Composer Ghulam Mohammad was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan into a family of musicians. His father, Nabi Baksh, was an accomplished tabla player. He started out at the New Albert Theatrical Company in Punjab, as a child artiste and went on to work as a dance director for it, before he shifted attention to Hindi film music. He moved to Mumbai in 1924 and struggled for many years till got his break in the film “Raja Bharthari” (1932), as a tabla player in the orchestra.
He moved on to become an assistant to composers Naushad and Anil Biswas for more than a decade, and made his debut as a solo composer in “Mera Khwab” (1943). While he did a lot fewer films than his contemporaries, he more than made up for it through the quality of his music. His compositions for the film “Mirza Ghalib” (1955), earned him his first Filmfare Award as well as the President’s Gold medal.
Ironically, Ghulam Mohammad, is most remembered for his music for “Pakeezah” (1972), which was released after his death. The film was plagued by many production issues and Naushad was brought in to complete the score after Ghulam’s death.