Monday, 8 April 2013

One Movie, One Singer, Many Faces!!

In a single movie, one singer sings for more than 2 characters! There have been many instances when a singer sings for 2 characters in a single movie. Rafi used to do it regularly in the 50s when he used to sing both for the hero as well as Johny Walker or some other comedian in the same movie like Pyasa, Jaali Note, Madhumati, CID and many more. Kishore in the 70s also did such stuff quite a lot like Namak Haram, Mere Apne, Naya Zamana etc . But, one singer singing for 3 or more characters in one single movie in different songs is not very common and is worth delving in. This is a very interesting scenario and we would try to find out some movies where a single singer has done playback service for 3 or more characters in 3 or more different songs. Our period of discussion would confine within 1950 to 1990. Note: Examples like Lata Mangeshkar singing for 3 heroines in one single song- Humko tumse ho gaya hai pyar(Amar Akbar Anthony-1977) are not qualified, as the criteria is three different songs for three different people in one single movie.

Khatta Meetha(1978):
Kishore Kumar sang for as many as 4 characters in 4 different songs  in the same movie called Khatta Meetha released in 1978. He sang “Mummy O Mummy” for Deven Verma(superb playback mimicry); then “Tumse mila tha pyar” for Rakesh Roshan and then “Thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai” for Ranjit Chowdhury and last but not the least, the title song “Jeena hai angoor ka dana” for his elder brother Ashok Kumar!!! Pooh… all these in one single movie. He was just all over the place in this album.  Music Director Rajesh Roshan must have trusted his singer unconditionally here, and he must have been super satisfied as well!
Asha Bhosle sang for 3 ladies in 3 different songs in  this B R Chopra multistarrer, soundtrack composed by Ravi. She had “Aage bhi jaane na tu” for Erica Lal, “ Kaun aaya ke nigahon mein” for Sadhana and  “Din hai bahar ke” for Sharmila Tagore.  Asha Bhosle was the most versatile and there is no doubt about it, and listening to Waqt reiterates the truth. And she sounds different in each of these songs, especially the first one, one of the most beautiful Waltz composed in Hindi film music.
Laxmikant Pyarelal’s never ending faith on Lata Mangeshkar again got projected as they used Lata for 3 heroines in 3 different songs in this one album- “Pardes jaake pardesiya” on Reena Roy, “Likhnewale ne likh dale” on Parveen Babi and “ Teri meri shaadi hogi” on Preeti Sapru.
Asha Bhosle again- singing all the way through! Right from “Daiya re daiya main” for Asha Parekh through “Piya tu ab to aaja” for Helen to “Goriyan kaha tera des re” for Aruna Irani. She also delivered a “double playback” in “ Ab jo mile hai” giving parallel playbacks to Aruna Irani and Asha Parekh. Who else but R D Burman could have shown such confidence on her? Mesmerizing.
Chhote Nawab(1961):
R D Burman’s first released movie as an independent music director was a tribute to Lata Mangeshkar. Again, the melody queen was at the pinnacle of her performance! She sang for Sheila Vaaz in “Ghar aaja ghir aayee badra”; Helen in “Matwali aankhonwale” and Ameeta in “Aaj hua mera dil matwala”.  What an album it was, by the way!

P.S: My friend Mr. Apoorv Moghe has added some more such albums to the list. I am mentioning them here. Apoorv is a young and very knowledgable follower of Golden Era Film music. He can be reached at and runs a website on Lata Mangeshkar called

1. Mohd Rafi in Howrah Bridge(1958)- 4 for 4! Mehmood, Om Prakash, Sundar and Pachhi for four different songs. MD: O P Nayyar.

2. Lata Mangeshkar in Pocketmaar(1956)- 4 for 4! Geeta Bali,Nadira, Sheila Kashmiri and Minu Mumtaz. MD: Madan Mohan.

3. Lata Mangeshkar in Mughal-E-Azam(1960)- 3 for 3! Madhubala, Nigar Sultana and Shelia Dalaya. MD: Naushad.

4. Mohd Rafi in CID(1956)- 3 for 3. Dev Anand, Johny Walker, Shyam Kapoor. MD: O P Nayyar.

Mr. Parthiv Dhar has added one more album:

5. Kishore Kumar in Umang(1970)- 3 for 4. Satish Kaul, Subhas Ghai, Paintal and Asrani. MD: Shankar Jaikishen.

Mr. Shahshi Rao has added another album:

6. Asha Bhosle in the Burning Train(1980)- Hema Malini, Parveen Babai and Asha Sachdeva. MD: R D Burman.

Keep an eye here for more updates. Many thanks, Apoorv, Shashi and Parthiv ji!


  1. Rafi sang for four characters in Haqeeqat.He sang Main ye soch kar for Sudhir, Masti mein chhed ke for Vijay Anand and hoke majboor for two actors probably Johny Bakshi and Prem Sagar.

    1. Haqeeqat did hover around my mind! Was not sure of Main ye soch kar and Hoke majboor being different actors!! Thanks a lot for that info, sir!! Really useful.

    2. Interestingly, Rafi sang for Bhupendra as well in "Hoke majboor", while Bhupendra sang for someone else!!

  2. Hi Arghya da, two more examples from my side. Kangan (1959), Geeta Dutt ji sings for three actresses: Nishi (Aag lagaana kya mushkil hai), Shammi (Jawab nahin gore mukhde par) and Nirupa Roy (Likh padh, padh likh ke accha sa raja beta ban).
    Another example from Ardhangini (1959) where Geeta ji sings for three actresses: Amita (Tune joh idhar dekha), Shubha Khote (Kal sajna milna yahan) and Naaz (Dil hum toh haare). All the six songs are available on YT.

  3. Once again Geeta ji for Aarpaar (1954): Shakila (Babuji dheere chalna), Shyama (Ja ja ja bewafa) and Noor (Are na na na tauba tauba). Again Geeta ji in Pyaasa : Mala Sinha (Hum aapki aankhon mein), Waheeda (Jaane kya tune kahin) and unknown actress (Aaj sajan mohe). Jogan (1950): Nargis (Daro re rang), Tabassum (Gend kheloon kanha ke sang) and unknown actress (Mat ja mat ja jogi).

  4. Mr and Mrs 55: Madhubala (Suniye mister chalbaaz), Yasmin (Jane kahan mera jigar), Cuckoo (Neele aasmaani).

    Chhoomantar: Anita Guha (Raat nasheeli rang rangeeli), Shyama (Jab badal lehraya), Johny Walker (Gori gori raat hai),

  5. Baaz (1953): Geeta Bali (Aye watan ke naujawan), Yashodhara Katju (Manjhi albele chalo re haule haule) and Kuldeep Kaur (Taare chandni afsaane)