Legendary playback singer Manna Dey passes away

5 years ago

Banglore: Legendary playback singer Manna Dey, who cast his musical spell for over five decades with all-time hits like 'ay mere pyara watan', 'laaga chunri me daag' and 'poocho na kaise', died at a hospital here today at the age of 94 after prolonged illness.


Dey, who was in and out of Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital in the last five months for respiratory and renal problems, died of cardiac arrest at 3:50 AM, hospital spokesman Vasuki said.


His daughter Shumita Deb and his son-in-law Jnanranjan Deb were by his bedside when the end came, his family said. His wife Sulochana died in January last year. His second daughter lives in the US.


The condition of Dey deteriorated since yesterday afternoon. He had been discharged twice for a brief period in the last five months, Vasuki said.

Along with Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar, Dey was the  last member of the famous quartet of singers who dominated the Hindi music industry from 1950s to 1970s.

Born in Kolkata in 1919, Dey went on to sing over 3,500 songs in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Assamese films before quitting movies in the '90s. His last song was 'Hamari hi mutthi mein' for 1991 film 'Prahaar'.

Dey, who had made Bangalore his home for the past few years, started his career in playback singing with the film 'Tamanna' in 1943. The musical score was set by his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey and he had to sing a duet with Suraiya. The song 'sur na saje kiya gaon mein' was an instant hit.  In 1950, 'Mashal' was the second film where Dey got the opportunity to sing a solo ?Upar gagan vishal?, a melody created by Sachin Dev Burman.


In 1952, Dey sang both for a Bengali and a Marathi film of the same name and storyline, Amar Bhupali, and established himself as a booming Bengali playback singer that in years to come took him to greater heights.


His popular tracks include Poocho Na Kaise Maine (Meri Surat Teri Aankhen), Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen (Waqt), Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli(Anand), Yeh Dosti (Sholay) and Ek Chatur Naar (Padosan) and Laga Chunari Mein Daag (Dil Hi Toh Hai) and'Yeh  Raat Bheegi Bheegi' (Chori Chori).


Dey was much in demand for complicated raag-based songs and was once even pitted against his idol Bhimsen Joshi in 1956 movie 'Basant Bahar' for 'Ketki, gulab, juhi' song, something that he initially refused.

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