Song of the Moment: Zindagi Dene Wale Sun

Open your ears to one of the most unique voices in Bollywood, that of the trailblazer Talat Mahmood! Born into a conservative Muslim family in Lucknow in 1924, Mahmood was trained to sing ghazals, an often devotional form of lyric poetry. He built his reputation in Calcutta, only making it Bollywood in 1949. By this time he was already a star, and holds the honour of being the first Indian popular singer to tour abroad, entertaining rapturous crowds in East Africa in 1956. Sadly, as Bollywood embraced foreign sounds over traditional forms in the 1960s, Mahmood’s soaring tremolo lost out in favour of the punchy baritones of Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh. Always the gentleman, Mahmood gracefully gave up the spotlight but is still admired in India and worldwide.

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