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The 36th death anniversary of legendary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi is being observed on Thursday. He sang around five thousand film songs during his professional career. Ahmed Rushdi died at the age of 48 on April 11, 1983.

Ahmed Rushdi was born to a religious, conservative family of Hyderabad Deccan in 1934. His father, Syed Manzoor Mohammad, taught Arabic, Islamic History and Persian at Aurangabad College, Hyderabad, Deccan. He died when Rushdi was only six years old. From a young age, Rushdi was fond of listening to the musical programs, including songs, which were broadcast from the radio. He neither inherited music from any one, nor any body in his family was ever affiliated to music. Ahmed Rushdi’s singing talents impressed a very close friend of his father, whom he called uncle and who loved him dearly. He enrolled in a local music academy in Hyderabad Deccan.[19] Moreover, two popular composers of the time, M.A. Rauf and Iqbal Qureshi, also taught music in the same school. Thus, Ahmed Rushdi learned the basics of music from the afore-mentioned teachers. Later, he got some training in classical music from Ustad Nathu Khan.

Ahmed Rushdi did not get any sort of formal training of classical music neither before nor after becoming a successful playback singer but he had an effective command over high and low notes. He sang his first song in the Indian film Ibrat in 1951 and got recognition. His family moved to Pakistan and settled in Karachi in 1954, where he began participating in variety shows, music programs, and children’s programs on radio. In 1954, he recorded his first non-film song, “Bunder Road se Keemari”, written by Mehdi Zaheer for the popular Radio Pakistan show Bachchon Ki Duniya; the song was a hit and became the steppingstone for Rushdi’s future.