Actors as singers

History seems to be repeating itself

Sonu_Nigam (20K)It was when the film industry was a mere infant that actors had to work really hard. Even harder than today. Producers looked actively for actors who could sing and the music of our films sourced from the fact that non singers sang for themselves in those days.

Music composers had to work within frustrating limitations with actors who could not even turn their voice into a tune.

Old timer composer Anil Biswas got Talat Mahmood who was both singer and actor to sing apart from Ashok Kumar. Now Ashok Kumar sang several of his own songs in the days when playback singing had not yet come into it’s own but when we listen to him today we realize how limited was his singing as compared to his brother Kishore Kumar.

sunidhi_chauhan (29K)Anil Biswas often recounted tales of how actors like P. Jairaj just couldn’t be made to sing for love or money and they must’ve often lost out on roles due to this. Few may know that even that legendary beauty Nalini Jaywant did her own playback singing.

Talat Mahmood was a wonderful singer who aspired to act and he did with some top banners of his time but actors who he sang for generally like Dilip Kumar, advised him to concentrate on singing and give up thoughts of acting.

Among the singing stars were Rajkumari, Nutan, Nalini Jaywant, KL Saigal, Ashok Kumar, Shyam, Suraiya, Meena Kumari, Kishore Kumar, Talat Mahmood among others.

Today suddenly one sees the trend returning. One has seen fine singer like Sonu Nigam trying his hand at acting, and despite one debacle he is trying yet another time and persuading Sunidhi Chauhan to appear on screen with him.

We already have Lucky Ali who is doing both the art forms while actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Shahrukh have already tried their hand at singing. One glaring example today is Himesh Reshamiya whose success as composer made him turn to singing and his success at singing has given him dreams of acting.

History repeating itself?


Earlier music composers complained that whatever they had composed had to be toned down because the untrained actor/singers had no range to speak of making singing difficult now perhaps it is time for the tables to be turned and it’s time for directors to make actors out of singers.

Share: Diggdel.icio.usGoogleYahooStumbleUponMixxFacebookRedditMyspace

HindiSong.com 2006

Gulzar - Ilayaraja together Again
The Music Goes on in Mumbai
Gulzar walks out of Billu Barber
Making Royal Music
Dr. L. Subramaniam honored
Shiamak Davar
Ajay Prasanna: Classical Musician and Innovator
Anoushka Shankar: Wowing Down Under
Rahman Rules at the IIFA
Ravi Shankar bids Adieu to Europe