8 comments on “Why Weren’t There More Duets Between Suraiya and Rafi?

  1. Suraiya and Rafi sang many duets together.. infact Suraiya sang maximum no of duets with Rafi. They sang 24 duets together. Some of their best duets together were in Shama Parwana and Dastan.

  2. Oops, never mind. Of course, one could hear 24 duets between them and still be left asking why there weren’t more. :) (And I am curious re. how you arrived at the exact number, by the way.)

  3. For vintage song collectors like us.. we have to keep track of the number of exact or close to exact songs each singer sang (both solos and duets). That gives you an idea of how many songs you have collected so far…

    Hope that answers your questions ;)

  4. Well, I could start to ask all kinds of questions about your tallies… I wonder what the total tally for Rafi was. And how many duets did he sing with Lata or Asha? Do you have a total tally for Lata’s songs, and how does it compare with the amount in the record books? (I understand there is a bit of controversy about that.) But if your object is vintage song collection, maybe you wouldn’t be concerned with a large number of songs by any of those singers.

    BTW, you don’t have to feel obligated to answer all these questions – just “thinking aloud” on the keyboard…

  5. Rafi sang approx 880 duets with Asha in 514 movies (Out of those 781 were duets and 99 were those songs involving more than 2 singers).

    With Lata, Rafi sang approx 440 songs in 315 movies. 426 were duets and 14 involved more than 2 singers.

    Lata sang 5067 songs uptil 1989. I don’t have exact stats for Rafi songs right now, but I can give you Kishore Kumar’s stats. Kishore sang 2905 songs out of which 2648 were Hindi songs.

    (Please note all of the above figures are approximate and doesn’t include songs sung in regional languages. It includes only Hindi/Urdu songs).

    The source for all these statistics are various books and publications.

    I think that the Rafi-Asha duets is a world record… I dion’t think any other singers in the world have sung that many duets together.

    Also, according to statistics Asha Bhosle sang more songs than Lata. And also Asha Bhosle is the singer who recorded most number of songs in the world, but it hasn’t been officially recognized by Guiness Books of World Records yet. Asha’s total number of songs is greater than 7000 (including regional languages).

  6. Thank you! Those figures are impressive, as is your knowledge of them.

    I knew that there was some controversy about who recorded more songs, Lata or Asha, and that the record books (i.e., the Gunness Books?) said Lata but may people were saying Asha…

    And now I don’t feel so foolish about my title for this the post. I mean, if Rafi sang 880 duets with Asha and 440 with Lata, then it doesn’t seem so silly to ask why he didn’t sing more (than 24) duets with Suraiya. :) (Although, yes, the timing has something to do with that – which is why, as far as I know, he sang only one duet with Noor Jehan.)

  7. Rafi sang something like 4600+ songs in hindi films.
    so regional and non film songs should make it over 5000.

    Suraiya sang only for herself not for other actress. Rafi didn’t get popular
    until 50s. She might have done may be 25 films in the 50s. so the
    duet chaces diminished.

    Noor Jahan left India in 1947 and also only sang for herself and duets
    with two females are not that common early on anyway.

  8. Rd, actually, Suraiya did sing for actresses other than herself, beginning with the playback singing that she did in Sharda (1942) and Sanjog (1943). (I think that in both those movies, she sang for Mehtab, an actress best known for becoming the wife of Sohrab Modi.)

    And Noor Jehan also did some playback singing in her pre-Partition films, most notably for Shashikala, in Zeenat (1945) and Jugnu (1947).

    I am aware that the timing (i.e., of singing careers) was not perfect for Rafi to sing lots of duets with Suraiya or, especially, Noor Jehan – which is what I was saying in my comment above, right before yours. :)

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