2w ago
Forgotten Artists of Early Cinema and The Same Name Confusion (2) Author: Arunkumar Deshmukh (Copyright) Publisher: Professor Toofanii Publishers, Lansing, MI USA (2023) Editor: Professor Surjit Singh Price: ₹450 plus postage (Paperback) at pothi.com Have you heard of Indurao Nimbalkar, Zohra Jan, Raja Sandow or Renuka Devi? They are important names from vintage era of our films. Some of them started during the silent era and moved into talkies with great success. Or much later in Shree 420 (1955), who can forget the character of Seth Sonachand Dhrmanand, the stocky man with handlebar moustac ..read more
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The Sculptors of Film Songs (11): Goody Seervai
Songs Of Yore
by AK
1M ago
Guest article by Piyush M Pandya (Gujarati) and Ashok M Vaishnav (English translation) (Continuing their series on Arrangers and Musicians, now the guest authors Piyush M Pandya and Ashok M Vaishnav throw the spotlight on one of the most respected musicians, Goody Seervai, who became synonymous with piano accordion. The songs they have mentioned have been our eternal favourites, but for most of us it would be the first time that we would be able to associate with the accordion player who sculpted these songs with his tunes. Thank you Piyushji and Ashokji for another excellent article, 11th in ..read more
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Qamar Jalalabadi: The Unforgettable Lyricist
Songs Of Yore
by AK
1M ago
Guest article by DP Rangan paying a tribute to Qamar Jalalabadi on his 21st Remembrance Day (b. 9 March 1917 – d. 9 January 2003) (Among the main markers of a film song – the film, the singer, the lyricist and the music director – the lyricist, whose words gave birth to the song, is remembered the least. SOY regulars used to comment about lack of due recognition to the lyricists on the blog. No longer; thanks to several guest writers many lyricists have since been well covered. Today’s guest writer, DP Rangan, himself has contributed a number of articles on them. Qamar Jalalabadi is very well ..read more
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Mohammad Rafi from A to Z
Songs Of Yore
by AK
1M ago
Wishing the readers and their friends and families a very Happy New Year with Rafi’s centenary year celebrations (b. 24 December 2024, d. 31.7.1980) Mohammad Rafi is the undisputed most versatile playback singer of Hindi films. You think of genres – bhajan, qawwali, romantic, patriotic, ghazal – he could do all. There was another unique aspect about his voice – he had the unique ability to modulate his voice to sound like the character he was singing for on the screen, without much conscious effort. He personified Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, and he was the voice of Johnny Walk ..read more
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The Sculptors of Film Songs (10): Van Shipley
Songs Of Yore
by AK
2M ago
Guest article by Piyush M Pandya (Gujarati original) and Ashok M Vaishnav (English translation) (Van Shipley earned acclaim for his proficiency in violin and guitar, and he brought out many independent albums of tunes of film songs on these instruments. As such, he was among the well known arrangers and musicians. Yet there is no authentic data of the specific songs in which he played these instruments. Raj Kapoor was highly impressed with him after hearing his violin at a concert and brought him into his team. Thus, Van Shipley got associated with many everlasting songs from RK films. I thank ..read more
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Best songs of 1942: Wrap UP 4
Songs Of Yore
by AK
2M ago
And the SOY Award for the Best Music Director of 1942 goes to? After the Overview Post, Wrap Up 1 of the best male solos, Wrap Up 2 of the best female solos and Wrap Up 3 of the best duets, it is time for the final Wrap Up 4 to discuss the best music director 0f 1942. There were at least two musical blockbusters in the year: Bhakt Surdas (composed by Gyan Dutt) and Basant (Pt. Pannalal Ghosh/Anil Biswas). The reason I am crediting like this is that Pt. Pannalal Ghosh is officially credited as the music director, but it is said that Anil Biswas was the actual music director, who ..read more
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Best songs of 1942: Wrap Up 3
Songs Of Yore
by AK
3M ago
And the award for the best duet of 1942 goes to? 1935 to 1946 have been years of KL Saigal dominance of the film music. Yet, there is something about duets that even in these years duets leave a lasting imprint. These include some duets in which KL Saigal is the male singer, but the female counterparts hold their fort. I have no hesitation in saying say that Jis jogi ka jog liya ho and Sar pe kadamb ki chhaiyaan muraliya baaj rahi have been embellished by the presence of Khursheed and Rajkumari respectively. In the list of MEMORABLE SONGS in the Overview Post, there are 20 duets in 84/85 songs ..read more
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Book Review: “Reflections & Stray Thoughts”
Songs Of Yore
by AK
3M ago
Reflections & Stray Thoughts By HQ Chowdhury Publisher: Blue Pencil, New Delhi ISBN: 978-81-952978-3-2 Price (Amazon): ₹314 (Paperback); 0 (Free Kindle) The SOY regulars know HQ Chowdhury as the author of “Incomparable SD Burman”, which is regarded as the definitive biography of Burman Dada. That book establishes Chowdhury as a great fan of SD Burman, and one who has a deep insight into the film and non-film songs of yore of both Hindi and Bengali. But it was entirely devoted to his subject, and didn’t give a glimpse of the author himself, except that he was from Dhaka. “Reflections & ..read more
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The Sculptors of Film Songs (8): Ramlal
Songs Of Yore
by AK
4M ago
Guest article by Piyush M Pandya (Gujarati original) and Ashok M Vaishnav (English translation) (We all know Ramlal as the music director of V Shantaram’s films ‘Sehra’ and ‘Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne’. We also generally know that he was an ace shehnai player having been associated with Ustad Bismillah Khan. But we hardly know that besides his these two acknowledged scores, he was also associated as a great flute and shehnai player in many songs. His instrumental pieces had an important role in making those songs great. It is telepathic that a few days ago, a regular reader, Ashok Kumar Tyagi, who ..read more
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