Geeta Roy and first four years of her career: Part-2

Geeta Roy

This is the second and the concluding part of the earlier post “Geeta Roy and first four years of her career”. The first part focused on the year 1946 and 1947. Here, in this post we will look at the year 1948 and 1949.

1948 : Consolidation year

With the success of the songs from the previous year, young Geeta Roy was trying to stabilize in the playback industry and consolidate her position. This year she became an extremely busy and popular singer. In the year 1948, she sang close to 100 songs. For a singer who has arrived on the playback scene just a couple of years ago, this must have been a record!

This year she sang with maestros like : Shyamsunder , Hansraj Behl , Gyan Dutt, S Rajeshwar Rao from the south, Mukund Masurekar, Bulo C Rani, Pandit Hanuman Prasad, C Ramchandra, Datta Korgaonkar (K Dutta), Master Ghulam Haider, R A Painjankar, Shaukat Dehelvi “Naashad”, Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, Aziz Khan, Chitragupt, and Khayyam.

Her songs featured in many popular films released this year. Some names of the films are “Majboor“, “Shaheed“, “Khidaki“, “Suhaag Raat”, “Heer Ranjha”, “Chunariya”, “Meri Kahani”, “Toote Taare”, “Anjuman”, “Chaand Sitaare”, “Meri Bhabhi”, “Padmini”, “Actress”, “Anjanaa”, “Gunasundari”, “Chandaa ki Chaandani”, “Jeene Do” etc. The film “Gunasundari” was made as a bilingual in Hindi and Gujrati and both the versions featured her songs. This must have been the first film for which she started singing for Gujrati films (which were made in Mumbai those days). Thus started a great musical association of young Geeta Roy with Lyricist and Composer Avinash Vyas. This combo from the year 1948 till early sixties, gave as many 75 songs (including Hindi and Gujrati). Geeta’s songs were steadily rising on the charts of popularity.

Subramaniam Srinivasan popularly known as S.S.Vasan of Gemini films was making a magnum opus film titled “Chandralekha” in Tamil and Hindi. The film, a spectacle, is remembered for its drum dance and extensive sword fight sequence. It is said that 603 prints of this film were made and the film was even released in the United States as Chandra with English subtitles! Majority of its songs for the Hindi version of this film were sung by Umadevi (later actress Tuntun), but seeing the popularity of young Geeta Roy, Vasan added a song in Geeta’s voice. She sang “Naache ghoda naache ghoda kimmat iski chaar hazaar” for this film (composed by S Rajeshwara Rao).

Geeta Roy sang “Aaja bedardi baalma” for the big banner film Shaheed for Maestro Ghulam Haider. For composer Hansraj Behl’s Film Chunariya she sang several melodious songs : Oh motorwale baabu milane aa jaa re, Koi nain milaake chala gaya, Daaman se bandh gayi choli re etc. For the same film, she sang “Saawan aaya saawan aayaa re” with Asha Bhonsle (her first ever Hindi film song) and Zohra Jaan Ambalawali. For Shyamsunder she sang “Oh gori tera baanka chhaila jeet ke aayaa jung” (with Shamshad Beghum) and “Aaankhon aankhon mein dilse dilki baate keh gaye”.

1949 : Sky is the only limit

Meena, Lata and Geeta

(Meena Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Roy are seen in the pic above)

The success story of the previous year (1948) was again repeated this year as well. Once again, she sang close to a hundred songs in the films released this year. She once again sang for major composers like Husnlal-Bhagataram, C Ramchandra, Bulo C Rani, Hansraj Behl, Sachin Dev Burman, Shyam Babu Pathak, Shankar Rao Vyas, Ghulam Mohammad, Krishan Dayal, S Mohinder Gyan Dutt and Naushad.

Nargis’s mother Jaddan Bai made a film “Darogaaji” starring Nargis and P Jairaaj. Bulo C Rani composed the music for this film and all the 12 songs in this film were sung by young Geeta Roy. Geeta sang songs portraying a variety of human emotions for this film. (The same Bulo C Rani, composed 12 more songs for Geeta the very next year for another Nargis starrer “Jogan”). She sang for Ghulam Mohammad for the first time this year for the film Dil ki Basti. She had solos (Oh pardesiya oh rasiya, Aankh mein aansoo dil majaboor) and a lovely duet “Naazuk dil hain tod na dena” along with the title song (both with G M Durrani) for this film.

Geeta sang for maestro Naushad for the first time this year. Actress-singer Suraiyya sang the famous song “Tu mera chaand, main teri chaandani” for the film Dillagi (with Shyam). Geeta sang the tandem version of the same song which was filmed on the co-actress Shyama. The song was about one and half minutes duration and was never released on the records. Due to this many music lovers are not even aware about existence of such a song.

She sang as many as six songs for the film “Hamari Manzil” for the composer duo Husnalal-Bhagatram this year. The same year saw the release of the film “Ek thi Ladki” starring the naughty and bubbly Meena Shori. The song “Lara lappa” sung by Lata, Durrani and Mohd Rafi from this film became very popular. Geeta sang a very sweet and melodious “Unse kehna ke woh palbhar ke liye aa jaaye” for this film. This was filmed on the actress Kuldeep Kaur and did not become as popular. Also for several years, the song “Dili se aaya bhai tingoo” (from the same film) was wrongly credited to Geeta. It is actually sung by Vinita Amladi aka Honey, who is believed to be related to the composer Vinod.

