Unarguably Music legends Shankar-Jakishan were the Undisputed Monarch of Music of the 50′ and ’60s. The duo composed such immortal melodies that they earned the title of ‘Best Music Directors’ of the Golden Era. They won the maximum 9 Filmfare awards and gave several super hit films like Barsaat, Awaara, Shree 420, Sangam, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai; Professor; Suraj; Brahmachari; Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai; Dil Ek Mandir; Arzoo, etc. The list is long!
Shankar-Jaikishan had a mastery over Hindustani classical music like Duniya Na Bhaye Mohe Aab To Bula Lo… (Basant Bahar), Neel Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein… (Amrapali), Jhanak Jhanak Toree Baje Payaliya…. (Mere Huzoor), Chham Chham Baje Re Payaliya (Jaane Anjaane), Radhike Tune Bansari Churayi (Beti Bete)….Likewise they were masters of jazz and western tunes like Sayonara Sayonara… (Love In Tokyo -1965) had Japanese orchestration; Raat Ke Humsafar…(An Evening In Paris -1967) had a French flavor. In nutshell, they were the Emperor of Bollywood Music!!
Though Shankar-Jakishan made the ’50s and 60’s a Golden Era by their majestic music but film historians allege the duo responsible for starting the trend of coying tunes from the Hollywood songs.
Readers would be interested to know that the music director who copied the first Hollywood song was Shankar-Jakishan. In fact, Shankar-Jakishan copied the prelude of piano for the song Chhod Gaye Balam…..in the first film Barsaat (1949) from the Anniversary Waltz song sung by Bing Crosby. However, in their next film Awaara (1956) Shankar-Jakishan bluntly copied the entire tune of an Egyptian Singer Oum Kalthoum’s hit song Ala Baladi El Mahboub… (1935) and re-composed the same tune into the hit song Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi….
Shankar-Jakishan’s next film Chori Chori (1956) is regarded as their best musical. The film was Golden Jubilee hit solely for hits songs like Rasik Balma Se Dil Kyon Lagaya…. Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi Yeh Mast Fasaane… The film fetched Shankar-Jakishan their First Filmfare Best Music Director Award. However, Shankar-Jakishan copied on a song from the West!!! The songs is Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mein Hum… copied from Tarantella (Traditional).
Shankar-Jaikishan’s film Junglee (1961) which had the super hit song Yahoo! Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe … had another Masti filled song Ai Ai Aa Suku Suku and was equally popular. However, the song was lifted from a music album from Germany Ping Ping (1961). Interestingly Shankar-Jaikishan’s lifted not just the tune but also the words of the initial lyric that were Sucu Sucu…!!
The most popular song copied by Shankar-Jaikishan is the hit Mohd Rafi song Kaun Hai Jo Sapnon Mein Aayaa…from the film Jhuk Gaya Aasman starring Rajendra Kumar. The song is the straight lift of Elvis Presley’s super hit song Marguerita… (1963).
Shankar-Jaikishan’s other hit song – Gumnaam Hai Koi … from suspense thriller film Gumnaam (1963) has been lifted from the opening background track of Hollywood film Charade music by Henry Mancini and Orchestra.