Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography
Penguin Random House India Private Limited, May 21, 2007 - Literary Collections - 448 pages
For over sixty years now, Manna Dey has been synonymous with music and melody. Excelling across a variety of genres—film songs, ghazals, bhajans, classical and pop—he has regaled generations of listeners with his romantic ballads, zany rock ’n’ roll numbers, playful qawwalis and intricate raga-based songs. In Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography, Manna Dey takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane—his early passion for wrestling and football; adolescent pranks which involved shoplifting sweets from a confectionery and pole-vaulting into the neighbour’s terrace to swipe pickle jars; and the influence of his uncle and guru K.C. Dey (the celebrated singer and composer of the 1930s). He recounts his early days in Mumbai as an assistant music director to his uncle and to composers like S.D. Burman and vividly recalls the struggle to carve a niche as a playback singer in Hindi films, competing with stalwarts like Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. He also discusses at length his foray into the world of Bengali film and non-film music where he came to be regarded as the undisputed king of melody. Peppered with interesting anecdotes like his kite duels with Rafi, priceless nuggets on how some of his famous songs came to be written and composed, stories of his enduring relationships with people like Raj Kapoor and Majrooh Sultanpuri, Pulak Bandopadhyay and Sudhin Dasgupta, and boasting of the most comprehensive list of his songs ever compiled, Memories Come Alive is a must-read not only for the legions of Manna Dey fans but also for connoisseurs of popular music in India.
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