How many actors have had films named for them? How many appear in the lyrics of songs? And how many, without being lead actors, manage to invariably feature in at least one song in every film they’ve acted in?
Johnny Walker. Lovable, funny, a very underrated actor—and star of some of the best comic songs there are out there. With Mohammad Rafi singing a very convincing playback for him, Johnny Walker pranced and hiccuped, pestered and wooed reluctant belles in dozens of fabulous songs through the 50’s and 60’s.
And now for the good news: Tom Daniel, who’s been doing the classic Hindi film music loving world a world of good with his song compilations of Bela Bose, Minoo Mumtaz, and (most recently) the songs from Albela has another treat ready: Johnny Walker’s songs. Tom insists these aren’t necessarily Johnny Walker’s best songs—they are just some of Tom’s favourites, which he happened to possess on DVD—but in my opinion most of Johnny Walker’s signature songs are here: Sar jo tera chakraaye, Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji, Suno suno Miss Chatterjee, All line clear… and so many more, each of them a treasure.
Tom’s painstakingly enhanced picture and sound quality to give these 25 songs a whole new lease of life. And, for those of you out there who don’t understand Hindi, there are subtitles—a few songs having been translated by yours truly. A very satisfying experience for me, since I discovered a bunch of songs I’d never even heard of before, and rediscovered others, simply by paying close attention to the lyrics. Hum bhi agar bachche hote (Door ki Aawaaz, 1964), for instance, was for me a somewhat silly kiddies’ birthday party song—until I began transcribing it and discovered hidden depths.
These are the songs:
Without further ado: here’s the link to the DVD that Tom’s uploaded. You can download the entire folder, then read through the Instructions.pdf file to understand how to generate the DVD. The pdf is very self-explanatory, so you’re unlikely to face any problems, but if you do, just leave a comment below and you’ll get help.
Thank you, Tom, and may your tribe prosper! (Or shall I reword that: may you make many more DVD compilations?!)
P.S. Anybody out there who knows Tamil and would like to help do subtitling for a Padmini compilation that’s in the pipeline? The Padmini project is still 3 or 4 months away, but since not all of the Padmini songs that Tom will be putting into the DVD have subtitles, translations would be required for some songs. Much gratitude to anybody who can help!