K. L. Saigal: The Definitive Biography

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Penguin UK, May 11, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 248 pages
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A tribute to the first Singer-Superstar of Indian Cinema Hailed as shahenshah-e-mausiqi (emperor of music) and acclaimed as the ghazal king, K.L. Saigal became a phenomenon in his own lifetime. Idolized for his distinctive style by the first generation of Bollywood playback singers, he is now also the subject of study by several scholars. With no formal training, Saigal recorded 185 songs, including the immortal Diya jalao jagmag jagmag, Rumjhum rumjhum chaal tihari, Baag laga doon sajani and Jab dil hi toot gaya. He also acted in thirty-six feature films, including Tansen, Street Singer and Shahjehan. His popularity, however, skyrocketed with Devdas in which he played the doomed lover to perfection, a portrayal which would influence every actor playing a tragic hero thereafter. This book, interspersed with archival photographs and appended with a filmography and selected songs, provides a fascinating account of one of Hindi cinema’s greatest legends.

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About the Author
Early Years
Ghazal King
The Singer as a Poet
The Artiste and the
Saigals Heroines
Saigals Mentors and Associates
Last Phase
Saigals Legacy
Synopses of Some Famous Films
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About the author (2011)

Pran Nevile was born in Lahore and took his postgraduate degree from there. After a distinguished career in the Indian Foreign Service and the United Nations, he became a freelance writer specializing in the study of the social and cultural history of India. His particular fascination with the performing arts inspired him to spend many years researching in libraries and museums in the UK and USA. Nevile has written extensively on Indian art and culture and also acted as a consultant for two BBC films on the Raj. He is the author of Lahore: A Sentimental Journey, Love Stories from the Raj, Beyond the Veil: Indian Women in the Raj, Rare Glimpses of the Raj, Stories from the Raj: Sahibs, Memsahibs and Others, K.L. Saigal: Immortal Singer, Marvels of Indian Painting, Nautch Girls of the Raj and The Tribune—An Anthology 1881–2006 and Sahibs’ India: Vignettes of the Raj.

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