4 comments on “Found at Desi Oldies: From A through Z: Hindi-Urdu Singers of British India

  1. Richard,
    Even names known to somebody like me are missing; it seems to be a very preliminary list. If one googles or visits YouTube wiyh names like Gauhar Jan, Zaddanbai, Gohar bai( one with that name is Amir Bai Karnatiki’s sister and there are usually two or three with similar names), one finds many more names. I read very recently about Gohar Bai Karnataki. Apparently she sang in several films, was a music director too, was a fan of Bal Gandharva, pursued and finally married him.

  2. There is a book with a list of early Indian gramophone records. A number of the pages are available at google books and in the Discography pages, there are names of many early singers
    I think that the gentleman who posted the song linked there is in some group who post about old songs, I do not remember the site now. Regards,
    P.S. One of the things that fascinates me about these of the older singers, composers etc is that there is a lot of joint work between Hindus and Moslems. They seem to be aware of the difficulties in the general society and sometimes even changed their names. There is a story that for a Hindi VHS an, Shamshad Begum’s name was given as Radha Rani. But there seem to be many inter religious marriages and happy collaborations.

  3. Swarup, thanks for the comments and the link. I guess this work in progress does have much more to come. But, as I was saying, there certainly are plenty of singers so far, whether or not this approaches a complete list.

    I have read a comment in one of the Bollywood history books that I have that the film industry provided exactly the Muslim-Hindu harmony that you are talking about, as contrasted with so much else going on in the society. It was either in Manto’s book or in Mihir Bose’s (likely quoting somebody).

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