13 comments on “An Evening With the Benjamin Sisters

  1. Hello!
    Glad you have discovered them. i think I once sent u link with a noor jehan interview on Silver Jubilee, the talk show where Benjamin Sisters became famous, singing songs of the invitees to the programme.
    But they are very soothing and they sanf very nice songs. The whole programme was really good, with a bit of intelligent humour as well.

  2. Bawa, glad you appreciate my strange focus for this post. :) I do recall the clips you sent me of a show that had some political humor in it (though mainly current events-related, not too deep…). I will have to look at the comments archives again… Anyway, it is true, they are very soothing. Am I mistaken, or were some people in these clips actually dozing off?

    Mister Naidu, yes, I guess it’s Pakistani easy listening music, but the songs they’re covering aren’t, strictly speaking – they’re mostly just somewhat more sedate versions of upbeat filmi music, often with some classical influences, by composers such as Rashid Attre, originally sung by the likes of Zubaida Khanum and Noor Jehan. (And in all fairness, I do think “Sajan Lagi Tori Lagan” keeps its classical flavor, even though these voices aren’t spectacular like Noor Jehan’s.)

    I guess, though, that Pakistani easy listening music is more appealing to me than most western easy listening music (outside of some “ambient” pieces :) ), because of it’s strangeness to me. I also really like the matching outfits (much better than The Osmonds’!).

    So, how disappointing it was to see that two of the sisters moved on to cover Laura Branigan (as well as Abba, which I didn’t include here). Though their cover of that song really isn’t bad – in fact, it’s probably better than the original, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, I love the outfits (perhaps dictated by the social climate of the country at that time, but still)… How delightfully un-Disco they were, at a time when Bollywood was already trying to outdo the west in fashion vulgarity. :)

  3. This is too funny..they were doing really well until that plague of modern music struck them…like “return of the bodysnatchers”..what have they become..glad you found this trail. It was really funny to see this evolution.

  4. Soothing indeed. Were people dozing off? I thought they were lost in the music :-D

    What did happen to cause their break up (sorry if the question is too gossipy)?

  5. Hema, glad you enjoyed seeing their [d]evolution. :)

    Pacifist, I hope you’re right and there wasn’t any real snoozing going on…

    Below one of the videos on YouTube, there were some comments that either came from one of the Sisters or was forwarded from her, which mentioned that they are all living in different countries now. One got married and moved to Canada. (Hm, haven’t I seen that story a couple of times before, just recently?) It could be that she was the first one who moved away, causing the others to try carrying on as a duo. But now one of them is in Dubai, and only one of them stayed in Pakistan.

    Maybe they’ll have a reunion one day, forget about their attempts at “modern music” and sing the old classics. That’s usually how it happens. :)

  6. I think they sang old songs related to the guests on the show, hence the wonderful music!

    I think many of the guests did not really respond to the tongue-in-cheek interviews carried out by Anwar in Silver Jubilee.
    There was also a comic duo, I have some clips on a cassette of Silver Jubilee released at the time.

    One of the best sketches was when Sabri Brothers- quawals- were invited as guests. They were famous for their long hair below their shoulders. However, when they appeared on Sivler Jubille it was with new-look short hair. So the sketch showed the comic duo, one playing one of the Sabri brothers and the other a fan, went something like this

    Fan: “What Sabri bhai? You have chopped all your hair off! How come?”
    Sabriji: Well, we loved it. But we got a bit fed up, you know, everytime we were out and about, hearing behind our backs, “There go the Benjamin sisters, there go the Benjamin sisters…”

  7. Someone has since loaded that whole episode of Silver Jubilee on youtube. Here is the link to Part 1. unfortunately it is not subtitled: maybe some good soul out there will do it sometime.
    Her beautiful daughters, son, son-in-law are often shown in the programme (in red and white outfits)
    You can see the programme moves between serious, some very direct questions, and some cheeky references. The second invitee, Tariq Aziz, Pakistani radio, tv newsreader, long-time TV host, actor, who talks about his time “as a guest of the government”, and Masoor also asks him about his film that was released at 3pm and “plopped” at 3:30pm.

    Singers include Mehnaz, adult debut of Sajjad Ali, and Hamara, beautiful versions of old Noor Jehan songs.

  8. Banjamin Sisters were very cool singers but the nation of pakistan lose them. if they will be in india they might great singers now. if they read i request them to come back please.

  9. Richard, thank you for pointing me to this post. I especially loved Gaadi ko chalaana so much, I tried looking for the original – with no luck, unfortunately.

  10. You’re welcome, Madhu. And by the way, there are a few audio copies of the original version of that song on YouTube. I actually have it on a CD that I bought, Best of Zubaida Khanum. Here’s one of the YouTube copies:

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