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Talat Mahmood - The Velvet Voice Paperback – 2015
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Description for Talat Mahmood - The Velvet Voice
Talat Mahmood was one of the most important and significant singers of the golden era of Hindi film music. His songs are recalled by music lovers, generation after generation. The quality of his voice and the richness of his expression made him a great singer both in cinema and outside it. His melodies are a precious part of any music connoisseur’s repository and for several people around the world his is the most moving and soul-stirring voice ever. It’s a little known fact that as much as a third of his work is non-film recordings, which consists of several songs of absolutely stunning and magical melodies to touch the listener’s heart. Because Talat Mahmood was handsome, he also acted in a few films, being cast opposite many beautiful ladies of the time, including Nutan, Suraiya, Nadira, Mala Sinha, Shyama et al. However, it is not as an actor but as a singer that he will be remembered. Inside the present work, tributes from his son and daughter find space. This is a focussed effort to look at the life and times of this amazing singing-actor, seen from the perspective of many music lovers who either knew him or understood his music. His entire repertoire of songs is tabulated and can be readily referenced. Plus there is a great deal of trivia related to the films in which his songs were featured. This is one book on the gentleman singer in which the readers or music lovers will find everything they always wanted to know about Talat, presented in a fun-to-read way, while continuing to fulfill its task of being an exhaustive work of reference. Manek Premchand has been a Talat Mahmood fan, and later a family friend. His passion for Hindi Film music has propelled him to write three books before this: Yesterday’s Melodies Today’s Memories, Musical Moments From Hindi Films and Romancing the Song. A third of the biog
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The 256-page book is well researched, it has interviews and articles written by Talat's two children Khalid Mahmood and Sabina Talat Mahmood Rana, an effusive introduction by the incredible thespian, the lovable radio announcer Ameen Sayani, whole chapters that study Talat's songs from different perspectives. As a contributing writer in the book, I am happy to see plenty of hitherto unseen photographs from the Mahmood family album finding space.
Other contributing writers include the Pakistani and Bangladeshi perspective too( author of the SD Burman book from Bangladesh H Q Chowdhury's piece is brilliant and so is the write-up of the Pakistani author Sultan Arshad) amongst a few others who have studied Talat's work. The down-side of the book is that one wished there was an interview of the author with the singer( although they had met a few times but then those were meetings of a fan with his icon) it would have greatly enhanced the work. However since Talat is no longer alive, the music historian of four books on music, Manek Premchand has done his best to offer a 21-gun salute to his musical icon Talat. For collectors, this book is a must-have.
Its almost criminal that such a high price has been placed on this book.
Next time I see a book wiith author name as Manek Premchand, I will know I need to stay away.
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