The Many Sounds of Kishore Kumar

He was a mimic from his childhood, and used to perform for guests as a kid. Therefore, it is not surprising that he seemed to possess as many voices as his screen heroes for whom he sang.

He was serious and respectable for Sanjeev Kumar in Aandhi, Romantic and soft for Rajesh Khanna in Kati Patang and macho for Amitabh Bachchan in Laawaris. The songs I am referring to are Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa nahin from Aandhi, Pyar diwana hota hai from Kati Patang and Apni to jaise taise from Laawaris. Of course, he was also boisterous for Sanjeev in O Manchali kahan chali, and serious for Rajesh Khanna in Aap ki Kasam (Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam), and playful for Amitabh in Amar Akbar Anthony (My name is Anthony Gonsalves). He had some excellent songs for Randhir Kapoor (Jaane jaan, Yeh jawani hai diwani and Saamne yeh kaun aaya in Jawani Diwani and Gum hai kisi ke pyar mein from Rampur ka Lakshman), and Rakesh Roshan (Aaj unse pehli mulaqaat hoogi, Aankhon aankhon mein dekha hogaye deewane, Gulmohar gar tumhara naam hota). Whatever he did for these heroes, he sounded just right for them.

Some other memorable songs Kishore Kumar sang were Tu laali hai savere wali for Danny, Mere meet bata tujhe mujhse kab pyar hua aur kaise for Sujeet Kumar. Sama hai suhana suhana  for Jalal Agha, Yeh jeevan hai for Anil Dhawan, Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala for Parikshit Sahni in Pavitra Papi, Ghunghroo ki tarah bajta hi raha for Shashi Kapoor. He also sang for Pran in a couple of films (Hum bolega to bologe ke bolta hai, sounding exactly like him and Daru ki botal mein saheb pani bharta hai, phir na kehna Michael daru peeke danga karta hai in Majboor).

Dev Anand and he were like soulmates for a very long time- from Are yaar meri tum bhi ho ghazab and Mana Janab ne pukara nahin, through Maine kasam li, Yeh dil na hota bechaara, to Dil aaj shaayar hai, and Phoolon ke rang se, right until Des Pardes (Tu pee aur jee, Jaisa des waisa bhes). They complemented each other well, and came up with classics almost every time they worked together.

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