Legendary singer of Kishor Kumar was a versatile singer of Bollywood. Not only he charmed us with his super charismatic voice but also mesmerized us as an actor in number of Hindi movies. On 4th August 2012 we celebrated 83rd birth anniversary of this finest gem of Hindi cinema music. It is indeed a fact that a singer of his caliber will never be seen again on the horizon of Indian film music. On this occasion we take a look at a brief history of Kishor Kumar, his musical career and his personal life.
Kishor kumar was born in a Bengali family leaving in Khandwa, M. P. (which was known as C.P and Berar at that time). His father’s name was Kunjalal Ganguly and he was lawyer by profession. His mother’s name was Gouri Devi. Kishor kumar’s actual name was Abhas Kumar Ganguly and he was youngest of four siblings Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar and Sita Devi.
The story of the way he got his voice polished and fine tuned is really interesting and told by Ashok Kumar. When Kishor Kumar was 10 year old kid, he got his leg chopped with a knife in kitchen and as a result he suffered deep injury and immense pain. He started crying and would cry for at least 20 hours a day. This lasted for 30 days till his voice – which was coarse and harsh initially – got toned and sweetened. As a result, this injury turned out in favour of Kishor Kumar and Hindi cinema industry’s singing legend was born.
Growing up, Kishor Kumar saw his elder brother Ashok Kumar who was making career in Hindi cinema at that time. His second brother Anoop Kumar was also trying to get himself established in the industry with the help of his elder brother. No surprise that this influenced the younger brother Kishor and made him taking interest in Hindi films. Very soon Kishor got fascinated for making his career too in Hindi Movies. Popular contemporary actor K.L. Sehgal became his inspiration and he tried to imitate his style of singing and acting.
To enter the film industry Abhas Kumar Ganguly needed a new name. Thus he changed his name to Kishor Kumar and started singing as a chorus singer at Bombay talkie. Very soon he got a first break as an actor in a film Shikari in 1946. Ashok Kumar was a lead actor in this movie. After that Kishor kumar got so many assignments and then in 1949 he decided to settle in Mumbai to pursue his career. Bombay talkies film Andolan which was released in 1951 was his first film as a lead actor. However Kishor kumar was not interested in acting initially and wanted to focus more on singing. However elder brother Ashok Kumar convinced him to take his acting career seriously.
In 1954 he starred in film Naukri, and in 1957 Hrishikesh Mukharji selected him for his directorial debut movie Musafir. New Delhi (1957), Aasha (1957), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Half Ticket (1962), and Padosan (1968) are the movies which followed later.
Later in the 70’s and early 80’s, Kishor Kumar formed a formidable duo with contemporary legendary singer Mohammed Rafi and ruled Hindi Film Music Industry for a long time.
Kishore Kumar married four times. He had a first marriage in 1950 with Bengali singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted for 8 years from 1950 to 1958. Kishor Kumar second marriage was with beautiful actress of Bollywood Madhubala. Madhubala and Kishor had worked together in many films including Chalti Ka Naam Gadi and Jhumroo. Their marriage lasted for 9 years and ended with the death of Madhu Bala in 1969.For the third time Kishor Kumar got married with Yogita Bali and this associatin lasted for four years.His fourth marriage was with Leena Chadawarkar and it lasted till his death in 1980. Kishore Kumar sired two sons, Amit Kumar (playback singer) with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena Chandavarkar.