Mattancherry is one place where maverick singer H. Mehboob is always alive. For the people here Mehboob Bhai was not just another singer, he was part of their lives. Almost everyone you meet here will have something to say about him and some of them will break into song, rendering some of Bhai’s favourites. No wonder any musical programme in Mehboob’s memory at Mattancherry turns into an unforgettable event.
Mehboob Memorial Orchestra (MMO) organised a commemorative programme at Hotel Abad in tribute to the singer on his 33rd death anniversary. Singers, young and experienced, breathed life into 23 of Mehboob’s Malayalam film songs.
Making his film debut in 1951 in the film Chechi, Mehboob shot into fame with the songs from Jeevitha Nauka. Till 1960 Mehboob was a sought-after. Though he was branded as a singer of comedy songs, he did show glimpses of his versatile genius in the few opportunities he got.
Thoppil Anto Junior Mehboob, Kishore Abu, Cochin Azad, Afsal, Pradeep Palluruthy, Yahiya Azeez, and Sanjana took turns to sing Mehboob’s film songs from 1951-1973. Songs like Maanennum villikilla… (Neelakuyil), Kaathusookshichoru…(Nair Pidicha Pulivaal), Nayapaisailla…(Neelisaali), Kandam vechoru kottanu…(Kandam Vechoru Kottanu), Vandi pukavandi…(Doctor) Kandu randu kannu…(Chuzhi) and the others were sung.
MMO’s orchestra, led by Praveen, provided brilliant support.