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Mohammed Rafi: The first singer to sing more than 25000 songs
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
A singer from the light music genre who could sing in tandem with Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, as he did in NAVRANG and MUGHAL-E-AAZAM has to be a legend and Mohammed Rafi indeed was a legend who was the first singer who sang more than 25000 songs in his illustrious career and launched many a careers, and turned many a films without any super stars like DOSTI into super hit films. It is also one of the ironies that those who got a career made for themselves owing to voice over of Rafi do not have the time to offer the obituary to him on his death anniversary.
He would probably be the only singer who sang for the fathers, and then gave the voice over for sons as well, when they were making debuts. His exploits are legendary, however one of the most significant contributions that Mohammed Rafi made to the Hindi films was that it was his voice majorly that gave the Hindi cinema its first dancing star, Shammi Kapoor. Were Mohammed Rafi not there it would have been very difficult to imagine whether Shammi Kapoor would have been able to get the youthful and zany image that he cultivated for himself. Right from TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA to DIL DEKE DEKHO to JUNGLEE to BRAHAMCHARI the singing and yahoo image that Shammi Kapoor could acquire was owing to Rafi's voice over. The reign and tight leash that Shammi Kapoor had on box office for nearly a decade was catalyzed also by Rafi. The saxophone that found prominence in the sad songs that Rafi sang for Shammi Kapoor could not be heard once again with such prominence the celebrated example being, HAI DUNIYA USIKI ZAMANA USI KA…
In case of other film stars, Rafi was singing mainly sad songs, as Kishore Kumar had already made his debut as a voice representing and epitomizing mischief, but in Shammi Kapoor Rafi had found a perfect foil to give Kishore Kumar a real run for his money. In fact Rafi could be probably the only singer in the world who would have given a voice over to a singer, when he was acting as an actor in a film, it being Kishore Kumar. Rafi Saheb had given voice over to Kishore Kumar in about seven films. As these films are of Black & White era, few would have seen the film but one of the songs must have been seen or heard," Ajab hai dastan teri aie jindagi", a Kishore Kumar Meena Kumari starrer film.
The image of jumping jack that Jeetendra had got for himself was also owing to the voice over of Rafi as in CARAVAN and FARZ. The experiments that Rahul Dev Burman could experiment with Rafi's voice when Pancham was at his peak gave another high to Pancham's repertoire. It was only Rafi who had feature in one of the most memorable song competitions of the Hindi film, right from the Qawali of BARSAAT KI RAAT to HUM KISSI SE KAM NAHIN to ZAMANE KO DIKHANA HAI. It was the changing times as was reflected in HUM KISSI SE KUM NAHIN that Rafi was giving voice over to Tahir Khan while Kishore Kumar was chosen for Rishi Kapoor.
The magic and the clink that Rafi had in his voice can once again be savored when NAYA DAUR is re-released in colour, and can then once realize what a magician Rafi was with the vocal chord.