THE article by Sultan Arshad Khan (Aug 4) on three generations of song makers, is interesting and informative. Rasheed Attre was one of the few top music composers, who helped set up a base for film songs in Pakistan.
Rasheed’s talented son, Wajahat Attre did compose songs for Urdu movies but his Punjabi films’ hit songs especially those sung by Noor Jehan, are innumerable. In 1982 all his 21 songs from three Punjabi movies, were hits. Composing songs for the Punjabi films was Wajahat’s forte and he ruled the roost for almost three decades till his death in 2017.
In the beginning, Noor Jehan would sing only for those movies in which she also acted. Therefore Rasheed Attre would engage Zubeda Khanum as a playback singer and four of her songs for the movie Sarfarosh were instant hits.
Munir Hussain was among the favourite singers of Attre, as Mehdi Hasan had not entered the Pakistani film scene. A song in raag Bhageshri. Qarar lootney walay in the movie Saat Laakh gave a boost to Munir’s film career. Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s nazm Nisar mein teri galiyon pay for the movie Shaheed, was another hit by Munir besides Dilla thehr ja for Mukhra, also sung separately by Zubeda Khanum.
Such was the strength of Attre’s compositions that two of his songs for the movie Wa’ada, sung by an unknown Sharafat Ali, are still listened to with interest after more than 60 years. They are; Jab teray shehr se guzarta hun and Bar bar barsein moray nain.
Faiz’s ghazal Mujh se pehli si muhabbat from the movie Qaidi is a hallmark in Noor Jehan’s career as a playback singer. This song is popular all over the world since more than five decades.
Attre gave memorable songs to the film industry in a short span and will also be remembered as a trend setter for Pakistani film songs. The industry was fortunate to have a genius music composer in Raheed Attre.
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019