When I look back to three decades ago, a soft-spoken singer singing Saraiki and Punjabi songs at Pakistan Television Corporation’s Lahore Studios comes to my mind.Often we appeared in the same programmes doing our respective bit. His full name was Mansoor Ali Malangi. He was the son of Pathan Ali, born in town Qasim Waali, near Mairnewala, Tehsil Ahmad Pur Sayal, District Jhang in Southern Punjab. He used to travel to Lahore from this far-flung area to appear in PTV programmes. Years later in 1970, he left his parental village and moved to Garh Morr, near Haq Bahu. He married thrice and bore 11 sons and eight daughters from these marriages. His three sons Mukhtar Mansoor Malangi, Ansaar Mansoor Malangi and Shahid Mansoor Malangi are carrying forward their father’s legacy in music.Mansoor Ali Malangi got initial training in music from his father who was a trained vocalist as well as an accomplished sarangi player. Mansoor was fond of singing since childhood. He used to sing Noor Jehan’s songs at school and to friends in his vicinity. Mansoor’s passion for Punjabi songs took him to Lahore where he stayed for some time and took tutelage from Baba Chishti, a music composer par excellence. His rendered his first song at Radio Pakistan in 1965. Popularity only came when he gave his first live performance at City College, Shorkot in 1970.The 1970s was era of recording songs for cassettes. Mansoor got a break when his cassettes were recorded and released by Pak Gramophone Agency, Jhang. Then the famous Rahmat Recording Agency recorded his famous song “Ik Phul Motiye Da Maar Kei Jagaa”. The moment this song was released, it became a street song all over Pakistan. His popularity reached abroad also and he started touring outside Pakistan. The countries where he performed included Saudi Arabia, the UK in 1990, US in 1992, Japan in 1994, Norway in 1998, Dubai in 2001 and Greece in 2004. During his lifetime, Mansoor recorded for many recording companies including Pak Gramophone, RGH, EMI, Heera, Sonic, Eagle and TP Gold.The 1970s was the era of recording songs for cassettes. Mansoor got a break when his cassettes were recorded and released by Pak Gramophone Agency, Jhang. Afterwards, the famous Rahmat Recording Agency recorded his famous song ‘Ik Phul Motiye Da Maar Kei Jagaa’Mansoor used to sing for masses. His song “Kehri Ghalti Hoi Aei Zaalim” is very popular in which he begs to be excused by his beloved for his mistake. The tune and lyrics hit the hearts of the youth of that area. Like Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, his cassettes are being played in trucks and trailers also. The song “Menu tere jeya koi hor labda na” was original rendered by Ustad Ameer Khan in slow tempo, popularised in a faster beat by Patiala Gharana singers. Mansoor follows suit. Mansoor usually starts his song with alaap followed by dohra in Saraiki like in his song “Koi Rohi Yaad Karendi”. With alaap in Bahirvin, Mansoor picks up the song “Tur Gaye Nimane Pakhian Dei Waasi” in faster dholak rhythm with flutes accompaniment. Many more songs can be quoted but one thing is clear that he has a relatively medium-thin voice in which he renders murkis with ease. It is not a heavy voice nor is he a full throat singer. In between his live singing, he explains the meanings of the poetry. Mansoor has also rendered songs in Urdu but the tone and command over Saraiki and Punjabi suit him more for the folk genre.Mansoor’s major PTV appearance was in Khawaja Najamul Hassan’s music programme ‘Meri Pasand’. Apart from this popular music mehfil, he appeared in Punjabi programmes ‘Ajj Di Shaam’, ‘Baila’, ‘Sangat’ and ‘Khilre Moti’. His last PTV programme was in 2013 from Multan TV Centre.Just a year after he was conferred upon with the Presidential Civil Award Pride of Performance in 2013, he expired due to cardiac arrest on December 10, 2014. The writer is an award-winning musician and author. He Tweets at @amjadparvez and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, October 8th 2017.