Prabodh Chandra Dey, popularly known as Manna Dey, was born on May 1, 1919, in then Calcutta and grew up to become an acclaimed singer and one of the greatest exponents of Bangla music. Gifted with a mellifluous voice, Dey was well versed in Indian classical music and sang hundreds of songs, for Bengali, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Marathi as well as Hindi Bollywood films.
On the 102nd birth anniversary of the legendary singer, let’s have a look at some of his most iconic creations:
Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli
The song from the movie Anand was pictured on Rajesh Khanna was a huge hit. It was initially decided by the filmmakers to play the song in the background but when Rajesh Khanna heard it, he asked them to film it and then the song was shot with the actor walking along the Juhu Beach.
Ek Chatur Naar
This evergreen song from the 1968 comedy classic Padosan was not sung by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey originally. It was initially sung by Kishore Kumar’s elder brother Ashok Kumar in the 1941 movie Jhoola.
*Did you know that the song Ek Chatur Naar from Padosan was inspired by this original Ashok Kumar song from the 1941 film Jhoola. Rare clip.. Have a look..* pic.twitter.com/XDNN37kzRE— MAHENDRA JAIN (@mahendra3) November 28, 2018
Aye Bhai Zara Dekh Kar Chalo
In the 1970 film Mera Naam Joker, Dey became the voice of Raj Kapoor, who was one of the first Hindi filmmakers to recognize Dey’s versatility. In 1956, Dey sang one of best romantic classics in Indian cinema - Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi – for Raj Kapoor’s film Chori Chori.
Yaari Hai Imaan Mera
This song in the film Zanjeer was pictured on Amitabh Bachchan and Pran. Dey gave voice to Pran’s character in the hit song. The film established Bachchan as the “angry man” of India.
Manna Dey’s other hit songs are:
Yeh Dosti from Sholay: The duet between Dey and Kishore Kumar is, again, a cult song considered an anthem on friendship.
Aao Twist Karein from Bhoot Bangla: Dey relaxed his classical bent with this 1965 rock n roll number and showed a whole new side of himself.
Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen from Waqt: Sung effortlessly, the qawwali from the 1965 movie is filmed on a middle-aged father telling his wife that she remains the most beautiful woman in his life.
Upar Gagan Vishaal: Dey sang his first Hindi film song in 1943, for the movie Tamanna, but his breakthrough song took another seven years to come when he sang Upar Gagan Vishaal for the movie Mashaal in 1950. Another legend, the composer SD Burman, took off with this song.