Date of Birth
23 July 1923, Delhi, India
Date of Death
27 August 1976, Detroit, Michigan, USA (heart attack)
Mukesh Chand Mathur
The Man with the Golden Voice
A singer in a class of his own, Mukesh was ranked, along with Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar, as one of the greatest male playback singers in Bollywood history. However, his position was unique - while Rafi was perfection incarnate and Kumar was the astonishing yodeller, Mukesh was that man in a bar who would pour you a drink and would sing you a song for friendships' sake. His voice held a haunting, melancholic quality that could reach into your soul and move you to tears.
He was born Mukesh Chand Mathur on 22 July 1923, into a small middle-class family living in Delhi. He was first heard noticed by an actor and distant relative, Motilal, when he sang a song at his sister's wedding. Deeply impressed, Motilal brought him to his own house in Bombay and had him groomed by the noted singer Pandit Jaganath Prasad. During this time Mukesh tried his hand at acting, but his first acting film, Nirdosh(1941/I), was a flop. However, he got his big break as a singer with Pahali Nazar (1945) - picturised on Motilal, the song became a success.
Initially, his voice did seem to be imitating K.L. Saigal, but he acquired his own style in Andaz (1949). The film, a passionate love triangle, became a runaway hit and so did all of its songs, especially the Mukesh solos. As well as launching Mukesh's career, it created an association with the renowned Raj Kapoor that would last throughout their lives. Starting with Aag (1948) all the way through to Dharam Karam (1975), Mukesh sang for Raj Kapoor and together they produced some of the greatest film songs in Bollywood history, most notably in Awaara (1951),Shree 420 (1955), _Anadi (1959)_, _Sangam (1964)_ and Mera Naam Joker (1972).
Life was not always that good, however. Encouraged by his success as a singer, he made a few more attempts to make it as an star, and acted in two films - Mashooka (1953) and Anuraag (1956). They sadly sank at the box-office. To make matters worse, when he returned to singing he found that offers had dried up, and his financial affairs became that, unable to afford their school fees, his two children were thrown out of school!
Fortunately, he came back with a bang in Yahudi (1958), and two other hits from 1958 - Madhumati (1958) and Parvarish (1958) - put him back on top as a singer to be reckoned with. Even Sachin Dev Burman, who had not used him for a decade, composed two classic songs for him from the films _Bambai ka Babu (1960)_ and Bandini (1963). He flourished throughout the 1960s and early 1970s with soulful hit songs, most notably from Anand (1971), a classic about a dying man; Rajnigandha (1974), a middle-class love story; and Kabhi Kabhie - Love Is Life (1976), a cross-generation romance.
In 27 August 1976, while on a concert tour in the USA, Mukesh suffered a sudden, sharp and fatal heart attack in Detroit. Afterwards, several recorded songs of his came out in films released after his death, the last being for Satyam Shivam Sundaram: Love Sublime (1978), a Raj Kapoor film. He left behind a void that many male singers, including his own son Nitin Mukesh, have tried to fill, but no one has managed to fill the place of such a great singer.
Spouse:Sarla(22 July 1946 - 27 August 1976) (his death) 5 children
Father of Nitin Mukesh
Was on a concert tour at the time of his death.
Born in pre-independent India was a child who grew up to be one of the most famous singers that the Bollywood film industry ever produced. Known for his collection of soulful and melodious songs, one of Bollywood's most celebrated figures in the field of playback singing is Mukesh Chand Mathur, popularly known as Mukesh to the common man. Along with other prominent names like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey, Mukesh made a distinct place for himself in the Bollywood film industry and created such an impact in the field of playback singing that his songs are hummed by young and old even today.
Youtube link of mukesh Biography:
Funeral Coverage :
Bombay, Screen 10 September 1976
Hundreds of mourning fans of Mukesh saw the last journey of the singer in a fifteen-minute programme telecast on August 30 in homage to the celebrated singer.
Besides the funeral coverage, the programme included recorded interviews with Hridayanath Mangeshkar, who was with Mukesh during, the concert tour, Raj Kapoor, whose singing voice Mukesh was more than two decades, and veteran Ashok Kumar who knew Mukesh from the time he began singing for the films in Bombay.
The Hridayanath Mangeshkar interview (done by Sudha Chopra in Hindi) was particularly interesting and touching because it was like a flash-back to the happening in Detroit, where the troupe was scheduled to give its ninth show on August 27, when that haunting golden voice was stilled for ever.
A tape containing the last song sung by Mukesh during the eighth show, which was in Philadelphia, was played and it must have surely touched the hearts of all those who have listened to and enjoyed his singing and all those who knew him well, that song "Jaane kahan gaye woh din" was one of the singer's favourites
Hridayanath also wanted viewers to hear snatches of the wild applause that Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar got when they rendered that very popular "Milan" duet, "Sawan ka mahina..." with its very charming recitative prelude.
The funeral coverage was also done well without the usual callous concentration on star faces and the most moving moments was when the camera panned the singer's drawing room full of shelves, lined with trophies and awards won by the singer in his 35-years-old singing career.
And the camera interestingly lingered on a little framed message, which more than sums up the singer's character and philosophy of life. It says : " If you meet a man without a smile, lend him one of yours."
Delhi TV was, for once, quick off the mark, when they immediately reacted to the extremely sad news of the death of Mukesh in the United States of America on August 27. The very next evening they telecast a memorial programme, which very appropriately opened with Mukesh's famous and popular songs, "Ek din bik jayega maati ke mol." For now what's remains is the memory of Mukesh's golden voice and, of course, the many songs that he sang his long career as a play-back singer.
Mukesh, "Soul" of Raj Kapoor, recorded his last song for Raj Kapoor's Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram on July 26, 1976 at the Famous Recording Studios at Tardeo - exactly one day before he left for America to join Lata Mangeshkar's U.S.A./Canada concert tour (he died on August 27, 1976 at Detroit, Michigan, in the United States of America). There wasn't any immediate need to do that song (because shooting-wise it was not slated for immediate picturisation) but Mukesh did have it recorded before his departure - and it was a recording which went on into the small hours of the morning.
Always at Famous Tardeo (then under recordist D.O. Bhansali), it was a tradition that a bottle be opened and they drink, listening quietly to the song being played back and discussing it. But that night it was nearly 4 a.m. by the time the recording was over. Music-director Laxmikant excused himself and went home. Raj Kapoor went home. Zeenat Aman (who had also participated in the recording) also went home. And so did Mukesh.
That night the traditional post-recording drink session was not held. But unknown to Raj Kapoor and to any of the others, Mukesh had brought with him a jar of King of Kings and had handed it to John (Raj's factotum), telling him: "You open this for him after the recording is over."
That jar of King of Kings was never opened - until Zeenat Aman came to see Raj Kapoor at The Cottage on the night of September 19, 1976. She had just returned from a month-long sojourn in the U.S.A. and the U.K. Shortly before she arrived, Raj Kapoor asked John whether there was anything to drink at The Cottage. John went inside and returned a moment later, holding that jar of King of Kings. He said: "Mukesh sahab had given it for you. He had brought it, saying: "Open it after the recording."
That was the last drink "soul" Mukesh and "body" Raj Kapoor could not have together...