TDIM - Hemant Kumar's Death Anniversary - 26th Sept
September 26, 2013 @ 20:33 pm
Hemant Kumar's Death Anniversary
Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay was a Bengali singer, composer and producer. He sang in Hindi films under the name Hemant Kumar.
Hemanta was born in the city of Varanasi (India). His family originated from Baharu village in West Bengal. They migrated to Kolkata in the early 1900s. Hemanta grew up there and attended Mitra Institution school of Bhawanipore area. There he met his longtime friend, Subhas Mukhopadhyay who later became a Bengali poet. During this time, he developed friendship with noted writer Santosh Kumar Ghosh.
Under the influence of his friend Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Hemanta recorded his first song for All India Radio in 1933. The first line of the song was Amar Ganete Ele Nabarupi Chirantanii. Hemanta's music career was primarily mentored by the Bengali musician, Sailesh Duttagupta. In an interview on television in the early 1980s, Hemanta had mentioned that he had also received classical music training from Ustad Faiyaz Khan, but his tutelage was cut short by Ustad's untimely death.
In 1937, Hemanta cut his first gramophone disc under the Columbia label. The songs (non-film) on this disc were Janite Jadi Go Tumi and Balo Go Balo More whose lyrics were by Naresh Bhattacharya and music was composed by Sailesh Duttagupta. Thereafter, every year Hemanta continued to record non-film discs for the Gramophone Company of India (GCI) till 1984. His first Hindi songs were Kitana Dukh Bhulaya Tumne and O Preet Nibhanewali, released in 1940 under GCI's Columbia label. Music for these songs were composed by Kamal Dasgupta, lyrics were by Faiyaz Hashmi.
Hemanta's first film song was in the Bengali film Nimai Sanyas released in 1941. Music for this film was scored by Hariprasanna Das. Hemanta's first compositions for himself were the Bengali non-film songs Katha Kayonako Shudhu Shono and Amar Biraha Akashe Priya in 1944. Lyrics of these two songs were by Amiya Bagchi.
His first Hindi film songs were in Irada in 1944 under Pt. Amarnath's music direction. Lyrics were by Aziz Kashmiri.
In September 1989, he travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to receive the Michael Madhusudan Award. He performed a concert in Dhaka as well. Immediately after returning from this trip, he suffered a major heart attack (myocardial infarction) on 26 September and died at 11:15 pm in a nursing home in South Calcutta. Interestingly, even nearly two decades after his death, Gramophone Company of India releases at least one album by him every year, repackaging his older songs, because of the commercial viability of his songs. His legacy still lives on through the numerous songs he has recorded, music he has composed and through many male singers in Bengal and the rest of India who continue to imitate his singing style.
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