Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Today is the 30th death anniversary of Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi or Shankar of the Shankar-Jaikishan music director duo that enriched Hindi film music with wonderful memorable melodies for decades. Both had started their musical journey together in 1949. Though Jaikishan, the younger partner died in 1971 at the young age of 42, the banner Shankar-jaikishan continued till Shankar’s death in 1987. 
Shankar who belonged to Hyderabad , was initially a table player trained as such by one Baba nasir Khansahib. He had also been a disciple of Khwaja Khurshid Anwar. Shankar joined the Prithvi Theatre and by his own admission learnt a great deal and owed it much. He assisted Ram Ganguli , when he was composing music for ‘Aag ‘ in 1948 which was Raj Kapoor’s first directorial venture under the banner RK Films. Subsequently Rak Kapoor made an offer to Shankar to compose music for Barsaat . Jaikishan was also roped in at the insistence of Shankar . The film and the music became hits and thus the banner Shankar Jaikishan was born . The film was also the first of its kind to use the title song and a cabaret. Between 1949 and 1959 , the duo composed wonderful melodies for the films- Barsaat, Awara, Baadal, Poonam, Aurat, Aah,Patita , Shikast, Badshah , Seema, Shree 420, Basant Bahar, Rajhath , kathputli, Anari , Chori Chori , daag, yehudi, Boot polish, Chhoti Behan, Ujala and many others. 

For many years, Raj Kapoor, the actor;, Mukesh, the play back singer ; Shankar- Jaikishan the composers; Shailendra – Hasrat Jaipuri , the lyricists were the core group and together they produced wonders. The duo SJ however worked with many other stars like Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor, Rajinder Kumar and Biswajit . The list of movies and songs they composed music for is pretty long . They had also to face competition from music directors like S.D,Burman, O.P.Nayyar, Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh were their favourite singers. A highly talented pair, they employed successfully classical and western music , making optimum use of Raga and Beats which always had the desired effect. They composed music for all types of songs, sad, happy and romantic.
Shankar used to compose tunes for songs and Jaikishan mostly scored background music. Both had their individual preference for a particular lyricist as well .The duo were awarded Padma Shri and won FilmFare Best Music Director Award many times, including a hat trick . With the death of Jaikishan in 1971, the remaining 15-16 years did not prove lucky for Shankar, though he continued to work.
He died this day in 1987.
Our humble tributes to the great composer !

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