RMIM Archive Article "135".
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
# RMIM Archives..
# Subject: First films of some music directors.
# Posted by: Arunabh Chowdhuri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
# Arun Verma
# Ketan Dholakia
# email@example.com (Vish Krishnan)
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
S D Burman: Shikari (Eight Days(aath din) was also in 1946).
Naushad Premnagar (1940).
Madan Mohan Aankhen (1950)
O P Nayyar Aasmaan (1952).
Hemant Kumar Anandmath (1952).
Rajesh Roshan Kuwara Baap (1974).
Jaidev Joru Kaa Bhai (1950)
R D Burman Chhote Nawab (1961)
Anil Biswas Dharm ki devi (1935).
C Ramchandra Bhaktaraj (1943).
Roshan Neki aur Badi (1949).
Khayyam Footpath (1953).
Ravi Ayodhyapati (1956).
Vasant Desai Shobha (1942).
Salil Do Bigha Zameen
Vish Krishnan further writes:
: SDBurman: Eight Days(aath din) or Shikari both in 1946
: [though Shikari is considered his first].
On a broader base, Kumar Sachin Dev's musical breaks may well
have happened under the auspices of Calcutta's New Theatres. He
was already a reasonably well known Bhatiyali singer then, and
may even have sung some songs for a movie or two. My notes are
vague on this, but some filmography publication out at the Na-
tional Centre of the Performing Arts (Bombay) suggests that his
songs for YAHUDI KI LADKI (early '30s) may have been re-recorded
by the great Narendranath (aka Pahaadi) Sanyal.
Also influenced by the genius of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the almost
30-year old rookie went on to borrow a few of the master's musi-
cal phrases in his later movies.
Burman Dada has definitely done the music for a couple of Bengali
movies in the late '30s or early '40s. These were clearly NOT
New Theatres movies (the holy trinity of Rai Chand Boral, Pankaj
Mullick and TBB were pretty much standard with that company), but
they may have been financed by the studio. I am thinking of pro-
ductions like RAJGEE, JAKHER DHAN etc.
: Madan Mohan Aankhen (1950)
Out of curiosity, didn't Madan Mohan do a couple of movies under
the name Mohan Junior? Could they have been prior to AANKHEN?
: OP Nayyar Aasmaan (1952).
After working with Jullundhur Radio for a while, OP's first movie
break was with Dalsukh Panchholi's KANEEZ, a popular Munawwar
Sultana movie from the late '40s. Ghulaam Haider did the main-
stream music for it, but the background was by Omkar Prasadji.
AASMAAN was also produced by Panchholi, and though Dalsukh M.
died in 1959, one of the satellite offshoot companies ended up
producing the forgettable BIN MAA KE BACHCHE in the late '70s -
interesting only because the company thought of and recruited OP
at a time when the man was totally out of work, living completely
: Hemant Kumar Anandmath (1952).
Like so many of his contemporaries from the state of Bengal
(although he was not born there), Hemanta da's first musical
foray was in liberal Bengali cinema. Even as a strapping
teenager, he had made his name as a Rabindra Sangeet singer. It
must have been the late '30s then. His early breaks were not as
a composer, but rather as a traditional Bengali singer first, and
then as a singer of Hindi movie songs. Can't remember the songs
or the movies.
In the late '40s, after doing his first 2 solo MD assignments for
the movies PURBARAAG and ABHIYAATRI, he just happened to meet the
liberal IPTA crowd. The Indian People's Theatres Association may
have self-destructed under its own burden of bitter in-house pol-
iticking, but while it was on, it attracted only the very best.
Veterans like Balraj Sahni, directors Zia Sarhadi and Khwaja
Ahmed Abbas, the intellectual couple Shahid Lateef and Ismat
Chugtai, Prem Dhawan, Shailendra etc only to name a few. And my
top favourite IPTA personalities were director Hemen Gupta (a
staunch anti-British freedom fighter who spent hellishly long
periods in jail), producer-director Bimal Roy, and the man
without a musical parallel as yet, Sir Salil Chowdhury.
