A Tribute to Rafi:

Celebrating a century of Melody

A joint initiative of Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha and
The Family of Shri Mohammed Rafi


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Social Initiatives

Endorsements for Initiatives

Dr V Shankar – President, Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha Mumbai explains…

Dr V Shankar – President, Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha Mumbai explains….

Mrs Nasreen Ahmed, Chairperson of World of Mohammed Rafi Welfare Foundation

Mrs. Nasreen Ahmed, Daughter of Rafi Saheb and Chairperson of World of Mohammed Rafi Welfare Foundation testifies the centenary initiatives…

A letter by Padma Vibhushan Shri. Amitabh Bachchan, celebrated cine artiste attesting inauguration of Rafi Memorial at the auditorium…

A letter by Padma Vibhushan Shri. Amitabh Bachchan, celebrated cine artiste attesting inauguration of Rafi Memorial at the auditorium…

Saluting the Symphony

The Shanmukhananda Sabha, one of the foremost cultural institutions in the country, has dedicated a special kiosk to the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi, who sang approximately over 5000 songs in Hindi and various other languages and genres.

The kiosk features a life size statue of Rafi, a bust, rare photographs of his life and career, and an exhaustive write-up on his achievements and contributions to Indian cinema. The kiosk also allows music lovers to listen to 100 of his memorable songs, along with the details of the composer, the musician, the film and the artistes on whom they were picturised.

All these elements are backlit to create a stunning visual effect.
The Sabha attracts over 600,000 visitors per year, who will get the opportunity to appreciate the greatness of this Mahaan Kalaakar (great artist) through this kiosk.

Rafi’s Musical Legacy

Total Songs
Hindi Film Songs
Non-Film Songs
Regional Film Songs

A life story of the legend

Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980)

House of Mohammed Rafi in Kotla

Kotla Sultan Singh – name of a small village near Amritsar in Punjab, would never have been heard in most parts of the world. But today some of the true music lovers (particularly that of Bollywood) would readily relate it to the Greatest Singer ever, who was born on the eve of Christmas in 1924, in this very village.

One of the 6 children of his parents, this boy was greatly influenced and inspired by an anonymous Fakir, who used to roam around the village, singing some poetic compositions. The boy used to follow him and his interest in music got developed immensely.

He later learned classical music from Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, Pandit Jiwanlal Mattoo and Firoze Nizami. This boy was destined to be one of the GREATEST EVER SINGERS the world has ever known.

His name was MOHAMMED RAFI.

He gave his first public performance at the age of 13, in a concert featuring the legendary K L Saigal Saheb. It is said that due to power failure, the concert was getting delayed and the audience were feeling restless. In order to pacify the audience, this boy was asked to sing as a stopgap measure. Rafi the child started singing and the people were stunned in disbelief by his amazing talent!!

An acclaimed composer Mr. Shyam Sunder was in the audience and he invited the child prodigy to come to Bombay.

From Gul Baloch to Golden Voice OF INDIA:

The Journey Begins

Rafi Saheb recorded his first song for a Punjabi film – ‘Gul Baloch’ in 1944 at Lahore. He made his debut in Hindi films in film ‘Gaon ki Gori’ (1945), followed by singing in ‘Samaj Ko Badal Dalo’ and ‘Jugnu’ in 1947.

Music Director Naushad also was impressed by his talent and got him to sing in his films like ‘Anmol Ghadi’ and ‘Dillagi’.

After that Mohammed Rafi never looked back and the rest as they say, is history.

In his most illustrious career he sang for almost all Music Directors in his era; from the most popular big names to some relatively lesser known names.

Rafi Saheb not only had an outstanding voice quality, but he was the most versatile of all the singers. All types of songs – whether Patriotic, Classical, Bhajans, Comedy, Sad numbers, Soft Romantic, Sensuous and Mischievous Romantic, Fast Peppy, even flamboyant and boisterous songs, Philosophical and Social causes songs, Ghazals and Qawwalis – he could sing with fluency and in the most outstanding manner. His range was unbelievable!

Another unique aspect was his ability to modulate his voice in such a way, that his singing would vary for different actors, so that on screen it would appear that the particular actor was singing himself!

Awards & Achievements

Celebrating Excellence

The list of his immortal songs is endless. He was nominated for Filmfare Award 21 times, out of which he came out winner on 6 occasions. It would be pertinent to note that though the Filmfare awards started in 1954, the award for playback singing was first initiated only in 1959. Until 1967 only one common award was given between male or female. It was only from 1967 separate winners were awarded in Male and Female categories. He was also the recipient of National Award in the year 1977.

Apart from being such a LEGENDARY SINGER, he was beyond a shadow of doubt, an EXEMPLARY HUMAN BEING! He had helped so many people without any publicity, so much so that even his immediate family members were unaware about his magnanimity and compassion towards so many of the worthy beneficiaries! Rafi always used to say that when Allah has not counted and given him, who is he to count and record what he gives to people in distress of what belongs to Allah.

On the 31st July 1980, the shower of music that soothed the earth ceased. The melody waffled. Grief enveloped that at an young age of 55, Rafi passed away.
The void created by his sad demise cannot be easily filled.

The timeless, priceless heritage of Rafi’s music shall forever remain the Golden Chapter in the history of Indian Music.
He is the Anmol Ratna of Bharat.

Today as we begin celebrating a milestone that he does not witness, his spirit has enveloped us all around and prods us to celebrate life. We feel like humming a line from one of his many non-filmy songs…

पाँव पडुं तोहे श्याम, ब्रिज में लौट चलो…

*July 31st being Mohammed Rafi’s death anniversary, the show is scheduled on 31st in the month of July.