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Naushad: Mughal-e-Azam of Hindi music

Naushad Ali, the doyen of Bollywood?s playback industry, was born on December 25, 1919 in Lucknow.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 12:54 IST

Naushad Ali, the doyen of Bollywood’s playback industry, was born on December 25, 1919 in Lucknow.

He ruled the industry for almost 6 decades and gave us memorable numbers albums like Baiju Bawra, Mughal-e-Azam and Mother India. He last composed for Akbar Khan’s film, Taj Mahal—An Eternal Love Story, in 2005.

He came to Mumbai in 1930s to find work in the sprawling film industry. He was trained under Ustad Ghurbat Ali, Ustad Yusuf Ali and Ustad Babban Saheb. He had his share of troubles in the initial days in Bollywood, but was soon recognised for his talent.

Prem Nagar (1940) was his first independent break but he first got noticed with Sharda  (1942) wherein 13-year-old Suraiya did the playback. After that, he did not look back and enjoyed great success in 1940s.

Soon hits like Aan, Babul and Dastan followed. His is credited for introducing Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi to the playback industry. He is also remembered for mixing albums and music tracks, which was an innovation in those years.

However, he was criticised for lacking variety in his albums. The same was the reason for his failure in the late 70s. 1980s saw Naushad churning just two albums, Dharam Kanta (1982) Love and God (1986).

He had a small stint as a producer in 1950s but his films did not see much success. Later he shunned production at all. 

Awards and felicitations came in plenty for him. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award 1981 for his contribution to the Indian cinema.

His peers remember him for his regal taste and composite culture. His death has surely created a vacuum in the playback industry.