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SHANKAR JAIKISHAN

Awards
 
S-J won nine Filmfare awards for the best music composer for Chori Chori (1956) Anari (1959) Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee (1960) Professor (1963) Suraj (1966) Brahmachari (1968) Mera Naam Joker (1970) Pehchaan
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(1971) and Be-Imaan (1972). The last three awards were won in three successive years thereby making S-J the first composers to score a hat trick of these awards. The last of these awards also resulted in a controversy where actor Pran refused to accept his own trophy for the best supporting actor (for the film Be-Imaan) stating that the music of Pakeezah and not that of Be-Imaan was more deserving of the award.

S-J also came out tops in Binaca Geetmala the legendary countdown radio program on Hindi film music where their compositions were declared the most popular on six occasions (a record later equaled by Laxmikant Pyarelal). These songs were Mera joota hai japani in 1955 (Shree 420) Teri pyari pyari surat ko in 1961 (Sasural) Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par in 1962 (Junglee) Bol radha bol in 1964 (Sangam) Baharon phool barsaao in 1966 (Suraj) and Zindagi ek safar hai suhana in 1971 (Andaaz). In 1959 seven of the top ten songs for the year were composed by S-J a sort of record that stands perhaps to this date though the top honors for that year went to SD Burman.
Biography
 
Early years

Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi (October 25 1922 � April 26 1987) was a native of Hyderabad while Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal (November 4 1929 � September 12 1971) belonged to Vansada Gujarat.

During his formative years Shankar played the tabla and learned the art formally from Baba Nasir Khansahib. For many years Shankar studied as a disciple of the legendary composer Khawaja
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Khurshid Anwar in whose orchestra he performed. Jaikishan was adept at playing the harmonium. Subsequently he obtained his musical lessons from Sangeet Visharad Wadilalji and later from Prem Shankar Nayak. After moving to Bombay he became a disciple of Vinayak Tambe.

Shankar and Jaikishan met in Bombay and formed a friendship that was to last until the death of Jaikishan in 1971. Shankar started his career with a theater group run by Satyanarayan and Hemawati before shifting to Prithvi Theater where he played tabla and performed some minor roles in plays. He also introduced Jaikishan to his employers as a harmonium player. The two of them later played significant roles in the play �Pathan�.

Subsequently they worked as assistants for the leading composer duo of Husnlal Bhagatram and continued to remain in touch with Raj Kapoor who was working as an assistant to the famous director Kidar Sharma. The three had met at Prithvi Theater run by Raj Kapoor�s father Prithviraj Kapoor.

First break

Raj Kapoor made his debut as a director with the film �Aag� in 1948. While the film received a mixed response at the box office its musical score proved to be quite popular. However Raj Kapoor had some serious differences with Ram Ganguly the music composer of the film and decided to try out a new composer for his next venture �Barsaat� in 1949.

Himself no novice when it came to matters musical Raj Kapoor took on board a completely new team of composers Shankar and Jaikishan (who had assisted Ram Ganguly for �Aag�) and lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri (a former bus conductor). He also co-opted the upcoming singing talent Lata Mangeshkar and repeated Mukesh as his own ghost voice. In due course this team was to prove to be one of the most successful musical combinations of all times perhaps second only to the combination of Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra Hasrat Jaipuri Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi.

Barsaat was a super hit both commercially and musically. Among other things it established Lata Mangeshkar as the undisputed queen of Hindi film music. It also had the distinction of giving two firsts to Hindi cinema � a title song (Barsaat mein hamse miley tum) and a cabaret (Patli kamar hai). The film propelled Shankar Jaikishan on the road to musical superstardom and to a stature that remains unmatched to this date.

Early successes

The success of Barsaat opened many doors for Shankar Jaikishan popularly known by the acronym S-J. Never the ones to rest on their laurels they continued to improve upon their ever lofty standards and their association with any film generally was one of the most important factors in its success.

Among their early hits Aawara Aah Shree 420 Basant Bahar Halaku Patita Kathputli Anari Chori Chori Daag Baadshah Boot Polish and Ujala are barely a few of the prominent ones.

In the film Aawara they successfully supported the first ever �dream sequence� by two stunningly orchestrated songs viz. Tere bina aag yeh chandni and Ghar aaya mera pardesi though the latter had more than a few shades of a Mohammed Abdel Wahab (considered the �father of the modern Egyptian song�) composition.

The songs Aawara hoon from the film Awaara and Mera joota hai Japani from the film Shree 420 were big hits in the Soviet Union and East European countries as well and helped turn Raj Kapoor (on whom the songs were picturized) into a cult figure in those regions.