On the lines of the great singer and actor Kundan Lal Saighal, a new male star was introduced. His name was Surendra Nath or Surendra. Geeta sang a couple of lovely duets with Surendra for the film Meri Kahani in the year 1948. Those were “Waada karke kisi se naa aana” and “Bulbul ko mila phool toh nadi ko kinaara” composed by Datta Korgaonkar. This year she sang another lovely duet “Kehne ko hain taiyyar magar kaise kahen hum” with Surendra for the film Kamal, composed by S D Burman. She also sang for her mentor S D Burman for Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal starrer film “Shabnam” this year. For the film Kaneez, she sang a couple of lovely songs for Hansraj Behl. Young O P Nayyar made his debut with this film but only did the background score. When OP composed music for his first assignment “Aasmaan” three years later, his obvious choice for the singer was Geeta Roy!

For Hansraj Behl’s film “Raat Ki Raani”, Geeta sang a very melodious and meaningful song:

Duniya ki sabhaa palachheen hee sahee
jeevan ka safar do din hee sahee
Thodee ka na shikawaa kar bande
jeene kee tarah ek roz toh jee…

The same year she sang her first duet with Manna Dey, nephew of famous singer K C Dey and an established singer himself by now. It was composed by another veteran composer Shankar Rao Vyas. “Dhany dhany hain awadhpoori” was the song for the mythological film “Raam Vivaah”.

Other films released this year for which Geeta sang were : Karwat, Amar Kahani, Bachke Rehna, Chakori, Nanand Bhujai, Imtihaan, Jeet, Kaneez, Lekh, Naach, Nazare, Paras, Raakhee, Raakhee, Sunhare Din, Zevaraat, Tara etc. Geeta Roy was the busiest female playback singer this year as well. In the following years, many events took place in the life of “Bhaav Gayaki Queen” Geeta Roy, which gave many turns and twists to her career and her personal life.

We sincerely thank all of our friends with special thanks to Dr. Mahesh, Gajendra, Mahesh Sharma , Waheed and Aditya Pant for the tremendous effort put together in building up the database of these early years and a vast amount of information they have shared with us.

Also many thanks to Haimanti Bannerji (the author of the book “Geeta Dutt: The Skylark”) for giving permission to use these extremely rare photographs from her book.

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9 Responses to “Geeta Roy and first four years of her career: Part-2”

  1. Aditya Pant says:

    ‘Dilli Se Aaya Bhai Tingu’ from Ek Thi ladki was sung by Vinita Amladi aka Honey

  2. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles.I enjoying reading your post. You make 100% right points in a concise and pertinent fashion, I will read more of your stuff, many thanks to the author

  3. Peggie Drude says:

    I enjoy reading the valuable information you offer in your articles.I enjoying reading your post. You make 100% right points in a concise and pertinent fashion, This is a really good read for me, many thanks to the author

  4. V.C.Mago says:

    Rich, movie-by-movie, song-by-song narrative in both parts. Very informative. Enjoyed both parts very much. Please keep them coming.–V.C.Mago.

  5. parag says:

    Thanks Aditya for the information on the singer for the song “Dilli se aaya bhai tingu”, I have updated the post with this information.

    Vipin, ji we are so glad that you appreciated this small write-up on Geeta ji’s career in the 40s. This is the most neglected topic and most music lovers are not aware about the rich variety of songs she sang from 1946 till 1949 except for the hit songs from Do Bhai. We will continue to explore this topic further.
    Your appreciation means a lot to us. Please let more and more of your friends know about our website and this blog section.

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  9. Dr K Praabhakar Rao says:

    dear readers,

    Geethaji was the great versatile singer and she was far superior to Lataji although Geethaji called it a day much earlier and had sad life too. while Lataji rolled out tons of songs in which probably few were good. Most were commercial type songs flooding the market. Her songs with Surendra another great actor singer and very handsome hero although were few were really great. Soft and soothing voice of surendra was entirely different and was impressive like Mukesh who had Saigal touch like Surendra. Surendra also had Saigal influence and in fact he became famous as Bomaby saigal in Initial thirties with Deccan queen and in forties. However Suredra had his own place in hindi film dom and commanded great respect and position. He was a gentleman to the core. However when fifties arrived Surendra crossed his prime age. He was born in 1910. In 1950 he was forty yeras old and as great films were made in the initial fifties from 1950 to 1952 new actors with play back like Dilip kumar, Raj kappor, Devanand got into line. They were far younger to Surendra. When new arrives generally old will fade . Surendra gave excellent songs in Gawaiah in 1954 with song Teri yaad ka deepak Jalta hai in tandem with Talat mahmmod with different lyrics. He did excellent job.Although Saigal sahib was no more, there his tradition did not die and Surendra literally kept it alive along with CH Atma and by Mukesh to some extent. Surendra did not sing stray pop songs like Rafi or kishore and Mannadey.Surendra remains intact in the hearts of Music lovers along with Geethji.

    Dr K Prabhakar Rao

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