R.D Burman: Sire of Music

R.D Burman: Sire of Music

Any discussion on Indian Bollywood music is incomplete without the comparison between old songs and new songs. More often than not we end up cropping up with the results in favor of old songs. Unlike new songs, old songs have an essence which keeps them afresh in our heart, mind and soul. Today, on the Seventy Fifth birth anniversary of legendary music composer Rahul Dev Burman, One World News remembers the golden era of Bollywood music. Though his physical presence will always be missed but his tunes will remain with us, forever. .

Popularly known as Pancham Da, R.D Burman is a name which can never be omitted from any true music lover’s heart. Born on 27th June, 1939 in Calcutta to music composer-singer Sachin Dev Burman and his lyricist wife Meera Dev Burman, he had music in his genes. He was a lover of music from his childhood period itself. At the age of nine he gave the first music of his life Aye Meri Topi Palat Ke Aaye (Funtoosh), and another famous song Sar Jo Tera Chakraye (Pyaasa). R.D Burman began assisting his father from a very young age, clearly an indication of a genius in the making. He used to play the Harmonica and Tabla, he also played the mouth organ for his father’s super hit song Hai Apna Dil Toh Awaara (Solva Saal).


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R.D Burman’s first released film, as an independent music director was Chhote Nawab (1961). He later developed a close association with famous actor Mehmood, and did a cameo (as well as with composing the music) in Mehmood’s directorial debut Bhoot Bangla (1965).

Burman’s first hit movie as a film music director was Teesri Manzil (1966). Padosan was yet another film which went onto to become a huge hit, with some memorable songs of Indian cinema. In 1970’s R.D. Burman’s popularity was at its peak. He composed music for many super hit movies starring Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna and other superhit actors of that time. His work with Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar were mostly appreciated. He received his first Filmfare Award nomination for Piya Tu Abh Toh Aaja (Caravan). He received his first Filmfare Best Music Director Award for Sanam Teri Kasam (1981).

Pancham Da married Asha Bhonsle in the year 1980 and went onto to do numerous songs with her. In the year 1988 he suffered a heart attack and in 1989, the child prodigy also underwent a bypass surgery at Princess Grace Hospital in London. During this period also, he composed many tunes which were never released. He composed music for Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s movie Parinda in 1989. He composed one song called Chhod Ke Na Jaana which was sung by Asha Bhonsle for the movie Gang. But since the movie took too long to release and due to his untimely death, director Mazhar Khan signed in the then little known Anu Malik as the music director for the movie. Then mavin Kombath, a Malayalam film by Priyadarshan was the last film he signed, but unfortunately he died before he could score for the film.


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The music of 1942: A Love Story (1994) was released after his death, and was highly successful. It won him the third and last of his Filmfare Awards. And showed the world what a gem Pancham Da was.

Some of the most remembered and loved songs by R.D Burman

• Ghar Aaja Ghir Aayi (Chote Nawab 1961)
• Oo Ganga Maiyya ( Teesri Manjil1961)
• Raina beete Jaye (Amar Prem1972)
• Beete Na bitaye Raina (Parichay1973)
• Hame aur jeene ki chahat na hoti (Agar TumNa Hote 1980)

Filmfare awards:

• 1983 – Best Music Director (Sanam Teri Kasam).
• 1984 – Best Music Director –(Masoom)
• 1995 – Best Music Director –(1942: A Love Story)

Musafir Hoon Yaaron Na Ghar Hai Na Thikaana
Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai .. Bas Chalte Jaana

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