Today is 67th death annivarsary of music composer Master Ghulam Haider, who was died on November 9, 1953 in Lahore.
According to one account, Ghulam Haider was born in 1908 in Narowal, while another account says that he was born in Hyderabad, Sindh. Master Ghulam Haider, was a well-known music composer who worked both in India and later in Pakistan after independence. He changed the face of film songs by combining the popular Raags with the verve and rhythm of Punjabi music and also helped raise the status of film music directors. He is also known for giving a break to the well-known playback singer, Lata
Mangeshkar. Remembering her early rejection, Lata once said, “Ghulam Haider was the first music director who showed complete faith in my talent. He convinced Bombay Talkies, a banner bigger and introduced me through their movie Majboor (1948)”.
Being curious about music, Ghulam Haider started learning music from Babu Ganesh Lal. He composed music for the then famous singer, Umrao Zia Begum, who was working for Pancholi Studios, Lahore. He later married her.
Haider broke into films with the father-son duo Roshan Lal Shorey and Roop Kumar Shorey, and then A.R. Kardar gave him the opportunity to compose music for the 1935 film, Swarg Ki Seerhi. But he got his first big breakthrough with D.M. Pancholi’s Punjabi film, Gul-E-Bakavali (1939) starring Noor Jehan.This was followed by film Yamla Jat (1940). His first big hit song came with Khazanchi in 1941,which helped cause a revolution in the music industry. The music of the film Khazanchi (1941), in particular, the song Sawan Ke Nazare Hain sung by
Shamshad Begum and Ghulam Haider himself caused a revolution in music composing. Ghulam Haider ensured that the Indian film song would never be the same again. Khandan (1942),
the first film of Malika Tarannum Noor Jehan as lead actress, was also a big hit and established him as a top film composer. Film Poonji (1943) was also successful. Then Haider moved to Bombay and composed music for many films including Humayun (1945) and Majboor (1948 film), the first major breakthrough film for Lata Mangeshkar in Hindi films. Films Shaheed (1948) and Kaneez are his other big hits.
He introduced Lata Mangeshkar, Sudha
Malhotra and Surinder Kaur to the Indian Film Industry. Besides them, as a film song composer, he played a key
role in giving first breakthrough popularity to Noor Jehan in film Khandan. Master Ghulam Haider also gets major credit for introducing the Punjabi folk music and instruments like dholak in the film music. His pioneering work in music later inspired many Punjabi film music directors like Hansraj Behl, Shyam Sunder, Husnlal Bhagatram and Feroz Nizami. His assistants in Mumbai were film music composers Madan Mohan and Nashad. Later in Pakistan, film music director A. Hameed worked as his assistant.
After independence in 1947, he returned to Lahore and his first Pakistani film was Shahida (1949). He composed music for many other Pakistani films like Beqarar (1950), Akeli (1951) and Bheegi Palken (1952) but the films flopped. He died just a few days after the release of Pakistani film Gulnar (1953).
He was honoured Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2011 and Pride of Performance Award by the Government of Pakistan in 2018.