With the death of the legendary singer Manna Dey, Indian music has lost an irreplaceable talent who merged the finesse of classical music with playback singing in a way none could match. ApunKaChoice pays tribute to the departed master with a recap of his 10 best songs.
His was a voice that traversed the highs and lows of the octave with greasy ease. A high voice, no doubt, but mellow -- melancholic even -- yet never shrill. Never did Manna Dey grate one’s eardrums, even as he captured the buoyancy of a proud pathan in 'Yari Hai Imaan Mera' (from Zanjeer) or zest of a circus joker in ‘Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo’ from (Mera Naam Joker).
He was at his best when he touched a melancholic note, be it the wistfulness of ‘Aye Mere Pyaare Watan’ (from Kabuliwala), or ‘Poocho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitayi’.
Manna Dey lived a long life (94). His journey into music began at a young age under the tutelage of his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey, a music director in Hindi film industry. Later he worked under S.D. Burman and took lessons in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan.
In his illustrious career behind the microphone, Manna Dey sang 4000 songs, of which many became hits and are etched in our collective memory to this day. In a tribute to the departed maestro here are his ten best songs, beginning with this thoughtful, beautiful number from the movie ‘Anand’.