Ghulam Mohammed was an Indian film score composer, who is most remembered for his work in Hindi musical hits films like, Mirza Ghalib (1954), Shama (1961) and Pakeezah (1972).
He received National Film Award for Best Music Direction for Mirza Ghalib. The shooting of his last film, Pakeezah, was held up for many years, and was released posthumously
Ghulam Mohammed was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan, into a family of musicians. His father, Nabi Baksh, was an accomplished tabla player.
He started his career as a child actor at age six with the Punjab-based New Albert Theatrical Company. He soon became popular and eventually became the Dance-Director of the company.
In 1924, he came to Bombay, where after a struggle of eight years, in 1932 he got the chance of playing tabla in Saroj Movietone’s Productions’ “Raja Bharthari”.
In music composition, he first became an assistant, to noted music director, Naushad in Kardar Productions, and worked with him and Anil Biswas, for over 12 years, before giving music independently, in the film ‘Tiger Queen’ (1947). He went on to give music in many memorable films and even won the 1955 National Film Award for Best Music Direction for his film Mirza Ghalib (1954). His score for Pakeezah is still considered one of the all time great music scores in Indian Cinema.He also gave music to some regional films, including Bhojpuri films like “Saiyan se neha lagaibe”(1965).
He died on 17 March 1968, much before his magnum opus, Pakeezah was released.
In 1997, he was honoured, in the ‘Keep Alive’ music show series in Mumbai, that honours all-time film music composers of India.
An extensive audio – visual programme on Ghulam Mohammed was presented by Mumbai based music troupe MUSICOLOR in 2010 where music lovers cherished the composers gems.