Remembering singing legend Manna Dey

Remembering singing legend Manna Dey


Legendary playback singer Manna Dey died at a city hospital early today after prolonged illness.
Manna Dey,94,who was admitted to Narayana Hrudayalaya five months ago for respiratory problems,died of cardiac arrest at 3:50 AM,a senior doctor at the hospital said.
Here's a look at his life journey. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey's original name was Prabodh Chandra Dey. He received his early education in a small pre-primary school and later went to Scottish Church Collegiate School and Scottish Church College.
During his college days,Manna Dey sang to entertain his classmates. Later on,Manna Dey began taking singing lessons from his uncle,Krishna Chandra Dey and Ustad Dabir Khan. While he was learning music,he also won the inter-collegiate singing competitions for three consecutive years.
Manna Dey with his wife and daughters. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey then began his journey in Bollywood as an assistant music director in 1942 when he accompanied Krishna Chandra Dey to Mumbai (then Bombay). He also worked as an assistant music director under Sachin Dev Burman but soon began working independently. But this did not stop the music director from taking musical lessons in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey began his career as a playback singer with Tamanna (1942) where he sang a duet 'Jago Aayee Usha Ponchi Boley Jago' with Suraiya,which became an instant hit.
His songs like 'O Prem Diwani Sambhal Ke Chalna' (1944) 'Kadambari','Dil Churaney Ki Liye from Dur Chaley' (1946),his duets with Amira Bahee like 'E Diniya Jara Suney','Kamala' (1946) and another duet 'Aaj Bor Aayee','Chaltey Chaltey' (1947) were all chartbusters of those years.
Manna Dey has also lent his voice for poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan's 'Madhushala'. (Express archive photo)


Between 1945-47 many Manna Dey duets with singer Rajkumari like "Hay Gagan Me Badal Tharey",'Vikaramaditya' (1945),'Aowji Morey','Insaaf' (1946),all four duets from the film Geet Govind - "Kit Ho Nando Kumar","Chorr Sakhi Aaj Laj","Apney Hi Rang","Lalit Labang Lata" from Geet Govind became popular. (Express archive photo)


In 1950,Manna Dey's association with music director S D Burman began when he sang two hit songs 'Upar Gagan Vishal' and 'Duniya Ke Logo' in 'Mashal.' And two years later in 1952,he began singing in Bengali and Marathi,this established him as a leading playback singer in Bengali and Marathi films too by 1953. (Express archive photo)


Post independence,Manna Dey continued working with music composers Anil Biswas,Shankar Rao Vyas,S.K.Pal,S.D.Burman,Khem Chand Prakash,Mohd.Safi from 1947-57. Manna Dey's association with music director Anil Biswas churned out hit numbers from films like 'Gajre' (1948),'Hum Bhi Insaan Hai' (1948),'Do Sitaare' (1951),'Hamdard' (1953),'Mahatma Kabir' (1954),'Jasoos' (1957) and 'Pardesi' (1957). Then he recorded his first duet with Shamshad Begum,'Phoolon Ka Swapna' in the films Girls School (1949). (Express archive photo)


Manna De's first duet with the then upcoming singer Lata Mangeshkar was 'Lapat Ke Pot Pahaney Bikral','Narsingh Avtar' (1949) and with Kishore Kumar,it was 'Subaho Ki Paheli Kiran','Anadolan' (1951). (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey established his verstality between the years 1948-1954 by singing not only the classical based film songs but also singing songs which were a fusion of Indian classical music and pop music. This led to an increase in singing offers from 1955. He began singing ghazals in Hindi films from 1953 and became a music composer in Hindi films when he composed music along with Khemchand Prakash for both Shri Ganesh Janma and Viswamitra in 1951. (Express archive photo)


By 1954,Manna Dey had become popular among musical circle across film industries of various Indian languages. He became more famous after release of 'Do Bigha Zamin' (1953) where two of his songs,composed by Salil Choudhury became super hits. After this successful association,Manna Dey also sang in Bengali and Malayalam films from late 1950s to early 1990s. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey's association with music directors Shankar-Jaikishan and producer Raj Kapoor had begun while working for 'Awara,'. The trio worked in many films together from a period 1954-1971. Their musical scores were appreciated,irrespective of the box-office fate of the movies like 'Shree 420,Chori Chori,Mera Naam Joker'. (Express archive photo)


In 1956,Manna Dey began singing with a new batch of singers and recorded his first duets with Sudha Malhotra like 'Ghar Ghar Deep Jalao Re','Ayodhyapati' (1956),with Binata Chatterjee 'Tum Mile Mil Gaye Karaar','Grand Hotel' (1956) and then his first duet with Sabita Banerjee in 'Jamine Hamari Jamana','Laal-E-Yaman' (1956). (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey then followed his passion of being a music director and turned into an independent composer with 'Maha Poojaa' in 1954. He sang 83 Hindi songs in three years from 1953–55 and his demand increased such that he sang as many as 45 songs in 1956 alone.
From the year 1953-1969 he recorded as many as 758 Hindi songs of which 631 were sung between 1957-1969. (Express archive photo)


New age composers like Kalyanji-Anandji started recording songs with Manna Dey from 1958 and Laxmikant Pyarelal from 1964. SD Burman's music director son R D Burman made Manna Dey sing the westernised songs – 'Aao Twist Karen' and 'Pyar Karta Ja' which were chartbusters of 1965.
Music Director Laxmikant and Manna Dey during a song recording. (Express archive photo)


