Usha Khanna

Having grown up listening to old melodious Bollywood songs, I know of many famous music directors such as O.P. Nayyar, R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal etc. One day, it suddenly occurred to me how I’d never heard of a female music director in Bollywood. Upon asking, my parents told me about Usha Khanna, who was the third female music director in a primarily male dominated industry after Jaddan Bai and Saraswati Devi.

 

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Usha Khanna with Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar  Source:www.mohdrafi.com

Usha Khanna was one of the most commercially successful music directors from 1960s to 1980s. She is a personality who entered the industry at 17, and someone who is not very often remembered, despite delivering hit songs like “Dil deke dekho”, “Chhodo kal ki baatein” and “Dil ke tukde tukde karke muskurake chal diye” to name a few. She has composed music for over 120 movies, and had a particularly close association with legendary singer Mohd. Rafi and also with Asha Bhosle. In 1979, K.J. Yesudas also won the Filmfare Award for playback for the song “Dil ke tukde tukde” composed by her.

Knowing well the trials and difficulties faced by newcomers in the industry she encouraged several first timers, including some that went on to become famous, such as Sonu Nigam, Roopkumar Rathod, Pankaj Udhas etc. She has also composed for Malayalam films like Moodal Manju and Puthooram Puthri Unnayarcha.

Listen to this melodious number composed by Usha Khanna from the movie ‘Hum Hindustani’-

Among the upcoming youngsters in the profession is Sneha Khanwalkar, whose notable compositions are for the movies Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Gangs of Wasseypur 1 &2.

I end tonight’s post with the upbeat song from GoW-

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