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Hemant Kumar

With his deep but passionate voice and melodic sensibility, Hemant Kumar (born Hemanta Kumar Mukherjee) helped steer the evolution of post-World War II Indian music. Well-known for his interpretations of Rabindranath Tagore's songs, Kumar was equally influential as a composer. In addition to scoring more than 150 Bengali films and 50 Hindi films, Kumar wrote an estimated 2,000 songs.

Appearing on Indian radio for the first time in 1933, Kumar recorded his debut disc, "Janite Jadi Go Tumi" b/w "Balo Go Balo More," six years later. Despite his obvious talent, Kumar gave little thought to a career in music. Instead, he enrolled in a four-year course at the Engineering College of Jaduvpar Polytechnic and dreamed of becoming a writer. In 1937, Dash magazine published one of Kumar's stories.

The impact of Kumar's voice could not be denied, however. Although he was turned down by the Senola and Megaphone Record labels, he was signed by Columbia and introduced to their staff trainer, Sailesh Dattagupta. Although he had previously begun studying classical Hindustani music with Ustad Faiyaz Khan, his lessons ended prematurely with Khan's untimely death.

Kumar's recordings for Columbia attracted critical acclaim. Following the release of his second single, he purchased his first harmonium. After his next single, he left school to devote his attention to music.

Commercial success was much slower. For several years, Kumar sought a way to break into film playback. His chance came when he was chosen to be the playback singer in the hit film Nimai Sonyas. In 1944, he composed the entire score for Heman Gupta's film, Abhijatri. He resumed his work for Gupta in 1951 with the film Anandamath. He subsequently relocated to Bombay and took a staff composer position with S. Mukherjee's Filmistan Studios. Although he attempted to break into film direction with his own Geetanjali productions, his best work was done for other directors.

Beginning in 1948, Kumar worked with lyricist/composer Salil Chowdhury to develop a new kind of music, Kavya-geeti, translated as "ballad but not necessarily romantic." Kumar reached his apex in 1955 when he received a Filmfare award as Best Music Director for the film Nagin. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Hemant Kumar The Legend Of India

1. Tere Dwar Khada Ek Jogi

2. O Zindagi Ke Dene Wale

3. Na Yeh Chand Hoga

4. Yaad Kiya Dil Ne

5. O Neend Na Majhko Aye

6. Na Tum Hamein Jaano

7. Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniyawalo

8. Tum Pukar Lo Tumhara Intezar Hai

9. Zindagi Pyar Ki Do Char Ghadi

10. Hai Apna Dil To Aawara

11. Nain Se Nain

12. Jaag Dard-E-Oschq Jaag

13. Ek Baar Zara Phir Keh Do

14. Bas Ek Chupsi Lagi Hai

15. Chup Hai Dharti Chup Hai Chand

16. Main Garibon Ka Dil Hoon

17. Umr Huyi Tum De Mile

18. Baharon Se Poocho

19. Nai Manzil Nai Rahein

Comments

Report as inappropriate
ani8a
Hemant Kumar's voice has the most unique quality - it's like gooey yummy chocolate, like the softest of soft silks
, like a caressing breeze on a balmy day, I just love him
Report as inappropriate
Great voice Hemant Kumar. Always loved his voice. He has a very different style of singing compared to all those great singers of that era.

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