"My father utilised the versatile (singer) Mohd Rafi far better than me” was a common confession by legendary music composer, RD Burman. The genius, if alive, would have turned 75 yesterday.
Here is a memoir of some unforgettable numbers he tuned for Mohd Rafi.
Tum Ne Mujhe Dekha
This song from Teesri Manzil was an all time hit. RD Burman blended the composing styles of his illustrious father SD Burman and Shankar Jaikishan very well. The trumpet, piano, guitar and bongo were effectively used as Rafi rendered immortality to the song.
Tum Bin Jaun Kahan
A rare occasion of one song in the same film in two different male voices. The sad number was rendered by Kishore Kumar. For the romantic one, RD Burman asked Rafi to create the effect of a flowing fountain whilst singing this number from Pyar Ka Mausam. Rafi obliged his composer.
Wadiyan Mera Daman
For this number of Abhilasha, RD Burman had Rafi rendering with his vocal octaves moving like waves. So engrossed was Rafi whilst singing that he had to be reminded the recording was over. He eclipsed even Lata Mangeshkar, who rendered the female version, of the song.
Mere Liye Aati Hai
As a tribute to his favorite composer, Shankar Jaikishan, RD Burman composed this jazz and rock and roll oriented number for Raaton Ka Raja. As Rafi sang he was superbly accompanied by the trombone, saxophone, twelve string guitar and triple congo.