Manna Dey( 1 May 1919 − 24 October 2013), started his career in playback singing with the movie Tamanna, in 1942. The musical score was by Krishna Chandra Dey and Manna Dey sang a duet named "Jago Aayee Usha Ponchi Boley Jago" with Suraiya which was an instant hit.
There he started working as an assistant music director first under Krishna Chandra Dey, and then under Sachin Dev Burman. Later, he assisted other music composers and then started to work independently. While working independently as a music director for various Hindi movies,
In this blog, I have selected the first and rare duets of Manna Da with the great singers of that era.
His duets with Amirbai Karnatki like "E Duniya Jara Sun Le" from Kamla (1946) and duet song "Aaj Bor Aayee" with Meena Kapoor from 1947 film Chaltey Chaltey became chartbusters in respective years. Between 1945–47 many Manna Dey-Rajkumari duets like "Hay Gagan Me Badal" in 1945 for the film Vikramaditya, "Aowji Morey" from Insaaf (1946), all 4 duets from the film Geet Govind composed by Pandit Indra – "Kit Ho Nando Kumar", "Chorr Sakhi Aaj Laj", "Apney Hi Rang", "Lalit Labang Lata" from Geet Govind became popular.
His first duet with the then-upcoming singer Lata Mangeshkar was "Lapat Ke Pot Pahaney Bikral" composed by Vasant Desai for Narsingh Avtar (1949), later with Lata Mangeshkar, Manna recorded around 103 Hindi duets of which songs like "Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni" from Awara, "Yeh raat bhigi bhigi" and "Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mein" from Chori Chori, "Pyar hua iqrar hua" from Shree 420, "Woh Chand Muskaye" from Akhri Dao (1958), "Ritu aye", "Dil Ki Girah Khol Do" from Raat Aur Din (1966), "Aya Abdulla Aya" from Juaari (1968), "Soch Ke Ye Gagan Jhume" from the flop film Jyoti (1969) and "main buddho lambo lambo" of Buddha Mil Gaya (1971) were extremely popular.
He sang around 27 Hindi duets with Geeta Dutt from 1949 with the last being from Ziddi in 1964. The popular duets of Geeta Dutt-Manna Dey include both classical songs as well as those which have style of Twist dance, Rock & Roll, cha-cha-cha like "Aan aan milo" from Devdas, :O Mister Suno Ek Baat" from Agra Road (1957),His first duet with Geeta Dutt was "Dhonyo Dhonyo He Ayodh Puri" from the film Ram Vivah (1949) composed by Shankar Rao Vyas.
With Asha Bhosle, Manna recorded around 160 Hindi songs from 1953–1982 through their duets kept releasing till 1986 and their last song is sung together was in Teri Maang Sitaaron Se Bhar Doon (1982). Popular duets of Asha-Manna Dey include "Ye Hawa Yeh Nadi Ka" from Ghar Sansar (1958), "Tu chupi hai kahan" from Navrang (1959), "Jodi Hamari Jamegi" from Aulad(1968), "Sanjh Dhali Dil Ki Lagi" from Kala Bazar (1960), "Aye Kash Chalte Milte" from Manzil (1960), "Na Tohh karvan Ki Talaash Hai" from Barsaat Ki Raat (1960), "Jane Na Doonga" from D
In 1956, he sang with a new batch of singers. He recorded his first duets with Sudha Malhotra "Ghar Ghar Deep Jalao Re" from Ayodhyapati in 1956, with singer Meena Kapoor in the song "Rim Jhim Jhim Rim Jhim" from Pardesi (1957) composed by Anil Biswas.
Manna Dey's duets with Suman Kalyanpur were very popular making them a celebrated team. Their first duet was "Prem Bada Balwan Jagat" from Maayaa Nagri (1957) composed by B.N.Bali and since then have sung around 45 songs together. Their popular duets include "Tum Jo Aao" from Sakhi Robin (1962) composed by Robin Bannerjee, "Dil Se Jo Baat" from Al Hilal (1958) composed by C.Ramachandra, "Na Jane Kahan" from Zindagi Aur Khwab (1963), "Ye Din Hai Khushi Ke" from Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai (1963) and "Bheegi Hawaon Mein" from Shriman Sataywadi (1960).
Among the male singers, he sang with Mohd. Rafi He sang 101 Hindi songs along-with Rafi which include 58 duets with Rafi such as "Ishq Ishq" (Barsaat Ki Raat) "Tu hai mera prem Devta" (Kalpana), "Mama o mama" (Parvarish), Duniyaan ke liye from Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981), "Main Hoon Tera Prem Aur Tu Ho Meri Pran" from Rahu Ketu (1979), the song "Hindustan Ki Kasam" from Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973), "Hum To Tere Hai Deewane" from Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong, "Badey Miya Diwane" from Shagird, "Ye Do Diwane Dil Ke" from Johar Mehmood in Goa, "Agar Dil Dil Se" from Shola Aur Shabnam (1961).
His first duet with Kishore Kumar was "Subaho Ki Paheli Kiran" from 1951 film Anadolan composed by Pannalal Ghosh. They recorded only 6 songs together until 1968 and all proved to be hits, some of them being "Ye Duniya hai usaki nyari hai" from Sauraksha composed by Bappi Lahiri, "Ye Dosti humnai todenge" from Sholay, "Tubhi Piya Chikara Hoon" and "Tu Jaam Liye Jaa" from Bewakoof (1960), "Babu Samjho Ishaare" from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) all three composed by S.D. Burman and "Baheta Pani Baheta Jaye" from Dhaake Ke Malmal composed by C. Ramachandra, "Joyo Joyo Mere Lal" composed by S.K. Pal in 1952 and the immortal song In 1968, R.D. Burman brought them together for "Ek Chatur Naar" in Padosan.
The demand for Kishore-Manna Dey combination only grew after 1972. Their popular songs were "Mere Pyale Mein" from Aamir Garib (1974), "Is Ishq Mein Har" from Mr. Romeo (1974), "Yeh Dosti" from Sholay (1975), "Duniya Me Jeeney" from Naukri, "Kamal Hain" from Karz, "Phool Chaahiye Na" from Pyas (1982) and their last duet was in 1986 film Maqqar – "Tu Hi Mera Sapna". Salil Chowdhry compositions rendered by Dey from films like Ananad and Anadatta became popular as well. Also the trio of Rafi-Kishore-Manna Dey sang together hits like "Tujhme Ishwar, Allah Tujhme" from Nanha Farishta (1969) and "Band Mutthee" from Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi (1981). Kishore-Manna Dey together also sang with Asha in many films and famous among them are "Khan Chacha" from Dil Deewana (1974), "Aa Kitni Sundar Jagah" from Chandi Sona, both composed by R.D. Burman and with Lata in "Goyakechu Nanche" from Manoranjan (1974), "Logo Ke Juban Me Apna" from Nehla Pe Dehla, both composed by Pancham.
Duet with Suraiya ( This is also the first recording of Manna De)