It is the 24th death anniversary of Kishore Kumar. Born as Abhash Kumar Ganguly, the talent of legendary playback singer and actor of Hindi cinema stood out all the more as he did not have a formal training in music. He was the younger brother of another legendary actor Ashok Kumar.
Born on August 4, 1929 in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, Kishore was still a child when his brother Ashok Kumar became a star in Bollywood. Later, Anoop Kumar, Ashok’s next brother, also ventured into Bollywood. This influenced young Kishore Kumar in a great way. In 1947, Kishore Kumar followed his elder brothers’ footsteps and came to Mumbai to pursue a career in films.
Kishore, however, was not interested in acting. His real ambition was to become a successful playback singer.
In 1948 that he got his first opportunity to sing Marne Ki Duayen Kyon Mangu for Dev Anand in Ziddi under the baton of Khemchand Prakash.
However, it was SD Burman who made Kishore the superstar singer of the seventies, when he chose him to sing Roop Tera Mastana, Pyar Mera Diwana and Mere Sapnon Ki Raani Kab Aayegi Tu for Rajesh Khanna in the super hit Aradhana. The success of the film made Kishore the voice of Rajesh Khanna.
But before Rajesh Khanna arrived on the scene SD Burman had made him the voice of Dev Anand with super hit music in films like Guide, Jewel Thief and Paying Guest. Songs like Maana Janab Ne Pukara Nahin and Gaata Rahe Mera Dil were evergreen hits.
It is said that Kishore Kumar was so mad about singing that he used every trick in his armoury to ruin his acting career. He muffed his lines, pretended to be crazy, shaved his head, played difficult, and began yodelling in the middle of tragic scenes. Yet, his films like New Delhi, Asha, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Jhumroo, and Padosan all turned out to be super hits establishing Kishore Kumar as a comic actor.
Story first published: 13th October 2011