A Living Legend
Asad ur Rahman Kidwai
MEMORIES COME ALIVE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Manna Dey. Translated from Bengali by Sarbani Putatunda Penguin Books, 2007, 415 pp., 450
December 2007, volume 31, No 12

Manna Dey is a legend in Hindi Film Music. The only surviving male singer of the golden era of Hindi Film music, he started his playback career way back in 1942. Memoirs of such a distinguished artiste are bound to be an important addition to the history of this stream, as well as a goldmine of anecdotal information. The importance of this book is also underlined by the fact that though Hindi Film Music is unarguably one of the most popular components of our popular culture, strangely and sadly there is a paucity of serious literature in this genre. Fewer still are personal accounts of music directors, lyricists and playback singers. We are fortunate to have Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle amidst us, but they have yet to pen their memoirs.

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