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Kishore Kumar, The Legendary Artist of Indian Cinema

Kishore Kumar whose 91st birth anniversary falls today, was one of the brightest stars of Bollywood Cinema. He was a class apart from the rest of the artists of his genre, because he had the versatility that none could match. He died thirty three years ago, but the songs that he sang sound so refreshing as if they were recorded recently. His golden voice was unique and mesmerizing and his singular style was captivating. Even today, his songs on youtube have more visitors than on other contemporaries except perhaps Mohammad Rafi, but Rafi was only a singer while Kishore Kumar was a  successful actor, singer, dancer, lyricist, writer and a director too. His voice had the youthful exuberance and he sang straight from his heart, so soulfully that the listener could find a deep connect with the song. If a certain song was sung by two accomplished singers, the one sung by Kishore outperformed, outscored the other version. It was even when he hadn’t have any formal training in Ragas.

 

Kishore Kumar was born in a Bengali family living in Khandwa M.P. and his father was a lawyer. He was the youngest of the the four siblings the eldest of which was Ashok Kumar, who rose to be one of the most famous actors of Hindi Cinema. His given name was Abhas Kumar Ganguly. His elder brother too acted in Hindi movies.

Chalti Ka Naam Ghadi in which all three acted was a runaway success. Kumar’s first film appearance was in Shikari (1946), in which his brother, Ashok played the lead role. He employed yodeling in many of his songs and it became essential feature of his singing in his earlier films. It was inspired from the singing style of Jimmie Rodgers and Tex Morton.

Kishore acted in and composed the music for Jhumroo (1961), and he also wrote the lyrics for the film’s title song, “Main Hoon  Jhum Jhum Jhum Jhum Jhumroo.” This post is to celebrate his singing style rather than for bringing to you the history of his career and about his life an escapades. So let me concentrate on that. From such a rich stock of his singing excellence, it is a difficult to choose a few songs, but hope my selection won’t disappoint you.

https://youtu.be/tYV7wRovPhY

https://youtu.be/_9kjx2ngbRc

https://youtu.be/mZRJfQluJTM

Ciao !

 

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Arun Mehra
Arun Mehra
2 years ago

As you have rightly mentioned, he was much more than a singer. Lata Mangeshkar once described him as the complete artist: a singer, lyricist, music director, actor, writer, producer, director, and what not.

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