4 comments on “Young Noor, Young Dilip, Young Rafi…

  1. I haven’t seen ‘Jugnu’ yet although I love the soundtrack. I am fascinated with Noorjehan and my aunt tells me that she was well on track to be a bigger star than Lata if Partition had not happened because she was a dual threat of singing and acting. Indeed Lata to this day refers to Noor as ‘didi’ (sister) and has always said she was the biggest inspiration in her career. I have the Eros DVD of ‘Anmol Ghadi’ and it is must viewing for any Bollywood fan for the songs if nothing else. I would be happy to burn you a copy and put it in the mail if you would like, just email me :)

  2. Thank you, Sanket, that’s very nice of you. Of course, I would love a copy, and I will send you an e-mail.

    By the way, yes, I’ve heard that Noor was a big inspiration for Lata (and though their styles sounded different, I understand that you can hear the influence especially in some of Lata’s singing from the ’40s). I also just read that Lata’s favorite Pakistani film was Intezar, one of the ones I recently posted from (which does have great music too).

  3. This song brings special memories, as my Mum & Dad sang it as a duet for a club show when we were very young, and did such a good job of it that it sort of became their song…we sang it for them on their 50th anniversary in 2007.

    The lyrics are wonderful, and fortunately do not reflect our parents marriage at all!
    I will try and send you a translation.

    What Sanket says is right, my Dad used to the same re Lata & Noor Jehan. But then later on we could see PTV in the 70s etc and by now Dad has come to the conclusion that Lata had such a wonderful range and technique that she would have come up no matter what. We both love Noor Jehan’s voice, but it is true that Lata’s ability and also Rafi’s, pushed music director’s to create and innovate and push their styles, I think the fact that they had performers who could do all this led to the music of the 50s, 60s esp become so creative in the Hindi film industry. Naushad used to say they used to inspire him to try out things.

    Now Dad listens to a Lata song first thing in the morning!

    BTW, am still trying to catch up with your blogs, and all the other work piled up, so you will get some more comments soon:)

  4. Hi, Bawa. It’s great how often you can come up with a family story that directly relates to the music and history that for me is, for the most part, stuff I’m just discovering, from a time and place a good distance away.

    Anyway, my take is it that, sure, Lata would have come up, but maybe she wouldn’t have dominated among female singers as much as she did from 1949 onwards? Also, maybe her singing (and Rafi’s) pushed musical directors to innovate in the ’50s and ’60s, but some of my favorite music that included both or either of them comes from the late ’40s. For instance, both Lata’s singing and the innovations in the music were great in Mahal, which came out in 1949. I know that’s the movie that also made Lata a star, and I think it’s at least as good as anything she did later. (I also just love that movie, period, for many reasons; it’s one of my absolute favorites.)

    Meanwhile, right now, I like Noor Jehan’s voice – especially in the movies of the ’40s and ’50s, from what I’ve heard – at least as much as any Bollywood singer’s (including the voices or Lata and Rafi).

    There were other places where I’ve seen this speculation about what would have happened with Lata, etc., had Noor Jehan stayed in Bombay… I saw it in Mihir Bose’s book Bollywood: A History, which was probably the first thing that made me take a better look at, and listen to, Noor Jehan. (Probably, that was the best thing that book did for me. I wish it had said more about South Indian singers and actors and more about some other subjects, but it was fairly good with the things that it covered.)

    Though, of course, all this “What if…” speculation can go only so far, because we will never know, will we? :)

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