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October 20 , 2007

K. L. Saigal

The Definitive Biography


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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