It is Padma Shri Kalyanji Virji Shah’s death anniversary today. He is the first half of the Kalyanji-Anandji music duo. Kalyanji (Kalyanji Virji Shah) and Anandji (Anandji Virji Shah) are brothers. Kalyanji got a break in Bollywood with the performance of the Been music from Nagin (1954). His son Viju Shah is also a music director. The duo won Filmfare Award for Kora Kagaz (1974).
On his 19th death anniversary, here’s looking at facts about his life and career:
- Kalyanji Bhai of Kalyanji Anandji duo was a music composer of 1960s and 1970s. Kalyanji and Anandji were children of a businessman who migrated from Kutch to Bombay. Kalyanji was the eldest of three brothers.
- Kalyanji started his career as a musician, with a new electronic instrument called the clavioline. which was used for the famous “Nagin Been,” used in the film Nagin (1954) which had the music of Hemant Kumar. Initially, he along with his younger brother Ananji formed a musical group called Kalyanji Virji and Party which organized musical shows in Mumbai and outside.
- They came at a time when big music directors like S.D. Burman, Hemant Kumar, Madan Mohan, Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan and Ravi were ruling the Hindi film music world – and it was a golden period of film music – it was very tough to make a place amongst them. The Bharat Bhushan–Nirupa Roy hit Samrat Chandragupta (1959) was their first film as Kalyanji Virji Shah, the song of that film”Chahe Paas Ho” a duet by Rafi and Lata became hit,
- Another film Post Box 999 came simultaneously, the song “NEEND NA MUJH KO AYE” became an instant hit. Another song “MERE DIL MAIN HAI EK BAAT” also became popular.
- The younger brother Anandji who was assisting him till then, joined him officially to form the Kalyanji Anandji duo in Satta Bazar and Madari (1959). The Duo’s First musical hit was “CHALLIA” (1961). All the songs of that film were hit.”Dam Dam Diga Diga” and”Chhalia Mera Naam” were very popular among masses.
- Kalyanji passed away on August 24, 2000, in Bombay after a prolonged illness.