DOCUMENTARY ON KISHORE KUMAR
(Click the link or image above to see the video on Youtube)
Famous Radio Ceylon announcer Ameen Sayani narrates this most interesting two hour long documentary about the life of legendary singer/actor Kishore Kumar. A number of prominent Bollywood personalities, among others Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Ashok Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Kaljanji – Anandji, R.D. Burman, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Vyjayanthimala, pay their tribute to great singer/actor. Amit Kumar reviews his memories and encounters with his famous father.
Kishore Kumar himself in a candid interview with Lata Mangeshkar confesses that he knew nothing about notes Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.
Much of the credit for moulding Kishore Kumar as a prolific singer should go to S. D. Burman who spotted Kishore Kumar’s talent early. During the making of Mashaal (1950), S.D. paid a visit to Ashok Kumar when he heard someone do a perfect imitation of K.L. Saigal. He was told it was Kishore who was singing in the bathroom. The composer complimented him but also said that Kishore needed to develop a style of his own. Kishore Kumar did not have a formal training in music.He kept Burman’s advice in mind, and eventually developed his own style of singing.
S. D. Burman extensively used Kishore for Dev Anand in Munimji (1954), Taxi Driver (1954), House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Prem Pujari (1970), and Tere Mere Sapne (1971). However, real turning point of his singing career came in 1969 with the film Aradhana. S. D. Burman fell ill after recording some duet songs with Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosale, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. Afterwards, his son and assistant R. D. Burman took over the recording. R. D. Burman got Kishore Kumar to solo sing the songs “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” and “Roop Tera Mastana”, which proved super duper hits ahead of the Mohammed Rafi songs “Baghon Mein Bahar Hai” and “Gun Gunarahein Hain” for the same film. It was a second coming and there was no turning back after that.
In the 1970s, Kishore overtook all competition and was the undisputed number one male playback singer of Hindi films.Kishore formed a solid hit pairing with Rajesh Khanna in the early 70s and the duo churned out hit after hit – Kati Patang (1970), Safar (1970), Amar Prem (1971), Andaz (1971), Namak Haram (1973), Daag (1973), Apna Desh (1972), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), Aan Milo Sajna (1970) and Aap Ki Kasam (1974) to name some. Even the Rajesh Khanna films that flopped in the period had some extremely popular songs like “Chala Jaata Hoon” (Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972)), “Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se” (Ajnabee (1974)) and “Mere Naina Saawan Bhadon” (Mehbooba (1976)).Kishore Kumar is said to have been paranoid about not being paid.
During recordings, he would begin singing only after his secretary confirmed that the producer had made the payment. Once, when he discovered that his dues hadn’t been fully paid, he landed up for shooting with make-up on only one side of his face. When the director questioned him, he replied “Aadha paisa to aadha make-up.” (Half make-up for half payment). On another occasion, when the producer R. C. Talwar did not pay his dues in spite of repeated reminders, Kishore Kumar turned up at Talwar’s residence one morning and started shouting “Hey Talwar, de de mere aath hazaar” (“Hey Talwar, give me my eight thousand”). He did this every morning for a few days, until Talwar paid him. In spite of his “no money, no work” principle, sometimes Kishore Kumar recorded for free even when the producers were willing to pay. He recorded for free, for some films produced by Rajesh Khanna and Danny Denzongpa. On one occasion, Kishore Kumar helped actor-turned-producer Bipin Gupta, by giving him Rs. 20,000 for the film Dal Mein Kala (1964).
When the little-known actor Arun Kumar Mukherjee died, Kishore Kumar regularly sent money to his family in Bhagalpur.Singing was Kishore’s primary calling card. But no premier Bollywood artiste has showcased a wider repertoire of extravagant talent: singer, actor, songwriter, composer, dancer, director, producer, prankster, four-time-husband. Renowned compere Ameen Sayani sums it up, “He was perhaps the most versatile singer that the Indian film industry has ever known. I have compered almost all great singers on stage. He not only sang and danced and pranced but also did somersaults on stage. But while doing all this, he never went out of tune.”At 58, he was too young to die. But going by the reactions he evokes on Orkut, Kishore Kumar’s life after death is assured. He will remain an enigma for ever.