7 comments on “Love Those All-Women Qawwalis from the 1940s!

  1. Heard them for the first time, though these are popular set of couplets, especially the first two, being sung qwaali style.
    I love this style of singing so much.
    Can’t add to the list, though I know quite a few from the later decades, mainly 50s and 60s.
    But will come back when I find something :)

  2. Thanks, Pacifist. The first two are the first ever – first all-women qawwalis in Indian cinema (Zeenat was late ’44 or early ’45 and Village Girl was ’45) and I have seen some say the first cinema qawwalis in general, though I doubt that is true (?)… And the third is from 1949. Their being from the ’40s is what makes them so special, I think. Of course, there were quite a few in the early ’60s, some of which we’ve talked about here just recently. :)

  3. Richard,
    After the making the comment, I realized that I do not have any idea of the reliability of these sites. Another site also says that the first song was the first women’s qawwali in Hindi films

    http://mazhar.dk/film/singers/noorjehan/career.htm

    You will have better idea of these than me. Regards,
    Swarup
    P.S. As a byproduct, I got to know about books on women’s songs in India. Earlier, I only knew through an article by Velcheru Narayana Rao, women in some parts of Andhra have their own version of Ramayana.

  4. Thanks for the other link. Yes, I think the consensus has been that the Zeenat qawwali was the first. Some people debated on YouTube whether the Gaon Ki Gori/Village Girl qawwali could have been first, but the evidence in a few places is that that film came out later in 1945.

    And I think I would like to see some of those books that you referred to!

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