wiki:Kishore Kumar

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Kishore Kumar (1929-87)

Actor, singer, director, music director and producer born in Khandwa, MP. Moved to Bombay and featured occasionally in Saraswati Devi’s chorus at Bombay Talkies where elder brother Ashok Kumar was the top star. Imitated his hero, K.L. Saigal, e.g. in the Khemchand Prakash song in Rimjhim (1949). Early reputation as an actor who sang his own songs mostly in slapstick comedies, often playing the unemployed youth (Musafir, Naukri). After New Delhi and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, gained recognition for off-beat humour and for providing a new musical sound. His career as India’s most famous male playback singer, certainly in the 70s, was effectively launched when he became Dev Anand’s singing voice with Ziddi (Marne ki duaayen) and Munimji (1955: Jeevan ke safar). Formally untrained, he assimilated jazzscat fragmented musical notes into a rhythmic sequence and, once its beat was established, departed from the pattern and combined notes and words/syllables into new kinds of musical harmony in the 50s (largely restricted to melody with the singer following the instrumentation). Composer Kalyanji, with whom Kishore Kumar pioneered the use of electronic music, said that his riyaz (practice) lay more in his skills as a mimic rather than in technique. His songs spanned many genres: Ina mina dika was the pinnacle of a USderived popular song introduced by C. Ramchandra in the 50s; he sang several ‘sad’ numbers, esp. in films he directed and which, contrary to his image, were often tragedies (e.g. the song A chal ke tujhe in Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein); practised yodelling in the title song of Jhumroo and continued in later films; sang about his income-tax harassment during the Emergency and once, the legend goes, he set the Malthusian theory of population to music. Also evoked a tradition of Bengali comic songs of e.g. comedians Nabadwip Haldar and Tulsi Chakraborty, some of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s compositions, and later music of Ranjit Roy. The unpredictability of his musical sequencing was translated into his performances where the slapstick comedy of Baap Re Baap, Half Ticket, New Delhi and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi have been seen as one of the Hindi cinema’s precedents of postmodernism: the apparently ‘tribal’ music of Jhumroo is a pastiche of Tequila; in Half Ticket, the classic chase sequence has hero and villain dancing in Nautanki garb and in a freewheeling Slavic harvest number. His approach echoes Danny Kaye’s style of comedy, but the performative idiom is largely original although he refused to claim auteur status. The songs, however, fall into two fairly distinct periods: one as Dev Anand’s singing voice, the other as Rajesh Khanna’s playback voice after Aradhana (1969), leading to classic Bachchan numbers including the Don (1978) song, Khaike pan banarasvala. In the 80s gave huge public concerts in India and abroad. His Madison Square Garden concert became a best seller on cassette. His son, Amit Kumar, is currently a top singer in Hindi films.

FILMOGRAPHY (* also d & music d/ also music d): 1946: Shikari; 1947: Shehnai; 1948: Sati Vijaya; Ziddi; 1950: Muqaddar; 1951: Andolan; 1952: Cham Chama Cham; Tamasha; 1953: Faraib; Ladki; Lehren; 1954: Adhikar; Dhobi Doctor; Ilzaam; Miss Mala; Naukri; Pehli Jhalak; 1955: Baap Re Baap; Char Paise; Madh Bhare Nain; Rukhsana; 1956: Aabroo; Bhagambhag; Bhai Bhai; Dhake Ki Malmal; Mem Sahib; Naya Andaz; New Delhi; Parivar; Paisa Hi Paisa; 1957: Miss Mary; Aasha; Bandi; Begunah; Musafir; 1958: Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi; Chandan; Delhi Ka Thug; Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala; Ragini; Lookochuri; 1959: Chacha Zindabad; Jaalsaaz; Shararat; 1960: Apna Haath Jagannath; Bewaqoof; Girl Friend; Mehlon Ke Khwab; 1961: Jhumroo; Karodpati; Madhya Rater Tara; 1962: Bambai Ka Chor; Half Ticket; Manmauji; Naughty Boy; Rangoli; 1963: Ek Raaz; 1964: Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein*; Baghi Shahzada; Mr X In Bombay; Daal Mein Kala; Ganga Ki Lehren; 1965: Hum Sub Ustad Hain; Shriman Funtoosh; Ek Tuku Chhoya Lage; 1966: Akalmand; Ladka Ladki; Pyar Kiye Jaa; 1967: Hum Do Daku*; Dustu Prajapati; Albela Mastana; Duniya Nachegi; 1968: Do Dooni Char; Hai Mera Dil; Padosan; Sadhu Aur Shaitan; Shrimanji; Payal Ki Jhankaar; 1970: Aansoo Aur Muskaan; 1971: Door Ka Rahi*; Hangama; 1972: Pyar Diwana; Bombay To Goa; Zameen Aasmaan; 1974: Badhti Ka Naam Daadhi*; 1978: Ek Baap Chhe Bete; Shabash Daddy*; 1981: Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi*; 1982: Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin*; 1989: Mamata Ki Chhaon Mein (d only, completed by Amit Kumar).