Hemanta's music career was primarily mentored by the Bengali musician, Sailesh Duttagupta. In an interview on television in the early 1980s, Hemanta had mentioned that he had also received classical music training from Ustad Faiyaz Khan, but his tutelage was cut short by Ustad's untimely death. In 1937, Hemanta cut his first gramophone disc under the Columbia label. Thereafter, every year Hemanta continued to record non-film discs for the Gramophone Company of India (GCI) till 1984. Hemanta is considered a foremost exponent of Rabindrasangeet.
His first recorded Rabindrasangeet was in the Bengali film Priya Bandhabi (1944). The song was Pather Sesh Kothaye. In the late 1950s, Hemanta ventured into movie production under his own banner Hemanta-Bela productions. The first movie under this banner was a Bengali film directed by Mrinal Sen, titled Neel Akasher Neechey (1959).
The story of this film was based on the travails of a Chinese street hawker in Calcutta in the backdrop of India's freedom struggle. The movie went onto win the President's Gold Medal – the highest honour for a movie from Government of India. In the next decade, Hemanta's production company was renamed Geetanjali productions and it produced several Hindi movies. Read more on Last.fm.
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