Interesting Facts and Figures Geeta DuttMay 23rd, 2009 - 1:44 am ICT by Sampurn Wire
Geetā Dutt (born Geetā Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri) [November 23, 1930 – July 20, 1972] was a prominent Indian playback singer in Hindi movies in the 1950s and 60s, and also a singer of modern Bengali songs.
Geeta Dutt was born in 1930 into a rich zamindār’s family as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri in Faridpur, (then in Bengal, India; now in Banglādesh).
In 1942, her parents shifted to an apartment in Dādar, Bombay (now Mumbai) when she was twelve.
There, composer/music director Hanumān Prasād once overheard her singing casually, and, feeling impressed, he offered to impart her training in singing.
He launched her in a chorus song in Bhakta Prahlād (1946), where she sang only two lines. But her rendering of those two lines stood out.
The following year, she got a major assignment as a playback singer for Do Bhāi, and her renderings in that movie brought Geeta to the forefront as a top playback singer.
Initially, Geeta was a singer known for singing bhajans and sad songs, but her renderings of composer S. D. Burman’s jazzy musical scores in Bāzi in 1951 demonstrated a new facet of Geeta’s singing:
The sexiness in her voice and her easy adaptation to “western” tunes. From then on in the 1950s, Geeta was people’s first choice for singing seductive songs and providing song accompaniments in dance clubs.
S.D. Burman recognized the magic in Geeta’s voice through her songs in “Do Bhāi”. He effectively used the Bengali lilt in her voice in movies like Devdās (1955) and Pyāsā (1957).
The song “Āj Sājan Mohe Ang Lagā Lo” in “Pyāsā” is a prime example of a Bengali keertan being presented in its Hindi version.
Under composer O.P. Nayyar’s direction, Geeta further developed into a singer who could sing almost any kind of song, be it soft, snappy, teasing, or sad.
She, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar were the premier female playback singers in the 1950s.
According to some estimates she has sung for around 100 composers during her career!
The third composer who gave her many hit songs was Hemant Kumar.
Some other popular composers for whom she sang were Chitragupt, Bulo C Rani, Hansraj Behl, Husnlal-Bhagatram and Madan Mohan.
During Geeta’s recording of songs for the movie Baazi, she met the movie’s young and upcoming director, Guru Dutt.
Their romance culminated in marriage on May 26, 1953.
Geeta went on to sing some of her best songs in his movies while continuing to sing in various other assignments as well.
Geeta and Guru Dutt had three children: Tarun (b. 1954), Arun (b. 1956), and Ninā (b. 1962).
In 1957, Guru Dutt launched a movie, “Gauri”,’ with Geeta as its singing star.
It was to be India’s first movie in Cinemascope, but the project was shelved after only a few days of shooting.
By then, their marriage was on the rocks, Guru Dutt had got romantically involved with Waheedā Rehmān, and Geeta had taken to drinking.
The breakup of their marriage affected Geeta’s singing career.
In 1964, Guru Dutt died from a combination of alcohol and an overdose of sleeping pills.
Geeta then suffered a serious nervous breakdown, and also ran into financial problems.
She tried to resume her singing career, cutting discs at Durgā Pujā, and giving stage shows.
She also performed in a leading role in a Bengali movie, Bhadu Bharan (1967), and sang admirably for a movie, Anubhav (1971), which turned out to her final performance to the music of Kanu Roy.
Geeta died of cirrhosis of the liver on July 20, 1972. -Sampurn Media
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Tags: bengali songs, bhakta, chorus song, composer music, desh, devd, hindi movies, hindi version, lata mangeshkar, lilt, mohe, movies in the 1950s, musical scores, o p nayyar, playback singer, playback singers, prahl, s d burman, seductive songs, western tunes