The solo songs sung by Manna Dey like 'Lapak Jhapak Tu Aa Re' from 'Boot Polish' (1954),'Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai' from 'Seema' (1955),'Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Aur Toofan Ki','Diya Aur Toofan' (1956),'Humdum Se Gaye' from 'Manzil' (1960),'Aye Mere Pyare Watan' from 'Kabuliwala' (1961),'Laga Chunari Mein Daag' from 'Dil Hi Toh Hai' (1963),classical songs like 'Sur Na Saje' from 'Basant Bahar' (1956),'Kaun Aya Mere Mann' from 'Dekh Kabira Roya' (1957),'Pucho Na Kaise Maine Rain' from 'Meri Surat Teri Aankhen' (1963),'Jhanak Jhanak Tore Baje Payalia' from 'Mere Huzoor' (1965) were chartbusters in their respective year of release. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey is also credited for popularising classical based solo and duet songs to the masses like the duet with Lata – 'Pritam Daras Dikhao','Chacha Zindabad' (1959). His rendition of 'Kasame Vaade Pyar','Upkar' (1967) won accolades for Manna Dey. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey gave playback for Raj Kapoor in 'Shree 420' ('Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh'),Chori Chori (Yeh Raat Bheegi,Jahan Main Jati and Aja Sanam),Parvarish (Masti bhara hai sama),Dil Hi To Hai (Laga chunari mein daag),Mera Naam Joker (Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo) and "Ek Paon Chal Raha Hai" from Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971). (Express archive photo)


R.D.Burman recorded hit songs with Manna Dey regularly from 1965 with films like Bhoot Bangla,Gomti Ke Kinare,Chandan Ka Palna,Baharon Ke Sapne,Padosan,in late 60’s. He sang for Balraj Sahni in many films from 1950 till 1969 and was voice of Mehmood and Anoop Kumar in many films from 1960-1975. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey also recorded popular duets with Mohammed Rafi,he sang 101 Hindi songs along-with Rafi which include 58 duets with Rafi such as 'Ishq Ishq' (Barsaat Ki Raat) 'Tu hai mera prem Devta' (Kalpana),'Mama o mama' (Parvarish),Duniyaan ke liye from Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981),"Main Hoon Tera Prem Aur Tu Ho Meri Pran" from Rahu Ketu (1979),the song "Hindustan Ki Kasam" from Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973),"Hum To Tere Hai Deewane" from Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong,"Badey Miya Diwane" from Shagird,"Ye Do Diwane Dil Ke" from Johar Mehmood in Goa,"Agar Dil Dil Se" from Shola Aur Shabnam (1961). (Express archive photo)


With Asha Bhosle,Manna recorded around 160 Hindi songs from 1953-1982 though their duets kept releasing till 1986 and their last song sung together was in 'Teri Maang Sitaaron Se Bhar Doon' (1982).
In 1968 R.D.Burman brought them together for 'Ek Chatur Naar' song in 'Padosan'. According to reports,this song was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Dey,determined to show Kishore Kumar how he would sing the duet better,got into the mood of the song and immortalised 'Ek Chatur Naar'. (Express archive photo)


Manna Dey's career along with Mukesh,Mohammed Rafi suffered a set back in 1969,following the popularity of Kishore Kumar. And thus his demand as a playback singer came down immensly.
But,Manna Dey received a fresh lease of life from 1971 after superstar Rajesh Khanna asked music directors to picturise songs sung by Manna Dey in his films and the first being 'Anand'. For Rajesh Khanna,Manna Dey had sung songs 'Zindagi kaisi hai paheli' (Anand,1971),'Tum bin jeewan kaisa jeewan' and 'Bhor Aaye Gaya Andhera' ('Bawarchi',1972),'Nadiya Chale Re' (song sung with Rajesh ands Dey). (Express archive photo)


In a 2012 interview,Manna Dey had said: "I loved the way he (Rejesh Khanna) picturised music. The success of a song depends upon how an actor picturises it. He was the number one in picturising songs. I will be ever indebted to him." (Express archive photo)


From 1970-1983,Manna Dey recorded around 503 songs in Hindi films. Thereafter he became selective of the kinds of songs he sings and chose to do less work in Hindi.
Singer Manna dey receiving a golden replica of Goddess Saraswati from PN Brodie. (Express archive photo)


The demand for Kishore-Manna Dey combination only grew from 1972 and their popular songs were 'Mere Pyale Mein' from 'Aamir Garib' (1974),'Is Ishq Mein Har' from 'Mr.Romeo' (1974),'Yeh Dosti' from 'Sholay' (1975) to name a few.
Playback singer Manna Dey recipient of the Lata Mangeshkar award 1987 handing over the citation to his wife after having received it from Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Balendu Shukla in Indore on Dec 4. (Express archive photo)


From 1992,he withdrew himself from Hindi film music citing lack of good quality music and bad picturisation. But he continued to sing in Bengali movies,'bhajans' and 'gazals' in different languages and continued giving live performances from 1992-2012. His last live performance was in 2012 in Mumbai. His last recorded song in Hindi films was for 'Umar' in 2006 composed by Shamir Tandon - 'Duniyawaalo Kee Nahee Kuchh Bhee Khabar'. He was presented the Filmfare Life Time Achievement Award in 2011. (Express archive photo)


He sang with singers of every generation in Indian films from 1940-2005. He worked with more than 102 music directors in Hindi film industry from working with Krishna Chandra Dey in Tamanna in 1942 to music composer Shamir Tandon in 2006. (Express archive photo)


The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971,the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. (Express archive photo)