K.C. Dey

K.C. Dey was one of the leading musicians of Bengal cinema, particularly the New Theatres' of Calcutta, in an era dominated by stalwarts such as K. L. Saigal and Pankaj Mullick. It was K.C. Dey who influenced Manna Dey to take to music. Otherwise he would have ended up as a barrister, which his chartered accountant father wanted him to be.

Krishna Chandra Dey was born in Calcutta in 1904. He developed a strong liking for kites at the age of 13 and his lust for kite flying ultimately costed him his eyesight, which he lost because of flying kites in strong daylight. Thereafter, he became 'Andh Kavi' K. C. Dey. After having lost his vision, his love for music grew very intensely and he received intense training in music under various renowned experts including Ustaad Dabbeer Khan.

K. C. Dey used to sing for films of Calcutta's East India Company (of Kardar Saheb) and New Theatres. Among the films to which K.C. Dey rendered his voice of rich timbre were Puran Bhagat, Devadas (in Hindi and Bengali, directed by Pramatesh Barua), Vidyapathi, Dhartimatha, and Bhagyachakra. His song "Jao Jao Aye Mere Sadhu" from the New Theatres' film Puran Bhagat (1933), with hardly any orchestra, except perhaps the harmonium and the cymbals, still enthrals music lovers who prefer the pristine film music of old to the high decibel sing-song which is the only film music today's children know of. He used to travel to Bombay for his recordings. He sang 'Bhagwaan Karega Madad Teri..' and 'Na Ranj Kar Badnaseeb Bharat..' in Educated Wife (1934). Finally he shifted to Bombay in 1942.

In Bombay he tried his hands in Music Direction too, apart from singing. His noticeable films were 'Badalti Duniya' and 'Devdasi'. He was not comfortable in Bombay, he started degrading. His songs and music started lacking his original natural touch. He returned to Calcutta in 1946 and people gradually forgot the melody of his magnificent voice. He passed away in 1962, in Calcutta leaving no one behind since he remained bachelor.

K. C. Dey had an unparalleld voice. No other singer of his era or times to follow could match his talent. His voice had the magical effect to touch any heart.