Shankar Jaikishan

Shankar-Jaikishan were the greatest musical duo to have graced the world of Hindi cinema. So great was the impact of their creative genius that it had a lasting impact on the music of the Hindi films. Shankar-Jaikishan understood the taste of the masses, were able to cater to them, as well as moulded their tastes. No wonder then that during their tenure as music directors, they were exceedingly popular and 75 per cent of the films for which their scores were reounding hits - many have celebrated silver jubilees. Shankar's passion was the tabla. He learnt the fundamentals from Baba Nasir Khansahib. Through ceaseless practice and marathon riyaaz sessions, he mastered his skills and developed his own style. Jaikishan's interests were singing and playing harmonium. His first lessons in music were with Sangeet Visharad Wadilalji. He studied clasical music from Prem Shankar Nayak. On moving to Bombay, he studied under Vinayak Tambe. Shankar and Jaikishan, throughout their career, preferred their own favourite instruments: the tabla and the harmonium.

Shankar, initially joined a theatre group run by Satyanarayan and Hemawati. He then become a member of Prithvi Theatres, where he played the tabla and undertook minor roles in the company's plays. Jaikishan was on the lookout for a job related to music and Shankar introduced him to Prithvi thetres as a harmonium player. Susequently, they worked as assistants to the celebrated composer pair Husnlal-Bhagatram and imbibed much of their form and structure, which they successfully employed in a refined style. Shankar-Jaikishan both had a penchant for acting. Initially they happily undertook bit roles in Prithvi Theatres' plays, and, later they both played significant roles in the company's play Pathan. Shankar played a fisherman in R.K films Aag (1948), while Jaikishan acted in two films : Shri 420 (1955) and Begunaah (1957). The popular song 'Aei Pyaase Dil Bezubaan..' from the film Begunaah was picturised on him.

Raj Kapoor introduced Shankar-Jaikishan to the Film world with Barsaat (1949). Barsaat was also the first film for the lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. The team thus formed with Barsaat remained as a unit till the end. Together they gave a number of hits like: Barsat, Aah, Aawara, Shri 420, Chori-Chori, Boot Polish, Anari, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Main Nashe Me Hoon, Aashiq, Deewana, Ek Dil Sau Afsaane, Sangam, Teesri Kasam and Mera Naam Jokar. Shankar-Jaikishan mainly worked with Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. Apart from the personal preference and proximity related to friendship, this division of work was more in accordance with the composition patterns of the two composers. Shankar always loved composing serious thematic songs witha lot of emotional content that only Shailendra could do justice to, whereas Jaikishan was more into composing light hearted romatntic songs that came so naturally to Hasrat Jaipuri.

The superb chemistry between these four was not merely because they were great artists. It was more because they were all great friends and companions who who enjoyed each other's company to the fullest. So many songs came into being, based on their real life co-experiences. Like 'Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh' from Shri 420 was an on the spot creation by Shailendra who was teasing Jaikishan for looking back repeatedly at a passer by - a beautiful lady, of course! 'Ramaiya Vasta Vaiya' from the same film sparked off when these friends,going on a walk, happened to listen to a folk song sung by some building workers nearby.

Then came the black day of December 13, 1966 when lyricist Shailendra left the material world. With the sad demise of Hasrat Jaipuri the dream team disintegrated. The remaining three members could never really revive the magic of old and their combined work over the next few years was nothing to cheer about. On 12th September 1971, Jaikishan took his final bow from the stage and left the scene forever. Although Shankar still continued to compose under the Shankar-Jaikishan label for many more years, it wasn't even a patch on the vintage S-J stuff. On 26th April 1987, Shankar also bid us final adieu.

The team of Shankar Jaikishan consisted of Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal. Shankar (October 15, 1922 - April 15, 1987) was born in Punjab and trained under the famous Husnlal Bhagatram. He later settled down in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Jaikishan (1929 - 1971) hails from Panchal, Gujarat, India. Before the duo met, Jaikishan worked as a carpenter.Shankar was associated with R.K films for some time in the 40s, when he introduced to the R.K s his friend Jaikishen as harmonium player. The duo also assisted R.K during the production of AAG and were the asssistant music directors to Ram Ganguly.

Their career started as music directors for Raj Kapoor's 1949 film Barsaat when Raj Kapoor opted them since there was some rift between him and Ram Ganguly. The film Songs like "Jiya beqaraar hai" and "Barsaat mein humse mile tum" became a rage. Barsaat was also the starting point of the pair’s long and successful association with the R.K. Banner. Hit music in films like Aah 1951,Awaara 1951, Daag 1952, Patita 1952, Poonam 1951, Baadshah & Seema followed in the early 1950s. The song "Ghar aaya mera pardesi" went on to become a benchmark for dream-sequence songs.

