12-hour marathon Mohammed Rafi concert on Tuesday

Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) A 12-hour marathon concert in memory of the legendary singer Mohammad Rafi will be held here Tuesday to mark his 88th birth anniversary, an organizer said Saturday.

"The concert will start at 12 noon Dec 25 and conclude at midnight. In between there will be a short break to honour renowned radio personality Amin Sayani and the late composer Naushad Ali with the Mohammad Rafi Award for this year," Spandan Arts chief Ashish Shelar told IANS.

Rafi was born Dec 24, 1924 and died July 31, 1980, aged 55, leaving behind a wealth of over 5,000 songs in Hindi, various Indian and even a few foreign languages, which he rendered during his 35-year-long singing career.

While the 80-year old Sayani will receive the award in person, the late music director Naushad Ali's son, Raju, will accept the award on behalf of his father, Shelar said at a media briefing here.

Well-known stage singers Srikant Narayan, along with Sarita Rajesh and Mona Kamat will regale the audiences with a selection of 101 ever-popular, timeless favourites rendered by Mohammad Rafi.

"Music is a universal language and food for the soul. Mohammad Rafi was the 'King of Hearts' and his songs would continue to give tremendous joy and listening pleasure for many more generations," Shelar said.

Considered the greatest Indian playback singer of the Hindi film industry, Mohammad Rafi was noted for the rare ability to mould his voice to the persona of the actor on the screen lip-synching the song.

"Even though you knew it is Rafi singing, it appeared as if the voice belonged to one of the actors on whom it was picturised like Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Shashi Kapoor, or many others. He was the 'unique' voice of many stars simultaneously. His void remains unfilled even today," said music lover and Rafi admirer Anand Joshi.

During his lifetime, Mohammad Rafi was conferred the Padmashri, National Film Award, Best National Singer Award, six Filmfare Awards, besides many other national and international honours.

Shelar said that the Tuesday concert would have a complete selection of Rafi numbers - happy, mischievous, romantic, sad, qawwalis, bhajans, duets - which have made him rule the charts even 32 years after his demise.

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