USHA TIMOTHY STILL

ACTIVE AT 65

Usha Timothy ji is one of the most talented playback singers of Bollywood. A renowned Music Director Pandit Shivram gave her first break in 1962. Thus, she sang a Sanskrit Shloka of 60 lines for Producer-Director Adarsh’s film ‘Durga Puja’. Then she was only 13.

Her career’s second song became a big hit in 1964. The film was ‘Himalaya Ki Goad Main’ and she sang with Mohd. Rafi “Tu Raat Khadi Thi Chhat Pe” under the direction of Kalyanji-Anandji.

Usha Timothy was born in a prestigious Christian family of Nagpur (Maharashtra). Her father was a CBI Officer. Usha ji says,"My family always had a strong inclination towards music. My elder brother Madhusudan Timothy is a well known violinist of All India Radio and my cousin Vasant Timothy used to teach music at the Khairagarh University in MP. Vasant was a famous violinist. In such an environment my inclination towards music was but natural. I used to love listening the songs of Rafi sahib and Lata ji from childhood on the radio."

At the age of 11, Usha ji began taking formal training in music. She started her training in classical vocal from Pt Lakshman Prasad of Jaipur. She also started learning Tappas and Thumris from Nirmala Devi too. While in conversation with Shishir Krihan Sharma, Usha Timothy ji told that she also learnt classical singing from Pt Shivram when she got a chance to sing the shlokas for Durga Pooja. Usha ji says that Rafi sahab was her guru (teacher) in the field of Playback singing. He taught her breath control and also to understand emotions behind songs, singing them with bringing elements of acting. Rafi sahab believed that a good playback singer must act while giving playback.

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