Kishore Kumar - Career

Career

After Ashok Kumar became a Bollywood star, the Ganguly family used to visit Bombay regularly. Abhas Kumar changed his name to Kishore Kumar and started his cinema career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies, where his brother worked. Kishore Kumar's first film as an actor was Shikari (1946), in which Ashok Kumar played the lead role. Music director Khemchand Prakash gave Kishore Kumar a chance to sing "Marne ki duayen kyon mangu" for the film Ziddi (1948). After this, Kishore Kumar got many other assignments, but he was not very serious about a film career. In 1949, he decided to settle in Mumbai.

Kishore Kumar played hero in the Bombay Talkies film Andolan (1951), directed by Phani Majumdar. Although Kishore Kumar got some assignments as an actor with help of his brother, he was more interested in becoming a singer. He was not interested in acting, but his elder brother Ashok Kumar wanted him to be an actor like himself.

He starred in Bimal Roy's Naukri (1954) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's directorial debut Musafir (1957). Salil Chowdhury, the music director for Naukri was initially dismissive of him as a singer, when he came to know that Kishore Kumar didn't have any formal training in music. However, after hearing his voice, he gave him the song Chhota sa ghar hoga, which was supposed to be sung by Hemant Kumar.

Kishore Kumar starred in films New Delhi (1957), Aasha (1957), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Half Ticket (1962), and Padosan (1968). Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi(1958), his home production, starred the three Ganguly brothers and Madhubala. The film is about romance between a city girl (Madhubala) and a car mechanic (Kishore Kumar), with a subplot involving the brothers.

Music director S. D. Burman is credited with spotting Kishore Kumar's talent as a singer, and advancing his singing career. During the making of Mashaal (1950), Burman visited Ashok Kumar's house, where he heard Kishore imitating K. L. Saigal. He complimented Kishore and told him that he should develop a style of his own, instead of copying Saigal. Kishore Kumar did not have a formal training in music. He kept Burman's advice in mind and eventually developed his own style of singing, which featured the yodeling that he had heard on the gramophone records of Tex Morton and Jimmie Rodgers bought by his brother Anoop Kumar.

S. D. Burman recorded with Kishore for Dev Anand's Munimji (1954), Taxi Driver (1954), House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Prem Pujari (1970), and Tere Mere Sapne (1971). He also composed music for Kishore Kumar's home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). Some of their initial films included the songs "Maana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin" from Paying Guest, "Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke" from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), "Ai Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa" from Funtoosh, and "Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si" and "Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka" from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar performed duets composed by S. D. Burman including "Chhod Do Aanchal" from Paying Guest (1957), "Ankhon Mein Kya Ji" from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), "Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka" and "Paanch Rupaiya Baara Aana" from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), "Chhedo Na Meri Zulfein" from Ganga Ki Lahren (1964), and "Arre Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho Gajab" from Teen Deviyan (1965).

C. Ramchandra was another music director who recognized Kishore Kumar's talent as a singer. Their collaborations include "Eena Meena Deeka" from Aasha (1957). Kishore Kumar's work includes "Nakhrewaali" from New Delhi (1956) by Shankar Jaikishan, and "C.A.T. Cat Maane Billi" and "Hum To Mohabbat Karega" from Dilli Ka Thug (1958) by Ravi.

Kishore Kumar produced, directed, and acted in Jhumroo (1961). He wrote the lyrics for the title song, "Main Hoon Jhumroo," and composed music for all the songs in the film. Later, he produced and directed Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964). He wrote the script and composed music for the film. Its based on the relationship between a father (Kishore Kumar) and his deaf and mute son (played by his real-life son, Amit Kumar). He made another two films called Door Ka Rahi (1971) and Door Waadiyon Mein Kahin (1980).

In the 1960s, as an actor, Kishore Kumar built up a notoriety for coming late for the shootings, or bunking them altogether. His films flopped frequently, and he landed in income tax trouble. As a singer, his work in this period includes "Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai" from Manmauji (1961), "Gaata Rahe Mera Dil" from Guide (1965), and "Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechara" from Jewel Thief (1967).

In the late 1960s, Rahul Dev Burman worked together on the soundtrack of the film Padosan (1968), in which Kishore Kumar sang the songs "Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein" and "Kehna Hai." Padosan was a comedy film starring Kishore Kumar as a dramatist-musician, Mehmood as a Carnatic music and dance teacher, and Sunil Dutt as a simpleton named Bhola. Kishore Kumar's character in was inspired by the personality of his uncle, Dhananjay Bannerjee (a classical singer). The highlight of the film was a musical, comical duel between Kishore Kumar-Sunil Dutt and Mehmood: "Ek Chatur Nar Karke Singaar."

In 1969, Shakti Samanta produced and directed the film Aradhana, for which the music was composed by S. D. Burman. Burman fell ill after recording some duet songs with Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. Afterwards, his son and assistant Rahul Dev Burman took over the recording. R. D. Burman got Kishore Kumar to solo sing the songs "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" and "Roop Tera Mastana". These songs established Kishore Kumar as a leading playback singer in Bollywood. Kishore Kumar won his first Filmfare award for the song "Roop Tera Mastana".

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