Their music for most R.K. films was considered a huge success, but two films stand out, Shree 420 and Sangam. The songs "Pyaar hua ikraar hua" and "Ramaiyyaa vasta vaiyya" from Shree 420 and "Dost dost na raha" and "Har dil jo pyaar karega" from Sangam were popular favorites. However, according to Raj Kapoor, the pair's most notable score came in the film "Mera Naam Joker" in 1970 which has landmark songs like "Jaane kahan gaye woh din", "Jeena yahan marna yahan", and "Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo". Arguably, the background musical scores of "Sangam" and "Mera Naam Joker" are considered to be among the best ever in the history of Hindi film music. Of the two, Shankar's speciality was dance-based compositions, whereas Jaikishan's forte was the background musical score. Both of them preferred Raaga Bhairavi over other strains of classical music.

Shankar - Jaikishan made a great impact right since they started. Their tunes range from pure Indian classical based (O Basanti pawan paagal, dil ek mandir hain..) to more westernised tunes (Raat ke hamsafar, sukoo sukoo..). They had a distinct style of music and they used it very well for different stars making the right choice of music and singers. Much of Raj Kapoor's and Shammi Kapoor's success was because of shankar - jaikishan's music. Along with Raj Kapoor they have given us some excellent films which will be cherished forever.

Both Shanker and Jaikishan worked independently of each other.After the initial couple of years Shanker tuned lyricist Shailendra’s songs and Jaikishan tuned Hasrat Jaipuri’s songs only, with very few exceptions, the most noteworthy of which are, Shailendra's ‘Oh basanti pawan pagal’ and ‘Mera naam Raju’ from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai and ‘Jeevan ke do rahe par’ from Choti si mulakat tuned by Jaikishan and Hasrat's Jab ishq kahin kho jata hai from Arzoo, ‘Taron se pyare’ from Deewana, ‘Kaise samjhaoon’ from Suraj and ‘Dekha babu ched ka maza’ from Shararat, tuned by Shanker.

They suddenly became the most sought after duo after composing music for Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat in 1948. Songs like ‘Jiya bekaraar hai’ and ‘Barsaat mein humse mile tum’ became a rage. ‘Barsaat’ also became a starting point of the pair’s long and successful association with the R.K. Banner. Superhit music in films like Aah, Aag, and Awara followed in the early fifties. The song ‘Ghar aaya mera pardesi’ went on to become a benchmark in composing and picturising a dream song. The music in R.K. films was outstanding anyway but two films really are in a league of their own, Shree 420 and Sangam. ‘Pyaar hua ikraar hua’ and ‘Ramaiyyaa vasta vaiyya’ from Shree 420 and ‘Dost dost na raha’ and ‘Har dil jo pyaar karega’ were musical masterpieces.

Later on their relationship was not the same as before .Jaikishan took to the bottle and work got neglected . It was Jaikishan’s death that physically separated the duo but towards the end of their careers they were not on talking terms.

Awards And Honors:

Award & Movie

Filmfare Award - 1956 Chori Chori

Filmfare Award - 1959 Anari

Filmfare Award - 1960 Dil Apna Aur Preeth Parai

Filmfare Award - 1962 Professor

Filmfare Award - 1966 Suraj

Filmfare Award - 1970 Pehchaan

Filmfare Award - 1971 Mera Naam Joker

Filmfare Award - 1972 Be-Imaan

Best Of Shankar- Jaikishan:

Song & Movie

Awaara Hoon ,Ya Gardish - Awaara

Mera Joota Hai Japani - Shree 420

Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua - Shree 420

Duniya Na Bhaye - Basant Bahar

Sur na saje kya gaau main - Basant Bahar

Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh - Dil Apna Aur Preeth Parai

Yaad kiya dil ne kahaan ho - Patita

Aajao Tadapte Hain Armaan - Aah

Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat - Aah

Bahaaron Phool Barsaao - Suraj

Ruk Ja, Ruk Ja O Jaanewaali Ruk Ja - Kanhaiya

Aaya Na Humko Pyar Jatana - Pehchaan

Although many of Shankar Jaikishan's hit songs were composed for R.K. films, their work was by no means limited to that studio. Notable examples of their lilting scores for non-R.K. films include

