Yesterday’s Melodies, Today’s Memories, Manek’s first book, profiled the life and work of most of the significant composers, singers, and lyricists of the golden era (1931 to 1970). This study, with an Introduction by Ameen Sayani, was released by Mr Sunil Dutt at Mithibai College, Mumbai in September 2003. This book was reprinted in 2004 and has been republished with new updates again in November 2018.
His next work, Musical Moments From Hindi Films, celebrated the platinum jubilee of talking films, identifying 435 key songs over 75 years, offering their situations in films, with dollops of trivia, photo stills, lyrics and their meanings elaborately. The book is accompanied by two CDs, with interview snatches with key film people along with the 435 songs themselves. This book was released at Crossword Book Store, Kemps Corner Mumbai, in December 2006 by Hema Malini, Khayyam, Jagjit Kaur, and Ameen Sayani. Khayyam also wrote the Introduction to this book.
Romancing The Song, the author’s next, was launched by Shiv Kumar Sharma, Naqsh Lyallpuri, Ameen Sayani and Sudha Malhotra at Ravindra Natya Mandir, in November 2012. This work dealt exhaustively with the aspect of lyric-writing in our cinema over the last 80 years and more.
This last is a seminal body of work which takes a deep look at lyrics down the years and offers interpretations of writers’ thoughts, which more often than not are a reflection of the society that we live in. The book plots the changes that have been happening in the lyrical component of Hindi filmdom’s music. Romancing The Song has been showered with lavish praise by Dadasaheb Phalke award-winning poet Gulzar, who has written the Foreword wherein he has equated it with Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India.
Significant film-related people like Ameen Sayani, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma and many more, especially from academia, have also praised the work generously. The University of California in Los Angeles has sent us a written testimonial that from the spring of 2013, this book has been a primary source of reference in their subject Bollywood And Beyond, taught not just to the Indian diaspora, but to a wide international student community which enrols with the University.
Manek’s next book Talat Mahmood, The Velvet Voice was all about the singing actor who won millions of hearts in the golden era of our music, and who has devotees all over the globe. This definitive book was published by the prestigious Manipal University and was released on 16th May 2015 at KC College auditorium, by LK Advani, along with Sudha Malhotra, Ameen Sayani, Sadhana Singh, Khalid and Sabina Talat Mahmood, and a host of others.
His next book, Hitting The Right Notes—Hindi Cinema’s Golden Music, was also published by Manipal University, in the last week of December 2016. This book is a collection of the author’s writings on the many different aspects of our film music, covering areas like dance, poetry, instruments, people, of music styles. Many of these stories can be found under the Published Essays section on this site.
His newest book The Hindi Music Jukebox, published in November 2018, addresses various aspects of music, most of them new, such as what a taar shehnai is, and where it has been played in our film songs. Polyglot poetry, where 3 or more languages are found in songs, and the story of bandits in India, with a focus on their music.
Besides these six books, Manek Premchand has written one-third of the biography of santoor maestro Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, called “Shiv Kumar Sharma, The Man and His Music”, timed to celebrate the maestro’s 75th birthday. This biography was released in January 2014 at Nehru Centre, Mumbai. Dr Prabha Atre, the renowned vocalist, was the Chief Guest at the event.
Here’s Shivji about that book:
A few of these books are available on sites such as Amazon and Flipkart. They are also available directly with the author, please click here to contact.