Hemant Kumar

Hemant Kumar

The renowned Bengali-Hindi film composer and singer Hemant Kumar Mukherjee is remembered to this day for some of the most melodious songs in the cinema of both languages. Born in Banaras, Hemant Kumar left school to become a professional singer. He learnt music under the guidance of Phani Bannerjee and Shailendraprasad Gupta, and started off initially by singing on the radio.

In Bengal, Hemant Kumar achieved status as a Rabindra Sangeet singer, film composer, and playback singer, becoming famous as the singing voice of superstar Uttam Kumar. He made his debut as a singer in Bengali films with Nimai Sanyasi in 1940 and in Hindi films with Iraada in 1944. His debut as a composer in Hindi films was with Anandmath. He became a star singer when he rendered the classic Yeh raat yeh chandni phir kahan in Jaal.

He hit the big time as a composer in Hindi films with Nagin, which included the landmark Tan dole number. This film also fetched him the Filmfare Award for Best Music Composer. Hemant Kumar was the man behind the haunting music of Anupama.

Hemant Kumar’s collaboration with Guru Dutt led to the classic song Jaane woh kaise in Pyaasa and, later, the brilliant musical score of Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. He turned producer with Mrinal Sen’s Bengali film Neel Akasher Neeche (1958) and went on to produce Hindi films such as Bees Saal Baad, Kohraa, and Khamoshi – (Source :- Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema)