This post has been in the pipeline a long, long time. When I first started this blog way back in November 2008, the very first ‘ten favourites’ song list I compiled was for Madhubala songs—and (unlike what I now do, which is to steer clear of assigning ‘absolute favourite’ status to any particular song), I actually went out on a limb and marked one Madhubala song as my favourite. That was Aaiye meherbaan baithiye jaan-e-jaan. And, even as I was putting that down on my list, I thought to myself: “I must do a list of my favourite crooner and club songs someday.”
Well, here it is, finally. It’s not as if I’ve spent the last many years thinking of this post; but the ‘Crooner Songs’ folder has been there on my laptop all these years, even with some screenshots taken of the songs I knew had to be part of the list.
In any self-respecting, urban-centric film of the 50s and 60s, a club song was almost de rigueur. It would probably be picturized on someone of the likes of Helen, but not necessarily: at times, what was needed was not someone who was a fabulous dancer, but someone who could project the oomph one associated with the club singer.