Remembering Shankar–Jaikishan’s Golden Hits

Shankar- Jaikishan have their names written in bold alphabets on the golden pages of Hindi cinema. Some of the best Hindi everlasting melodies have been composed by this duo. Their best work is mostly raga based and has lilt (a rhythmic swing, flow or cadence) as well as sonority ( resonance).
The duo started their career together at Prithvi Theatre and later with Raj Kapoor’s 1949 film, BARSAAT, they turned into great partners and delivered innumerable hits till the late 60s. Not many know about the duo’s split, which made headlines in the media at that time.
In the course of their career, they won Filmfare Best Music Director Awards 9 times. The last 3 awards were won in three consecutive years. They composed more than 1250 songs for at least 33 movies. That’s an unbelievable record. Isn’t it? They were active between 1949 to 1986. Their charm began to end after the 1960s.
Today, we’ll share some interesting information about Shankar- Jaikishan’s biggest hits.
Awaara Hoon (1951)
Movie: Awaara
Singers: Mukesh
Music: Shankar- Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra

This track will take you back to the precious 1950s when things were simple and life was uncomplicated. This is the speciality of Raj Kapoor and Nargis movies.
Mukesh devised his singing style with the help of music director Naushad Ali, who helped Mukesh to come out of his Saigal style and create his style. This song is a perfect example of Mukesh-style singing sung by him. Shailendra’s lyrics paint the typical picture of an Aawara man with complete freedom in life. The hero played by Raj Kapoor, loves living life on his terms.
Ajib Dastan Hain Yeh (1960)
Movie: Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Shankar- Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra

The beauty of this classic melody is not just in Lata Ji’s sweet voice but in Shailendra’s mesmerizing words talking about a mysterious story that has no start or end. Meena Kumari’s acting is at another level. Her eyes express a thousand emotions but it is Shankar- Jaikishan’s music with so many different instruments like wind instruments, piano, string instruments etc all playing together in a medley that makes this a memorable melody. This track has something about it that its magic didn’t fade even after so many generations.
Aajaa Ayi Bahar, Dil Hai Bekarar (1964)

Movie: Rajkumar
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Shankar- Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra

This composition by Shankar-Jaikishan starts well. The music is fast-paced and the strumming of the string instruments has been done quite smoothly. Lata Mangeshkar adds life to Shailendra’s fairytale-like lyrics. Her god-gifted voice can never have a match. The song is from the 1964 hit, Rajkumar. The song is being lip-synced by Sadhana, the Audrey Hepburn-like actress of Bollywood. She dedicates it to her prince charming. The melody is in the typical Shankar Jaikishan style. It is a cult song that brings back lots of old memories, especially for people of that generation.
Gumnaam Hai Koi, Badnaam Hai Koi (1965)
Movie: Gumnaam
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Shankar- Jaikishan
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Remember this spooky and eerie Bollywood number?? It’s an evergreen classic composition by Shankar- Jaikishan. Their talent is visible in the style in which they easily compose music perfect for any situation. Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics support Shankar- Jaikishan’s composition. He has described the suspicious situation that talks about the gumnaam, a suspicious villain undercover. People are still trying to guess the villain in this song. No one other than the greatest singer of Bollywood, Lata Mangeshkar, could have appropriately sung this creepy song. This melody was considered to be the most haunted song of the 1960s.
Titli Udi Ud Jo Chali (1966)
Movie: Suraj
Singers: Sharda
Music: Shankar Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra

This one is a mesmerizing song about butterflies flying high up in the sky. Butterflies are free from all shackles and enjoy the open skies and the fresh breeze. Shailendra’s lyrics are all about these tiny, colorful creatures. Vyjanthimala and Mumtaz are moving around in their open vehicle while chasing the butterflies. It is one of Shankar Jaikishan’s most well-acclaimed compositions and they composed it within a day, but the composer duo wasn’t sure whether an underrated singer like Sharda would be able to do it justice. She sang to the best of her abilities and made the song an overnight hit. It was the best and most loved track from the 1966 film Suraj.
Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe (1968)
Movie: Kanyadaan
Singers: Mohammed Rafi
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics: Gopaldas Saxena

This rare composition by Shankar-Jaikishan has the maximum fan following. Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe was the best song from the 1968 film Kanyadaan album. Rafi conveyed the right mood, the right emotion and the right andaaz for this song through his singing. Gopaldas Saxena, a popular Hindi poet who has been a part of many Kavisammelans, penned down the heart-melting, highly creative words of the song that is about writing a love letter. The song is so catchy that it has been remade again and again. Shashi Kapoor and Asha Parekh’s acting is class apart. These classics are not made any more.

Teetar Ke Do Aage Teetar (1970)
Movie: Mera Naam Joker
Singers: Mukesh, Asha Bhosle
Music: Shankar- Jaikishan
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
Teetar Ke Do Aage Teetar is an immensely popular kid’s song enjoyed by children of every generation. The song is in a puzzle format and teaches the children how to count. Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics are engaging and teach a lot to the kids. Nowadays, these songs are hard to come across. The harmonica or mouth organ adds a pinch of spice to Shankar Jaikishan ji’s lovely composition. Asha Bhosle and Mukesh deviated from their original singing style and sang the song with lots of emotions and expressions in their voices.
Concluding Thoughts
On the 12th of September 1971, the genius music director, Jaikishan passed away at the tender age of 42. The void created couldn’t be refilled.
These guys were the number one pioneers in establishing the orchestra’s role in song compositions as a means to express and improve the meanings and feelings of the songs instead of just using it in the form of a filler, based on common practice.
Most of the time, they made use of all kinds of new musical instruments to create music in the following format. Their songs begin with a prelude, after that, the mukhda starts, which is followed by the interlude, consisting of musical pieces on the orchestra. Isn’t that interesting?

GaanaPehchaana pays tribute to Shankar-Jaikishan through TMK game #188 on the app. We have similar tribute TMK games for every composer in Hindi Film Music. Check them out!!!
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