Lata Mangeshkar turns 84
India s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar, the “First Lady of Film Music” and “indisputable and indispensable queen of India s playback singers”, is celebrating her 84th birthday today (Saturday). Born on September 28, 1929 Lata Mangeshkar was initiated into music by her classically trained father, Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, who was a celebrated singer-actor of the Marathi Stage. Dinanath started honing her talent at the tender age of six and recommended to her the singing style of the great K.L. Saigal. It is since then that Lata has been nursing an avid admiration for Saigal whose style, she says, has accompanied her throughout her singing career. Her first Hindi song, which was picturised on her was a patriotic number for a Marathi film Gajabhau in 1944, but the first mainstream Hindi film for which she sang was Aap Ki Sewa Mein, also directed by Vasant Joglekar, for whom she had sung as a playback artiste for the first time in Marathi. Lata also acted in Master Vinayak-directed Marathi film Chimkula Sansar (1943), and Hindi pictures, Badi Ma (1945), Jeewan Yaatra (1946), Subhadra (1946) and Mandir (1948). According to Lata, she was discovered as a singer by Master Ghulam Haider of Khazanchi fame, who discerned a great promise in her singing and visualized her as the most resplendent star of the future in the subcontinent s music firmament. However, in 1949, three of her films – Mahal, Andaz and Barsat – which had lilting numbers scored by Khemchand Prakash, Naushad and Shankar-Jaikishen respectively, zoomed her to great heights. Then there was no looking back and gradually all music directors wanted only Lata to sing for them.
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