Rafi-Kishore rivalry a myth! | Hindi Movie News - Times of India
The incomparable Mohammed Rafi would have turned 93 today, December Here is where the Kishore Kumar factor intervened for Rafi to be able to . on the Guinness Book Of World Records issue, was not expected. Mohd. Rafi heard Kishore Kumar rendering Mere Nidon Mein Tum with Shamshad Begum in Naya Andaz in the middle 50s and was moved to. Yasmin Rafi in her book 'My Abba- Mohammed Rafi' reflects on the reclusive legendary singer.
I, however, was forbidden from attending it. Was there something he resented about the film industry that he wanted to keep you people away from it?
He came from a world, very different from Bollywood — sort of old school. He used to tell us, how he would be beaten up in his village in Punjab for singing and wanting to sing. His family was shocked that he wanted to do the job of miraasis singer-performers. They relented when they realised how passionate he was about music and his eldest brother took it upon himself to train him with the masters in Hindustani classical music. Mohd Rafi had been singing in the industry for over three decades.
Music and how you approach it, change with time… Given he was schooled in classical music and flourished when the mainstay of Bollywood was melody, did he ever get frustrated with the influences that came into Hindi film music later in his career?
'In the seventies it was Kishore Kumar's time and Rafi admired him'
Yes, in a career spanning 39 years, such things are bound to happen. He used to get frustrated at the kind of music directors would be churning out later in the seventies. He used to be disappointed with music at times, later in his life. But he would also never turn away from trying new things, he liked them or not. But he still went ahead and we all know, what a big hit it turned out to be! Did he tell you people how he felt after that?
In fact, despite the fact the film fraternity and music directors seem to have suddenly started obsessing with Kishore Kumar, who by the way had been singing for very long before Aradhana also, Rafi-saab encouraged Kishore Kumar-saab to do live performances. Once Kishore Kumar was visiting our home in London, when Abba was here. You should do more live shows! However, once Rajesh Khanna's reign in Bollywood came to an end, Abba was back to work and he recorded a few of his best songs in the late seventies alongside Kishore Kumar.
An excerpt from the book says: The media had raised a hue and cry after the release of Aradhana, and their misplaced allegations did hurt Abba.
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After the success of Aradhana, Rajesh Khanna had declared that he had only wanted Kishore Kumar as his voice. By this time he was established as the official yodeler of Bollywood not only because he was very good at it but because in most cases the songs were picturised on himself and he had no problems giving perfect lip service to his own songs, both comical and romantic.
'In the seventies it was Kishore Kumar's time and Rafi admired him'- Entertainment News, Firstpost
It is unlikely that any other established actor would have risked this much of yodeling lest he got typed. But Kishore was Kishore and he did what he liked. Yet again, and as it would come as a surprise to many, if there was any competition to Kishore Kumar at yodeling, it was from Mohd Rafi. If yodeling was an art, Rafi had a perfect hold on it.
Many more songs of Rafi in the same mood would follow in the next two decades but this was a very special song. Rafi does a wonderful yodeling in the song and when he ends the song with the yodel he sounds exactly like Kishore Kumar. The natural ease with which Rafi has yodeled in this song is marvellous.
It is strange indeed, that Rafi did not choose to yodel in more of his songs which had plenty of scope and situation to do so. Whether it was his own decision or the restraint put by the music directors, his fans definitely were deprived of a very interesting facet of this endlessly versatile singer.
The inimitable Rafi had a hundred different shades to add to the colour of his songs and yodeling was only one such shade which he used with brevity. With Rafi opting not to, Kishore made yodeling his second nature and his fans loved it. The result was magical and the fans were eating out of his hand. If Rafi gave up some ground to Kishore Kumar in yodeling, he more than made up else where. From the word go, Rafi is all magic in this quawwali and the energetic and dashing Rishi Kapoor takes it to greater heights with his splendid performance on screen.
Kishore Kumar was a complete entertainer. He had a persona that the media loved to write about. He was a hit with his stage shows, not just for his songs but for his witty manners and the way he interacted with the audience. Rafi too drew huge crowds wherever he went. Only in his case, the greater reason for which people flocked from all over the place was slightly different.
Sri Pervez, the son-in-law of Mohd Rafi Sahab, narrated an interesting incident that occurred at a stage show of Rafi in Lucknow in the late sixties. Rafi was put up in the Clarke hotel there and when he came on stage, the crowd went berserk. One song after the other, and yet the appetite of the crowd was only growing. By the time the show came to an end the police had to resort to a mild lathi charge. Despite the lathi charge, however, the fans somehow managed to come up to the stage and mobbed a bewildered Mohd.
Suddenly a number of hands lifted Rafi in the air and for a while he literally floated in the air from one set of hands into another set of hands and he virtually went out of the hands of the organizers! Fraternity wins over Competition: The blank faced Kishore Kumar at the funeral of Mohd Rafi said the story of a lifetime bonding between the two legends of the music industry. For the pen crazy media that often mocked at his miser ways, Kishore Kumar was magnanimous with words when he paid tribute to his fellow singer.
I stood no competition with him, he was a much better artiste than me. His own sky high reputation as one of the best singers in the industry not withstanding, it needed a lot of courage to say what Kishore Kumar said.
His words reflected the genuine appreciation that one great artiste had for another, irrespective of the portrayal by the media and the fans.
In the so called lean phase of Mohd Rafi during the early seventies and when much was being seen into his non-existing rivalry with Kishore Kumar, the father-son duo of Kishore and Amit were on a singing tour to London. Incidentally, Mohd Rafi was also in London at that time with his son who used to live there. Rafi invited Kishore and Amit to his house there and served them an exotic home made dinner. Throughout the evening Rafi and Kishore sang and recalled their initial days in the industry.
Two of the best singers and two of the most wonderful human beings had crossed close to three decades in the music industry in admiration of each other. The seventies belonged to Kishore just the way the 50s and 60s belonged to Rafi. But the Hindi Film Industry has always had room for more than one, even if the top slot has often been restricted.