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Mohammed Rafi: The soulful voice lives on!

Last Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 00:00

Spicezee Bureau

Mumbai, July 31: Music lovers across India, paid tribute to the versatile singer Mohammed Rafi, who reigned as the unrivalled singer of the film industry for almost 40 years and even after his death. July 31 marks the death anniversary of the music legend, whose melodious voice mesmerised millions across the country and abroad.

Born in 1924, in Amritsar, Mohammed Rafi, whose nickname was Pheeko, started singing by imitating chants of a fakir in his village. A chanced episode made the world sit-back and acknowledge the huge talent of the singer. His big break came at the age of 13, when one day Rafi and his brother-in-law Hameed went to attend a performance by K L Saigal. Saigal refused to sing because there was a power failure at the venue. Hameed asked the organizers whether his brother-in-law could sing to keep the audience quiet. The organisers agreed, Rafi sang and enthralled one and all.

Mohammed Rafi’s singing career began in 1942 with Shyam Sunder. In the year 1944, he was asked to sing in a Hindi film as a chorus of noted music composer Naushad Ali. Naushad Ali recognised his talent and gave him a good chance to sing the song ‘O Duniya ke Rakhwale’ for the hit movie ’Baiju Bawra’. That song changed Rafi’s life for ever as it broke all records and Rafi became the first choice of music directors.

Rafi rose to epic fame from the late 1940s to 1960s and remained at the top among the male playback singers. The best thing about the singer was his versatility, he beautifully rendered all genre of songs: Sad, romantic, happy, devotional, ghazals, with equal fervour and perfectly expressed the emotions.

The magical melodies of Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar are still fresh in public memory. The duo made the perfect singing couple and complemented each other’s voice. Rafi’s charm, easy going and gentle nature made him a favourite with everyone.

His sudden death on July 31, 1980 due to heart attack after recording the song ‘Shaam phir kyun udaas hai dost’ shocked the world. The government of India announced a two-day public holiday in honour of this great human being and singer.

Mohammed Rafi still lives as an inspiration for singers and aspirants. Several prominent singers like Sonu Nigam, Mohammed Aziz and Shabbir Kumar earned stardom after following his footsteps. Singers like Mohammed Rafi never die, they live as a soulful voice to inspire, enchant and motivate.

Famous Songs

1961 - Husnwale Tera Jawaab Nahin song in the film Gharana

1962 - Aye Gulbadan Aye Gulbadan song in the film Professor

1963 - Mere Mehboob Tujhe song in the film Mere Mehboob

1965 - Choo Lene Do Nazuk Hothon Ko song in the film Kaajal

1968 - Mein Gaaon Tum Sojaao song in the film Brahmachari

1968 - Babul Ki Duayein Leti Ja song in the film Neel Kamal

1969 - Badi Mastani Hai song in the film Jeene Ki Raah

1970 - Khilona Jaan Kar song in the film Khilona

1973 - Hum Ko To Jaan Se Pyaari song in the film Naina

1974 - Achha Hi Huva Dil Toot Gaya song in the film Maa Behen Aur Biwi

1977 - Pardah Hai Pardah song in the film Amar Akbar Anthony

1978 - Aadmi Musaafir Hai song in the film Apnapan

1979 - Chalo Re Doli Uthao Kahaar song in the film Jani Dushman

1980 - Mere Dost Kissa Yeh song in the film Dostana

1980 - Dard-e-dil Dard-e-jigar song in the film Karz

1980 - Maine Poocha Chand Se song in the film Abdullah

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First Published: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 00:00

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