8 comments on “Farewell, Shamshad Begum

  1. It is really a sad news. Like padmini, she is my all time fav singer. She had a very sharp and sexy voice. For me she is better than Lata. Anyway she lived here for 94 years, thats a great thing.
    Everyday i keep listening her songs ‘kahin pe nigahe’ and ‘aji bas shukriya’ along with lata’s naja balam’
    I could not pass a day or night without these three song, i m adicted to her songs.

  2. Muhsin, I can understand her being your all-time favorite singer, although for me, that spot always belongs to Noor Jehan. It was very exciting for me a few years ago when I started discovering so many pre-partition films that included both Noor Jehan and Shamshad Begum (and sometimes Suraiya too). And Shamshad is always in my top 5.

    My top five as it presently exists looks like this (although I will change it again, because I think Suraiya should be #4 or #5, not #2 – but the last time I edited this list on my “Filmi Favorites” page, I was experiencing a particularly strong case of Suraiya fever):

    1. Noor Jehan
    2. Suraiya
    3. Lata Mangeshkar
    4. Shamshad Begum
    5. Geeta Dutt

    I should add that this list is specifically for female singers, but I must admit that I always notice the women’s voices more.

    And I guess that it would only be fair to say we are talking about “Bollywood” (where Padmini made great inroads too, though she did more in the South). Otherwise, it would become even more difficult to “rank” singers in any list.

    In any event, among my five faves, most have left us and only Lata remains. (And we also still have Asha, who is my no. 6.) But yes, we can enjoy all their voices forever.

  3. Richard,
    I am only an occasional listener of film songs and totally untrained in any form of music. I find that even great singers are not uniformly good and sometimes jarring and I flinch. Those who passed the ‘flinch test’ among Hindi film singers for me are Saigal, Geeta Roy, Shanshad Begum and C. ramachandra. In Telugu, Rao Balasraswati Devi.

  4. I saw the news on my feed in the morning. :( To think that last January, I wrote two exhaustive posts on her! Like you, I noticed that today, those posts have had the most hits. And so an era passes. That her music will be around not only to entertain us, but generations to come is the only comforting part.
    RIP, Shamshad Begum. May you make music wherever you are.

  5. My favourite song of hers is “Mere Banne ki baat na poocho” from the family drama Gharana. A great melodrama. And a great spiteful yet playful song that reveals a great deal about the nature of Indian domestic life.

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