We revisit five songs featuring the star comedian who died on this day 14 years ago.
5 unforgettable Johnny Walker songs – Death anniversary special
Mumbai - 29 Jul 2017 10:00 IST
Born Badruddin Qazi, actor Johnny Walker’s cinematic name referred to the iconic brand of Scotch whisky as he often played drunk characters on screen. Many would be stunned to find out that in real life, Walker never imbibed a drop of alcohol.
After his famous ‘audition’ in front of the legendary Guru Dutt, Walker became an integral part of the filmmaker's productions from Baazi (1951) to Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966). He acted in over 300 films in his career and was remembered for impeccable dialogue delivery and his antics on screen.
The skilled actor, who was last seen on the big screen in Kamal Haasan’s Chachi 420 (1997), won the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor for Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958). Over the course of his career, he was part of several memorable songs. Here are five of them, with Johnny Walker's indelible performances.
1. ‘Na Na Na Tauba Tauba’ – Aar-Paar (1954)
While most of the action in Guru Dutt’s Aar-Paar (1954) was focused on the actor-director and his co-stars Shyama and Shakila, the director included a breezy romantic song for Johnny Walker’s Rustom. Penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and set to music by OP Nayyar, the light-hearted duet was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Geeta Dutt. The song was picturized on Walker and Noor, wherein the former tries his best to woo and win the lady over. Incidentally, the actress Noor (who was also Shakila’s sister) married Johnny Walker the following year.
2. ‘Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji’ – Mr & Mrs 55 (1955)
Starring Guru Dutt and Madhubala, Mr & Mrs 55 featured Johnny Walker as the photographer and best friend of the hero Preetam Kumar. In the film, he has a winsome romance with Julie (played by the actress Yasmin) which is highlighted by the delightful song ‘Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji’ sung by Mohammed Rafi and Geeta Dutt and picturized in an almost empty office. Once again, OP Nayyar and Majrooh Sultanpuri reunited to create a hit soundtrack.
3. ‘Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan’ – CID (1956)
The iconic song ‘Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan’, another collaboration of OP Nayyar and Majrooh Sultanpuri, has endured long after the island city was renamed Mumbai. Mohammed Rafi, who sings the ode to Bombay with Geeta Dutt, often sang for Johnny Walker. It was natural to assume that if it was a Johnny Walker song, Rafi would be the voice. The song is filmed on Walker as he meanders along the city, noting the sights and people along the way.
4. ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’ – Pyaasa (1957)
Like all other Guru Dutt films, Johnny Walker had a solo song picturized on him in the all-time classic Pyaasa. In fact, Walker is oft remembered as the cheerful malishwala (masseur) Abdul Sattar who befriends the poet Vijay (Guru Dutt) in this film. ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’, written by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by SD Burman, was part of the last album that the lyricist and the music director worked on together. Walker was at his best, peddling his wares, in this song.
5. ‘Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee’ – Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)
Though Guru Dutt had passed away by the time Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi was released, the tradition of reserving a song for Johnny Walker still held. ‘Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee’, sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle, featured Walker and the actress Madhavi (who later married filmmaker Bhappi Sonie). Here Walker is seen pursuing the elusive Miss Chatterjee. Initially, SD Burman was supposed to compose the soundtrack, but Guru Dutt preferred OP Nayyar. The song was written by Aziz Kashmiri.