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 How Usha Uthup Missed Her Only Chance To Sing A Duet With Lataji



Usha Uthup with Lata Mangeshkar

Believe  it or not,  the  the druggies’ anthem Dum maro dum mit jaye gham from Hare Rama Hare Krishna  was to be sung by Lata Mangeshkar!! It was designed as a duet  featuring Lataji and Usha Uthup. Eventually Usha Uthup’s portions were retained wile Lataji’s  portions in Dum maro dum  were re-recorded: with Lataji’s  go-ahaeh!

Composer Rahul Dev Burman’s orginal plan was to do the song as a sober-versus-stoned anthem on drugs. But then the film’s producer-director-leading man Dev Anand, who had a keen ear  for music, suggested Asha Bhosle for Dum maro dum.

“Lata sang  two beautiful solos Phoolon ka taaron ka, Ho ho re  ghungroo and a  lovely duet Kanchi re for me in  Hare Rama  Hare KrishnaDum maro dum didn’t seem  right for her,” Dev Saab told me.

That’s how Asha stepped in. Even after her sterling singing the song almost didn’t  make it into the  film.

When Dev Anand heard Dum maro dum he told RD he found it strange and decided to  drop it from the  film. In a panic RD pleaded to at  least let the song be  part of the film’s  soundtrack album,  if not  part  of  the film.

Eventually  Dum  maro dum was filmed  and became one  of the biggest hits of RD and Asha’s career.

Ashaji once told me  Dum maro dum was  the most  requested song  at her live concerts after Oh mere sona re(Teesri Manzil).

Lataji’s take  on  switchover: “The songs  I sang were meant  for me. The songs Asha sang were meant for her.Dum maro dum was meant for  Asha.”

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