Kishore,The Singer : Music director S. D. Burman is credited with spotting Kishore Kumar's talent as a singer, and advancing his singing career. During the making of Mashaal (1950), Burman visited Ashok Kumar's house, where he heard Kishore imitating the singer K L Saigal in the bathroom. He complimented Kishore, but also told him that he should develop a style of his own, instead of copying Saigal. Kishore Kumar did not have a formal training in music.Initially, he used to copy K. L. Saigal. But, he kept Burman's advice in mind, and eventually developed his own style of singing, which prominently featured the yodeling that he had heard on some records bought by his brother Anoop. In the Bollywood music circles, yodeling became Kishore's trademark.
S. D. Burman recorded with Kishore for Dev Anand's Munimji (1954), Taxi Driver(1954), House No 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Prem Pujari (1970), and Tere Mere Sapne (1971). He also composed music for Kishore Kumar's home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). Some of their initial hits included Maana janaab ne pukara nahin from Paying Guest, Hum hain raahi pyar ke from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Ai meri topi palat ke aa from Funtoosh, and Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si and Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).
In the late 1960s, S. D. Burman's son, Rahul Dev Burman also started patronizing Kishore Kumar. Their first notable success was the soundtrack of the film Padosan (1968), in which Kishore Kumar sang popular songs Mere Saamne waali khidki mein and Kehna hai. R. D. Burman considered Kishore Kumar his favorite singer, and recorded several hit songs with him in the 1970s. In the superhit Bollywood film, Sholay (1975), he asked Kishore Kumar to sing for both Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. Some of the popular Kishore Kumar-R. D. Burman songs include O Maajhee Re from Khushboo, Yeh Shaam Mastaani and Yeh jo mohabbat hai from Kati Patang (1970), Kuchh to log kahenge from Amar Prem (1971), Raat Kali Ek Khwab Mein Aayee from Buddha Mil Gaya (1971), Musafir hoon yaaron from Parichay (1972), Diye jalte hain from Namak Haraam (1973), Meri bheegi bheegi si from Anamika (1973), Zindagi Ke Safar Mein from Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Agar Tum Na Hote, Humein Tum Se Pyaar Kitna, Mere Naina Saawan Bahdo, and Chingari Koi Bhadke.
Apart from the Burmans, Kishore Kumar worked with other major music directors as well. The composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) also composed many hit songs sung by Kishore Kumar. Some of their hit songs include Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi from Mr. X In Bombay, Mere Naseeb Mein Aye Dost from Do Raaste, Yeh Jeevan Hai from Piya Ka Ghar, Mere Dil Mein Aaj Kya Hai from Daag, Nahi Mai Nahi Dekh Sakta from Majboor, Mere diwanepan ki bhi from Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Naach Meri Bulbul from Roti, Chal Chal Mere Haathi from Haathi Mere Saathi, Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai from Dost, Ruk Jaana Nahi from Imtihaan, Ek Ritu Aaye from Gautam Govinda, My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves from Amar Akbar Anthony, Bohot Khoobsurat Jawan Ek Ladki from Dostana and Om Shanti Om as well as Paisa Yeh Paisa from Karz.
Kalyanji-Anandji recorded several hit songs with Kishore Kumar including Zindagi Ka Safar from Safar, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas from Black Mail, Apne Jeevan Ki Uljhan from Uljhan, Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz from Kora Kagaz, O Saathi Re from Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Khaike Paan Banaraswala from Don, Neele Neele Ambar Par from Kalakaar and Pal Bhar Ke Liye from Johny Mera Naam.
The new composers such as Rajesh Roshan,Sapan Chakravarty (who had earlier worked as R. D. Burman's assistant),and Bappi Lahiri also worked with Kishore Kumar.Rajesh Roshan's first hit film Julie featured hit songs sung by Kishore Kumar, Bhool Gaya Saab Kuch (duet with Lata Mangeshkar) and Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisise.Their other hits include Chhookar mere man ko from Yaarana and Tune abhi dekha nahin from Do Aur Do Paanch. Bappi Lahiri also recorded many popular songs with Kishore Kumar, including Pag Ghunghroo from Namak Halal (1982), Manzilen Apni Jagah Hai from Sharaabi (1984) and Chalte Chalte from Chalte chalte(1976).