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Omkar Prasad Nayyar : A Biography
(Born 1926)
Source: 'Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema', British Film Institute, 1999
(By Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen)

Composer born in Patiala, Punjab. Employed by AIR, Jullundur. Debut scoring the background music for Kaneez. First break as composer for Pancholi films (Aasmaan). Scored very popular music for many 50s films such as early Guru Dutt (Baaz, Aar Paar, Mr and Mrs '55) and Kishore Kumar films (P.L.Santoshi's Cham Chama Cham and Kardar's Baap Re Baap). Late 50s films include Tumsa Nahin Dekha, the film in which Shammi Kapoor changed into his Presley image, and Howrah Bridge, with the most famous song, Mera naam Chin Chin Choo.

Also scored the biggest film in Shammi Kapoor's 'Yahoo' image, Kashmir Ki Kali. A characteristic scene of his b&w films is a cabaret dancer performing - often to a Rhumba rhythm - in front of the Boss in a night club (Twelve O' Clock, Aar Paar). Introduced several Punjabi rhythms, esp. from the Bhangra folk dances, into Hindi films as well as producing 'light' popular music with rock overtones for Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle's early hits. Returned to score a Telugu film, Neerajanam, after a decade out of work.



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