Mohammed Rafi was one of the most prominent and influential singers from India. His versatile singing and an unmatched voice range made Rafi Sahab one of the greatest singers of all time. He sang songs that were peppy, patriotic, sad and also romantic. Mohammed Rafi was born on 24th December 1924 in Amritsar district, Punjab. He achieved classical training from Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, Pandit Jiwan Lal Mattoo and Firoze Nizami. He made his debut at Lahore in 1941 as a playback singer, when he sang a duet “Soniye Nee, Heeriye Nee” in the Punjabi film Gul Baloch.
Mohammed Rafi then carried his talent of singing with him to Mumbai in 1944 and lived in the downtown Bhindi Bazaar area. It was poet Tanvir Naqvi that introduced Rafi to film producers Abdur Rashid Kadar, Mehboob Khan and Nazeer. At that time, Shyam Sundar was also in Bombay and allowed Rafi to sing his first ever Hindi song, “Aji Dil Ho Kaabu Mein to Dildar Ki Aisi Taisi” for the movie Gaon Ki Gori. After this, Mohammed Rafi also worked with the famous music director Naushad for the song “Hindustan Ke Hum Hain” from the film Pehle Aap.
Mohammed Rafi also made small appearances in a few movies. He also sang the chorus for songs like “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani, Roohi Roohi” with K.L Saigal. For Mehboob Khan’s Anmol Ghadi, he sang the song “Tera Khilona Toota Balak” After the partition, Mohammed Rafi decided to stay back in India.
As his career progressed, Mohd Rafi was also influenced by G.M.Durrani. He also sang songs like “Humko Haste Dekh Zamana Jalta Hai” and “Khabar Kisi Ko Nahin, Woh Kidhar Dekhte” with Durrani.
Mohammed Rafi, in his singing career, worked with some of the biggest music directors and composers like Naushad, S D Burman, Shankar-Jaikishan, Ravi, Madan Mohan, O.P. Nayyar, Laxmikant Pyaarelal and Kalyanji Anandji. Naushad played a key role in helping Rafi to establish himself as a famous playback singer in Hindi cinema. Mohd Rafi sang 149 songs for Naushad. R.D Burman chose Rafi as the singing voice of major stars like Dev Anand and Guru Dutt. The partnership between Rafi and Shankar-Jaikishan is still considered very successful. Mohd Rafi sang major hits like “Teree Pyaaree Pyaaree Soorut Ko”, “Buhaaron Phool Bursao” and “Dil Ke Jhurokhe Men.”
The blockbuster song “Yahoo! Chaahe Koee Mujhe Junglee Kahe” was also sung by Mohammed Rafi. His song “Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan” is till today the best song defining the city of dreams. Mohammed Rafi recorded songs for more than a thousand Hindi films and also sang songs in other languages. Mohammed Rafi has received four Filmfare and one National Award for his contributions. Mohammed Rafi is also referred to as the “Best Singer of the Millennium.” Upcoming singers always treat Rafi Sahab as an inspiration even today.
You can listen to all your favourite Mohammed Rafi songs on the Saregama Carvaan, a digital audio player with 5000 in-built classic Hindi songs. The portable music player can also be connected through Bluetooth and USB. You can listen to your favourite FM radio stations on the Saregama Carvaan.
Saregama pays tribute to the legendary singer of Indian Cinema, Mohammed Rafi on his 98th Birth Anniversary.