At least 50 songs composed by R D Burman have been misplaced and to this day, remain unheard by his legion of fans across the nation and overseas. R D Burman’s 22nd death anniversary which falls today, in fact, would be the apt day for an investigation.
Are the songs rotting on tape spools, the medium on which they would be recorded in the pre-digital era? Or are they languishing with bygone filmmakers, who haven’t lifted a finger to restore and release the missing gems?
On being quizzed about this in an interview, the late composer’s wife and muse, Asha Bhosle, confirmed this. According to the legendary diva, “Yes, 50 to 60 songs composed by Pancham must be on spools somewhere. Some of these songs were recorded in the voices of didi (Lata Mangeshkar), Kishore Kumar and there was an excellent one sung by Shailendra Singh.”
Shailendra Singh, who’s in the shadows now, had made a sudden impact by giving the playback for the chartbusting songs of Bobby, besides a brief stint as an actor.
According to Asha, it would be a daunting task to locate and clean up the spools of Pancham’s songs. “Moreover, I can’t help feeling that some of the songs may have just fallen through the cracks or even stolen,” she has stated.
Burman, it is learnt had composed the entire soundtrack of songs for a film to be directed by Gogi Anand, nephew of Dev, Chetan and Vijay Anand. But the Pune Film Institute graduate Gogi, who had earlier directed Darling Darling with Dev Anand-Zeenat Aman, Doosri Sita with the then-Jaya Bhaduri and Double Cross with Vijay Anand-Rekha, passed away prematurely.
No one knows what happened to the Burman score for Anand’s project, which had to be shelved.
The chance of recovering the lost Burman treasure is remote, knowing Bollywood’s apathy. We at SpotboyE, however, believe firmly that a treasure hunt would surely yield results, which would be a treat-come-true for music lovers.
Thumbnail Image Source: youthconnect