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Did Mohammad Rafi get his due?

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Sunder Aswani
Rafi saheb got his due in India
by Sunder Aswani on Aug 23, 2006 02:21 AM

Rafi saheb sang the best songs of indian cinema, he commanded the highest price at that time among male singers. He was respected & loved by everyone in India. Who cares about some Bangladeshi,s are saying that Rafi saheb didn't get due respect in India.

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samar raeesuzzaman
Why heroes of the 1960s chose Rafi
by samar raeesuzzaman on Aug 23, 2006 12:57 AM

And why should heroes not plump for Rafi when even they knew that he would always deliver? Rajesh Khanna's ghost voice in his first few films was Rafi. Are the songs his films like of Aurat, Doli, Aakhri Khat, and Raaz not successes? It was no different when the heroes in the 1970s insisted on Kishore. Then why not the assertion that music of the 1970s would have been richer, had composers looked beyoond Kishore? After all, Rafi and Manna Dey were still actively singing. Would the author feel that Madan Mohan and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, two composers who regularly looked beyond Kishore in the 1970s, gave far richer music than contemporaries, whose inlay cards were dominated by Kishore?

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samar raeesuzzaman
Rafi's dominance in the face of competition
by samar raeesuzzaman on Aug 23, 2006 12:56 AM

It is quite incorrect to say that no composer looked beyond Rafi during that time. Rafi dominated at the time when Mukesh, Talat, Manna and Hemant, were at their vocal peaks, so he always had tough competition despite being so dominant. He would have been acutely aware that he always had Talat competing for a ghazal, Manna for a classical number and Mukesh for a sad song. Even Kishore was no light a force at that time, it's just that composers of the time thought otherwise. So Rafi still dominated not because of any absence of competitors, but in spite of them, which only adds to his greatness. And in 1971, when Kishore was so far ahead that Rafi was almost declared passe, the fact that Rafi attempted to come back against such heavy odds, culminating in his 1977 National and Fimfare awards, is a tribute to the man and his artistry.

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samar raeesuzzaman
Did composers need to look beyond Rafi?
by samar raeesuzzaman on Aug 23, 2006 12:55 AM

It is a total fallacy to believe that had composers looked beyond Rafi, Indian film music would have been richer. The fact is that with Rafi available, composers could be at their creative best, fully aware that Rafi would do justice to any type of song they created. Why did a Kishore-bhakt like SD Burman record 3 crucial songs in Rafi's voice in "Guide", despite this being a Dev Anand film, whose playback assignments were primarily handled by Kishore? Surely the great composers knew the goldmine in Rafi's throat. The writer also talks about BR Chopra resisting the temptation to use Rafi in his films. For his information, it was Rafi who took a young Mahendra Kapoor to BR Chopra's house, as the film maker recalled in an interview to Times FM (Radio Mirchi in its new avatar), recommending him to the film maker. So, to some extent, Chopra's success with Kapoor is due to Rafi. And to add, even for Dastaan, the pivotal and the most popular song, "Na tu zameen ke liye", was rendered by Rafi, impeccably as usual.

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samar raeesuzzaman
Rafi's Recognition by The Establishment
by samar raeesuzzaman on Aug 23, 2006 12:54 AM

It could be argued that Mohd Rafi did not get the recognition he deserved in India. But then even the great Satyajit Ray's talent was suddenly recognised by the Indian government, which awarded him the Bharat Ratna only after he received The Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Moreover, the fact that Rafi is still arguably the most heard voice of Hindi films would mean everything to this humble, genial doyen. He received so much love and support from his fans, which is a more reliable barometer of success. the fact remains that when Rafi was at the top, The Establishment had never really warmed up to Bollywood as a means of popular entertainment, which is why film songs were banned on AIR, and Radio Ceylon turned into a household name. When this view changed, we saw Lata get the Bharat Ratna, but by the time Rafi was long gone. Nevertheless, he has been denied this honour which he richly deserved, even if posthomously. Hope the government realises soon enough and duly honours him.

