Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar fell out on royalty issue: book

Rafi-lata

He became the voice of most of the actors across the decades, including Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna.

When Rafi entered the field of playback singing, film songs were mostly restricted to one 'saptak' or single scale.

"But Rafi started the trend of singing to one and a half scales ('dedh saptak'), thus bringing about a radical change in film music," the book says.

At the start of his career, Rafi was paid between Rs 50 and Rs 70 per song.

"This amount increased, until towards the end of his career he was being paid anything from Rs 18000 to Rs 20000. Nevertheless, he worked in small-budget films also, and for producers who could only make meagre payments. Sometimes he would not take money at all. When he sang for his colleague Kishore Kumar's film 'Shabaas Daddy', he accepted only Re 1 as a token fee," Yasmin writes.

The last song recorded by Rafi was for the film "Aas Paas" on July 26, 1980 just five days before his death. It was a duet with Lata.

Anand Bakshi's lyrics were set to music by Laxmikant Pyarelal. The song goes like this: 'Shehr mein charcha hai, Yeh duniya kehti hai, Gali mein meri ek ladki kunwari rehti hai'. Yasmin mentions an episode of 1937 which she describes as the "first turning point" in Rafi's life at the age of 13.

"A pan-India exhibition was held in Lahore. It featured a musical programme where popular singers of that time Kundan Lal Saigal and Zohra Bai Ambalewali were performing along with some new talents. Thousands of music lovers had turned up to listen to their favourites. Rafi too was a fan of K L Saigal and wanted to hear him sing, so he accompanied his elder brother to the event."

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