His Life: The Man With Golden Voice
- Year1923 – Born in Delhi.
- Year 1941- Debuted as an actor-singer with
- Year 1945 – Breakthrough as the playback singer with the movie Pehli Nazar.
- Year 1946 – Married Sarla Trivedi Raichand.
- Year 1974- Won National Film Award for the song Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai.
- Year 1976- Left the mortal world.
“Haye iss paar to aansuon ki dagar, Jaane us paar kya ho kise hai khabar – Chhoti Bahen (1959).”
Mukesh was a famous Indian playback singer who was active during the golden era of Bollywood. He, along with Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi was the profound pillars of that period of Indian film playback industry. His voice was identified with the major actors like Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Feroz Khan, Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar.
Born as Mukesh Chand Mathur to the Zorawar Chand Mathur, an engineer and Chandrani Mathur in Delhi on July 22, 1923. He was sixth among the ten siblings. He had a sister named Sundar Pyari, who used to get the music lesson from a teacher at their house. As a kid, he secretly listens to the lessons from the adjacent room and his interest in music begin to grow. He was fond of K.L. Saigal and used to mimic his songs. He left school after 10th grade and started working at the Delhi Department of Public Works. During this time he started recording voice as a hobby and sharpened his skills.
Mukesh wanted to marry Sarla Trivedi Raichand, daughter of a millionaire, but her father refused because singing wasn’t considered a noble profession those days. Both of them ran away and got married in a temple in Kandivali, Mumbai on July 22, 1946. The couple had five children, namely Rita, Nitin, Nalini, Mohnish and Namrata.
Motilal, Filmfare Award winning actor and a distant relative of Mukesh was the first to notice his singing prowess. He took Mukesh with him to Mumbai and arranged lessons by Pandit Jagannath Prasad to hone his singing skills. Mukesh got a break as an actor in the 1941 movie Nirdosh. He also sang a song Dil Hi Bujha Hua Ho To for that movie. His first work as a playback singer came in the 1945 movie Pehli Nazar starring Motilal.
When K.L. Saigal heard his song Dil Jalta Hai from the movie Pehli Nazar, he was surprised and said That’s strange, I don’t recall singing that song. He couldn’t tell the difference between his own voice and that of Mukesh’s. Mukesh found his unique signature under the mentorship of music director Naushad Ali.
Mukesh went on to sing for many hit movies like Madari (1959), Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960) and Purab Aur Paschim (1970) among many other. He recorded approximately 1300 songs in his career and gave voice to many superstars of that era. He also acted in a couple of movies throughout his career. Listed below is the filmography of Mukesh-
|1958||Phir Subaha Hogi||Singer|
|1960||Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai||Singer|
|1960||Bombai Ka Babu||Singer|
|1960||Mera Ghar Mere Bachhe||Singer|
|1962||Phool Bane Angare||Singer|
|1963||Ek Dil Sau Afsane||Singer|
|1963||Dil Hi To Hai||Singer|
|1963||Akeli Mat Jaiyo||Singer|
|1964||Ji Chahta Hai||Singer|
|1965||Chhoti Chhoti Baten||Singer|
|1965||Himalay Ki God Mein||Singer|
|1967||Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti||Singer|
|1967||Gunaho Ka Devta||Singer|
|1967||Raat Aur Din||Singer|
|1970||Holi Ayee Re||Singer|
|1970||Mera Naam Joker||Singer|
|1972||Ek Bar Muskura Do||Singer|
|1974||Roti Kapda Aur Makaan||Singer|
|1975||Chhoti Si Baat||Singer|
|1978||Satyam Shivam Sundaram||Singer|
Awards and Recognitions
In his career spanning over three decades, he received many accolades for his work and contribution to the cinema. The awards earned by him are listed below-
|1959||Filmfare Best Male Playback Award||Anari|
|1967||BFJA Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Teesri Kasam|
|1968||BFJA Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Milan|
|1970||Filmfare Best Male Playback Award||Pehchan|
|1970||BFJA Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Saraswatichandra|
|1972||Filmfare Best Male Playback Award||Be-Imaan|
|1974||National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Rajnigandha|
|1976||Best Male Playback Singer||Kabhi Kabhie|
He went to USA in 1976 with Lata Mangeshkar for a concert shortly after his 30th marriage anniversary. He delivered his last performance in Philadelphia.
They reached Detroit, Michigan for the 9th performance, but before that he suffered a massive heart attack on August 27, 1976. He was taken to the hospital, but couldn’t survive the heart attack and left the corporeal world on the same day.