Among the more high-profile greats in Hindi film music’s pantheon of playback singers, Krishna Goel remains largely unsung. Nonetheless, in the golden era of the 50s, he had shone with his songs in films like Malika (1956), Passing Show (1956) and Naag Padmini (1957). Born on 29th September, 1927, it was at the young age of six that he started singing at the court of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji, the last ruling king of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Krishna Goel went on to become a friend of Prince Karan Singh Ji.
Krishna Goel made his debut with the film Krishna Sudama (1947) in which he sang Tum ho prabhu chand main hu chakora under the baton of Shyam Babu Pathak. Dahej (1950) was his breakthrough film. His rendering of the song Ab zindagi ka bojh uthhaaya na jaayega is particularly evocative. The song had lyrics by Sham Lakhnavi and was composed by Purushottam. This film featured 10 songs; eight of which were composed by Vasant Desai and two by Purushottam.
Another beautiful Krishna Goel song is his duet with Geeta Dutt - Raat hai nikhri huyi from the film Mallika (1956). It featured Hansraj Bahl as music director with lyrics by Tanveer Naqvi. Krishna Goel’s voice was refreshing and different amidst the leading voices of that era, such as Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. Some experts have described Goel’s voice as being a combination of the voices of Talat Mahmood and C H Atma.
Krishna Goel does not have a huge bank of songs to his credit, and his songs in Hindi films are difficult to locate. During his later years, he was known to accompany noted ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh in his concerts. He lived with his son Sandeep in Mumbai, passing away on 4th June, 2010, at the age of 83.