KISHORE KUMAR: One Of The Greatest Singers And Entertainers India Has Ever Produced.

By Promod Puri

The most artistic and versatile natural talent the Hindi film industry ever embodied was Kishore Kumar.

His versatility lay in being a singer par excellence and as an actor, especially in comedian roles where we could see him as Charlie Chaplin descending on the Indian cinema screen.

Besides, Kishore Kumar’s talent involves as a lyricist, music composer, story writer and director.

The other day when I watched a song sequence in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, perhaps the most hilarious comedy film ever produced by Bollywood, Kishore Kumar excelled in his performance along with his brothers Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar.

The best number in the film was “Main Sitaron Ka Tarana …… Lekin Pahele De Do Mera Panch Rupiya Baran Anna,” an entertaining, humorous and delightful dance performance by Kishore Kumar with one of the most popular and gifted artists, Madhubala. The other one, my favourite, is “Babu Samjho Ishare.”

A story about his versatile singing talent goes like this: In the movie Half Ticket, for one of the songs – “Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe” – the music director Salil Chowdhary had a duet in mind and wanted Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar to sing the song. However, since Lata Mangeshkar was not in town and Salil Chowdhury had to record that song before she could return, Kumar solved the problem by singing both the male and female parts of the song himself. The duet was for Pran and Kumar dressed as a woman on the screen.

Kishore Kumar contributed over 4000 songs in multiple languages, but his popularity as a singer dwelled in Hindi films.

He had a distinctive voice with an exceptional talent for producing yodelling sounds. He remained the primary proponent of the sound that fitted well with his lively singing style.

When Rock-n-roll became popular in the West in the early ’50s, Kishore Kumar was the first singer in India to sing the “Eena Meena Deeka” in the Rock-n-Roll style in the film Aasha. The song instantly hit India, immediately capturing the top spot on Binaca Geetmala of Amin Sayani fame. 

Apart from singing, Kishore Kumar was also a prolific actor and starred in over 80 films. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performances in ‘New Delhi’ (1956) and ‘Aasha’ (1957).

Kishore Kumar was also a talented composer and composed music for several films, including ‘Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein’ and ‘Jhumroo.’ He also directed and produced several films.

His unique voice and style inspire new generations of singers and musicians, and his songs remain evergreen classics in the Indian music industry. He remains one of the greatest singers and entertainers that India has ever produced.

Manna Dey, his contemporary, once said, “Kishore had the best voice of all playback singers. He made singing sound so effortless. He had no classical training but could surpass me in a song because of his wonderful musical instinct and natural singing flair.”

Hindi film superstar Amitabh Bachchan called Kishore Kumar a multitalented genius who shall remain a phenomenal star.

Kishore Kumar was born on August 4, 1929, in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. He died in Mumbai on October 13, 1987.

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