Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A GLIMPSE OF THE MELODIOUS 40S.
Jaysworldofmusic has not been active during the last three months as I was depressingly away from my gramophones and gramophone records. I was visiting UAE during this period and without the records and record players by my side, obviously, Jaysworldofmusic can only be inactive.
During my visits to UAE I used to search for gramophones and old records apart from shopping/window shopping for new electronic musical equipments/gadgets which used to be displayed in bulk at all super markets and prominent dealers in electronic equipments. This time I found a huge lull in the market with most of them stocking only limited quantities and, unlike in the past, people were not thronging to buy them. Yes, the recession is having its depressive influence on the market. Peoples' taste also appeared to be changing. They no longer go for the big hi-fi music systems; instead they prefer tiny, portable, versatile musical gadgets like a variety of MP3/MP4/MP5 gadgets at the lower end and the Blackberrys, ipads/iphones, Galaxy tabs etc. at the higher end. High quality, but easily portable, speaker systems to which these gadgets can be docked are also in huge demand in spite of the fairly high price. Well, changing times and changing tastes.
Unfortunately this time, I could not get any record player in spite of extensive searches. The dealers who used to get them are no longer interested in selling them. Sadly, one shop which used to stock gramophones, amplifiers, mixers, radios and similar gadgets of my interest has been sold off and in its place a ready made garments shop is now functioning !! To my utter disappointment, the new owners told me that the stock of gramophones etc., were sold off as scrap a few days back!! Mr. Anil from Thiruvalla, who used to be in charge of the shop in the past could not be contacted in his usual mobile number!
Of course I could get a few Hindi LP records through my friends and one among them, viz., FILM FAVOURITES OF THE FORTIES took me back again to those nostalgic and melodious years of the 40s when big production houses ruled the Hindi film world. Names like Filmalaya, Kardar Productions/Stuidios, Filmstan, Bombay talkies, Famous Pictures etc., come readily to my mind. One side of the record has songs from films, Kismet, Basant, Jhoola and the immortal Mahal. As I type this, the song, 'Ayega Ayega Aane wala' tuned by Khemchand Prakash (Lyrics: J.Nakshab) and hauntingly sung by Lata, is playing on my record player. All the four films were produced by Bombay Talkies (1934-54) founded by Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, a studio which became the best equipped studio in India with a recording studio, editing room, stages and even a preview theatre. The company was even listed in the stock exchange during its heydays. The company which produced such path breaking films like ACHYUTH KANYA, JAWANI KI HAWA, KISMET, JAWAR BHATA, MAHAL, JHOOLA and so on had to down its shutters in 1954. I am told that a few small scale industrial units are now functioning on its 18 acre premises!
The other side of the record has two songs from film DARD, three songs from film DILLAGI and a song from SHARDA. All the songs were tuned by Naushad and the films are from another renowned Studio, viz., Kardar Productions which had downed its shutters long back. Two songs from DILLAGI are the immortal duets, but rarely heard these days except on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corpn. in the mornng,, sung by Suraiya and Shyam,''Too Mera Chaand" and "Zalim Zamana Mujhko'. The third is one of the early Rafi songs, "Tere Kooche men". These three songs with the Aaayega Aanewala song make this LP a collectors' item. One unusual feature of this LP is the absence of the names of the music directors, lyricists and singers on the jacket or even on the centre circle of the disc!! The names of the films with the beginning words of the songs and the names,'Bombay Talkies' and 'Kardar Productions' are prominently shown at the centre of the discs!
The decade of the 40s is a golden decade for Indian film industry and film music with films from Achyuth Kanya to Aag, Basant to Barsat , Anmol ghadi to Andaz ......... Well, about them , may be, some other time!