Kalyanji Anandji is a name used by Indian composer duo known for its work on Hindi film soundtracks, particularly action potboilers in the 1970s. The name comes from first names of the two Gujarati brothers that formed the duo, Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah. Some of their best known works are Don, Saraswatichandra, Qurbani and Safar.
Kalyanji and Anandji were children of a businessman who migrated from Kutch to Mumbai to start a grocery and provision store. The two brothers began to learn music from a music teacher, who taught them in lieu of paying his bills to their father. One of their fore-grand parents, was a folk musician of some eminence. They spent most of their formative years in the hamlet of Girgaum (a district in Mumbai) amidst Marathi and Gujarati environs and amidst some eminent musical talent that resided in the vicinity.
Kalyanji started his career as a musician, with a new electronic instrument called the CLAVIOLINE. which was used for the famous NAGIN BEEN, utilsed in the film NAGIN (1954) which had the music of Hemant Kumar. Kalyanji then, along with his brother ANANDJI started an orchestral group called KALYANJI VIRJI AND PARTY - which organised musical, shows in Mumbai and outside. This was the first attempt made for holding live musical shows in India.
Kalyanji Anandji's arrival in the Bombay Film Industry as music composers was a turning point. When Big music directors like S.D Burman, Hemant Kumar, Madan Mohan, Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan and Ravi were ruling the music world in Hindi films, and it was a golden period of film music, it was very tough to make a place amongst them. Still they came, and won the heart and mind of Indian people.
The Bharat Bhushan - Nirupa Roy hit, Samrat Chandragupta (1959) was his first film as Kalyanji Virji Shah. Some songs like ‘Chahe Paas Ho’ (Lata - Rafi) that are remembered to this day, were what made the movie a commercial success. This was followed by his composing music scores for more films like Post Box 999 before Anandji who was assisting him, joined him officially to form the 'Kalyanji - Anandji' duo in Satta Bazar and Madari (1959). Chalia (1961) was their earliest major hit. 1965, when two decisive scores, Himalay Ki God Mein and Jab Jab Phool Khile, established them as composers to reckon with.
Kalyanji-Anandji's variety-studded music is complete with some of the topmost songs of all singers and genres. Both Kalyanji and Anandji worked as music composers for over 250 films, 17 of which were GOLDEN JUBILEES, and 39 SILVER JUBILEES. The factor behind their success is hard work, apart from their talent. They were never self-centered, and egoistic in nature. The spiritually inclined two brothers opened up a new horizon in Bollywood. As they used to put society in front of them and as a thankful gesture, organized many charitable concerts for various NGOs and several charitable institutions, in India and Abroad. Along with some of the biggest names in Bollywood, like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Rekha, Sridevi, just to name a few.
Another quality to be mentioned is that they were tireless in discovering new talents and grooming them as well. Manhar Udhas, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yajnik, Sadhna Sargam, Sapna Mukherjee, Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan, now very popular names, were nurtured as singers and got their first break from Kalyanji-Anandji.
It is an unknown but fascinating and a true secret that fellow composers Laxmikant Pyarelal, before becoming famous had indeed worked as music assistants to Kalyanji Anandji.
They also helped introduce or gave career defining breaks to lyricists like Qamar Jalalabadi, Anand Bakshi, Gulshan Bawra, Anjaan, Verma Malik and M G Hashmat.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, their work was introduced to a young Western audience by three albums. 'Bombay the Hard Way: Guns, Cars and Sitars' was a mix album put together by US DJ Dan The Automator; 'Bollywood Funk' was an Outcaste compilation album put together by Sutrasonic DJs Harv and Sunni; while 'The Beginners Guide To Bollywood' was compiled by John Lewis from Time Out magazine. All three of these records concentrated on Kalyanji-Anandji tracks from 1970s films that featured funk breakbeats, wah-wah guitars and Motown-style orchestrations. In 2005, The Black Eyed Peas's "Don't Phunk with My Heart" utilised music pieces from two of their songs: "Ae Naujawan" from the 1972 film Apradh, and "Yeh Mera Dil" from the 1978 film Don, which won the rap group a Grammy Award.
On 24 August 2000, Kalyanji breathed his last but his era with Anandji will always be remembered for their great contributions. Kalyanji’s dream for training new and young talents and promoting them is carried on today by Anandji in the name of LITTLE STARS . The composers composed some outstanding songs rendered by the legend kishorekumar such as "Jeevan se bhari teri aankhe", "zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa Safar", "pal pal dilke pass", "Neele Neele amberpe" There composition called pal bharke liye was used in an episode of The Simpsons.