Kishore Kumar was a man of immense talent. At the age of 18 Kishore
came to Bombay where elder brother Ashok Kumar was a major star.
He got his first opportunity as a singer in Bombay Talkies Ziddi
(1948) where he sang the song Marne ki Duayen Kyon Mangu for Dev
Anand. Being an ardent admirer of K.L. Saigal, the song was sung
in the style of the legend.
he didn’t get the lucky break until S.D. Burman gave him
the song Qusoor Aapka in Bahar (1951) which became a hit. As
he got more singing assignments, he also began being offered
leading roles in films. Kishore was initially taken quite lightly
as a singer and was given mainly lighter songs by Burmanda and
other music directors. But with the soulful Dukhi Man Mere from
Funtoosh (1956), Kishore was now taken seriously as a singer.
was first noticed in 1955 in the hilarious Baap Re Baap which
was followed by Bhagambhhag, Bhai Bhai, Dilli Ka Thug, Naya
Andaaz, New Delhi, Aasha, Musafir, Shararat and many others.
In 1958, the three Ganguly brothers, Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar
and Anup Kumar came together in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, directed
by Satyen Bose. The film was a runaway hit and is today considered
as one of the finest films ever made in Indian history.
Kishore's marriage to Ruma Devi disintegrated, he married Madhubala.
The two starred in Jhumroo (1961), which Kishore produced and
directed. He also composed the music of the film. The riotous
Half Ticket (1962) with the two of them saw Kishore at his madcap
best impersonating a 12 year old! Door Gagan ki Chaon Main (1964)
further confirmed Kishore's acting talent as he scored heavily
in a rather serious film.
the black and white era came to an end and Kishore almost stopped
acting occasionally doing a Padosan, Sadhu Aur Shaitan, Pyar
Kiye Jaa, and a guest appearance in Bombay To Goa. There was
a lean period for some time, and then in 1969 came Aradhana
and Rajesh Khanna, India's first superstar for whom Kishore
Kumar churned out some of the best songs of his career like
Roop Tera Mastana, Yeh Kya Hua, Chingari Koi Bhadke, Ye Lal
Rang, O Mere Dil Ke Chain and many more. It was a second coming
and there was no turning back.
formed a solid hit pairing with Rajesh Khanna and in the early
70s the duo churned out hit after hit. He overtook all competition
and was the undisputed number one male playback singer of Hindi
films, his voice pulsing with verve and exuberance. After bagging
the prestigious Filmfare award seven times, in 1985 the actor-singer-comedian
announced his retirement and expressed his desire to settle
down in Khandwa, his hometown. But on October 13, 1987 he went
away quietly after a massive stroke thus leaving a void that
can never be filled.