Kishore Kumar, born as Abhas Ganguly on August 4, 1929, was the youngest of four siblings. He had three older siblings Ashok (the eldest), Sati Devi, and Anoop. Ashok Kumar was already a film star while Kishore was still young. With the help of Ashok, Anoop too ventured into films. While spending time with brothers, Kumar became interested in films and music. He took up acting for a while, but singing was always his inner calling.
Kumar’s first break in singing came in the form of Chhota Sa Ghar Hoga (Naukri, 1954). Post that, he acted in many films but made sure he never compromised on music. Kishore starred in New Delhi (1957), Aasha (1957), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Half Ticket (1962), Ganga Ki Lehren and Padosan (1968) among others. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), his home production, had the three Ganguly brothers and Madhubala in lead roles.
In Half Ticket, for one of the songs - Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe - the music director Salil Chowdhary had a duet in mind and wanted Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar to sing the song. However, since Lata Mangeshkar was not in town and Salil Chowdhury had to record that song before she could return; Kishore Kumar solved the problem by singing both the male and female parts of the song himself. The duet is actually for Pran and Kishore Kumar on screen dressed as a woman.
Though Kishore Kumar passed away at a relatively young age (58), he is labelled as one of the 5 pillars of Bollywood music. He is still remembered as a complete entertainer who could leave you in splits, or could get your eyes welled up.
Today, on his 89th birth anniversary, we look back at some of Kishore’s most melodious numbers. Check them out:
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