Jukebox: Talat Mahmood’s Music Is in a League of Its Own

The prolific singer was only 16 when he started singing on All India Radio.

1 min read
Talat Mahmood. (Photo courtesy: <a href=";vertical=default&amp;q=talat%20mahmood&amp;src=typd">Twitter/ @bollywoodgoogly</a>)

Talat Mahmood is one of the most gifted singers India has ever seen. Prolific in film music as well as gazals, he had a distinctive style of singing - profoundly poetic and classically intricate at the same time. In the movies, the Padma Bhushan winner mostly sang sombre or romantic numbers - he was often the voice of Dilip Kumar - and was one of the most sought after playback singers in the ’50s and ’60s.

Going against his traditional Lucknowi family to choose a musical career, Mahmood was only 16 when he started singing on All India Radio. He soon caught the country’s attention and became coveted - first in the Bengali film industry and then Bollywood. He even tried his hand at acting though that was not really a successful stint.

On his death anniversary today (09 May), let’s revisit some of his best remembered film songs and ghazals.

(This article is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 9 May 2018. It is being republished to mark Talat Mahmood’s death anniversary.)

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