By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
Attaining celebrity status was not a cake walk for Mohd. Rafi as he had tough competitors in competent and talented playback singers like Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, Mukesh and the star among them all, Talat Mehmood who was also recognized as the 'voice' of reigning superstar Dilip Kumar. Nevertheless Rafi did not deter and kept patience for his time to come.
Rafi's first song that that won him recognizance was a duet under the music composition of Feroz Nizami. The song was -
Yaha badla wafa ka bewafai ke siva kya hain... JUGNU (1947)
Rafi was fortunate to sing along with country's top female playback singer of that era, Noorjahan. Few might be aware that 40's great singer G. M. Duranni, was the originally choice of Feroz Nizami for this song but it is believed Noorjahan, who was quite impressed with the new talent, Mohd. Rafi suggested Feroz Nizami to opt for youngster, instead. Rest is history.
The next song that took off Rafi's career to dizzy heights of 'Stardom' was under Naushad's music. The super duper hit number -
Suhaani raat dhal chuki, na jaane tum kab aaoge... DULARI (1949)
However the song responsible to popularize Rafi globally and establish him into an 'International Star' was the splendid bhajan ...
'Man tadpat haridarshan ko aaj...'
The song based on classical Raag Malkauns from Naushad's movie BAIJU BAWRA(1952) became a national anthem. The song became hit not only in India but around the world, a pointer towards this was the song's huge popularity in the programme 'Binaca Geet Mala', based on hit film parade in the 50's. It is reported that when the song was first aired on radio Sri Lanka in its opening programme 'Binaca Geet Mala', in 1952; their radio station was flooded with unbelievable request letters to repeat the song!
Tomorrow in our concluding series read about the unbelievable fact that Mohd. Rafi also sung for the great Kishore Kumar.