Singer Lata Mangeshkar left for her heavenly abode on February 6, 2022. She has left behind a legacy which can barely be matched up to by any other singer from any generation. The numerous songs that she has sung over the years have helped take Indian film music to a level which would have otherwise never been possible.
After beginning in the 1940s, she slowly moved to the 1950s where her songs became even more popular. Her distinct voice quality set her apart from the rest of the female singers of that generation. Here are a few of her most popular songs from that decade:
'Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi' (Awara, 1951)
Actor Raj Kapoor's surrealistic dreamscape was based around composer Shankar Jaikishen's melodic music and Lata Mangeshkar's charm. It's impossible to imagine a nicer voice singing the song for actress Nargis as she sways down to greet Raj Kapoor.
'Thandi Hawayen' (Naujawan, 1951)
Another composer who may lay claim to transforming Lata Mangeshkar's voice from the shrill pattern of the 1940s to the flirtatious voice of the 1950s was music composer SD Burman. This upbeat tune is still one of the Melody Queen's greatest performances from the 1950s.
'Mohe Bhool Gaye Saawariya' (Baiju Bawra, 1952)
If melody was an acquired talent, Lata Mangeshkar's classical training was her forte. In music composer Naushad's homage to Baiju Bawra, he left this pathos-laden composition in Raag Bhairav to the skills of his most brilliant ward, Mangeshkar. She did not disappoint him and the audience.
'Yaad Kiya Dil Ne' (Patita, 1953)
Music composer Shankar Jaikishen left the RK confines very rarely in the 1950s, and for him to do so was unusual. 'Patita' was one such occurrence. It had an energetic song that marked the composer for a great future, starring actor Dev Anand and actress Usha Kiran in the lead. Of course, Lata Mangeshkar sings the song beautifully.
'Man Dole Mera Tan Dole' (Nagin, 1954)
Before actress Sridevi was swaying to the beats of a 'been,' there was actress Vyjayanthimala in 'Nagin'. Music composer and singer Hemant Kumar penned and sang this mesmerising song, which was performed by Lata Mangeshkar. Music composer Kalyanji of Kalyanji-Anandji is renowned for having played the 'been.'
'Aaja Sanam' (Chori Chori, 1956)
‘Chori Chori’ was a beautiful love story brought to life by the presence of Raj Kapoor and Nargis. It generated several remakes ('Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahi', 'Jab We Met'). Singer Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar, another magnificent duo, provided the playback vocals for the song.
'Aaja Re Pardesi' (Madhumati, 1958)
In the 1950s, no one accomplished haunting melodies quite like Lata Mangeshkar. She performed a song complete with desire, passion, and love in this classic by director Bimal Roy. It demonstrated the calibre of a singer who was already dubbed the 'Queen' of Indian film music.