Kishore Kumar, the genius playback singer who ruled Bollywood with his melodious voice in the 70 and the 80’s was not just a singer but was a ‘complete film industry’ in himself because from a proficient singer he was also an actor, director, producer, music director, story writer, screenplay writer, lyric writer, editor and distributor as well! His movie SHABAS DADDY credits all his multi talent. 

August 4 is the birth anniversary of the legendary singer. Raaga.Com remembers the great singer. Though Kishore Kumar shall be remembered as a singer yet prior to singing he had a long inning as an actor, which he termed as a chance and not by choice. 

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Born on 4th August 1929 in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, Kishore Kumar’s only ambition in life was to become the greatest singer of India. Hence day in and day out he used to sing songs of his idol, the famous K.L. Sehgal and dream of becoming the top singer.

After completing his education Kishore Kumar run to Bombay where his elder brother Ashok Kumar was then a superstar and wangled him an introduction to K.L. Saigal, whom he idolized. However destiny had something else in store for him. Hence he neither got the chance to meet K.L. Saigal nor did he get the break as a singer. Instead he was put in front of the camera. Left with no option he accepted the offer.

His first movie as an actor was Bombay Talkies ‘MUQADDAR’ in which he had a minor role. In the following year in 1953 he was cast as a hero in ‘ANDOLAN’ directed by Phani Majumdar. But his rear break came when he starred in A.V.M.’s ‘LADKI’ opposite big stars like Vyjantimala and Bharat Bhushan. In 1954 he established himself as a star with movies like ‘ADHIKAR’, ‘ILZAM’, ‘NAUKRI’ becoming big hits.

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In fact during the period of 55’ and 56’ he was the most sought after actor. Movies like ‘DELHI KA THUG’, ‘NEW DELHI’ ‘SHARARAT’ ‘AASHA’, ‘BHAI-BHAI’ etc. celebrated silver jubilees. During this period he acted with almost all the leading actresses of that time from Meena Kumari ( SHARARAT) ; Nimmi ( CHAR PAISA) ; Madhubala ( CHALTI KA NAMM GADI) ; Nutan ( DELHI KA THUG); Vyjantimala ( NEW DELHI) ; Anita Guha ( CHACHA ZINDABAD); Shashikala ( KROREPATI) etc.

It was during this period that he went into production also with ‘CHALTI KA NAAM GADI’. The movie was a runaway hit and remains as a best comedy in the annals of Hindi Cinema. After the success of this movie, Kishore Kumar tried few more movies like ‘DOOR GAGAN KI CHHAON MAIN’, ‘DOOR KA RAHI’ etc. but they failed miserably. Also on the other hand his acting career got a setback with movies like ‘HALF TICKET’, ‘MEM SAHAB’, ‘DAL MEIN KALA’ ‘ ALBELA MASTANA’ ‘DUNIYA NACHEGI’ ‘ SHREEMAN FANTOSH’ etc. failing at the box office.

NOTE: In the next issue read about Kishore Kumar’s raise as a singer