Crossover musicians– Bengal and Bollywood

Expanding on the theme I talked about in an earlier blog titled “Bengali Music Influences in HFM”, let’s explore a little further some of the common music between Bengal and Bollywood.

Over the years, many Bengali composers and singers had crossed the boundaries between Bengal and Bollywood and had very successful careers in both Kolkata and Bollywood, creating many memorable songs both in Bengali (Puja Specials and movies) and Hindi (HFM: Hindi Film Music), which we had loved, religiously collected and enjoyed with our friends and family. We continue to do the same, even today.

Some of these composers and singers, on many occasions, had used the same tune for both Bengali Puja specials (Pujor Gaan) and for HFM. They had really enriched the music of both worlds. It is beyond the scope of this article to make comprehensive list of every instance where same tunes had been used in both Bengal and Bollywood. In this article, I will cover only a few memorable pairs of such songs, which were composed in 60s and 70s, by three of my most favorite composers – Salil Chowdhury, Hemanta Mukherjee and R.D.Burman.

Salil Chowdhury was one of the most prolific composers, when it comes to “Adhunik Bangla Gaan” (modern Bengali songs) in the 60s and 70s. I don’t think anyone rivals his success with the Bengali Puja Specials. Part of that success may be attributed to his collaboration with Lata Mangeshkar, producing many hits, which changed the Adhunik Bangla Gaan scene. Many of these hits were later re-recorded for Hindi movies. Salil Chowdhury’s lilting music, like water flowing over the pebbles in a stream, made him the favorite composer of Lata Mangeshkar. 

Hemanta Mukherjee is by far the best known playback singer and composer of Bengali movies and Puja Specials. He is also revered for singing Rabindra Sangeet (Tagore songs), maintaining the traditional style. Hemanta Mukherjee had many extraordinary joint ventures with Salil Chowdhury. One hit after another were produced, with Hemanta Mukherjee singing songs which were composed by Salil Chowdhury. His unparalleled melodious voice mesmerized the Adhunik Bangla Gaan scene for decades.

R.D.Burman’s body of work in Bengali music is somewhat small, compared to those of Salil Chowdhury and Hemanta Mukherjee. However, with Kishore Kumar singing, he had created some big hits in Bengal. You remember him singing “Mehbooba Mehbooba” from Sholay. You will be surprised to listen to him singing “Mone Pore Ruby Roy”, which was later converted to “Meri bheegi bheegi si” by Kishore Kumar.        

 

Here is a sampling of well-known songs from HFM that had their origins in Bengali music.  In most cases, the arrangement remained same, between the original song and the re-recoded one. However, as you would expect, thanks to bigger budget, Hindi songs in general had used larger orchestra and as a result sounded richer.

Composer using the same singer for both Bengali and Hindi songs:

 

Bengali

Hindi

Year released

1959

1961

Song

Jarey urey jarey pakhi

Jaa re, Jaa re udja re

Singer

Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Maya

Year released

1959

1960

Song

Na jeo na

O sajana barkha bahar aayi

Singer

Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Parakh

 

Composer used the original singer and a different singer, to record two solo for the Hindi film:

 

 

Bengali

Hindi

Year released

1961

1961

Song

Ekdin phire jabo chale

Aye dil kahan teri Manzil – Dwijen

Aye dil kahan teri Manzil – Lata

Singer

Dwijen Mukherjee

Dwijen Mukherjee (solo)

Lata Mangeshkar (solo)

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Maya

Year released

1965

1969

Song

Ekdin pakhi ure jabe

Tum bin jaoon kahan – Kishore

Tum bin jaoon kahan – Rafi

Singer

Kishore Ganguly

Kishore Kumar (solo)

Mohammad Rafi (solo)

Composer

R.D.Burman

R.D.Burman

Movie

Pyaar ka mausam

 

Composer using different singers for Bengali and Hindi songs:

 

 

Bengali

Hindi

Year released

196x

1971

Song

Amay prosno kare neel dhruba tara

Kahin door jab din dhal jaye

Singer

Hemanta Mukherjee

Mukesh

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Anand

Year released

1963

1973

Song

Mone pare Ruby Roy

Meri bheegi bheegi si

Singer

R.D.Burman

Kishore Kumar

Composer

R.D.Burman

R.D.Burman

Movie

Anamika

 

Composer changing the song from solo to duet:

 

 

Bengali

Hindi

Year released

1962

1960

Song

Aha oi anka banka je path

Aha rim jhim ke ye pyare pyre

Singer

Shyamal Mitra

Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Usne kaha tha

Year released

1960

1961

Song

Ogo aar kichhu to nai

Tasveer teri dil mein

Singer

Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi

Composer

Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury

Movie

Maya

 

Bengali songs from movies:

 

 

Bengali

Hindi

Year released

1959

1964

Song

Ei raat tomar amar

Yeh nayan dare dare

Singer

Hemanta Mukherjee

Hemant Kumar

Composer

Hemanta Mukherjee

Hemant Kumar

Movie

Deep Jwele Jai

Kohra

Year released

1970

1972

Song

E ki holo

Yeh kya hua

Singer

Kishore Ganguly

Kishore Kumar

Composer

R.D.Burman

R.D.Burman

Movie

Rajkumari

Amar prem

 

Disclaimer:

  • The information in this article (including the release dates of the songs) are correct, to the best of my knowledge. If you find any mistakes, please let us know. We will be grateful.  
  • Release Dates are extracted from various sources in Internet, primarily Wikipedia, IMDB and YouTube. Release dates of the Bengali songs are more difficult to find, primarily because, in most cases, they are not associated with any film.

Do you know of any other Bengali songs that made their way into HFM?  Please leave us your comments.

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