Laxmikanth - Pyarelal
Profiles of Music Director

Laxmikant-Pyarelal (also known as LP or Laxmi-Pyare) were a popular Indian composer duo, consisting of Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar (1937–1998) and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (born 1940). They composed music for about 635 Hindi movies from 1963 to 1998, working for almost all notable filmmakers including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Feroze Khan, B.R. Chopra, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Manoj Kumar.

Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar, was born on the day of “Laxmi Pujan” (Diwali) in the year 1937. May be because of that his parent named him as Laxmikant. He spent his childhood amidst dire poverty in the slums of Vile-Parle (E) Mumbai which in those days was comparable to today's Dharavi slums.

His father died when he was child. Because of the poor financial conditions of the family he also could not even complete his academic education. Later Laxmi did get the opportunity to learn the mandolin from known player Bal Mukund Indorker and also to learn the violin from none other than Husnalal of from the popular duo of Music directors Husnalal Bhagatram, especially in the 1940s. All this occurred when Laxmikant was barely 10 years old!

Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma, was born in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, on 3 September in 1940. Pyarelal was the son of a renowned trumpeter Pt. Ramprasad Sharma (popularly known as Babaji), who taught him the basics of music. He started learning violin at the age of 8 and practised it 8 to 12 hours daily. He learnt to play violin from a Goan musician named Anthony Gonsalves.

By the age of 12, his family's financial condition had deteriorated, which in turn forced him to earn money by playing in studios. Pyarelal then used to frequent visiting and playing the violin in studios such as Ranjit Studios, to earn money for his family. Similar financial backgrounds and age made Laxmikant and Pyarelal very good friends. They used to spend long hours at the recording studios, sometimes getting work for each other and even playing together whenever they got the opportunity.

Laxmi-Pyare were not content with the payments being made to them for their music, so they decided to go to Madras (now Chennai). But, it was the same story there. So, they returned back. Once Pyarelal decided to leave India and go to Venice to play for symphony orchestras.

Laxmi-Pyare worked with almost all reputed music directors (with the exception of O. P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan) of the 1950s. In 1953, they became assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji and worked with them as assistants till 1963. They worked as music arrangers for many music directors including Sachin Dev Burman (in Ziddi) and also for his son Rahul Dev Burman (in his first film Chhote Nawab).

Laxmi-Pyare and R D Burman remained very good friends, even when Laxmi-Pyare started giving music independently. R D Burman played mouth organ for all songs of Dosti. Laxmikant once made a guest appearance playing role of himself as a Composer of Song "Dil Ki Baat" in Teri Kasam (1982), which had music by R D Burman. Laxmi-Pyare hit the big time with Rajshri Productions' 1964 film Dosti.

After Dosti's success, Laxmi-Pyare started getting work from all major filmmakers. The rise of Laxmi-Pyare, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kalyanji-Anandji marked the end of an old era of Bollywood music, which belonged to Shankar-Jaikishan, Sachin Dev Burman, Naushad(Mausicar-e-azam), C. Ramchandra, Khayyam, Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar, Roshan and others.

The team of Laxmi-Pyare and lyricist Anand Bakshi churned out some of the most popular songs in Hindi Cinemas history. The combo composed songs for more than 250 movies. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist who wrote the maximum number of texts Laxmi-Pyare gave music to. He was actually the lyricist for all the films for which Laxmi-Pyare won Filmfare Awards, except their very first award.

Laxmi-Pyare composed Indian classical music as well as Western music. But they were most popular for their folk tunes and semi-classical music. Laxmikant mostly looked after vocals and Pyarelal used to take care of orchestration. Both had vast knowledge of various music generes, musical instruments and orchestra management.

Awards & Titles

After Laxmikant-Pyarelal made debut as a music director duo in 1963, they were nominated for the Filmfare Awards (Best Music Director) almost every year. Many times, they were nominated for three or more numbers of films in a particular year. Laxmikant Pyarelal is also winners of Indian Government’s prestigious Lata Mangeshkar Award.

LP got 7 Filmfare Trophies, for the following films:

1964: Dosti

1967: Milan

1969: Jeene Ki Raah

1977: Amar Akbar Anthony

1978 Satyam Shivam Sundaram

1979: Sargam

1980: Karz