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'C. Ramchandra was a versatile genius': Pyarelal

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

On  Jan 12th,  retro-Bollywood music lovers celebrated the 100th birth anniversary (centenary year)  of the innovative composer-singer ‘late’ C. Ramchandra also known as ‘Chitalkar’ and ‘Annasaheb’ . During the ‘50’s, sangeetkaar Ramchandra  had the entire nation swaying merrily and happily to his chartbusters ‘Bholi Soorat Dil Ke Khote’ and ‘Shola Jo Bhadke’ , both from the  vintage rock-star Bhagwan Dada hit starrer ‘Albela’ (1951). In fact, he sang both these iconic songs as a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, in his soothing and mellifluous voice.  It was Ramchandra who pioneered the ‘scat’-nonsensical lyrics genre with the foot-tapping rock n’roll hit song ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ from the movie ‘Asha’(1957). Trained in classical music, he conjured up awesome gems like ‘Yeh Zindagi Usiki Hai’ from ‘Anarkali’ ( 1953)  and ‘Raadha Na Bole’ from ‘Azaad’ (1955).  Much later, he  came up with  ‘Aadha Hai Chandrama’ from  legendary V.Shantaram’s ‘Navrang’ (1959). Which has an infectious dandiya-raas-garba rhythm-beat and is invariably played live during every Navratri utsav . The immensely popular soul-stirring patriotic song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ written by Kavi Pradeep which was sung so beautifully by Lata di, was composed by Ramchandra . Interestingly, both composer-singer S D Burman and his legendary composer-singer son Rahul Dev Burman had  high regard for the amazing talent of C.Ramchandra.  Not many are aware, that besides acting in cameo roles, the ‘Albela’ composer had actually debuted as music director in Tamil movies titled  ‘Jayakodi’ and ‘Vana Mohini’.  Enthuses veteran composer Pyarelal (of Laxmikant -Pyarelal fame), “Not only did ‘Annasaheb’  have a tall, handsome personality, he was a versatile genius who had a terrific command over both Indian and Western music. That’s how he has left behind a legacy of  hummable, evergreen songs.”

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