Remembering Rafi: 7 lesser-known facts about the legend

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2015 10:38 IST

The troika of Md Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh will remain the pioneers of film music in India for their sheer talent and depth in voice that suited each occasion and every mood. Today is Mohammed Rafi's (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) 35th death anniversary, and thus we have compiled a list of lesser-known facts about the maestro that his fans all over the world would rejoice.

1.Rafi's nickname was Pheeko.

2. Rafi started singing by imitating chants of a fakir in his village.

3. Rafi's family owned a men's salon in Lahore's Noor Mohalla.

4. Rafi's brother-in-law Mohammed Hameed spotted the talent in Rafi and encouraged him.

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar

Rafi's first public performance came at the age of 13, when he was allowed to sing at a concert featuring the legendary KL Saigal.

6. In 1948, Rafi sang Sun Suno Aye Duniya Walon Bapuji Ki Amar Kahani, written by Rajendra Krishan, which became a huge hit. He was invited by the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to sing at the latter's house.

7. Rafi's funeral procession was recorded on a very rainy day in Mumbai. A portion of that same recording has been used in one of the Hindi movies released later. It was one of the biggest funeral processions Mumbai had ever witnessed, with over 10,000 people attending.

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