It takes a legend to find another legend. The Music Industry owes a lot to the melodious voices of two legendary singers – Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar who ruled a better part of the 20th century. Their mesmerising tunes would often leave the listener awestruck and force them to praise their blessed voice. But do you know, it was the legend Khemchand Prakash who identified these two timeless legends in their initial days in the Hindi Film Industry? So, without further ado, let’s know more about the man who has left an indelible mark on the Hindi Film Industry.
The legendary career of Khemchand Prakash
Khemchand Prakash was a man of many firsts. He was born in Jaipur in 1907. His father Goverdhan Das was a Dhrupad singer & Kathak dancer in the royal court of Madho Singh II. The young Khemchand got his first training in music and dance from his father. Soon he became popular for his classical dancing. It is claimed that he had a special talent and could draw animal sketches with gulaal on the floor using his feet while dancing.
As a teenager, he joined the royal court of Bikaner as a singer. Later he shifted to the royal court of Nepal. But things changed quickly and he moved to Kolkata where he joined the well-known ‘New Theatres’.
He assisted composer Timir Baran in Devdas (1935). In the film Street Singer (1938), he sang a comedy song ‘Lo Kha lo madam Khaana‘. In 1939, he moved to Mumbai. There he made his debut in Music direction with ‘Meri Aankhein’ produced by Supreme Pictures’ films. His great work became widely appreciated and soon Ranjit Movietone Film Studio signed him for their later projects. It is said that he was the busiest and most acclaimed composer during the years 1935 to 1940.
He composed music in many acclaimed films like Khilona (1942), Tansen (1943), Asha (1948), Ziddi (1948) and Mahal (1948) among others. Back then, people often dubbed him as the Music industry. In less than a decade of working as a solo music director, Prakash worked on close to 40 films and had a massive success rate.
Have you seen the movie called ‘Mahal’? It was one of the first blockbusters of independent India. This horror film had the most popular song of those times. The iconic song ‘Aayega Aanewala’ was composed by none other than Khemchand Prakash.
Also read: Lata Mangeshkar, the Goddess of Singing who never compromised with her core values
Gave wings to the Nightingale and Kishore Da
Lata Mangeshkar started her singing career in the Marathi industry under the direction of Sadashiv Rao Narvekar. Later, Datta Davjekar directed her initial Hindi song. But she attained enormous success only after her association with Khemchand Prakash.
He composed the song ‘Chanda Re Ja Re Jare’ for the film Ziddi (1948). The song in Lata Ji’s voice became an immediate hit. After attaining fame with this song, Swar Kokila Lata Ji never looked back. This duo of Khemchand Ji and Lata Ji worked wonders and gave the iconic song ‘Aayega Aane Wala’ for the classic film ‘Mahal’.
Not only her, but Khempand Prakash also gave Kishore da his first break with the film ‘Ziddi’. Kishore da sang ‘Jeene Ki Duayen Kyun Maangoon’ and made his presence felt in the Music industry.
Also read: Kishore Kumar – The father of unconventional singing
Unfortunately, he could not enjoy the immense success as he suffered an untimely death on the 10th of August 1950.
In a documentary celebrating his birth centenary, Naushad too had termed Prakash as his mentor. He praised his methods of using ‘ragas’ in film music which greatly influenced him and inspired him to achieve more.
The work and contribution of the musical genius Khemchand Prakash were far greater than just the songs he composed. He gave India, the two gems that will go down in history as the best in the field of Music. The legend, Khemchand Prakash deserves all the respect in the world for his work alongside his initial push and guidance to Lata Ji and Kishore da.
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