More Bollywood raags: Hindustani vocalists who brought a special touch to film music

More Bollywood raags: Hindustani vocalists who brought a special touch to film music
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Among practitioners of Hindustani music, instrumentalists have had a long association with Hindi cinema.  The involvement of vocalists has to that extent been limited.  Last week, this column highlighted songs sung in early Hindi films by some of these vocalists. This week, we continue to discover more such voices that brought a different flavour to Hindi film songs.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Film songs interview
Eminent Kirana gharana vocalist Bhimsen Joshi, in an interview that forms a part of a documentary produced by the government-run Films Division, speaks of the select film songs that he has lent his voice to.  In particular, he dwells on the manner in which he was chosen to sing in the film Basant Bahar (1956) that had music composed by the famous duo Shankar-Jaikishan.  The song was a duet with playback singer Manna Dey, who also describes the recording. Evidently, Joshi was comfortable in the situation, given the fact that the song was based on a traditional composition from the Hindustani repertoire.

Nirmala Devi duet with Mohammad Rafi
Jhoothe Zamane Bhar Ke
In contrast to the songs mentioned in the earlier clip, listeners would also remember that classical vocalists have lent their voices at times to songs that were far removed from the kind of music that they were usually involved in.  Here is a track that features well-known thumri singer Nirmala Devi in a duet with playback singer Mohammad Rafi in the film Musafir Khana (1955). Music for the film was composed by OP Nayyar.

Kishori Amonkar
Geet Gaya Patharon Ne 
An instance of a song that is not even remotely connected to the Jaipur-Atrauli khayal tradition is sung by Kishori Amonkar, the doyenne of this gharana.  The song is from the film Geet Gaya Patharon Ne (1964), with music by Ramlal.

Parveen Sultana
Humain Tum Se Pyar Kitna Yeh Hum Nahin Jaantay, Kudrat
Once again, here is yet another instance of a well-known vocalist from the Hindustani stream, who has sung a film song that is not at all connected to the classical tradition.  Parveen Sultana sings for the film Kudrat (1981), the music for which was composed by RD Burman.

Shobha Gurtu
Saiyan Rooth Gaye, Main Tulsi Tere Aanganki
Musical boundaries for the famous thumri singer Shobha Gurtu extended to include songs that were composed in the folk mould as well as some film songs.  The next track features a song from the filmMain Tulsi Tere Aanganki (1978), composed along the lines of a typical mujra piece that often forms part of a thumri singer’s repertoire.  The music for the film was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan
Nisaar Main Teri Galiyon Pe
To conclude, Rampur-Sahaswan doyen Ghulam Mustafa Khan sings a famous nazm penned by the inimitable and respected poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  Also composed by him, the song was from the filmAagaman (1982).