CINEMA ABROAD: Indispensable Queen

Hollywood would not look twice at India's Lata Mangeshkar. Tin-Pan Alley might cover its ears. But last week plain little Lata, her hair braided in a pigtail, drove to one of Bombay's biggest movie studios, was ushered up to a mike, and the sweet, childish voice that struggles to rise above the accompaniment was nursed through its 6,000th recording. For 16 years, barefoot Lata has been putting on sound tracks the songs that Indian actresses fake when they appear on the screen. Now, at 29, she is the undisputed and indispensable queen of India's "playback singers," with an output...