Geeta Dutt with newer generation of composers

Young Geeta Roy (who later became Geeta Dutt) sang for veteran composers like S D Burman, S N Tripathi, Shyamsunder, Master Ghulam Haider, Bulo C Rani, Gyan Dutt, C Ramchandra, Vasant Desai, Pankaj Mullick, Naushad and many more in the forties and early fifties. By end of the fifties she probably had a lot of personal and marital issues which restricted her career in many ways. Many composers from the newer generation came on the music scene from this time, but very little is known about her musical association with composers like R D Burman, Kalyanaji Anandji, Usha Khanna etc. One of the most successful composer duo Laxmikant Pyarelal made their debut in the sixties by which time (unfortunately) Geeta Dutt had not remained the composer’s first choice singer. Laxmikant Pyarelal were Kalyanji Anandji’s assistants for quite some time but after they made their debut with the film Parasmani (1963) as independent composers, Geeta seems to have never sung for them.

Kalyanji-Anandji are not really “new” music directors in the true sense. Kalyanji composed by himself as Kalyanji Virji Shah for a few films in the late 50s (O tera kya kehna, Ghar ghar ki baat, Bedard zamaana kya jaane) and all these films had one song each in Geeta’s voice. The brothers (Kalyanji and Anandji) started to compose together from the film “Satta bazaar” in the year 1960 which does not have any song by Geeta Dutt. In the same year they composed for a film titled “Dil bhi tera hum bhi tere”. It had a great song “Aadmi gareeb ho..Sambalo dil zaraa” by Geeta Dutt.

There are three wonderful Geeta Dutt solos from Passport(1961), in a rare combination with Kalyanji Anandji. It is a rather odd album by them, it does not have any Mukesh song (who is an early favorite of theirs), and has not one, but three solos by Geeta Dutt, though the only duet and it is a beautiful composition (Saaze dil ched de) was given to Lata and Rafi. Interesting that the director of the film was Pramod Chakravorthy, who had directed 12 O’Clock (1958) which is his first film as director. Fresh from the success of the 12O’Clock/OPNayyar/Geeta Dutt combination, he might have had a hand in getting the female solos for Geeta Dutt. He was also married to Geeta’s younger sister Laxmi (who herself sang a few songs for their brother Mukul Roy). Pramod Chakravorthy also directed a film Gangu/Gangu Dada in the year 1962, for which music was composed by Kalyanji Anandji and Geeta Dutt again has a song in there. (The film for which Geeta Dutt sang last for Burmanda was also made by Pramod Chakravorthy).

Usha Khanna and Geeta Dutt sang a duet together in Usha Khanna’s second film as composer “Hum hindustaani”(1960). Thereafter there seems to be a long gap between this and Usha Khanna’s next musical release which was Shabnam (1964). Again, Geeta seems to have never sung for Usha Khanna after that duet from “Hum hindustaani”. One wonders why Usha Khanna never gave more songs to Geeta Dutt, considering the fact that Geeta sang many songs penned by her father Manohar Lal Khanna (who also had a nickname Javed Anwar). Geeta actually sang all the 12 songs penned by M L Khanna for the Nargis starrer Darogaji (1949) which has beautiful music composed by Bulo C Rani.

In sixties and seventies, Geeta Dutt sang for some of the newer composers like C Arjun, Daan Singh, Jag Phool Kaushik, Sapan Chakravorthy (in Bengali), Subir Sen , Suresh Talwar, and the famous “Anubhav” songs for Kanu Roy. Some of these films were not released and majority of the films were low budget films which did not do well at the box office as well. Except for the songs from Anubhav, most of the songs she sang for these composers are not known to many music lovers.

However, the most searched for and sought after songs are the songs “supposedly” sung by Geeta Dutt for none other than R D Burman. It is said that Guru Dutt had signed R D Burman to compose the music of his movie “Raaz” and he is supposed to have recorded at least 2 songs in the voice of Geeta Dutt. This film was being made in parallel to the making of “Kaagaz ke Phool” and Niranjan, an assistant of Guru Dutt was supposed to direct it. It was supposedly based on “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins, and featured Sunil Dutt in the role of a military doctor. The casting of the film had Waheeda Rehman in a double role of two sisters, Kum Kum as the third sister and S. Nazir as their villainous uncle. The publicity booklet of “Kaagaz ke Phool” carried an advertisement for “Raaz” and “Chaudvin ka Chand” under the heading, “Two more box-office smashers in the Guru Dutt tradition fast progressing”.

Just like many other Guru Dutt’s films, it is said that the production of “Raaz” was stopped, and was only revived some months later with Guru Dutt replacing Sunil Dutt in the central role. A few scenes of the film were photographed in the beautiful snowy hills of Simla, and two songs were recorded by R.D. Burman. R D has quoted in an interview that senior Burmanda did not like Guru Dutt giving the music composer’s role to Pancham. He tried to convince Gurudutt by saying that RD is still in the process of learning the tricks of the trade and agewise also he is not that mature to handle such kind of big job,but Guru Dutt was confident. It is said that five or six reels of the film (now untraceable) were shot and edited when Guru Dutt, who was dissatisfied with the film, abandoned it. The writer Dhruv Chatterjee
sold the story to Raj Khosla who later reworked it into the highly successful film, “Who Kaun Thi” (1964).

Guru Dutt also said to have started a Bengali film called Gauri simultaneously with Raaz. Gauri was supposed to be starring Geeta Dutt in the main lead. Two songs were recorded for the film but were never released on discs. Nobody is sure about the music director of the film. Some say it is S D Burman and some says it is R D Burman. It is said that one song was rendered by Geeta Dutt – the tune of that song is said to exactly match with the Lata song Jaani Tum To Dole (Dr. Vidya) composed by S D Burman. However the second song is sung by Kishore Kumar and R D Burman. Gauri also got shelved and the original tunes were probably never heard by any one. It is even said that R D Burman composed a duet of Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle. Again, no information is available if the record was released or not.

Geeta, Hemant, Pancham

This pic showing Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt rehearsing a song with very young R D Burman has also added a lot of confusion and has fuelled a lot of speculations. Some say that R.D. Burman was S.D. Burman’s assistant for a while. The photo could have been taken at a recording of S D Burman as well. Now we know that the only song Geeta Dutt and Hemantda ever sang for Burman da is the trio song with Thakur (Pran ?) for the film Munimaji. “Dil ki umange hain jawan”. So the chances of this particular rehearsal being for that song look to be minimal. Some say that it must have been taken during the rehearsal a duet of Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt composed by R.D. Burman himself.


The above article has been compiled based on the information available on various sources on the internet including our parent website Thanks to all the contributors.

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “Geeta Dutt with newer generation of composers”

  1. Had thought there may be a few Geeta, Hemant,SDB songs.

  2. […] Additional reference: Geeta Dutt with newer generation of composers @ end of the […]


    this picture can never be at the time of MUNIMJI OR HOUSR NO 44 made just after Taxi Driver . As at that point of time young Burman was studying in Calcutta.However one of R D “s tune was used by S D BURMAN in Funtoosh.This pic relates to Raaz with Hemant Kumar & Geeta Dutt singing a duet- the movie got to be made & have heard the tune was eventually used by R D BURMAN (with different lyrics ) in some other movie.

Leave a Reply