Joy Mukherjee's films had fabulous music. The outstanding songs of Rafisahab composed by OP Nayyar, Naushad Ali, Shankar Jaikishan, Laxmikant Pyarelal and others still haunt the listeners.
Actor Joy Mukherjee was blessed with the music of eminent music directors during the 1950s and 1960s. The 1950s and 1960s was the period when Bollywood films had maximum number of superstars including legendary heroes, actresses, music directors, directors, singers, etc. If there was huge competition among actors like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Ashok Kumar, Rajender Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Pradip Kumar, Bharat Bhushan; there was huge competition among actresses like Vaijayantimala, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Saira Banu, Sadhna, Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore, to name a few. The directors including Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, BR Chopra, Yash Chopra, V Shantaram, Shakti Shamanta, Subodh Mukherjee, Pramod Chakravarty, all created landmark films. In that backdrop Joy Mukherjee had huge task in terms of competing with the best actors in the industry and creating a bench mark. The music of his films helped him a lot in terms of box office success.
Iqbal Qureshi composed the music of his first film Love in Simla in 1960.
It was the first film of Sadhna and the film was directed by her husband RK Nayyar. It was a hit film. All the songs of Rafisahab in the film including “love ka matlab hai pyar”, “kiya hai dilruba pyar bhi kabhi, humse ho gaya ji abhi abhi”, “dil tham chale”, “aye baby idhar ao” to name a few were all hits. Sadhna acted opposite Joy Mukherjee in that film.
OP Nayyar composed music in around 5 films of Joy Mukherjee. The music of Joy Mukherjee’s Ek Musafir Ek Haseena opposite Sadhna was super hit. The film also became super hit. Rafisahab and Ashaji’s songs “bahut shukriya bari meherbani”, “aap yuhi agar humse milte rahe dekhiye ek din pyar ho jayega”, “mai pyar ka rahi hoon, teri zulf ki saye me”, “mujhe dekhkar aapka muskurana”, “phir tere shahar me lutne ko chala aya hoon”, “humko tumhare ishq ne kya kya bana diya, jab kuch na ban sake to tamasha bana diya”, became landmark hits. OP Nayyar during his lifetime in interview said that he gave his best music in Ek Musafir Ek Haseena and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon.
In 1963, OP Nayyar’s music in Joy Mukherjee’s Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon was fabulous. All the songs of Rafisahab like “aanchal me saja lena kaliya, zulfon me sitaren bhar lena”, “lakho hai nigaho me, zindagi ki rahon me sanam haseen jawan”, “banda parwar thamlo zigar banke pyar phir aya hoon, khidmat me aapki huzoor phir wohi dil laya hoon”, “naznee bara rangeen hai wada dera, humdum mere khel na jano”, “zulf ke chayon me chehere ka ujala lekar” all became landmark hits. Asha Parekh acted opposite Joy Mukherjee. The film ended up being 3rd biggest blockbuster of 1963, after Rajender Kumar’s Mere Mehboob and Pradip Kumar’s Taj Mahal. In 1967, OP Nayyar’s music in Joy Mukherjee’s Humsaya also became hit. Rafisahab’s song “dil ki awaz bhi sun” became a big hit.
Shankar Jaikishan gave super hit music in Joy Mukherjee’s film Love in Tokyo in 1966. Asha Parekh acted opposite Joy Mukherjee in the film. All the songs in the film of Rafisahab and Lataji became super hit. The prominent ones included “le gayi dil gudiya Japan ki”, “aaja re aa zara aa”, “o mere shahe khuba”, “sayonara sayonara”, “hume tum mil gaye humdum”, “koi matwala aja mere dware”. Even Manna Dey’s song for Mehmood in the film “mai tere pyar mai bimaar hun kya arz karoon” became hit. The fabulous locations of Japan and capital city Tokyo also helped in the big success of the film. It was the 4th biggest blockbuster in 1966.
Naushad Ali composed music in Joy Mukherjee’s film Saaz Aur Awaaz in 1965. Saira Banu acted opposite Joy Mukherjee in the film. The tunes of the songs were classically oriented. The title song of Rafisahab “saaz ho tum awaaz hun mai”, “husn se chaand bhi” became a big hit.
SD Burman composed music in Joy Mukherjee’s Ziddi in 1964. Saira Banu acted opposite Joy Mukherjee. Again the songs of Rafisahab and Lataji became big hits. The prominent ones included “teri surat se nahi milti kisi ki surat”, “janu kya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya”, “pyar ki manzil mast safar”, “raato ka sila” all were big hits.
Laxmikant Pyarellal composed music in Joy Mukherjee’s Shagird in 1967. It was a super hit film becoming the 4th biggest blockbuster of 1967. Again the songs of the film and hilly locations played a very significant part. Rafisahab and Lataji’s songs “duniya pagal hai yah phir mai deewana”, “kanha”, “dilvil pyar war mai kya janu re”, “wo hai zara khafa khafa” all became super hit. Even the comedy song of Rafisahab picturized on Joy Mukherjee and IS Johar titled “o bare miya diwane aise na bano, haseena kya chahe humse suno” became super hit.
From 1969 onwards Joy Mukherjee’s films could not do great business. So songs of composers during that period did not get that limelight. OP Nayyar composed music in Joy Mukherjee’s film Dil Aur Muhabbat where Sharmila Tagore acted opposite him. Mahendra Kapoor sang the songs for Joy Mukherjee.
The other composers who composed music in Joy Mukherjee’s films included Kalyanji Anandji in Ji Chahta Hai. Rafisahab’s song “ji chahta hai kheech lun tasveer aapki”, “aye jane tamanna jane bahar” became hit. Rajashree acted opposite Joy Mukherjee in the film.
Ravi Shankar Sharma composed music in a number of films of Joy Mukherjee. Door Ki Awaaz was one of the films. Even Usha Khanna composed music in some films of Joy Mukherjee.
In the 1970s, Joy Mukherjee acted with Dev Mukherjee in the film Ek Baar Muskurado. OP Nayyar composed the music. Neither the music could do magic, nor the film did good business. Tanuja acted in the film. From 1975 onwards Joy Mukherjee faded out of the industry.
His stardom was intact for around 12 to 13 years. He gave lips in some of the best songs of Rafisahab. He acted opposite leading actresses of the industry from Sadhna to Saira Banu, Vaijayantimala to Rajashree. The songs and the films of Joy Mukherjee required publicity, preservation and restoration.
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Rafi Sahab sang with a stylish accent for Raaj Kumar. If Rafisahab’s combination with Dilip Kumar, Rajender Kumar, Dharmender, Bharat Bhushan were unforgettable, Rafi Sahab’s combination with Raaj Kumar was also grand..