B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Mohammad Rafi was born on December 24, 1924 at Kotla Sultanpur. When he was 12, His family shifted to Lahore. Rafi had a huge interest in Music, and soon started taking lessons from Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan and many other classical music learneds. Rafi gave his first stage performance at the age of 13, which brought him in everyone’s notice, including composer Shyam Sunder.
Mohammad Rafi got his first break in a Punjabi film Gul Baloch (1942). In 1944, He came to Bombay on Shyam sunder’s advise. Rafi’s first song was “Hindustan ke hain hum…” for A.R.Kardar’s Pehle Aap (1944). He sang many other popular songs in late 40s for Naushad.
Mohammad Rafi shot to fame with his songs for Baiju Bawra (1952). He sang a few more popular songs for films like Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1957), Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957), Naya Daur (1957). He became the voice of Dev Anand and sang for all his films in the 50s. Mohammad Rafi was the most popular singers for entire two decades after Baiju Bawra. His other most notable songs came for films like Chaudvin Ka Chand (1961), Dosti (1964), Guide (1965), Brahmachari (1968).
Mohammad Rafi’s monopoly came to an end with the 70s when Kishore Kumar rose to fame with his romantic songs. His success rate in the early 70s was much lesser than any before. However, He made a great comeback when his songs for Laila Majnu (1976) became chart-busters. Rafi sang many more popular songs like “Parda hai Parda…” from Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), “Kya hua Tera Waada…” from Hum Kisise Kam nahin (1977), “Dard-e-dil Jigar…” from Karz (1980). On July 31, 1980 Mohammad Rafi passed away.
Mohammad Rafi won 6 Filmfare awards – in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1977. In 1977, he won a National film for “Kya Hua tera waada…” from Hum Kisi se Kam nahi (1977). He was also Awarded Padmashri in 1965.
He was a devout Muslim and stayed away from smoking and alcohol all his life. He married his cousin Bashira, and had 7 children. Rafi also recorded two english albums.