Musical collaborators

S-J formed a core team with lyricists Shailendra (himself regarded as perhaps the greatest of his ilk) and Hasrat Jaipuri and with singers Mohd. Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. They also patronized the immensely talented singer Manna Dey who sang his best songs with them and used Mukesh�s silken voice as playback for Raj Kapoor. Among the directors they worked most closely with Raj Kapoor and were considered the kingpins of his legendary banner RK Films.

S-J also worked with most of the other singers of that time. Toward the later part of their career they had a good working relationship with singers Sharda and Kishore Kumar and lyricists Neeraj Verma Malik and Rajinder Krishan.

While they composed music for all the top heroes of their time they enjoyed an excellent run with the films of Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar apart from those of Raj Kapoor.

S-J were the �house composers� for RK Films and produced some of their best work for the banner. Raj Kapoor used to maintain a music bank where he stored compositions of S-J. This music bank was built over a period of time and S-J used to �borrow� from it in order to support their work for other directors. Even after the termination of the professional association between Shankar and Raj Kapoor (Jaikishan had died by then) the latter would use S-J�s compositions for all his films though the credits were given officially to other composers e.g. Laxmikant Pyarelal (Bobby Satyam Shivam Sundaram Prem Rog) and Ravindra Jain (Ram Teri Ganga Maili).

Composition style

Shankar Jaikishan�s compositions broke new ground in Hindi film music. Apart from relying upon their considerable knowledge of Indian classical music they also employed to great effect western beats and orchestration. While �raga Bhairavi� remained their perennial favorite they used the western classical-based waltz rhythm in the majority of their songs to telling effect. They were also influenced by Mohammed Wahab and used strains from his compositions in many of their songs. Though they did copy some of the very popular western songs in toto in their compositions such instances were few and far between and serious charges of plagiarism were never leveled against them.

Shankar Jaikishan gave a new meaning to the genre of sad songs by composing them on a fast tempo. Songs like Aye mere dil kahin aur chal (Daag) and Andhe jahan ke andhe raaste (Patita) amply demonstrated this. These songs along with many others (notably Awaara hoon from the film Awaara) also demonstrate the composers� flexible usage of instrumentation � a harmonium is used to produce the effect of a piano accordion.

Working style

While working as a team Shankar and Jaikishan would compose their songs separately. Generally Shankar liked to work with Shailendra and Jaikishan with Hasrat Jaipuri though there are notable instances where Shankar worked with Hasrat and Jaikishan with Shailendra. Between the two Shankar was the senior partner and hence he would usually arrange the orchestra even for Jaikishan�s songs. There was a gentleman�s agreement between them for not identifying the actual composer of the song. As a result it was a popular pastime for S-J aficionados to try and tell a Shankar song from a Jaikishan song. Dance numbers and soulful songs were Shankar�s forte while Jaikishan was a master of composing a film�s background score apart from romantic songs (he is generally regarded as the best ever in this genre) and western-style compositions. It is said that Jaikishan would count some numbers on his fingers before coming up with the background score for a particular scene on the spot! Two of S-J�s films viz. Sangam and Mera Naam Joker are regarded even today as having some of the best background musical scores of all time.

Despite their distinct working styles and preferences it is very difficult if not altogether impossible to ascribe a song to only one of them. They invariably contributed to one another�s creation either in the form of improvisation of tune or of orchestration thus making their compositions truly a joint effort.

Jaikishan mainly handled the public relation aspect of the duo�s career as he was regarded as the more presentable and polished negotiator of the two.

Disputes/differences

In a signed article in Filmfare Jaikishan identified the song Yeh mera prem patra padh kar (Sangam) as his own composition. This led to a lot of bitterness between the two as Shankar considered it a violation of the unwritten agreement between them. To make matters worse Shankar gave a break to singer Sharda and started promoting her as the new singing sensation in preference over Lata Mangeshkar. Jaikishan never liked this idea and stuck to Lata Mangeshkar for his compositions. Matters came to a head and the duo almost broke up. They stopped using the hyphen between their names as reflected in the professional credits of their films. They also started taking individual contracts for films though every such film continued to show them together as the composers. Finally Mohd. Rafi intervened and helped them settle their differences; however their relationship was never the same again. It also impacted the quality of their compositions which started exhibiting a slow albeit gradual decline.

Shankar continued to support Sharda and even ghost-composed music for her film and non-film albums. As a result Lata Mangeshkar refused to work with him which harmed his career even further after Jaikishan�s demise. According to Lata Mangeshkar herself it was the late Mohd. Rafi who brought about a rapprochement between the two. Unfortunately it came too late in the day to revive Shankar�s flagging career.