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Nazir Patel
Did Mohammad Rafi get his due ?
by Nazir Patel on Aug 22, 2006 11:15 PM  | Hide replies

In that golden era of melodious music there were many
singers who could sing and had voices that touched the
heart and soul. However when it came to playback singing the voices that matched the actors male and female the outstanding five were Lata , Rafi , Asha ,Kishore and Mukesh. Only one deserved the ultimate crown and Lataji rightly got the deserved Bharat Ratna. Therefore I do not think that Rafiji was not given his due. When Kishore became popular even the great Rafi was sidelined. But as Salim Khan once said in an interview - Lataji was the only one whose career graph remained in one direction - that is up. And inspite of her critics Lataji still proved with her songs in Veer Zaara that she truly is our Bharat Ratna.

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Tanvir Singh
RE:Did Mohammad Rafi get his due ?
by Tanvir Singh on Aug 28, 2006 05:24 PM
Your observation (of Lata being the only one deserving the Bharat Ratna) is certainly far away from truth Sir. Rafi Sahab was as good as Lata, if not better. Infact I'd like to point out that one can easily make out the better voice control that Rafi Sahab had if one listens to those songs which have two solo versions, one each sung by Rafi Sahab and Lata. And its not difficult as there are just too many of them. The first that comes to my mind is 'Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar' where Lata struggles with the higher notes which are sung so very lucidly by the Maestro.

Moreover, Rafi Sahab had fierce competition from the likes of Mannada, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Mahendra Kapoor, Kishor, et al, while Lata had only one single serious competitor in her own sister Asha.

Therefore, please refrain from the temptation of making crass comments on a human who had no peers in his times. (The present crop of singers are just too hopeless to be even in contention)


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Asad R Kidwai
Shoddy Article-II
by Asad R Kidwai on Aug 22, 2006 11:02 PM  | Hide replies

Anyone writing sentences like:And yet some of the most eminent composers including S D Burman were afraid to tell the producers and the stars, especially Rajendra Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Dharmendra, that there were other good singers. and Indian film music would perhaps have been richer had composers ranging from Madan Mohan to O P Nayyar to Salil Choudhury to S D Burman shown a stronger independent streak and nourished the singing career of other singers. Obviously doesnt have a clue about Hindi Film Music. SD Burman hardly did films with the stars mentioned aboveand he used Kishore Kumar 112 times as opposed to Rafi who sang for him just 89 songs. Same was the case with Salil Chowdhury (Kishore : 29; Rafi; 25). Salilda didnt use Rafi at all after 1966. Regarding Madan Mohan when the producers insisted on using only Rafi for the film Jahanara, Madan Mohan put his foot down and used Talat Mehmood as the main voice.

Quote:Lata is among very few musicians including M S Subbulakshmi who have received the Bharat Ratna. Does that mean other eminent musicians like Ravi Shankar...did not win sufficient recognition in India? Ravi Shankar is a Bharat Ratna awardee.

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RE:Shoddy Article-II
by M.Khan on Aug 24, 2006 02:03 AM
I guess u don't have a good taste in music or u r just jealous that "UR" fav. singer is not being discussed here:-)

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Utterly disgusting
by Samar on Aug 22, 2006 10:59 PM

Utterly disgusting article... Hindi film music would be richer if Music Director's did not use Rafi? Wonder what kind of people write in rediff - surely no appreciation for music in this man.


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get a grip
by rukhaiya on Aug 22, 2006 10:58 PM

no matter what u people say or write rafi will live on in the hearts of thousand of people around the world who cares if he didnt let others get there due or dominated, every one know that even lata did the same forget others she did it with her own sister so get a grip

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The heading and the article don't match
by Swapnil on Aug 22, 2006 10:32 PM

youe article is indeed very informative and praises Rafi a lot, but the title of the article and the contents do not match. In the article you have written how other singers were affected because of Rafi's golden period, whereas the title suggests that we will get to read something more about after his death Rafi has been totally forgotten.

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