2 comments on “Shamshad Begum on Cuckoo in Hulchul (1951)

  1. Shamshad Begum was such a powerful singer, one of my favourite CDs is her “best of” collection. What a range she had! And she must have reached the highest notes of any film singer; I wonder if anyone has compared that.
    I think one of Lata’s highest pitched songs is Rasik Balma, but composers were making Shamshad sing incredibly high-pitched numbers, esp in Punjabi films (it does not really matter, just idly wondering about such trivia).

  2. Yes, Shamshad Begum was very good. I always enjoy her vocals. I liked her singing a lot in Bahar (among other films)…

    One of the bloggers on my sidebar, Ritu, wrote this interesting post, mainly about the singer Khursheed, but also in general about how the pre-Lata female singers all got faded out (well, all those who hadn’t moved to Pakistan) when Lata took over…


    There’s one line here where she asserts:

    “It was only the spunky Shamshad Begum who held her own against the Lata wave all the way into the 60s.”

    Though I can think of a couple of female singers of the ’50s and ’60s who did as well vs. Lata as Shamshad Begum ever did… But I guess the point is that Shamshad Begum was the only one who was performing at the time of Lata’s breakthroughs (in 1949) who held her own for the entire period of time … (Of course, it took Asha some time to get started and poor Geeta kind of went down hill in many people’s eyes and didn’t last that much of a way into the ’60s…)

    Anyway, this was all interesting to read.

    Lata’s also my favorite Bollywood singer post-1949, but I don’t know if she should have crowded out the other female singers the way she did. (Not that it was Lata’s fault, that’s just the way it happened.)

    I’ve also been delving into the movies and soundtracks from the ’40s and finding that there were a lot of really good female voices being featured in those days…

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