Ghulam Haider

Ghulam Haider

Music composer born in Hyderabad (Sind, Pakistan). Studied dentistry. Leading composer from the Lahore group e.g. Shyam Sunder, Khurshid Anwar and S.D. Batish. With Naushad initiated a musical revolution helping to institutionalize an All-India Film aesthetic in the 40s. Learnt music from Babu Ganeshlal, with whom he worked in theatre playing harmonium in Calcutta. Briefly composer for the Jenaphone recording label. Broke into films in Lahore with Shorey; then worked for Pancholi starting with the Punjabi film Gul-e-Bakavali featuring Noor Jehan as a child actress. Regular composer for Pancholi until Poonji. His score for Khazanchi led to a series of Pancholi hits pioneering new marketing strategies. Best known compositions, often sung by Shamshad Begum, invoke Punjabi folk rhythms and extensively feature percussion instruments like the dholak. Moved to Bombay in 1944 where he worked in Filmistan (Chal Chal Re Naujawan) and Minerva. Composed one successful Mehboob film (Humayun) and gave Lata Mangeshkar her first big break in playback singing (Majboor, in duets with Geeta Dutt and Mukesh). Returned to Lahore after Partition, where he started Filmsaz with director S. Nazir Ajmeri and actor S. Gul, making Beqarar. Also scored Akeli, Bheegi Palkein and last Noor Jehan film Gulenar (1953) – By Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen