Born – 27 June 1939
Died – 4 January 1994
Rahul Dev Burman, better known as R.D. Burman, was a famous Bollywood music director during the 60’s through the early 90’s. R.D. Burman was born in Calcutta on June 27th, 1939, in Calcutta. His father was the legendary music director S.D. Burman and his mother was named Meera. As a child he was nicknamed “Pancham”. His professional career began in 1958. He began assisting his father on films such as “Solva Saal” (1958), “Chalti Ka Naaam Gaadi” (1958), and “Kaagaz ka Phool” (1957). His first film as music director was Guru Dutt’s film “Raaz” (1959); unfortunately, this film was shelved in the middle of the project. His first released film as a music director was Mehmood’s “Chote Nawaab” (1961). From there his career was firmly launched.Burman’s first hit movie as a film music director was Teesri Manzil (1966). Burman gave credit to lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for recommending him to Nasir Hussain, the producer and writer of the film. Vijay Anand also said that he had arranged a music session for Burman before Nasir Hussain. Teesri Manzil had six songs, all of which were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and sung by Mohammed Rafi. Four of these were duets with Asha Bhosle, whom Burman later married. Nasir Hussain went on to sign RD Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for six of his films including Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). Burman’s score for Padosan (1968) was well received. Meanwhile, he continued to work as his father’s assistant for movies like Jewel Thief (1967) and Prem Pujari (1970). The superhit Kishore Kumar song Mere Sapnon ki Raani from Aradhana (1969), though credited to his father, is rumoured to have been RD Burman’s composition. Kora Kagaz tha Yeh Man Mera from the same film was also his tune. It is believed that when SD Burman fell ill during the recording of the film’s music, RD Burman took over and completed the music. He was credited as an associate composer for the film. RD Burman inspired many later Bollywood music composers, such as Vishal-Shekhar. Notable musical assistants to RD Burman include Manohari Singh and Sapan Chakraborty. His instrumentalists included Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Louis Banks, Bhupinder and Kersy Lord. He is also noted for his partnership with the lyricist Gulzar, who wrote the words for several of his finest compositions. In fact, the famous song ‘Sar jo tera chakraaye’ in Guru Dutt’s film, Pyaasa was composed by him as a child. RD Burman also played the mouth organ as a child in another famous song, Hai apna dil to aawara in the film Solva Saal released in the year 1958 starring actor Dev Anand. Pancham began his music career as assistant to his father. However, he began working independently as music director after the film Chhote Nawaab was made and thereafter, handled 331 films and 4 non-film albums on his own.