Naushad Ali death anniversary: The 5th of May marks the anniversary of the passing of legendary musician Naushad Ali, who is justifiably regarded as the first superstar composer of Indian cinema. The music director, composer, and lyricist revolutionised Hindi film songs by introducing classical Indian music in a manner that was widely appreciated and consumed.
Naushad was born in Lucknow on December 25, 1919, and grew up enjoying music. Not only did he study Hindustani classical music with masters such as Ustad Ghurbat Ali, Ustad Yusuf Ali, and Ustad Babban Saheb, but he also began studying film music curation at a very young age. When talkies arrived in India in the 1930s, Naushad was mesmerised by the manner in which music was paired with narratives. Despite his parents’ disapproval, he joined a theatre group and eventually fled away to Mumbai to pursue a career in film.
His career in Mumbai began with Naushad sleeping on the sidewalk across from Broadway Theatre and ended with his finest hits being performed in the same venue. Some of his contributions were noteworthy, particularly his use of classical raags and his collaboration with vocalists such as Amir Khan, D.V. Paluskar, and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. In an earlier interview to this writer, he described at detail how he used raags ‘Bhairav’ with traces of ‘Kalingda’ (on ‘Mohe Bhool Gaye Saawariya’), ‘Darbari’ (‘O Duniya Ke Rakhwale’) and ‘Malkauns’ (‘Man Tadapat’) in Baiju Bawra , and ‘Hameer’ on ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika’ in Kohinoor .
It is widely known that he collaborated extensively with lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, and that they would spend hours at Naushad’s Ashiana bungalow on Carter Road, Bandra, writing tunes. Naushad revolutionised sound mixing and the idea of distinct vocal and orchestral tracks. Naushad was conversant with both Western and Indian classical and folk music arrangements.
In a career spanning 65 years (1937-2005), Naushad composed music for 65 released films and composed 636 compositions; 373 solos, 115 duets, and 148 chorus and mixed numbers. 19 of his films were classified as silver jubilees (running for 25 weeks), eight as golden jubilees (running for 50 weeks), and six as diamond jubilees (running for more than 60 weeks). In addition to a successful career in film music, Naushad received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1981) and the Padma Bhushan (1992). After decades of filmmaking, Naushad passed away on May 5, 2006.