Salil Da's music is well known to have rallied the countryside
together behind the people's cause. Hemanta Da was on the more
serious Rabindra Sangeet of the world, but the two met for but a
brief 4 years. Director Hemen Gupta made 3 IPTA movies in the
late '40s or early '50s period starting with BHULI NAI, and going
on with "1942" (a Bengal famine story), and then the Bankim Chan-
dra adaptation ANAND MATH. All 3 movies are credited to Hemanta
Da, but Salil Da was around. It was here that Hemanta Da formed
his musical roots in cinema. Soon after that, he did the music
for FERRY, one of 7 Dev-Geeta Bali movies, also directed by Hemen
Gupta. It is a slow, boring movie, very unlike the more catchy
Dev-SD pairings, but it is worth renting just for the Hemant-
Geeta Dutt songs (e.g. "Yehi Hai Mere Sapnoon Ka Sansaar" and
"Rangeeli, Sajeeli, Chhabili Raani Nindiyaa; Aa Mere Raaja Ki
Aankhon Mein Aa").
: Jaidev Hum Dono (??).
There were at least 4 movies made by Jaidev before HUM DONO.
JORU KA BHAI, ANJALI, and SAMUDRI DAAKOO are all from the '50s,
and I do believe KINAARE KINAARE was recorded before HUM DONO.
It may have released later.
: Salil Chowdhury Do Bigha Zameen
Again, Salil Da's movie music break happened in the Bengali medi-
um. Even before that, he was closely identified with left-wing
liberal movements, and admittedly borrowed some of his motifs
from Communist marching tunes (e.g. the DO BIGHA ZAMEEN song
"Dharti Kahe Pukaar Ke" is adapted from a Soviet Red Army propan-
He began his musical solo career with two Bengali movies - PARI-
BARTAN and BARJAATRI, before his first (Bimal Roy) Hindi film DO
Listening to Salil Da talk gives one the feeling of being in
divine presence. I had the honour of saying a couple of words to
him at an IIT Bombay concert. He and assistant Kanu Ghosh (no
mean musician he) were together at some classical evening affair.
While he was passionately involved with harmonic variations (an
addiction he picked up from his doctor brother's Western classi-
cal collection of albums) he never allowed his music to stray
from the Indianness that he so grandly and eloquently personi-
fies. Some of his folk experiments (e.g. the Bhangra in USNE
KAHAA THAA and the Laavani song from CHAAND AUR SOORAJ) create a
seamless mixture of clearly Western counterpoint into basic Pun-
jabi and Marathi folk.
Not only has Salil Da worked with some of the greatest movie mak-
ers of our times (Bimal Da, Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Gha-
tak, and who was it that made CHEMMEEN.... I forget), but he also
holds the distinction for composing songs for just about every
Indian language there is. Nobody else comes close. I would ima-
gine Chitalkar to be a distant second on that score.
Quite early in his career, Salil Da wrote a long article for some
Indian publication. He chose English as his communication medi-
um, and titled it "Modern Bengali Music in Crisis". I believe
the NCPA library (Bombay) has a copy of it.
: Many thanks to Ketan Dholakia and Arun Verma for the answers.
: Some additional information (provided by Ketan):
: C Ramchandra Bhaktaraj (1943).
Anna's first few movies actually happened in the South. His
first solo MD-ship came from Tamil and Telugu films like JAYAKKO-
DI, VANAMOHINI and Master Bhagwan's (perhaps only) Tamil direc-
torial assignment NAARAD NARADI.
It is strange that the man should have ended his movie career
with another Southern production, the Telugu movie AKBAR SALEEM
ANARKALI (late '70s) - imagine N.T. Rama Rao playing Akbar!!!.
But I think Chitalkar badly wanted to make this movie. He has
sort-of recycled some of his ANARKALI immortals in through this
movie, and the songs exploded into popularity.
C. Ramchandra is clearly one of 3 Bombay music makers whose in-
fluence on the South is there to stay. The other two would be of
course Salil Da, and possibly Vasant Desai.
