Monday, March 19, 2007
Farewell to O.P. Nayyar :::
The name Omkar Prasad Nayyar doesn't mean much to today's Bollywood fans but his passing on January 28th marks the end of an era for Hindi cinema's golden age. Born in Lahore in 1927, he was almost as famous for what he did not do in Bollywood as he was for his unforgettable melodies. What he did not do was to record a song with the legendary Lata Mangeshkar - ever. He felt her voice did not suit his compositions and instead made a star out of Asha Bhonsle (Lata's younger sister) who was a virtual unknown before becoming his favorite chanteuse. O.P. Nayyar stopped composing songs for the most part in the late 1970's but he remains an indelible part of Bollywood's musical history.
The two selections for today are from Bollywood's golden era and while the songs may have been released over thirty years ago there is a reason why they are remembered as 'evergreen'. The timeless vocals and melodies remain as fresh and vibrant today as they did when my parents heard them via shortwave signals on All India Radio every evening. Like I have said before - if you haven't heard a song before - it's new for you.
The song for today is Uden Jab Jab, a duet by Mohammed Rafi & Asha Bhonsle from 'Naya Daur' starring Dilip Kumar & Vaijantimala. This album won the Filmfare Award for the best soundtrack of the year (1958) and remains one of the sweetest duets that ever graced the silver screen - see it here.