The Birth of Pop Music in Pakistan: Ahmad Rushdi, Waheed Murad and Ko Ko Korina

Posted on January 3, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People
22 Comments
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Adil Najam


At various points and during various discussions on ATP readers have debated just when ‘pop music’ arrived in Pakistan. Some have suggested Vital Signs as the beginning, others have argued that the first step was from Nazia and Zohaib Hassan, and yet others take it further back to Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shehki. Each, of course, was an icon of their time and shaped the music that was to follow them.

For me, however, the birth of ‘popular pop’ came with Ahmad Rushdi; especially when he teamed up with Waheed Murad. We have argued here that Waheed Murad might have been the very first ‘heart throb’ hero of Pakistan. Let me now suggest that Ahmad Rushdie defined ‘kool’ as much as Waheed Murad and that Ahmad Rushdie was the first real Pop Superstar of Pakistan.

More than that Co Co Corina – or is it Ko Ko Korina – is the definitive and defining Pakistani Pop song. Not only was it the first superhit pop song but it remains an icon for its generation and for Pakistani pop music in general.

I guess it should be clear by now that I really like this song. Take a look and listen; and hear and see why.

Waheed Murad, as you can see, is in his ‘Elvis Presley of Pakistan’ mode here. For another glimpse of that mood see the video in our previous post on Waheed Murad.

By way of a parting note, I should add that even though I have expressed my own bias against what I have called the ‘hilna jullna’ style of singing I am not only not averse to but am actually partial to a good ‘performance’, as long as the singing is not compromised by the ‘hilna julna’. This video is not just nostalgic but also meets that test of fun performance combined with good singing.

22 responses to “The Birth of Pop Music in Pakistan: Ahmad Rushdi, Waheed Murad and Ko Ko Korina”

  1. javed says:

    Excellent. Enjoyed the post very much. Thanks.

  2. Umair says:

    Ahmed Rushdi is the evergreen top playback singer of south asia.His voice quality was amazing and he is famously known as “The MAgician Of Voice” and “The Master Of Stage”.We cannot restrict him to pop songs only.He was equily capable of singing every type of melody i.e ghazal,sad numbers,happy songs,high & low pitch songs,qawwali etc.He is the only playback singer of subcontinent(other than Mohammad Rafi) whose voice was full of expressions and best suited to every hero,comedian and character actor. Ahmed Rushdi remained the top singer of Pakistan film industry and even Mehdy Hassan occupied the 2nd position because of him.Rushdi recorded the highest number of songs in Pakistani cinema history.

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