Mohammed Rafi – India’s greatest “singer gem”

Mohammed Rafi Saheb,

On hearing his name one feels a sensitive and very sweet voice! One of the most famous playback singers in the history of Indian music, the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi ji has left an indelible mark on the film industry with his soulful voice and versatility. These days there are discussions about your love, it should be such a romantic song, break the stick of hatred and throw the dagger of greed…. Country lovers, there should be such a patriotic song, there should be such a classical song in Madhuban Me Mi Radhika Naache Re, there should be such a ghazal like ‘Rang Aur Noor Ki Baaraat Kise Pesh Karu’, there should be such a ghazal like ‘Sukh Me Sab Sathi Dukh Me Na Koi Koi Bhajan’, ‘Parda Hai Parda Hai’, there should be such a qawwali. Nazar Jaati Nahi Manzil Aisa Sad Song Ho Mohammad Rafi Sahab has sung each song with great dedication and effectively. Apart from about 25 thousand film songs which attract the body and mind, let us understand a little more about the musical life journey of the great Padmashree Md. Mohammed Rafi Saheb, who impressed music lovers with his multifaceted singing prowess in about two and a half thousand non-film songs. Try it!

Mohammed Rafi
Mohammed Rafi

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Rafi ji was born on December 24, 1924 in an ordinary house in Kotla Sultan Singh, a village in Amritsar district of the United Punjab province of British India. His journey from a humble background to music stardom is a testament to his innate talent and dedication. Rafi ji’s father’s name was Haji Ali Mohammad and mother’s name was Allahrakhi. He had a total of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Rafi ji was the 5th son out of 6 sons of his parents. Rafi ji’s nickname was “Feeko”, he was very fond of music since childhood. When Feeko was about 6 years old (in the late 1930s), Fico’s family came to Lahore for employment. Although his family had nothing to do with music, Fico was very interested in songs. At that time, when Mohammed Rafi was young, his elder brother had a barber shop, where Mohammed Rafi used to spend a lot of time in that shop. When Fico, at the age of seven-eight years, would hear a fakir singing a song passing by his elder brother’s shop, he would get inspired and follow him for some distance. Rafi liked the voice of that fakir very much and later he used to imitate his songs. Not only this, after seeing the specialty in the imitation of younger Rafi ji, people also started liking Rafi ji’s voice and they also started praising his singing in that barber shop. His father did not approve of all these things, yet his elder brother Mohammad Hameed, seeing his growing inclination towards music, sent him to learn music under the tutelage of Ustad Barkat Ali and Ustad Wahid Khan Sahib of Lahore. Due to which Rafi got a favorable environment to further develop his musical abilities. Due to which he kept progressing in this field.

Mohammed Rafi

In 1938, a music program of the then famous music singer Shri Kundanlal Sehgal (K.L. Sehgal) was organized in Lahore. This 13 year old boy named Mohammed Rafi was also present in the audience. The organizers brought Rafi on the stage to entertain the people. The public was happily enjoying the program with the singing of this teenage boy. Sehgal Saheb had arrived during this song. He also heard Rafi and was happy and blessed him and also asked him to come to Mumbai. Later on, as per the blessings of Sehgal Saheb and on the strength of his own spiritual practice, Rafi continued to achieve success.

His entry into playback singing began in 1941 with the Punjabi film “Gul Baloch”, but it was in the Hindi film industry that Mohammed Rafi really made his mark. Success came in 1945 with the song “Aji Dil Ho Kaabu Mein To Dildaar Ki Aisi Taisi” from the film “Gaon Ki Gori”. Mohammed Rafi’s soulful delivery and impeccable command of the tune enthralled the audience, marking the beginning of an illustrious career.

The 1950s and 1960s were the golden years of Mohammed Rafi’s career. Shankar Jaikishan, S.D. Such as collaborations with famous music directors. Burman, and R.D. Burman, he presented a series of classic tunes spanning diverse styles. From classical gems like “Madhuban Mein Radhika” to soul-stirring qawwalis like “Na To Caravan Ki Talaash Hai”, Rafi displayed unmatched versatility.

His ability to adapt to the distinctive styles of actors further strengthened his position. Mohammed Rafi seamlessly transitioned from singing romantic songs for Dev Anand to powerful and energetic songs for Shammi Kapoor. This adaptability endeared him to filmmakers and ensured that his songs became an integral part of the story, enhancing the on-screen experience.

