Great Manna Dey passes away!

Manna Dey 1

Legendary singer Manna Dey passed away at 3.50am on October 24 morning at Bengaluru. He was 94 and ailing for some time.  He was admitted to a local hospital following respiratory ailment and renal failure. He was on ventilator support for some time. Dey had settled down in Bengaluru with his daughter.

Born in 1919 Prabodh Chandra Dey  better known by his nickname Manna Dey, was a playback singer in  Hindi,  Bengali,  Gujarati,  Marathi,  Malayalam, Kannada, and  Assamese  films.

The talented musician had sung many songs in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, and Assamese films. He has also sung songs in Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Magahdh, Punjabi, Maithilee, Konkani, Sindhri and Chattisgarghi. He trained under his uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey and Ustad Dabir Khan though he had started to perform on stage from very young age. Soon he matured enough to get breaks in films as a playback singer when he made his debut in the film Tamanna in 1942. He has recorded more than 4000 songs from 1942-2013. Manna Dey was a regular as Sydneysiders remember him dearly for his live concerts. He mixed and mingled in the Indian community like any father would. Manna Dey sang some of the most famous and difficult songs which many other top singers of the day refused to sing because of their complicated classical repertoire.

“Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai” from  Seema (1955), “Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Aur Toofan Ki” from  Diya Aur Toofan  (1956) composed by Vasant Desai,  “Tu chupi hai kahan” from  Navrang  (1959), “Humdum Se Gaye” from  Manzil  (1960), “Aye Mere Pyare Watan” from  Kabuliwala  (1961), “Laga Chunari Mein Daag” from  Dil Hi Toh Hai  (1963), classical songs like “Sur Na Saje” fromBasant Bahar  (1956), “Kaun Aya Mere Mann” from  Dekh Kabira Roya  (1957), “Na Tohh karvan Ki Talash Hai” from  Barsaat Ki Raat  (1960),  “Pucho Na Kaise Maine Rain” from  Meri Surat Teri Aankhen(1963), “Jhanak Jhanak Tori Baje Payalia” from  Mere Huzoor  (1965); folk based songs like “Kaisi Chilman Se” from  Baat Ek Raat Ki(1962), “Ae Meri Zohra Zabeen” from  Waqt  (1965), “Chalat Musafir Moh Liya” from  Teesri Kasam  (1967), duets with Lata like “Masti Bhara Yeh Sama” from  Parvarish(1958), “Nain Mile Chain Kahan” from  Basant Bahar(1956), “Kehdoji Kehdo Chhupao na Pyar” from  Kismat Ka Khel  (1956), “Tum Gagan Ke Chandrama” from  Sati Savitri  (1964), “Dil Ki Girah khol do” from  Raat Aur Din  (1966), “Chunari Sambhal Gori” from  Baharon Ke Sapne  in 1967, were chartbusters in their respective year of release.

With  Lata Mangeshkar, Manna recorded around 103 Hindi duets of which songs like “Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni” from  Awara, “Yeh raat bhigi bhigi” and “Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mein” from  Chori Chori, “Pyar hua iqrar hua” from  Shree 420, “Woh Chand Muskaye” from  Akhri Dao  (1958), “Dil Ki Girah Khol Do” from  Raat Aur Din  (1966), “Aya Abdulla Aya” from  Juaari  (1968), “Soch Ke Ye Gagan Jhume” from the flop film  Jyoti  (1969) and “main buddho lambo lambo” of  Buddha Mil Gaya  (1971) are still extremely popular.

Manna Dey 1 raj kapoor and nutan

Manna Dey gave playback for  Raj Kapoor  in  Shree 420  (Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh),  Chori Chori  (Yeh Raat Bheegi, Jahan Main Jati and Aja Sanam),  Parvarish  (Masti bhara hai sama), ‘Anari’ (Woh chand khila wo taare hanse),  Dil Hi To Hai  (Laga chunari mein daag),  Mera Naam Joker  (Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo) and “Ek Paon Chal Raha Hai” from  Kal Aaj Aur Kal  (1971).

Since 1992, he withdrew himself from Hindi film music citing lack of good quality music and bad picturisation.  But he continued to sing in Bengali movies, bhajans and gazals in different languages and concentrated on giving live performances from 1992-2012 .

The Government of India honoured Manna Dey with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007.

Manna Dey is survived by his daughters Shuroma and Sumita. His wife, Sulochana, died of cancer last year.

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