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West Bengal remembers maverick music composer R.D. Burman on his 80th birth anniversary

Bengal remembers maverick music composer R D Burman on his birth anniversary

Maverick music composer Rahul Dev Burman, fondly known as R.D Burman, would have celebrated his 80th birthday on Thursday, had he been alive and the film fraternity believes the legendary musician would have been a hit with audiences even today.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee remembered the legendary music composer on the occasion. “Fondly remembering Rahul Dev Burman, legendary music composer, on his birth anniversary,” Banerjee posted on her social networking page.

Music composer, playback singer, and stage performer Usha Uthup‏ in a tweet said, “Pancham da, there will never be another one like you. We all love you and miss you. Happy Birthday, Pancham da.”

Bengali actress Arpita Chatterjee‏ in her tweet said, “Remembering the most influential composer of the Indian film industry, Pancham Da on his birth anniversary. His impeccably brilliant music creations will stay evergreen. My sincere tribute to him.”

Born on this day in 1939, R.D. Burman, also known as Pancham da, is undoubtedly one of the most famous music composers of Indian cinema. He served as an influence to the next generation of Indian music directors and his songs continue to be popular in India and overseas

The Kolkata based R.D. Burman Fan Club members raised a toast to the immortal musician’s photographs and posters with sweets, garlands, candles, cakes and fond memories in his honour.

Son of the legendary music director Sachin Dev Burman, R.D. Burman started his journey with Chhote Nawab (1961). After that, he brought a refreshing change with his extraordinary compositions like ‘Raat kali’ (Buddha Mil Gaya), the sensual cabaret number ‘Piya tu ab toh aaja’ (Caravan), the ultimate hippie anthem ‘Dum maro dum’ (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) and the classical ‘Raina beeti jaaye’ (Amar Prem).

Pancham married Rita Patel in 1966 but divorced her in 1971. He then married singer Asha Bhosle in 1980. Together, they recorded many memorable tunes and staged many live performances.

Apparently, some of the tunes credited to his father, the popular music director S.D. Burman, were actually composed by R.D. Burman. Some of such super hit songs include ‘Sar jo tera chakraye’ (Pyaasa), ‘Mere apno ki rani kab aayegi tu’ (Aradhana) and ‘Kora kagaz tha yeh mann mera’ (Aradhana).

R.D. Burman’s first hit film as a film music director was Teesri Manzil (1966). He gave credit to lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for recommending him to Nasir Hussain, the producer and writer of the film.

In the 1970s, Burman became highly popular with the Kishore Kumar songs in Rajesh Khanna-starrer films. Kati Patang (1970), a musical hit, was the beginning of a series of the 1970s films directed by Shakti Samanta of Aradhana fame. Its songs ‘Yeh shaam mastani’ and ‘Yeh jo mohabbat hai’, sung by Kishore Kumar, became instant hits.

Apart from Kishore Kumar, Burman also composed several of the popular songs sung by Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar.

In 1970, R.D. Burman composed the music for Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971). The Asha Bhosle song ‘Dum maro dum’ from this film proved to be a seminal rock number in Hindi film music. The filmmaker Dev Anand did not include the complete version of ‘Dum maro dum’ in the film, because he was worried that the song would overshadow the film.

In the same year, R.D. Burman composed the music for Amar Prem. The Lata Mangeshkar song ‘Raina beeti jaaye’ from this soundtrack is regarded as a classical music gem in Hindi film music.

Burman’s other hits in 1971 included the romantic song ‘Raat kali ek khwab mein’ from Buddha Mil Gaya and the Helen-starrer cabaret song ‘Piya tu ab toh aaja’ from Caravan. He received his first Filmfare Award nomination for Caravan.

In 1972, Burman composed music for several films, including Seeta Aur Geeta, Rampur Ka Lakshman, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Bombay to Goa, Apna Desh and Parichay. His success continued with hits such as Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Aap ki Kasam (1974), Sholay (1975) and Aandhi (1975).

He also composed a song for a small documentary film called Maa Ki Pukaar, in 1975. After his father S. D. Burman went into a coma, Burman also completed the music of Mili (1975).

The trio Rajesh Khanna-Kishore-R.D. Burman have worked together in 32 films together, and these films and songs continue to be popular. The trio were close friends. R.D.Burman composed for 40 films for Rajesh Khanna

RD was nominated 18 times at the Filmfare Awards in the Best Music Director category. Of these, he won thrice for Sanam Teri Kasam (1983), Masoom (1984) and 1942 A Love Story (1995). Incidentally, he won his last award posthumously.
He has scored music for over 300 films in various languages including Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
R.D. Burman died at age of 54 on January 4, 1994 in Mumbai. (UNI)

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