Friday, March 2, 2012

Hero of Hyderbad: C.H. Atma

C.H. Atma

Until very recently I had never heard the name, C.H. Atma. I’m so glad I discovered him because his singing comes from the exact place and time I was first becoming conscious of film music.  I was young, perhaps not even 10, and I would listen to the songs on All India Radio that our cook tuned into as he prepared our lunch. Post colonial India was a bit older than me but unabashed hope and idealism still permeated the air.  And though I cannot claim to recall any of Atma’s songs his rich, calming voice fits perfectly with those times.

Having an astonishingly deep and rich voice C.H. Atma as a singer is in a class by himself and is rightly known as the artiste with a golden voice.

He made his debut in the gramaphone world way back in 1945 with what is perhaps his best known song even today, namely Preetam Aan Milo. And it was this song which was responsible many years later for his entry into the film world and for skyrocketing him to fame. This was when the late Dalsukh Pancholi gave him a chance to sing in his film Nagina and Atma scored a big hit with the song Roun Main Sagar ke Kinare under the music direction of Shankar Jaikishen.  Since then he has come a long way and has sung and acted in a number of films.  In addition he is a much sought after concert singer and apart from travelling over the length and breadth of the country participating in concerts and music conferences, he has also visited East Africa on an extensive concert tour.

Born at Hyderbad, Sindh in what is now West Pakistan in 1923 and educated at Karachi, Atma took to singing whilst at College as a hobby. He started his working life as a Radio Officer in one of the internal Airways Lines but little did he realise in those far off days that his hobby would day become his career.

This gifted artiste’s soft and melodious voice is ideally suited to geets and ghazals of the romantic type and this record offers some of his most popular geets, ghazals, and also bhajans.  A number of these selection have been tuned and orchestrated by such well known music directors of the film industry as O.P. Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishen, Khyyam and Bulo C. Rani and this issue will be a rare treat for lovers of good modern and melodious music.
(Liner notes)

C.H. Atma and Talat Mahmood

His style of singing is influenced heavily by K. Saigal, one of the greatest Indian singers of all time, and his unhurried, assured delivery is similar to that of Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar.

A very soothing way to end the week.

            Track Listing:
01.   Preetam Aan Milo (Geet)
02.   Main Ghee ka Diya Jalaun (Geet)
03.   Odh Chunariayan Taron ki (Geet)
04.   Apna Aap Pahchan Re (Kabir-Bhajan)
05.   Nainon Men Do Nain Samaye (Geet)
06.   Hairan hun Dil ko Roun  (Ghazal-Ghalib)
07.   Hazaron Khwahisen Aise (Ghazal-Ghalib)
08.   Chalo na Gori Machal Machal Kar  (Geet)
09.   Sham Bhayi Sakhi (Bhajan)
10.   Aye Sakhi na Balama (Geet)
11.   Main Nashe Men Hun (Ghazal-Meer)
12.   Roun Main Sagar ke Kinare  (film: Nagina)
Listen here.

1 comment:

deewani said...

I very much look forward to hearing this. Thank you so much. :)