Standing in the industry

S-J enjoyed an unrivaled position in the Hindi film industry. During their heydays and even toward the later part of their career they were the highest paid music directors in the industry. Barring stray exceptions they were paid more than the leading actors and the promotional material of their films would give them more prominence than anyone else. In one instance they were paid more than the highest earning actor of the day. To this date no other composer(s) has been able to equal let alone surpass this feat.

S-J staged a show in Shanmukhanad Hall Mumbai in 1970 under the aegis of the Indian Navy. In terms of attendance and grandeur it remains unsurpassed to this day thus providing a public seal of approval to their leading status in the industry.

Jaikishan�s death and its impact

Jaikishan died in 1971 due to cirrhosis of liver a disease caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. At the time of his death the duo enjoyed an unparalleled popularity which was underlined by a massive turnout at his funeral procession. Gaylord a restaurant at Churchgate (Mumbai) where Jaikishan used to be a regular visitor mourned the death of its illustrious patron by lighting a candle on his favorite table for one month and keeping it out of bounds for other guests with the sign �Reserved for Mr. Jaikishan�.

After Jaikishan�s death Shankar carried on with the banner of Shankar Jaikishan but he was clearly hampered by the absence of his alter ego. His was unable to negotiate effectively with the film producers and struggled with the background score of his films. He gave his last big hit with the 1976 film Sanyasi before rapidly fading into oblivion. While some of his later songs did exhibit flashes of the old maestro�s brilliance overall these films (Aatmaram Garam Khoon Papi Pet Ka Sawal Hai etc.) did nothing to endear him to leading production houses though there were some exceptions.

Actor Dharmendra wanted to employ Shankar�s services to compose the score for his film Bichchhoo but was forced to hire the late Raj Kamal at the insistence of the director Sai Paranjape. Eventually the project itself was abandoned.

Shankar was in the running for Raj Kapoor�s film Satyam Shivam Sundaram but was overlooked in favor of Laxmikant Pyarelal whose candidature was supported vigorously by Mukesh. Ironically Mukesh owed his standing in the film industry primarily to S-J�s compositions.

Shankar was also considered for Raj Kapoor�s proposed film Param Vir Chakra (his case was supported by Raj Kapoor�s sons) but the project did not see the light of day and Shankar never returned to the RK camp.

Shankar�s death

Shankar died in 1987. Sadly his death received nominal media coverage and his funeral was attended only by his family and some friends. The film industry was hardly represented at his funeral (even Raj Kapoor did not attend) thus reinforcing the stereotype of its fickle-natured loyalties.

Raj Kapoor later paid glowing tributes to the colleague of his salad days in a televised interview. However it was only after Raj Kapoor�s own death in 1988 that the significance of his association with S-J was brought out in great detail.

Legacy

Descendents of Shankar and Jaikishan stayed away from the film industry. Shankar�s family is based in Hyderabad and is involved in the hotel business. Jaikishan�s family is based in Mumbai and his wife (Pallavi Jaikishan) and one daughter (Bhairavi Jaikishan) are dress designers of repute. Jaikishan�s other children pursue different vocations.
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Awara hoon >>
Awaara Dec, 1952
HINDI
Original
MUKESH
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
3.05
Rs 7.00


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Startcast : RAJ KAPOOR / NARGIS / PRITHVIRAJ KAPOOR / LEELA CHITNIS Producer : RAJ KAPOOR Director : RAJ KAPOOR Copyright : Saregama
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Pyar hua iqrar hua >>
Shree 420 Dec, 1955
HINDI
Original
LATA MANGESKAR / MANNA DEY
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
3.34
Rs 7.00


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Yeh raat bheegi bheegi >>
CHORI CHORI
HINDI
Original
MANNA DEY / LATA MANGESKAR
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
4.34
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Kisi ki muskurahaton se >>
ANARI
HINDI
Original
MUKESH
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
4.29
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Zindagi ek safar hai suhana 1 >>
ANDAZ
HINDI
Original
KISHORE KUMAR
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
HASRAT JAIPURI
4.0
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Yaad kiya dil ne >>
PATITA Dec, 1953
HINDI
Original
LATA MANGESKAR / HEMANT KUMAR
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
HASRAT JAIPURI
4.14
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Mera joota hai japani >>
Shree 420 Dec, 1955
HINDI
Original
MUKESH
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
4.27
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Jeena yahan marna yahan >>
Mera naam joker Dec, 1970
HINDI
Original
MUKESH
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILI SHAILENDRA
4.12
Rs 7.00


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Yeh mera prem patra >>
SANGAM
HINDI
Original
MOHD RAFI
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
HASRAT JAIPURI
4.25
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Dost dost na raha pyar pyar na raha >>
SANGAM
HINDI
Original
MUKESH
SHANKAR JAIKISHAN
SHAILENDRA
5.46
Rs 7.00


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