Chitalkar probably made HANSO HANSO AI DUNIYA WAALON and SUKHI
JEEVAN before doing BHAKTARAJ, but I am not sure about that.
: Roshan Neki aur Badi (1949).
I guess the Kidar Sharma-Geeta Bali connection stayed together
for a while.
: Khayyam footpath (1953).
Again, Khaiyyaam may have done a few movies prior to working on
Zia Sarhadi's lightly radical FOOTPATH. After struggling under
Ghulam Ahmed Chishti's tutelage, he drifted for a while doing odd
jobs. He acted in Nargis' ROMEO AND JULIET, and probably also
sang in at least one movie of that time.
It was really the Aziz Khan-Pandit Amarnath connection that lent
some basic confidence to the young man's faltering faith in Bom-
bay cinema. Credit is also due to Bulo C. Rani, an almost 3rd
generation Ranjit Movietone standard. After stalwarts like
Jhande Khan, Banne Khan and Rewashankar Marwadi moved on, assis-
tants like Gyan Dutt took over the musical reins, and following
that, Bulo(chand) Chandiram Ramchandani came on the scene. It is
hard to describe Khaiyyaam as the fourth-generation Ranjit Movie-
toner. That was never the main production company in his realm.
For some strange reason, he adopted the pseudonym Sharmaji. The
first few movies, five perhaps, were done by Sharmaji. The very
first of the bunch was HEER RANJHA. Curiously enough, perhaps
Khaiyyaam's first recording was a Punjabi folk song. That influ-
ence has stood the test of time! What is even more odd is that
Lata Mangeshkar sang for Khaiyyaam before she sang for Anil
Biswas, SJ or Khemchand Prakash. The HEER RANJHA song "Kaahe Ko
Deenhi Bides" is a traditional Avadhi song now credited to Ameer
Khusro. Lata sang it then, and Jagjit Kaur repeated it in UMRAAO
JAAN - more than 30 years later!
Other Sharmaji movies are PYAAR KI BAATEIN, PARDAA, BIWI and GUL
SANOBAR (Shammi Kapoor's first movie?). A recent CD of Rafi's
solo's features the wonderful BIWI song "Akele Mein Woh Ghabraate
To Honge". The music there is credited to Khaiyyaam. It was
then that Khaiyyaam got to work with Zia Sarhadi on FOOTPATH.
Just for more trivia, the background of the movie is credited to
: Vasant Desai Shobha (1942).
Oddly enough, Vasant Desai's first break WAS in Hindi cinema. I
do suspect that he may have done quite a bit of solo work for his
early Prabhat Studios apprenticeship, and never gotten credited
with any of it.
Prabhat and New Theatres, though they represented practically op-
posite ends of India's film geography, had one striking resem-
blance. They were both musically held by their respective Holy
Trinities. Vasant Desai's own self-proclaimed gurus were the
famous Govindrao Tembe, Keshavrao Bhole and Master Krishnarao
Phulambikar. Not only did he get his basic musical foundation
from them, but he may also have acted and sung in some of the
early Shantaram productions like AYODHYECHA RAJA. Here is where
he met Master Vinayak, and we can safely attribute some of Lata's
early songs to this meeting. Three out of 4 of Master Vinayak's
Hindi medium creations (JEEVAN YATRA, SUBHADRA and MANDIR) have
Lata's first few solos. The odd movie out (BADI MAA) was done by
Datta Saheb Koregaonkar, and that was no less great.
Much in the Salil Chowdhury style, Vasant Desai was steeped in
the Marathi folk tradition, working a lot with the GRAAMEEN CHI-
TRAPAT medium of the countryside. In one of his more un-
compromising moods, he wrote a fiery article for a Marathi movie
weekly. The title is "Bas Zhaali Sangeetachi Ghulamgiri", also
available at the NCPA (Bombay), I hope. His passion for the
Laavani and Powwada genres is evident in some of his folksy
Marathi productions like LOKSHAIR RAMJOSHI.