Only Shanker-Jaikishan, insisted OP Nayyar, professionally rivalled him by the 1961 Junglee stage.
"Aaj kal to bas Kedar chaltaa hai..." OP told me. This following Jaikishan's Hasrat -written Ehsaan teraa hoga aproving the all-time tandem take off, at the turnstiles, on the neo-Junglee pair of Saira Banu-Shammi Kapoor.
OP's own Raag Kedar response to SJ, in Ek Musafir Ek Hasina on Sadhana-Joy Mukerji, took your breath away—in the Asha-Rafi shape of Aap yoon hee agar humse milte rahen. How OP had Raees Khan articulating the Nayyar style on the sitar here!
Countless are the subsequent numbers seeing OP excelling in Raag Kedar—Asha's Jaan-e-tamanna kyaa kar daala (duet with Mahendra Kapoor in CID ) being worth notice here..
All they sang
But did even OP, in Raag Kedar exploration, match Shanker- Shailendra's Jaao re jogee tum jaao re, so vibrantly danced out by Vyjayanthimala playing Amrapali? What Kedar-tuning by Shanker here! Such calibre of Kedar-composing brings us to Madan Mohan.
Who but the supremely gifted Madan could have Talat Mahmood Kedarmood singing in Ashiana on Raj Kapoor—Main
paagal. Compare this with Madan Mohan's soz-filled Raag
Kedar Mohammed Rafi offering, going as Kisii
kee yaad mein on Bharat Bhooshan in Jahanara.
Hemant Kumar's, of course, was a special resonance in Raag Kedar, via Darshan do Ghanshyam naath, as tuned by his one time assistant Ravi in Narsi Bhagat. Manna Dey joins in, here, towards the end. But you have to team Manna Dey with Lata Mangeshkar if you genuinely want to savour that tenor's Raag Kedar virtuosity in Tel Malish Boot Polish.
In this pulp movie, Chitragupta had Lata-Manna dueting, ever so divertingly, in the Kedar vein of Kaana jaa re. Like Chitragupta, Vasant Desai never got his due in films. Yet remember how tunefully Vasant Desai had one debutante, Vani Jairam, leading the Raag Kedar school assembly presentation, Hum ko man ki shakti denaa, on another debutante, Jaya Bhaduri, in Guddi. Bole re papihara Vani, at least, moved to Madras to challenge the vocal suzerainty, there, of Lata of the south P Susheela. Vani even rose to be No 1 in Madras.
But Mubarak Begum remained, forever, on the fringes in Bombay. In the face of Mubarak's sounding compelling as Khayyam cast her in the Raag Kedar mantle of itne qareeb aa ke bhee. Thus went Mubarak Begum's vintage Shagoon duet with Talat Mahmood. Like Naushad, Vasant Desai always referred to Kedar as Kedara.
Naushad felt slighted that Lata on her silver-jubilee-celebrating HMV EP chose his Raag Kedara offering to be from K Asif's Mughal-e-Azam rather than from Mehboob Khan's Andaz. Lata picked Naushad's Bekas pe karam keejiye on Madhubala, not Uthaye jaa unke sitam on Nargis. In her Uthaye jaa solo—I suggested to Naushad—Lata still sounded Noorjehanish. But, in Bekas pe, she is all Lata on Madhubala.