By: Omair Alavi
The name’s Rushdi, Ahmed Rushdi. The late playback singer was not only the first Pakistani vocalist to go pop but also inspired generations with his amazing delivery, timely expressions and filmi rendition of songs. On what would have been his 83rd birthday, we bring you his finest ‘pacy’ tracks that will make his fans go nuts just as they used to during his concerts in his prime.
Gol Gappay Wala
This song from Mehtab made the already-famous Ahmed Rushdi a household name; it is still played on the gol gappay wala stands all over the country and was able to hit the chord because the talented vocalist knew that by moulding his vocals, he can hit the song out of the park – which he did!
Ko Ko Ko Rina
Producer Waheed Murad asked music director Sohail Rana to compose a song with least possible instruments and the result was this song from Armaan. With just 5 musical instruments, the music director managed to create the first pop song of the country, and Ahmed Rushdi aced it with his usual brilliance. Even after 50 years, the song is still gold, thanks to the renditions by Alamgir and others.
Tumhein Kaise Bata Doo
The same team that got together for Armaan delivered musical hit Doraha and the nearly all songs from the movie went onto become famous including this pacy track. Ahmed Rushdi is at his very best with expressions and vocals, something that Waheed Murad manages to capture on screen.
Socha Tha Pyar Na Karenge
There was a time when using any other singer for Waheed Murad other than Ahmed Rushdi was considered a crime by their fans! In this song from Ladla, the duo mesmerizes the audience by being in sync with everything on and off screen, resulting in a classic song from the 60s.
Hip Hip Hurray
Most of Ahmed Rushdi’s early fast numbers were filmed on Waheed Murad and this Dever Bhabi track is one of them. Here, the singer-actor duo does an emphatic job and brings alive the composition of Master Inayat Hussain – the song also plays an important part in the development of the story.
Liye Aankhon Main Ghuroor
Veteran actor Mohammad Ali collaborated with Ahmed Rushdi and Mehdi Hassan frequently – in his home production Aag, he was at his best performing on a song that was supposed to ridicule his lady love. The vocals were brilliant and helped the actor deliver the message effectively – on a harmonium.
Ek Uran Khatola Aayega
Iranian actor Reza Fazli acted and directed Operation Karachi which was a Pak-Iran collaboration in early 70s. There is an interesting story about the lyrics as narrated by music director Buland Iqbal – there was a gap in the wordings and when the director inquired with the lyricist Sehba Akhtar, he replied with Ayya Yo Yo, which in his words meant I don’t know.
Munawwar Zarif was one of the few comedians who knew how to film a Rushdi number and that’s the reason most of the hit songs filmed on the iconic comedian had Ahmed Rushdi’s vocals. In this song from Khamosh Nigahen, Ahmed Rushdi is at his very best, and so is Munawwar Zarif.
Burhaapay Main Dil Na Lagana Baday Mian
On one hand was a conman played by Waheed Murad, on the other was a cop in disguise. Since the two were frequent Rushdi collaborators, the veteran playback singer delivered a gem of a song in Jab Jab Phool Khile, providing playback for both.
Damadam Mast Qalandar
At the time of the film’s release, Ahmed Rushdi was perhaps the only Pakistani singer who could have sung this song with correct pronunciation – Mohammad Ali Shehkhi, A. Nayyar and Alamgir rose to prominence later. All the lyrics were in English and the expressions he put in the song from Dekha Jayega were beyond comparison. Other playback singers have also tried their hand at singing but remember, this was years before Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan became famous with his rendition.