Group revisits vintage music

Group revisits vintage music

RMIM is a group of music lovers that transcends geographical boundaries, genres and languages

The RMIM Meet in December 2011. Lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri (seated in centre, with stick) was the chief guest.

As more and more old Hindi songs get rehashed and remashed to be marketed afresh, there is a group of music lovers that is revisiting vintage film music for the pure love of it and educating the newer generation about this treasure trove.

The RMIM Group (‘’) was formed in 1992 as an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup for enthusiasts to discuss and exchange ideas on all aspects of Indian popular music. Though a lot of it was vintage Hindi film music, there were no restrictions of any sort.

Cut to 2019 and the group is thriving and expanding its boundaries. Members are now present all over the world, discussions have moved to Facebook, WhatsApp and other 
mediums, the group recently celebrated its silver jubilee with its 2017 Meet in Bengaluru and has established its position as a platform for music lovers, collectors and amateurs to share, collect and collaborate on information including rare movie songs, non-filmy songs and regional-language songs. 

“Vintage music, whether in Hindi or regional languages, is our national heritage. We need to preserve it,” says Shailendra Diwan, part of the RMIM Bengaluru team.

When asked about the aversion of youngsters towards old music, he says, “It is not that youngsters don’t like it, they just need to be introduced to it. My wife and I are among the many RMIMers who have introduced our children to vintage Hindi music. We know they like it because they sometimes randomly start humming old tunes.”

The RMIM Meets are held at pre-determined locations and are attended by members from around the globe. “The first meets were held in US and Canada. The first Indian meet was held in Bengaluru in 2006,” says Shailendra.

The interactive meets see musical discussions, presentations, talks and quizzes. They also commemorate artistes during the meet. Past commemoratives have celebrated the work of music legends like S N Tripathi, Anil Biswas, Roshan, Shankar-Jaikishan, OP Nayyar, Jaidev, Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The members also come out with a commemorative collection of songs either on a theme or celebrating the works of the artist. 

What does the group do?

Detailed discussions on different music composers and their styles, lyricists, singers, music arrangers, musicians, chorus artists, cinematography and trivia.  

Conducts popular long-running quizzes like RJGK (Rim Jhim Geeton Ki), Chitrahaar and quiz Flo-Jo.

An initiative titled ‘RMIM Puruskaar’ has recognised good music every year from 2006.

Members of the group (RMIMers) have been in the forefront of an ASCII transliteration scheme for Indic scripts.

They have also contributed in creating databases of lyrics of songs, which can be found at Giitaayan.

Many members also maintain and contribute to other websites on music legends and Indian music. 

Singer Shamshad Begum

Who is Shamshad Begum?

Master Ghulam Haider, discovered Shamshad Begum (just as he did Noor Jahan and Lata Mangeshkar) while she was just 15 and had her signed for a singing contract with the Jenophone Record Company. She became a sensation on the radio even before she became a playback singer in the films. 

The strong, bold and full-bodied voice of Shamshad was unparalleled and unmatched in post-independence Hindi film industry.

She has worked with legendary composers like Ghulam Haider, Naushad, C Ramchandra, O P Nayyar, Khemchand Prakash, S D Burman, Shyam Sundar and Hansraj Behl and has delivered hits like Duniya mein garibon ko aram nahi milta (Film: Zamindar), Ashkon se hua khatm (Bairam Khan), Na tum aye na neend ayi (Rimjhim), Thandi hawa ke jhonke (Bhai Bahan), Milte hi ankhen dil hua (Babul), Chhod babul ka ghar (Babul), Mere piya gaye Rangoon (Patanga), Kabhi aar kabhi paar laga teer-e-nazar (Aar Paar), Leke pehla pehla pyar (CID), Meri neendon mein tum (Naya Andaz), Kajra mohabbat wala (Kismat).

Besides Hindi, she also sang in Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil languages. She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Composer Chitragupta

From lecturer to musician

Composer Chitragupta quit his job as a lecturer in a college in Patna in order to travel to Mumbai to pursue his career in music.

His first break was as an independent composer in 1946 for the stunt film Fighting Hero.

From then on until his last film Chandaal in 1998, Chitragupta mostly got a chance to compose music for B-grade films. Whenever he did get a big break with major banners like AVM, he produced superhit musicals like Bhabhi, Main Chup Rahungi, Barkha.

Over a career spanning more than 150 films, he worked with diverse singers such as Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, Asha Bhosle, 
Talat Mahmood, Mukesh. 

His two sons, the composer duo of Anand-Milind, made up for the lack of recognition for their father by making a big name for themselves in Hindi film music in the 80s and 90s.

Meeting this weekend

RMIM is hosting the 2019 Meet on vintage Hindi film music in Bengaluru on March 30 and 31.

This year the group will commemorate singer Shamshad Begum (whose birth centenary is on April 19) and music director Chitragupta. Some of the events planned for the two days are a session on the use of various instruments in film music, display of a gramophone records collection and their maintenance, quiz on film music, panel Discussion on vintage music and composers and more. The detailed list of events will be put up on the group’s Facebook page. 

The group will also come out with an album of some rare and milestone works of Shamshad Begum.

When: Starts on 10 am on March 30 and will conclude at 6 pm on March 31.

Where: KAS Officers Association Complex, first floor hall, Al-Cazaar, opposite Ashraya international Hotel, Infantry Road, Tasker Town, Shivaji Nagar.

Who can go: RMIM meets are attended by regulars of RMIM as well as many first-time attendees. The only requirement is an appreciation of Indian music.