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Mahendra Kapoor Ke Kuchh Gaane

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Mahendra Kapoor was born in 1934 in Amritsar though he has lived all his life in Mumbai, ever since his family moved there when he was a baby. Mahendra had deep interest in music right from the very start. Even as a child he was popular in his school for his singing and won a number of singing competitions there. Although it started out only as a hobby, Mahendra soon started to take his singing very seriously. At the age of 12, he gathered up enough courage to visit the late Mohammad Rafi who was his idol. The singer was impressed with the youngster`s courage and determination and advised him to create his own unique style of singing instead of copying him as he wanted to do. Mahendra was also advised to get a sound classical base if he planned to sing professionally. Mahendra knew he had gotten advice from `the best` and didn`t spare any time in starting his official training in music. He went on to learn classical vocal music from various teachers like Pandit Husanlal, Pandit Jagannath Bua Purohit, Ustad Niaz Ahmed Khan, Khan Saheb Abdur Rehman, Afzal Husain Khan and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma. Mahendra continued to take part in several inter-collegiate music competitions and also performed in many college functions. In 1957, Mahendra won the `All India Metro-Murphy Competition`. One of the prizes he recieved when he won the competition was a film break. Mahendra ended up recording songs with Naushad and C. Ramchandra, both judges in the `Metro-Murphy Contest`. The song, Chand chupa aur taare doobe(Sohni Mahiwal), that Mahendra recorded with Naushad immediately drew the attention of Yash Chopra when he heard the master-tape play at Mehboob Studios, mistaking Mahendra`s voice for none other than Mohammed Rafi`s. He recommended Mahendra`s voice to B. R. Chopra, elder brother who was working on `Dhool Ka Phool` (1959), Yash's directorial debut. At the same time, C. Ramachandra also used his voice in the film `Navrang`. Both the films, `Navrang` and `Dhool Ka Phool` released in 1959, songs proved to be major hits. Thus began Mahendra Kapoor`s association with BR films. Mahendra Kapoor`s peak phase came in the 1960s and early 1970s even as he forged excellent alliances with music giants like Ravi, Kalyanji Anandji, O.P. Nayyar and Laxmikant Pyarelal among others. The 60s saw Mahendra singing in a very wide variety of genres for nearly all the top heroes in Bollywood. Besides singing in films, he also sang in popular shows all over the world, and even at India's borders for the armed forces. Mahendra struck a rich vein of hits and golden melodies in films like Gumrah, Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Doli, Anmol Moti, Badi Didi, Dhund, Nikaah, Aaj Ki Awaz (Ravi), Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, Aap Ki Parchaiyaan, Jab Yaad Kisi Ki Aati Hai (Madan Mohan), Oonche Log, Mera Kasoor Kya Hai, Ghar Basaake Dekho (Chitragupta), Dharamputra (N.Dutta), Hariyali Aur Rasta (Shanker Jaikishan), Gopi, Bairaag, Upkar, Parivar, Priya, Bandhan, Yaadgar, Purab Aur Paschim, Paras (Kalyanji Anandji), Daadi Maa (Roshan), Kismet, Sambandh, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, Sawan Ki Ghata, Kahin Din Kahin Raat (O.P.Nayyar), Nag Mandir, Pyar Kiye Jaa, Aye Din Bahaar Ke, Night In London, Dastaan, Shor, Roti Kapada Aur Makaan, Roop Tera Mastana, Ek Nazar (Laxmikant Pyarelal) and for several other composers. Later, in the 80s, Mahendra became very choosy and restricted his singing to his favourite filmmakers, stars and composers like the Chopras ( Nikaah, Aaj Ki Awaz), Laxmikant Pyarelal (Amar Akbar Anthony, Badaltey Rishtey, Nagin, Kranti, Hum Paanch, Amrit, Avtaar, Karma), Kalyanji Anandji (Hera Pheri, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar) and stars like Dilip Kumar and Manoj Kumar. The only film that Mahendra sang in the 90s was the film `Dillagi`. Mahendra Kapoor got many offers after that but chose not to sing. He did not want to sing just any thing but would only consider singing if he found the song to be suitable for him.