Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was a legendary classical singer, with an emphasis on the classical. He refused out of hand to work in the film industry, despite many requests from well-known film and music directors. He restricted himself only to classical music; which is why it was so surprising when he actually agreed to work in a certain movie – the famous Mughal-e-Azam
When approached by the director, he deliberately asked for a huge sum of money, 25000 Indian rupees. It may not seem like much at this time, but just to put things in perspective, even celebrated singers like Lata Mangeshkar or Muhammad Rafi were being paid around 500 rupees at that time, so he was demanding fifty times the normal amount of money! Surprisingly, the director agreed at once, even giving him an advance.
When the fateful day came, the singer threw a fit due to the studio settings, demanding that it be set up like a traditional baithak. After the settings had been adjusted to his liking, he refused to perform until the scene for which he was singing was shown to him. That scene had not even been recorded yet, forcing the director to get it quickly recorded and shown to the artist, who only then agreed to perform. Talk about finicky! Well, at least all this fuss yielded two beautiful songs, which you must listen to here
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