Daag in 1952, Patita in 1953, Baadshah in 1954, Boot Polish in 1954, Seema in 1955, New Delhi in 1956, Halaaku in 1956, Katputli in 1957, Yahudi in 1958, Love Marriage in 1959, Ujaala in 1959, Choti Bahen in 1959, Sharaarat in 1959, El phool char kaante in 1960, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai in 1960, Rangoli in 1961. Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai in 1961, Sasuraal in 1961, Haryali aur Raasta in 1961. Roop ki rani choron ka raja in 1961, Professor in 1962, Asli Naqli in 1962, Hamrahi in [1963]], Dil ek Mandir in 1963. Rajkumar in 1964, Beti Bete in 1964, Aayi Milan Ki Bela in 1964, Gumnaam in 1965, Aarzoo in 1965, Love in Tokyo in 1966, Suraj in 1966, Hare Kanch ki chudiyaan in 1966, Badtameez in 1966, Gaban in 1966, Laat Saheb in 1967, Aman in 1967. An Evening in Paris in 1967, Choti si Baat in 1967, Prince in 1968, Shikari in 1968. Tumse achha kaun hai in 1969, Mere Huzoor in 1969, Pyaar Hi Pyaar in 1969. Pehchaan in 1970, Lal Patthar in 1970, Tum Haseen Main Jawan in 1970, Pagla Kahin Ka in 1970, Andaz in 1971, Beimaan in 1972, Ankhon Ankhon Mein in 1972 Jangal Mein Mangal in 1973, Naina in 1973. Sanyasi in 1975.

Their musical score in the film Junglee is considered among the greatest all-time trend setters.They were probably the best film music directors India has ever produced, since till date we find their compositions embedded even in modern compositions. They were champions beyond par, with 9 Filmfare awards between 1956 & 1972, i.e in 17 years they lilted every music lover. With more than 100 silver jubliee hits, they carefully tuned the style of hindi music.

Shankar Jaikishen recorded with almost all the popular singers of the golden era including Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur and Mukesh. Of these, Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Suman Kalyanpur, and Mukesh had most of their popular songs recorded with Shankar Jaikishan as compared to other music composers.

Besides the above mentioned Established singers,Shankar Jaikishan also worked with other notable singers like Geeta Dutt,Mahendra Kapoor,Begum Akhtar,Mubarak Begum,Subir Sen,Sharda,Sulakshana Pandit,Anuradha Paudwal,Aarti Mukherji,Preeti Sagar,Krishna Kalle,Suresh Wadkar,Chandrani Mukherji and Hemlata.They also reccorded English songs for the film "Bombay Talkies" in Usha Uthup's voice.

Shankar usually teamed up with lyricist Shailendra while Jaikishan preferred to work with Hasrat Jaipuri. They used to compose their songs independently but would come together for the recordings. They had an unwritten agreement between them by which they would not disclose which song was composed by whom. This understanding was violated by Jaikishan when in a signed article in the magazine Filmfare, he identified the song "Yeh mera prem patra" from the film Sangam as his own composition. This infuriated Shankar and was one of the main reasons of serious differences between them.

After the sad demise of Jaikishen, Shankar continued giving music under the same musical banner and gave music till 1986, Krishna Krishna being the last one named under their musical banner. In total they had given music for 184 films between 1949 Barsaat & 1986 Krishna Krishna, with more than 75% being jubilee hits and some have been so exceptional that, till date we sing these melodies with great pleasure.

From Barsaat on, Shankar and Jaikishan have composed exact 184 films under the banner. They were honored with the maximum number (nine) of Filmfare awards in the Indian film industry. In 1968, Shankar Jaikishan released an album, "Raga Jazz Style : Shankar Jaikishan with Rais Khan." Shankar Jaikishan made a great impact on film music from the start. Their tunes range from pure classical Indian themes to more westernised tunes.They had a distinct style, which was adaptable to different stars and films.

They were the first to incorporate western rock music. On 1st Jan 1965, hindi cinema was given the ever first fulltime rock music through the release of the horror film Gumnaam. The movie starts with the ever green superbly composed music of "Jaan Pehchaan Ho". Though the song is less known among todays music masses, but ever ask a rock lover and youll know that the song would entrall and mystify your perception. Even the lyrics is something of a dilemma. In the West, they are best known for this song "Jaan Pehchaan Ho", which originally appeared in the 1965 film Gumnaam. The musical number was replayed in the American film Ghost World and helped to catapult the popularity of Indian film music in America.


* Barsaat - 1949

* Awaara - 1951

* Daag - 1952

* Aah - 1953

* Patita - 1953

* Badshah - 1954

* Boot Polish - 1954

* Seema - 1955

* Shree 420 - 1955

* Chori Chori - 1956

* Halaku - 1956

* New Delhi - 1956

* Kath Putli - 1957

* Yahudi - 1958

* Anari - 1959

* Chhoti Bahen - 1959

* Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai - 1960

* Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai - 1960

* Singapore - 1960

* Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai - 1961

* Junglee - 1961

* Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja - 1961

* Asli Naqli - 1962

* Hariyali Aur Raasta - 1962

* Professor - 1962

* Dil Ek Mandir - 1963

* Sangam - 1964

* Arzoo - 1965

* Love in Tokyo - 1966

* Suraj - 1966

* Teesri Kasam - 1966

* An Evening in Paris - 1967

* Around the World - 1967

* Brahmachari - 1968

* Prince - 1969

* Mera Naam Joker - 1970

* Pehchan - 1970

* Be-Imaan - 1972