Manna Dey was one of the great playback singers in Bollywood in the 50's, 60's and 70's. He sang for many of the male actors in a variety of films such as "Boot Polish" (1954), "Love in Tokyo" (1966), "Padosan" (1968), and a host of others. In his career spanning more than 4 decades, it is said that he recorded more than 3000 songs.
Manna Dey's name at birth was Prabodh Chandra Dey. He was born on May 1, 1919 in Calcutta. His father was named Purna Chandra Dey and his mother was named Mahamaya Dey. His earliest education was received in the Indu Babur Pathshala. After that he entered the Scottish Church Collegiate School and then to the Scottish Church College. He went for his post graduate education at the Vidyasagar College.
Manna Dey's father Purna Chandra Dey
Manna Dey's mother Mahamaya Dey
Manna Dey had a variety of interests in his youth. He showed a particular fondness for wrestling and boxing as well as music. He originally received his musical training under his uncle, the late Krishna Chandra Dey, and then later under Ustad Dabir Khan. He began to show his abilities while in college where he was a frequent participant in college music competitions. As his school progressed, he was of mixed mind as to what his future should be. He was unsure as to whether to try his hand in the film industry or to become a barrister.
Mana Dey taking lassons from his uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey
1942 was a pivotal year for Manna Dey. It was in this year that he joined his uncle K.C. Dey in Bombay, to act as assistant music director for H.P Das. His first foray into playback singing was in Vijay Bhatt's "Ram Rajya"; this endeavour was somewhat less than successful. However the 1943 film "Tamanna" proved to be a great hit; in particular was his duet with Suraiya.
Manna Dey's uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey
After some time he began to act as an assistant to the late S.D. Burman. During this tenure he sang Upar Gagan Vishal for the 1950 film "Mashaal". By 1952 he had established his name as one of the top playback singers. It was at this point that he started to work independently.
His professional progress in the film industry did not interfere with his musical training. While working in the films he continued his training in Hindustani classical music under Aman Ali Khan and then under Ustad Rahman Khan.
Manna Dey's personal life progressed well. He married to Sulochana Kumaran, on December 18th 1953. Together their first daughter Shuroma was born on October 19th, 1956 and their second daughter Sumita was born on June 20th 1958.
Mana Dey's wife Sulochana
Many awards were bestowed upon Manna Dey. In 1971 he was awarded the Padma Shree. in 2003, he was awarded the "Alaudin Khan Award" by the Government of Bengal. In 2005 he was awarded the Padmabhushan.
Mana Dey with Harmonium
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