MUSIC lovers and the Indian film industry on Wednesday, July 4 remembered Kishore Kumar, considered among the most popular and the greatest singers of Indian cinema blessed with multiple talents on the occasion of his 92nd birth anniversary. He has left his imprint as singer, screenwriter, actor, composer, director and producer. Born as Abhhas Kumar Ganguly in Khandwa now in Madhya Pradesh, Kishore was the youngest of four siblings, the older three being Ashok (the eldest), Sati Devi, and Anoop. While Kishore was still a child, his brother Ashok became a Bollywood actor. When he began his filmy career, he changed his name to Kishore Kumar. He landed his first singing break with Marne Ki Duayen Kyon Mangu’ for Ziddi and the Indian cinema got a ‘legend’! Kishore Kumar was interested in music since his childhood and was an ardent fan of Kundan Lal Segal (1904-1947), the first star of Hindi cinema, during his adolescent days. He landed in Mumbai to chase his dream to become a famous playback synergistically he could not develop a style of his own and hence perfectly imitated K.L. Saigal. Once music director S.D Burman had come to Ashok Kumar’s house where he heard Kishore singing.’’ He actually thought it was K.L. Segal singing and inquired if he was there too! When he came to know that it was Kishore singing, he appreciated and encouraged the youngster to continue refining his voice but at the same time, develop a style of his own. Following SD Burman’s advisory, He developed a unique style after hearing Austrian music collections of his brother Anoop Kumar Kishore Kumar later sang in different genres but some of his rare compositions which were considered classics were lost in time. As one of his biographers says his unique ability to transform his voice according to not just the scene but also the actor is something that was truly incredible. He has sung soulful songs for Dev Anand and also fun-filled songs for Rajesh Khanna. Kishore Kumar sang the most songs in his career for Rajesh Khanna. He sang 245 songs picturised on Rajesh Khanna across 92 films stated to be an unbeaten record for a playback singer. His popular songs include Roop Tera Mastana and many other melodious songs. Some films that deserve special mention are Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, Kinara, Dream Girl, Anurodh, Sharabi, Mr. Natwarlal, Gol Maal, Dostana, Manzil, Padosan, Shalimar, Khatta Meetha, Kasme Vaade, Ghar, Don, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Dilli Ka Thug. He also starred in some Bangla movies. Unfortunately, On October 13th, 1987, which was the birthday of his elder brother Ashok Kumar, Kishore suffered a heart attack and breathed his last aged 58 shocking the entire nation. He left behind his fourth wife Leena Chandravarkar and two sons. Kishore Kumar married four times and his elder son Amit Kumar has established himself in the competitive world of music. And Ashok Kumar? He was so shocked had stooped celebrating his birthday till his demise on 13 October 1911 aged 90 years. Edited by PK Chakravarty. Picture courtesy to Mint.
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