September 23, 2006 11:55am CST
Kishore Kumar followed his elder brothers' footsteps and came to Mumbai to pursue a career in films as a singer. At this juncture, Anoop's career was stalling as his singing was not as strong as his acting (this was an era where actors who could also sing were in great demand). On a visit to Austria, Anoop bought some records to help him improve his vocal skills. On a later occasion, back in India, he was reportedly entering his home when he heard yodelling emerging from a room. Annoyed, he is said to have thundered "Who touched my records?" However, on entering the room he found that it was in fact the youngest Kumar whose voice it was. He had learned how to yodel from Anoop's Austrian records. Kishore disliked acting and instead wanted to become a leading singer in Bollywood. However, he didn't have any formal training in singing or music . Through his brother Ashok's contacts in the industry, Kishore did though make his debut in films - initially failing to make an impression. But he continued acting, which allowed him to sing on the soundtracks of the films. At this stage of his career, Kishore's style was derivative of K. L. Saigal's. Once, Sachin Dev Burman came to Ashok Kumar's house and heard what sounded like K. L. Saigal's voice coming out of the bathroom. Impressed, S. D. Burman asked Ashok who was singing. Hearing the answer, he waited until Kishore Kumar had finished bathing. He had a little talk with Kishore during which he expressed his appreciation of his singing but advised, "Don't try to ape K. L. Saigal. Apers never make great artists. You should develop your own singing style." After this, Kishore Kumar developed his own trademark singing style, which was completely different from the styles of Rafi, Mukesh and Saigal. He used to yodel in many of his songs. Sachin Dev Burman became his mentor and guide. S D Burman, who had never heard yodelling before, used to call it "gala tod ke gaana" ("break-throat singing"). Yodelling became Kishore's trademark, and the media described his singing style as "yodelling at the moon".
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