Yesterday 24th December was the legendary singer Md.Rafi's 82nd birthday. What else can I add more about this all time great singer than what has already been penned about him? To me he was THE most versatile singer of all times having sung in all the genres, be it Classical, Devotional, Light romantic, Soulful, Sad, chirpy yuppee, you name it he had it ! Only Kishore kumar to some extent came a distant second in versatility.
Rafisaab was the most humble and down to earth human being one could imagine in the otherwise big, bad world of Bollywood. He was such a simpleton that he NEVER took any royalty of any of his recorded songs. He only took an upfront payment and that was it ! Due to this, he had a tiff with Lata Mangeshkar and they did not sing together for a couple of years in the 1960's. Compare this with today's upstarts like Himesh Reshammiyas who claim that they are "Blessed" by Goddess Saraswathi and claim to "compose" in all genres !
Anyway, this post's about Rafisaab and his genius. He started his career with Shyam Sunder in the early 1940's and went on to sing under every leading Music Director like Ghulam Mohammed, Naushaad, Anil Biswas, Husnlal -Bhagatram, S-J, SD, Roshan, Madan Mohan, Chitragupta,C.Ramchandra, K-A, RD , L-P et al.
There's a marvellous post by Dr Narasinha Kamath posted in http://dr-narasinha-kamath.sulekha.com. All those interested in discussing about Old Film songs can visit his blog. He's also posted interesting tit bits about Rafisaab in http://dr-narasinha-kamath.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/12/immortal-mohd-rafi.htm .
My personal Rafi Favourites include -
1. Koi saagr dil ko behlaata naheen - Dil diya dard liya.
2. Madhuban main raadhika - Kohenoor.
3. Naachey man mora - Meri saoorat teri aankhen.
4. Raadhike toone bansuri churaaee - Badi behen.
5. Nazar na lag jaaye - Night in london.
6. Na jaa kaheen ab na jaa -Mere humdum mere dost.
7. Teri aankhon ke siva - Chiraag.
8. Yeh chand sa roshan chehra - Kashmir ki kali.
9. Chahe koi mujhe jungalee kahe - Junglee.
10. Hum bekhudi main tumko pukaare - Hum Dono.
11. Pukaarta chalaa hoon main - Mere sanam.
12. Kar chale hum fida jaano tan saathiyon - Haqeeqat.
13. Man tarapat hari darasan ko aaj - Baiju baawra.
14. Maniey poochhaa chaand se ki dekha hai kaheen - Abdullah
15. Dard e dil - Karz.
The list is endless and I can fill pages but I got to stop here. In the end, Rafisaab was the last of the Moghuls who ruled the world of playback singing. After him we got to hear only clones !