During the initial period of Indian cinema the major film centers were Bombay (or Mumbai), Calcutta (or Kolkata), and Madras (or Chennai).  Bombay was the foremost amongst them because of its financial muscle and national distribution capacity whereas Calcutta and Madras were well-known for their regional films. Through out the 30s, Indian movie industry worked that way. With the arrival of 1940s and 50s things started changing a bit. Music was considered the soul of the Indian films. They had to be there. Another change was many independent producers started making their mark in Bollywood. At the same time, era of playback singing started knocking doors. Every movie was working so some formula which guided certain number of songs in movie depending upon the genre of the movies. Many new musicians, music directors and singers began making their mark.


Unlike earlier time where actors and actresses themselves had to sing, now they had the option of lip-syncing. Playback singers’ started singing songs for actors. Notable playback singers who managed to make a mark in that era are K L Sehgal, Hemant Kumar, Talat mehmood, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad begum, Begum Akhtar and Asha Bhosle.  Prominent music directors are C. Ramchandra, Naushad, Shankar – Jaikishan, S. D. Burman, and Madan Mohan. These singers and music directors started a new trend in film industry and their songs and music is still popular amongst masses. They are credited to produce soulful music which still lingers on in our memory.