In recognition of his extraordinary contributions, Mohammed Rafi received the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer a remarkable six times. Recognizing his significant influence in the fields of art and music, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 1967. Rafi’s mastery of various genres, coupled with his emotional singing, distinguishes him as an excellent playback singer.

मोहम्मद रफी Mohammed Rafi
मोहम्मद रफी Mohammed Rafi

Beyond the borders of India, Mohammed Rafi’s music found resonance internationally. His songs not only enthralled the audience in Pakistan but also gained popularity in the Middle East and other regions. Tracks like “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho” and “Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai” crossed linguistic barriers, becoming timeless classics that continue to evoke emotions across the world.

Despite facing stiff competition from emerging talents, Mohammed Rafi remained relevant. His collaborations with contemporary music directors ensured a steady stream of chart-topping hits. The ability to evolve with changing musical trends demonstrated Rafi’s adaptability, cementing his status as an evergreen icon.

Mohammed Rafi’s untimely demise at the age of 55 on July 31, 1980 left a void in the music industry that is irreplaceable. However, his legacy lives on through his extensive discography and the influence he has had on successive generations of playback singers. Tributes poured in from fans and fellow artists, mourning the loss of a maestro whose influence transcended time.

To pay tribute to Mohammed Rafi’s enduring legacy, several awards and honors have been established in his name. The Mohammed Rafi Awards, established in 2006, recognize outstanding contributions to the music industry, ensuring that their memories live on. Several documentaries and biographical films have also been made to immortalize the life and career of this musical icon.

Mohammed Rafi’s influence extended beyond the field of music. His songs serve as a cultural touchstone, reflecting the socio-political landscape of the time. Whether expressing the joys of new love or the sadness of separation, Mohammed Rafi’s voice encompasses the spectrum of human emotions.

As we relive the golden era of Hindi cinema, Rafi’s songs continue to resonate, providing a sonic backdrop to countless memories. Each performance, a masterpiece in its own right, underlines the depth of Rafi’s artistry. His ability to infuse emotion into every note ensures that his songs remain timeless, transcending the boundaries of age and era.

मोहम्मद रफी Mohammed Rafi

A postal stamp was issued by the Government of India in 2016 in the memory of Mohammed Rafi and he was honored with Padma Shri in 1965.
Year 1968 – Babul Ki Duayan Leti Ja (Film: Neelkamal), 1977 – Kya Hua Tera Vaada (Film: Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin) These two songs were awarded by the Government of India!

Filmfare Awards (nominated and won)
1960 – Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho (Film – Chaudhvin Ka Chand) – Vijayt
1961 – Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahi (Film – Gharana)
1961 – Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko (Film – Sasural) – Vijit
1962 – Ae Gulbadan (Film – Professor)
1963 – Mere Mehboob Tujhe Meri Mohabbat Ki Kasam (Film – Mere Mehboob)
1964 – Chahunga Mein Tujhe (Film – Dosti) – Vijay
1965 – Let the delicate lips touch (film – Kajal)
1966 – Baharon Phool Barsao (Film – Suraj) – Vijay
1968 – Main Gaun Tum So Jaao (Film – Brahmachari)
1968 – Babul Ki Duaane Leti Jaa (Film – Neelkamal)
1968 – Dil Ke Jharokhe Mein (Film – Brahmachari) – Vijit
1969 – Badi Mushkil Hai (Film – Jeene Ki Raah)
1970 – Knowing you are a toy, you break my heart (film – Khilona)
1973 – Humko To Jaan Se Pyaari Hai (Film – Naina)
1974 – Achcha Hi Hua Dil Tut Gaya (Film – Mother, Sister and Wife)
1977 – Parda Hai Parda (Film – Amar Akbar Anthony)
1977 – Kya Hua Tera Vaada (Film – Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin) –Vijit
1978 – Aadmi Musafir Hai (Film – Apnapan)
1979 – Chalo Re Doli Uthaao Kahar (Film – Jaani Dushman)
1979 – Mere Dost Kissa Yeh (Film – Dostana)
1980 – Dard-e-Dil, Dard-e-Zigar (Film – Karz)
1980 – I asked the moon (film – Abdullah)

In conclusion, the life and career of Mohammed Rafi is the epitome of artistic excellence. From humble beginnings to global acclaim, his journey is a testament to the transformative power of music. The legacy he left is a source of inspiration for aspiring musicians and a treasure trove for connoisseurs of timeless tunes. Mohammed Rafi’s voice, full of passion and emotion, resonates through the ages, ensuring that he will remain an eternal maestro in the field of Indian playback singing.

Mohammad Rafi’s Youtube Song Channel : CLICK ME

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