Wow, end of July is a good time for singers to be born! Sonu and then Rafi. Sonu I was at least able to make a start at listing all his important songs, Rafi I can’t even attempt that challenge. So don’t look at this as a comprehensive list, just a starting point.
1.I love you because your death in 1980 resulted in 2 days of national mourning declared by the government of India, and inspired a funeral procession of 10,000 people.
2. I love you because you chose your country over your family, your in-laws were killed in the Partition riots which drove your wife to move to Pakistan, but you chose to remain in India even if it meant losing her.
3. I love you because you were humble, arguing with Lataji that singers have no write to royalties, their payment for their song is all they deserve.
4. Now, songs! Again, selected at random because there is so much good Rafi, it is overwhelming. I’ll start with one of my favorites, “Kya Hua” from Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.
5. And then just an all around brilliant classic, “Yeh Duniya” from Pyaasa.
6. Something a little faster and less melancholy, “Yahoo” from Junglee.
7. Another Shammi hit, with one of my all time favorite refrains (“dekho dekho dekho dekho dekho….An Evening in Paris!”)
8. Back to some bleak Guru Dutt songs instead of happy Shammi, “Chaudvin Ka Chand” from the movie of the same name.
9. A happy one from a strange fun movie! And such a catchy song that it has outlived the film, “Gulabi Aankhen” from The Train.
10. Rafi worked from the late 40s through to the 70s, making the leap from classical songs to RD Burman modern stuff, like the duet with Ashaji “Chura Liya Hai Tumne”
11. Amazing flexible voice, could do anything from straight songs, to the sort of spoken patter of “Pucho Na Yaar Kya Hua” from Zamaana Ko Dikhane Hai.
12. And to round out the dozen, back where we began, another sweet song from Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, “Chand Mere Dil”.